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What I did on the 4th! Or how to exercise my parkway freedoms

As many of you know, just before Field Day, we had several monster storms pass through town.  Virtually all of my wire antennas came down, largely because the trees supporting them fell over. 

It took a long while to try to collect the parts from the broken tree branches, but to my surprise, most of the antenna elements survived.  Of course, Field Day got in between me and the trees…and Ed Burckart kindly took my Super Sling Shot string and cleaned it up. So I get all of my gear back on the 4thof July and set out to put up my antennas.  But where to go with them?  The old trees were now gone! 

Well, I looked a little farther down the line, and there was an even taller cottonwood sitting on the parkway (the space between my property and the city/county)…almost a no man’s land.  So, I set out to install my antennas.  Turns out, to shoot the trees was not going to be all that easy, since on the one side the weight and lead string could land on Lake Ave (and into busy traffic)…and I didn’t want to be on Lake Ave with my trusty over- sized sling shot shooting back toward my yard.  That’s all I’d need is the Glenview Police investigating some guy with an 8 foot sling shot!  Who knows what weapons charges I would face.  So I did everything stealthy and from my yard.  I did have to climb atop my garage to make the one shot…but in almost all cases, I was a one-shot wonder.  Aim, shoot and direct hit.  I was deadly, if I may say so myself.  

The problem was as a one man band, I had to shoot the tree, load the heavier rope, pull the rope, bring up the antenna, avoid the neighbors’ trees, climb the ladder, jump on the roof, etc.  The point is, it took most the day on the 4th.  I got to thinking, while I was doing all of this, how wonderful this country is that I could even be doing any of this sort of work. I mean there are still countries where you cannot use radios, of course, there are places in our country where you cannot put up antennas.  That’s a different problem…and was not part of my stream of conscious inner dialogue.  Well, 3 p.m.  I got all of the antennas back up before the grandkids showed up —-if I had left them on the ground, I am sure my little grandson would have found some crazy project to make them into! A fort. Tug of war rope…who knows. After Field Day, it was good to get back to fixing the antennas in my own back yard.

Speaking of Field Day, it was really a wonderful experience.  I met some wonderful new people, many of whom want to get into the hobby.  I worked a bunch of folks while on the SSB station.  I had a couple of great 80 meter runs that were actually fun to be part of.  You call out CQ and people come bounding back to you!  How often do we get to work the other end of a pile up?  It was great to see so many folks attend our picnic.  The weather was perfect and the park was spectacular.  Basically, we showed that we can have a Field Day in a remote park and, with the right advertising, the people will come.  Thanks to the many hands who helped make this year’s Field Day so special.