My interest in shortwave listening increased and I got the Popular Electronics SWL callsign WPE1EJL. I had SWL cards printed and began collecting QSLs from Hams and shortwave broadcast stations. One day a couple years later, I heard a local Somerset ham on the air. Having purchased a callbook, I sent him an SWL QSL requesting a card to verify my reception of his signal. To my surprise, I received a phone call from the ham telling me I would have to go to his QTH to pick up the card in person.
Well, when I arrived at his QTH (K1JOB-SK), I was in awe at the antennas and his equipment. He offered to help me learn code, and that with my studying ARRL novice licensing material, I finally got my Novice Ticket.
A few months later, I upgraded to General. A couple years later, then to Advanced and finally Extra. It has been a wonderful 48 years!