At the River Thru History rendezvous, September 9, 2017, at Columbia Woods in Willow Springs, John Plecki (KD9BYW), the 220 MHz Good Guys Secretary, and his daughter, met Toni Preckwinkle (current Cook County Board President, and former 4th ward alderman), and Arnold Randall (General Superintendent for the Cook County Forest Preserves). He had a short discussion with both about amateur radio, the 220 Good Guys, and Winter Field Day. The discussion went well, and after handing off a 220 Good Guys brochure to both, Preckwinkle looked over to Randall and asked that he put it on her calendar. She said that a representative from the county would visit our 2018 WFD site to see what the 220 Good Guys ARC, Winter Field Day, and emergency preparations via amateur radio are all about.
WFD 2018 came, and while we did receive a call from the county office, we didn't get a visit. Despite that, our WFD was a great success. We had a larger site, more visitors, and great fun.
There is one thing we did not run out of this year, and that was camaraderie! Saturday we had a quite a few club members show up, a few curious non-hams, non-club member hams who heard about it through various means, and even a friendly doggy named Ginger got involved.
One of our clubs' mutual ham-travelogues seems to be "never travel lighter than your car can carry." I think we all proved that well this trip. We all seemed to carry not only our car's weight in radio equipment and accessories, but also in kitchen accessories and food. No one ever leaves one of our outings hungry. Ever. This trip involved an old KD9EID family relic, the coffee urn, which served well. Hams love coffee. The urn worked well Friday and Saturday, until Sunday morning, when it seemed to whimper out as if to tell us, "If you want hot coffee, you can get it on the way home. Right now it's time to pack up - let's go!"
We had great food options but one of the most discussed was Kelvin's (W9BBQ) chili, and the loads of corn bread we anticipated for the outing. Tim (K9CWY) made his own vegetarian chili and corn bread on the fire (see pictures). The corn bread was impressive and tasty. On Saturday, Mike (KD9FRI) brought out Subway sandwiches for the group - Thanks Mike. April, Dick's (WA9NNN) better-half, made cobbler - a staple for the group's Field Day activities - Thank you April. Our Joe (KD9EJX) made his infamous soup, beans and sandwich fixings for the group - Thanks Joe. John's (KD9BYW) friend, Joe Kalas, brought out White Castle - and who doesn't appreciate a good slider? - Thanks Joe.
This was the first Annual Baofeng Toss at Winter Field Day. This was created last year, at our first Winter Field Day outing. Last year involved an actual Baofeng radio, whereas this year, we produced wooden Baofeng look-alikes for the toss. (LOL) Points were awarded courageously and randomly. This year also includes a trophy, The Megahertz, to be awarded to our winner. Our winner this year, by a landslide, was Dawna Hill, wife of our Vice President Steve (KB9DSQ). Presentation will be done after the Trophy has been created.
Fuji Tesla, The 220 MHz Good Guys mascot, was joined this year by his girlfriend Wicket. Fuji is always at our Field Days, and is a fun part of the group. You can see them in some pictures. One picture in particular has Fuji on our band blocks. These kept us all honest, so no one stepped on the toes of another ham while working their chosen band. (wink)
For those who supported us by special means: bringing food, taking pictures, helping with antenna set-up, etc., you are the heart and soul of what makes the ham radio community as endearing as it is to all involved. We are all bound by spirit as family.
For everyone who came out to join us, we can't express how much we enjoyed your company, and we look forward to seeing you again next January 26 and 27th, 2019 for the next Winter Field Day.