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Vy 73 to an old friend -- JY1

[I posted this about 8 hours ago and it never appeared back in
 my inbox. If you get a dupe, I apologize]

I am saddened by the report on the radio this morning and in the 
story on CNN at 

It appears that staunch AMSAT supporter and old friend, King Hussein
of Jordan (JY1) is about to say SK. After spending many months at the
Mayo Clinic, his cancer has finally claimed his body. He was flown 
back to Amman yesterday so that he could spend his last minutes 
at home.

I'd like to mention a couple of personal recollections of JY1. Back 
in my DXing days I recall the magic of the rare QSO with JY1. His 
presence on HF would create a world-class pileup. 

In 1980, I was President of AMSAT when we lost the Phase-3A spacecraft.
It was a black day for us and we were fighting to keep an amateur
satellite program. I received a phone call late one night from 
"Blackie" Blackburn (JY9BB/W4???) who served as a communications/
technology advisor to the King. Blackie told me that the King was 
concerned about amateur radio's loss and asked a lot of questions 
about our recovery plans and needs. Blackie ended the call with a 
comment to the effect "I'll be back with you in a couple of weeks, 
and I may have some good news".

The next week the newspapers carried a small news note that the King 
was in the US to buy some jet planes for Jordan. A couple of days 
later, the phone range again and it was Blackie calling from Los 
Angeles. He asked me to hold and this wondrous voice came on the 
line saying "Tom -- it is a pleasure to talk to you at last. This 
is JY1. I wanted to tell you how proud We are about AMSAT's efforts 
and how sad We are about the loss of Phase-3A. I would like to offer 
some help, so I'm sending you a contribution."

We exchanged a few minutes more of chit-chat, and Blackie came back 
on the line and said "Tom, the King's contribution to AMSAT is a 
check for $10,000. I have it in my hand. Where should I send it?" 

Not only did JY1's generous contribution provide needed financial 
support, it was very important in helping the AMSAT folks to rebuild 
their morale. AO-10 was the result of JY1's generous outreach. 

About 5 years later, AMSAT made its first venture into Manned Flight 
with Owen Garriot's (W5LFL) flight. We arranged for a "private" 
JY1-W5LFL QSO while the shuttle was flying over the Middle East. 
To hear the tapes of that QSO was a fantastic experience.

Today's news reports indicate that the King is fading rapidly and 
that today he will probably say SK. While the band is still open, 
I'd like to sign off saying "Sir -- speaking for AMSAT, it's been a 
pleasure to know you as a friend and strong supporter. You will be 
missed here on earth and we wish you well in your next trip into the 
cosmos. VY 73. JY1 de W3IWI. SK"

  [ For the AMSAT folks -- I expect it will be very congested, but 
    you might want to glean the King's personal web site in Amman at
    URL:   http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/office.shtml ]

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