Radio Hobbyists Get Together at Hamfest:

Decades ago, Fred Raubinger had two brief conversations with Barry Goldwater. Mr. Goldwater was on his yacht in the Gulf of Mexico when they spoke. Mr. Raubinger was in Michigan with an amateur ham radio. Now an older man, Mr. Raubinger was one of the 1,000 individuals who attended Monroe County’s Hamfest on Sunday to share stories — like his tale of talking to the five-term senator and former presidential candidate — and knowledge with fellow amateur radio enthusiasts. Presented by the Monroe County Radio Communications Association, the festival is one of the largest annual amateur radio swap meets in the Midwest. It began in 1961 and continues to provide a space for people to buy and sell used radios, antennas, and other electronic parts. This year, attendees, who affectionately refer to themselves as “hams,” traveled from as far as New York and Wisconsin to take part in the Father’s Day radio festivities at the Monroe County Fairgrounds.

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