The Field Day Fiasco
Anyway, after a little while I met Bob, one of the 80-meter CW & 40-meterSSB operators and club treasurer, who welcomed my offer to help, and askedme if I could get some rope to help him better secure one of the supportsfor his dipole for 80-meters, as the wind was kicking up a bit. I said noproblem and proceeded to my truck. Imagine my good fortune, as on the wayto my truck I found some rope! No need to walk all that distance back up tothe parking area. The rope was tied to a nice piece of wood that wasstuck in the ground at an awkward angle, but I managed to get it untied andgave it a good yank.
As I was walking back from my great rope find one of the operators on15-meter CW had something horrible happen! His tent collapsed suddenly uponhim and his operating station. He was quite shaken by the event, and italso ended the clubs 15-meter station operation. This was very unfortunatefor the club. Later, someone said that one of the ropes tied to a tentstake got cut loose from the stake and a gust of wind came along and causedthe tent to collapse. Odd, you would have thought that such a well-preparedAmateur Radio club such as this would have made sure that the tent wasfastened securely.
Later on that evening the club had its annual Field Day barbeque. Great! Iwas very hungry at this point. I walked up and offered my assistance ingetting the fire started. Bob said that I could get the campfire going. So Iwent and put the wood in the place they had set up for the campfire. Theonly problem was that the wood had gotten wet from a rainstorm the nightbefore. I came up with a quick solution for this however, and went over tothe generator and got a five-gallon gas can. Nothing starts a fire quitelike good ole’ gasoline! I just knew that the club members would be pleasedwith my efforts in getting the fire started once they came over and saw aroaring campfire!
The wood was pretty wet, so I poured on about a gallon of gas or so. Then Ifigured, you know, this wood is awfully wet, the logs are pretty thick, andI really need to get this fire blazing for the barbeque. So I poured therest of the can on the wood. I decided to wait a bit before lighting the fire, as I wanted the gasoline to soak in real good. I walked back to the generator and placed the empty gas can where I found it.
On my way back to the campfire I suddenly saw a huge ball of fire shoot wayup into the air along with what sounded like an explosion! Oh what bad luckthe club is having this year, I thought. I heard all sorts of yelling andscreaming on my hurried trek to the campfire. As it turns out Bob had tosseda match onto the wet wood, after putting a little bit of lighter fluid on itto help get it started. He lost his eyebrows, his callsign cap,and his newARRL Field Day shirt in the event. I guess Bob didn’t know the dangers ofputting too much lighter fluid on a campfire.
Joe, our clubs vice-president, asked me if I could help out with runningBob’s 40-meter SSB station. I eagerly jumped at the chance. In fact, I wasso eager that I tripped over a few large solar panels, breaking them uppretty badly. Nothing a little glue here and there couldn’t fix I thought.However, this really angered Joe, and he told me that the club would bebetter off if I went out and did something called “Snipe Hunting”.
So hesent me out into the woods with a nice wooden tent stake from the now ruined15-meter CW station to go and kill a Snipe. Now I’ve been Snipe huntingbefore, but have never to this day seen one, much less killed one. And theodd thing about going Snipe hunting is that when you get back to where youstarted from all of your hunting buddies are always gone. So I only went outfor a couple of hours to assure I would be back and ready to operate thenight shift. I never did find any Snipes that night either. Boy, they sureare elusive creatures.
Sometime during the middle of the night the generator quit running. All thestations shut down as the generator died. It had run out of gas, and Joe gotall worked up once he found that the gas can was empty. I was amazed at howunprepared the club really was for this years Field Day & Joe, seeing that Ihad returned from Snipe hunting asked me to get some more gas for thegenerator. I couldn’t make out what he was saying at first because I was sofar away, but he was pointing to me, and it sounded like he was saying;”Steven that ool can’t screw this up”, or something to that effect.
I was impressed that he remembered the last three of my call letters, not tomention his faith in my abilities. I think that by this time I really hadmade an impression on Joe.
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