eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net



[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

The Flea Market

from Don Keith, N4KC on April 12, 2013
View comments about this article!

THE FLEA MARKET
A short story by Don Keith N4KC
http://www.n4kc.com/ http://www.donkeith.com/

Jerry Lowe leaned back in his folding chair as far as he dared without tipping it over and stretched his aching back. It was almost 8:30 and most of the early “lookers” had already filed past his couple of folding tables piled high with various amateur radio treasures. The hamfest theoretically opened its doors at 8 but the early-birds seeking bargains had begun showing up in the boneyard well before 7, while Jerry was still pulling stuff from the trunk and rear seat of his car and strategically arranging each item on the tables. Some of the early guys would be back with lower offers later, he knew. Some he would likely accept, others he would just grin and nod “No!” He needed the room in his shack and shop, but he was not about to give anything away. Gas was $3.60 a gallon. It was true, too, that he needed cash in case he spotted something else he could not live without. This particular fest had a reputation for having good items in its flea market.

Finally, Jerry stood, yawned (the alarm clock had caused a lot of QRM at 4:30 that morning), stretched, and took advantage of the lull to survey the tailgaters lined up across from and to each side of him. He immediately recognized some of the stuff from previous hamfests and swap meets. Some still had the same hand-lettered signs Scotch-taped to their fronts with the same exorbitant prices. Others might have been familiar gear but they were on different tables this particular morning. Seemed like some of it got bought sold over and over. The old Kenwood transceiver with the meter hanging by its leads out of the front panel like a gouged-out eyeball. The dirty stack of old, rusty military surplus gear that was certainly worth more as scrap than anything else, but absolutely nowhere near the price the OM had on it. The twisted Mosley beam that appeared to have had a violent entanglement with a tree. The stacks of old QST and CQ magazines. The nicotine-enhanced Swan 350 with the bent corner on its case signifying a rough landing at some point in its long, long life.

But then something caught Jerry’s eye, a bit of gray front panel and the distinctive Collins logo. A 75-S3 receiver, right across from him. Jerry felt a tingle run up his spine. He stepped around his table and crossed the row to get a closer look, keeping a sideways view of his own table in case he got a shopper.

“How much you asking for that old Collins receiver?” he asked the man behind the table.

“$750.” The man wore a Collins logo belt buckle. Anyone with a Collins logo belt buckle surely knew how to handle the care and feeding of such a fine piece or gear. Unfortunately, he also was aware of its true value.

“What’s wrong with it?” Jerry asked. He did not mind a fixer-upper.

“Just like brand new. I re-capped it myself and used it on the air up until a couple of weeks ago. Never been around cigarette smoke, either. Works as good as the day Art Collins soldered it all together.”

Jerry twisted the knobs and tried to get a glimpse inside. The receiver was clean, all right. Knobs and switches were properly nimble and tight. Meter case and dial clear.

“Yeah, but how much would you take?”

“$750.”

Jerry scratched his chin.

“Why are you selling it, then?”

“I’ve been wanting another KWM-2 since I got rid of my last one,” Collins Belt Buckle answered. “I love them things but people keep offering me too much money for them and I can’t turn ‘em down. I got a KWM-2-sized hole on my shelf, just waiting.”

“OK, I have a couple of items on my table I’d have to sell first, but I’d give you $650 cash for it if I do.”

The man looked up and down the way to be sure nobody could hear their haggling.

“Tell you what,” the man replied in a half-whisper. “You bring me $650 cash, she’s yours. That’s how bad I want that KWM-2. And if you get her home and she doesn’t work the way I say she will, we’ll un-do the deal. Money back guarantee’s hard to beat.”

The two men shook hands and Jerry retreated to where he was set up, but he could not help gazing back at the receiver he coveted so much. It seemed to be uttering his call sign, calling his name. Carefully, he moved his immaculate Johnson Viking Ranger II transmitter and Hammarlund HQ-170 to a more prominent position on one of the tables and re-did a sign to say, “Complete vintage station: $800.” If he could get anywhere close to that price, that beautiful Collins would be his.

Not two minutes later, a tall, slender man wearing a “Know Code” tee shirt ambled by, stopped, came back, looked, and lovingly touched the big VFO knob on the Ranger.

“First radio I ever had, that Ranger,” he said quietly, as if reminiscing about a prom date. “I still do some AM with my new-fangled transceiver, but man, these babies sure sound good on AM. Always wanted me a Hammarlund, too. How much you take for them?”

“$800,” Jerry said, without hesitation. “If you’ve checked, they’re worth a couple hundred more. In great shape, too.”

The man moved the VFO knob so the pointer arced up and down the band, turned the receiver’s dial to match the frequency, and finally looked up. Jerry did not miss the hunger in Know Code’s eyes. He wanted this station for his very own.

“Tell you what,” the man finally said. “I got an Icom transceiver on my table up the way. If I sell that for what I need to get for it, I’d give you $700 for the pair.”

Jerry watched a flock of crows claim a hickory tree at the far end of the flea market. They cackled and cawed and haggled at each other as they jockeyed for the best perch.

“Okay, it’s a deal,” Jerry told Know Code. “But I can’t hold them for you or guarantee they’ll still be here at this price.”

“Understood, but the old Icom is priced to sell and I’ve had some tire-kickers already.”

Jerry watched the tall fellow hurry back up the way to a table behind a big pickup truck. Jerry yawned and then eased back into his chair, answered a few question from others who stopped by. A couple of them made silly, low-ball offers on the Ranger and HQ-170. He sold a plug and a cable or two, but for only a few dollars, not nearly enough to claim the Collins.

When he had a chance, he kept an eye on Know Code’s setup. He really needed the guy to move that Icom so they could do their own deal. Sure enough, in a few minutes, a fellow in a GigaParts baseball cap stopped at Know Code’s table. He spent several minutes turning the knobs on what appeared to be an older hybrid Icom transceiver on the other ham’s table. They talked, laughed, and talked some more. Finally, GigaParts Cap pointed down the row of tailgaters, gestured affirmatively, and shook Know Code’s hand.

Jerry nodded at the fellow as he passed his position but the man walked with a purpose, back to a big SUV with its rear gate up and its back end full of gear. He quickly moved a big linear amplifier from beneath a stack and to a more prominent location. He scrawled something on a sign before taping it to the amp’s front.

Jerry knew at once what was going on. GigaParts Cap had to sell the amp to buy Know Code’s transceiver. And that would enable Know Code to buy Jerry’s transmitter and receiver. And ultimately, Jerry could go over and take possession of the 75-S3. Collins Belt Buckle would have to locate his own KWM-2.

The newly uncovered amp down at GigaParts Cap’s setup immediately caught some interest from a guy in an Elecraft jacket. Jerry watched with interest as the two hams haggled, laughed, and haggled some more. By the time they shook hands—preceded by Elecraft Jacket pointing back toward the far end of the flea market to where he had his own flea market setup—the flock of crows had abandoned the hickory tree and were looking for worms and other tidbits in a big field at the far side of the building, beyond where the indoor hamfest activities were being held. The population of crows had grown considerably and so had their fussing.

Jerry sold a few five-dollar items and an HT with a bad battery—totally disclosed to its new owner, of course—but his attention stayed on Elecraft Jacket as he walked away from GigaParts Cap’s place. He followed him all the way to a truck at the very end of the tailgate section. It was piled high with tower sections, rotors, and various antennas and parts. Aluminum and steel sprouted everywhere. Even from that distance, and even with the distraction from the casual lookers at his tables, Jerry could see that he had put a new price on something in his truck, and that it had attracted some quick attention.

“I’ll give you $200 for the Viking Ranger,” someone offered, interrupting Jerry’s observations.

“I wouldn’t sell you the tubes out of it for that!” Jerry responded with a grin.

“How much, then, for just the transmitter?”

“I already have an offer for the set,” Jerry told him.

“Shoot, I got three HQ-170s already. I bring one more in, I’ll need a divorce lawyer. But I’d love to have the Ranger. How much?” The man pulled his billfold from his hip pocket and opened it. It was obese with twenties.

Jerry looked at the lovely Collins on the table across from him. It fairly gleamed in the early spring sunlight. And down the way, at the truck full of towers, Elecraft Jacket had shaken hands with a fellow in a University of Georgia sweat shirt, and that guy was already double-timing back to a table stacked high with VHF and UHF repeaters and base station antennas.

Things were getting more complicated but they were still stirring.

“Naw,” Jerry told him. He could already hear that fine audio spilling out the speaker from the 75-S3. “Come on back after lunch and if I still have it, we can talk.”

As the man reluctantly ambled away, Jerry glanced again at Georgia Sweatshirt. He was shifting around a particularly nice looking repeater so it could more easily be seen by passersby. In no time at all, a couple of guys wearing shirts embroidered with the local club’s logo walked up. Jerry had heard the club had been planning on adding a backup repeater for the .98 machine. With any luck, they had just decided on a purchase and it would keep this complex “circle of life” in motion.

There was a sudden ruckus over in the open field. Someone had apparently tossed a half-eaten hamfest hotdog that way and the crows were fluttering, squawking, fighting for the morsel. A couple of kids had joined in the fray, throwing out bits of popcorn, and that only contributed to the noise.

Meanwhile, Club Repeater Guys were already shaking hands with Georgia Sweatshirt, pointing back toward the table where the club had stacks of donated gear they were trying to sell to enhance the treasury. Obviously, they needed to move an item or two to be able to afford the backup repeater system.

Jerry tried to tune out the QRM from the flock of crows and looked toward the club’s table. Volunteers at a club table would not necessarily be as aggressive in moving items. This snag might derail the whole round-robin that had been so promising for all concerned up to this point.

However, somebody familiar was now standing over there at the club tables, blocking Jerry’s view as the man studied a particular item.

Wait. Wasn’t that Collins Belt Buckle, the owner of the 75-S3 Jerry desired so badly? The man shifted his position slightly and Jerry could see that he had been lovingly caressing what appeared to be a Collins KWM-2 transceiver. And he was telling the volunteer behind the table something, even as he pointed to where Jerry sat, watching, stretching, holding his ears to block out the screeching of the black birds in the nearby field.

That’s when Jerry realized what had to happen.

Collins Belt Buckle was already marching his way, a determined look on his face.

“You still want the receiver or not?” he asked loudly as he drew near, to be heard over the crows. “I just became a motivated seller.”

Jerry looked down the way, toward where Know Code had been trying to sell his Icom transceiver. Sure enough, Know Code was looking his way, as if he had figured out what was happening, too.

Jerry pointed toward Collins Belt Buckle and did an exaggerated questioning shrug of his shoulders. You still want the Ranger and Hammarlund?

Know Code gave him the “Wait!” sign with the palm of his hand. Jerry turned and, remarkably, GigaParts Cap was watching them both from the other direction. He gave Know Code a tentative thumbs-up, then the same “Wait!” signal, and turned to look even farther down the way, toward where Elecraft Jacket stood next to his stack of galvanized gravity-defiance sticks.

It took only a casual wave by GigaParts Cap to attract Elecraft Jacket’s attention there at his own table. He nodded animatedly and started jogging up the way to Georgia Sweatshirt’s table full of repeaters. The two men nodded and shook hands again and Georgia Sweatshirt trotted over to the club table.

The two Club Repeater Guys were just leaving the club table, bound for the snack bar inside. Thirty seconds later and they would have been gone. Georgia Sweatshirt flagged them down and pointed to each of the other hams’ setups and then, finally, to the club table, explaining to them what was going on. They all enjoyed a laugh.

Thankfully, the flock of crows had flown on, looking to scavenge and pore over morsels somewhere else. Time temporarily stood still as Jerry quickly considered the situation.

For anything to happen, one of the various cogs in this wheel would have to let go some dollars. That would start the chain reaction. But, once the big deal started, if even one of them balked on a pre-arranged deal, somebody in line—and maybe most of them—would be left holding the bag. Or a piece of gear, at any rate.

Jerry stood and walked over to Collins Belt Buckle, took out his wallet, and peeled off enough bills to complete the transaction. Thank goodness for that last-minute stop at the ATM that morning. He made sure everybody else involved saw that he was starting the snowball, right then and there.

He hauled the beautiful Collins receiver back over and placed it lovingly beneath a blanket in the back seat of his car. He was thrilled, not just at the price but at what appeared to be a fine piece of American craftsmanship that now belonged to him. He couldn’t wait to get it home, get it on the table in the shack, and hook up AC and an antenna.

When he turned around, Know Code stood there, money in hand, ready to consummate the deal. Jerry thanked him, put the cash in his newly-emptied wallet, and helped complete the transaction by carrying the heavy Ranger transmitter for the buyer. Meanwhile, Know Code hugged the big Hammarlund receiver close to his chest, a grin on his face, as they made their way up to his vehicle.

GigaParts Cap was already there, waiting for them. He helped them put the gear into Know Code’s truck and, as Jerry headed back to his own table, those two hams quickly settled up.

GigaParts Cap winked at Jerry as he double-timed back past him, proudly carrying the transceiver he had just purchased. He was on the way to where Elecraft Jacket was already standing at the SUV, lovingly studying the meters on the front of the big amp. Jerry watched as both of them lifted and carried the after-burner down to where the truck full of tower sections sat.

With the amp safely deposited in the truck’s crew-cab, both men helped Georgia Sweatshirt carry multiple tower sections back and lay them down on the asphalt next to his truck. They carefully avoided toting them too close to the precarious mountain of repeaters and antennas, circumventing a costly avalanche.

Club Repeater Guys joined to help in moving the last of the tower sections, and then they consummated the deal with Georgia Sweatshirt on the repeater and antenna, happily toting the pieces over to the club table. There, Collins Belt Buckle was carefully counting out the bills—some of them the very ones Jerry had given him only moments before for the 75S-3—and excitedly collecting his KWM-2.

The sun was now warm on Jerry’s face as he eased back down into the chair, and, after the early rise that morning and the drive over to the hamfest, he was on the verge of dozing off. He was starting to dream of the 75-S3 and how great it would accent his shack. He already had a manual and had printed out some mods he wanted to try.

Just then, someone walked up to his table, casting enough of a shadow to pull him back from the approaching dream.

“How much you asking for the FT-1000?” The man had a big “I DO YAESU” button on his hat.

“Tell you the truth, I don’t much want to sell it,” Jerry told him honestly. “I just don’t need it and brought it down to see what it might bring.”

Yaesu Button rubbed his chin and made an enticing offer, more than Jerry would have imagined.

“Well, sir, I’d sell it for that, I guess.”

Yaesu Button glanced down the length of the boneyard to where a young, blonde lady sat behind a heap of computers, telephones, and odds and ends of various ham gear.

“Tell you what,” the man said. “I need to sell a couple more particular items, and when I do, I’ll come back and grab this baby. If you still have it by then.”

Jerry thought for a moment. On the trip up to deliver the Ranger to Know Code, he had noticed a particularly nice looking Collins 32-S3 transmitter on somebody’s tailgate. He snuck a glance. Yep, it was still there.

A single crow had just settled into the top limbs of the hickory tree. The bird let out a screech eerily similar to some noises Jerry had heard in some DX pileups. Soon, he knew, the tree’s branches would be filled with its brethren.

“Okay, here’s the deal. I’ll be here ‘til about 2 o’clock...”




(N4KC maintains two web sites. His personal/professional site is http://www.donkeith.com/ and his site dedicated to amateur radio—including many articles and stories similar to this one, is http://www.n4kc.com/. He also blogs on the subject of rapid technological change and its effect on media, society and amateur radio. That blog is at http://n4kc.blogspot.com/ )

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
The Flea Market  
by K1CJS on April 12, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the entertaining story. 73!
 
The Flea Market  
by KD2E on April 12, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I dunno....Those sound like epay prices to me!!
Great story...makes me want to go to a hamfest soon :-)
 
The Flea Market  
by W1JKA on April 12, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Great story from a great writer,was the sub title [Every Ham's Dream]? The perfect script for an interesting video.
 
RE: The Flea Market  
by W8AAZ on April 12, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
THe real story is, if you spot something you want early on, and the price is good for you, best get it. IF you take time to look around and mull it over, it will be gone, later. This applies to vintage stuff mostly. Hoping you can time your sales to get cash in time to grab the gem is risky business. Have a cash reserve. Your stuff will then sell eventually, but you have the bird in hand by then.
 
The Flea Market  
by WI4P on April 12, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Nice read Don. I just wish my last few hamfests had that many active traders and that much neat gear in the boneyard.
 
The Flea Market  
by VA6LM on April 12, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Very nice story. You are a gifted writer and I really enjoyed the way you put in extra visuals. I guess both the hams and the crows were winners!!
 
The Flea Market  
by N0PSH on April 12, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Too funny! I remember back in the late 90's when I lived in N.C. and several of us would go to the Benson Hamfest, heck most of our stuff was sold to each other before we took it out of the trunk. Hee Hee. Great read! looking forward to more articles from you. 73 de AL
 
RE: The Flea Market  
by K1CJS on April 12, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
'AAZ, I think you missed the quiet humor in the story. One big tradefest, and each of the guys waiting on another one to start the ball rolling.... 73!
 
RE: The Flea Market  
by KE7FD on April 12, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
What a hoot and true to life! Thanks for the chuckles.

Glen - KE7FD
 
RE: The Flea Market  
by W3TUA on April 12, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I used to go to the Benson Hamfest in the mid-nineties and, yes, most of my stuff barely made it to the table. Those were the good old days of horse-trading. :-)
 
The Flea Market  
by K8AXW on April 12, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Very good story! Very intertaining....

Whenever I read of a hamfest I'm always reminded of one where I had a couple tables set up to unload a lot of 'stuff.' It was crowding me out of the shack and had to go.

I enjoy hamfests and instead of simply setting in a chair until I got a nibble, I would stand for the most part and greet people coming by and suggesting "that there had to be something on this table that you need!"

Quite often this back and forth banter would get an amusing response and also quite often would result in a sale.

In the meantime my neighbor, with two tables of 'stuff' was setting there watching all of this, saying absolutely nothing.

At the end of the day I had unloaded most of my 'stuff' and my neighbor was loading all of his back into his van.

He paused and turned to me and said, "Do you mind if I has you a question?" I replied, "No, go ahead."

He then asked, "Did you ever work in a carnival?"

I considered that the greatest hamfest compliment I evere received!
 
The Flea Market  
by K3SSB on April 13, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Wonderful story Don. I can certainly see a bunch of characters, and I mean that in the very best sense, that I readily identify with. My kudos for accurately capturing a beautiful morning at a hamfest in America. I could almost smell the dew on the grass and the coffee.

The only issue that I would beg to differ on is the quality and variety of available equipment. Collins “S” line, KWM2’s, Yaesu FT-1000... I don’t know about your hamfest. My hamfest however, do not offer equipment of that caliber anymore. Oh sure maybe once in a great while, maybe.

The fact is that our beloved hamfest is slowly but surely moving to join the dinosaurs’ on the scarp-heap of history. I and the XYL and a few friends recently returned from the largest hamfest in the East. In it’s heyday it spread out over many acres, in many buildings with a hundred or so tailgaters in the parking areas.

This past Saturday we were greeted by a very condensed version. The above grand exhibit was now shoehorned into a single building and the tailgaters were completely eliminated. Ouch!.

My apologies for drifting off frequency, so to speak. I’ll get off the soapbox now and pay my compliments to a richly detailed account of an early morning hamfest in America. Well done.

tnx es 73

Tom G, Sr.
 
RE: The Flea Market  
by K9MHZ on April 13, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Those character names were a hoot. I think we find it so funny because it's all so true!
 
RE: The Flea Market  
by W8AAZ on April 13, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
CJS: No, I did not miss the humor in it. I have seen similiar situations or lived it. That is how I finally gave in and took a stash to cover some of the "ones that got away" when I could finally afford to do so. While waiting for my stuff to move. Been burned and learned.
 
RE: The Flea Market  
by K3OCW on April 14, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Great story.
Also K3SSB, I also was at that same ham fest & it sure was lacking without the outside tail gating. To me that is what a ham fest are all about: Walk up to the guy sitting on his pick ups tail gate & barter over his prices or the pros & cons of the equipment.

73
Mike
 
The Flea Market  
by NA5XX on April 14, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Last swap meet I went to, items were lasting about 20 min. If you saw it you better grab it. I was a few items and decided to think about it. When I went back to get them about 30 min later, they were gone. This happened at several different tables through the day. Several participants made similar comments. A good day it seemed for the sellers.
 
RE: The Flea Market  
by K9MHZ on April 15, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Ever drive into the flea market with your vehicles full of treasures during setup time, and have the guys working the show haggle with you over some items as they're taking your admission and flea market money?

I was almost sold out one time even before I got to my table.

 
The Flea Market  
by N4SAX on April 15, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Don – wow – you truly are a gifted writer! Excellent description of what certainly would have been a fun day for all. I had to laugh out loud on the “half eaten hamfest hotdog”… HA HA. Guess the radio club sponsors had pulled those poor old wieners out of a freezer where they had been dormant since last year’s festivities – probably thawed a time or two during their “long winter’s nap”.

Again, a well-written and most enjoyable story to read! I will definitely be checking out your other work!

73’s and thanks for the chuckles on a Monday!
Randy
 
The Flea Market  
by AE7VT on April 15, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Been there - done that. Have a few shirts and caps to show for my effort. Except for the guys with each pocket stuffed with cash, this is so true to life it is almost scary! Thanks for a good laugh, well written and entertaining.
 
The Flea Market  
by TTOMAS59 on April 15, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Jay Z vows he will do something about the bombing.
 
RE: The Flea Market  
by NB3O on April 15, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
This would be the SVARC Hamfest in Berryville, VA.
Lots of trees, vintage gear, some real sleeper deals, a third scrap, and Ruritan BBQ chicken at 11:30AM...
 
RE: The Flea Market  
by W3HF on April 16, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I love this story. I even told it to my wife last weekend (after I talked her into attending her FIRST hamfest). But upon re-reading it, I noticed that something was wrong.

I guess I'm just a stickler for details, but the sequence of "closing the deals" at the end is backwards. The way it's written, everyone uses their own cash to immediately "make good" the previous transaction. But the whole key was that all the deals were contingent on selling their stuff first, and Jerry is the (only) one who steps up and takes out "extra" (from the ATM) cash to start things off--after that it's just a domino effect.

Once Jerry pays Collins Belt Buckle (to start the chain), Collins should use THAT cash to buy the KWM-2 from Club Repeater Guys. And then THAT cash goes on to Georgia Sweatshirt, and then to Elecraft Jacket, and GigaParts Cap, and Know Code. The final transaction is Know Code's purchase of Jerry's vintage station, using "some of ... the very [bills] Jerry had given [Collins Belt Buckle] only moments before for the 75S-3."

Like I said, I love this story but it needs a quick revision to be consistent.
 
RE: The Flea Market  
by N4KC on April 17, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
W3HF, congratulations! You found the Easter egg! It only took five days.

Now, email me your shipping address so I can send you a free, signed copy of RIDING THE SHORTWAVES: EXPLORING THE MAGIC OF AMATEUR RADIO. My email is N4KC (at) DONKEITH.COM.

Thanks for all the kind comments about the story, too, both here and off-line. Glad you guys enjoyed it.

73,

Don Keith N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
www.untoldmillions.net


 
The Flea Market  
by K6CRC on April 18, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Well done. Fun to read!

I think it describes a HamFest from the 90s or early 2000s. Around here, the fests are full of worthless computer junk and old, rotting HP microwave test gear, and boxes of untested TV tubes. Occasionally, a nice boat anchor is on display, but the seller looks shaky. Probably hot, is my first reaction...

Still, it is fun to walk around once a year. Always some 'labor or love' projects on the tables, built by hams over the decades. There was an interesting article in 73, or Ham Radio magazine that inspired it. A Ham probably enjoyed building and gave them a reason to forget about the real world for a while. After all, isn't that part of the reason for a hobby?
 
The Flea Market  
by AE5QB on April 19, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I don't see a need for the transactions to occur in the order they were primed. The purchases were contingent on a sale, not upon the cash from the sales. How many times has a spouse said, "You can't buy X until you sell Y?" So I think the order in which things progressed were just fine fine. The system was primed by all of the gentleman's agreements (now that is a rarity these days). Knowing that each was going to purchase the other's goods was all that was necessary to make each and every member in the chain a possible trigger. However, once the reaction is started, it only takes one person to renege to totally mess it up. The entire chain of events was based on trust. Bravo amateur radio.

Great read, by the way. I enjoyed it.
 
The Flea Market  
by XE1UFO on April 22, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Most honorable N4KC, you are an amazingly gifted writer. You could have sold your story to one of the ham magazines for money to purchase your Collins.

Years ago, on visits to W5 land, I used to visit the huge flea market down town Dallas. I have heard it has pretty much died out. The last flea market I was at was Vero Beach/Melbourne area, when I flew up to the area for a conference. Got a few great deals there, including purchasing my Yaesu FT-817-ND.

I am also surprised nobody picked up on the humor of the Elecraft (QRP) guy purchasing the huge amplifier.

Anxiously waiting the sequel.

Steve, XE1UFO -- KA5SUT -- 6H1UFO
 
RE: The Flea Market  
by W3HF on April 23, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"I am also surprised nobody picked up on the humor of the Elecraft (QRP) guy purchasing the huge amplifier."

You're right. That's a nice detail that I missed.
 
The Flea Market  
by N1KDO on April 24, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Sounds like the LarryVille hamfest. And it sounds real, except UGA shirt guy tripped on his untied shoelaces and had to be medevac-ed, and the Jackets fan scooped his deal.
 
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Related News & Articles
Ham Radio Supporting Field Medicine
My Story: July 17th 1964


Other Editorial Articles
How I Saved On My Tower
My Story: July 17th 1964
Funny SMPP App Note