The GMC Step-van
The big truck got too expensive to operate, so in late 1968 it was traded for a GMC Step-van which had the standard gear shift that anyone could operate. The AA Radio Club furnished communications for fire and police until the late '60s, when new police and fire radio networks took over. In 1970 a 2-meter rig was installed in the van. The Club used the simplex frequency of 146.430 MHz. The van served well at Fire Department parades, American Legion Post 40 parades in Glen Burnie and at the Chesapeake Appreciation Days at Sandy Point, where it was used as a control station. For a few years it was also used at the County Fair at Sandy Point. Having served its time, the van was disposed of in 1978.
Installation Dinners for New Officers
Several hamfests held by AARC proved to be unsuccessful. The club has nearly always had an installation dinner for its new officers. For years these were held at My Hideaway Restaurant on Ritchie Highway. Dinners and dances were held for a few years at the Archway Inn on Ft. Smallwood Rd. It's hard to believe now, but on several occasions the Club paid the entire expense for these dinners.
The School Clubhouse was Lost
Around 1970 the AARC received notice from the County that it had to vacate the clubhouse. They gave 90 days notice. Since the County was not using the building for a school, as was required under its contract with the church which gave the property, it reverted back to the church. Walt Manby/W3VJX, Club president at the time, offered a meeting room at the American Legion Post 40 on 5th Ave. in Glen Burnie. Meetings were held there for a few years, during which time the membership fell to an all-time low. Activities also fell during this period.
The AARC Moves to Severn School in Severna Park
However, the Club struggled along until 1973 when Russ Burroughs/WA3VPL became a member. He obtained the use of a meeting room at the Severn School in Severna Park. In exchange for the use of the room, the Club was to conduct Novice Classes at the school. This the Club did, and the classes were very successful. Some of the graduates of these classes are now members of AARC. The Club held its meetings at the Severn School for over four years.