We were recently given the opportunity to tour one of our local television news stations, WATE. The 470 Amateur Radio Group (145.470, ARG meets Tuesdays at 7:00pm est) was kind enough to invite everyone to come to this tour, organized by Jim Yearwood, KE4HX. And a definite thanks to him for a WONDERFUL tour, and a special thanks to (I think his name was) Bob, the chief engineer. He gave us a wonderful explanation on the new change-over to digital in February 2009. He answered quite a few questions, and was very knowledgeable on the subject.
There were quite a few of us there. There was 6 of us in our little group that showed up, Tim (AJ4JD), Ashby (KJ4EGJ), Jodi (not yet a Ham), Mom (KF4SSI), Dad (KU4ME), and me. After arriving, we were introduced to the whole bunch and treated like royality. We were given an entire tour of the building (Greystone), which is now off limits to the public. Even the usual group tours aren't given access like we were. We were really lucky, and very grateful for their hospitality.
A little history on Greystone, WATE's headquarters: It was originally built in 1885 by a gentlemen known as Major Eldad Cicero Camp, a lawyer and public official. Most of the stone that was used to build the home was acquired from the Major's quarry in a nearby city (Lake City). Each of the rooms in the house had elaborate, hand-carved mantles -- and might I add that they were ABSOLUTELY beautiful and each individual and as original as the first. Each room is also paneled in a different type of wood, and no detail was ever overlooked. Matter of fact, even the doors were double-sided - split down the middle so that when the doors to the rooms were shut, the wood on the door would match the room. There were elaborate gas lantern chandeliers in almost every room. It wasn't until November 21, 1920 that the Major died from an illness in his own bedroom at the age of 81. Later, after many owners, Greystone fell into the hands of WATE, and they have worked very hard to restore it to it's originality.
The tour of all of the house was excellent and thorough. There wasn't a rock left unturned, and our guide even took the time to tell us about the Ghost Stories surrounding the place. It was very funny, due to the fact that these stories had some hoping for encounters and others hoping to get out as soon as possible. HAHA
I had a really good time. The best part, though, was meeting some of the people I talk to often on 2 meters. I really enjoyed finally getting to put faces (in person) with personalities. I got to meet Cathy (KI4YPO, one of my bestest 2 meter friends!) and her husband, Rick (N4JTQ), along with many others. We had a lot of good laughs, watched the news in progress, was on constant lookout for the ghost of Major Camp, and well, had more laughs. I had the best fun all week.
On a side note, after working our rears off today and missing the gray-line express (ALL ABOARD!!!), we went to dad's to play radio this evening. It was mildly upsetting that the bands were as dead as they were -- however, we had fun anyway. And I did make one contact -- and a very nice one at that. I spoke with A35RK, Paul in Tonga! How exciting is that??
***Doing the Tonga dance!!***