Cactus, "John", was a member of the Channel 23 group when I first met him in the latter part of the 1970's. At that time he was a jovial, fun loving guy who enjoyed running high performance equipment.  He owned the Cobra 135, which would end up in Uncle Chuckie's possession and then finally landing in Art's hands, when John upgraded to a Cobra 2000.  He also had a "triple power" D&A Phantom 500 watt tube amplifier, which he enjoyed running even when he was talking local.  Cactus liked being the guy who won when more than one person keyed at the same time. John was home on a work-related disability, so that offered him ample time to yak on the radio. He, Uncle Chuck,                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and I started cruising the hamfest circles in 1980 looking for good deals on radio gear.  John even hooked me up with my first "large" mobile amplifier, a Golden Eagle 500. At some point we decided to take the plunge into ham radio and the 3 of us took the Novice test together which Steve administered in late 1981.


Things started to turn sour when Cactus started having personality problems with "Uncle Jimmy". I don't remember exactly what it was that ignited the dispute, but it got to the point where Cactus didn't want to be on the same channel as Jim, and he moved to Channel 25. Jim gave him the nickname of "Uncle Yash" (John in Yiddish), which only added fuel to the fire. When it became clear that the rest of us didn't want to be put into a position of having to choose between him and Jim, Cactus took it personally and pretty much blew the rest of us off as well, and served out his remaining time on CB in self-made exile on Channel 25 with a few "loyal" friends, while the rest of us moved up and started the group on Channel 30.  John eventually upgraded to a technician class ham license, and left CB for 2 meters. But he didn't stay around very long there, and I lost track of him by the middle 80's.

Today: I haven't talked to John since the 80's. He was heard for a while on 2 meters, but then pretty much disappeared. His ham call is still current, but he hasn't upgraded. Still, the ham bands are pretty easy to get lost on, so he could still be active.