The Young and the Restless

    Yesterday one of the local QRPers came up the hill, walking the road that winds across the ridge, through the wooded area to avoid the wind and open spaces that were covered with a light dusting of snow. He made his way up the steps and into the shack, where the air was considerably warmer, mostly due to the orange DXing glow of the 811As!

    “I keep hearing about the Mysteries of the Ages, and how DXing is changing”, he charged us, “but what are they? And why are they so difficult to understand? Why is DX changing?” We felt a tiny sigh within. We well knew how the young are restless and always questioning. But they must have their answers, so we hauled him along the back roads up the hill to the Old Timer, who listened to the query stated again. “What will you do when you get your 320 DXCC sticker?” the Old Timer asked, and the QRPer has to stop and think.

    “I guess I’ll just keep going”, he said. “Just keep looking for the few more I need and any new stuff that comes along. After I get them all, I’ll try to work them all on CW. And then I’ll try to work them all on phone. And after that I’ll fill in all the band country holes. What else is there to do?” The Old Timer was silent for awhile before speaking again. Finally we heard the words he had so often spoken before. “Eventually most will learn some of the Mysteries of the Ages,” he said, “though understanding will be long in coming. But keep in mind, as you may have just indicated, that the young often tend to believe that things go on forever. The old realise that there is an end to everything, even DX. These are trying times for DXers, for things are changing rapidly, and a lot faster and in directions that many do not like. But also in ways that others do like. Understand?”

    And that was that. For as Albert would often say, “All things are relative, some more so.” On the way down the hill the QRPer was still asking his questions. “What does he mean?” he asked, his brow furrowed in deep thought and confusion, and we realised again how difficult it is to understand. But we tried to explain. “DX is a state of mind,” we said, possibly for the hundredth time, “and each day is a day of DX to itself. Don’t get caught up in the concerns about nets and lists, and whether or not the fellow down the road is a CW OP or a phone OP, or possibly both. Enjoy the good days of DXing while you can. One of these days you will realise that even the good days of DXing, maybe even the coming Great Days of DXing when Cycle 24 peaks, will come to an end.” The QRPer was silent for awhile but later he spoke again. “You know something”, he said, “I think that when I get a few more countries under my belt I will understand these things better. But right now, what could be more interesting than working DX? And why shouldn’t I be concerned when the FCC makes a change that affects what I hear on the bands?”

    “But have any of the changes really made things different than they were 20 years ago?” we asked, “or even different than they were last year?” The QRPer shrugged and we left things at that. Everyone gets a bit smarter with the years, and the old lose the fears and uncertainties of youth. And all of this may be a bit hard to understand, but if you do, certainly you are ready for more of the Eternal Enigmas. And if you want to know how all the confusion gets sorted out, just let the time go by, for what may have been in the past is not now in the present. Or something like that . . .

    Meanwhile, watch the DX Clusters and look for the WWV spots from Sunspot Louie. The Great Days of DXing are approaching, and only the Deserving will work the DX! Look for the long haul spots on the higher bands from his cousin, Red-Eyed Louie. They will come, maybe in a few months. Don’t be concerned with what may or may not have changed, for the one constant is that DX IS! Believe this, for it is the one Eternal Enigma that never changes.

This story is in the public domain and may be reproduced in any format. - VE1DX

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Last updated 15 December 2020