Pictured are John Levo (left) and Bob Hodson.
Pictured are John Levo (left) and Bob Hodson.
Courtesy of John Levo
Highland Amateur Radio Association

Longtime Highland County banker, broadcaster and civic leader Bob Hodson was recently awarded a lifetime membership by the Highland Amateur Radio Association in its organization.

Besides all of his devotion to Highland County, Hodson has also held an amateur radio license since the early 1960s. Although his 29 years doing a local news program on WSRW exposed him to radio, Hodson became interested in amateur radio through his son David’s electrical project in 4-H. Both were exposed to the excitement of ham radio through fellow 4-Hers who were amateurs.

When the Clinton County radio club offered a class to earn licenses, both jumped at the chance. They passed their tests that at that time included being able to send and receive Morse Code. The Federal Communications Commission issued Bob the call sign WA8KTU and David WA8LCW.

During David’s time in college and when he lived in Dayton, they found ham radio an excellent way to keep in touch.

Since 1964, Bob has maintained his license; however, moving out of state and life "getting in the way" caused David to let his license expire.

Bob was a driving force behind the founding of the Highland Amateur Radio Association when, in 1977, around 20 Highland County hams gathered in the Hillsboro Farm Bureau conference room to found the organization. Hodson is one of only a handful of those charter members still alive.

In the meantime, HARA has grown to a membership of more than 140 mostly Highland County area persons either with ham licenses or interested in radio communications, technology and/or electronics. FCC data indicates there are well over 200 amateur radio licenses issued with Highland County zip codes.

The club was recently recognized by the American Radio Relay League as one of the nation’s leading amateur radio clubs.

More information about amateur radio and how the hobby can serve a community can be found on the Web at www.arrl.org. Information about Highland County’s Highland ARA can be found at www.facebook.com/highlandk8ho, highlandara@gmail.com or by contacting Information Officer John Levo at (937) 393-4951. A wealth of information about the club and their past activities may be found on the internet through any popular search engine.