I was licensed in Leesville, La. (while stationed at Fort Polk U.S. Army) in 1992 as a Novice (5 wpm) and upgraded to General (13 wpm) before they eliminated the code requirement. I stopped working CW mode for quite a while but have recently renewed my interest in it as well as developed an interest in the other digital modes.
I enjoy the occasional contest in which I just try to compete against my previous performance (not a serious contestor by any means). I can be found occasionally working 20m through 10m for DX contacts using a Hex Beam and more often than not less than 100 watts. I spent many years never keeping a log of DX contacts and only recently (9/2015) began logging to work toward DXCC and other awards.
My first contact after receiving my license in the mail was on 10m CW with my Elmer (one of them) N5CB (SK) Charles Brown. I think about Charlie often. His wall was filled with WAS, WAB, WAC, DXCC Honor Roll, etc... and all on CW.
I would also have to credit K5AG (formerly WB5NAA) Irv Garrison with also being a heavily influential Elmer as I spent countless hours in his Ham Shack watching him work the old satellites and asking many questions and learning a great amount from his experience. To this day I have never met any Amateur Radio Operator with as much dedication in the pursuit of working the satellites and obtaining a wall full of awards in the process.
If any of the old hams I would talk with or learn from in Louisiana care to contact me for a sched on HF just to reminisce about the old times or keep in touch - my email is just a click away.