“Living in the Past” is often a derogatory term, but really has some good sides to it in many cases.
Amateur Radio is old enough to be tradition and history ladened, with the interest for each of us ranging from indifference to encompassing focus.
Dayton seems to cover this whole gamut – with fans of the very leading edge SDR SMC DRM “black boxes” to those stuck in an Edwardian world where any radio weighing less than 200 Lbs simply isn’t a “real radio!”
All of this is healthy – a respect for tomorrow’s technology and a reverence for the best of history.
There is unfortunately another, darker, side of “Living in the Past” at Dayton – being the dour, no lets be blunt festering putrid side of Dayton.
We drove Salem Avenue from near the Hara Hamvention site to downtown Dayton and were treated to at least 50% empty, and in many cases trashed, buildings, streets that were as rough as cobblestones with none of the charms and a views of humanity that didn’t inspire.
Dayton is in many ways no worse than many rotting cities, but lacks the pizzaz to at least tart up its public thoroughfares.
Several times we were approached by panhandlers, and as I described in my during show write up we had Dayton’s finest street urchins makes noises about fighting us. SImply wonderful.
There is no way I would spend the time & money to bring my XYL & family to a city as rough as this.
The Hara we’ve discussed at length. Everyplace I looked it was somewhere on the axis between filthy-to-foul, shopworn-to-sordid, fire-hazard-to-death-trap and in most cities would not be permitted for warehousing, much less a major public event.
Again as a destination the Hara simply sucks. It is a great unwashed armpit as an exhibition center, more suited to a backwater’s poultry show than a technology exhibition.
I am embarrassed for the impression today’s condition of the Hara and of Dayton that an overseas visitor must have on first site.
Many argue that it was at Dayton 25 years ago they met their wife, or have other nostalgic memories that override the festering squalor the Hara is at now.
This is the silly sort of “Living in the Past” where an old flaccid man brags about how 40 years earlier he could do pushups & do 20 miles runs in full combat gear.
Lovely memories, but the present facts are very different.
During the year I often get to attend other shows, and yes a few are even more rough than the Hamvention, but many are clean, polished, safe, secure, and absolutely the sort of place a family would be happy to go to.
If I travel across the country to see a Horse Show I want to see groomed horses in a clean arena, not stand in the muck in dirty broken down stables.
I am very much looking for suggestions on alternatives to Dayton for 2010 or even later in 2009, that would have enough curb appeal to take my XYL to, or even the whole family. Your suggestions appreciated. It would not have to be even in the USA, as we seldom go a year without getting out of country a few times.
More to come in Part 3 and further.
(Edited 22 May 09 – Grammar correction – naughty me & my spell checker had “gamut” wrong)