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Silent Key -- Bill Pond AE4IE

Years ago, Reader's Digest had a monthly article, "My Most Unforgettable Character." I often read it and maybe it is still published but I am not sure. It was always an interesting read!  Since moving to Blount County and being licensed in Amateur Radio, I have more than one "unforgettable character" but there must be a priority list in my mind but I would hate to have to make a prioritized list.

One of my most memorable characters I have ever known would have to be Silent Key, Bill Pond, AE4IE. Bill was club president for several years and did a great job. He came to Amateur Radio out of a CB background. I remember him telling me one time that someone told him he was not able to build an 11 meter linear but he proved them wrong by doing it! His wife, Edna was also licensed but I cannot remember her callsign. I believe at the time Edna was our Secretary/Treasurer.

Edna and Bill were a team. They had owned a hardware store in Ensley for a long time and were fortunate enough to sell it and retire to Blount County. Until her death, Edna did all of the driving which was great because if Bill was driving you better be "prayed up" as we say in the Snead area. Bill was NOT a good driver! I can testify to that fact having been his passenger to several hamfests. It was usually a "white knuckle" ride! Edna's death knocked a lot of wind out of Bill's sails. Most men suffer a great hole in life with the loss of their helpmate. I know I would. Too often, men do not live long after the death of a wife. Perhaps this is consistent with the two becoming "one flesh" as God's Word says. Bill did not do well after the loss of Edna.

I remember it seems like a long time that we held our monthly meetings in the EMA office at the Courthouse and only a handful of people would show up-- Bill, Larry Parr, Larry's wife Patricia and myself. Bill was never discouraged as far as I could tell. He was always steady. I never saw him "riled" or angry towards anyone. I have heard second hand accounts to the contrary but that was never my experience. He did, however, have a passion for protecting the club. A passion that was more felt than witnessed.

Bill was also my dental patient and my staff LOVED him! At any given time, there is always something being celebrated in a dental office, well, everything except Monday perhaps. Birthdays, holidays, nothing, all were subject to being celebrated and of course this always included edibles not conducive to good dental health! Always remember, it is habits that get us (and our teeth) not the occasional celebration! My staff would always load Bill up with whatever we had.

It was a sad day when we lost Bill. His loss and several other of our SK's have left a large hole in our Club. I will NEVER forget Bill and I know that all of you who knew him and Edna will not forget them. What a legacy this team left for us! They were truly a blessing. Both were believers and maybe they are in God's radio shack which I would REALLY like to see! If God has a "shack" maybe I will see my Dad there. I hope so! God's best to you all!

Please, anyone who would like to add your memories of the Pond's to this, please do so!

David Skees, KG4HVQ, Snead, Alabama

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