K5CBS Story

I was born in 1952 and raised on a tobacco farm in Halifax County, Virginia. My father was a Virginia Department of Highways Maintenance Superintendent and my mother worked at home and part-time at the local rural US Post Office. They were God-fearing, hard working, honest people who were very active at Alton Baptist Church (SBC); my father was a deacon and my mother was a pianist. I was so blessed to have had parents that raised us in a loving Christian home and gave so much of themselves to help others. My life growing up on a farm in the country was simple, yet so rewarding. Most of my relatives were tobacco farmers and I spent much of my youth working in the tobacco fields, either pulling tobacco, driving the slides, handing leaves and stringing and even hoisting (that's pronounced "heisting" on the farm) tobacco into the barn for curing. Hard work back then, but many wonderful memories from the farm. Both Mom and Dad are gone now, but loving memories of them will always be in my heart.

I graduated from Halifax County High School in 1970 and went on to college for a couple of years. My brother, who is eight years older than me, enlisted in the US Air Force in 1962. Whenever we visited him at his base, I was able to see first hand the airman's way of life up close. Even though I was only ten or so, I really liked the military uniform my brother wore and the marching and parades and the saluting. I loved watching the airplanes fly around just like my brother, so I joined Air Force in 1975 as an Electronic Warfare Systems Specialist. Normal USAF routine...basic training at Lackland AFB (San Antonio, TX), technical training at Keesler AFB (Biloxi, MS) and on to my first assignment at Holloman AFB (49th Component Repair Squadron, Alamogordo, NM). I worked on an avionics system on the F-4D aircraft, which is still my favorite plane today. After a couple of years there, I transferred to Eglin AFB (Ft. Walton Beach, FL) to the Tactical Air Warfare Center (TAWC) where I worked in a research and development atmosphere. I worked on a variety of aircraft such as the A-10 Warthog, F-15 Eagle, F16 Falcon, FB-111/EF-111, C-130 and RF4C. That was a fantastic experience. After two years there, I received orders for a tour overseas where I was assigned to the 6903rd Electronic Security Squadron at Osan AB, South Korea for a one year tour. Korea was such an interesting place and I traveled as much as possible to sight-see. I was able to visit Seoul, Inchon and Pusan and all stops in between. After the year was up in Korea, I returned to Eglin on a home-base assignment, where I remained for four more years. In 1985, I left Eglin for Instructor duty back at Keesler AFB, the same place where I was trained in electronics years earlier. I taught basic electronics (B.E.D. as it was called back then) and I retired in 1996 as an Master Instructor Supervisor.

When I was a youngster back in the late 50's, about once every two months, my parents would visit my dad's older brother up in Altavista, Virginia, about 60 miles away. My uncle, J. Wilson Stanfield, was a ham operator with the call W4PDY. Every time we went to his house, he would always take up time with me and go talk on his ham radio. He had an old Johnson Viking transmitter and a Hallicrafters receiver, with a home-brew VFO. His antenna was a dipole but I didn't know what that was at the time. But I will never forget his deep laugh one time when we contacted a ham operator up in Accident, Maryland. He thought a town being named Accident was quite unique. Needless to say, Uncle Wilson's love for the hobby and taking time to "elmer" me, is the reason I love the amateur radio hobby today. Unfortunately, he passed away at a relatively young age in 1971 before I was ever licensed. I wanted to be a ham like Uncle Wilson so I studied the text material and the code (5 wpm) and finally took and passed the Novice exam in 1979 and received my original call of KA4PKA while I was stationed at Eglin AFB. My first radio was a Heathkit HW-8 and I put up some clothesline wire for my antenna. I was finally...On The Air...I upgraded to Tech class in 1987 while I was at Keesler. I wanted to upgrade to Advanced class back then, but the more I listened to the code to try and get to 13 wpm, the more the dits and dahs ran together. I just seemed to get hung up at 10 wpm. Finally, I was able to get "over the 10 wpm hump"to pass the 13 wpm code test and upgraded to Advanced class in 1989. I remained an Advanced class operator until January 2012 where I took my Extra class exam and passed at the Jackson MS hamfest. My wife, Pam, was from Wiggins, MS, so when I retired from the USAF in 1996, we moved 30 miles north to her hometown where we now live. After living in here since 1985, and being a permanently, transplanted Mississippian, I wanted a 5 call sign. So in 2002, I was able to get the vanity call sign K5CBS which are my initials. Ironically, a few years ago (2009) out of the blue, my first cousin, Jim (Uncle Wilson's son) called and asked if I would like to have his dad's old Johnson Viking transmitter and D104 mic; of all things, the same old transmitter that "talked" to Accident, MD back when I was 7 years old. My cousin Jim also gave me Uncle Wilson's mint-condition Heathkit HW-101, which both are now part of my shack. What an awesome gift! 

Pam and I are blessed with five children and eight grandchildren (3 boys & 5 girls). We are so thankful that they all live within forty miles of us. I am the Music Director at Ten Mile Baptist Church, Perkinston, MS. I love Southern Gospel music, quartet style singing with tight four-part harmony; in particular, Bill Gaither and his Homecoming Series, The Cathedrals Quartet (retired), The Hoppers and The Kingdom Heirs. I enjoy playing the bass guitar with a group from our church. I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and I use the King James Version (KJV) Bible as I believe it to be the ONLY true and inerrant Word of God.

I am an engineer and EMT with the Wiggins Fire Department and a Mississippi State certified firefighter. I attended the Mississippi State Fire Academy in 1998 for NFPA 1001 and Driver Operator NFPA 1002 in 1999. Over the years, I have served as Harrison County, MS ARRL Emergency Coordinator (EC), Stone County, MS EC, District EC and Mississippi Section EC under two ARRL Section Managers.I use N3FJP logging and contest software. Member: Stone County MS ARES, SKYWARN, ARRL, QCWA, OMISS, 3905 Century Club Net, ARLHS and Ten-Ten International. I enjoy DXing, County Hunting, Contesting and general Paperchasing. I also serve as a Storm Spotter.

In addition to our children and grandchildren, Pam and I enjoy RV'ing and traveling. There are so many wonderful places we have been, but there are so many more places we want to see and are looking forward to our retirement in a few years. Our most favorite place to go is the Great Smoky Mountains area of Tennessee and North Carolina, especially in the winter, after Christmas. Beautiful ! But, the highlight of our travels so far was a trip with my brother and sister-in-law to England and Paris in 2008. We flew from Dulles (VA) to Heathrow and rented six passenger van . We traveled to Ipswich where we stayed with some of my sister-in-law's family. Using that as our base, we traveled for the entire two weeks we were there, seeing places and things we had only read about in books and magazines. My brother Wayne, a Vietnam vet, was stationed in England most of his twenty year Air Force career, so we had a "first class tour guide". Wayne did ALL of the driving so we went through the English countryside at a pretty good clip to see as much as possible in the short time we would be there. We went from Ipswich to Cambridge, to Oxford and Bath to Stonehenge, Salisbury, Winchester and Dover. The White Cliffs of Dover were absolutely stunning.  We also visited Felixstowe on the North Sea and spent one day in London, visiting the major sites such as Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and more. We even took a spin on The London Eye. We added another dream to our vacation by taking time to ride the Eurostar train from London to Paris. We spent a day in Paris seeing sights that Pam and I thought we would never see. We visited the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and the Cathedral of Notre Dame. We went to so many old castles, palaces and places of history that I can't recollect them all, but I took a picture of it and "spectacular" doesn't even come close to describing the sights we saw during our stay. The two weeks came and went so fast but this was a trip of a lifetime for an old country boy and his bride and I enjoyed the quality time spent with my brother. I took over five thousand digital photos during the two week period and I go back every now and then and look at them and remember what a great time we had. I highly recommend a visit to this awesome country with all its history. I hope we can go back to the UK again someday and pick up where we left off and maybe, if health and funding holds out, visit more of the countries and beautiful places in God's world.

Thanks for reading My Story. God Bless!!!