When a person not an Amateur sees photos of Hamfest Attendees, much less the real people, they simply have to ask themselves, about you their ham friend, “Would you go out like that?”
Dr Suess hats to leather “Big Boy” 75m net “colors” to what looks like gardening clothes to impersonations of the homeless to characters who obviously feel they are one giant humanoid “utility belt.”
Really “Would you go out like that?” Really would you?
It was interesting to attend this year with my college aged son – he was quick to point out the countercultural dress of some of the Hamvention subgroups.
Rather astutely he pointed out that these were nothing more than consensus-arrived ad hoc uniforms to allow subgroups with shared interests to acknowledge each other.
You do see this in other hobbies. The music clef lapel pin, the “C & NW Railroad” cap, a pair of EAA wings on the jacket, or as I recently noticed a key fob with a miniature Falconer’s Glove with Jesses, Hood & Bell….
Usually these “in group” symbols are ok in polite company.
Yes somehow we are an exception, as some of our Radio Amateur “in group” symbols lack the social norms. You see other lapel pins than musical ones, see other logo hats and jacket logos, and other miniature emblems, but most hobbies don’t have baby book carton character hats covered in flashing LEDs, suspenders filled with cables, antennas, radio & emergency gear four-five times what even comic book super heros were drawn with, or even leather jackets emblazoned with radio net logos proclaiming basically “If you don’t have thick enough skin for us to insult, stay away.”
Not too many hobbies make a big deal of their flea markets, where you will find millionaires groveling through assorted rubbish of questionable providence dressed as if their personal shopper had an account only at Goodwill….. and end up paying over the odds in the bargain….
One has to question if they would join this lot and the question “Would you go out like that?” Would you?