KB1NZP Silent Key


Peter (Pete) Richard Hall Holtby, of Acton, Maine went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at the age of ninety-one, with his two loving sons, David and Stephen, by his side.

Pete was born in Winnipeg, Canada on March 9, 1930, the eldest child of Alfred Sydney Thomas Holtby and Sarah Kathleen (Holman) Holtby. Pete’s family moved from Calgary, Canada to Glendale, California where he graduated from Herbert Hoover High School in 1948.

Pete was a patriot, proudly serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force and the United States Army Aviation Company of the 45th division during the Korean War. Peter earned the Bronze star …

Pete married the love of his life Elizabeth “Jane” Hemmington on March 8, 1958 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pete wrote to Jane, “I thought I knew what love was but I didn’t until I met you.” He is reunited with his lifetime love in heaven in the presence of their first love, Jesus Christ.

Pete and Jane made their home in Anaheim, California where they had their three children. When Pete became a Captain for American Airlines in Boston, Massachusetts he moved his young family across the country to Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. They purchased a camp on Square Pond in Acton, Maine and quickly fell in love with the area.

Pete moved his family to Merrywood Farm in Lebanon, Maine in 1970, which was only a short drive to their camp. The 200-acre farm fulfilled a dream the family had to raise Polled Hereford cattle and horses. The whole family worked the farm together and showed their horses and cattle at fairs, bringing home many ribbons, trophies, and awards.

Pete was committed to helping others and his community. He served as a First Responder on the Fire and Rescue Squads in Lebanon and Acton, Maine for many years. In 1964, he began driving ambulances and at 80 years old was still actively responding to calls. In 2010, Pete was awarded the Emergency Medical Services Merit Award by Maine Governor Baldacci.

Pete’s hobbies included birdwatching, communicating with others on his ham radio, driving Jane and her friends to quilt shops, and studying and learning about the weather. Pete remained active in the weather spotters society of Gray, Maine continuing to monitor weather for the National Weather Service.

Pete was predeceased by his loving wife Jane, his daughter Debbie Clark, two brothers Michael Holtby, Jon Holtby, and a sister Sharon Holtby .

Loved ones left behind include his son David Holtby and wife Julianna of Woodford Virginia, Stephen Holtby and wife Sherrie of Lebanon, Maine, his sister Pat Rector of White Oak, Texas, 14 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, and his faithful canine companion Kelly.

Services will be held at the north Lebanon Second Baptist church on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 1:00 PM. There will be a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to: North Lebanon Second Baptist Church or the Acton Rescue Squad

A private spring internment at Springvale Veterans Cemetery will follow.

Arrangements are under the direction of Black Funeral Homes and Cremation Service, Sanford-Springvale.

To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of Peter Holtby, please visit our tribute store.


KB1OWW Silent Key

Joe “June” Despres’ (KB1OWW) went silent key on July 29, 2021. He will be greatly missed by those of us who know him from the ham radio community. Joe had been participating with the NEWN since the 1960’s. His stories could entertain you for hours and he would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. Joe was truly a jack of all trades. He was with the Army (Green Berets) in Germany during the Cold War. He met his wife Karin there. He was an avid hunter, trapper, and outdoorsman. Joe could fix radios and built and modified a lot of equipment over the years. I will miss the “eye balls” over a cup of coffee in his ham shack and the long QSO’s over the air.

Obituary: https://www.lajoiefuneralhome.com/obituary/joseph-june-despres

Jack, W1AWX

W2BIK SK – August Pintak (1931-2020)


Vernon Twp.; August Vincent Pintak, 89, passed away on October 23, 2020. August was born on June 15, 1931 in North Bergen, NJ to August John and Erma Carrie (nee Bohn) Pintak.

August served during the Korean War in the US Marines. August was a self employed and accomplished electrician and carpenter. He was an amateur Ham Radio operator. He was an ice dance skater and a member of the Bear Mtn. Ice Skating Club and worked for the Fritz Deitl Ice Skating Rink in Westwood, NJ.

August was predeceased by his wife Catherine in 2014.

He is survived by his daughter, Linda Keller and her husband Robert of Vernon, and his five grandchildren, Dawn, Keith Jr., James, Stephanie and Brianna, and his great-granddaughter, Kaitlyn, and his sister Lorraine Ryle.

**Relatives and friends will be received on Monday October 26th from 2-4 & 7-9pm at the Ferguson – Vernon Funeral Home 241 Rt. 94, Vernon, NJ (GPS use 1 Vanderhoof Court), funeral service on Tuesday October 27th at 10am at the funeral home, committal services at George Washington Memorial Park, Paramus, NJ. In lieu of flowers donations, to Sussex United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 244, Sussex, NJ 07461. For directions and condolences see www.fergusonfuneralhomesnj.com.

Copied from: https://fergusonfuneralhomesnj.com/book-of-memories/4368014/Pintak-August/index.php

AB2ZO Silent Key

Frank J. Tomesch

Poughkeepsie – Frank J. Tomesch, 74, passed away at home on, Sunday, February 16, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. The son of the late Frank A. and Joan S. Valla Tomesch, he was born on November 3, 1945 in Little Ferry, NJ. On August 11, 2001, he married Lisa H. Andersen in Tarrytown, NY, she survives at home. Frank served his country as a Lieutenant in the United States Army during the Vietnam War era and was employed with Metropolitan Life in NYC as a computer programmer. Being remembered as an amateur radio enthusiast, he was a member of the Overlook and Mount Beacon Amateur Radio Clubs and an official observer for the National Weather Service for Poughkeepsie. Frank also belonged to the Sons of Norway, the New England Weather Net, and also a member of the ROTC at St. Peter’s College. Frank is survived by his daughter, Johanna Tomesch and her companion Miles Uchida, both of Portland, OR, his stepson, Seth A. Pierzkor of Orlando, FL, his brother John Tomesch and wife Kristine of Succasunna, NJ, as well as several nieces and nephews. Calling hours will be held on Friday, February 21, 2020, from 4:00pm – 8:00PM, at the Wm. G. Miller & Son Funeral Home, Inc. 371 Hooker Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY 12603. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 10:00AM, at the Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel, 185 Hudson View Dr. Poughkeepsie, NY 12601. Burial will take place at a later date in the Gerald R. Solomon National Cemetery, 200 Duell Road, Schuylerville, NY 12871 with military honors. The family suggests in lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Frank’s name to St. Peter’s Church. If you wish to send an online condolence please visit our website at www.wmgmillerfuneralhome.

Hurricane Carol, Cape Cod, August 31, 1954

By Henry Brown, K1WCC

The boatyard in the picture was across the harbor from where I lived in 1954. Colin MacDougall W1TJW (sk) was a well known local ham who ran the electronics shop there. The boat shed was normally way out of the water.

I can remember being 8 years old, ready to start Third Grade in the Village School in Falmouth. We lived a few hundred yards from the ocean. The night before the storm, we had a cookout for my cousin who had just returned from serving in the Army. I can remember the sky looking strange that evening, and people commenting about it at the cookout. Then, my parents went to the movies while my aunt and cousin babysat for us. I can remember it raining very hard that night-I must have woken up when my parents came home from the movies.

The track of Hurricane Carol August 25 – September 1, 1954

The next morning I woke up to a gray, windy and rainy day. My bedroom was in the southwest corner of the house and there was a weeping willow tree next door. It was blowing and flailing away and looked like a giant hand had pushed it down against the ground. What was really significant, after getting up, was seeing my father home. He always went to work before I got up and it was unusual for him to be home so I knew something was up. He was huddled over the old RCA table radio in the kitchen and said we were about to get a hurricane, a new word for me.

Edgewood Yacht Club in Rhode Island. The club house survived Hurricane Carol in spite of the high storm surge.

The rest of the day was dramatic. Our neighbor Bruce Pease was the Water Department foreman and he was out at Woods Hole trying to do something with the sewer pumping station there. His wife was at our house. We lost power so my father made a blowtorch stove with firebricks for hot coffee and soup. I can still remember seeing that stove making soup. At about 11 AM or so, my father took me in his Chevy pickup and we drove down Swing Lane towards Falmouth Inner Harbor, a very short distance. The water was up the road about 100 yards so we left the truck there and walked over to Tom Richard’s house on Scranton Avenue. It was very windy with driving rain-I couldn’t stand. When we got to the Richards’, the water was swirling around Scranton Avenue and up to my chest. I had played in this area most of my young life and it was always dry land. It was shocking to
see water everywhere. We helped a few people with their boats but I remember a chaotic scene-there wasn’t much people could do.

Storm surge damage from Hurricane Carol at Westerly, RI.

Later, the storm was over by late afternoon and it had cleared up. We took a walk to the harbor in the early evening. We walked down Swing Lane and in front of the Swing’s driveway was the square, peaked roof of the old “Hurricane Deck” restaurant, just sitting there. Apparently, the battering waves and storm surge had pushed it there. I can remember wires hanging down, leaves everywhere, junk everywhere and white houses tuning yellow from the gases churned up from the harbor bottom. They just slowly turned yellow! We walked to the old Hurricane Deck location, where the Regatta condos are now, and picked up a few pieces of silverware. The place was completely wrecked. I remember a fully armed and helmeted soldier came over to see what we were doing-the National Guard was guarding the area. The harbor was full of upside down boats, some with just masts sticking up. We walked down to Wormelle’s Boatyard, saw more devastation there, and walked home up Mr. Phillips’ road and through Peases’ yard. Our house had cheery lights in the window so we figured the power was back on, but my Mom had lit a large number of old kerosene lamps and it was bright inside. We all sat around in the house with some neighbors, and my father said “I hear there’s going to be another big blow tonight”. That sent shivers up and down my spine, but it was only a rumor he had heard on our walk. (like they say, don’t listen to rumors!) Without a radio we were out of touch, and no one really understood the storm tracks like we do today. Later that night we got power back, since we were on the Main Street circuit, and businesses needed to be up and Running.

Storm surge from Hurricane Carol in Connecticut.

The next morning we took a ride. It was a beautiful day and I remember being stunned by the wreckage along the water. I always took the beach roads at Surf Drive, Menahaunt and Falmouth Heights for granted, as solid objects. Now they were gone, just rubble and sand. The beach houses along Surf Drive were either in Salt Pond or on the other side of the pond. Telephone poles were down or leaning at crazy angles. Big houses were destroyed or horribly mutilated. People were beginning to dig out and rebuild: to me, it looked like it would take forever. But it didn’t.

Surface weather analysis of Hurricane Carol on August 31, 1954

Hurricane Edna arrived a couple of weeks later, on September 11. I don’t remember too much about that one. It was an afternoon storm. We were in our upstairs bedroom watching the heavy rain hit the roof of the house next door. It was so hard it made a “fog” over the roof. Later, my father called the police and they suggested that we leave the house since it was close to the water, so we went to my grandparent’s house on Oakwood Avenue, about a mile inland. There were lots of family members there and that’s all I remember.

Hurricane Carol destroyed this boat in Marblehead Harbor. Photo courtesy Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

Editor’s Note: Hurricane Carol Facts

  • Recorded maximum sustained winds: 115 mph, Gust 125 mph
  • Storm Surge: 14 feet
  • Lowest Pressure: 955 mbar, 28.2 inHg
  • 72 fatalities
  • $462 million damage including 40% of crops destroyed
  • Estimated 10,000 homes, 3500 cars, 3000 boats destroyed
  • The name “Carol” was retired from the list of storm names.

Hurricane Carol destroyed thousands of automobiles like this one. Photo courtesy Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

Storm surge damage after Hurricane Carol

64 years and 20,000 sessions!

The New England Weather Net was founded in 1955 with the mission of gathering weather observations from around the greater New England region. The net has operated six days a week (Monday thru Saturday) continuously since that time. This Thursday, November 21, 2019 marks a milestone with session 20,000.

Thank you to all who have participated both in recent years and through out the net’s history. The New England Weather Net remains strong and committed to gathering each morning to share weather data.

Here is the recording from Session #20,000:


Next stop… Session 30,000 in 2051.


Jack Caron, W1AYX, Net Manager

Bonus: Here is a recording from Session 10,000 from December 12, 1987:



Congratulations to the members of the New England Weather Net and to one in particular, Jack Caron, W1AYX, our new Net Manager.

Jack Caron has been named the new Net Manager of the New England Weather Net  with overwhelming support from the members, all of the Net Controls, and myself.  Jack is a moving force in ham radio and emergency communications in the State of Maine.  He has a close relationship with the National Weather Service in Caribou, ME.  Additionally, Jack has a great deal of talent in Internet communications and has done a fantastic job revising and maintaining our web site, newenglandweathernet.com.

It is my opinion, supported by many of our regular members, that the report form on our website has been the salvation of the New England Weather Net  during this long period of terrible band propagation.  This was entirely the result of Jack’s efforts.

Please welcome Jack as he takes over on May 1st!  I have had a tremendously good time as your Net Manager for the past 7 or 8 years.  My mentor, Bill Claflin SK, a shortwave monitor, served as Nete Manger for a similar period of time and was an immense help to me as I got my feet on the ground.  I also owe a great deal of gratitude to another mentor, Rob Lyons, AB1NJ SK.  Rob provided a great deal of support when I had to deal with a disruptive member shortly after becoming Net Manager.

I would also like to thank those members who have participated as Net Controls, including Henry , K1WCC;  Joan, KC1KZ; Jack, W1AYX; Jon, N1MLF; tom, K1TL; Jack, N1HOS; Mike, W1MCT; Phil KE2EA SK, Pete, KA1GHF; Al, N1MHC; Doug, N1JBG; Jim, WA1KCC SK; Bill W1JLK SK; ED, W1UAZ SK; ART, K1TDY.    I apologize to any others I can’t remember!

During my time as Net Manager we have averaged approximately 12,000 check ins per year.  These years have had incredible growth in membership and in member participation.  I have had a great deal of fun leading the Net even though it has meant getting up at 4:45 AM 312 stimes so far this year!  My wife and I are returning to the fun that we have had exploring North America.  We sold our travel trailer almost two years ago and have now purchased a 35 foot motorhome.

Dick, K1MGH

Follow our travels at http://rawiklund.com

World's Largest Ice Carousel – Long Lake, Sinclair, ME, USA

Here is some aerial footage from Jack Caron, W1AYX, of the world record ice carousel built on a frozen lake in northern Maine on April 7, 2018. The diameter of the carousel is 426.5 feet (130 meters) with 30 inches (76.2 cm) of ice thickness.  The estimated 11,000 ton disk of ice was turned by three outboard motors put through holes in the ice.


Click Here for the local news story from Bill Green’s Maine.