[AMRadio] Ham Fests

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Fri Oct 19 16:23:01 EDT 2007

On 10/19/07, david knepper <collinsradio at comcast.net> wrote:

> Wouldn't you rather see more ladies at hamfests selling their items next to
> their husband-hams with his old boatanchors?

That depends whether it's Ken's example or someone selling a table of
dishes and flatware with a 12v BC power supply on the table too. For
the most part, no.

> Would you rather have no hamfests at all?

That's obviously not the question. You're presenting a case of 'either
my way or none', which just isn't the case at all. You make prefer to
think this, but that doesn't make it so.

If not the top complaint/suggestion for NEAR-Fest, it was a close
second: Get rid of the non-radio junk! We've done pretty well at it
with the first 2 'fests and will continue to work on improving it
where and when necessary. But again - we don't bother folks who are
selling mainly radio or related items and have a few other odds and
ends on the table. This is the 'mix' that most folks appreciate, not
an all-out junkfest/flea market where anything goes. Keep in mind that
even though most hamfests are primarily flea markets, they were
intended to be "radio" flea markets. Otherwise, why bother? Why try to
spoil someone else's fun simply to make it acceptable to your taste?
There are thousands of flea markets around the country weekly where
you can sell other stuff if that's your thing. You can even sell

> When it goes, then what?

If the folks running the Dayton Hamvention choose to keep it, or later
turn it back into, a vital and vigorous radio event should it decline
to a mere junkfest, that is within their power. NEAR-Fest replaced the
well-established Hosstraders event that took place for 33 years.
Towards the end it was getting a bit lean in attendance and good stuff
and heavy on junk. Solution: add a group of folks truly interested in
radio, willing to put in the work and not tolerate mediocrity, and you
have a successful hamfest. More than just a flea market, and a lot of
work, but well worth it.

> Appreciate what we have and not for what we wish for.  Those days are gone
> and only memories in our mind.

Says you. The facts show otherwise, whether it's Belton, the 'fest
that Brian posted photos for recently, or any number of events still
taking place and improving. In the case of NEAR-Fest, we appreciated
what was left but made it what we wanted it to be rather than taking a
defeatist attitude. By "we" I mean not just the workers and
volunteers, but also the participants who take part and make the event
a reality, rain or shine. "Those days" are not gone, they are alive
and well. You just have to be willing to stand up and make a change
for the better instead of sitting on the sidelines waiting for doom
and gloom to happen.

The 'death of ham radio' and other doom and gloom scenarios may
eventually come to pass, but they don't have to happen in our
lifetimes or even after, as long as there are interested and active
participants to keep things going.

~ Todd,  KA1KAQ

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