"Report?" Well, I did find a nifty benchrest thingie for rifles. Didn't buy it but it was kinda kewl and priced to move at $75.00, American.
But I'm ahead of myself. Hey, waiddup!
The night promised rain and the dawn delivered. Buckets of the stuff, as the sun rose, backlighting a sky that looked like the beginning of an old movie with the backstory scrolling past in Egyptian Demotic.
Pretty neat, huh? But not, as we say, hamfest-friendly. It was even making for front-porch weirdness, either that or my camera spent the night at a rave, Tam not at all amused by early morning snapshottery:
Somewhat daunted by off-and-on rain in the sunshine, I did the Internettage and breakfast things and puttered around, hoping the rain would pass. Since I was pretty sure even if it did, the mud would linger, longing (as it does. Oh yes, I'm sure of it!) to find the toes of the unwary and squelch happily among them, I unearthed my hamfest boots, the tallest Carolina Pole Climbers made, touched them up a bit, and made ready. (I loves 'em but OMG, I just saw Wesco Highliners...!)
Naturally, the day became darker and gloomier while I did so, and was looming threateningly as I departed. But with the same luck that makes toast fall butter side down operating in surprised reverse, the sun was glimmering hopefully through fleeing clouds by the time I found my way to the far East side and beyond, to Camp Sertoma. To make up for it, the humidity was choking-thick and the ticket-worker advised me to park along the entrance road, "It's awful muddy out in the field and we wouldn't want to have to tow another one out."
No, indeed not!
Ticket tucked away in my purse, I set off. The tailgate area was off a bit but not much. I passed up an Atomic Engineering VOM -- pure niftiness but I'm pretty well set for meters. Saw a nice Atwater-Kent three-dialer and a Johnson Viking transmitter, with a (matching) VF-122 VFO atop it -- what for, I couldn't tell you, as the rig's got a nearly-identical one internally. Passed up a Harris linesman's test phone ($30.00) and shouldn't've -- my antique version needs a serious rebuild. Reflective letters and numbers were a fun find; I got enough to do my callsign.
I did stumble across other small items -- nice ceramic crystal sockets, an Army FM covering "Field Wiring Methods" for telecomms (hey, y'never know). The shelter building yielded some nice driver bits (#2 and #3 Phillips) at a buck a go and a router bit (roundover) for $6, along with a Harry Turtledove paperback.
In the Commercial Building, I found antenna wire, antenna rope, books (yayy!) including one on vertical antenna homebrewing and a 1920s reprint, "War Toys," including plans for a "machine gun" firing wooden bolts. It was a different time! I also picked up a ballcap with my name and callsign embroidered on the front (I blame Tam for the ballcap thing) plus odds and ends, and then dropped off my ticket for the prize drawing and spent some time with my dear friend Don H. at the hamfest organizer's table. He's always got an interesting tale or three (would you believe his wife recently spent a long vacation looking for hobbits in New Zealand? True -- and she did find their homes. Alas, hobbits had moved out. Still...). And we admired the work of homebrew genius R. A. Meiss, who entered a single-lever keyer/straight key in the competition and came away a winner. (He doesn't appear to have posted a write-up for that key but here's another that will give you a good idea of the quality of his designs and of their construction).
All in all, an excellent hamfest.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
9 months ago