(And, maybe, this will be my last post about radio experiences – at least until I can think of more!)
As you may have read in previous blogs, intra-mission radio communication was a major service. First, we used VHF radio transceivers then the government approved single sideband radio transmissions. More fun – especially when a non-radio expert (that is I-or is it me?) was the go-to field missionary to try and keep things running properly. And, remember the experience when I erected a 75 ft. tower – and almost fell from the top? Only God’s protection kept me from falling when my safety belt failed.
Anyway, when we were still using the VHF system, the main town station tower beams had moved out of position. A strong wind storm had come through, rocking the tower back and forth and possibly caused the beams to move. Guess who had to climb up (and this tower was higher than that 75 ft. one!), swing the beams back into position and tighten the clamping bolts? Me.
So up the tower I went, step by step. By this time I had another safety belt but the “terror” carry-over from that previous experience made my “step-by-step” more hesitating.
But I made it.
Now I am up top. One hand holding a compass, the other trying to move the beams into the correct position as indicated by the compass. Done. Now to tighten the clamps.
Suddenly the tower itself started swinging back and forth. There was no wind and I looked down to see if all of the supporting cables were in place. One cable I noticed was whipping back and forth. Why?
Down on the ground I saw a you M.K. (Missionary Kid), swinging on the wire. I called down, “Quit swinging on that wire!!”. In a plaintive voice that M.K. responded, “Sorry, Uncle Rusty. I didn’t know you were up there”.
Now we weren’t sure if it was the wind storm which shifted the beams or previous whipping back and forth of the tower caused by a M.K.’s “recreation”.