We are back on the American soil with an American dream
Dick, KV4AA, gave Danny only a little time to rest as DXers were already hungry and looking forward to many rare DXCC countries that were waiting to be discovered. Danny, a bachelor, was broke and jobless and was literally forced to beg. Dick had an idea to make this DX hero travel across the USA and raise the necessary funds to purchase another 40 footer sailing boat, to allow Danny to re-start his journey and sail to places like the Kermadec Islands and Tonga, which were missed on the previous trip.
Danny indicated that “I am a bit tired of this – would be an understatement.” But the bug had bitten Danny and he was ready to sail fifty times to the Pacific if he would get going again.
As there was no internet or cell-phones during those times, all of Danny’s lectures had to be scheduled by mail by KV4AA. Dick aimed at potential “oil barrel” DXers – those above average – from coast to coast. The idea was to gather the hams at their local clubs and have them pay for Danny’s travel and accommodation. And then after the talk to raise some donations. Should all efforts fail to provide the necessary funds, Danny would continue back home to England.
Dick was very persuasive in all his efforts and Danny’s QSL cards were clear and straight about the matter. He also agreed with the owners of CQ Magazine and its editor Wayne Green, W2NSD that CQ would have extensive and exclusive coverage on Danny and pay “top-dollar” for it as this was something that had never been seen or done before. Danny had just started a new phase in DX.
The QSL text read, “THE YASME II EXPEDITION IS YOUR EXPEDITION. DANNY IS DEDICATED TO THE HARD AND, MANY TIMES, HAZARDOUS TASK OF PUTTING AS MANY RARE SPOTS ON THE AIR AS HE POSSIBLY CAN. CONTRIBUTIONS ARE NOT MANDATORY FOR RETURN QSL CARD, BUT A SMALL CONTRIBUTION WILL HELP HIM MEET THE CONSIDERABLE EXPENSES WHICH ARE ALWAYS CROPPING UP AND WILL ENABLE HIM TO “CARRY ON.” IT WILL ALSO ASSURE YOU OF A RAPID RETURN QSL VIA AIRMAIL. PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN!”
It took the whole year of 1956 for Danny to lecture at more than 100 clubs and gatherings and find positive and negative surprises in the DX community. The buck was tight and many events did not produce much. Many reports from Danny to Dick indicated minor success, such as in Albuquerque, where a sum of USD $76 was collected, and at the dinner another USD $5! Also, press and TV appearances were done as Danny was a very entertaining speaker. Some places were more productive and also a new slate of requests started to come along from hams who wanted to be a part of his next journey.
Life was not luxurious and in one report Danny indicated that he must give up smoking. “USD $32 for 3 months is too much… and I have to stop eating when I am out… it is a bad habit.”
Danny wrote: “I have been here in USA for over three months and all I have to show is just over USD $1000. How the heck I can do better? I have been invited to a dinner this Saturday with a few Big Knobs and they may offer some suggestions.” Big Knobs – interesting expression!
One of the Big Knobs was obviously Bill Halligan, W9AC, of Hallicrafters, who was willing to give Danny USD $2000 worth of gear with the stipulation that he would not use anyone else’s. They also had Globe King offer him a NC-300. So, on the equipment front, Danny was doing well.
Danny was also asking Dick for a better quality of life at times. “Don’t ever stick me in one place for a whole week again, I can find much better things to do with my time than wandering around ham shacks and sleeping in a different bed each night. Packing my bag and moving to a different bed each day is no fun.”
Take note of how Danny responded to an offer from a non-ham wanting to join him and pay him a considerable amount to do so: “Yasme is 40 ft. overall, and still I found it difficult to stow all the gear needed for the job. Even though your offer is the first of its kind since I left England three years ago, I hate to throw a damp rag on your enthusiasm, but here is my last word of advice: I have found with sailing for two and a half years that to be alone is usually the best way. I have seen many yachts of all sizes where crews have fallen out through being alone together for long periods. It takes two special sorts of people to maintain a good relationship on a small boat, and they are hard to find.”READ ON > New Beginning, New Yasme, New Countries and New Hope
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