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May 8, 2016

Tailgating Rabbits

Members of the Atlanta Rabbits Amateur Radio Club set up for the tailgate sale outside during the Texarkana Hamfest put on by the Four States Amateur Radio Club on May 7, 2016.

KA5AHS Setting Up

Category: General
Posted by: W5BFF

KA5AHS members tailgatingPhoto by Charlotte Nyman: Cody Goodson KG5HGA, Brett Piaza, and Dylan Goodson KG5HFZ worked their
table during the TailGate sale at the Hamfest at the 4 States Fairgrounds in Texarkana, Arkansas.
Not pictured is Kyle Wayne Goodson KG5HFY

A hamfest to a ham is like a gun show to a hunter.  There are large hamfests and small hamfests throughout the year all over the country.  The one in Texarkana has been growing over the past several years, and this year was no exception.  The draw, of course, is the large vendors that come out and set up selling mostly new items at "hamfest pricing."  Most of the time, the large vendors are established retailers that also take their wares on the road.

The real charm of these hamfests, however, are the tailgaters that bring a variety of mostly used gear.  There, you will find the odd, rare, cheap, and even absolute junk!  When I say "junk," I mean it may be junk to you, but it may be exactly what someone else needs... and something they're willing to pay to get!

That's exactly what the Atlanta Rabbits Amateur Radio Club brought.  Club trustee Jerry A. Goodson has accepted and accumulated an enormous amount of junk from several different individuals, organizations, and companies.  Often times, there are items in those "haul offs" that prove useful to the kids who make up the club, but along with it comes a lot of other items that are useless and take up a lot of space.  His wife, Ladonna KG5GMC and mother of 3 of the club members, cringes every time Jerry brings a load home wondering how much money he spent on the haul and where he's going to put it.  This particular trailer load sat in the Goodson dining room for several months completely using up all the space.  The payoff?  The boys had the opportunity to become tailgaters!

"I had a few folks approach me about making deals," Jerry said.  "I referred them to the boys and explained it was their club and their deal.  You could see the slight grins on their face that showed not only a little amusement, but that they were proud to deal with the kids.  I'm sure that's probably the rarest thing they've ever come across at a tailgate sale."

A tailgater's goal is generally to leave with less junk than you brought while putting a little cash in your pocket.  It doesn't always work out that way.  A nearby tailgater came over to check out what the boys were peddling.  He bought a few items out of the trailer, but he also sold some items to the boys.  There was even a little straight swapping going on.  Other items were purchased from inside that should go to benefit the club such as various computer and radio connectors, a radio, and a small bag of Anderson PowerPoles®.

The boys rotated between working the tailgate sale and browsing inside at the main event.  The only slight from experiencing the maximum hamfest event was none of us won one of the prize drawings.  Maybe next time!