In early 1979 I received my General ticket. This meant two big things to me: 20m access and SSB
The 10m band was in full swing then. Daily openings worldwide were the norm and, this being my initial exposure to ham radio, I thought it was always this way.
One of my first DX contacts on phone - and my very first contact with a station in Africa - was with Brian 9J2BO in Zambia. I was using an FT-101EE, Shure 444 mic and a Cushcraft ATB-34 at 15 feet.
I was still in high school.
Today, 42 years later, Brian was calling CQ NA on 15m CW.
I called him and we actually had a real chat - not a quick exchange of CW-mimicking-FT8 that constitutes most DX CW contacts.