Jim Hubbard, who now lives in Wichita, and I grew up two blocks apart in Cedar Vale. Jim was my best friend, although he was a year younger. The "year younger" part is important because he was my inspiration to do a couple of very important things in my life. Being younger, if Jim could do it then certainly it was past time for me to do the same thing.
First Jim passed the test for his Amateur Radio (Ham) license at 16 I think. I had been interested in radios for several years and we already had a private phone line between our houses using salvaged crank style phones. Jim getting his ham license shocked me into action and I was soon the proud owner of my first ham license, call-sign KN0QDD. I have had many pleasant experiences and met countless new friends through amateur radio over the past 53 years, thanks in part to Jim.
The summer after Jim got his ham license he began flying lessons at the Sedan airport. I believe he was still 16. Of course, I could not let him get ahead of me again so I started taking lessons there also. We were flying in an old Piper J3 Cub. I did manage to solo that summer. However it took me several years, off and on, before I got my Private Pilots License. Jim went on to get commercial, instrument, instructor's, and advanced pilot's ratings. He still flies, but I gave it up a few years ago and my flying is now relegated to "hanger flying". That is, telling stories of how my guardian angles kept me alive and mostly out of trouble. I did fly quite a bit over the years and enjoyed it greatly.
Jim's mother was one of the most patient and kind persons that I have known, and his father was great with us kids also.
This is all to say a big "Thank You" to Jim for being my friend and mentor; even though he (still) is a year younger.
*Who was important to you growing up?
From the mountains of western Panama, all the best to each of you.