Member Spotlight: KI5CXH Susan Walker

by Jonathan George - K0JWG in Member Spotlight

Posted on Friday, May 01, 2020


Welcome to May's BCRO Member Spotlight! This month we learn a little about Susan Walker, our club Secretary, her story and purpose behind getting into Amateur Radio.

How long have you been a member of BCRO?
I could blandly answer the questions in a very bland fashion. However, my desire is to potentially interest other women as to the importance of radio. So… I will elaborate more than some desire.

I have been a member of BCRO since approximately August 2019. I am also a member of ARRL, Bella Vista Radio Club and ArKan Hams. Oh no…I need to check my dues!

Why did you join BCRO?
While I appreciate each group for their own unique qualities, I found BCRO to be located at a more convenient and secure location. Secure location is important to me since I have experienced some unsafe situations where I was not protected. I was not protected by my parents. I was stranded in a very isolated, potentially unsafe location in the farmlands of Nebraska. My father would not assist. Then it all came flooding back! I could have been an unsolved mystery.

This prompts the question: What seems to be the focus of BCRO? The safety and welfare of individuals.

When were you first licensed?
I received my Tech license in January 2019. Arkan Hams helped me with that. I am still a Tech but studying for my general. I am finding the General more challenging but I trust I can do it.
I will not give up. It is too important.

What do you enjoy most about Amateur Radio?
I could repeat the standard answer: it is a fun hobby. However, as I have told others, “Radio” is not a hobby for me. It is a necessity for the safety and security of myself and my family.

There are many reasons for the above statement. My primary caretakers were my grandparents; both of whom were born in the 1890s. So… I have one foot in the present and the other in centuries past. Needless to say, the centuries are conflictual: Self-sufficiency versus industrialization. Basically, the skills I watched my grandparents use are virtually lost wisdom.

In 1992, we moved into a country farmstead where the norm is… the electricity goes out. I taught myself to use the skills of my grandparents’. I collected candles, oil lamps; non-electric household tools; and learned canning and preserving food.

What do you hope to gain or learn from Amateur Radio?
One of the last things I needed… (I decided), was alternate communications. When we took in my handicapped brother and fragile elderly mother; alternated communications became increasingly urgent for me. “Low and Behold”, ArKan Hams had a one-day display at the Fayetteville mall. I trepidatiously approached strangers and inquired. Approximately 3 months later, I took my Tech test and passed.

So now, what do I enjoy most? I have expanded my knowledge base and survival skills. I have expanded my social group exponentially with individuals far wiser than myself. If I have a question which I cannot answer on the home front…I know to whom I can go. If, for whatever reason, I am stranded again…I can send out a call. I know my husband and new social group will be there to assist. Unlike my Nebraska experience.

If you could choose anyone as a mentor, who would you choose?
I choose all of YOU to be my mentors.

If you could sit down for a meal with anyone from history, who would you choose?
I would choose to dine with my Grandparents again. However, I know that is coming.

What is your current occupation?
I have always had to be true to myself. I have sought out the meaning of life, family and well-being. Have a B.S. and M.S. in Home Economics Educations and Human Development and Family Studies. I also acquired a M.S. in Counseling. I help people make adjustments and improvements in the meaning of their lives and relationships.

What’s one thing - either radio related or not - you learned in the last month?
One thing I have learned most recently about radio? I am getting better at operating and “it might not be my mistake or inexperience”. When the net suddenly went dead, I automatically checked to see what I did wrong. It wasn’t me this time!

What’s the last book you read or listened to?
The last 2 books I have read: The Unseen Realm by Dr. Michael Heiser. Dr. Heiser is a Biblical linguist who interprets the ancient script so we can better understand the Maker’s, unseen realm. AND…the newest General License study guide. Both were very difficult reads.

What’s something about you that not many people know (fun or interesting detail)?
What you might not know about me….all of the above. I did leave out my love of animals.

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