A Charter Members of the NJDXA, Ed Benkis W2HTI lives in Franklin, NC. with his wife and fellow NJDXA member Eileen Benkis, KO4DI.
Ed submitted this autobiographical sketch:
So, what went wrong? I mean that things seemed to be going along quite normally.
I got interested in ham radio while in High School and picked up a license in1951.
I got married at an appropriate age. Fiddled around with 10 meter mobile equipment
and when we moved to New Jersey I had room enough for an outdoor antenna. I enjoyed ham radio building projects both indoors and out. I enjoyed proving that the stuff would
work pretty good.
Then, at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., I came into contact with
Urb LeJeune and Bob Ainge, (W2DEC and K2GMO), fellow hams. They explained the virtues of the DXCC program to me. Think of it! You could get a nice certificate to frame and hang on the wall for working 100 countries. Wow! I had nearly that many confirmed for my 10 meter operations. I would go for it!
The problem was that, like with salted peanuts, enough would never be enough. I was hooked! The chase was on!
By the mid 1950’s I had acquired a new circle of friends. Fellow DXER’s, intense on chasing down the `new one’, lucid on describing past victories – and defeats. As the new kid on the block I would set about trying to prove my worth and in 1957 would become FP8AR (St. Pierre et Miquelon) and hopefully provide a `new one’ to the deserving. I was now accepted by a group of veteran DXER’s who would form the NJDXA, the first U.S.A. organization to serve as a district QSL Bureau.
Dedication to the DXing branch of our hobby, improving station equipment and antennas
and spending lots of time at it, paid off in 1971 when I placed at the top of both the Mixed and Phone categories of the DXCC Honor Roll.
All in all it was time well spent. High energy friends dedicated to propagating h.f. signals into the ether were gathered from the world over. Eventually my xyl Eileen would conquer the Morse Code and become KO4DI and join in on the fun. Now that
I come to think of it, I guess that nothing went wrong!
This was Ed's QSL prior to the founding of the North Jersey DX Association. In 1958, Ed began using the new QSL designed for the NJDXA by his wife.