This is the key page to check for latest news and developments!
You Are LOST! If you have not
been receiving our general announcements
several times a year, it means you failed to tell us your new e-mail address!
Besides this web site, founder Mike Stimac and members of the St Joseph High
School Radio Club, W8KTZ, 1951-1979 are working on ways to locate old members
for our get-togethers and reunions.
2009 Apr 28: Adding to the "Member News", we posted material supplied by Bill Anzick.
If you recognize yourself or anyone else in those pictures please help us list the names!
HAPPENINGS & ACTIVITIES --most recent, first
2009 May 15:
A group of the '70s guys gather every year at the
Dayton Hamvention, and this year Mike Stimac joined them!
Al Cunningham sent this picture of 5 past presidents:
Here is a photo of Mike Stimac and some of the past presidents of the SJHRC in the flea market
on Friday May 15, 2009 at the Dayton Hamvention.
From left to right: Mike Metroka '71 WB8BZK, Jeff Ronay '73 KF8HX, Mike Stimac W8KTZ,
Al Cunningham '70 N8AGU, Mike Carter '72 KM5QE, Tony Emanuele '69 WA8RJF.
2009 May 15:
Rich Robbins '58, VK3RR (ex W8VNE and VK3ARR), in Australia, gave a talk to the Gippsland Gate Radio &
Electronics Club about the
SJHRC and Sputnik. Rich writes:
The talk was well received. They loved the video clips [used on TV for the
I conveyed the club's philosophy: "Here is an opportunity:
friendship and activities for the high school students, equal membership, healthy and creative involvement.
If an idea was there, --the door was open. Yes, just another opportunity, but make it
happen! Get the job done, seize the opportunity, forget the ordinary ways of the world
--just go for it! --and the bottom line was the constructive use of free time, and a career starting point
for many, [enabled by] the attitudes of Mike Stimac constantly managing to come up with
facilities for all this to happen."
The material from the [SJHRC.ORG] website and the stories Mike has shared easily filled an hour."
The feedback was very simple: “Inspiring!”.
(Click here for the http://ggrec.org.au/pubs.php link to the
GGREC website publications and select the May 2009 edition of their magazine.)
2009 Feb 13: This winter, we are beginning to build the "Member News, Memories, and More" pages, and we are starting off
by remembering Dave Mazi. (Click the new tab on the Main page.)
2009 Jan 21: Dave Mazi, SJ'60, one of the original Sputnik Trackers lost a long
and heroic battle with cancer. We will certainly miss him. Dave, who never let on, made the trip
from Oregon to to attend the Sputnik 50th Anniversary Reunion in Cleveland,
September 29, 2007; thus many of us were able to see him again after more than 40 years.
2008 Nov 18: Mike Stimac informed us of a successful "secret project" he had
been pursing, namely being able to regain the W8KTZ call letters! To qoute: "So now N8EXI is
and W8KTZ is in place. I hold the call but if there is ever a club station again, a small routine of
paperwork will suffice to make a transfer merely dependent on willingness of parties involved.
So another piece of our history is safe."
2008 Sep 29: The September 28th, "Last Big Reunion at VASJ" was held at
the school so that people got to see the last vestiges of the activities of the Radio Club, in its various
locations, as well as what was left in the Dark Room, and the Technical (shop) building from the "old days.
A total of 40 were able to attend!
Through the efforts of Rich Robbins working behind the scenes, Mike Stimac
was presented the VASJ "Distinguished Faculty Award" by John Sheridan SJ'58.
After the three main gatherings that we have managed during the
"Sputnik 50th Anniversary Year", we are going to take a break for a while and try to get caught up with posting
the rest of the archives and the mounting member info and pictures. Smaller re-unions will revert to
gatherings at the Cleveland Hamfest; and other small get-togethers may
occur on similar convenient occasions such as the annual VASJ Open House that occurs during October,
possibly Field Day operations and other functions and talks with local ham clubs and at schools. The search to track down
our old members will continue, and news will continue to be posted on the website when we have a chance.
2008 Aug 11: Rich Robbins '58 originally W8VNE, and now
VK3RR (and previously VK3ARR) who now resides in Australia, was in the U.S. this summer. So besides the September 28th
reunion we had a small get-together on August 10th at VASJ for the guys from 1962 and
earlier who remembered Rich, some of whom were in Cleveland for family reunions and could not
come on Sept 28. This also served as a Planners Meeting for Sept 28th.
2008 Mar 8: Dennis Skala has found US! --because he happened to
be doing a Google search of his own name --so the web page idea is working that way as well! We have been
especially searching for him and William Tom Hipp back at the time of the 2007 Reunion as they were
in the Sputnik Pictures.
2008 Mar 7: We heard from Stephen Butler, WB8UWK (1975), SJ-79
who was the last president of the club! This revised our estimate of the lifetime of the club
to be 1951-1979!
He reported that the club at that point was subjugated to small space as the then Room 323 lab had been taken
over by the TV course. He did manage to get money for a beam and tower.
Steve, who is still active with ham radio and very interested in satellite modes, put forward the proposition that
in view of the history of the club with Sputnik, it is only appropriate that
we work with the school and arrange to make ham radio contact from VASJ with the International
Space Station! What a great idea!
Steve is in contact with a few other members from his
"era" so we are encouraging him to get these guys on the roster, get on e-mail with us,
and form a team that we can work with to help make this happen.
2008 Mar 6: "Project MOONBOUNCE"! --Preliminary version.
Send us info to update who is in the pictures, and more details for the story!
We need pictures of the antenna rebuilt after the crash, showing the cross-polarized Yagis.
We also need to know about the parametric amplifier, where it came from, and when it was added.
When did Mike leave for Africa, and how and when was the antenna taken down. Who were the officers
for 59-60, 60-61, etc.?
2008 Feb 25: We expanded on the lead-in from the Milt Caniff reference
added Dec 28th and have now added the story "AFRICA" which Mike Stimac
wrote for FLYING Magazine in September 1966, and included some related stories about UMATT and Wings for Progress.
2007 Dec 28: We set aside other work and added the "Steve Canyon" tab in response to
Mike Stimac bringing to our
attention that coincidental to our 50th Anniversary of Sputnik, Milt Caniff was being honored by several
displays in Columbus, on this 100th year since his birth in 1907. His Comic Strip "Steve Canyon" featured
real life stories about the Wings for Progress program that came out of UMATT, started by Mike Stimac
after he learned to fly in helping to start up the SJHRC "flying program" with Bro Koller.
2007 Dec 20: Bob Leskovec again featured the Sputnik Display at the Gilmour Academy Radio Club Christmas Party,
and it was of immense interest to the both the students and the ham club volunteers from that era.
2007 Nov 19: Bob Leskovec gave a presentation with the Sputnik Display to the Gilmour Academy Radio Club.
2007 Nov 3: This was the 50th Anniversary of the launching of Sputnik-2. --Nobody mentioned it on the news,
--except the 4-part story continued in the Slovenian Paper.
2007 Nov 2: The November issue of CQ Magazine featured a nice two-page spread that was previously submitted
by Bob Leskovec.
2007 Oct 26: Ed Miller and Bob Leskovec gave a presentation to 65 students at the Applewood Elementary School
in Brunswick, OH and passed out literature for the students to take home to their parents and grandparents, in hopes
of finding more old SJHRC members.
2007 Oct 21: Bob Leskovec, Ted Alexander, and Paul Kadis manned the Sputnik display at the VASJ Open house from
1-4pm that Sunday, and passed out literature. Several School officials and staff kindly stopped by to provide moral support.
2007 Oct 19: The Universe Bulletin failed to publish a larger article previously submitted, but did publish
a short but well-placed article that promoted the upcoming Sputnik display at VASJ Open house on Oct 21, 2007
Unfortunately they got the call letters wrong as"W8KTX"!
2007 Oct 4: The 50th Anniversary of Sputnik was also the day that the Cleveland-based Slovenian newspaper
"American Home" came out with the 1st of a 4-part article about the Sputnik Anniversary written by Bob Leskovec.
(Ironically, more response was found via this effort than any other!) Even an old next door neighbor
of Rich Robbins collected the installments and then mailed them to him in Australia! --whereupon he heard about
our efforts and recently exchanged much e-mail and information!)
2007 Oct 4: The 50th Anniversary Day for the launch of Sputnik! Ed Miller and Bob Leskovec taped a news
segment at 3pm with Dick Russ, Managing Editor, which he aired at 6:15pm and 7:15pm on WKYC-TV-3. This story,
as well as the extended video
interview was carried for over 6 months on the WKYC server, so it could be viewed through a link on the main SJHRC
web page, but is no longer available.  A current link is still active leading to the still shots and story on the WKYC website.
2007 Sep 30: Ed Miller and Bob Leskovec appeared with Leon Bibb on his Kaleidoscope Program on WEWS-TV-5, to talk
about SJHRC being among the very first to track Sputnik. (This show was taped live on September 20, 2007.)
2007 Sep 29: A Sputnik Anniversary Reunion Dinner was held at Dimitri's
Restaurant in Parma, OH, and was an immense success despite the loud wedding in the next room!
Gary Miller Productions taped the event, and many still pictures were taken, by various attendees.
It was hoped that later a DVD would be made available including footage from the Sept 29, 2007 event,
but excessive noise from the party next door, overrode all the audio. We also have some silent "Sputnik Tracker"
video we made from 16mm film for the recent TV programs covering the the 50th Anniversary.
Perhaps someday we will make that and other video available on DVD, and a CD with all our still pictures
and other archives, as well as
an off-line operational copy of the webpage. Please mail K8DTS a CD with all your UNEDITED pictures
and he will process them and add them to the archives to share with others. Contact information is printed on
the Roster Information Sheet, via the "Contact Us" tab at the upper left of this page.
Many thanks go out to the 2007 Sputnik Reunion Planning Committee:
Ted Alexander, K8VPL, Parma, OH
Tony Bacevice, WA8FYW, Avon, OH
Mike Cegelski, K8EHP, Cleveland, OH
Fred Imm, K8EVB, Chesterland, OH
Bob Kozar, K8NXF, Huron, OH
Bob Leskovec, K8DTS, Richmond Hts, OH
Ed Miller, K8EHA, Broadview Hts, OH
Mike Stimac, N8EXI, Reynoldsburg, OH
John Van Blargan, (originally W8VBU), Avon, OH
2007 Sep 23: Bob Leskovec and Ed Miller set up the Sputnik Display at the Cleveland Hamfest between the
ARRL and LEARA tables and got a lot of interest and traffic. They were joined by Ted Alexander, and Mike and
Mary Cegelski. An interesting outcome was being visited by Jim Thomas who was recently licensed for the first time
as a ham about 3 years ago, but more interesting is that he has been the Chemistry teacher at St Joe's since about 1969!
Background Information: Currently the web site features the 50th Anniversary of Sputnik launched
October 4, 1957, which
the club tracked, resulting in much media coverage, including many live TV appearances. We thus
completed Ed Miller's suggestion to squeeze in one "reunion" near this date, which we just did on September 29th, 2007,
having invited all the members we could find at that time to commemorate the club's participation
in the Sputnik adventure.
We are looking for ALL members, from 1951 through 1979, not just the ones from the Sputnik
years. This website will continue to evolve to contain material before and after the Sputnik era,
like “Moonbounce” and "AFRICA" as more members are found and contribute their archives and stories to share.
The website is linked with that of the present school, Villa Angela Saint Joseph, 18491 Lake Shore Blvd,
Cleveland, OH 44119 through their "Alumni" page tab at VASJ.COM
Over time, we will build up archive CD's and DVDs that will contain material beyond the website, and
periodically we will make it possible for our increasing list of participants to receive confidential
copies of the complete roster information so that members may contact each other.
Please help us by contacting other old members and tell them about this website. Tell them to fill out
the Roster Information Form and send it to us! We will then send them a copy of the updated roster.
The Sputnik group appeared on many news programs as the time of the tracking in October and November, 1957,
and later live on the
WEWS TV-5 program “Inside the Catholic Schools” at 1:45 p.m. Sunday, December 1, 1957 which was
kinescoped. All the TV-5 and TV-3 film archives from 1957 onward were passed
on to the Northern Ohio Broadcast Archives at John Carroll University. However JCU reports that
strangely, they have nothing at all about Sputnik, nothing from any radio or TV station. This is hard to
believe since all major stations back then had news stories and recordings about this major event!
The group is looking for any tape recordings, films, prints, negatives, and written material about the
club, especially the
Sputnik adventure. An appeal is underway for anyone who might have copies or photos of that event,
especially tape recordings of the sound of Sputnik, Sputnik-2, and Sputnik-3 made by the club!
Since we started this project, the info and sound bites on Wikipedia have greatly improved and gotten more
accurate, and if anyone wants the technical info for the Sputniks, that is a good place to start.
Bob Kozar was instrumental back in the late 70's in getting his hands on the club archives just before most
of them were thrown in the dumpster! This included some (silent) 16mm footage demonstrating:
the Sputnik tracking in 1957, using the Orbitometer,
and then the Kozar-Alexander group working on moonbounce somewhere around 1961.
Ed Miller got that transferred to DVD
and Bob Leskovec has been able to load it to a PC where he was then able to grab frames to publish as
"stills". He also edited that and made a 75 second clip of the trackers in action which we released to the news media.
Meanwhile, we established that the original Sputnik audio tapes were returned by the FBI, and guys from the club around 1966
remember still playing the Sputnik tapes on the Concertone. So as we find more people we still hope to find
someone who took that stuff home and may still have a remnant!
We petitioned the FBI under the FOIA, to see if they made and kept copies of the tapes, and they have since
responded indicating they have nothing listed under "Sputnik" or any of the long list of key words we supplied them.
However, most curiously, only since that inquiry has a more credible audio sample now appeared on Wikipedia and is
credited to come from "Washington D.C."! Later, in 2008, the FBI indicated they may have found some printed references
to the happenings back in 1957, and the process of trying to get those records has been turned over to Mike Stimac
in hope the FBI will be more forthcoming to a "first party" request!