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Getting it up ?

September 20, 2011

A miraculous thing happened the past week, I actually did some work! It was prompted by a visit by my son Anthony. He flew up from Texas for a working visit, our goal being the raising of a radio tower and antenna. On Tuesday we worked to lower the antenna at the home of the man that sold it to me, just outside Fairbanks. And on Wednesday and Friday we pushed, (he was leaving on Sunday), to clear the ground near my cabin, prep and anchor the tower, and re-assemble the antenna. Then finally on Saturday with the help of friends and neighbors raise the antenna.

Not much you say? Considering that the first two days of work my son carried the load of most of the work. Remember I can not work for more than a few minutes at a time without stopping and my strength now is that of a child. In the photo below he is holding the new antenna.

Anthony and the new antenna

I think the gist of this posting is the focus on helping others. As we first prepared the site for the wires that would hold the base and tower in place, I needed some trees cut down. One of my closest friends who’s property I live on had another friend show up and he cut down some nice sized trees that were in the way. Later I went to another neighbor’s cabin, (a little over a mile away), to borrow another chain saw to cut some more logs out of the way, when John who had the that first chainsaw, was now cutting firewood. When the neighbor heard the reason for me cutting the logs he said he would stop over and give me a hand the next day. Saturday the day we raised the antenna he showed up with yet another neighbor and later John and Paul showed up to help finish the raising.

Anthony Richard Dave

Anthony, Paul, Pete

All-in-all 6 people reached out to help. It is one of the things I love about living in the Alaska and the wilderness, when you hear someone needs a hand you come out to help. I feel woefully neglectful in this regard because I can no longer be one of the ‘good guys’ who just show up and do what needs to be done. In fact only recently my help would have been of service to someone that has been there for me for many years, and I feel badly only hoping that she understands.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. AussieAlaskan permalink
    September 20, 2011 2:33 pm

    I forgot this was on – well done! What a good job, especially with friends helping out! If one does what one can, more can’t be offered.


  2. Jon permalink
    September 21, 2011 9:50 pm

    Sounds like a good job by all on site. Reminds me of the cabin raisings or whatever you used to call those building-a-house in a day events.

    I’ll bet a hot bowl of soup or chili & a couple of adult beverages were in line at the end of the day!


  3. Daddy permalink*
    September 22, 2011 11:19 am

    It was an awesome trip. He neglected to mention that the fall colors were spectacular and everything timed out beautifully for Saturday.

    We got up and out to work on the tower early enough that we had sort of reached a plateau by 11am.

    Richard & Dave, who said they might stop by around 1p, came at 11a.
    They carried the beam around the house and, with great insistence, they put it right up on the rotor and the three of us secured it in place.

    At that point, we were talking about pushing it up a section or two just to test the rotor. But then John & Paul showed up and with enough people to safely hold the guy wires and one to crank the tower sections up inside the launcher, we got started and really didn’t stop till we literally ran out of guy wire.

    While we were doing that, the wind stopped.
    Like, no wind at all. Which is critical because there’s this big beam way up there in the air over the trees that’s acting like a kite, and held in place by 45′ of tower that can bend in the wind like you wouldn’t believe.

    Then, after we secured the guys and tightened things down, we began to clean up a bit, and that’s when it started raining. Not a big, rain, mind you, but enough to make me realize that there was this magical window of time when there was no wind OR rain.

    Talk about being lucky or someone who just has things work out for them…
    this was one of those moments. (a 6-hour “moment”)


    Oh, and if you look closely, you can see Pete in the bottom photo, right next to the house. That really gives you some scale of the size of the tower.


    • AussieAlaskan permalink
      September 22, 2011 2:37 pm

      That sounds like a very good day, indeed :-)


  4. Rosalyn permalink
    September 30, 2011 3:57 pm

    If you look over Pauls right shoulder in the picture with Anthony and Pete, you will see John, also. Can you tell who the born Alaskan is in that picture? Who is dressed in a T shirt and shorts while the rest are bundled up?


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