I attended the 46th Ft. Wayne (Indiana) Hamfest on Saturday. This year it also hosted the ARRL Central Division Convention. The trip (90 miles) has become a tradition for us as Ft. Wayne is a larger city than where we live and my XYL drops me at the hamfest while she kicks off our Christmas shopping at some large mall there.

Ft. Wayne is the biggest indoor fest in Indiana and given that it’s set in mid-November, it’s also the final hamfest of the year around these parts. Like most, this one continues to shrink a little with each passing year.

Oddly enough, attendance has remained strong but the number of sellers has been in steady decline. I don’t think there’s much chance of it going away anytime soon, but the growth in barren floor space is obvious to those of us who attend year-after-year.

I picked up a few odds and ends, and spent all of twenty-bucks if you don’t count the cost of my ticket. I’ve rarely been a big customer at any hamfest. Like most I’m there to enjoy some throw-back nostalgia and chat with old friends.

I bumped into the newly re-elected Central Division Director Kermit Carlson, W9XA and we spoke for a few minutes. Ron, N9RC is an old friend from Cincinnati who meets me there every year. In fact, his wife and mine shop together while we kick around the Coliseum.

I also got to catch-up with Bill Murray, W9VC. Bill is a Hoosier by way of Michigan. He retired not so long ago and now has more time to homebrew QRP gear and enjoy hiking and camping in various Michigan parks bringing his radio gear along. One of these days after I retire I hope we can plan such a trip together.