OAUSA Net - May 14, 2020 - Desert Magazine

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OAUSA Net - May 14, 2020 - Desert Magazine

#1

Post by DaveK » Mon May 11, 2020 2:58 pm

Desert Magazine

The deserts of our southwest are some of the most spectacular and beautiful places anywhere on earth. When we refer to these deserts, it is not limited to one or even two States. They cover large portions of Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Texas, New Mexico and California.

Over the years, there have been an untold number of publications which have showcased the desert (or certain portions of it), but none have done as well or covered as much as "Desert Magazine." But more importantly, this magazine did more to foster an appreciation of our deserts that any other. From 1937 to about 1985, this monthly magazine contained some of the very finest articles covering our deserts, and for those who were not privileged to have experienced each issue, they are now available, online. To a very large extent, the places showcased in Desert Magazine still exist today, with some the worse for the passage of time, but still there.

in the inaugural issue of Desert Magazine (November 1937), Editor Randall Henderson set the course for Desert Magazine, and until the end, he and the magazine succeeded in delivering on his promise. He said:
We want it to he understood that this magazine is to be published for all the deserts of the Southwestern part of the United States. Within the limits of our space and ability we will give recognition to every constructive interest in this great desert expanse. We are working on our own capital and have no alliances or obligations other than to serve and entertain those who live on the desert, or who are interested in the desert.

We would like to feel that these pages will impart to their readers some of the courage, the tolerance, and the friendliness of our desert—that this issue and every issue, will be the cool spring of water at the end of the hard day's trek—and that you will go with us along the desert trail and find the journey worth while.
For those who appreciate the deserts of the southwestern USA, those interested in obtaining a trip planning guide, and those who appreciate great stories, you can have all 534 issues of Desert Magazine from it's 48 year run, complete, from cover to cover, for $10.00 (2 CDs.) There is no better deal ANYWHERE!!!!! See: http://swdeserts.com/archive%20master%2037%2085.htm

So for this net, we will be devoting all of our time to articles in the magazine, with a little bit of time on the history of the magazine, itself. Thinking ahead, it seems that the 48 years of Desert Magazine could provide us with a nearly unlimited source of topics for future nets. Or so, we think! If we are correct, and it is popular enough for future nets, then it shall be. But, we need your input!!!

PS: In addition to the desert articles and stories, there is a wealth of great old time advertisements. Here are just two.

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Re: OAUSA Net - May 14, 2020 - Desert Magazine

#2

Post by DaveK » Mon May 11, 2020 4:03 pm

Wild Palms of the San Ysidros

This article appeared in the July 1945 issue of Desert Magazine, almost 75 years ago. A lot has changed since then, including the name by which we now refer to this area. Today we would simply call it the Anza Borrego Desert State Park, although technically it falls within the mountain range known as the San Ysidros. And, again technically, the Park was known in 1945 as the Anza Desert Park.

For those familiar with the area, it is known as either Coyote Canyon or the Collins Valley. For four-wheelers, it is a rewarding and exciting adventure, but not nearly as much as in the past (more on the net.) As we mentioned earlier, many of the articles in Desert Magazine (DM) are about places that still exist today, and can still be enjoyed, just as they were 75 or more years ago. It would be a disservice to the park to declare this as the best adventure in the park, but it is certainly in a very large group that is at the top. For those with a reasonably capable 4WD vehicle, this trip is a must see, and since dispersed camping is allowed in the Park, serious consideration should be given to making this a two day adventure. There is that much to see!!!

One of the many benefits of this trip is the relative solitude that it offers. The trail to the Valley has some spots that present some challenges and that will require, at the very least, high ground clearance. This fact alone will keep the amount of traffic down and the amount of solitude up. Now, all we have to do is to wait for the authorities to return to us the right to visit OUR Park. Oh yes, even without the Corona to contend with, you should be aware that the valley closes annually for the Bighorn Sheep that inhabit the area. Check with the park to find the dates of closure.

Here is a view of part of the trail up Coyote Canyon.

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As with so many of our adventures, this one will be appreciated so much more when you know the history of the land. If our recommendation for a visit to this area piques your interest, we suggest that you read the entire DM article, available as a PDF, here:
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Portions of the article will appear below, as will pictures and maps. Interestingly, although the cover of the issue in which the article appeared was in color, all of the photos and maps are in black and white, and not quite up to today's standards. Therein lies the charm and nostalgia of this peek into the past.

This is the map from the article which includes the area discussed by the author:

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Although the above map was made long before the USGS Topo maps were created, it is a fair representation of the area. For comparison, this is what it looks like today, at least as of 1996, when this USGS Topo was created:


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A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY

Author Randall Henderson offered this brief history of Coyote Canyon:
ON MARCH 1774 when Captain Juan Bautista de Anza made his first historic trek across the Southern California desert the Indians who sulked behind rocks in Coyote canyon attempted to kill his horses. They failed, partly due to the alertness of Anza and his companions, and partly because of the inferior quality of their bows and arrows. Father Francisco Garces who accompanied Anza, carved a record of the attack on a. willow tree at Santa Catarina spring. That was 171 years ago and the willow has long since disappeared. Also, the Indians have gone to their happy hunting grounds where it is hoped they are better fed and washed. But Santa Catarina spring is still there — flowing 200 miner's inches of fine mountain water, and supplying moisture for the most impenetrable jungle of willows to be found on any desert. Although Santa Catarina is within the general area of the Anza Desert state park, the spring is subject to a private filing made in the days before anyone thought of setting this rugged desert region aside as a public recreational area.
Coyote Canyon is large and it's attractions are too many to cover in one net. The article, and to a somewhat larger extent, this net, will be limited as Henderson mentioned in his article:
My story is concerned more with the willows than with the spring. For those willows at present are an impassable barrier to one of the most gorgeous sectors of the 400,000-acre park—that is, impassable to motorists. Capt. Anza mentioned the willows in his diary. There are three groups of them in Coyote canyon—known as Lower, Middle and Upper Willows. Santa Catarina spring supplies water for the Lower Willows.
Over the centuries, Coyote Canyon has attracted a very disparate groups of humans, including Indians, explorers, western bound travelers, and cattlemen. One word reveals why - water! Keep in mind that summer temperatures in this area exceed 100 F, and the discovery of water has resulted in conditions that one does not usually associate with a desert environment - annual flowing streams, dense palm groves, and dense willow groves. All of this has made it a place to call home, a place to refresh while traveling, and a place where livestock can flourish.

Just to give an view of how reliable the water supply in Coyote Canyon is, here is a picture of one of our trips, during the summer months, showing the running stream through the canyon:

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Henderson's article also concentrates on the palm oases, running springs, and waterfalls that exist in the canyon. The pictures which accompany the article show the canyon, which is very similar to that which exists today. Henderson says this:
To my knowledge there are six canyons tributary to Collins valley having native palm trees and running water. Three of these canyons have their outlet directly into the valley and are more or less known to Anza park visitors. They are Indian, Sheep and Thousand Palms canyons. The story of Thousand Palms, written by Hulbert Burroughs, appeared in Desert of September, 1941. But there are three other canyons, hidden deep in San Ysidro mountains, which are practically unknown to desert travelers, and which in my opinion are of greater scenic interest than the three I have named. These are Cougar canyon and two unnamed tributaries of Indian canyon.



Here are a several pictures from the article:

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LAST WORDS

So, for the present day traveler, Coyote Canyon is still a place full of adventure and discovery. It is a great family trip, a great place to camp, and all free (as soon as they determine when we are once again entitled to enjoy our park system.) Now, with a little history under your belt, the adventure should be even better. Here is a recent picture of some weary, but well fed travelers to Coyote Canyon, as they siesta in the Palm Oasis near Santa Catarina Spring.

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Re: OAUSA Net - May 14, 2020 - Desert Magazine

#3

Post by DaveK » Mon May 11, 2020 4:50 pm

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT

It seems that shooters, hunters, and competitors, face unrelenting and continuing attacks on their sport and their right to keep and bear arms. One particular such attack comes in the form of bans on the use of lead projectiles, such as shot, bullets, or round ball (for muzzle loaders.) The movement to eliminate lead has been a progressive one (note the similarity to a certain group of politicians - progressives), starting with a hunting ban on lead in Condor Ranges and for waterfowl to a ban on lead for ALL hunting. This "progressive" ban is not finished, and the next step appears to be a ban on lead at all shooting ranges. It takes no special talent to predict that the next step is to ban all sales of lead, followed by penalties for the possession of lead bullets, shot or ammo. I speak, of course, of developments in the State of California, but they are not alone.

Never let it be said that supporters of the Second Amendment are not inventive, ingenious, and unrelenting. When these first bans appeared, it affected shotgun hunters only (waterfowl hunters.) At that time, the only alternative that appeared was steel shot. There were and are significant disadvantages to steel shot, but one of the more alarming ones was that the significantly harder steel shot could not be used in many (most?) shotguns due to barrel damage that would result. And also, given the significant difference in density between lead and steel, the ammo was not nearly as effective, unless velocity and pellet count was increased (to match lead.) More velocity = greater recoil.

Since that would never do, the search began for alternatives to lead, which would be similar in density. One of the early substitutes was bismuth, the density of which is about halfway between lead and steel. While this was a step up, it did not solve the hunting effectiveness problem due to it's lack of similar density to lead. On a happy note, it did help the barrel damage problem. There were two other issues with bismuth, one, its brittleness and tendency to fracture or shatter, and two, It is more expensive than lead.

Bismuth is an acceptable alternative, as long as you are willing to accept the FACT that it does not equal lead. A few years ago, as predicted, the Second Amendment crowd came to the rescue with a product marketed under the name of "ITX" and sold by Ballistic Products, Inc. ITX is a high density material that equals that of lead (and in some cases exceeds it), will not harm shotgun barrels, will not break or fracture, is malleable, is non-toxic, and USFWS and California approved. It's is relatively affordable, but more expensive than lead. At the moment the smallest shot size is #6.

From the Ballistic Products website, https://www.ballisticproducts.com/ITX-E ... info/TXTT/:
Extreme density. Extreme energy. Extreme ITX.

ITX EX-13 Shot is a non-toxic high-density shot purpose-designed for performance and value. ITX EX-13 is a unique blend of tungsten, copper, nickel, and iron. The target density is 13 grams/cc, which is superior to the density of lead (magnum lead = 10.92 grams/cc). The most recent material certification sheet from TomBob lists the density at 12.85 grams/cc.

Denser: ITX EX-13 offers superior-to-lead density. ITX Extreme-13 maintains lethal energy, velocity, and extreme penetration capability better.

Harder: EX-13 is for hunters that prefer hard shot. Increased concentration of tungsten hardens the pellet and increases lethal extreme density. ITX's proprietary manufacturing process assures spherical, uniform pellets and consistent pattern performance. The hardness is averaging HRB 95. ITX will not fracture or shatter.
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Re: OAUSA Net - May 14, 2020 - Desert Magazine

#4

Post by toms » Wed May 13, 2020 10:28 am

Quiz

Every Issue has a desert knowledge quiz. Here is one that peeked my interest.
Answers are not on page 25 for our net. We will let you know during the net where to find them.

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Re: OAUSA Net - May 14, 2020 - Desert Magazine

#5

Post by toms » Wed May 13, 2020 10:51 am

Norton Allan (1909-1997)

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Norton Allan was the map maker for the Desert Magazine. In stylized line drawings of landscapes, he perfected the ability to capture the sky or a mountain in a few lines.
When Norton was 21, a fall in gym class triggered a rheumatic disease called ankylosing spondylitis. The illness left him disabled, his hips and spine fused.
In 1937 Norton’s mother contacted Randall Henderson, editor of the then-new Desert Magazine, suggesting her son draw maps for the publication. It was the start of a brilliant partnership.
“From an editorial standpoint, our first lucky strike was Norton Allen, the artist,” wrote J. Wilson McKenney in his history of Desert Magazine, Desert Editor.

This quote from Ann Japenga September 11, 2019 in California Desert Art discribes Allan’s maps quality quite well.

“In these maps, the land seemed to be alive, the mountains exploding like star dust, the trails wiggling over the lip of a ridge, always drawing you on. Sometimes it seemed the artist was in a helicopter, observing the Turtle Mountains or the Chuckawallas with 3-D glasses.”



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Randall Henderson (1888–1970)
Excerpts from Randall Henderson, Man of the Desert By: Jack Pepper

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Founder and for 22 years editor and publisher of Desert Magazine, Randall Henderson has spent more than 50 years exploring the lands and mountains of the American Desert. Through the pages of Desert Magazine he has created a “living desert” for millions of people who otherwise would think of the desert as only arid wastelands.

Henderson himself was a newcomer to the desert. While attending the University of California to study economics and sociology, he worked as a sports reporter on the Los Angeles Times. His editor, Harry Carr, advised him to “leave this city rat race” and work for a small newspaper, the dream of every old-time newspaperman.

After graduating from U.S.C., Henderson took the advice and gave up his $21 a week salary on the Times for a $6 a week income as an apprentice printer on the Parker, Arizona weekly Post.

Two years later he joined the small staff of the Blythe, California Herald and later went to Calexico, a California town on the Mexican border where he edited and published his own paper until 1933 when he sold it to start a printing shop in El Centro.

During those years he learned two things; every phase of the newspaper and printing business, and to know the desert as only one who hikes or rides horseback into isolated areas in all kinds of weather can know the desert.

Henderson and Wilson McKinney, a newspaper associate conceived the idea of DESERT Magazine while sitting around a campfire in the Santa Rosa Mountains.

With only $6,000 capital, 600 charter subscribers, a few local advertisers who invested more for friendship than monetary gain, Henderson and McKinney published the first issue of DESERT Magazine on November 1, 1937.

With World War II, Henderson, who had been a pilot in World War I, again enlisted and asked for an assignment in the African deserts, “because I felt I could be of more service.” During his three years overseas the magazine was run by his daughter, Evonne Riddell, Lucile Weight and Bess Stacy.

In World War II Henderson’s son was killed in action with the Second Marine Division in the South Pacific. With no one in his family to assume the position as editor and publisher of DESERT Magazine, on his 70th birthday Henderson decided to sell the publication.
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Re: OAUSA Net - May 14, 2020 - Desert Magazine

#6

Post by toms » Wed May 13, 2020 10:52 am

Rawhide NV - Ghost Town
Inspired by Article in Desert Magazine June 1947 When Rawhide Roared by Harold Weight

Harold Weight visited Rawhide in May of 1946. It was a ghost town with many building still standing. One of the houses was used as a vacation retreat by the Grutt family. He was fortune to meet Leo and Gene (Eugene) on his visit. He was shown around and picked up many stories.

From Fallon: East on US 50 for 31.6 miles; turn south on SR 838 for 19.9 miles; head east 6.0 miles on local road
From Fallon: 57.5 miles

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In December 1906, prospector Jim Swanson made a discovery of a rich gold and silver deposit in the hills near what became Rawhide.
Charles ("Scotty") A. McLeod, also found sizeable deposits nearby on Hooligan Hill.

McLeod had recently been ordered to cease prospecting around the nearby camp of Buckskin, and bitter about this, he suggested the name of Rawhide for the new camp, as a play on the name of the Buckskin camp he held with contempt.

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There was a lot of speculation and stock-jobbing propositions but:
Rawhide really did have gold. Its mines produced $2,000,000 in yellow metal. It had the richest surface indications of any camp in the West.

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The town soon had a population of about 5000, with three banks, four churches, a school, twelve hotels, twenty-eight restaurants, a theater, and thirty-seven saloons.

Eugene Grutt, back in 1908, had been known as the "Daddy of Rawhide" because of his activities in developing the town. He was the first sheriff elected in Mineral county when it was created in 1911, and served several terms.
There was a telephone system and telegraph lines. A water company was laying pipe, and the grade for the Rawhide Western railroad had almost reached camp. A special night stage brought in strawberries for morning breakfasts. There was a refrigeration plant to cool beer and champagne while water was still sold by the barrel nd the standard price of a bath was $5. "We had three daily papers," Leo said, "the Rustler, the News and the Times.

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A couple of stories:
"Duffy was always broke. I'd meet him and start to dig. 'No, Gene,' he'd say, 'I don't want charity. Come into the saloon and I'll sing. When I'm through, throw half a dollar on the stage, and the others will throw some too.' We'd go into the nearest bar and he'd sing Dying Hobo' or maybe 'Take Me Back to Montana' and get a stake of 10 or 20 dollars. Duffy loved to sing."

When the Gum Shoe Kid was claims recorder," Leo recalled. Gold Tooth Bess and her friend of the evening staggered into the Kid's office one night. Bess said the Kid was a public official and she wanted him to marry them. The Kid said he didn't have the legal right. Bess outlined the things she would do to him unless he complied. So the Kid took a Lode location notice, filled it out, signed it— and pronounced them man and wife.

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"That's Stingaree Gulch," Leo Grutt. " I guess it's the only place that ever really rivaled the Barbary Coast. It as crowded for half a mile on either side with dance halls, red light houses and dives." Where he pointed, a rutted road wound through an empty valley. Not one wall of the old Gulch remained. "There must have been five or six hundred girls on the line," Leo went on. "All nations and all colors. A lot of them made real money. The girls peddling wine at $10 a bottle would get half, and cash in $100 or $200 a night. There was Rag Time Kelly's, nd the Zanzibar and Squeeze Inn. Some places the dives and the mines ran right together, and it was hard to keep the men on the night shift working."


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In the short span of two years the town went from its peak population of 7000 people (Mar. to June, 1908), to fewer than 500 people by the latter part of 1910. Helping push the decline of the town even further along was a disastrous fire which swept through Rawhide in September 1908, along with a flood in September 1909.
The big fire hit Rawhide on the morning of September 4, 1908. A lighted gasoline stove in the Rawhide drug store, window curtains, and the ever-present wind got together—and within 55 minutes the entire business district was burning. Rawhide, born with fireworks, was dying in the sullen thunder of explosions. The heart of town, three blocks wide and five-deep, was one great crimson mass. Flames rose hundreds of feet into the smoke-blackened sky. In the boiling thermals created, sheets of corrugated iron were lifted higher than the flames, to be released in the cooler air and crash back onto the town.
Although the fire finally was controlled, smoldering flames lit the sky through the night, while armed guards patrolled the ruins and occasional belated explosions ripped the silence.
"The Vienna Bar had what looked like the best safe in town. Over six feet high and so massive nobody ever tried to crack it. The girls and gamblers put their money into it rather than the bank. When the fire came, the swamper and one of the owners lifted that safe up onto a wheelbarrow and rolled it into the open. It was made of papier-mache."
"And when the Gum Shoe Kid saw the fire coming," Gene contributed, "he rolled a barrel of whiskey out of his cabin and into a hole. Covered it with dirt. After the fire he couldn't decide where it was he'd buried it. The Gum Shoe Kid a staid and substantial citizen now, the Kid frequently comes back on vacations, sharpens an iron bar, and probes the earth near where his cabin once stood. He's still looking for that barrel of whiskey. "I don't want to drink it," he explains, mournfully. "I just want to know what happened to the darned thing."
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Rawhide rebuilt after the fire.
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A small cemetery was still visible near Stingaree Gulch, a mile north of town.
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The site of Rawhide has been dismantled by recent mining activity, with little or nothing remaining to be seen.
Razed by a mining company - absolutely nothing left. Rawhide has been destroyed by the modern Rawhide Mining Company, which has a currently active mill and mine there (very ugly!). What it hasn't destroyed is fenced off and inaccessible to the public. The cemetery is about a mile north of the town site (now the mine site), off the road to the right (east)
The Denton-Rawhide Mine), operated jointly by Kennecott Minerals and Pacific Rim Mining Corp. created a huge open pit mine,
The mine wound down operations in 2002-2003, and the pit itself has been permitted for use as a landfill; however the landfill is not in operation yet (as of March 2008). Visitors to the area will find nothing remaining of what was once Rawhide.


Pony Express Trail
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Gabbs, Ichthyosaurs, & Paleontology
Nye County has certainly changed over the (last few million) years. Before the mining boom, the town of Gabbs, NV was actually renamed in honor of a paleontologist who studied fossils in the area of Berlin Mine, known as William Gabb. Gabb worked in paleontology during the mid to late 1800s and cataloged fossils found around California and Nevada. And boy, Gabb certainly found plenty of fossils in Gabbs, NV. Not just any fossils though.

Crescent Dunes
The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project is a 110 megawatt net solar thermal power project with 1.1 gigawatt-hours of energy storage, located near Tonopah, about 190 miles northwest of Las
William Gabb discovered the fossils of the majestic ichthyosaur, a giant marine reptile dating back an unimaginable 225 million years ago who swam in an ocean that covered what is now central Nevada. As these creatures eventually died off, they sank to the bottom of this ocean and were fossilized over time. The final resting place of one of the most complete concentrations (of some of the largest specimens ever found) just so happens to be within modern-day Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park boundaries, about 20 miles east of Gabbs. Knowing this, it should come as no surprise that the ichthyosaur is Nevada’s state fossil.

Dunes are visible from Highway 95 a few miles north of Tonopah. This small dune complex is often deserted. Mostly used by local riders. There are no signs, and the area feels very remote. Winter temperatures can be quite cold.

The dunes have been designated a Special Recreation Management Area (SMRA) by the BLM.

Elevation - 5032 ft.

3,000 acres

Carson & Colorado Rail Road
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Re: OAUSA Net - May 14, 2020 - Desert Magazine

#7

Post by Jeff-OAUSA » Thu May 14, 2020 5:39 pm

Early check-in is requested. Thanks.

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Re: OAUSA Net - May 14, 2020 - Desert Magazine

#8

Post by k9atk » Thu May 14, 2020 5:46 pm

Please check inn
Brian k9atk trish k9fog cheyenne kd0exi tyler kd0rha and the austin kd0gpe
Thanks awesome topic this week as always

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Re: OAUSA Net - May 14, 2020 - Desert Magazine

#9

Post by lrsrngr » Thu May 14, 2020 6:39 pm

KK6CTT, Rick, for the on-line check-in please.

Awesome! I encourage the group to visit adventures and articles from time to time in the future. The insight of those who have visited these areas is also of great interest.

Thanks Dave and Tom for the stories and all of those who help to support the group's efforts.
Last edited by lrsrngr on Thu May 14, 2020 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[b]HUA[/b] or "Hooah!" = Heard Understood & Acknowledged. In context: "Roger that sir, HUA!"

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KA9WDX
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Re: OAUSA Net - May 14, 2020 - Desert Magazine

#10

Post by KA9WDX » Thu May 14, 2020 6:59 pm

Check in please - Thanks - Bernie

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