The 213th day of 2019 - 52 days until Autumn…

“Ragchewing by CW is a pastime that has been enjoyed since telegraph operators surreptitiously used idle time on their wires to share jokes, scuttlebutt, and build friendships (and romances) by telegraphy. For us hams, with the airwaves at our disposal but with no commercial traffic to get in the way of recreation, the joy of conversing freely with another operator using only the paddles endures as a unique form of communication that must be experienced to be appreciated.”

So begins the excellent treatise, RAGCHEWING 101 by John Silzel, N6HCN writing for Solid Copy, The CW Operators Newsletter. Radio hams have got the “quantity” down pretty good. Among us are legions who have become proficient at reeling off a thousand “contacts” in one good week.

But when it comes to a quality exchange of thoughts and ideas that go beyond QTH and weather, we more often than not miss the mark entirely. How great would it be if we all had a long list of call signs of true conversationalists to enhance the community of radio telegraphers?