You see the Volunteer trip invitations and the images of those who come out for their Frying Pan Tower adventure, but why? Why do they do it? Follow along with volunteer Daniel Schmiedt as he discusses his decision to become part of the restoration! Here’s part 1 of 4 in Dan’s own words…
Much to the chagrin of my parents, I had lugged home yet another old radio. This one was practically golden as far as I was concerned: it was a Pierce-Simpson Bimini VHF marine radio. My friend Wray at the radio shop had GIVEN it to me! I would use it to listen to ships in the Charleston Harbor.
I set it on my radio table, connected up a wire for an antenna, and turned it on. It hummed, then crackled. Occasionally, I’d hear Coast Guard group Charleston make announcements. Sometimes, I’d tune into the weather and listen to the recorded weather observations from along the coast.
“Offshore seas six feet, measured at the Frying Pan Observation Station…” the man with the familiar voice read. I wondered what that station was and would sometimes daydream about it, since the marine weather man talked about it so much.
In the decades that have passed since then, I recall seeing fleeting news headlines about that structure that somehow stood alone far out at sea. It was abandoned by the Coast Guard. It was going to be torn down. It was sold at an auction. It was a bed and breakfast. It was up for auction again.
Finally, I stumbled into a Facebook group. It was being rebuilt by volunteers. I added my name to the list, and would get announcements about work weekends. But, I weighed too much for the helicopter.
I’ve lost 34 pounds since December, and when I got the latest notice about a work weekend, I realized that I was within the acceptable weight envelope. I checked my calendar; there was no reason I couldn’t go.
I paid for my helicopter flight and soon got a call from Richard, the managing director of the nonprofit in charge of restoring the tower.
“Why do you want to come out here?” he asked.
I told him about the Pierce-Simpson radio, that I’d seen the announcement, and that I couldn’t think of a reason not to come out.
“Perfect,” he said. “Flight one leaves Southport at 9am on Friday.”
Dan brought a lot of effort and talent to our volunteer crew by giving of his time and talent over the next few days. He was introduced to our mission of restoring, protecting and preserving Frying Pan Tower, and was instrumental in helping us achieve it.
Check back for Day 1 as Dan shares is musings about being onsite…
Are You Interested In Volunteering?
Experience the sea-faring adventure of a lifetime! Find out if you've got what it takes to be a volunteer to help restore, protect and preserve Frying Pan Tower.Learn More