When one thinks of volunteering one's time, one thinks in terms of making sandwiches for the homeless or perhaps sorting clothing at a clothing bank.  One does not think of turning the lights off at the local stadium.  At least I don't.

And yet, as a way of offsetting the exhorbitant cost of participation in the Pride of Broken Arrow, we occasionally work off the cost by cleaning up the stadium after an event.  For minimum wage, Evan and his buddies (and actually Mel and I too) can show up after an event and pick up the trash.  It's worth it to me since, as the responsible adult, I do not actually bend over to pick anything up; I manage the affair.  I say "do this" and "do that".  And in the end, I am responsible for locking all the gates and turning off the big stadium lights which is pretty cool.

I got to go to the pressbox in order to do that since that's where the switches are.  It's the sort of thing that I've always kind of wanted to do but once done, I don't really want to do it again.  So last night, I showed up after some sort of soccer playoff game and had some boys go pick up trash.  Soccer is not a huge crowd-drawing thing in Oklahoma so the attendance (and therefore the trash load) was not large.  We finished up quickly.  But Cox Communications was there to broadcast the game on the local cable channel and they were definitely not finishing up quickly.

I did my making-the-rounds thing pulling on gate locks to make sure they were really locked.  Then I made my way back around to the front where Cox parked their box trucks filled with portable TV studio stuff (and festooned with their logos) to await their departure.  I found out that they travel with about 100 miles of cable; all of which has to be painstakingly coiled up by hand and stowed in the trucks.  I watched for what seemed like hours while a troop of guys carefully coiled up cables and stowed them in the trucks. 

I finally rode the elevator up to the press box, turned off the stadium lights with the crazy-looking little key, and was about to set the alarm when two coaches appeared.  Both of us were surprised to see the other but I was relieved to find some school officials (who were actually on the payroll and therefore responsible for making sure this was done correctly) to help set the alarm.  The alarm was duly set and we rode down to find that the cable guys were still busy coiling and packing.  Thankfully, the coaches let me off the hook and said they'd stay until this was done.

Evan finally got so bored he went out to the truck and listened to his iPod.  So, I got to do something new last night.  Hopefully, I won't have to do it very often.