When I got out of the Army in 1962, I took a job with a Motorola service
station owned by Herb, W1DEO. One of my first tower jobs was to help
take down a 40 footer on top of a flat roofed, two storey building in
downtown Portland, Me. Full of piss and vinegar, I scampered up the
tower and marvelled at the view. It was a clear, sunny day and the view
of Casco Bay and the islands was stunning! Then I made the mistake of
looking down and immediately froze up! Fortunately, my mind still worked
and, after pondering my situation for a few minutes, and realizing how
foolish I would fell if I had to call the fire department to get me
down, I managed to get my hands and feet to obey and climbed slowly
down to the roof. I sat down and smoked a cigarette (remember this was
1962!)and decided that if I made it up and down once, I could do it
again. The rest of the job went off without incident but I will never
forget my "baptism by fire".
On another job I was replacing the antenna on a 60 foot tower that was
bracketed to a barn. At about the 50 ft level, I realized that it felt
"funny". I climbed down to the bracket and discovered that it was lag
bolted to the shingles! As the tower swayed, I could see the shingles
moving in and out. Needless to say, I didn't replace the antenna!
Since those days I have been on many towers. I climbed the 625 ft LORAN
tower on Kure Is to replace the lamps and have been up to the 850 ft
level on WBZ's tower in Newton, Ma. However,nothing compares with the
terror of that first tower!!!
On a more amusing note, I'm scared to death to work on a roof! One time
Dick, NY1E, (who scampers up towers like a monkey) and I went up on the
roof of my cape to put a TV antenna on the chimney. We both looked down
the slope of the roof and decided it was safer to repair to the hamshack
and drink beer.
Remember the USS Liberty (AGTR-5)
See: http://www.mscomputer.com for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather Stations", and lot's more. Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.
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