With the rise of "personal" electronics--think Internet, tiny cell phones & other wireless connection tools--the world of ham radio seems to have been passed by, forgotten, or otherwise relegated to the basement, or worse. But this hobby holds on, fascinating & attracting those wanting more, some means of talking, chatting, meeting & interacting with the world at-large. Who want something besides giant corporations (ultimately concerned only with P&L)& sometime silly can-you-hear-me-now keyboard manipulations. Something beyond the anonymous nature of what we call commercial radio.
Hams, by & large, remain a curious lot--curious about how & why radio works. And curious because how is it possible to sit in your room & talk with someone else halfway around the world, without wires or other connections? Curious about the nature of communication itself, about who might be on "the other end" of that circuit. And curious about who & what they might be & do. The process occurs thousands of times, day & night, spanning everything, from continents to cultures to countries to crazy dreams & ideas. There's a romance to it, listening to signals that are all around us, unseen or felt, until we hook up a radio & detect them. Ham radio lets you put your own message out there, into that vast ethereal space, seeking something only you know about, something only you want.
"Hello World" introduces readers to some of that romance, to some of what kept Jerry Powell (whose collection of QSL cards form the basis of the work) doing it for 70 years. To some of what fascinated him, & continues to fascinate millions of others around the world. It's a graphical treat, & a rare look into radio from the amateur's point of view. Hopefully, some youngster, somewhere, will see it, & want to learn more--about radio, the world, & communicating with it via radio.
And Jerry Powell's legacy will live on...and on....