Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dayton - Big Gun Mecca

The Dayton Hamvention is just over a week away. A yearly visit to Dayton for Big Guns is akin to the Muslim trip to Mecca. It is a religious experience that must be undertaken in order to complete your status as a real Big Gun. The majority of the Hamvention attendees are, naturally, and to be polite, not Big Guns. They are easily spotted by silly hats with rubber duckies spouting from the them and a utility belt of handheld radios that invokes vague visions of Batman.

Inside, you'll find the masses gathered at the Icom and Yaesu booths drooling over their latest offerings. But you won't find the the Big Guns there. They are over at the Alpha booth, not drooling but inquiring on the status of their order.

For the true Big Guns, the Hamvention proper isn't what they come for. The Big Gun Hamvention occurs after hours at the various hospitality suites, formal and impromptu, at the hotels downtown. Here, you rub elbows with fellow Big Guns, swap war stories and lies, and in general reaffirm each other's Big Gun status. 

Occasionally, a Little Pistol manages to sneak into these proceedings incognito. Those who remain undetected and not thrown out often refuse to speak of what they witness, whether out of fear or envy is difficult to discern. But it often results in the Little Pistol embarking on the path to Big Gunnery.

The Lost Island DX Society will be attending Dayton this year, but we will remain anonymous in order to not attract attention and elicit undue admiration or admonition. If you are there, just look around and I'm sure you'll spot some prime candidates who might be LIDS. But we'll never tell if they are or not.

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