So, what is it like to go to Dayton Hamvention with the fine folks who
make WMPORN what it is. I'm glad you asked, because we always have a
story or two to tell.
Typically we start planning in May. No, not weeks or days before Hamvention
but immediately following the event at the debriefing session or even during
the event itself... no actually we usually start thinking and talking then, but
we actually start planning in .. well we usually get there on Thursday before
the event opens on Friday.
As you read through this please do not try this on your own, please remember
we are seasoned professionals and things can go wrong, but you will be required
to laugh and have fun anyway. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!
Sometime about February, someone forks over a couple of hundred dollars to
purchase all of the spaces and tickets as a single package. For the last several
years that amounts to 5 spaces, a couple of parking passes ( hey we aren't as young
as we were when we laughed at all the old farts complaining about the pain of
walking around all day) and as many Flea Market Vendor tickets as Hamvention will
allow us to have.
Skipping ahead to the Thursday one week prior to our departure, the group talks about
who is bringing what, tickets get distributed and the fun begins. Over the next several
days ( usually about Wednesday, the day before we depart, we start making sure that we
have the items that we told everyone that we had or were bringing.
Sometime in the early morning hours of Thursday certain individuals who do not have enough
sense to remain in bed until it is both fully light out and the moring traffic has cleared
awake and begin to pack up their "stuff". "Stuff" is a special term refering to a combination
of the things that are absoloutly needed, the things possibly needed and enough other items
to make sure that there is no possible way to pack anything else into the vehicles that will
be carrying everyone to the promised land. Now, some people start their packing on Wednesday
night so that all they have to do is drag their sorry butts out of bed in the morning and
get in the vehicle and go. Others prefer to do all their packing on the day of departure.
Either way someone will inevitably forget something they had planned to take with them which
is why Meijer, Walmart, Home Depot and Sam's club all have stores in the Dayton area.
There is no set time of departure, some people like to leave eary some people like to leave
a little later in the day. Some people plan to finally get a good early start and wind up
leaving about the same time as always. No matter, once a good share of the gang arrives in
Dayton we begin the task of building the WMPORN compound what will be the base for operations
over the weekend. First the tents are assembled, the tables set out, items that can be safely
left in the Flea-Market are placed in bins and tubs under the tables. Then the hunt begins.
We always find it necessarry to look around for a bit on Thursday night, but usually by the
time the Central Operations Camp has been assembled it is time to go find some food, and hurry
off to the motels so that we can all check our email and get some sleep because Friday morning
we don't have the luxury of sleeping much past 0500 EDT. As we all head to Harah Arena we usually
grab some sort of malnutritional edible substance that we will ingest to stave off the pangs of
hunger until we can get something else. Oh, there is plenty of good food available, but there
is no way any of us is going to get up 15 minutes earlier to get any of that.
Once we arrrive at Hamvention and finish setting up the booth, the party begins. You can read
about some of those things by reading from the blogs that we have posted from Hamventions past.
After about 12 hours, tired hungry and dirty, we are allowed to exit the flea-market where we
can make a trip to the motel to get cleaned up and go out to get a decent meal. Then it is time
to return to our rooms where we play with our spoils from the battle, research other items that
we may or may not attempt to attain ownership. Naturally we stay up too late and get just a few
hours sleep before we basically repeat the process on Friday.
Then Sunday rolls around. Once again, we arrive early.. well not quite as early, and most
of us have been to McDonalds or Burger King or something like that. We spend just a few hours
selling off the last of the items we are able to sell, make our last minute purchases, and soon,
it is announced that Hamvention is over.
Tired and worn out we now have to disassemble Fort WMPORN and pack it all away back into the
vehicles that now have additional items in them that were purchased over the weekend by all of the
group members who attended. This usually amounts to general chaos and a few "coarse" words as
we all try to figure it out, but we will all be back again next year.
There is one other thing I should mention, and that is the trip home. What a dreadful and painful time
that is making that long drive home. Even if it snows for three days straight we usually have bright sunshine to
look into as we drive home, and rain and/or thunderstorms just before or as we arrive home.... but there's
WMPORN members are not responsible for the accuracy of any statements found in this document.