*The following text was taken from the Introduction.doc file from the RAIN Collection Volume 1 CD, available from http://www.raincds.com..
The following was written by Hap Holly, KC9RP, Founder and Producer of the RAIN Report.
MY EARLY RECORDINGS
My mother used to correspond with my grandmother using an old recording machine called a Soundscriber in the early 1960's. It used flexible discs about the size of floppy disks but a lot floppier. I would borrow that recorder and place the microphone in the open bedroom window to pick up whatever was going on outside. I loved the sounds of nature and with no airplane noise overhead or traffic roar nearby in those days, it was easy to capture the songs of feathered songsters like the meadowlarks and mockingbirds perched atop the telephone wire that ran along Avocado Avenue. … What a pity that none of those flexible disc recordings of Escondido, California survived the decades since.
Severely bitten by the "tape worm", In 7th grade I was given a portable, battery-operated Norelco tape recorder for Christmas in 1963 by my parents. It used three-inch reels. I was in heaven. Alas, my carelessness and the fragile design of the machine doomed it to an early demise, but the damage had been done and the archiving seeds permanently planted.
During my junior high school years I recorded what I called "rain music". Grabbing empty tin cans of all sizes, I would position each upside down under a stream of rain water dripping off the eaves just outside my bedroom window. Like a Caribbean steel drum band, the large fruit cocktail cans played the low notes and the smaller juice cans chimed the highest. The cans under constant streams gave me the basic rhythm line while simultaneously some short distance away the accent beats resounded from the intermittent drips. I learned some years later the racket drove my Mom and Dad crazy because the "music" was a bit too close to their bedroom window! What I would give to have saved any of those recordings.
In 1965 I began to record special family events, like Christmas. Many of those recordings were saved, thus started my archiving pastime. In 1967, as a sophomore at Escondido high school, I started keeping an audio journal. The open reel tape recorder became my confidante. I would talk to it often ... about everything. My blind parents and I got along well overall but there were just some things I as a blind teen did not feel I wanted to discuss with them; pretty normal actually.
After attending Palomar Junior College in nearby San Marcos for a year, I spent the summer of 1970 at the Adventure Unlimited ranches in Buena Vista, Colorado, where I was a bunkhouse counselor and resident musician. My trusty portable cassette recorder was seemingly attached to my hip or hand during that summer. Sometimes I connected my cassette and open reel equipment to the sound system in Valerie Lodge at Roundup ranch; that began the archiving of my summers there from 1970 to 1976 at that camp. My summer camp sweetheart, Stephanie Eckman, whom I met in July, 1975, has been my forever-young wife since August 28, 1976. I still archive important events in my life, many of which I am preserving digitally, like the MP3 files on Volume 1 of the RAIN Collection .
HAM RADIO PRODUCTIONS
In 1984 I began producing local ham radio programming as part of the newly organized BEAR Information Service, a weekly Chicago-based Amateur Radio program, sponsored by the Broadcast Employees Amateur Repeater. From 1987 till 1989 I produced ham radio programming under the name of the RP Report. Those archives will eventually be released as part of the RAIN Collection. In the early 1990's all my audio and ham radio production work became associated with the acronym RAIN, the Radio Amateur Information Network. I've been conducting interviews, scripting, editing, packaging and encoding RAIN Reports on the Internet since 1996. For ten years Mark Bohnhoff, WB9UOM. donated the web site (rainreport.com) and the necessary audio bandwidth for the RAIN Report at no charge to me.
I was honored to be named 2002 Radio Amateur of the Year by the Dayton Hamvention for my "years of service" to the U.S. Amateur Radio Service.
Today all RAIN audio is produced in the digital domain using Sound Forge 8.0, a suite of programs that enables the blind and visually impaired to do what I do. While the current RAIN files are produced digitally, all 100-plus RAIN highlights in the 1990 and 1991 folders on Volume 1 of the RAIN Collection CD were converted from audio cassette--an arduous task indeed. This first CD of RAIN programming allows folks, who are likewise fascinated with recording, archiving and listening to history, to own a piece of ham radio history for their personal use. Except for a reasonable fulfillment fee being collected by M. Bohnhoff Inc. the proceeds from the sales of this first RAIN CD will be used for the Dayton Hamvention presentation of RAIN.