Setting up under less than ideal conditions.
When we arrived about 2:45, Don Pullen and a growing army of HAA volunteers were hanging tarps on the pavilions to keep out the rain. Bill, Alexandra and I fanned out to help wherever we could and the next two hours were a blur of setting up canopies, moving picnic tables and unpacking as we tried to stay dry in a steady downpour.
The rain dampened spirits and many of us began to worry whether any members of the public would show up. As if on cue and right at 5:00 pm, Mother Nature eased up on the rain and the first people began arriving.
Our members entertained the public with a well-stocked kids' tent, views through various equipment set up inside the round pavilion, answers to astronomy and equipment related questions and even a a huge bubble wand.
Meanwhile, Don struggled to get the computer projector to run on power provided by a generator. He eventually had to give up and move the talks to the old pavilion which had apparently been double-booked by the park. Fortunately, the soccer team that was supposed to be there, had abandoned it. The projector was quickly re-located and the talks got underway.
At the end of the evening, after most folks had left, Jeff’s truck got stuck in the mud and sand down by the new pavilion. Don, Steve, John, Jackie and I pushed him out and his spinning tires threw mud everywhere – well mostly on Steve!
Rain-soaked, mud-caked and exhausted, the last few volunteers literally staggered into Tim Horton’s about 11:00 p.m. for hot coffee, cleanup and more than a few laughs.
In all of the years I’ve been associated with this club, I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of it. Under the worst of conditions and against dreadful odds, we came together and put on a show that put smiles on kids’ faces and had members of the public so enthralled they were reluctant to leave. Well done, everyone!
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