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  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    26 Jul '09 14:21
    ==> WALTER CRONKITE, KB2GSD (SK)

    Legendary CBS newsman Walter Cronkite, KB2GSD, who held the title of
    "Most Trusted Man in America," passed away Friday, July 17 after a long
    illness. He was 92. The avuncular Cronkite anchored the CBS Evening News
    for 19 years until 1981 when he retired. During that time, he reported
    on such subjects as the Kennedy assassinations, the Civil Rights
    movement, the Apollo 11 lunar landing, Vietnam and the Vietnam-era
    protests, the Arab-Israeli Six Day War, Watergate and the Begin-Sadat
    peace accords.

    Cronkite, an ARRL member, narrated the 6 minute video "Amateur Radio
    Today" <http://www.arrl.org/ARToday/>. Produced by the ARRL in 2003, the
    video tells Amateur Radio's public service story to non-hams, focusing
    on ham radio's part in helping various agencies respond to wildfires in
    the Western US during 2002, ham radio in space and the role Amateur
    Radio plays in emergency communications. "Dozens of radio amateurs
    helped the police and fire departments and other emergency services
    maintain communications in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC,"
    narrator Cronkite intoned in reference to ham radio's response on
    September 11, 2001. "Their country asked, and they responded without
    reservation."

    In 1963, it was Cronkite who broke into the soap opera "As the World
    Turns" to announce that the president had been shot -- and later to
    declare that he had been killed. CBS called it a "defining moment for
    Cronkite, and for the country. His presence -- in shirtsleeves, slowly
    removing his glasses to check the time and blink back tears -- captured
    both the sense of shock, and the struggle for composure, that would
    consume America and the world over the next four days."

    Steve Mendelsohn, W2ML, was Cronkite's radio engineer at CBS for many
    years. "I had many chances to discuss my favorite hobby, ham radio, with
    'the world's most trusted anchor man,'" he told the ARRL. "Gradually,
    his interest increased, but on finding that he had to pass a Morse code
    test, he balked, saying it was too hard for him; however, he told me he
    had purchased a receiver and listened to the Novice bands every night
    for a few minutes. At the CBS Radio Network, Walter would arrive 10
    minutes before we went on the air to read his script aloud, make
    corrections for his style of grammar and just 'get in the mood' to do
    the show. In those days Rich Moseson, W2VU, was the producer of a show
    called "In the News," a 3 minute television show for children voiced by
    CBS Correspondent Christopher Glenn. On this day, Rich was at the
    Broadcast Center to record Chris' voice for his show and had dropped by
    my control room to discuss some upcoming ARRL issues." At the time,
    Mendelsohn was the ARRL Hudson Division Director.

    "When Walter walked into the studio, I started to set the show up at the
    behest of our director, Dick Muller, WA2DOS," Mendelsohn recalled. "In
    setting up the tape recorders, I had to send tone to them and make sure
    they were all at proper level. Having some time, I grabbed "The New York
    Times" and started sending code with the tone key on the audio console.
    For 10 minutes I sent code and noticed Walter had turned his script over
    and was copying it. We went to air, as we did every day, at 4:50 PM and
    after we were off, Walter brought his script into the control room.
    Neatly printed on the back was the text I had sent with the tone key.
    Rich and I looked at the copy, he nodded, and I told Walter that he had
    just passed the code test. He laughed and asked when the formal test
    was, but I reminded him that it took two General class licensees to
    validate the test and he had just passed the code. Several weeks later
    he passed the written test and the FCC issued him KB2GSD."

    Mendelsohn helped Cronkite make his first Amateur Radio contact: "Having
    passed the licensing test, Walter was now ready to get on the air. His
    first QSO was on 10 meters about 28.390 MHz. He was nervous and I called
    him on the phone to talk him through his first experience. As we talked
    on the air, a ham from the Midwest come on and called me. Acknowledging
    him, I asked the usual questions about where he was from, wanting to
    give Walter a bit of flavor of what the hobby was about. I turned it
    over to Walter, and following his introduction, the gentleman in the
    Midwest said, 'That's the worst Walter Cronkite imitation I've ever
    heard!' I suggested that maybe it was Walter and the man replied,
    'Walter Cronkite is not even a ham, and if he was, he certainly wouldn't
    be here on 10 meters.' Walter and I laughed for weeks at that one."

    In 2007, ARRL Hudson Division Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, presented
    Cronkite with the ARRL President's Award. This award, created in 2003 by
    the ARRL Board of Directors, recognizes an ARRL member or members who
    "have shown long-term dedication to the goals and objectives of ARRL and
    Amateur Radio" and who have gone the extra mile to support individual
    League programs and goals. Cronkite was selected to receive the award in
    April 2005 in recognition of his outstanding support of the ARRL and
    Amateur Radio by narrating the videos "Amateur Radio Today" and "The
    ARRL Goes to Washington" <http://www.arrl.org/pio/VTS-video.wmv>. "It
    was quite a thrill to make this presentation to Cronkite," Fallon said.
    "He has long been recognized as the 'most trusted man in America,' so
    lining our causes to his face, name and voice has been a great help."

    A private memorial service was held July 23 in New York City. Cronkite
    will be cremated and his remains buried in Missouri next to his wife
    Betsy, who passed away in 2005. A public memorial service will be held
    within the next month at Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center for the
    Performing Arts. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations
    to the Walter and Betsy Cronkite Foundation through the Austin Community
    Foundation <http://www.austincommunityfoundation.org/>, which will
    distribute contributions to various charities the couple supported.


    This is from today's ARRL newsletter.

    BTW, my call is AI3N.

    Not to toot my own horn but I was one of those hams helping out with communications after the 911 disaster.
  2. 29 Jul '09 03:09
    We will all miss Mister Cronkite.

    He was a vital link in all of our lives.

    Don't eat ham.
  3. Standard member patauro
    Patricia
    01 Aug '09 00:15
    My dad used to call him Wally Crankcase. God bless his little heart,