Posted on 49 Comments

Getting to Know Jinny Beyer Part II

Jinny Beyer blog

We received an email from Jan about a postcard she bought on eBay from a woman in Latvia.  Included was a photo of this card and she was wondering if we could tell her more about it. Shown here is that card. Yes, that is me from very long ago.


Many of you may know that, besides quilting, one of my other interests is amateur radio. When my father was a young boy he got his first ham radio license. To confirm a contact with another radio operator “hams” send out QSL cards. My father’s interest passed to me and I got my first license in 1957  (K6RQB) when I was in high school. I continued my ham radio activities until 1984.

I had quite some adventures along the way. Shortly after getting my license, Russia launched the first satellite to circle the earth. My father and I got up in the middle of the night so we could hear the first morse code signals the satellite emitted.

A few years after I was married, my husband, John, got a job in Nepal and right after that in India. My husband and I and our two young children went to live Nepal in 1968. I had been an active ham in the States and I got a license there.

Once in Nepal, I was one of only two hams in the country, and the only one who operated in both voice and morse code.  I was able to talk with my father almost every day. One of my frequent contacts was with King Hussein of Jordon who was also a ham. The American ambassador to Nepal was married to the ambassador of Viet Nam and the only way they could contact each other was by radio and Madam Ambassador would come to my house once a week to talk with her husband by way of a ham in Viet Nam.

Just like quilting, there is a bond among hams around the world. When my sister died and I made arrangements to fly home, obviously anyone listening knew my plans. At every single stop on the way home, a ham radio operator was there to greet me and make sure I had no trouble with my connections…New Delhi, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Honolulu and Los Angeles.

These days we are very lucky to be able to easily communicate with almost anyone, anywhere, but back then, this was quite a handy hobby to have.

To read more about this, my story appeared here on the web page for ham enthusiasts and their history here.

49 thoughts on “Getting to Know Jinny Beyer Part II

  1. Fascinating story. Such varied interests and talents. A life worth telling the whole story!

  2. Such a fascinating story with varied interests and talents. A life worth telling in a book with quilts as illustrations.

  3. So very interesting

  4. Having lived overseas where phone contact with the family was extremely difficult at the best of times, people like Jinny helped make us feel a little closer to home. Jinny is someone who shares her talent with others no matter whether it is communicating or quilting. How fortunate we all Vare to be able to experience her gifts.

  5. Nice to see a part of your life, thank you for sharing. May I had that you are lovely

  6. fascinating story thank you for sharing

  7. I knew you lived in India but a ham too! You are one amazing lady. Thank you for all your contributions to his world.

  8. Thanks for sharing the details. I too have enjoyed the ham radio hobby (N7FAO) with my late husband (K7PG). Getting the license in North America is certainly easier than you experienced! Thanks for sharing.

  9. I love this story Jinny!

  10. This a a very heartwarming story. Thank you for sharing! My father-in-law was a ham operator for many years.

  11. Just loved this story Jenny! Thanks for sharing it. You’ve been on my mind since I am currently working on your ‘Facets’ wall hanging and appreciating your vision to create it.
    You need to write a book!!

  12. Just loved this story! Thanks for sharing it. You’ve been on my mind since I am currently working on your ‘Facets’ wall hanging and appreciating your vision to create it.
    You need to write a book!!

  13. I knew you were talented, (followed your quilting career for years), but this is the most fascinating story yet. Look forward to meeting you on our much postponed “Trip to Greece, 2022”.

  14. Wow you have been through some wonderful memories with your travel. Did you start getting your fabric colors during your years with Ham Radio or did that come later? I know you still travel overseas and come back with some beautiful new fabric colors.
    What a wonderful time.

  15. Great info, my father in law was a ham operator and used that to communicate to our sons. Thank you for sharing!

  16. My dear Uncle Eddie Miller was a ham operator.. W5EXI in Lafayette LA. , likely during the time you were active, 1940’s through 1990s, I believe. He had such tales to tell! He was the go-between who made possible the long distance marriage of my brother (in the Navy) and his bride in Texas.

  17. My dear Uncle Eddie Miller was a ham operator.. W5EXI in Lafayette LA. , likely during the time you were active, 1940’s through 1990s, I believe. He had such tales to tell! He was the go-between who made possible the long distance marriage of my brother (in the Navy) and his bride in Texas.

  18. Great story! I, too, am a ham, K4SEW. How appropriate is that since I love to quilt 🙂 I come from a family of hams, both my mom and dad as well as my husband (W4JZ) and his parents. I’m not active now, but my husband is daily. Thanks for sharing!

  19. I have learned so much from you over the years, Jinny, and this was another dimension of a multi-faceted lady. Thank you for sharing the picture and your hobby. I hope it made you smile too. Take care of yourself. All the best.

  20. You have an interesting story. Your references to living in India always made me
    curious about your experiences as we share having been in India at the same time.
    We were Peace Corps volunteers in Hyderabad, India at the same time you were in Nepal, my late husband from 1966-69.
    and me from 1967-69.
    We did get to visit Nepal, a lovely country. We spent few days in Kathmandu where had a delicious hot lemon tea from samovar, stood on a crowed narrow street as a statue of Buddha was carried down the street to the excitement of all.
    Apparently Buddha stayed in the temple and came out after a set number of years.

  21. Love this, thank you for sharing. We have a dear friend in Illinois who is a ham, so I’m sending this to him.
    You are amazing.

  22. An adventurous life. Very touching. Thank you.

  23. Greetings from AE7MB.
    I’ve been licensed since March, 1976 and active in teaching other girls and women what they need to know to pass their license exams. I became a quilter in 2007 and have made many of your quilt patterns.
    My email address is a combination of my two favorite hobbies.

  24. Thanks for the memories. My Dad was a ham. He had a tall antenna outside our house and radio equipment in our basement. When I was in High school, sometimes he would let me talk to some of the hams that I knew. They had a regular time to talk. I think they liked to let me say “hi”. There were no women in their group and every time I was on someone new or someone who hadn’t sign in for a long time logged on. Rules kept me from saying more than a few words. His call letters were W8LCY. Haven’t seen a qsl card for years but recognized it immediately. So as I said Thanks for the memories.

  25. I feel such joy whenever you share your life experiences with us. I’m so fortunate to have taken classes from you. All the beautiful quilts I have made are thanks to you and your gifts for designing fabrics, patterns and techniques. I’m grateful for you every day as I sew.

  26. Wow! What a GREAT story! Thanks so much for sharing!

  27. Oh Jenny What a wonderful memory! I had a girl friend whose father was a Ham operator. Such a fun hobby for him and a wonderful way to stay in touch. You were part of an era! Loved hearing about it. Thank you.!

  28. Glad to know i’m not the only HAM who quilts! KC2YIB

    1. You are not the only quilter who is a ham. N8SEW. Jan

  29. Thank you so much for sharing your ham radio story. It brought back special memories of my grandfather taking me up NH mountain roads to listen/communicate with others in summer evenings. I found his call number in a 1940 callbook (pdf) on the internet.

    I always look forward to reading your newsletter. Thank you!

  30. Wow. What an amazing story. I never knew this side of you.

  31. My dad was WA2OQO and he too, spoke with Hussein in Jordan. When I lived at Fort Riley in Kansas, the local HAM’s on the Fort Riley base let me come and speak to my family in New York by way of radio.

  32. You’ve had an amazing life! Each Facet of the Kalidoscope reveals another unknown demention. Thanks for sharing the adventure!

  33. My husband is a ham and I read him your blog post. He enjoyed it.

  34. Such an interesting story, from a very talented lady.
    As an ex pat, I’ve lived in Jordan since 1964, so it was interesting to hear about your interaction with HM the Late King Hussein. Those were the days when communication was limited, international phone calls were rare and expensive. Today I marvel at voice and video contact with such ease around the world with family and friends.
    Thanks Jinny for the reminder of those days.

  35. Thank you Jinny, for sharing this part of your life with us. For a very brief time in my life, seems like another life at times, I lived on the edge of the ham operator’s world, and it was fascinating. That was in the early 1960’s. Before that time, I was oblivious to the existence of another means of communication, just telephones and letters. It is interesting to think about how these experiences have helped shape who we are today.. This morning I can read your blog and newsletter from my living room while enjoying my early morning hot chocolate. I am so grateful for this new technology that brings us together from across our world. I’m sending you hugs this beautiful morning.

  36. Great story! I guess you never know who you might come in contact with.

  37. You are an amazing woman and I am so glad to have met you in Costa Rica where you taught me how to hand piece. Thank you. Still hoping to accompanying you on another trip.

  38. “…There is no cure for curiosity”, as Dorothy Parker once said, and you have it in abundance! What a fascinating woman you are, Jinny. I Love this story – what a fond memory it must be for you. Thank you for sharing it (and yourself) with all of us. Be well…

  39. Greetings from N8MRU. I’m nearly as active a ham, but have had my license for over 20 years.

  40. My father was a ham as well, K8AYI he would talk with his brother (Airforce) in Germany, and when my brother visited from England and we got to talk with him. Such great memories!

  41. What an interesting and impressive story you have. I, too, got into ham radio – in 5th grade (1959-60). One of our student teachers had a station at his home, so he did a class for us then took us on “field trips” to his home where we listened to him talk to people all over the world. We also got to climb his telephone pole that held his antenna. We all got our novice licenses (KN7VTP), but only a couple went on to get Amateur licenses. My dad bought me all the equipment, and I felt bad that I didn’t really put it to use – I’m more of a writer, not a talker!

  42. de VE3BQW (VE3SM) Fascinating. Do not associate
    Quilting and Ham Radio as coming together but it does. I actually got my license in 1972 but have lived with amateur radio all my life as my father (ex: 3KC, VE3KC, VE3AQB, VE3SM at various times) Got his license in 1920 (spark gaps and one tube regenerative receiver all home made). I have not worked too much DX and am not very active at the present but plan to be shortly.
    88 for now and maybe see you on the bands. 88 de VE3BQW Lee in Ontario. I am also a quilter and machine embroiderer although a male. Also tht 2 daughters are hams one in the US and one in Almonte calls VE3WQB and VA3WQB.

  43. What an incredibly interesting, rich & full life you have lived! Thank you for sharing a glimpse of your fascinating story.

  44. How wonderful is our world of enthusiasts–your ham friends made sure your travels went smoothly. Quilters have been known to extend care to fellow quilters.
    Quilts of Valor. We all care for one another when bonded by our interests.
    Very moving.

  45. thank you Ginny what an amazing story!

  46. I enjoyed reading this story. Thank you for sharing.

  47. My mother was a ham and loved it.

  48. I would say you were a very lucky person to get involved with life at such a young age. The wisdom and knowledge acquired is awesome. Such happiness and diversity of worlds collided to make you a gifted quilter, that encouraged all of us with a bit of that total wonderfulness. thank you.

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