So We Try Again
After the shock of the great flood, everyone asked of Harvit if the work on the new station would continue. His reply was not a resounding "yes!". It was just over a month later when he called me back and asked, "Where are we?". It was then clear we were going to continue. The station meant as much to the region as it did to him.
The next thing I know he is trying to get three transmitter manufactures together in his office to tout their products. None would so he had me do a survey and he did a survey, of what transmitters others had bought in the past few years. My conclusion was Harris. So was his. So he called the rep to make a deal. Now, what about the studio equipment? He wanted the most for the least. His idea was to get it going and get better equipment later. The choice was BE (Broadcast Equipment).
It was late in the year and we knew it would be spring of 78' before we could start construction.
One thing had changed and it was a huge change. The transmitter building was to be an 8 x 10, just enough for the transmitter and associated equipment. His new requirement included a large rain water collector, toilet, work area and "enough room for a dozen people to spend the night". The little transmitter shack became a large building. The idea of using rain water to flush was the idea of the prime contractor, Lonnie Varney.You couldn't drink it, but you could flush it! An extra door was installed and was intended to go to an external generator mounted outside and not on the building structure. The goal was to house several staff for a long period of time in case of another disaster.
Sister station (WBTH) had its tower (known as a mono-pole with a "counter-poise" ground system) above the studios. Problem was, it was on the Mountaineer Hotel roof. The roof leaked constantly and the company wanted the tower gone! Well, it wouldn't cost a lot to make the FM tower AM too, so why not? In agreeing to remove the tower from the roof, we could have most anything we wanted on the mountain. A good deal I thought.
In early spring of 78', I went to check on the road progress. I was shocked to find two sets of surveyor's stakes! One set stopped and the other went down hill!. I reported back to Harvit who was instantly furious! He called a meeting with the lawyer and all others involved. What had happened was the primary surveyor was overwhelmed after the flood and sub-contracted to someone else. This person was in no hurry and wasn't being supervised. Contracts were terminated and we then sought "someone to build us a road!". We hit some luck. There was a local contractor who had worked on the mountain in the coal mining days there. He said he could "tie the old roads together and meet our needs". Time was running out. Harvit said "do It!".
The fiasco with the road was just he beginning of the problems. At the studio, we were trying to put 50 pounds in a 1 pound bag! Could we make it work?