How I Spent My '99 Vacation (USA)

Summer of 1999 brought another radio swap meet. The above photo above shows me with pen in hand after a furious price-tagging session out on our deck, in preparation for the annual Seattle swap meet.

The next photo shows my radios stacked up for sale at the meet, behind the tailgate of our green truck. Anticipating rain, I had borrowed a portable canopy from friends. I also printed about one hundred flyers with information about this website.

If you look at the top of the canopy, you can see that the wind was blowing pretty briskly. I was glad that I brought concrete blocks to anchor the canopy's legs.

These pictures were taken before the official start of the meet. Eager to get a good spot, I was set up and ready for business more than an hour before the designated start time. Later in the day, there were plenty of shoppers everywhere.

Shoppers in search of tubes had plenty to choose from. My stall was one of the few that didn't offer at least one box of tubes for sale.

The next photo includes a gramophone and an interesting breadboard set.

One seller offered half a dozen TransOceanics. This chorus line of TOs was shorter by the end of the day! I sold one TransOceanic myself—a model 1000 parts set for $35.

The last photo shows a stall directly opposite mine. Stacked on a table near the left of the photo are two Hallicrafters S-20R receivers. Priced at $50 apiece, they were in roughly the same condition. I kept my eye on them all day but didn't make an offer, since I was there primarily to sell, not buy.

Both S-20Rs were unsold at the end of the day, when everyone was packing up in a heavy rainshower. "What the heck," I told myself, just before they disappeared into the back of the seller's pickup. Choosing the better one of the pair, I held out two twenty-dollar bills, and the S-20R was mine! You can read about its restoration on my Hallicrafters S-20R page.

So the day had a happy ending despite less than perfect weather. I sold a couple of dozen radios, met some nice folks, and came home with a new project. That's what swap meets are for, right?

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