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Yuma HamFest

I hold a radio amateur’s license, ham for short. Yuma has a Ham Festival every year, a gathering of hams at the fairgrounds. Every two or three years I go to see if they have discovered what relevance they have nowadays. The crowd gets smaller and older every time I show up.

No, I saw no relevance. Forty years ago they mattered a bit.

Funny observation. It’s traditional that during a hamfest, which usually occurred in out-of-the-way places, a radio channel was set up for “talk-in”, for directions to the site. They still do that. [How many ways can you think of to find the Yuma Fairgrounds without needing a ham license?]

Nevertheless some people do call in and ask for directions. Now, I know this is completely unnecessary for anyone, but it does offer an excuse to use that radio once a year. “Net Control” this morning didn’t have a grasp of things and gave out completely wrong and confusing directions. “take exit 3 and follow signs to fairgrounds” would have been the proper, efficient, and accurate message to convey. Instead it was “Take exit 2 and then get in left lane and take US 95 west, no east, until you get to Pacific, also known as 2E, then go past the Walmart….You know where the walmart is?..there’s a fast-food place there…used to be a tire store there…take a right at the airport…no take a left. There’s a light there…” And so on. After a while someone told him he was wrong.

So much for tradition, esprit de corps, specialness, and relevance.

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