Hosstraders Flea Market is no more!

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at GMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 13 10:21:16 EST 2007

On 2/11/07, J Forster <jfor at quik.com> wrote:
> Yep, that's what happens. You have someone that plans and organizes
> an event that everyone loves to attend, for years and years.
> But of all those that love to attend the event don't care enough to step
> up
> and help the ones that have been doing it for all those years.
> I have attended virtually every HossTraders since it's beginning, for
> years as a seller, but more recently as a buyer only. I can't ever
> remember the organizers asking for help, except when some power
> transformers disappeared. On the flea days, there always seemed to be
> plenty of Shriners around in return for which they got lots of money for
> their charities.

I must've missed you in the earlier years, John. I only recall meeting
you a few years back in Hopkinton. Nowadays the straw cowboy hat is
easy to spot.

Can't recall the year, but I started attending when they were located
at Deerfield. Sure did love that site. Many felt the move to Rochester
would kill the 'fest, and activity seemed to pick up when it moved to
Hopkinton in '99, which is much more like the old Deerfield

Having organized a small hamfest many years ago, I can attest to the
work involved. It's no easy feat, even with help. In two years it
became a sizeable event, only to have the associated club destroy the
event after we parted company. I can certainly understand the guys not
wanting someone else to take over their baby.

> Everybody wants to go and enjoy the event, but no one wants to do the
> work it takes to make the event happen.
> [snip]
> I think that there are people around who would have been willing to
> carry on, had the option been offered. Maybe more radio stuff will now
> migrate the the MIT Fleas, but I doubt it somehow.

Yep, I don't think it was related to the 'help' side of it so much as
the guys just getting older, and tired of it. One of the factors that
some of us in the AM community discussed last October was that we, the
active generation or group, seem less inclined to sell and have more
than enough stuff in our possesion already. We more enjoy the social
aspects of the hamfests. I stopped selling a few years ago after
getting sick of people pissing and moaning about the price of some
item (well below internet prices, even) and dealing with idiots in
general. I think this may be what the guys were referring to as the
'changes in the direction of amateur radio' along with the
plug-n-play-then-throw-away approach. I even had one guy who wanted a
receiver say to me "Gee, I've always wanted one of those, and that's a
really good price - but if I buy it, then I have to carry it back to
my car and I don't wanna', maybe thinking I wanted to sell it badly
enough to do it for him?

I don't think ebay has as much impact on hamfests as the lack of new
blood and overall interest in hands-on radio. Giving away licenses
won't help long term either, since it tends to attract people who want
something they don't have to work for (generally speaking) and they
lose interest fast.

If you'd have asked me 5 years ago if I'd be around to see the end of
ham radio, I'd have laughed. Now, I'm not so sure...

~ Todd/'Boomer'  KA1KAQ

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