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Old September 10th 06, 07:46 AM posted to,,,
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Default Your Radio God K1MAN Publishes his Autobiography - Chapter 1- A Star is Born

The Cordell Press, Inc.
Memoir of a Radio God
By Glenn A. Baxter, P.E.., K1MAN

Chapter 1
A "Star" is Born?
Aren't We All "Stars?"
The Happiest Day of My Life

It was the happiest day of my life. It was also the scariest. I
remember the day well.* I had won the "lottery." I became a brand
new human baby. It was 5:42 A.M. on March 9, 1942. I was eager to
get this new show on the road. I was all tangled up in the darn
umbilical cord, but that didn't seem to bother me at all. I couldn't
breath when I came out of my groggy mom. That DID bother me! I was
blue. I was ugly. My ears were flapped over. The doctor
struggled and got me untangled. They hustled my mother away as they
frantically struggled to save my precious little life. All life is
precious! It was touch and go for quite a while.

Meanwhile my Mom, Marion Watson Baxter, from Swan Quarter, North
Carolina, was hustled out of the delivery room at St. Agnes Hospital
in White Plains, New York.

"Where is my son," she demanded in her 'drunken' stooper?

She had been drugged pretty hard to make my arrival and complications
as painless as possible.

"Oh, we are cleaning him up," a nurse replied.

My mom was a Registered Nurse (with almost no time yet as a practicing

"Oh don't be ridiculous" she slurred through the pain killing

Back in the delivery room, I seemed to be OK. No brain damage, I
speculate, just a few loose screws, as anyone who knows me will agree.

"Boy, that was close!" I thought as I cried up a storm.

Finally, after what seemed forever, the Irish nurse brought me in
to see my mom. My mother acted as though she had just had a couple
of Manhattans. What did I know?

When she first held me tenderly (I liked that) she cried and said:

"How will I ever learn to love him? He is so ugly!"

Now THAT is ugly! I thought:

"Hey mom, you ain't seen 'nothin' yet! I will nestle into
your heart and be a joy unto your life! And a pain in the
you know where! I 'got' plans!"**

Mom fed me and then it was time to go out with the rest of the kids in
that awful room. What a noise they all made.

"What a bunch of babies," I thought!

Then my dad came to the window. Another Irish nurse picked me up.
She pointed to me, and then to him, and mouthed:

"He looks just like you!"

My dad grinned and gave her the "monkey sign." You know, he thumbed
his nose. She was quite indignant and stamped her foot.

"Hey, I like this spunky lady," I thought, "Already I have
people sticking up for me. And that guy, my dad, great
sense of humor! Look at him. Dirty old man (he was 50)!
He loves me already! I think I am going to like it around

My dad died when I was 16. He was making love to my mom. He had
just served her breakfast in bed, as was his usual routine. He had
just told her that she had been the best wife he could possibly have.
He said he didn't think he would ever get any closer to heaven than he
was at that moment. It was a beautiful morning (August 31, 1958),
only ten feet from the water on Great Pond in Belgrade Lakes, Maine.
I was in the next room, sound asleep. My older sister Carol was in
her bedroom sound asleep. My oldest sister Betty and her husband,
George Sternad, and their kids, Shelley and Kenny, were in the Guest
House, all sound asleep.

I was awakened when I heard George on the phone out in the living

"Hello Dr. Adams? This is George Sternad. Mr. Baxter
died about fifteen minutes ago."

Remember the scene in the movie Dr. Chivago when Yuri watches as
they start to throw dirt on his mother's coffin? That is exactly
how I felt. KaBam! I slipped out the lake front screen door of my
room and went out to the shop, a separate building. I needed to
think. I needed to be alone for a few minutes. George came into
the shop and put his hand on my shoulder. He said:

"You are the man of the family now." I Started to cry.

My mom was a basket case. Dr. Adams and his wife Frieda came over.
They were neighbors. I had palled around with their Tom boy daughter
Nancy and her best friend Ann (who I was in love with) for years. I
thought the Adams' showing up like that was pretty classy. They all
came over for dinner later that evening. My sister was to be off to
Northwestern as a freshman, and I was to be off to Vermont Academy as
a Junior. Things had settled down a bit as we all faced our lives
ahead without Frank H. Baxter. He was a good man, a good father, a
good husband, and he was my best friend. He pushed me fairly hard. I
pushed back somewhat. I knew what was good for me, though. I
needed to be pushed; I believe all kids need to be pushed. Carol,
my older sister feels this was cruel. Not so! My dad gave us both
plenty of "wiggle room," however. When he died, my mom became my
best friend. When she died, my wife Bonnie became my best friend.

He took the whole summer off, starting when I was 9, and we worked on
projects together. I would run around and get tools for him, and we
had a ball. He loved me, and I loved him.

My first year at Vermont Academy started out as a disaster. I was an
academic derelict. I was a scholastic "street person." I began to
come alive the Spring of my freshman year, however. If I made honors
in my sophomore year, my dad agreed to buy me a new $695 Collins 75A-4
amateur radio receiver. That was the Rolls Royce of radios, and in
1958, $695 was a lot of money. I missed honors, but not by all that

Was I spoiled? Yes. Was I lucky? Yes! Am I dysfunctional? Yes!
One time I went to a shrink. He, then, had to go to a shrink. I
was sent BOTH bills! Life can be so unfair! Am I crazy? No!

Ask any one of my teachers. They will tell you! Ask any one of my
employers. Ask my angel and loving wife Bonnie. Ask Walter
Cronkite, the most trusted American. He knows me well. They will
all tell you the same thing. Glenn Baxter is a piece of work. I
suspect that all of us are a piece of work, only I freely admit it!
I have some great friends and some bitter (and very powerful) enemies.
I am trying to love my enemies. I hereby forgive them all for any
nasty things they may have done. I wish to be forgiven for the nasty
things I have done. I am truly sorry.

Every human being (even dogs and cats) are products of their genes and
their environments. Being loved and wanted makes a big difference.
All things make a big difference.

For example. My dad feels romantic on 9 June 1941 (nine months
before I was born). Pearl Harbor has not happened yet. My mom is
agreeable to some romance. Maybe it was her idea. No, it probably
WAS her idea. OK. All set to go. Glenn Baxter, K1MAN, is about to
get his big chance. BUT! The phone rings. Wrong number. Glenn
Baxter doesn't happen. K1MAN get assigned to someone else! His
brother or sister get to be the next and last child in the Frank and
Marion Baxter family, not even a ham!. Chance. Roll of the dice.
Dr. Albert Einstein (my middle name is Albert, after Dr. Einstein)
says that God doesn't play with dice. I disagree. One wrong
number, and I would not be here. 14.275, 3.890, and 3.975 would be
the same old stuff on amateur radio. No "illegal"(1) broadcasting,
etc., etc.

Think about yourself. Suppose it was the sperm right next to you and
not your sperm. Would it be YOU here reading this? No. At best,
it would be your sister or brother. You would not exist. You would
never exist. You had one chance and only one chance AND you made it.

Think about it like this. 111,000 thousand fans in Michigan stadium,
"The Big House." One thin dime dropped out of a plane at 40,000 feet
lands in the stadium the night before the big game. Who finds the
dime? It was you, lucky you!

Whenever I see a new baby at the super market or somewhere else, I
usually lean down and say:

"Well, how do you like life so far?

The mom usually says something like:

"Well he (or she) likes it just fine!"

Life is really precious, from the smallest spider (or even smaller) to
the largest whale.

The bible says

"I call heaven and earth to witness against you this
day that I have given you a choice; life or death. The
blessing or the curse. Therefore choose life, so thou
mayest LIVE, thou and thy seed."

I chose life. It was scary. It still is scary.

Choosing life, without hesitation, I decided that it was time to get
on with it. I was on my way to becoming a "star," at least for a few
brief moments. Every dog has his day, and I was destined to have

"Now, how do I try and charm Carol, my youngest sister? My
oldest sister is away at college; she will be putty in my
tiny hands. But Carol? She might not like having
competition over there at 31 Claremont Road, Scarsdale,
New York. I think I will just play 'dumb' and try the good
old 'just be a happy baby' approach. That might, just might,

Every day is the happiest day of my life.

* Actually I don't remember anything at all. This account is how I
know I would have been thinking and assuming I could think at all at
that time. My brain cells were all there, and some of the standard
"programming" was working quite well, but it was like a new house with
all the wiring in place but no "connections" made yet. The lights
were on, but nobody was home, so to speak. I do know that I was

** Actually, I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I was on "auto
pilot" and was just going along with the flow. But I was loved, and
you could take that to the bank.

(1) There are many Radio Amateurs in the United States and abroad who
are of the totally wrong opinion that my daily call-in Amateur Radio
Talk program, heard world wide on the short wave frequencies of 3.890
MHz., 3.975 MHz., and 14.275 MHz., 365 days per year since 1987,
through July 4, 2005 was "illegal." It was the only short wave radio
program of its kind and has never been attempted before or again by

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