QCWA logo

Chapter 36 - Northwest Indiana

~ Creaky Knees and Rusty Keys ~

Once again we had a terrific meeting in November, with a great turnout (24 people) for a Sunday morning. The food at Ryan's Buffet was very good... at least I thought so, and I haven't heard any complaints from others. And if the service was bad, we only had ourselves to blame this time! I think that Ryan's may become a regular place for us when we meet in LaPorte County. (But we won't forget the Blue Chip Casino either!)

The contest for this month was for the oldest (state-issued) callsign license plate, with YOUR callsign imprinted on it. There were a number of 20-yr-old-plus plates from the 1970's and 1980's... but no one really came close to our winner: Gene Wiggins, W9CWG, who brought his 1953 Ohio plate with his original call, W8YEG (issued in 1946). My research has found (see below) that 1953 was the first year that ham plates were even printed in Ohio! Great job Gene... CONGRATULATIONS! And thanks for bringing it in to share with us.

A special THANKS! also to Lila Hallberg, N9ESS, as the only YL to enter our contest today! Also thanks to Troy Harrison, KC9E, and Bruce Balsley, W9OTN, for bringing in some other interesting items besides their state-issued plates. Troy brought the X-plate which was issued to military personnel stationed in Europe (only a couple of people knew that), and Bruce brought a couple of interesting ham-related plates.

Want to know more about the history of state-issued callsign license plates? I was lucky to stumble onto the pic below (the last one, bottom right) that shows the first year of issue of ham plates for all 50 states, a collection belonging to W1DGJ, Mike Ludkiewicz. This was the confirmation that Gene's 1953 plate was the first year that Ohio issued ham plates. Click here to read the thorough history and interesting facts gathered by W1DGJ, along with some touching stories too. When was Indiana's first ham plate? 1954.

Pics by Stan W4SV. Click for a larger view.
(Sorry, some are a little blurry.)


Gene W9CWG


John W9ZG


Troy KC9E



Stan W4SV

W1DGJ collection

Attending: (in last name order)

Bruce (W9OTN) and Pam Balsley
Ron (WA9RON) and Mary Broviak
Carl (W9CJH) and Lila (N9ESS) Hallberg
Troy (KC9E) and Claudette (KA9IXZ) Harrison
Chuck (KC9OYE) and Cheri Hill
George Kelly (K9WWT)
Dale Kempf (AC2E)
John Miller (W9ZG)
Dave Nicolaus (W9DN)
Paul (AE9P) and Bambi Patterson
Tom Ruggles (W8FIB)
Larry Sargent (KC9IU)
Don (KD9HI) and Marie Sims
Stan Vandiver (W4SV)
Gene (W9CWG) and Helen Wiggins, and daughter Barb

Back to the Meetings Page.

Valid CSS! Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict