Author Topic: Job Well Done - Thank you!!!!  (Read 7487 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline KA1YBS

  • General
  • ***
  • Posts: 10
  • Karma: +0/-0
Job Well Done - Thank you!!!!
« on: October 17, 2009, 11:42:35 PM »
First off, thanks to the organizers for putting on this fall's fest! Without you, we'd have nothing.

Hats off to the speakers, for your presentation talks.
Congrats to all the NEW Hams, with much appreciation to the VEs who also work hard to promote the hobby.

Things that I sadly see after attending these fests over nearly 20 years:

Seller Attendance, in particular, this past festival is declining badly. The spring '09 fest had twice the sellers.
Nobody is up late anymore selling what they do have.
No more impromptu movies on bed sheets.
Deals are harder to come by.
Folks, 25 year old 2m rigs without memories, PL tones, and power leads are not worth $60! (Talk you down to $20?)
No more late night munchies from 10 food vendors.
No more having a terrible time finding a spot to set up your table.
Just a quiet atmosphere this fall, probably due to weather? Old Hams not being to make it anymore? Not enough kids getting excited about the hobby? For whatever reasons, things started to look bleak this fall...


A shining light?

Enter the HAM JAM.

I attended this year's jam, like I have ever since it moved from a couple seller's tables at Hopkinton, and into a building. (The old Hosstraders in Deerfield featured a (nearly-torched down) jam barn, too) The HAM JAMs of late have been getting better, but NOTHING could top this fall's effort. Overall, there were 17? musicians from young kids to seniors. Music varied from pop rock of today, to classic rock, to Bluegrass and beyond. Everybody with an instrument had a chance to strut!

The JAM was a magical bright spot in the otherwise, cool, quiet, fest night. No wonder no one was at their table selling old junk... there was not even standing room left in that JAM building!

The music probably went on forever. I eventually had to get some sleep, but not before tuning into the Pirate Ship (Yes, I am going to find time to spin tunes at one of these fests guys) for a night-cap.

THE HAM JAM is what I called "The Near-Fest Experience", and it truly was. Great job and Thank You to the organizers, musicians, helpers, The Pirate Ship, and audience for becoming one, for a timeless night of entertainment at our coveted fest.

For those of you who dared not come to Deerfield because the weather looked bad from where you live, you really ought to stop playing that game, and just come, every time you can! You truly missed one of the greatest moments in modern Ham Fest history, and we all hope you come up in the spring, because, even if it's pouring rain and cold outside, the JAM goes on, warm and dry inside! By the way... The weather was absolutely perfect. A little chilly at night, but perfect.

I want to let this be my ode to the Fest/Jam Organizers. Thanks for working your butts off organizing the event, and thanks for letting the jams go on, because this just might be the ticket to boost attendance in the future. Thanks to the musicians, young and old for putting on such a terrific show. Thanks again to the Pirate Ship, for keeping us informed, entertained, and doing a fine emcee of the event as usual (sound trailer guy who?).

Spread the word Near-Fester's, please, for the sake of our event. We need more people, goodies... and standing room in the JAM Barn!!!!

I'll have a small video on YouTube to help spread the word. Look for a forum post in November. We gotta get the spring event on Twitter, Facebook,, EHam, HF, local newspapers, and anyone want to chip in for a small QST/CQ Advertisement? I truly believe that our little ham fest is the BEST!

Practice up musicians... you have the bar (and roof) to raise next spring!
73 de KA1YBS

Offline N1ERF

  • Extra
  • *****
  • Posts: 94
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Job Well Done - Thank you!!!!
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2009, 12:57:27 PM »
I think that this seasons drop in attendance was probably weather related.
This is New England and you have to come prepared. It did however make
it better to find a good deal. If you don't attend, you miss out.

I'd also like to thank Mike, the Trust and all the individuals have been working
behind the scenes to make this event possible. Without them, we would not
have the luxury of attending such an event.

We also had new musicians show up at the NF Ham-Jam. Thanks to them for getting the
courage to show up and play. We had more variety than ever before. It was a also blast to
participate in. Thanks to Brian for organizing the event!


Offline w1es

  • General
  • ***
  • Posts: 22
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Job Well Done - Thank you!!!!
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2009, 04:21:46 PM »
I hemmed and hawed for quite a while during the summer as to whether or not I would show up for the fall: after all, I hadn't been to a NEAR-Fest since Spring '08!  In the end, it was a variety of factors that made my decision...

My mom has been sick with cancer and I've refrained from making any long-term travel plans as a result.  I now typically fly-in after my one semi-famous run by car up there at the still-Hosstraders in the Fall of '06.  My usual accommodations have become more difficult because my friend now is on the road a lot and not home. If I add a hotel bill, it becomes more expensive.  Lastly - and I know from talking with Mr. Mike that there aren't really many choices in the Fall - it's just too likely to be beyond uncomfortably cold two-to-three weeks into October.

I hope to make it in the spring - don't know if I can bring a guitar but could probably borrow one once there.  I'm glad to see that the jam session is getting better and look forward to participating.

73, from Steve, W1ES/4 in central NC...

Offline W1RC

  • NEAR-Fest Founder & Benevolent Dictator.
  • Administrator
  • Extra
  • *****
  • Posts: 953
  • Karma: +9/-0
Re: Job Well Done - Jam Session History
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2009, 07:01:18 AM »
Just so everybody will know the lineage of this wonderful hamfest feature.....

Eliot, W1MJ and "Bones", K1CE were probably the main culprits back when it was very much an impromptu happening at Deerfield/Hosstraders.  The first "official" indoor jam session was at the Rochester NH Hosstraders in the mid-Nineties; 1994 0r 1995.  There was a recreation hall available for that purpose. It too was warm and dry. 

 I don't know if Norm/Joe/Bob had to pay extra for the use of the rec hall but we sure loved it. I have wonderful memories of Timtron doing live renditions of "Piss Weak Mobile Blues".  Hopefully we can prevail on him to reprise his act and lay it on us at Ham-Jam next Spring.The Rochester police would usually close it down around midnight after the neighbours' complaints increased. 

Nice thing about Deerfield is there are NO neighbours!!!

When Hosstraders moved to the NH State Fairgrounds at Hopkinton in the Spring of 2001 there was no "Rec Hall" available so the jam sessions were unofficial and smaller.  However there were more of them scattered throughout the fairgrounds. 

When we brought the hamfest back to Deerfield in 2007 calling it NEAR-Fest one of the main things on my agenda was to bring back the official indoor jam session.  I know Brian from the M.I.T. Flea which is a favourite haunt of mine and asked him to make it happen.  Bri has stepped up to the plate and hit several home runs on this one.  It is invisible to us the organizers except for the "loud party" atmosphere and the enthusiastic postings before and after the fact on the Forum.  I cannot thank Bri and all the others enough who make it what it is.

As long as I have anything to do with it the Ham-Jam will definitely continue to be a feature attraction of the NEAR-Fester.

See you April 30th 2010!


MisterMike, W1RC

Offline n1bus

  • General
  • ***
  • Posts: 17
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Job Well Done - Thank you!!!!
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2009, 07:50:56 PM »
 This was one of the best hamfests ever. The weather was good,a little cold,but no rain and the sun was out. Hats off to all the people who organized this great event. The announcers did a great job and the pirate ship was a definite good thing. I havn't had a chance to go to this hamfest in over 5 years. Went to Boxboro last year but its not quite the same. The jam session was great. I thank you for letting me play and making me feel welcome. On some songs I turned the volume way down so my screw ups wouldnt be noticable, but you told me to turn it up and keep playing and showed me the chords so I could keep up. I'll have to practice up for next time.  Someone mentioned advertising in QST,wouldnt they just post it in the hamfest calender if you tell them far enough in advance? How about if someone got some pics and wrote a small article and submitted it to QST. Or maybe CQ. It was a great hamfest and I hope I can go next spring.

Offline Bri

  • House Band mis-leader
  • Extra
  • *****
  • Posts: 199
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • We gladly feast on those who would subdue us
Re: Job Well Done - Thank you!!!!
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2009, 08:57:12 PM »
Hey Festers and Jammers!!
I'd like to thank everyone who helped out on the jam.
All who played, sang, listened, loaded in and out were an integral part of the jam.
Miss an element and it's not the same.

Personal thanks go out to Jenny, Ben's wife for putting on a great feed for the jammers and audience.
What a wonderful tasty, thoughtful gesture it was! If you had any of her pulled pork or chili you know what I'm talking about.
Is this the start of a pot luck pre-jam dinner???? stay tuned.

Ben for bringing his gear and making us sound good at the jam and on the radio.
Andrea and Julie for the songs they sang and the help they provided for setup and breakdown.
John and the Wok-Fi crew. If you knew ho hard and long this guy worked on the pirate station and feed you'd bow in his presence.

John Derrico, my right hand bass man.
John came to practices, listened, drove long distance, worked his butt off and has the best attitude!!
He's da man.

Rick! This guy is just the balls. He's always up and positive for the jam. He sang, played, loaded equipment and was a huge help to some of the newer players.
Rick taught me some valuable things this jam. Ask him about a dog making a fist.

Raj and the McGrath duo. There is no way I could do this without you guys.
I loved the jam with Scott and Ty.

Ty. This one's kind of close to the bone.
Dad's and Mom's, Uncles and Aunts:  If you ever get to share a moment doing any activity (camping, a sport, music, hell anything) with your child and you connect. I mean really connect; WOW, You'll know what I'm talking about.
Thanks Ty.

Mr. Mike.
What else can I say about a man who allows his 'nads to be put in a vice twice a year. (he should have been doing Axel's part on knockin' on heavens door)

I know I've left out a ton of people. I'm not done, just senile. I've got to go over the recording and get the names of those I've missed.
I will be posting an addendum very soon.

Also, when I get time I'll post the recording of the jam. The good, bad and the ugly. Warts and all.
It was what it was; FUN.

Thanks for all your kind words and help.
I hope I can speak for all those involved when I say it's appreciated.

See you in the spring,


The only thing to fear is fear itself.....and crazy bat-shit people. We should really fear crazy bat-shit people.

Offline DrOptigan

  • Broadcast Crew
  • Extra
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • The guy with the big red Farfisa, aka KB1YTN/AE
    • Adam's Homepage of Old Stuff
Re: Job Well Done - Thank you!!!!
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2009, 02:06:38 AM »
Adam here, the guy who brought the red Farfisa organ. I had a blast at the fest, and the jam! ;D Big thanks to Mr. Mike, and everyone else who made the fest run smoothly. It may have been cold camping in a tent, but it was worth it. At least the jam session was in a warm building, and kudos to the gentleman selling those unique Army-surplus gloves! Anyway, thanks to Brian for putting together that awesome jam session, and everyone who participated! Actually playing with other people, and in front of other people, was great! Can't wait to hear that recording. See you all in the spring!