From Danny Vierno, K1VWQ.

“I’d like us all to reflect on how you knew Normand, but reciting his own words from his QRZ page…

“I first got interested in amateur radio when I was in the Boy Scouts, about age 14. However, my first experience with radio was through the Military when the Air Force sent me to radio operator school in Keesler AFB, MS in 1953. The school was six hours long each day, of which 3 hours were devoted to CW, and the other 3 hours to electronics theory. My biggest problem was not copying 20 WPM, but 13 WPM. Even though I could copy 22 WPM, I could not pass the 13 WPM test. Therefore, I was eliminated from the radio operator career field, and placed into the personnel career field.

In 1960 while station at Sandia Base NM, I was telling a co-worker of my interest in Ham Radio. He invited me to his home for dinner that evening and to my surprise I discovered that he was a ham. With his assistance, I got my first ticket (Novice) and the call of KN5YXT. Several months later, I took the general test, and pass it, upon which my call change to K5YXT.

Several years later, I moved back home (So. Hadley MA) and applied for a modification of my ticket, at which time the FCC issued me my present call of W1BMK. Several years later, I was assigned to March AFB, CA, where I had my gear stored in my temporary apartment. Arriving home, I discovered everything had been stolen. Because of the loss of my station, I lost interest in amateur radio at that time.

However, about 7 years later, a friend got me interested in amateur radio once again. I went to the Long Beach FCC office and pass the General Exam again – this time receiving the call of WD6FZT. In September 1998, I moved back to Massachusetts. In 1999 I renewed my ticket, and at that time I discovered that my old call was available. Through the vanity system, I got back my old call of W1BMK (Wiskey, One, Beans, Mustard, Kielbasa)”


Our condolences to his XYL, Betty, KB1CPZ.


2 responses to “NORM, W1BMK… NOW, A SILENT KEY”

  1. Ken Dion Avatar
    Ken Dion

    Thank you Danny for a wonderful post even if it was from Norm’s QRZ’ed page.
    Great job, Norm will be missed… Signing off, Wiskey, One, Beans, Mustard, Kielbasa 🙂
    My thoughts are with Betty and the rest of Norms family. 73, Ken ~ KD1KU

  2. Jeffrey Akley Avatar
    Jeffrey Akley

    RIP my friend you will be missed Thank you for helping me get started in ham radio W1NUD-Jeff

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