This is a callsign acquired by our club in November 2008. We acquired this callsign in memoriam to our Founding member and "mastermind" of the hamfest.
Malcolm E. Spangler - October 14, 1907 - December 21, 1993. In the 1930 census, Malcolm was listed as a laborer at a dry cleaning company. His father was listed as an automobile salesman. Malcolm was enlisted in the Military on August 12, 1943 at Camp Croft, South Carolina.
Who are Malcolm Spangler and Floyd Willis, I realize that most of our club members do not know who they are. I will try to pass along a little about our club and hamfest founders. There were several hams who decided that Shelby should have a hamfest. The ones I remember most are Malcolm and Floyd. I became a member in 1960, meetings were held monthly at member’s homes, as we did not have a regular meeting place.
Malcolm, K4KUT was active on all bands and a great innovator when it came to building antennas and homemade fold over towers. His station always had the latest equipment and kept very neat and clean. He was one of my mentors; I would drive by at night hoping to see the light on in his basement shack. If on, I would knock on the door and spend a couple of hours with him and always felt that I was welcome. The first hamfest was held at Shelby City Park and for a first was very successful, The next year it was moved to Brackett Cedar Park where it continued to grow.
Malcolm put his heart and at times his own money into the hamfest. At that time it was a Sunday only hamfest. He started camping on the grounds in a homemade fold out camper and in order to encourage other hams to camp he would cook hamburgers and hotdogs at no charge on Saturday night for those that stayed late or camped. On Sunday mornings he always had coffee and doughnuts for everyone at no charge. That is how we became a two-day hamfest, and the rest is history.
Malcolm’s interest in ham radio and the hamfest was constant and was always active and excited about ham radio and the Shelby Hamfest.
We should be proud and know about the founders of our club. Malcolm K4KUT was one of those founders. Malcolm owned and operated Spangler Wheel Service on East Marion Street where his son, Gene now operates the business. --Bill Bridges, N4WH
This callsign also belonged to a founding member. We acquired this callsign in memoriam to him.
Floyd Willis – December 10, 1910 – January 12, 1973. In the 1930 census at the age of 19, Floyd is listed as an operator at a theater. Floyd’s father, Dock is listed as a Barber.
Floyd, W4PZH was also as Malcolm an active ham and had a great shack in his Den with lots of equipment and homemade stuff. He also was a mentor to me and I spent many hours with him when I was a fledgling ham operator.
As a founder of the club and the hamfest he was always active on the air and encouraged others to get into ham radio. Like Malcolm, he put his heart into the club and the hamfest. Floyd had an avid interest in emergency communications. He started the clubs affiliation with RACES, Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service. We had an old bread tuck that we converted into a communications center and held training exercises using the center to go out into the field. We formed groups and Floyd would time us from the time we left with the truck until we got to a designated site, put up the antennas, started the generator and made a call back to him on the air. Floyd owned and operated Willis Photography Studios, which was a popular and recognized studio in this area. There are others who were active in the club and the hamfest who we will talk about later. These are just the two that I knew best and had many memories about them. -- Bill Bridges, N4WH
Memories of Arlin Wilson
(Charter member of SARC)
I first met Nick Deltonas K4QWN sometime in 1956, before we became Hams. My dad was talking to Nick and mentioned to him that I was interested in Ham Radio. Nick was doing code practice and studying theory with several other future Hams and invited me to study with them. Had my dad not known Nick and had that conversation with him I possibly would not be a Ham today. I knew Floyd Willis W4PZH before I became a Ham. I was a SWL and sent Floyd an SWL card. Floyd called and wanted to visit and see my radio. I had a National NC-98 with a Windom antenna. Floyd gave the FCC test to new comers into Ham radio. Nick K4QWN, J. B. Hamrick K4QVO and I all took the test and passed. Malcom Spangler K4KUT and Travis Wall K4RGJ were good at installing radio equipment. They installed a mobile rig in my car. Back in those days we had no Two meter radios so all of us used 29 MHz on ten meters. I remember one night I keyed the mike and the lights on my car went out. I took my DX-100 and HQ-150 to the first Hamfest and worked a talk in. At another Hamfest I set up my station in a friend’s barn as a hidden transmitter hunt. I remember the club having a Viking 500, and NC303 in a truck. The members would take the truck up on Whitaker Mountain and operate on weekends. In years to come I went off to college, got married and dropped out of the club, although I have remained an active Ham.
Arlin Wilson K4QVK