I received my Special Achievement Award twice at Hamvention. First time was at the awards dinner Saturday evening and the second time was on Sunday in the main arena in front of thousands of people who were waiting for the prize drawing to commence (photo above).
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The site of the awards dinner was Dayton's Carillon Historical Park, specifically in the Park's museum, the Heritage Center of Dayton Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship. It is a beautiful site for an awards dinner and includes a full-size carousel that you can see me riding in yesterday's post.
There were about 80 people at the dinner including the other award winners and their guests, past award winners, folks from the award's sponsor Dayton Amateur Radio Association) and representatives from the ARRL. I knew about one third of the guests, either by reputation or by personal contact. The rest were strangers to me.
I was overwhelmed by everyone's friendliness and attentiveness. Strangers, both male and female, went out of their way to meet me and chat and in one case, invite me to their home, as I described here yesterday.
My award was the first to be presented and my acceptance speech went well. I spoke for about five minutes describing how I got into ham radio by mistake. My speech was very radio-centric, so I won't bore you with the details, however, it was well-received; the audience laughed when they were supposed to laugh and I received a standing ovation. The icing on the cake was when the other three award winners referred to my acceptance speech in their acceptance speeches!
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Sorry, but there were no video or audio recordings at the awards dinner. Folks took a lot of photos, but I only have a handful of iPhone shots.
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Throughout the weekend, about 20 readers of this blog visited me at Hamvention. Two were femulating, while the rest were in male mode. I have met most of them at past Hamventions, but some were new encounters, although I have been in touch with some of the "newbies" for years via e-mail.
In addition to visits from Femulate readers, countless civilian hams, mostly strangers, came by to congratulate me for the award.
Civilians, ham and non-ham alike, bought my presentation even those who were aware of my male roots. The pronouns were always correct and the gents treated me like a lady holding doors open for me and clearing the way for me through the throngs filling the convention halls.
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For you radio readers, I will mention that I made one purchase at Hamvention: an Elad FDM-S2 receiver.
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Before I close with the following anecdote, I want to add that I think I covered most of the highlights. If you have any questions, please ask and if I think of anything that I forgot, I will cover it in a future post.
It was a remarkable weekend and I had the time of my life. Sadly, the weekend flew by and seems like a blur to me now. I wish I could do it all over again!
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Back at work on Tuesday, a woman in my group who works from home e-mailed me to ask about my vacation. I told her I went to Hamvention and took home the Special Achievement Award.
Ten minutes later, she e-mailed me that she had never heard of it, so she looked up the Hamvention website and saw the write-up about the award.
If she saw the write-up, she must have seen my photo next to it. But she did not mention the photo, so I assumed she was being polite and did not want to embarrass me.
She is a good friend who I have known for years and I did not want to make her feel uncomfortable, so I e-mailed her back, "I guess the cat is out of the bag."
Her response was vague, so I asked her if she saw my photo.
"No, I didn't see your picture. I saw the photos of the other winners and I was looking for yours, but I did not see it," she replied, "Let me look again."
Fifteen minutes later, she wrote, "OMG!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t find you. I was staring at this beautiful lady and didn’t see you! Duh! YOU are the beautiful lady!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !! I was staring at your photo for like 10 minutes… Damn, your presentation is amazing!"
And so it goes!
|Wearing Free People.|
|West Point cadets femulating on stage circa 1915.|