I would be remiss if I didn't spend a moment to talk about God's faithfulness in this whole process. Every time something went wrong, it would eventually made right. But, this didn't come automatically. Many times, I had to just trust God that things would work out. This was a challenging growing, stretching time for me, as there was more chances for things to go more wrong than to resolve properly. The bottom line is that God never let me down. The number one critical thing that had to go right was the weather on August 19th. With all the rain we had been getting, there was not a large chance of a rain-free day. But God was faithful, and Saturday August 19th was a perfect day! It was not a hot day, neither was it sunny. It did not rain a drop. Perfect weather to do hard work!
My request for help went as far as Canada. One of the Ampex Audio people planned to come down to help. As he could not do heavy lifting, he had volunteered to keep everyone fed. Unfortunately, his car developed severe mechanical problems, and he could not come.
The day started by setting up tables for the rummage sale/mini-hamfest. Even before the official start, people were coming by to see what I had to sell. Unfortunately, the poor timing of the dumpst poor timing of the dumpster left me with little to sell. But as the morning wore on, the visitors were often more amazed by the growing rows of electronic equipment in the long driveway!
I turned the sale and hamfest over to Bob N2OOF amd Dale Fravel Sr., N2OTC. They presided over the mostly empty tables and the small format VTR's that piled up in the front yard. Yet, everything that was brought out to sell did, and I made some really badly needed cash. The only person who brought ham gear to sell was Bob, and he sold it, too! So even though the rummage sale and mini-hamfest weren't a big deal, they were completely successful!
Now, people began to trickle in from all over. These people would form the VTR crew. Among them were: Ed Wright (Good friend, Co-worker, and quad-knowledgable); Russell Roby (Another co-worker and friend); Nolan Stephany N2EAW (Good friend, and the person who helped me get started in VTR collecting!); Bob Shewell N2HJD (Ham friend, and now knows his way around a VR2000!); Dean Keyser WB2QCJ (Good friend and engineer extrordinare. I think he did more heavy lifting than anyone else!); Steve Fleming N2VTC (Ham friend and frequent VHF/Field Day participant); Burt Hineline (Best friend and source of moral support); Tom Greene (One of the Ampex Audio Enthusiasts from around the Rochester area); and several brethern from churcbrethern from church whose names I did not get.
As soon as there were enough people, we started by clearing out the heavy items that were in the way of the tape machines. Then, the people broke down into several groups and concentrated on moving particualar machines.
Ed and Nolan started on the VR1200 in the living room while Dean and I continued to get smaller stuff outside and out of the way. Bob and Steve and the brethern from church spent the entire day 'liberating' the two AVR-2's, the VR2000 and the VR1200 from the basement. Tom helped out where he could. Burt took many of the photographs and ran errands. Bob and Dale took care of visitors and outside activities.
L to R: Tom Greene, myself, Nolan Stephany, Russell Roby. Ed Wright's head is just showing.
L to R: Tom Greene, Nolan Stephany (red shirt), Myself (In back), Russell Roby, Dean Keyser, Ed Wright (Cut off again!).
L to R: Russell Roby (letting go), Tom Greene, Nolan Stephany, myself, Ed Wright, Steve Fleming.
L to R: Tom Greene, Russell Roby (Just showing), Nolan Stephany, Ed Wright, Steve Fleming.
The first items moved outside were an equipment rack containing some early digital video equipment (From the days when 'digital' did not mean 'smaller and lighter'!). This was followed by the VPR-2 (Top two pictures) and then the VPR-3. There is no easy way to get this equipment out of the upstairs. It all had to be lightened if possible, brought to the front porch steps, and lifted by brute force to the ground.
While this was going on on, the basement crew was very busy. Here is a picture of Bob Shewell busily disassembling the VR2000, one of the most difficult machines to disassemble.
Ed and Nolan made short work of the VR1200, and soon had it reassembled in the driveway. Of all the machines moved that day, this VR1200 was almost completely reassembled.
Here, I am pulling the VPR-3 into staging position. In the next picture, Tom Greene poses with the VPR-3 and VR1200..
Steve worked to reinstall a few pieces removed from the VPR-3. Soon, that machine was ready to load. So, he went back to work downstairs. I stopped long enough to pose with two of the machines, and so did Tom. (pictures above)
Dean had to leave early. He helped me early. He helped me get the equipment rack out of the shack/shop. (This was bulky, not heavy). From ther on in, Ed and I concentrated on by far the hardest machine, the AVR-1. Nolan helped both us and the bsement crew, depending on who needed technical advice.
L to R: One of the fellows from church, Russell Roby.
Soon, the VR2000 frame was ready to come up out of the basement. this was probably the single most difficult thing to move, as it barely fit when Nolan and Iwe took it down there years ago. But, with lots of hands and some tight manuvering, we got it out without incident. At this point, Bob learned the machines had to be reassembled again! He dilligently set about this task, and went back to get the VR1200 from the basement later.
Soon, the AVR-1 was ready to come out. This machine is so heavy that even most of the subassemblies are two or more person lifts. The worst parts were the upper console frame and the lower console. Everyone present helped move these two really heavy pieces. After the console halves were outside and re-mated, it took Ed and I most of the rend I most of the rest of the day to finish roughly reassembling the machine. Unfortunately, this machine will need a lot of work before it will run again.
The day was now winding to a close. Todd Bowman, my neighbor and truck driver now came over, and we loaded those machines that were ready to load. It was now growing dark, and almost everyone went home. The only people that stayed for dinner was Steve and Bob. I got my chances to feed everyone else at later dates!
How sucessful was the quad disassembly party? Very! 6 of the 7 quads made it outside and the remaining machine would be a gravy job. All of the other heavy pieces made it outside. So, even though some work remained it was as sucessful as I could have ever hoped. Praise the Lord!
The next morning, I moved the remaining Machine frame outside (An AVR-2) and prepared it for moving. The other two AVR-2's needed final assembly before moving as well. I cheated here, and used conventional bolts instead of the tedious hex cap screws Ampex had originally used. This saved an hour of work. (The originals were saved for 'authentic' reassembly at a later date.)
Dean and Steve came back to help for a while. During this time, the AVR-2's recieved final prep, and a bunch of miscellaneous heavy stuff was repositioned for loading. The rest of the afternoon est of the afternoon was spent palletizing smaller VTR's, TV cameras, and monitors. Later in the day, Vince and Kathy Slavin, good friends, came over for a nice visit. Eventually, Todd came over, and all of the stuff we had prepared that day was loaded in the truck. The truck trailer was then moved into the driveway for loading phase 2. By this point, all of the VTR's, and much of the other heavy stuff was loaded. I was elated!
It was now Monday. This was originally supposed to be our departure date, but I was far from ready. Not a single box had been loaded. So, I did two things: arranged for a late week departure (Cost me $500 additional!), and hired some temporary help from Laboready. Todd also got his cousin's son Al Rozenbach to come over and help. Turns out I remember Al when he was much younger. He would come over to look at all my electronic equipment! This turned out to be one darn hard working crew! Although it was getting hotter, the heat and humidity were still lower than they had been.
Todd had instructed us to load stuff all the way to the ceiling of the trailer. This we did. In fact, we packed the boxes so efficiently that we ran out of them just before noon. The ham antennas were then stacked on top of the boxes. The rest of the day was spent loading loose electronic equipment. This was stuff that was impractical to palletize, and there was an amazing amount of it! This amount of it! This process was slow, but we eventually got it done.
Eventually, the Laboready people had to leave, but they had accomplished more than their share of work. Al got one of his friends to come over and help. Eventually Bob came back to get some shelving I didn't plan to take.
While Bob was there, a little miracle occured that let me know who was really in charge of this operation! I have a large stone lion that was obtained under harrowing conditions and is very special to me. I had planned to leave it behind, as it weighed 400 pounds, and was in the middle of the lawn. In fact, I wasn't even thinking about it any more. But then Bob asked me if I was going to take the lion. I explained to him that it would be very difficult to move. He then suggested using a pallet jack to roll it across the grass. He claimed to have done this at one time.
Any of you who have ever used a pallet jack know it's wheels are designed for hard pavement only. I seriously doubted that he could get that heavy monster onto a pallet jack and roll it across soft ground. I doubted he could even get it over to the lion to begin with. But, I let Bob and Al and his friend try. I had to keep working in the trailer while they did this. I was utterly amazed when I found the lion on hard ground, ready for palletization, not 10 minutes later!
Al and Bob went and got the forklift, which was kept at Todd's, next door. I got a picture of Al manning the forklift. Al and his friend then got a lesson in rackmounting of equipment. We held back some of the loose electronic equipment to fill the roll-around racks. Then, these were loaded on the trailer. The last thing loaded was the stone lion. I am so happy that the stone lion made the trip. Thank you, Lord!
The rest of that week was spent loading the household stuff little by little. There was also a great deal of large format videotape that was loaded on pallets. This ended up filling two pallets. I also got my first experience driving forklift loading these pallets!
Todd wanted to leave with the truck midday Friday. As hard as I tried, I could not seem to get things done as fast as I wanted. A lengthy lunch one day put on by my coworkers was fun, but really slowed me down! (It also made things so I left town on a positive note.) Thursday night found me tantalizingly close to goal, but not quite there. So, I worked until dawn Friday morning to get the last items on the truck! I slept only about 3 hours, and then loaded the bed and bedding on the truck. As far as I truck. As far as I was concerned, the truck ws loaded. I spent the rest of the day picking up the yard and straightening out the inside of the house. (The cats would live there for 3 more weeks, until I was established in an apartment.) I also installed a new stereo in my pickup truck to allow me to enjoy CD's during the long drive.
Todd didn't make it over until quite late. So, the truck didn't roll until 10:25 PM. I waved 'goodbye' to 'Quadruplex Park', and practically all my earthly goods. My friend Brad, N2UNV and I went out to dinner together. He was also the cat caretaker, and had helped out at many points during this challenging project. He ws the last friend I saw before I left town.
That night, I slept on the couch, and enjoyed one last night with the cats. The next morning, I loaded the last few items into my pickup, into spaces already provided. I took one last long look at what had been my home for the last 8 years, and drove away. The time was 9:03 AM on Saturday August 26th, 2000.