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Working For Free

July 1, 2020

Are you still up?

Yeah, why?

I’m thinking that putting that antenna up is going to be a lot cooler tonight than tomorrow during the day.

Sure, let me grab a flashlight and I’ll meet you outside.

Saturday is the fourth of July, America’s Independence day. That’s a big deal in my little town of Pleasant Grove. Many of the events surrounding Independence have been cancelled or cut back.

But, the biggest 4th of July event is going on as planned. I volunteer with an organization called Follow The Flag. The organization does a lot of good work.

But, the organization really exists for the Fourth of July. Every Fourth of July for the past several years, the Follow The Flag organization has strung a Kevlar line across Grove Creek Canyon and unfurled the world’s largest free flying American Flag. It will fly there for a week.

There are three flags that the organization owns. The original flag was called Big Betsy. Then, the Ogden chapter bought a flag and named it The Major, in honor of Brent Taylor, the mayor of North Ogden who was a major in the National Guard and was killed in Afghanistan.

Last year, Big Betsy was damaged in a micro-burst. So, she’s been retired from flying. Instead a new flag will fly over Grove Creek Canyon this year. It’s name is Lady Liberty. She’s about 150 feet by 75 feet.

The thing about Follow The Flag, is that everyone is a volunteer. We don’t even get t-shirts for free. My small part is a radio transmitter. My neighbor and I set up a small radio station at the mouth of the canyon that will broadcast patriot music on a loop.

The thing is, we also have jobs, so it’s not unusual to be out at 10:00 at night doing setup. As we were installing our antenna and radio I happened to glance up at the imposing mountain silver and black in the light of the waxing moon. There about half way up, just where the canyon wall jutted out I saw flashlights bobbing.

The riggers were getting the lines strung. More people working late into the night for free.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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