He gave me a J-38 straight key which I still have and is the only key I use more than 45 years later.
After I got licensed, I strung up a 40 meter dipole in the attic and worked the Novice band. Living in I was in New York at the time, I remember working neighboring states. Unfortunately I do not recall what rig[s] I had, nor what happened to them, although I do recall spending a lot of time at Lafayette Radio in Jamaica, NY; and places in downtown NYC like Harrison Radio.
I remember hating CW at the time, and spent a lot of time studying it so I could my General with the idea that once I got HF phone privileges I could forget about code forever and just use phone.
The first time I went down to Greenwich Street in NYC to take my General, I passed the written but failed the 13 WPM code test. I was mortified and got an unwanted Technician license. I was issued WB2JTV.
In those days you had to wait 30 days to take the test again. I practiced and studied more, and the next month I passed the 13 WPM code test.
I know I don't have my original Novice license, I foolishly let it go. I have never been able to find a picture of me at my original Novice rig. There may be one around somewhere. I keep hoping to find one...
I moved to California in 1991 and requested a 6 call, was issued KC6ZZT.
Despite my original dislike of CW, nowadays on HF I exclusively use CW. The mic that came with my HF rig has been disconnected for many years and is covered in dust. Lately, I am one of the two main CW operators on Field Day at the local club I belong to. I guess I am one of those guy who can say "CW forever".