Freddie Gray, KD2XD, Net pioneer member Author w4phjPublished on November 17, 2011November 18, 20117 Comments on Freddie Gray, KD2XD, Net pioneer member TC Net pioneer member
7 thoughts on “Freddie Gray, KD2XD, Net pioneer member”
Freddie was the tireless net control on two sessions of the Treasure Coast Net daily, one on 40m in the am, and another on 20m in the late afternoon. He also had a South Jersey Net on 80m in the evening. From North Ft. Pierce a dedicated Ham who was also a famous Bandleader earlier in life. Thanks Freddie. He passed away on Dec. 17, 2007 at the age of 90.
Fred was born Frederick Howard Goldhahn on a farm where the Philadelphia Airport now is located. His dad raised pigs and grew vegetables. The whole family was quite musical. His dad played a concertina, and Fred and his siblings played instruments in a family band that performed at a local tavern. Fred learned to play the drums at his Methodist Church and played in the band there. As a teen, he sneaked the drums out and turned the church name to the back so that he could play music in the local speakeasies.
He met his wife, Kitty, when he sang on the “SS All In Fun”, a cruise ship that plied the Delaware River. After they were married, he started a big band and played at local ballrooms in tux and tails.
When the Second World War began he worked as a breakdown mechanic at Midvale Steel and played music at night at nightclubs in town. He taught himself to read music and to arrange for the band.
After the war was over, he formed a quintet called Freddie Gray and the Graytones. The group played popular music and jazz. The group also sang five-part harmony that Fred arranged. He traveled around the country playing at hotels and nightclubs. During this time he played opposite Count Basie, Marlene Dietrick, The Four Freshmen, and many other well-known groups. He recorded for National Records, and the vocal group was supposed to be regulars on the Arthur Godfrey Show until a female vocal group, The Maguire Sisters were hired. Fred played music in the clubs around Philadelphia and New Jersey until he retired and moved to Florida in 1988. He played outside parties until he was 90.
In the 1976 he became involved in ham radio. He started with CB’s and finally became entranced with the idea of reaching people throughout the world. He studied Morse Code and passed all of his tests. Radio became one of the most important things in his life. The ham club in Vero Beach became his second family. He eventually ran the morning and evening nets and nothing would get him to go out to dinner or anywhere else during those times. He guarded the nets fiercely. Any one who interfered with the net heard from him.
When Kitty died, after a long illness, the ham radio was his life. He looked forward to hearing from his friends every day. When he was near death, we wheeled him into the radio room for the evening net, and he couldn’t operate the radio. He had forgotten how to tune up. That may have been the saddest day of his life.
Special thanks to Woody, K4EBK, for the above !!!
Thank you so much for doing this for my dad. He is probably smiling up there as he reads this.
Freddie was a great guy! I had the opportunity to visit with him a couple of times at his house not but a couple blocks from my brothers house there in Lakewood Park.
I also had the opportunity to work Freddie from Mexico. We had a family vacation to Mexico in the summer of 2006. I was heavy into QRP, and had my radio with me in Mexico. It was on the 20 meter net in the afternoon, Bill KE1GO, Freddie, and myself were on the net. I think it was shortly after that or within a couple of months that the 20 meter net went silent. I will always have fond memories of Freddie his friendship, and the Treasure Coasters Net.
I stumbled into this net in 1996. I had just gotten my license, and had no Elmer. Freddie, KD2XD and the gang tolerated my puny signal from an old Ten-Tec Omni-D, and a dipole hung precariously in the Mississippi pines. Thank you Freddie. God Bless. KM5MH
Nice piece about Freddie Gray - I knew him well - I was a member of the Treasure Coasters for many years. My father Ike Roach -K4QM was net control for quite a while succeeding
Creed - W4TZ, Net founder
Hope you are all well -
Lloyd - K3QNT
Hi Lloyd, I knew your Dad and Creed well. Both were great gentlemen and helped not only myself
but a lot of novice hams develop their ham knowledge. I'm also pleased to advise you that the
164.640 repeater your Dad started is not only alive and well, but has become a regional repeater.
I'm honored that it now has my call sign. 73, Craig