Gene Pentecost, W4IMT
Gene Pentecost, W4IMT 1998 – 1999
Gene Pentecost, W4IMT; Gary Owen, KK4EZ; Jim Hayes, W4XS and Jim Forbes, KC4OZ formed the Friends of Wireless (FOW) organization and in the early 1990s purchased the site where the 145.15 repeater is located in Williamson County. The County Red Cross offices used to be in the County Admin Building and a chance encounter with some Red Cross personnel led to the FOW purchasing and installing an amateur radio in the Red Cross offices. In 1998 Gene was at the Red Cross office at the Admin Complex, working on the Red Cross radios, when he noticed a HF vertical antenna on the roof of the building. In typical ham fashion, Gene investigated and discovered the antenna feed line led to the County Emergency Management office. Gene met the director of Emergency Management, Mike Thompson, WC1EMA. Mike had a 2 meter/70 cm radio and an HF radio in the Emergency Management office and said he would welcome help from the amateur radio community. Gene contacted Tom Delker, K1KY, who was the ARES District Emergency Coordinator, about starting an ARES group in Williamson County and Tom was in favor of that idea.
Gene got a database list which contained the names of approximately 200 amateurs living in Williamson County. Gene sent a letter to the people on the list and received responses from about 40 people who indicated that they would be interested in supporting an ARES organization. Shortly thereafter Gene had a kickoff meeting at the Admin Complex. It was well attended but no definite plans were made as the meeting was a get acquainted session, and the purpose was to see who wanted to participate in an ARES group. Shortly after this meeting, Gene announced plans to leave the area and subsequently moved away.