My Mother, Winifred Mont Eton Chappell Page 2
Monty and I set up our ham station there at my new home near Georgetown-our antenna stretched between the tops of two tall pine trees-and went back to contacting our friends on the air. Some, when traveling through the area, would stop by and stay overnight.
Over the fourth of July, we had friends from Berkeley who came for the weekend and we all went way back to Loon Lake to do some fishing. When we got back home on Sunday, the neighbor's (a mile away) two cows had wandered into our vegetable garden and just about cleaned it out (very nice neighbors, though-I never bought another bottle of milk or cream and butter as long as they lived there). I had been telling a ham that we contacted in Idaho what great potatoes we were raised in our garden. He told me that Idaho had the best ones when I told him about the cows and that I couldn't send one of our potatoes to prove how good they were. About a week later, we had a notice that there was a shipment of something for us at the terminal in Placerville. When we picked it up, it was a 100-pound sack of beautiful potatoes from Idaho.
When my daughter, Lorry "was on the way," these same "great people" really surprised me. They had apparently scheduled a time with Monty after I had gone to bed and made arrangements for a surprise baby shower - as far as I know, the first and only baby shower conducted via ham radio. They had all sent gifts to one of the hams in Sacramento-including coffee and cake, who, in turn, sent them on to Auburn where, without my knowledge of the whole procedure, Monty drove to town and picked them up. Then at nine o'clock one night, Monty said "We have to be on the air tonight so you cannot go to bed early." What a surprise that was! Then we contacted all of them to say our most heartfelt thanks for their wonderful thoughtfulness and their many gifts. All because of the magic of radio and what was the latest in communication at that time.
Then Pearl Harbor and World War II came along and all the amateur radio was shut off the air. My last license renewal was sent to Mont-Eton Mines in Greenwood, California. We didn't even get a chance to tell our friends goodbye over the air. Not only that, the government shut down all mining except for strategic minerals and we had to find other ways to survive. We did! We cut pylons to help the Navy and Sea B's (green berets) take back the South Pacific Islands from Japan.
This all happened beginning in 1927. On my 88th birthday in 1999, my family presented me with a birthday gift that brought me full circle. I was put on the internet, including ICQ, which is "ham radio" via the internet. What a wonderful world I have lived in!
In Memorium; Winifred Mont-Eton Chapell, 2 May 1911 - 10 July 2010.