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December 22, 2020 by chrissynumero19

One of dozens of QSL cards in Ronald W. Kenyon’s book QSL: How I Traveled the World and Never Left Home

Chrissy Brand writes: One of the reassuring sounds each December is that of a certain radio publication popping through my letterbox and landing on the doormat. This year has been more turbulent than most, so it was rather nice to be the recipient of two exciting new radio books this month.

The World Radio and TV Handbook is, as always, a vital aid for any DXer. Incredibly, the 2021 edition celebrates the 75th anniversary.  Articles included this time include a look at SWR, written by Alan Pennington of the British DX Club and European DX Council.

Alan was in the group of us who visited the station, near Virrat in Finland, as part of a Lapland road trip that took place after the successful 2017 European DX Council Conference. The conference that year was held in conjunction with the Tampere DX-listeners club (TreDXK). Both organisations were celebrating 50th anniversaries. Alan wrote a report on this for the British DX Club.

A few days after WRTH 2021 arrived, my copy of Ronald W. Kenyon’s book QSL: How I Traveled the World and Never Left Home arrived. This veteran DXer, wrote the book this year.

Ronald’s collection of QSL cards is the mainstay of the 159-page book, with some fine examples of radio stations’ QSL art. Many stations are no longer around but some are, but in a different form.

An introductory chapter outlines the hobby of short wave listening.

There is also a chapter illustrating Ham Radio QSL cards and another of greetings cards from stations such as a May Day card from Radio Prague and festive and New Year greetings from other stations.

The broadcast section contains 107 QSL cards from radio stations in 78 countries that give a representative look at the international radio scene in those halcyon days.

There is also a section of correspondence. A Letter from Antarctica, tells how Ronald, in Kentucky, USA, was linked to a British meteorologist at a base in Antarctica via a radio station in Montevideo, Uruguay.

It is a well-written, nicely presented and nostalgic look back for those who experienced that eon of international and short wave broadcasting. For those of us who came later to the DX party, it will still be of interest as it gives highlights of the range of stations that graced the airwaves, as well as illustrating the variety of QSL cards that were flying around the world, by airmail and sea mail, particularly in the late 1950s to the 1960s.

For the many DXers with vast QSL collections and other radio memorabilia of their own, this is perhaps a way forward to share them with the wider DX community. By selecting the best or most interesting cards, perhaps we could all publish a range of QSL card collections in book form. A prefect adornment to any coffee table and something useful to pass to friends and family who enquire, “what on earth are you doing, sat by that radio and computer all night long?”

An interesting aside is that my copy was published by Amazon in Poland, whilst North America version have been printed in Colombia. This seems appropriate for such an international publication. It retails at US $31.50.

Ronald has authored 24 books covering travel, especially USA, France and Saudi Arabia, photography and more. I am off to explore his back catalogue.

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