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On Fran Bar: Maybe Danny Glover was Right...

Posted 07-20-2011 at 08:21 AM by Agent Spencer
Recently, it appears that there has been a slight resurgence of interest in playing at Fran Bar Park after nearly half a decade of semi-official boycotting by Airsoft Ohio members and events. I've been involved in airsoft since early '05, and so I do remember some of the larger events at Fran Bar, including the Full Throttle Series, as well as hosted a few events there myself, a long long time ago; Operation: Typhoon Rising to name one. During one of the events that I attended, a fellow member, Kurt Klaus, accidentally stepped on a nail, which went directly through his foot. Ouch.

That pretty much put the nail in the coffin of Fran Bar, which had been disaffectionately dubbed FUBAR Park. (No, I am not above puns, thank you.) In addition to the owner disregarding the multitude of physical dangers of the park itself, the owner can be extremely rude, careless and confrontational. In fact, at one point in time, during an event hosted by the 91st Wild Cards for charity, the owner walked over to the charity donation bin and scooped up "his cut" and left. 91st Wild Card member Spades can provide more information on that incident. That's after making all of the participants pay 15 dollars to shoot at each other in a death trap. Now I'm all for realism, but when an unexploded Soviet minefield in the middle of Kandahar seems like a safer option, enough is enough.

Throughout the years, there have been many AO members mostly often younger individuals, who eagerly realize that if the field can be rehabilitated, there would a Central Ohio Field. Calls have been made, Cleanup events organized. At one point (2009ish if I recall correctly) Miyagi and I even tried to get the field to let us host an event and a barbecue. Miyagi's call was met with the field owner acting like an irate meth head.

Money that you pay to other fields, be them Red Dragon, Battlefront, or Striker's Hidden Valley, goes to actual upkeep. It keeps fields up and running in playable states. The owner of Fran Bar simply pockets the money and disappears. He collects money from Paintballers, Haunted Hoochie goers and (now, again) airsofters, and frankly continuing to give him our money while the field is in such disrepair is condoning his negligence.

Sure, some of you will say, "Toughen up, Agent Spencer, all fields have risks, you signed a waiver, you released your right to sue and acknowledged you are in possible danger." And that's true, but the people who get hit and killed by hockey pucks at games waived their rights too, and they thought they'd be safe. Playing airsoft has risks, yes. I've seen people get teeth shot out, etc. But blatantly negligent hazards like nails, glass, jagged metal and splintered wood everywhere? Is it worth it?

Fran Bar won't be cleaned up by the owner, and I think it's horrendously moronic to clean it up for him. All of the build/clean up days that people have tried to organize were met with the owner wanting to charge $15 bucks a pop. To clean. Not to play. To clean up and make the field safe.

It is for all of these above reasons that Fran Bar was boycotted in the first place. It places players in danger. Younger players, looking for a shorter drive or easier place for their parents to take them to play flock to Fran Bar, and that doesn't bode well for me. Not at all.

I don't play airsoft regularly anymore or as regularly as I would like to be able to play. However if I'm paying to play somewhere, just to have fun, why wouldn't I vote with my money, and give it to a field owner who wasn't actively trying to murder his customers.

Maybe Danny Glover was right. Maybe I am just too old for this sh*t...
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  1. Old
    Agent Spencer's Avatar
    I agree with your post Red, up to the last point. Fran Bar burned its bridges. Then it microwaved the remains. Even if Fran Bar was the safest area on planet earth, the owner's behavior is enough for me, and I think many of the long-time members here to look over Fran Bar in the future.

    Hillslam made a valid point by saying the field isn't all that. Apparently thrill-seeking localists are the only people interested in the place, and that is fine.

    But I fear for AO's name being attached to an event there when the inevitable injury occurs and some soccer mom goes ballistic on us either via the news media or courtroom (not that it would go far, I know).

    I don't wish to see the players, sport, or organization hurt. Which is why Fran Bar is still on my boycott list. It says a lot when you can drive your business away... 2-3 hours away, to your competition.

    And as for you, Death Angel

    I have come to find out that there are some political games being played in an attempt to make the owner look bad.
    Really? There is a secret cabal of people trying to make the owner look bad? Hah, you are giving your imagination too much credit. He does that all by himself. But just to entertain you, I would like to know what you have come to find out, because I'm interested to know. Is it collusion by other field owners?

    Honestly, you seem to have proof or informants, let it spill.
    Posted 07-27-2011 at 09:43 AM by Agent Spencer Agent Spencer is offline
    Updated 07-27-2011 at 09:47 AM by Agent Spencer
  2. Old
    I am working on Pix and hopefully a video to post soon.

    I get that a lot of people don’t like the owner or the fields but a lot of people still do.

    I think the fields are awesome. They are certainly not the best in Ohio but they are still pretty good and despite the “Boycott”, a lot of people that are members of AO still love playing out there.

    I have never had any issues with the owner nor have I seen any crazy instances that some people describe here. Obviously something happened to piss a lot of you off but I for one have always been treated respectfully by the owner.

    As far as the safety of the field, this is just getting annoying. The field is fine. Sure there are some “Real World” hazards and maybe even more than some other fields but it is certainly no death trap! A little common sense goes a long way. The owner has been more than willing to let people come check out the fields whether you decide to play there or not. He is always open to suggestions to make the field better.

    Furthermore, whenever a safety hazard is brought to his attention, that I am aware of, he has addressed the issue.

    It’s pretty simple; if you don’t like Fran Bar, then don’t play there!

    Whether you want to admit it or not, the fact is Fran Bar is a legit Airsoft and Paintball venue.

    Get over it!
    Posted 08-01-2011 at 04:08 PM by Death Angel 1911 Death Angel 1911 is offline

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