Most of you have heard by now that Ham-Com will be no more with the president of the Ham-Com committee announcing yesterday (23 December 2020) this fact.
If anyone thinks this is just COVID related they need to consider just a few facts…
- Many venue locations are pricing themselves much higher. The rationale is fewer events at higher prices means more total revenue at less cost to the owner of the building. For them it is a business model that does not accommodate the little events.
- Organizing a hamfest requires a team of many volunteers, more than a few of them, working all year long to assist their club in staying in the black. More than a few clubs remain in the red or just outside of it and struggle to get volunteers.
- I will add if you have never been a club officer or President of one, you sitting on the side lines have no idea of half the work involved in running a club. Consider this a call to step up to the plate and help your local club!!!
- Maybe this is a reminder to us all… go support an event, stop putting it off to next year and then next year… Don’t wait ’til you never get the chance.
As your ARRL Section Manager, and even well before I became a Section Manager, I have always loved Ham-Com for many reasons. It was close to home, whether I lived in Abilene, Louisiana or now in North East Texas. In fact even when we lived in Indiana, my wife and I made several Ham-Com events.
Texas is a big state, there are other venues that may grow and morph into our new Division HamFest within our state. Or we may be asked to embrace our Division Wide HamFest in a neighboring state. I do not know, none of us do as of yet. However, I am thinking maybe it is time for us to embrace a hamfest that our neighbors have. For many of those 41 years of Ham-Com, we Texans were the hosts to countless amateurs from other states near and far. I am prepared to support those people that always supported us and hope you are as well.
One thing is certain: 2020 will be a welcome sight in our rearview mirrors, for most of us. We will survive this and may even thrive on what comes in 2021, and beyond if we adopt a positive attitude of doing so.
Meanwhile if we can safely do so, show a greater amount of support to all the hamfests near you. They need support from all of us!
Unfortunately we are NOT out of the woods yet with COVID-19. Lamar County is a pretty rural area and saw a roughly 30 percent jump in active COVID cases within a several day period recently.
Paris Texas is not that populated to have these kinds of spikes. Drive through Paris and the rural communities around it, and you will see many non-mask wearers, many of them inside businesses, some are cooking food in the kitchen standing within 3 feet of others, etc etc. And we wonder why the COVID numbers rose to over 800 in less than a week!
I miss the fellowship and the camaraderie of being with others, especially fellow amateur radio ops, but at the increased risk of brining COVID-19 home to my loved ones, I am not yet ready to attend real live in person meetings. I will be honored to attend your club’s virtual meeting and if you need help with this, by all means contact me.
Please do what you feel is safe, for you and those around you!
And yes, I know some that have died from COVID, and yes, I know some that have recovered, as well as one that recovered and is forever changed their health, and not for the better.