Monday, September 11, 2017

Boxboro Nights

I attended a ham radio convention in Boxboro, Massachusetts, this past weekend. It is the "New England Division" convention of the ARRL, so it is well-attended and is the "big" ham radio show in this area.

After two hours on the interstates early Friday afternoon, I was at the host hotel checking into my room at 3 PM.

I had nothing to do until 6 PM, so I took my time doing my hair and makeup and trying on different outfits. I finally chose my last purchase from Dress Barn, a belted cold-shoulder geometric knit dress. I accessorized with my nude high heel pumps from Payless, nude satchel bag from Christian Siriano via Payless, silver earrings, necklace and watch. I also wore my ham radio callsign badge, which in addition to my callsign includes my legal male name and a line stating that I am "Contributing Editor" for the leading ham radio magazine.

I would be lying if I did not admit I was a little scared about leaving my room and mixing with the civilians, who are like neighbors and more likely to know me than the Midwest civilians I usually mix with at Hamvention. After hemming and hawing for 10 minutes, I kicked my dupa into gear and went downstairs to the pre-dinner cocktail party.

As I expected, the room was full of guys. I could count the women on one hand. And I did not recognize anyone. So I walked up to the bar, ordered a drink and took it all in.

I noticed a 50-something woman giving me the once-over and she was not smiling. I paid her no mind and after about five minutes, I was bored, exited the bar and found a comfy armchair in the hallway outside the bar hoping to see someone I knew.

In the chair next to me was a 50-something gent, who seemed to be solo like me. After awhile, I asked him to take an iPhone photo of me. He happily agreed and the result is above. We exchanged small talk and while doing so, I saw an old ham radio friend enter the bar. I excused myself to meet up with my friend.

As I was walking to the bar, the woman who had given me the once-over was exiting the bar and heading my way. As she got closer, she smiled and said, "I love your dress!"

"Thank-you," I replied.

I found my friend, who is blind, so I had to tell her who I was and she was happy to meet up with me. We go back a long time and worked together when I was Section Manager of Connecticut and she was one of my appointees. After a few war stories, I said I had a surprise for her and mentioned that I was wearing a dress instead of trousers. She was very surprised, but she got it and we continued chatting.

The doors opened to the dining room and I hoped to sit with my friend. But she already had four people in tow and the tables were set up to seat five, so I was even girl out. The next table was empty except for one older gent named Ed. So I asked if I could join him and he welcomed me. A few minutes later, the fellow who took my photo joined us (his name was Mike) and we three got to know each other ham radio-wise.

Ed noticed my callsign badge and realized who I was (a "ham radio legend" as someone once called me). Mike realized he knew me, too. And the discussion switched gears to my personal ham radio wars as a professional writer in the hobby. The time flew by, the food was incidental and then we sat through an interesting, but too long after dinner speech about one ham's adventure operating ham radio in Yemen.

The dinner broke up after the prize drawing (I won nothing) and as I said goodbye to my dinner guests, Ed commented that it was nice to put a face to all my writings that he had read over the years and Mike agreed.

I thanked them for the kind words and turned in for the night and a busy day to follow.

Source: Eloquii
Wearing Eloquii (Source: Eloquii)

Danial Deco
Danial DeCo femulating on Italian television's Forte Forte Forte.


  1. Sounds like a great time. Back in the olden days, I studies to become a novice operator. I learned code and some of the rules and regs. I never took the test. Code was fun but didn't thrill me. In the 70's, my family was big into the CB craze. My parents made friends with people in the area who were also CB users and a couple were HAMS. We'd spend evenings at their homes and I could listen to Charlie's 2 meter radio. If I remember correctly, I bought one of the guy's Q-cards off eBay about 15 years ago. K10RB was the second man's call sign. Wonder where I stuck that card? Gee, that was a lifetime ago.
    Stana, thanks for bringing back a good memory.

    1. I had a great time at Boxboro and BTW, why don't you get your license and join your trans sisters on the ham bands. IMHO, it is a piece of cake getting a license today as compared to the good old days!

  2. I was surprised at so little about your big change after figuring out who you were. Nice dress by the way. -Bill