Well … last saturday’s 4th of July event went better than I had expected.
The lead up to the big day had been really rocky. The radio club has been doing security watch duties in exchange for a donation ever since the year the Chamber of Commerce found the commercially hired security guard asleep in his cart. This year, by default, I wound up trying to arrange a schedule. Make the “okay” sign, shake your head side to side, and say No! The effort gave me frustration and stole sleep, but we got the job done (mostly) and got the donation anyhow.
Then the morning of the 4th, we all just showed up and, as a group, cobbled together a plan based on the way we’ve been doing it for the last few years. The person in charge of the health and welfare aspect (who had lost his list of volunteers and never did get assignments made) arrived with a smile to deliver our free t-shirts.
Fortunately, the weather wasn’t as HOT as it had been earlier in the week. 93° isn’t cool, but it’s better than 99° or 100°.
My time on station led to an interesting array of thoughts …
I was asked several times to take pictures of groups in order to have all the group members in the pictures. Everyone seemed to have those ubiquitous phones. I don’t own one and so the first couple of picture taking sessions were also learning sessions. I did get a couple of double-takes when I said you have to help me because I don’t own one of these. Fortunately, the phones take a series of pictures in RAPID succession so my tremor didn’t interfere.
One big event was the loss of a kid carrying a tuba. His mother came to me to ask that I watch for him. I put his loss on the net so ALL communicators were watching for him. His mother was surprised at that when I told her that’s why we were here and that’s how a “network” works. About half an hour later, she caught my eye and gave me a thumbs up. Kid found and the radio club made points.
Mt Shasta’s 4th is a no smoking, no dogs event and as usual there were folks who decided those requirements didn’t apply to them. I had to turn back at least five owners with dogs. After one such encounter, three folks came out of the crowd (from three separate groups) to say “Thank you”. And following another such encounter a runner told me I had handled the situation with class. So I guess the radio club made more points.
Another operator found a man on his side under a bush and called for help. We’re not sure what the situation turned out to be, but she got compliments from people who recognized what she did was “health and welfare” protection. More radio club points.
And finally, during the awards, an operator found a dehydrated, ill-looking dog on the back street. It showed signs of having had a collar, but the collar was missing. The animal was watered and the humane society located to take over. More radio points.
We are becoming indispensible.
While on station, I was remembering past years.
… There were fewer people this year, only a bit more than 3,000. At the event’s peak, there was a year when more than 6,000 registered. Of course, 3,000 doubles the city population.
… I saw very few local folks whom I’ve known for more than five or six years. I did see folks from the last few years, all much younger than me. Even those in charge of the event are relative newcomers.
George met folks who were stopped by his veteran’s cap. We are remnants of Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation”, i.e. Depression Kids, and we are dying off at an increasing rate.
… Fewer local businesses were donors which a friend on the event committee told me was an accumulative result of the Great Recession. There was no free fruit table this year and so no garbage to bring home to the chickens. We did bring home a box of bananas (found in the back of the pick-up) which went to the chickens after I packaged as many as possible for breakfast muffins and cakes later in the year after baking bread and cake and muffins for now.
On the 4th, we had left home a little after 0600 and got back home about 1300. I had a bowl of potato salad ready and quickly grilled hamburgers. There was ice cream in the freezer. And that was the total of expended afternoon energy. I’d been on my feet 99% of the time and my legs were telling me so. At one point I’d “borrowed” one of the chairs set on the sidewalk to hold places for viewing the parade later. I’d been sitting about five minutes when a woman came up and told me, rather forcefully, those were her family’s chairs and they needed them, so I said thank you for the temporary use and returned to standing for observation. About ten minutes later the woman and a man I assume was her husband came up to me out in the street and she apologized telling me those hadn’t been their family chairs after all. That was interesting.
My legs didn’t hurt, just vibrated … muscle fatigue?
The walk had the usual mixture of participants …
There was a time I made the 2-mile walk (once with my grandchildren … we stopped on the bridge which crosses the I-5 and signaled the truckers to blow their air horns … I wonder if anyone does that anymore). I will not be doing the walk again. The young radio operators (those in their 50s and 60s) can do that now.
That makes two of the summer “Health and Welfare” events down, seven to go. Next up … the Mt Shasta Summit Century Bicycle Ride the first sunday in August. George tells me there are nine stations to fill and he has eleven volunteers.
Beginning about 1600 on the 4th, the thunder storms started. Lightning, thunder, RAIN, and fingernail sized hail. Two cloudbursts before midnight. The rain really pounded down. I wonder how all those out in the open waiting for the fireworks show managed.
Total precipitation for the storm was 1.3″ …
Sunday morning the sky was still mostly grey and darker clouds, and the ground under the pine trees was a red carpet of sex organs. There may not be too many productive pine cones this coming year.
There was a report last week that the rogue bear which had been causing trouble in our area had been killed. A neighbor, who lost his laying flock and had continued to lose feed and food out of his garden even after attempts to scare the bear away and setting out a trap for ten days, spent a night waiting out in his garden with a suitable firearm until the bear came over the fence. End of the marauder. It was a 220 pound young male. Sounds like the one we had. There hadn’t been any more trouble here for a couple of weeks. Guess he had returned down the road.
Two of the new landowners in the area were angry. They said the bears had been here first and didn’t deserve to be killed. Those who bothered to answer them noted lost pets and property damage. Oh well …
There is a free program on television titled “Classic Arts Showcase”. It is funded by a philanthropist who believed (like Auntie Mame) that life is a banquet. They show clips (and sometimes full performances) of musical arts (including orchestral, voice, and dance) and visual arts (including photography, painting, animation, and film).
We watch for varying amounts of time nearly every day, often when we can’t sleep.
Some time ago, a clip of one of Europe’s summer outdoor concerts highlighted a German singer names Max Raabe. We are now rabid Raabeites. He is a wonder. Check him out on You Tube …
I am not a sports fan. That said, last sunday George and I decided to watch the Women’s Soccer playoff in Vancouver. I’m not sure why, and the only place we could see it was on Telemundo.
It was a fortunate choice.
I had sort of settled at my spinning wheel, expecting to learn a bit about soccer.
Then all hell broke loose. What a couple of hours.
I did learn some about soccer, enough that I will follow the sport (women’s clubs) a bit more closely.
What classy broads. They are a team. As one player said, “ We have a belief in each other, no matter if you’re on the bench or not, that whoever is on the field is going to get it done.”
The real example of class was when Lloyd gave the Captain’s arm band to Wambach so that, in what was probably her last professional game, Abby was the Captain at the win. For me, that was more admirable that Lloyd’s hat trick.
There is a story I forgot to tell you earlier which involved finding a penny. It happened last saturday during my radio stint.
To do my health and welfare duty, I spend 99% of my time in the middle of the street talking with people, answering questions, and watching for trouble. Last saturday I was positioned right in the center of the street and I happened to look down. There was a penny on the white line. Of course, I picked it up (See a penny, pick it up. All the day you’ll have good luck.) and put it in my pocket.
A bit later, after moving around some, I again looked down (I don’t recall why) and there was a penny on the white line. I thought ‘Wow. What luck,’ picked it up, and put it in my pocket.
That evening, when I got home, I emptied my pockets … and found only one penny.
There are no holes in my pockets and there was nothing else in that pocket,
Did one of the pennies manage to get out of my pocket without both of them going?
Did the original penny somehow pop out of my pocket to be picked up a second time? If so, how did it manage to land on the white line again?
OR … had I unexplainedly been caught in a time warp and actually picked up the same penny twice a la Groundhog Day?
I love a mystery …
Last evening, as I was getting ready to settle for the night, I looked out a window …
I couldn’t see a doe, but I’m sure she was someplace close.
’til next week …