His name was Mickey Hicks and his call sign was WO6T. Mickey had an alter ego named Santa Clause who also had a call sign, W6S. Every year for 37 years, Santa was on the air reaching out to the children of the world from the 20th of December until Christmas Eve calling CQ, CQ, CQ, HO, HO, HO, this is Whiskers Six Santa inviting all children into my workshop at the North Pole.
Santa was always spotted on DX clusters worldwide with the call W6S and his web page encouraged Dad or Mom to drop him a request via ‘e’ mail detailing what the kids were asking Santa to drop beneath their Christmas tree. Also, Mickey rigged a CCTV in his shack so the youngsters could see Santa in his white beard and red costume operating from his shack at the North Pole. When you listened to the kids talking with Santa from Dad’s shack, it was immediately evident that Santa Clause was someone to believe in.
It was a magical time for both the kids and for radio operators worldwide. In the real world, Mickey’s shack was located in a high rise building in downtown Bakersfield, California in the penthouse no less. I used to hear Mickey from time to time in the pileups working DX. He was good, so good that he was on the DXCC Honor Roll. I worked the call WO6T many times through the years until Mickey became a silent key at the age of 79.
The call W6S has been reassigned as a special event station for the annual Route 66 celebration. Santa is alive and well and Mickey Hicks made thousands of children so happy…so long Santa (Mickey Hicks) Clause I know your station is still broadcasting from heaven and the world is a better place for you having been here. WO6T/SK.
A Very Merry and Blessed Christmas To One And All from my shack to your shack…