104-Year-Old Ham is On the Air
ARRL member Oscar Norris, W4OXH, of Gastonia, North Carolina, will turn 105 on September 25, 2022, and he is still on the air.
Oscar Norris, W4OXH, with his guide dog, Neil, circa late 1940’s.
Norris lost his sight when he was 24 in 1942, and it was his blindness that led him to amateur radio. He earned his license in 1949, and has been on the air for 73 years.
Tony Jones, N4ATJ, has known Norris since he was 14 and remembers the first time he met Norris. It was at a bicycle shop and Norris, blind, was still able to tear down a wheel, replace the spokes, and spin the wheel until it was balanced. Several years later, Norris gave Jones a book on how to earn an amateur radio license.
« Over the years, the book got misplaced, » said Jones. « I would give anything to find that book today. » Jones continued, « Oscar has the personality of one of the kindest people you would ever want to meet, and he never has an unkind word for anyone. »
Norris communicates mostly using digital mobile radio (DMR) on a handheld radio, and he has been a member of the Gaston County Amateur Radio Society (GCARS), an ARRL Affiliated Club, since 1979.
In honor of his 105th birthday, GCARS members will be operating the special event station N1O from 00:01 UTC on September 20 through 20:00 UTC on October 1. Operations will be on the HF bands, 2 meters, 1.25 meters, and 70 centimeters. Modes used will be CW, SSB, FT4, FT8, DMR, and D-STAR.
For additional information, contact Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.