From Left Field
By BOB SHRALUKA
Bob Adams says the different teams didn't begin to look alike after awhile, but, "I'll tell you, I sure was tired of talking."
Adams was talking a bunch on Memorial Day; a big bunch. And traveling, too.
In a period of roughly 12 and a half hours, 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., he broadcast not one, not two, but three baseball games for WZBD. And traveled 90 or so miles when not sitting in front of a mike.
He did the South Adams-Churbusco Class AA game at Indiana Tech's ball diamond in Fort Wayne starting at 10 a.m., and when that was over, hopped back to Decatur for the Bellmont-Norwell game at 1 p.m. And when that one was finished ... yep, it was back to Indiana Tech to broadcast the championship game between the Starfires and Bishop Luers.
"We left around 8:30 (a.m.) and I got home, oh, I suppose, around 11 (p.m.)," Adams said on Tuesday, the day after the gauntlet run.
Did he have any trouble losing the voice?
"No, but, man, with all that heat I sure drank a lot of water," he laughed.
He wasn't necessarily happy that South Adams lost, but had the Starfires won and Bellmont not won (and, later, Adams Central), Adams might have been doing the Starfires' game in Whiting this weekend. Ugh!
"That's four hours away, in a different time zone, for God's sake," the man behind the mike said. "It's alongside Lake Michigan. I don't know what the IHSAA is thinking sometimes,"
He had help on the three-in-a-day broadcasts. Barb Affolder sat in with Adams on the two games in Fort Wayne and Eric Koenemann — you know, K-Dog — assisted in the booth at Bellmont.
"Barb did the two games at Tech. After the first one, she went home and went swimming, which is what I should have done. Instead, I had about an hour and a half (before making the trip back to Fort Wayne) and I went home and slept," he laughed.
The owner of Bob's Locksmith Shop thinks he did three games in one day "maybe once or twice in the past," but it's not something he would like to do on a steady basis.
For getting all three games done without a major hitch, Adams was rewarded with ... a trip to Central Noble at Albion the very next night to broadcast Adams Central's huge win in a Regional softball title game. After, that is, he covered the Adams County Commissioners' meeting at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
"I sure hope their (commissioners') meeting doesn't last too long so I can get going for Central Noble," he chuckled earlier Tuesday.
New lights, better flow
What does Clinton St. in downtown Fort Wayne and part of Monroe St. in Decatur have in common? If you drive the speed limit and don't get into a bunch of traffic, you probably won't get a red light.
Final tweaks were being made this week to the new overhead traffic lights by Hoosier CO Inc. out of Indianapolis, which won an Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) contract with a bid of $712,000.
In addition to traffic lights removed and replaced, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramps, sidewalks and some curbs were redone as part of the agreement.
The new overhead lights — at the intersections of First, Second, Third and Fifth streets — are designed to produce more efficient traffic flow. City Street/Sanitation Superintendent Jeremy Gilbert said the lights at the four intersections "talk to each other," keeping traffic moving.
The lights on, say, Monroe St. at Fifth St. will remain green until a vehicle approaches the intersection on Fifth and "trips" the system, bringing a red light to Monroe St. and a green for Fifth.
The new lights should help alleviate some of the plugged-up traffic heading west on Monroe St. when Bellmont high and middle schools dismiss, throwing numerous vehicles and school buses into the street. (Well, next August, anyway.) Similar but lesser problems seem to occur on some late afternoons for eastbound traffic.