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Surfin': Discovering the Voice of America in Ohio


Over the years, I have traveled to Dayton to attend the Hamvention using varied routes and means. These days, those means are by land in my vehicle du jour, but in my youth, I flew to Dayton a few times via other routes.

One route I took back in the 1980s was to fly to Cincinnati and drive a rental car 65 miles up I-75 to Dayton. I will never forget that route because it passed right by the Voice of America (VOA) facility in Bethany, Ohio. The immense antenna farm was a huge driving distraction to this ham and former shortwave listener. On the return trip after the Hamvention, I planned ahead in order get a more leisurely view of the farm, so as I approached the VOA, I made sure I was in the right hand lane of I-75 at or below the speed limit.

The farm is gone now, but retired VOA employee Rich Zwirko, K1HTV, informed me about a Web page that does an excellent job recounting the history of the Bethany VOA facility, as well as describing its present and future status as a museum. Visit Ted Landphair's America blog and read his piece about the Bethany VOA facility titled "Our Temple of Radio". It is a good read and, among other things, you will discover the connection between the VOA, Crosley Radio and the Cincinnati Reds.

Until next time, keep on surfin'!

Editor's note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, still thinks that the VOA QSL card in his collection does not impress. To contact Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog. By the way, every installment of Surfin' is indexed here, so go look it up.


Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor