ABOUT KEN…!!

ABOUT Ken Nichols, Ham Operator, Marine & Fleet Director Car Sales

New Photos & New Information, Ref: MARS Radio  www.qrz.com

I AM A FCC LICENSE AMATEUR HAM RADIO OPERATOR, SINCE 1969…

I HAVE SERVED IN THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORP FROM 1956-1963..

I ALSO RAN PHONE PATCHES TO THE SOLDIER BOYS IN VIETNAM FROM SENATOR BARRY GOLDWATER’S HOME HAM SHACK ON HIS HILL-TOP HOME… IT WAS A TWO-WAY HAM RADIO CONNECTIONS AND THE CALLS RAN FOR THREE MINUTES… AT LEAST THEY KNOW THAT EACH OTHER WAS SAFE FOR THAT MINUTE THAT THEY TALKED… IT MADE THEM SO HAPPY… IT WAS MY PLEASURE TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT FOR THEM… I WILL NEVER FORGET HOW IT MADE ME FEEL LISTENING TO HOW HAPPY IT MADE THEM FEEL JUST FOR THAT THREE MINUTES OF TIME…!

Because of going up to the mountain-top ham shack each evening to run ham radio phone calls to the vets in Vietnam and ever so often getting a view of watching the sun set over Phoenix, it made me want to build a home like Barry Goldwater’s mountain-top home & Ham Shack…!  

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           NOW HERE’S THE REST OF MY HAM RADIO STORY…!

I held a Novice & Tech before I got my General License in 1969… Later on, I got my Advanced…  After a couple years, I had the opportunity to join the Barry Goldwater Ham Radio Club…The Senator had his Ham station at his hilltop home in Paradise Valley…The club consisted of appx 25/30 hams… The retired members ran the daytime patches and some of the younger ones, like myself went to the station after work and ran the stations until the band faded out, or until sometime around mid-night…What a great privilege to be a part of… I just love connecting the families to their servicemen in Vietnam. Barry paid for most of the stateside calls to his shack in Phoenix… His station consisted of two complete stations. So we had both stations running most of the time… One serviced Vietnam, and the other one covered Hawaii, Guam, Midway and Okinawa.. When Senator Goldwater was home from Washington DC, he came out to the station and sometimes ran the calls and other times just visited with everybody… A lot of the times, their were visitors in the shack visiting… You never know what was going to happen when you were there or who you were going to meet… One afternoon, we hear this loud sound in the parking lot and when we open the door, Barry was landing a helicopter in the parking lot in front of his house and the ham shack … Like I said, you just never knew who or what was going to happen when you were there. The large antenna that worked Vietnam was so l large, that  the  boom  was  larger  and  longer  than my R-45 tower. .. The  base was connected  to  a large  rotor in a huge  concrete  pad… We  worked  5 stations  at once sitting…We had the phone company operator in one ear and Vietnam in the other… We had  took down 10 listings  from  the 5 stations, the operator downtown had already briefed the first   caller on how to say “Over” and then we off to the races… I had to turn on the transmitter with a foot petal, we were running a 5000 watt amplifier..   So when the band was open, they heard us loud and clear with no problem…  

So as Walter Cronkite use to say,  ” And That’s The Rest Of The Story ”   Well,  Here Is  the Ken  Ham Radio Rest Of The Story, Influenced By Senator’s Goldwater’s Hill Top Ham Shack …My story proves how meeting ham operators can change your life…!

After working the station for a coupe years , and really getting to love the view from his ham shack hill top home… One night the band faded out and so I grabbed a coke and went out side and the sun was sitting over west Phoenix and on to the Camelback Mountain and turning pink & purple, just beautiful, I  said  to my self ” Wouldn’t It Be Nice To Have A Ham Shack  On  top  of  the  hill  just  like  Senator  Barry  Goldwater..!  At the time I was in the middle of building our first house in Scottsdale… I told my wife that I would love to build a home on top of a hill just like Barry… She listened, and that was the end of the story, for the time being… So  we  went  on  and  finished  that  home, and 4 years later sold it… My wife said, ” that was easy so why don’t we do that again! ”  So I resigned from my job as I was going to work full time on the house on the hill and my wife would continue to work outside the home… Then we decided to moved in with her parents… Then we purchased another lot and started construction..!  It was was on the side of a mountain, but not on top… Just  about the  time that  I was working on  the plumbing and foundation, we decided to go for a evening drive… Don’t  know why we decided to go up this street called Sweetwater which we hadn’t been before which took us to the top of a mountain which overlooked downtown Phoenix and  as far away as Sun city to the west and Superstition mountains  to  the  east, plus  so many more great views…I think that the view was almost as good as Senator Goldwater’s view.. When we got to the top, their was a sign that said lot  for sale 2/3’s  of  a acre, $9950.  At that time  ( 1971 ) a lot  for $9950 was a lot of  money… I looked at the view  almost  360 degrees, with  views of downtown Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sun city, Superstition Mountains… The view was just unbelievable… I said to my wife, ” Bet  you  don’t  know  what I’m thinking”  She  said, “I Know You  Would Like To Build A House Right Here, Right? ”  She also said  ” that  we  can’t do  that  as we just started another house..! ”  So the next morning, my wife did what she always does and that is she always figures out a way…!  She said, ” I figured out a way of how we  can buy that lot on the hill! ” She’s was always a such a great support.. I called the owner from my car ( Before  Cell  Phones) !   I told  the  man  that I was  a  ham operator  and I couldn’t discuss business on the phone patch, ( 2-meter repeater ) but  I do love what I  see and I would  give  him a call from a landline  when I got home… Once I contacted him, he never let  go  of  me  until we made  the  decision to purchase the lot from him ( 1 yr later )  which is the exact plan that my wife had figured out… So once I told the lot owner exactly what I needed in order to get a building permit… 6 months later I got a letter from the city of Phoenix building and zoning saying they would issue me a building permit… So I contacted the land owner and  he carried  the  paper  and I made  payments  for eight (8) years until I finished building the other house… Then I was ready to start my ham shack home on top of the hill… I quit my job  and  worked on it  for  over a year & a half , night  and day… I built a 3300 square foot home up there… It was a labor of love… Only one room on the second floor and I bet you can’t guess  what  that  room  was… Yes I even  had a wrought Iron spiral stair case up to the  room  on  top…It was a dream come true… Boy,  did I have a signal  from  up  there… With a 6-element KT34-XA  antenna  at about  50 foot… I could work Hawaii off the back of the beam… What a shack… My dream had come true… So I moved my family in and we lived  in this home  for  twenty  years, raised our two daughters their as they completed all their  schooling… Then  it was  time to leave  the home on the hill… It was hard to leave../ 

Note:  From The Time That I Got This Idea Of Building A House On A Hill Till Completion and We Moved In Was Ten Years….  Proves That Dreams Do Come True, If You Believe…!

HERE IS THE PHOTOS OF THE HOUSE FINALLY BUILT AND THE ANTENNAS AND THE TOWER RAISING PARTY, BUT I JUST SHARED ONE, AND THE OTHERS ARE THEIR… TO SEE THE ANTENNAS AND SO FORTH…  ALL PHOTO DESCRIPTIONS & INFORMATIONS ARE LISTED BELOW ALL THE PHOTOS…!

 

Photo 1: Left to Right Brother Roger Nichols ( deceased at age 63, way too early ) in the hole for the base of the tower, myself holding up the shovel & Roger’s Twin brother Richard who is now also ( deceased at 77 ) . . .The Dark Hair One In the Middle is Me: Ken WA7HXZ  Guessing these photos were taken 1980 to 1981… I am now going to be 84 in August 2020. . .

Photo 2: Some Of My Ham Buddies That Came For The  Tower And Antennas Raising Get-together…!  Also my other brother Hugh ( Hat ) also came to help with the Ham Antenna raising.  Even tho he is not a ham, he wanted to lend a hand and was a lot of helps THIS IS A MOUNTAIN TOP VIEW OF MY HOUSE AND THE SIZE OF THE HOUSE THAT TOOK HIM 1 YR & 1/2 TO BUILD !… Just Like The One He Dreamed Of When He Was Running Phone Patches to Vietnam, 10 years later…

Photo 3: Was another fellow ham who I had become real good friends with and he was a good climber and as you can see, like me felt very comfortable on any height.. This was at the completion and I think we were celebrating job well done…

Photo 4:  The Total Installation All Completed Of the KT34A 6-Element Beam… Above That Is A Vertical 2 Meter Antenna, Plus A Dual 2-Meter Beams…The Vertical is for a local repeater. . .  Note, The Red Light On Top, Just To Deflect Low Flighting Aircraft…!

Photo: 5 This is a view of my new ham shack and the window view of the mountains and down town Phoenix…

Photo: 6 This is a view from the sun deck, just outside of the arcida door of the ham shack…

Photo: 7 This a view of the house, showing the ham shack on top and the completed tower and antennas…

Photo: 8 This is a photo of senator’s ham shack, and all the members young and old… I was sitting on the floor right of senator with a flat-top hair cut and a yellow shirt…

Photo: 9 This was the cover of a book published at that time called: The World From Vietnam, by MARS RADIO…

Photo: 10  The photo below was of the senator… When he was in town, many times he would come out to the shack and run calls and visit… He was so down to earth and many wonderful conversations… I WILL NEVER FORGET IT…!

From Senator Goldwater’s Mountain Top Home with Barry at the mike…

Attention Doggie Lovers . . .  !

***  Notice:  The last photo is my newest doggie…I rescued her this last Christmas eve.   She was moved from a Kill shelter and She & I are very lucky that we happen to find each other… Her name is Daisy and she sticks to me like glue… She is a Chihuahua & is about two+ years old …

I had to put down my last two.. The one of me and the main photo …  That one was my doggie, named ” Stitch ”  . . .  He was a great doggie and he was an Austrian Shepard , but only lived 11 years. . .I also had another doggie named Barney and he didn’t live that long either, (8) years.. Putting Our Doggies Down, IS SOOOOO VERY HARD . . .!

Ken Nichols

My email address:  wa7hxz [at] gmail [dot] com   **********************************************************

Ten years later, two children later & two houses later, We finally built that house on the hill that we dream of.. My wife Katie’s & I always worked as a team… She worked outside the home & I built the houses just like the one the hill..! It took me one year & a half to build the house on the hill…It was a labor of love and hard work...                                  Dreams do come true..!

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My email address:  wa7hxz [at] gmail [dot] com

My Google Voice Number Which I Use 4 Car Sales:                        602-935-5206  It Will Ask You For Your 1st Name…No Voice Mail.. 

The above numbers to contact me Or Redwagoncars [at] gmail [dot] com, yes I am a semi-retired auto salesman for over thirty 30+ years & yes I have been selling and saving ham operators money $$$ on their vehicles… I love the business and helping folks save money and time on their vehicles..!