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‘What an Incredible Lady’

Readers share thoughts about our Mary Day Lee profile and other recent stories

Mary Day Lee

This is just a note of appreciation for the article about Mary Day Lee by James O’Neal in the May 5 issue of Radio World. I thoroughly enjoyed it, since I do have an interest in women’s “firsts” from the 19th and 20th centuries. It was well written and researched.

I appreciate the efforts of people like Mr. O’Neal who take pains to preserve what may seem to be obscure stories but are actually quite valuable for lay historians like myself.

Rev. J. Beth S. Goss
Church of the Covenant Presbyterian
Arlington Va.

An Incredible Lady

I really enjoyed “Mary Day Lee, Radio Pioneer.” What an incredible lady; great to see her recognized for her leadership with kids and in broadcast engineering. The article was well written and the postscript really completed the story.

It would be nice to see the local SBE chapter near White Plains visit her grave site on a regular basis to clean it up and pay respects on all of our behalf; it would be wonderful to see a scholarship for women in broadcast engineering in Ms. Lee’s name.

Daniel Slentz
Vice President of Technology & Broadcast Operations

Female First Phone

Musing on a 2006 story by Buc Fitch, “The Demise of the First Phone,” I regret not having transitioned to a General license before my First Class expired in the early 1980s, if only for my ego wall at home.

I can’t find any information on exactly how many women held First Phones, but I was one of them, from 1969 on. My name was Patricia Anne Hamlin, later Collins. I was assistant chief engineer at WLBJ(AM/FM) for a good amount of time and a halfway decent broadcast engineer thanks to the continuing mentoring of the late Dean Maggard.

I’ve tinkered with computers as a hobby and the Internet as a profession through the years; but nothing will ever compare to the feeling of absolute awe in harnessing and directing radio frequency. It’s a quiet pride that lingers with our little club.

I’ll always thank the boys who let a 17-year-old girl into the treehouse long before it was the legally required thing to do.

Rachel Rosenfeld, formerly Pat Hamlin Collins

Loved the Goonie Boxes

That was a fascinating article about Bob Gonsett and his father Faust Gonsett, who helped to create the excitement on the VHF amateur airwaves (“Gonsett, Born to RF Engineering,” May 5).

Many of us learned so much from those early days of VHF experimenting and operating with those loveable little “Goonie Boxes.” I still have several. I hope you kept yours and are using them!

Bob Heil, K9EID
Heil Sound
Fairview Heights, Ill.