is Monday and like any other school day the students wander into
class at Buhl High School. For Mary this is a special day, this is
the day months of planning for the 2001 prom will be executed. After
lunch, the crew that she has meticulously hand picked gathers in the
huge gymnasium next to stacks of boxes delivered early last week. She
explains each job carefully and that as a team they need to transform
that big cavern of a gym into a one night fantasy. Elsewhere across
in another county, Martha Peters a mother of two and a worker at the
local bank, makes her way back from lunch, unknown to her Mary's
dream and Martha's life will clash in a hail of sparks.
It's 5 PM
Friday now and Paige Vanderpool from Music Magic puts the finishing
touches on her vanload of equipment. She looks up at the clouds in
the sky and feels a small drizzle of rain on her brow and hears the
clash of thunder in the distance. In her mind she is thinking,
"What if..." She then hears me make the comment, "Hope
the power does not go out tonight."
On the other
side of the county, Martha is heading home from a long days work. Her
mind drifts into the many events that took place during the day as
she pulls onto an old country highway. She could not wait to get home
and relax in a nice warm bath. Navigating a curve a large figure
catches here eye in the road a head then another and another. Cattle
from a nearby farm somehow had gotten onto the road. Thinking as
quickly as she could, Martha cranks the wheel to avoid creating
bovine stew and her Lincoln Navigator flies into a ditch and comes to
rest after knocking over a large power pole in a hail of sparks.
Martha passes out.
usual is a little tense about the night. It is a stage-fright sort of
tense. Upon arriving at the Buhl High School, she backs up to the
side gym door as requested and parks. Entering the gym, she sees
pitch black and hears voices. The principal and advisor emerge from
the darkness. "Is there anyway I can have the lights turned on
until I get set up?" Paige smiles. The look on their faces said
it all. There was no power to turn on the lights. Unknown to Paige
and the school staff, Martha in another county wiped out power to the
entire city of Buhl for the rest of the night.
power would be on soon, Paige proceeded to set up her entire system
in the dark with only the waning light from the open door to guide
her. This was the biggest night of the year for Buhl High School and
she was determined to be ready when the power came on.
Most all the
gear was setup when Mary arrived with her date. She was frantic. The
hundreds of hours she and her crew had spent on this night were
slowly slipping into the darkness caused by an errand herd of cows
and bank teller. It was 15 minutes until the start of the nights
events and still no power. Then word came in from the power company
about the accident and that power would be restored around midnight.
She broke down into tears, her night was ruined.
At that time,
Paige went into E-mode, which is emergency mode. She assessed the
situation and the first thing that came to mind was a generator. She
knew that her equipment and lights took up three 20-amp outlets so
naturally thought they would need three generators. The calls went
out frantically to find generators large enough. The towns people
came together and brought in 4 small generators and then a farmer
backed up his truck with a surprise. In the back of his truck was a
5000-watt arc welder that also produced AC 110 volts power.
While all this
was taking place, Paige knew she had to have clean power for her cd
decks and remembered her company had just purchased a new Furman
"power thing" that cleaned and conditioned power. A quick
call to her husband and the Furman AR-1215 power regulator was on
it's way along with a power distribution panel. The welder was
kicking out voltage, but the meter on it was fluctuating between 122
volts and 100 volts. This was not good power to be feeding a digital
sound system. Once the Furman regulator was hooked up it took a few
seconds to kick it but it grabbed the power and held it at a smooth
120 volts and filtered out the spikes and noise that would have sent
the cd players into a frenzy.
distribution panel hooked into a smaller generator for the lights,
the Prom came to life and the people cheered. The 5000-watt welder
had more than enough over-head to operate Paige's sound system, the
Prom was a total success, and the Furman AR-1215 made it possible.
With all the
problems that took place behind the scenes Paige was able to pull off
one of the best Proms and Formals Buhl High School had ever seen.
From the start of the music til the very last dance she kept the
floor hopping. She had even made sure there was power to run the
bulky stage spotlight for the promenade half-time show.