In the summer of 1951, when I was 13, I was staying a week with my grandmother on Patrick Street. Playing outside one day, I heard funny noises coming from an open window across the street. I wandered over and saw a man next to the window in front of what turned out to be a ham shortwave radio.
What's that? I asked. He said, "well, come on in and find out." Thus began my friendship with "Brownie," W4SIY (later, K5FL). I spend the next year under his tutelage and passed the FCC exam for my Novice license in June, 1952, W4WDZ.
For the next four years it seemed that I spent as much time with Brownie and his wife, Joy, as I did elsewhere. His influence on me was extensive. I loved him.
He died 30 November 2005 in Denton, Texas, at the age of 94. A few weeks before his death, his pastor and friend, Tommy Nelson, pastor of the Denton Bible Church, wrote this poem about Brownie.
By Tommy Nelson
Old, crusty, weathered
Loved a wife
and son and daughter and their seed
Pulled his duty,
buried his daughter and still born granddaughter
Each one who
crossed his bow met with delighted jocularity
Momma named him
“WL.” Didn’t stand for anything---just the man—
Merely gazed with
contempt on the fast rising, pervert, rebel world,
His final duty
now. He waits. Faithful, trusting, uncomplaining.
Copyright 2005 by Tommy Nelson
This page last edited: June 25, 2008 Copyright© 2006 by Lynn Hopewell.