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Radio Broadcast Technical Consulting and Sales
10032 Island Drive, Brainerd, MN  56401

  Mark Persons

My Personal History  

It all started on April 12, 1947, when I was born in Duluth, Minnesota.  Our family moved to Ely, Minnesota, in 1954 where we built, owned, and operated WELY Radio until 1959.  We moved to Los Angeles, California, Edina, Minnesota, and Marshfield, Wisconsin, where I graduated from high school and went on to one year of college.

Mark in Vietnam
After military basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, I moved on to U. S. Army Signal Corps School at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and became an instructor teaching repair of the U. S. Army's AN/MPQ-4 and AN/MPQ-10 Weapons Support Radar systems.  I arrived in the Republic of Vietnam in April of 1968 shortly after the Tet offensive and just days before my 21st birthday.  It was a tough year, but I lived through it.  The music of the 1960's was GREAT!  I've gained 30 pounds since weighing in at less than 130 pounds back then.  The unusual vehicle is a military M274 "Mechanical Mule" Truck.  You might think of it as the predecessor of modern 4-wheelers. The photo to the right was taken in 2009 on one of those mules.  See, I haven't changed a bit...except for the grey hair!
 I was in the 73rd Aviation Company of the 210th Aviation Battalion in Vietnam and repaired radios along with other electronic equipment used aboard the U.S. Army’s OV-1 Mohawk aircraft.  On the right is a retired, but very flyable, Mohawk at a 2009 air show in Blaine, Minnesota.  I didn't think I would ever see one again after leaving the service. 
 This photo of me was taken when I was a young Sergeant, in charge of an avionics repair shop.  It was a 12 hour per day/7 day a week job plus emergencies.   After three years of military service, I returned to civilian life thankful to be home and alive.  OV-1 Mohawk Memories article published in the July-August edition of the Mohawker newsletter.  2009 photo of Mark on the right.  Member American Legion, VFW, and DAV.

The OV-1 Mohawk is a twin turboprop surveillance aircraft with a crew of two. It operated mostly at night taking radar and infrared photographs.  A SLAR (Side Looking Airborne Radar) pod is shown on this photo of a Mohawk.  These aircraft entered service in 1959 and were last flown, in military service, in the Gulf War.  They chalked up an impressive record, but were retired in 1996 Only 380 were built and the few remaining Mohawks are in the hands of aviation collectors.  Many are still flying.  Some of those are at the American Wings Air Museum at the Anoka/Blaine Airport on the north side of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.  Also see the OV-1 Mohawk Association and a history of the OV-1 in Vietnam. 

The Mohawk Association 1999 reunion    The Mohawk Association 2003 reunion

Back in civilian life, I worked as Chief Engineer at KVBR Radio in Brainerd, MN.  I had helped my father build this station while I was still in high school in 1964.  Later I met Paula Timman of Brainerd and we were married in 1978.  I did radio broadcast engineering work for many dozens of stations across the country from 1979 to 2011.  Now I work in the shop repairing broadcast equipment and consulting on the telephone.

I have been an amateur radio operator (ham) with call sign W0MH.  First licensed in 1963, I am member #36456 of the QCWA (Quarter Century Wireless Association).

I have always been a TEKSPLORER (Technology Explorer).  The path led me into science and electronics.
Shuttle Pilot

The business end of a space shuttle.  One of the really fun things I have done was to attend Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.   It was four days of intense instruction for a group of about 15 adults.  We trained for and flew two simulated space shuttle missions. One mission was as ground control and the other was as a shuttle crew.   Training was done in actual shuttle trainers.

The Minnesota School of Diving offered a "Discover Scuba" night in Brainerd on January 8, 2002. It was a great way for 15 non-divers to experience what SCUBA is all about.  Everyone dove the the bottom of the Brainerd High School swimming pool (12 foot of depth) for about an hour. 

After it was all over with, I decided that diving is for other people and not for me.

Editor's note:  (left to right) Vern Smith, Terri Monroe, Peter Nelson, and Dennis Morris. Mark is on the far right and Deep Diver Paula is in front of him.  All but Mark are members of the Brainerd Noon Rotary Club.

Bumper stickers on my car:  "RADIO DOCTOR" and "SO MANY TRANSMITTERS SO LITTLE TIME." 
Current hobbies include ham radio, photography and website writing.

Questions and Answers:

What is your name?  Mark Persons
Do you have any nicknames?  Radio Doctor and MacGyver.
When is your birth date?  April 12th.
How old are you?  I was born the same day and year as David Letterman.
Tell us about your family.  Wife Paula and many dozens of friends.
What do you do in your free time?  What free time? Oh, Ham Radio.
Regular or decaf?  Arco brand Norseman Grog with French vanilla creamer
What is your rule to live by?  The work does not get done unless you do it.
What is your favorite TV show?  Modern Marvels
What is your favorite movie?  Blazing Saddles.
What was your first job?  Fixing a neighbor's stereo system.
Do you have any hidden talents?  Writing websites and amateur photography.
Who is your favorite author?  Clive Cussler.

If a movie was made of your life, who would play you?  Wally Cox, but he is long since dead.
What was your most embarrassing moment?  I try not to remember any.
What is the favorite place you have visited?  Duluth, MN.
What place have you always wanted to visit?  ARRL Headquarters in Newington, CT. 
What is the best advice you have ever received?  Don't take life too seriously.
What is the worst advice you have ever received? Become a radio announcer.
What is your favorite food? German.
If you were on death row, what would be your last meal?  Tombstone Pizza!
If you were on the cover of a magazine, which one would it be?  Radio World.
Growing up, what did you want to be?  An architect.

Questions?  Email Mark Persons:  teki@mwpersons.com       

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page last edited 02/28/2017