ARRL Centennial Trip:
Our trip to the ARRL Centennial was all we expected and more. Taking the car on the ferry is the way to go. Driving around is no big deal but taking the ferry makes the trip more fun and relaxing.
We took the 6 AM ferry across Long Island Sound, the remainder of the drive to Hartford was about an hour. Unlike Long Island, the commuter traffic into Hartford was minimal.
The Hotel and Convention Center were outstanding and my guess, based on the people attending the dinner; is that there were about 1000 people who attended the full schedule.
The forums were well done and most has standing room only. I attended the DX, QRP, RFI and Amateur Satellite forums.
Once you have made the pilgrimage to Dayton as we did last year, any Hamfest/Flea Market is small in comparison. The ARRL did a good job of bringing the major vendors in as well as many groups and organizations from around the globe. I was surprised that TenTec was nowhere to be found.
Rick Roderick K5UR was the guest speaker at the Thursday luncheon. Let me just say Rick’s record of personal achievements and Ham Radio awards were truly amazing. Rick’s Ham Radio stories were great to listen to and also humorous in some cases.
Rick’s focus as a motivational speaker was to incite us older Hams to build an ARRL / Amateur Radio LEGACY for the next 100 years. Our takeaway was to elmer young people and preserve the future of Amateur Radio.
The True Magic of Ham Radio:
When my friend John (WA2KSM) and I sat down at the luncheon which was attended by over 900 people, a man sat down next to John. He looked over at John’s name tag and said Your badge is labeled wrong!
Your name is Jack not John and you live in Hicksville, NY not Shirley. John looked at him and said… How did you know that? The gentleman’s name is Bob MD0CCE from the Isle of Man!
Bob proceeded to tell John that he originally lived in Westbury, NY and in 1961 John was his first ever CW QSO as a novice!
What other hobby could randomly bring together two Hams that had their first QSO 53 years ago.