My best ham radio friend told me last night that he is moving away to be closer to his kids. It happens. We get older and a chance to live closer to family becomes a priority. I don’t blame him, he’s doing the right thing, but I am going to miss him terribly. He’s the only local ham friend I have. Our interests in the hobby have remained very similar and for more than twenty years we have enjoyed radio together. Though he will only be 60 75 miles away, I have this feeling I will never see him again. We might arrange to meet somewhere once or twice, but it will never be the same…

His departure has me wondering if I even want to continue this journey in amateur radio? It can be a solitary hobby, sure, but it’s so much more fun with friends. Not surprisingly, almost all my ham radio friends are beginning to age out with many of them being over 80 years old now and I suspect I’ll be saying “goodbye” to many of them soon enough. I got into this radio stuff as a teenager in high school and next year I’ll become eligible for Medicare.

Maybe I’ve hung around for too long?

I suspect my friend and I will stay in touch via text messages and email. But that won’t be the same as meeting for breakfast on a Saturday morning to discuss workbench projects, DX conquests, and the associated aches and pains of growing old. I find myself saying it more and more as I grow older, but the virtual world of computers and the internet pale in comparison to actual human contact.

It’s the circle of life. Like everyone, I once was at the beginning of a long adventure filled journey and now I’m much closer to the end of it. That things would change along the way was inevitable – though that fact doesn’t make it any less sad.