Hand Delivered QSL Cards from UX5UO and A New Straight Key from Ukraine

Last year, my elmer and good friend, Dan Keefe W6WU (ex-KS6Z, K6FFF), became a silent key. I very much miss our regular email exchanges that included his stories about his family (one of whom was U.S. Labor Sec'y, his political activities, and his own tales of being a Marine Sgt. who served in Korea at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He was a remarkable self-made millionaire several times over who also personally brought food to the homeless and ran his own Veterans rehab program from his home, teaching them carprentry skills even while his health was failing.

He was also my QSL manager. As I have not been active lately, however, that hasn't been much of a problem. I figured I better get some new cards, though, since it would be difficult to retrieve the set Dan had been keeping.

QSL cards and the B12 Soviet-era CW key
My new QSL cards and the B12 Soviet-era CW key

As bad luck would have it, my wife's mother in Kyiv had a series of TIAs about 8 weeks ago and ended up in the hospital. My wife, Tamara, and I had been trying to convince her to come live with us in Costa Rica for the past couple of years after her own mother died, but her health crisis turned out to be the deciding catalyst. So, my wife left for Ukraine in March to get the necessary documents and assets in order to bring her back to our home.

I knew she would be very busy, but I asked her if she could pick up a box of QSL cards from Gennady Treus, UX5UO while she was there. Gennady said he would waive the postage of course, which allowed me to buy the next step up in card quality. Turned out that it was pretty easy for them to connect, so it was no hassle for Tamara. During my email exchange with Gennady, I asked him if there was a flea market there where I might find old Soviet CW keys. He said there was, but that he had an old one laying around that he'd give me! I'm very appreciative of that and plan to use it for upcoming Straight Key events.

Client work QSL samples by UX5UO
Samples of client work by UX5UO

Tamara and her mom made the long journey back via Canada and arrived here last Wednesday. The sunshine and fresh fruits and veggies already seem to be helping her mom. She's also removed from the continuous stress of the political tension between Ukraine and Russia, which is wearing down everyone over there. We know that moving to the tropics is a massive change for someone her age, but since most of the changes are positive, we are confident that she will adapt, find things to keep busy and have plenty of time to relax.


  1. Hello Casey, great cards and key. I spoke Gennady last year in the CQWW SSB contest. He immidiatly knew who I was and what kind of QSL he made fo me. Remarkable! So unfortenately you lost a friend but that's how it goes in life. A remarkable person as well so I read in your post. Great your wife has her mother now near her. Much better as in turbulent Ukraine these days. 73, Bas

    1. Hi Bas, Yes, Gennady is definitely plugged in to ham radio. We are all relieved that Tamara's mother is finally here in a quiet, safe, healthy environment. 73!


Thanks very much for your comment! 73, Casey


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