I discovered CB radio when I was 11, with a pair of walkie-talkies.
By then, I was already taking everything a part trying to figure out how it worked.
My first real radio was a Raytheon Ray-Tel TWR-2 five channel
AM rig, that came with a hard-wired carbon microhone.
At 14, I joined a local group called "Canadiana Communications Team"
which mostly did marshalling at walk-a-thon events and the likes.
It was great because I got to meet older guys into radio, USE radios
and learn all about them! That's when I discovered S.S.B.
While I was with the group I took a course at the Department of
Communications that gave me a "Restricted Operators Certificate".
The certificate allowed me to operate any radio in a time of emergency.
After 5 years or so my interest in the group faded, but my
addiction to radio was only getting bigger and bigger. LOL!
The next 10 years or so was spent shooting DX on CB, learning
about antennas and amplifiers, and just being a typical CB'er!
During those years, I would rub elbows with a HAM now and then
which sparked my curiousity. What do you mean I can talk world-wide?!
I be-friended one who became my Elmer. God rest his soul, a SK now.
He encouraged me to learn CW, by buying me a practice key.
His wife was very understanding about it, and it's a great memory!
I became a licensed Amateur Radio Operator in 1989, at the age of 31.
I didn't waste any time getting to know the locals, and started volunteering
for whatever job needed doing. Whether it was repeater maintenance,
raising a tower or running coax ... I was ready and willing.
Oddly enough, I didn't get into HF radio until some years later.
My interest then was 6 meters, 2 meters SSB & FM, and UHF.
I joined a local club and started looking after repeaters as well.
After several years of that, I got bored and moved on to packet radio.
With several other operators, we created a large area network of packet
nodes, that spanned the entire "Golden Horseshoe" area around Toronto.
As time went by, packet evolved from 1200 baud up to 19,200 baud over air.
Man, we thought we were HOT stuff! Then along came the Internet.
Once the Internet craze started, packet died a quick death.
56 Kbaud modems (for telephone) were now available!
And so it was that I turned to HF radio, and started another learning curve.
I had to re-learn CW because it had been so long since I had used it,
but like riding a bicycle ... it came back quickly. But wait!
It was time to try and get my Advanced ticket! So, with the help
of a couple of great operators I practiced at getting faster and faster
until I could easily manage the speed requirement, and passed the test.
The rest is still un-written really. I love HF radio!
I frequently sit in for an hour on the O.N.T.A.R.S.
(Ontario Amateur Radio Service) net on 3.755 Mhz.
You'll find me active on 2, 20, 40 and 75/80 meters.
I don't bother with 160 ... it's too friggin noisy!!
I'm not sure why, but people keep asking me
if I've even been in broadcasting! *snicker*
I think it's just that excellent Kenwood audio!