A long time ago, I'm guessing in the late 70's or early 80's, a little red haired Cub Scout picked up a copy of 'Boy's Life' magazine and found an add for Heathkit. And ever since then he wanted to become a HAM.
Stops and Starts
That little kid never bought a Heathkit radio, or any radio for that matter. He studied for his Novice exam, taught himself Morse Code, pestered his mother. At nineteen he joined the Navy and became a submariner.
While asigned to Naval Submarine Base Groton Connecticut he found the base Amateur Radio Club, K1SSN. He was tested by two members of the club, passed his exam and managed one minute of perfect copy on the code test. But then he had other responsibilities. A new wife, a daughter, and the US Navy came first and it's hard to buy equpment on an Seaman Apprentice's pay.
He never sent in his ticket, and stopped reading the Heathkit catalogs (they went out of business around that time anyway)
Almost thirteen years later he took another test. This one was much more formal although there was no code test this time. He passed it with flying colors, and the FCC issued a call sign to WM3J! A few weeks later he passed a General Exam.
My first Radio
Even though I was a General Licensee I didn't buy an HF radio for alomst 12 years. I bought an ADI-600 dual band HT from someone on eBay, and a Yeasu 2 Meter mobile at a Hamfest in Toledo, Ohio. I was active in Skywarn Volunteer and enjoyed helping the local EMA when I could (KC8PBU) going to Hamfests, the Dayton Hamvention, and weekly ARES nets. As often happens life happens and responsibilties take over. I dropped my ADI one too many times, and I sold the Yeasu for a few bucks when things got tight. I figured that was it, at least I was a HAM for a little while.
My New Start
I was extra lucky, while everyone else was suffering during our latest recession, I landed a job with a great company in Baltimore, Maryland. After our move I renewed my license, bought some new equipment, started experimenting a little, and started having RF Fun again!