Tex, AKA Chris, was another colorful local, who graced us with his charm and presence in the mid 70's. Tex was from, as his handle suggests,  Austin Texas, and was living with relatives in our local area.  Chris was also blind, although he never let his handicap slow him down. Like many people who lost one of their senses, his remaining senses were much enhanced.  His hearing ability was amazing. He could give people "S" meter readings just by listening to the sound of their signal. I once sat next to him and watched the meter when he gave his reports, and he was almost always dead on. He could also tell who you were by the sound of your footsteps, and could decode DTMF  touch-tones in his head. It was not surprising that he was also a musician. He played guitar, and would often play songs for us over the radio. More than one of the women who hung out with us, was smitten by his songs, manners, Texas drawl, and his personality.   Country Girl, another transplanted southerner, was his biggest fan.  He wasn't hard to like though, as he was a real laid-back and easy going guy. He rarely had a bad thing to say about anyone. He became good friends with Al for a while, and eventually started hanging out on channel 8, when that splinter group formed in 1975.  Visiting Chris was always an interesting experience. He would be sitting totally in the dark, with nothing but the meter lights and the glow of the tubes from his Cobra CAM-88. Al once asked him why he didn't have any lights on, to which he replied, what difference would it make to me?


Chris also lived on a really high hill, and his signal could be heard further than many people who ran amplifiers. This was a source of frustration for Al, who could not accept that Chris' 4 watt signal traveled as far as his 200+ watt signal. Indeed, until Al finally got an eyeball on Chris, and saw his station (sans amplifier), he believed that Chris actually did have an amplifier, and was just pulling our chains.


In 1976, Chris got hooked up with Steve. What more could a guy, who was often ridiculed for his appearance, want than a blind guy for a friend? Steve had recently upgraded to an Advanced class ham license, and he was pushing Chris into ham radio. Chris easily mastered Morse Code, and he soon had a novice license. He soon bought a Yaesu FT-101E, and shared it on both the CB and the ham bands.


At some point he decided to move back to Austin. I guess he still had family back there. Steve used to work him on the H.F. ham bands from time to time, for the next few years. Eventually we just lost track of him. I haven't seen or heard from him since the late 70's.