With snowmobiling season nearing the end, I finally realized that with all the pats on the back and special mentions of the TASA grooming crew, I am guilty of not making you aware of two other EXTREMELY important members of the TASA crew. A lot of what these two guys do goes on “behind the scenes” but if it were NOT for these two men, TASA would not be able to keep the grooming equipment in tip top shape and on the trail round the clock.
TASA gives a HUGE thanks to our two mechanics, Jerry Wendling and Charles “Buzz” Medalis. Buzz can also fill in as a groomer operator when needed.
When these fellas are not at the shop performing maintenance on equipment, or pressure washing the built up snow and ice off from the drags and/or groomers, or cleaning the shop once the groomers are out on the trail again, they take turns being “on call”. This means one of them is basically tethered to one of the 3 groomers via radio communication. Cell phones (even the bag phones) were not reliable enough for our groomer operators to be out on the trail with, so several years ago, TASA went to this radio system. There is a radio in each groomer (3 groomers), Trail Boss Bob has one with him pretty much 24/7 and one of the mechanics has one with him after he is “done for the day”. The only way these radios do any good is if they are left turned on and I’m sure that when Jerry or Buzz are trying to get some shut eye, it has to be very annoying to have to listen to the “chatter” that goes on sometimes back and forth between the groomer operators on the trail. BUT they have to have them on in case they are needed in the middle of the night. When that happens it can mean a darn cold night out on the trail trying to repair a groomer; one just never knows what that call might mean.
These are two guys that don’t get the glory and pats on the back that the groomer operators get. They aren’t really in the limelight, but they are just as important as the groomer drivers themselves.
I hope that Jerry and Buzz realize how important they are to TASA and the community but I want the rest of you to realize the very important role they play in keeping the trails ready to ride. Stop by the TASA barn some time and give these two guys a big thumbs up!
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