First, a special thank you to WB2DND who posted a more complete (and much funnier) first part of the Tower Story than was in the version I found. I have taken the liberty of editing this version to incorporate his contribution. (With apologies: "Now you know the rest of the story!") JIM , KGOUF   TOWER WORK A ham writing a letter to his insurance company explaining a Recent misfortune "I am writing in response to your request for additional information. In block no. 3 of your accident reporting form, I submitted that 'poor planning' caused the accident I experienced last month. You say in your letter to 'explain more fully'. I trust the following information will prove to be sufficient. "I am an amateur radio operator, and on the day of the accident I r was at work on the top section of my 100 foot tower. When I had completed my work, I discovered that, over the course of my many trips up and down the tower, I had brought up about 300 pounds of tools and spare hardware. Rather than carry the now-unneeded tools down by hand I decided to lower them using a small barrel and my 'gin pole' still attached to the top of the tower. "Securing the rope at ground level, I went up the tower and filled the barrel. I then went back to ground level and untied the rope, holding it tightly, to insure a slow descent of the 300 pound load. "You will notice in block no. 11 that I had given my weight as 150 pounds. "Due to my surprise at being suddenly jerked off the ground at such a rapid rate, I momentarily lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. "Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side 1 r of the tower. In the vicinity of the 50 foot level, I met the swiftly descendin barrel. This explains m fractured collar bone. "After momentarily slowing, I resumed my rapid ascent, not stopping until my hands were three knuckles deep in the pulley. This explains the cuts to my hand and the subsequent sutures. "Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my composure and managed to hold onto the rope despite the excruciating pain. At about this time, however, the loaded barrel hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Now, without the 300 pounds of tools, the barrel only weighed about 15 pounds. (I refer you again to my weight in block no. 11.) "As you might imagine, I began a swift plunge down the side of the tower. Again, at about the 50 foot level, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for my two fractured ankles and the lacerations on my legs, thighs, and lower body. "The barrel encounter slowed me enough to lessen my impact with the pile of tools and hardware. I was extremely fortunate to escape with only a fractured coccyx and three crushed vertebrae. "I regret to report, however, that as I lay there on the pile of tools in excruciating pain, unable to stand, and watching the empty barrel 100 feet above me, I again let go of the rope. "The barrel's descent from the top of the tower was much more rapid than my faltering attempts to crawl through the pile of tools and away from the tower. Things could have been much worse, however. "Fortunately, halfway down the barrel hit the side of the tower where it shattered. Instead of looking up to dodge a barrel that was falling on me, I looked up to find three steel hoops and about a dozen barrel staves tumbling toward my head. Still looking up, I was able to lean or crawl out of the path of most of the staves and hoops. "The shoulder lacerations happened when one hoop flipped neatly over my upward looking head and came to a jarring halt around my upper arms, pinning them to my body. At that point, I fell over. "You might be wondering why no one came to my aid for I certainly was yelling for help as loud as I could. It just so happens that about half an hour into my work on the tower, my wife, by then very tired of hearing me shout for yet another tool, ceased responding when I called for her help. She is now very embarrassed about this and feels terrible that she ignored my screams. . . especially those she heard after it started to rain. "Arms bound, I began to roll down from the top of the hill where my tower stands toward my house at the bottom of the hill where I hoped to get some help. At the time it seemed to be a good idea because rolling was the only motion I was able to accomplish. The surgically removed splinters referred to in block number 18 were implanted in me as I rolled over the fallen barrel staves. "Not being as fully in control of my faculties as I might have wished, I somehow failed to notice that as I rolled down the hill toward my house, the rope running through the pulley at the top of the tower was busy wrapping itself around my legs and lower torso. "Now unable to use either my arms or feet to slow my roll, I soon found myself moving way too rapidly down the hill. Needless to say, my rolling stopped rather abruptly when the knot at the end of the rope met the pulley at the top of the tower. In the process of stopping my roll, the rope so firmly tightened itself around me that it severely restricted the circulation throughout my lower body and legs. "This explains why there was a need to rapidly infuse my cells with oxygen in order to limit damage from the gangrene that was setting in and accounts for the use of the hospital's hyperbaric chamber referred to in block no. 14. Oh yes, I almost forgot. It was during that hour of rain before a neighbor finally came to my aid, that I somehow managed to ontract the pneumonia referred to in block number 8 of your form. I trust that this will suffice to 'explain more fully' explain' the poor planning that caused the accident referred to in block no. 3 of your accident reporting form. Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me. I understand that I will be released from the hospital as soon as the body cast is removed. Hopefully that will happen by the end of next month." JIM (KG0UF)      

Towerwork