Saturday, July 10, 2021

We Went To The Hamfest

      Getting there was the first freeway driving I have done since the last pre-pandemic hamfest I attended -- probably the 2019 Indianapolis Hamfest, in fact.  I dislike driving on the freeway intensely -- there's too much going on at too high a speed to suit me, with cars moving in from both sides at once.

      But we got there; I don't like driving on a busy multi-lane limited-access highway but I can do it.

      The hamfest, held at the Marion County Fairgrounds, was small; the outdoor flea market was maybe as third as big as it has been.  The indoors area was full but uncrowded.  This is still much better than 2020, when there was no hamfest at all, and about what I had expected.

      2022 may be better.  On the (we all sincerely hope) dwindling far side of the pandemic in the U. S., a lot of people still haven't got back to the usual swing of things.  It will take time.

      I picked up a couple of tubes, a couple of books, some odds and ends of connectors, and eight nice lever switches (at $2.50 each!  Unboxed but never used.   The same thing new runs about $24 new -- when you can find them).  The books are a biography of Hiram Percy Maxim and a book on troubleshooting by the prolific and talented Howard S. Pyle, W7OE.  He passed away a year before I was first licensed, but I owe a lot to the books and articles he wrote and I won't pass up a Pyle book.  His work is generally full of solid information, good sense and the kind of ham radio wisdom sometimes known as "owl juice."

      We arrived a bit before noon.  Rain was threatening and some of the outside vendors had already started to pack up.  The "prize table" was in another building, along with the ARRL table, the Boy Scouts and an exhibit of old equipment -- Regency scanners and a homebrew receiver from 1934.  We dropped off our drawing entriee and headed for home, about an hour and a half after arriving.


Matt said...

That sounds about how long I end up going to one of the Weapons Collectors shows nearby; even the crowdedness (is that a word) sounds about the same.

As there is often a couple of huge tables full of both handmade Damascus knives and cheap chinese videogame style blades, as well as gear bags and jerky, if the show is small, sometimes it doesn't take an hour, even walking slow. Good thing it's usually close.

I don't often buy much, since I have little need for someone else's stuff, but occasionally there's a used holster find, like a Milt Sparks Summer Special in LH to fit one of my Smiths, or a UM84 in like new shape for a good price.

Antibubba said...

Matt, I suspect Hamfest has fewer beef jerky vendors, and probably lacks that one guy selling books about the Wehrmacht radio corps and authentic Eastern front telegraph keys.