Hosstraders Flea Market is no more!

J Forster jfor at QUIK.COM
Tue Feb 13 14:25:44 EST 2007

From:     "Todd, KA1KAQ" <ka1kaq at GMAIL.COM>

> 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
> 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.

It was a HossTraders buy for a buck or two. Not stylish, but it prevents
a sunburnt head.

Can't recall the year, but I started attending when they were located
at Deerfield. Sure did love that site.

Some years, I could have made more money selling bug spray than
electronics. NH's state bird is the Black Fly. OUCH !!

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

Hopkinton was sure a nice site. The bathrooms at Deerfield and Rochester
were the pits, almost literally.

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.

The hard thing is the startup. Once running, apprenticeship works well.
IMO, it's a pity they didn't ask. Much of the thing must have been the
same year to year.

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?

Yup. I've passed on big, heavy things for such (and other) reasons or
made delivery to my car a part of the deal.

I don't think ebay has as much impact on hamfests as the lack of new
blood and overall interest in hands-on radio.

Disagree. I'm looking for newer, high end test gear. There used to be
lots. No longer. Virtually all gone to eBay. Now even the dealers don't
bother to go to fleas any more.


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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