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Re: [TowerTalk] Plenty of Ham Friends who climb towers

To: "Lee Buller" <>,"TowerTalk Reflector" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Plenty of Ham Friends who climb towers
From: "Roger (K8RI)" <>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 12:44:44 -0400
List-post: <>
> This is more of a Lament that anything.  A subscriber commented in the 
> StepPIR vs any other antenna war....that he has plenty of ham friends to 
> climb a tower.
Having been on "The Net" for many years (had my own dot come since 96) I've 
been trying to find what I'd call flames or a war on here and failed. 
Nothing comes close. If you want flames, get on the newsgroups and look at 
Intel Vs AMD, or Apple Vs Mac, or Windows Vs LINUX <:-))

But to more important things like climbing towers:

> Well, try that in Kansas....with all the guys in our club pushing 60 and 
> above with about three guys >below the age of

In general ability has less to do with age than physical activity and being 
in shape. We have more people in their 50's and 60's that climb than we do 
younger hams around here.

I've been climbing  or I was until about 6 weeks ago and I hope to be back 
to it before the end of summer.

Short story:

I've been in good health, exercise, climb towers and fly airplanes at age 
66. Then almost six weeks ago, that changed.

I had been on the telephone, hung up, turned around and stepped on...jello 
or that's what it felt like. From there things went down hill fairly fast. 
My wife immediately ran me through the tests of "Arms straight out in front 
with eyes closed, grin, squint or close your eyes tight" and I was able to 
do them just fine. For those not familiar with the procedure it's a check 
for stroke and you are looking for a lop sided grin, a difference in the 
eyes when closing them tight, or in the case of the arms straight out one 
will drift down. I sailed right through it. She remarked that she guessed 
that ruled out a stoke just as my left hand started going numb. At that 
point I said "I think we better call someone. Within 5 minutes of the first 
symptoms the rescue truck was here. Six days later I was out of the 
hospital. BTW I was conscious through the whole thing.

That was almost 6 weeks ago and I've gone from having a 10# block of wood 
for a left hand to essentially full use including being able to "touch type" 
again. I've gone from needing some one to help me stand and what felt like a 
50# block o wood for a foot to walking without a cane, at least in physical 
therapy.  Actually I was not using the cane yesterday while laying out 
LMR600 for some runs up the tower. I'm almost to the point where I do not 
have to consciously think about each movement of my left foot when walking.

Learning to walk again is an interesting proposition and I would have never 
thought it would take so much thought and physical exertion. Having been 
there I'd say it easily compares with weight training.  I can drive again 
and have no restrictions. They tell me wanting to be able to climb again by 
the end of summer is not being unrealistic. Unfortunately it'll be some time 
before I get my medical back so I can fly. Actually almost every one of the 
local pilots that are qualified to fly my old airplane have already told me 
to let them know when ever I want to fly and they'll go along to make it 
legal. (It's high performance, complex, retract so the number is not large)

BTW those therapists are good at finding muscles that have not been getting 
enough use so I can figure the day after each session will have me feeling 
like the day after the first day of sports back in high school. <:-))

After all this I consider myself very lucky. I can talk, walk, and reason 
which they tell me is due to the quick recognition of the problem, the fast 
response of the rescue truck (they were pulling in the driveway as my wife 
was hanging up the phone)and being on Oxygen within 5 minutes of the first 
symptoms. The therapist told me that and the rapid recovery is due in no 
small part to being in good shape and having an exercise program.  That 
doesn't rule out the possibility of a recurrence and that thought is almost 
always present.

So, get out there and climb those towers, it's good for you! <:-))

Disclaimer: If you are afraid of heights, don't try!<:-)) The most difficult 
tower job I ever did was getting a guy down from a tower who "froze" after 
succumbing to a case of "if the old guy can do it so can I"

One scary statistic, I think it's about 1 or 2% of male caucasians have had 
at least a mild stroke before they reach adulthood. For some races it's 
about 10%, so strokes are not just for "older" people. That and they often 
come with no advanced warning.

>40.  Yes, we try to get young people involved, but most are not interested. 
>The last class we had were all retirees >wanting something to 
>do...or...people interested in Disaster/Terrorist/ParaMilitary operations. 
>These are the guys who >want to have a mobile radio and a handitalkie on 
>their belt.  Not general run of the mill guys interested in 
> >radio/electronics/antennas/etc.

We get those, but  with the new regulations we are also seeing "younger" 
people in their 20's and 30's joining however I've not seem any out of the 
20 or 30 new hams in the area that climb.

> I am sure there are other people out there living in the "hinterlands" 
> that have the same issues....lack of Ham Friends in >the immediate locale. 
> RATS!  If I need tower work done, my good buddies, AB0S and W0NO, have to 
> drive 2 >hours.  Well, that is par for the course in least it 
> is flat and straight roads and you can run 75 MPH.

Even here (Midland MI) where we have a lot of hams, few of them climb. With 
a 100' tower I'd not let just any one climb it either.

> Flame suit on....
> Lee - K0WA
> PS  I have plenty of non ham friends ... but they don't climb either
Most of my friends think I'm nuts for climbing towers and flying airplanes 
is even worse. I can't repeat  what they say after seeing me do 

> In our day and age it seems that Common Sense is in short supply.  If you 
> don't have any Common Sense - get some >Common Sense and use it.  If you 
> can't find any Common Sense, ask for help from somebody who has some 
> Common >Sense.  Is Common Sense devine?


Roger (K8RI) 


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