A year without Dayton
Well, I guess you could say Iím a Dayton junkie. I have been to every Hamvention for over 30 years. When leaving Hamvention, from the time the wheels of my truck hit Basore Road, I am looking forward to next year's Hamvention. After a long, cold winter in Pittsburgh you need something to keep you going. I have been a ham since 1979 and I have about anything a ham could ever want or need, sometimes three of them! I no longer go to Dayton for any real need of parts or equipment. No, I go for the entire Dayton experience. For one short weekend a year you go from a world where almost no one knows what ham radio is, to a world where EVERYONE is a ham! And hell, itís not JUST Hamvention! Thereís Four Days in May, the contest dinner, and just about any gathering of special hammy interest you could ever image! I just love every moment of it.
Like I said, I havenít missed a Hamvention in around 30 years, ever since I started going. Imagine my horror when I discovered that my daughterís college graduation happened to be on the SAME weekend as Dayton? My stomach did a complete 360! OH MAN. Now, I would never dream of missing my daughterís graduation, but it was a hard time in the weeks leading up to Hamvention. Turn on the radio and there is someone talking about going to Dayton. I look in the magazines and on every ad it says ďSee us at Dayton!Ē The weather got warmer and my head automatically turned to Dayton mode. I could smell it in the air! I had flash-backs of standing on the loading dock looking over Mendelsonís tent. I could see myself walking up Audio Ally. Oh look, thereís Bob! Thereís the FISTS booth on the left. Is Nancy there? At the top I make a right and swing around to the Begali booth. Hi Piero, hi Bruna! It was pure hell. I would be missing all of it!
Now donít get me wrong, it is not that I was not into my daughterís college graduation. I was just P-Oed that out of 52 weekends a year, it HAD to be on the one weekend that I cherish over any other weekend of the year. Oh well, thatís the way it goes.
But, this doesnít stop there! We needed to drive from Pittsburgh up to Rhode Island. Thatís about an 11 hour drive. Along the way Dayton haunted me. We stopped at a rest area to use the facilities, I went to use the hand dryer and can you guess the make of the unit? Yes, it was a Dayton hand dryer! I walked out to get back to the car and looked at a car in the parking lot, the handicap license plate happened to be ď01 DXĒ. (No, it wasnít a ham car either) We drove past a Crowne Plaza. We stopped at a local hardware store in Rhode Island and they had Kenwood motor oil! I work on cars for a living and I NEVER heard of Kenwood motor oil? But there it was! Everywhere I looked some element of Hamvention was calling me!
Itís all over now. Another 300 and some odd days to the largest hamfest in the world. Another 300 some odd days until I can stand on the loading dock overlooking Mendelsonís tent. Another 300 some odd days until I can walk up Audio Ally. I canít wait. My friend Bob got an extra Hamvention program and had other local Pittsburgh hams sign it like a high school year book. I love it. I can look at others pictures and watch YouTube videos. Looks like the weather was great and no sewer pipes busted! (BTW that flowed right through our space last year. hihi)
The graduation went VERY well, thank you for asking. We made it safely there and back, the weather was great and I am one proud daddy. I am blessed. Despite the fact that I wasnít at Hamvention I still wanted to thank all of the MANY Hamvention volunteers. You do a fantastic job. By the way, if anyone makes plans for me next Dayton weekend they are going to land up with a black eye! The good Lord willing and the creek donít rise, I will be there in 2013. With bell on. CU there
So how did your daughter's graduation go? She must be glad to have school behind her.
I know exactly how you feel. It's been 36 years of cointinuous Dayton for me, some years rough but I made it. It comes faster each year so hang in there.
As a long time SWL, almost 50 years, but only a licensed amateur for 2 years, I've read many articles in various magazines over the years about the Dayton Hamvention. Also the many comments here, the youtube videos you mentioned, I don't believe 12-21-2012 is the 'end of everything', so I'm making plans to be there in 2013. It sounds like a lot of fun, and I can only imagine the vast quantities of old radios, test gear, and piece parts. Maybe I'll see you there!
Same here didn't get to attend this year either....My daughter planned her wedding for that weekend ..... and knew it was Hamvention weekend when she planned it over a year in advance. And of course we live in the Dayton area soooo the church was in N. Dayton, I had to drive by the Hara Areana and not stop! I'm pretty sure that every single vehicle I saw had Ham plates and nice antennas all weekend long.
This was my first year at Dayton and I was awe struck all I could think of was that I had made my pilgrimage to Nerd Mecca and loved every minute of it the people of Dayton go all out for this event and put on a great show, as a trained observer I notice that the flea market had a wonderful selection of components at good prices.
All in all I had a fantastic time and will go back next year and the year after god willing itís still something that every Amateur should experience at least once in their life.
well it all sounds fantastic and I even imagined myself being there and saying hi to you but the sad truth is I live in Englad UK and probably will never get there over here our ham rallies are getting less and less
Graduations are turning points. You would have regretted it forever if you had missed it. You may have missed one year at Dayton but gained an important life milestone for your daughter.
After finally making Dayton last year year, and planning to make it a yearly even, my son's graduation was that weekend! Oh well, it will be even more fum next year!