CQ, CQ, CQ, Calling Field Day……….

GCARA-Winter field-day

Once again, GCARA, has experienced another successful Winter Field Day. Many of our experienced hams as well as quite a few untried hands, came together to make a memorable and meaningful event. We came, we pitched in and we communicated on all bands as if performing a symphony for our loyal audience. Technical genius of Joe McGee NX4T was evident once again as the Field Day Chairman for this Winter Field Day event. He worked closely with our technical crew consisting of Ricky Eaton KD4HGR, Dan Vasilca AI4WW, and Jeff Stahl K4BH, who together, pooled equipment, solved “problems” and prepared for the contest in gentlemanly and sportsman-like ways. Their desire for a meaningful and educational event for the club propelled their efforts most amicably.

Of course, as with every endeavor for Field Day, there are many moving parts that need to be recognized and appreciated as each come together to make a worthwhile endeavor. I wish to thank our PIO team of Tom Savoca K9TJS and Carol Sjursen KJ4AWB, who worked tirelessly promoting the information to the public and worked on forms for the event and generally kept us in the feed on social media. They were outstanding hosts and hostesses along with Aurora Figueiredo WD4AGF, who met and spoke with every visitor to our function and made favorable impressions on all whom they met.

Thank you to all of the families who supported their loved ones by coming to the event and checking it out and breaking bread with us. Rosemarie Basting, Jean Marie Basting, Kathy Echavarria, and Aurora’s two beautiful daughters, Marina and Claudia, were amongst the attendees. It was nice to see my old friend John Sharp K2SHA visit us with the regards of his beautiful wife, Denise, K4MME, who was incapacitated and could not attend but sent her well wishes anyway. Dave Crane K4RU came and helped us out as he has done for so many loyal years of membership. We are forever in his debt, for all of his services to the club throughout the years.

Our esteemed Treasurer, Dirk Basting N4AN, stayed with us for the two day event, busily greeting people and collecting dues and monies for food donations, and was so helpful in so many ways with his positive attitude and generous nature. Thank you, Dirk, for your active participation in this weekend event.

What is an event without food? GCARA will never know that problem with the consistent help of Gerald Deitch W4LST, current Parrot Club President, who assisted this President in shopping for and transporting the goodies for this WFD. Gerry has helped me for many consecutive years in procuring food for our events and I am forever grateful for his most needed help. He, along with Kenny Hollenbeck KE4NC, helps store our coolers, grill and supplies and helps haul them to and from the events unbegrudgingly. We (or I) would be lost without the help of these two men each event. They are a couple of my favorite heros.

Another one of my favorite heros is the personable Mike Wolf KD4OVP who contributes to many activities for the club. He not only serves as a great ambassador for hams on the Southeast Traffic Net at 6 pm M-F, he always volunteers to prepare the hot food that keeps us going at picnics and Field Days. We could not get along without the delicious preparations and the delightful banter coming from Mike while he is cooking. Mike has long exhibited generosity for the club and he also shares in the care of Hope Smith WB3ANE, with many operating Field Trips to the parks, transportation to our social events and dinners and various technical help when she needs it. I call him our “Ham Angel”.

A very sweet contribution to the food menu was made by newcomer Sandy McClain N3LKW who presented us with several dozen delicious cupcakes and a banana bread loaf for breakfast which had already been quality control checked by her devoted husband, Dr Tom McClain N3HPR. Dr. Tom helped us entertain the guests and answered the many technical questions of visitors and helped provide the “friendly ham face” to the visiting public. Thank you, Sandy and Tom, for your contributions to the WFD.

Newcomer to Field Day Preparations, David Warner KB4ICU, showed his willingness to put muscle into the shopping and showed a great propensity for being able to pack a lot of goods into small spaces most efficiently. David, a veritable host of talents, proved to be quite helpful to our team.
Carol Sjursen KJ4AWB, along with Aurora Fiegueirdo WD4AGF, and Alan Lisler NT4AL, prepared and served the Brazilian Bar-B-Q for the dinnertime hour. It was a delicious repast and received many compliments from those who partook of it, including myself and Hope Smith WB3ANE, who had to take ours to go. Hope turns into a pumpkin if not back at her ALF before 8 pm and we were on our way in the early evening to do just that. The club always loves to see Hope and her positive ham attitude as she makes contacts and keeps us company during the long days of contesting. She is such a gem and a wealth of information to us all.

It’s amazing to me to see the love and support of other hams, like Ben Echavarria N#7BBE, who helps keep us safe, and Half Moon DJ4JG, whose “It’s another day in Paradise” attitude lifts us with his participation each and every time. He brought a loop antenna to show and tell and with Kenny Hollenbeck’s vintage radio gear and Ben’s equipment, it made for an interesting display for all hams and visitors to view and admire. We certainly learned a lot, gentlemen, and we thank each of you.

On a grateful note, I must call attention to the wholehearted efforts of Bill Mercer KE8TPU, who has in the last two years provided the transport of Jeff’s equipment to Field Day in his big, gorgeous, red truck. He not only was willing to do that, but he stood ready to assist in any way he could with equipment, or chores or what have you that needed to be done. What a positive and generous guy he is. He was a big help, and he was ready to help mitigate situations that popped up if need be. Thank you, Bill. You are a treasure.

Where would an emergency drill be without the appropriate power for our stations? That duty has fallen to our very engaged Jesse Shannon KJ4FKK, who not only stores and maintains our club generator, buys and brings gasoline to operate it and a fire extinguisher, but takes it back and forth to all of the events it is needed for. Thank you, Jesse, for all of your involvement and care for the club. I am especially grateful for your service, knowing the many obligations you have in life. Thank you for giving your all to us. We appreciate it.

Once again, I want to thank EVERYONE who attended WFD or helped, or just added to the joy and camaraderie. All of you are special to me and the club and without your support, there would be no club. Many hands make light work and our members know how to show their talents. I want to thank the Board for approving all of the plans and helping in any way they could. Your support was key to the success of this and every event. I feel so blessed to know every one of you.

QSL, and 73,
Melanie Fernandez KJ4VCT

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