John Safina, KF4JFV
John became a Silent Key, passing along quietly on July 16, 2002. If you talked to John, you talked to one of the best operators known. The amateur community lost a good friend and a fine operator. He will be well remembered and missed by many.
John had a motorcycle accident in 1990 which left him quadriplegic. He fell in love with Amateur Radio and worked hard to acheive the class of Amateur Extra. Although most people in John's condition would have gotten a physician's waiver, he passed his 20 wpm Morse code test. John was also a member of the Bullitt Amateur Radio Society.
The following email was sent to the Rotten Apples Group who meet at 6am-7am EST and 7pm-8pm EST on 7.238 MHz.
Subj: "The Last Farewell!"
I listened to my first Rotten Apple broadcast back in 1993. I accidentally came across 7238 while surfing across the 40 meter band while looking for something interesting to listen to. I was just a shortwave listener at the time, and didn't know that much about amateur radio. The conversations between fellow hams really caught my attention, especially the moderator (Leon W9OTZ), I thought it would be fun to be able to say hello to these nice people. I got into the habit of not only listening to the Rotten Apples, but eventually staying on the air later and listening to The Classroom Net. Listening to Joey and the gang really brightened up my days.
Date: 07/10/2002 11:46:27 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: email@example.com (John Safina)
To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Fisher)
To All Rotten Apples,
I had been paralyzed from the neck down in a bad motorcycle accident in September of 1990, and listening to the radio-pretty much became my sole source of entertainment. In 1995 I started learning about amateur radio, and the possibility of someday taking a test. In March of 96 I took my first test of and received my technician license. I studied hard, and devoted most of my days to learning Morse code, I really wanted to someday acquire the extra license. In July of 97 some good friends came over to my house and helped erect a Gap Titin vertical antenna. A few days later I transmitted on my new Icom 706 radio for the first time. One of the first operators I met was Mark K2CON, who immediately made me feel at home and introduced me Leon and the rest of the 7238 morning gang. On October 3rd I took and passed my 20 word per minute Morse code test, and passed. "I felt like I was in ham Heaven!"
In the years that followed I became friends with many of the Rotten Apples, and have very much felt like you guys were part of my family. I cannot put into words how much I have enjoyed your company, or could ever explain how you have improved my life, so I'm going to just simply say, thank you very much.
I am suffering from chronic renal failure, and as of a few days ago my kidneys have just about stop functioning. I have also many other problems which make a transplant or such impossible. I am using some pretty strong medication now, and don't know how much longer I will be able to write e-mail, or even speak, so I want to say goodbye now. I'm going to try to transmit one last time on the Rotten Apples, but this letter is in case I don't make it. I don't know what the future holds for any of us here on earth, but if there is any way I can bestow goodwill to you my friends, I will.
Forever Your Friend, John KF4JFV