As I look for used gear to fill a need,
"Mint condition" is what I read.
Mint condition is what I'm told,
Seems these Hams think their gear is gold.
All I want is a simple rig,
Nothing small and not too big.
It doesn't have to be brand new,
Maybe even one homebrew.
"How much is this?" I ask with interest.
I hear a price that knocks me senseless.
I can't understand why the price is so high,
When the rig looks as if it's ready to die.
The cabinet scratched, the tuning knob bent,
The power supply is filled with lint.
The front panel yellowed by cigarette smoke,
I thought the price must have been a joke.
Then I asked... with a curious grin,
"When was the last time you plugged this in?"
As I listened to the story unfold,
I began to see that glitter of gold.
This is the same rig you see,
That helped him work D-X-C-C.
Many nights 'till three of four,
"CQ DX" and much, much more.
Hour after hour of time put in,
For an award that's only paper thin.
The paper isn't what it may represent,
But that golden feeling of accomplishment.
So the rig really carries a priceless fee,
Not in hardware but in memories.
The meeting of people 'round the world,
On a microphone cord tightly curled.
So, how do I assess an offer then?
For a rig that's been such a faithful friend.
A rig that can reach near and far,
Even an antenna with high SWR.
I make the best offer for what I can pay,
And assure him it won't be thrown away.
And should I decide to let it go,
He will be the first to know.
I can see the thought in his eyes,
The silence broken by a sigh.
His decision then reluctantly made,
And all offered money gently paid.
As I turn to leave, my DX just startin',
He says; "by the way... here's the original carton."
Thomas N. Hulbert, KG5N
a poem by Nick (KG5N)
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