Saturday, May 13, 2006

Double Dipping

Today was public service day. A few of us Hams in town helped out at the County Wide Track Meet which was held in South Plainfield, at the high school athletic field. Our responsibilities were mainly involved with helping all the out-of-town visitors park. We had to direct parking so that it would minimize the impact on local side streets. There have been instances in years past, where inconsiderate parkers have actually blocked people in their own driveways!

My job was less "glamorous". I drew the short straw and was directed to a nearby elementary school. This was where the school busses that transported the visiting athletes parked. My job was to make sure no spectators parked and to get each bus driver's cell phone number. I would be radioed when a certain team was ready to be picked up; and I would then inform the respective bus driver that it was time for him to go over to the athletic field and make his pick-up.

BORING! Mind numbingly boring! I was staring at the prospect of standing there for almost four hours, looking at school busses and not doing much of anything else. The only other highlight was when some potential spectator would abuse me for not letting them park in the lot. For a volunteer thing, the jibes I was getting were not so pleasant.

Ham radio to the rescue! Since I drove over to the elementary school, I had the K1 with me. I put the station together on the front seat and put the 20 Meter Hamstick on top of the Explorer and went to town. I only had a copule of QSOs; but it was enough to make a long four hour prospect go rather quickly.

The public service work was light and easy. Amateur radio made it fun.

73 de Larry W2LJ

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