Latest update 5/8/2023. If you find any typos or errors, click CONTACT WALT and let me know.

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In my retirement I have three avocations; Bible Study, Hallicrafters Amateur radios and cooking. The purpose of this site is to share my passions. Feel free to download anything of interest.

Home sweet home since 1967. Here we raised 2 sons, took in and cared for Reta’s mom, Reta’s brother and my brother. Not all at the same time.

The contents of this site are the intellectual property of the author, Walter A. Cates, WDØGOF, unless specifically credited to a contributor. All documents, processes, ideas, drawings, datasheets and opinions contained here-in are the intellectual property of the author. Any reproduction of this document for profit will be vigorously pursued.



 I was a farm kid. I hired out to do farm work, wrangling livestock, mowing, raking, planting, bailing, milking etc. My sophomore year of high school I started working for Haver Grover Veterinary Supply at their research farm in Stanley Kansas. I would ride my horse to work each day. It was 7 miles to work by roads and only 1 mile by horse. My horse loved it, when we got to work, he got a nice stall and pasture with fine hay and oats curtesy of Haver Grover. When we were moving stock “old Rusty” had to work. I was actually a Cowboy.

High ho “Rusty”. Me on my 17hand American saddle bred. 1958

After high school I went to the Navy and became an Aviation Electronics Technician specializing in airborne communication and navigation equipment. After the Navy it was 14 years at Wilcox Avionics and night school on V.A. benefits. Then government service. I did 4 years in a USDA research lab developing commodity constituent analysis instruments. Then 18 years at OIS, Spec Ops, Cryptologic training center. Do not ask what I did there.

When I retired, Reta and I took a few years, jumped into the truck, hooked up to the 30ft fifth-wheel and traveled. We did the 48 states and 5 provinces of Canada.

I am active in my Church. Was building manager for 12 years. Served as a Deacon. For 10 years Reta and I hosted a small group Bible study which I lead.

Two sons

3 grandchildren

5 great grandchildren


I was raised in a small town in Missouri.  My parents were 16 and 18 when they married and 18 and 20 by the time I came along.  I was born at home and Daddy helped to deliver me.  When I was four hours old Daddy took me to the filling station and garage to show me off.  My Grandmother was not amused.

I played the piano and basketball when I was a young teen in addition to being the all American tomboy.  When I was older I worked for Southwestern Bell and Wilcox Electric where I met Walter.  I am five and a half years older than him but he was determined and here we are fifty-two years later.  I completed my working career with GSA as a computer specialist.

I love to cook and coordinated the food ministry at our church for almost eleven years.  I host a small group bible study in our home, which is led by Walter.

God has blessed me with cure or remission from cancer four times (1972, 1980, 1982 and 2012).  





The “amaryllis” is native to southern Central America and northern South America. When the Panama canal was completed in 1914 most of the US workers returned home. They brought the amaryllis back with them. The Customs Dep. was rather lax at that time.

During the late 40’s Jennie Wild (Greenwood MO.) had the “mother” Amaryllis, Hippeastrum, Reginae in her home. When she passed in 1956 the plant went to her daughter, Elma Hatfield(Greenwood MO.). When she passed it went to her daughter, my wife, Reta Cates(Lee’s Summit MO.). It migrated all around our home for the next 20 years or so. During a remodeling project it got relegated to a dark corner of the basement and forgotten about. Two years later (2009) while cleaning up the basement storeroom I ran across it and set it on the patio to be dealt with later, I wanted to salvage the pot. A day of rain and a week of sunshine later it sprouted. No leaves just a bloom stalk and 4 blooms. Leaves came on as the blooms faded. I pondered this. Any  bulb that old and that determined to live, deserves some TLC. With a lot of careful attendance over the next 6 years it became very prolific. I have hundreds of plants and have given away hundreds more.

I plant the bulbs in 10”x10”x36” containers. The plants set outside during the summer. They winter in the garage which is heated to 45 degrees through the winter. I do not water them through the winter. Through the winter all the leaves wither. I trim them off as they dry up. In the spring I set them out and feed and water them (one TBS MIRACLE GROW to a gallon of water). The first bloom is sometimes right away even before leaves come on. During the summer, after about 2 weeks without rain, I can stimulate another bloom simply by feeding and watering. Indoor potted plants can be stimulated to bloom by withholding water five to eight weeks. Then water with MIRACLE GROW, 2 TBS/GAL of water. They should sprout bloom stalks in 6 to 10 days and be in full bloom a week later. This process can be speeded up by refrigerating the plant for two to three weeks. Then bring up to 65 to 75 degrees, feed and water with tepid water (75 to 85 degrees).

Every other year I repot the containers. Each mature bulb will yield 4 to 10 bulbs. I plant 8 juvenile bulbs in new containers. The juvenile bulbs seldom bloom the first year after transplanting.

Walter Cates 1-26-15



Reta loves to cook. She ran the food ministry at church for many years.