Wow, What a Party!
The December DFMA meeting was attended by 59 people. That must be a record for this century! This included 21 couples making it more of a family-style rather than the normal technical event. We were all there to celebrate the holidays and the 40th anniversary of the founding of the DFMA. As usual, the meeting was held at Bullock’s BBQ and everyone could choose from their extensive menu, but the Club picked up the tab.
Three of the 13 founding members of the DFMA were present. Charlie Durst, NC4CD, the DFMA’s first president was there with his wife, Lee, WA4HYL, Charlie brought the Lids from the Hill. The "Lid" has, by tradition, recorded awards for either outstanding service, or for doing something dumb, Charlie related some of the more humorous Lid awards made in the earlier years of the Club.
Sid Edwards, W4QWM, accompanied by his wife, Sandy, made a few comments. Sid was the Club’s first secretary and holder of other Club’s offices at one time or other, Most recently Sid was our newsletter editor for many years.
Herman Cone, N4CH, with wife Donna, N4RXL, was the third founding member present for the festivities. The Cones made a special trip from Goode, Virginia, to join us for this occasion. Herman also shared anecdotes illuminating the history of the DFMA. He brought some of the early equipment used in the seventies. His "show and tell" included a "huge" HT and several models of the Heathkit "Twoers". These were small, relatively inexpensive, crystal-controlled, 2m AM transceivers capable of about 5W. He showed a basic model and one with an enhanced receiver add-on. Finally he presented Charlie with a seriously modified model that Charlie had once owned.
Dee, KU4GC, made some additional comments based on his browsing of historic DFMA newsletters lent to him by Charlie. He noted that the first repeater was a 440 repeater and that autopatch was a high priority but took some time to implement. He also noted that typical DFMA treasury balances in the first few years were around $200. He then called on the current treasurer, MK, W4MKR, for a report: checking and CD -- about $10 thousand each (before paying for the dinner :-) This is quite a change! (Of course there has been inflation.) Another interesting comparison to the early days is dues. The first dues were $10 per year and by 1973 they were $12 per year. Our dues are still $12/year! Other early fund raising included having a DFMA Club Table at various hamfests with 10% going to the club. This naturally led to our own DurHamFest in October, 1973. Finally, Dee shared a “DFMA Newsletter” dating from 1984. It was on the back of a postcard and read:
MEETING: NOVEMBER 13TH 1984 - TUESDAY
THE GOLDEN CORRAL
"COME OR WE BREAK YOUR LEGS."
Certainly one way to get out the word!
This year’s DFMA holiday party also engaged in its more traditional holiday activities.
Thirty-seven Christmas gifts for children were collected (and were delivered to Durham Social Services for distribution). $407.50 for the Durham Rescue mission was collected at the dinner "passing the hat" as well as $20 for the Food Bank of North Carolina. Supplemented by the traditional $350 check from the DFMA treasury, this yielded $777.50 for charity.
And a good time was had by all...