Ben, W2BXA, is a charter member of the NJDXA and its first President. One of Ben's major accomplishments was Post WWII WAZ # 1. In January 2009, Ben celebrated his 95th birthday. He is as sharp and clever as he always was and is still on the air. Ben has 392 DXCC entities confirmed which is arguably the most entities anyone in the world has earned.
The Robert F. Heytow Memorial Radio Club publishes a newsletter known as the K9YA Telegraph. The editorial staff of this periodical solicits articles from hams including those dealing with memorable QSOs. This one is entitled “My Most Interesting QSOs” and was written by Stu Sokolin W6TA. The article is quoted here because it deals with one of our founding members, Ben Stevenson W2BXA.
“Upon turning 65 years old on May 16, 2009, I officially attained 'OT' status and was feeling it more mentally than anything else. I decided to make this a regular type day and started out on the radio that morning. Tuning the dial I happened upon an operator talking to a DX station. The stateside station's callsign caught my attention, so I looked it up on qrz.com. Doing so I noticed the callsign holder's birth year was 1914. Doing some quick math I felt this must be an error and decided to move the stateside station up 5 to ask him.
To my pleasant surprise Ben, W2BXA, was for real. Yes, 95 years young and still going strong. He definitely didn't sound 95, but how does a 95 year old person sound? He was sharp, spry, and turned out to be an extremely interesting person to talk with.
Imagine still being able to do CW at 35-wpm at 95. Just being able to do anything at that age is amazing. He was first licensed in 1929 at the age of 15. He skipped high school one day and snuck(sic) down to the local FCC office in NYC to take his exam. That was right around the time of the Great Depression, when people had more important things on their minds than amateur radio. Ben has held the same callsign ever since. Yes, for over 80 years Ben has be W2BXA. We ended up having a QSO for close to two hours, and could have gone on longer if not for the fact that I had to move on with my birthday.
I find talking to older hams and getting a perspective on how things were in the past extremely interesting. They are the service's pioneers, and we owe everything to them for making ham radio what it is today. My point in this whole story is I was really feeling down, turning 65 and feeling sorry for myself, and now I was able to talk to a fellow ham 30 years my senior who was so full of life. It made my 65th birthday more meaningful and helped me get through the day with a smile on my face...”