After a hectic week starting/finishing some local things, it was time for the annual trek to my old homestate, where a small job occupied me in Athens, then over to mecca itself–Dayton–for the 2014 HamVention. This year marks the 50th anniversary (although no one seems up to celebrating this, mostly you only hear or read complaints about the venue!) of HamVention being held at HARA ARENA. 1964 was also the first year I attended, courtesy of old pal Archie Carpenter, then WA8FTX. I remember well the thrill of operating his TR-3 mobile (my very first SSB contacts) as we headed to the hamvention, heady stuff for a 16-year kid. But I digress….
This year, the weather was a major factor, with lots of rain (which drives everyone indoors, in close quarters), and cold temps the order of the day. Saturday even brought two hailstorms, followed by heavy rain. Not quite as bad as the snowstorms of the old April HamVention schedule, but spirit-dampening nonetheless.
Highlights? The hospitality suites, attended with tower climbing pal W2GD, which are always terrific, both in terms of meeting new DX friends who’ve made the trek to the Buckeye State, the Antenna Forum (where we were featured prominently in K9CT’s presentation, great PR, tnx Craig!), Thursday night’s dinner with K8MFO and the Ohio/FOC contingent (a tradition), and later being surprised by the Spurious Emission band’s cover take of “Ground Control to Major Tom,” switched to Climber Don/Climber John, as we were urged forward to stand next to the band as they performed. To say we were shocked/surprised/pleased and perhaps embarassed just about covers it! I’m sure there’ll be pictures showing up soon. And then just the spirit/camaraderie/fellowship of meeting contesting/DXing friends. Dayton is simply hard to beat!
Now, on to a small commercial job in GA, then over to TX, where we’re putting up a two-tower station for WG5H.