Sometimes I get inspiration for ideas for these blog posts at the oddest moments. The one for this came while shaving this morning and thinking about last night's "Senior" incident at the fish dinner.
At the repeater club meeting, I was one of the younger Hams there. There were a lot of true "Seniors" there. But while they may be up there in years, it was amazing to listen to these guys talk to one another. If you walked into that meeting room with me, your first impression might have been, "Great! Another bunch of "Old Farts" (a term I hate, but see used a lot on places like e-Ham). But as it turned out, nothing was farther from the truth. These guys were all sharp as tacks and were amazingly "up" on today's technology.
The main talk of the evening concerned linking the club's 220 MHz repeater with another local club's 400 MHz repeater, which offers IRLP and Echolink links. Listening to these old timers discuss links, nodes, super reflectors and other such IRLP and Echolink topics kind of surprised even me. These are not the type of guys who sit on 75 Meters or 20 Meters grousing about "kids, lids and space cadets".
And the way they treated a few newcomers was equally eye opening. The "Welcome" mat was extended big time! There were four newcomers, two attending their first meeting and two attending their second. One was in his 50s, one probably his 30s and it looked like two were in their 20s. They were fussed over and were really made to feel welcome and important. Attitudes sure have changed! I remember my first meeting at this club many years ago and how I sat quietly waiting to be talked to.
So I sit here, thinking about the articles I've read about how our hobby is dying and that we're a bunch of old fogies who hate young people and anything new. If you came with me to this repeater meeting last night, you'd have definitely walked away with the notion that such articles are very stereotypical and not based on reality. Well, not in this case, anyway.
72 de Larry W2LJ