The *WeCaTon* - West Carrollton (Ohio) H.S. Alumni News (unofficial)
Friday, September 21, 2007
Please scroll down to read the latest of travelogues from 1960's GERALD A. FULLER and WC-honorary spouse, Rebecca A. ("Becky"). As is always the case, I am incapable of writing anything which will exceed the quality and content of what Becky writes and I sure don't want to take a chance of deleting anything she so capably describes and explains.
While I'm on here, I also want to use this as a timely reminder for us all, regarding alumni weekend, which is now imminent (October 12, 13, 14), so get those reservations sent, right away. Here's the schedule:
The WC golf outing is on Friday, right, Gary? So we expect a report at our later function, too, which is
12 October, Friday: Frisch's Frolic, at our Moraine
City Frisch's, beginning between 5-ish and 6-ish. Do remember to drop a $5 bill on the waitressing crew, as we tend to monopolize the rear areas for a long period of time, so let's remember our servers.
13 October, Saturday: Annual alumni dinner/dance at the Holiday Inn Ballroom between I-75 and 741 right off 725 (did I get those backwards again?) Anyway, you know what I mean, so just be there at 6. This is our crown jewel event, so if you can do only one thing, make sure this is it. Frisch's is NOT a substitute for this event, although it IS great fun!
14 October, Sunday: Many alumni break off into their own groups and go to morning brunches all over town, before everyone heads back home. I'll bet a bunch of us will be back at Frisch's. I understand there are also a lot of personal visits to various homes, on that day. Then, we all go home and wait for next year. I will see you all soon. Stay safe and healthy!
---------------------------- FROM THE FULLERS ----------------------------
(There are some odd characters here. We're not sure what they mean --ed.)
September 17, 2007
We hope this finds you and your families in good health as well as happy and wise (2 out of 3 ainâ€™t bad). We have had a wonderful summer and hope you all have had the same.
We left Kentucky on our adventure May 26 and returned July 19. During the 54 days we were gone, we were in twelve states, three of them twice, and drove 3,492 miles. The highest we paid for gas was $3.39 per gallon in South Dakota seconded in Lockport, NY at $3.36. The lowest gas price was in Ohio of $2.77 per gallon, followed by $2.85 in Indiana. New York state had the highest tolls, but all the states had the most fabulous things to see and the best people. We truly are the greatest nation!
As we left White Earth, Minnesota on July 11th and headed toward Mt. Rushmore, we noticed the difference in the topography. As flat as North Dakota is (and you can see for miles and miles) South Dakota is rolling hills. In some areas it almost looks like mounds along the road. Really a major difference. And Iâ€™m sorry Montana, but you have nothing on the â€œBig Skyâ€ of South and North Dakotaâ€¦.it is absolutely beautiful and feels almost like you can reach up and take a hunk out of the clouds. We stopped for the night at Mitchell, South Dakota, the corn capital of the world, to visit the â€œCorn Palaceâ€. We did, of course, stop to visit the infamous landmark and it really is made of corn â€“ the murals are changed annually and the ears of corn are of natural, not dyed colors. They cut the ears length-wise and nail them to the building. The original building was built in 1892 and then restored in 1912. It really is a sight to see. The murals inside were all made of corn as you can see and itâ€™s a huge auditorium inside where they play basketball games etc. We camped nearby and would you believe the folks next to us knew Bonnie (of West Carrollton High School fame) AND Jerryâ€™s brother Bob from Lockport?? Talk about a small world!
The next day saw us moving thru the Badlands â€“ a very desolate but beautiful area which almost looks like a moonscape â€“ Crazy Horse is buried out there somewhere â€“ only his parents knew where he was laid to rest. Into the Black Hills of South Dakota â€“ WOW! They were huge, monolithic boulders seeming to just burst out of the earth. They just rise straight out of the plains. A rare sight to see and one we are really glad we visited. We arrived in Custer, South Dakota (population 1,860) after climbing 2,000 feet in the last thirty-nine miles towards our destination. That was fun pulling a 37 foot fifth wheel!! We stayed in Custer a week. The first thing we visited was the memorial to Crazy Horse since it was about three miles from Custer. One thing we want you all to know â€“ if you get the chance to go out there, please visit Mt. Rushmore first â€“ then go to Crazy Horse.
The story and the logistics of Crazy Horse are amazing. Crazy Horse Memorial is the dream of one sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota chief Henry Standing Bear. The Chief wanted people to know that the Native Americans had their heros too. It is the worldâ€™s largest mountain carving and the carving of Mt. Rushmore would fit into the head of Crazy Horse, which is 22 stories tall (87.5ft). It was started in 1949 when Korczak was single and currently the head (three dimensional) is complete. He (and now his foundation) have never taken a penny from the government and depend solely on donations. A great deal of the carving was done by him alone.
The sculptor and his family of wife and ten children lived there and worked on the mountain as weather permitted. Even though he died in 1982, the family and most of the children are involved and committed to finishing the tribute. The carving I am standing in front of below is 1/34th scale model of what the mountain will look like when finished. Besides the carving, they have a wonderful Visitor Center with a museum and restaurants. The goal is to eventually have an entire complex with an Indian Museum of North America and Indian University of North American and Medical Training Center. It was just awesome. We actually spent one whole day there and then went back the evening before we left for a fantastic laser light show that brought us to tears. There are lots of places we have visited, but I sincerely hope that I live long enough to go back and see this memorial completed. I guess itâ€™s because of the passion that vibrates at Crazy Horse â€“ you can actually â€œfeelâ€ the purpose of the Ziolkowski family and the promise their father made to the Indian people 60 years ago . Visit http://www.crazyhorsememorial.com/ for more photoâ€™s and information.
Next, we drove 14 miles thru the curvy Black Hills to Keystone, SD. The town of Keystone is a lovely little old west town with lots of tourist shops and restaurants. We ate at a lovely place with the barmaids dressed as old time saloon girls â€“ the food was good too, Jerry says â€“ I didnâ€™t think he noticed. We visited the Rushmore Borglum Museum in Keystone before going to Mt. Rushmore. Borglumm was the sculptor of Mt. Rushmore and if I remember correctly it was finished in six years â€“ actually, the sculpture as it remains today was â€“ since the project was stopped before the full vision was completed. He originally had it planned for the four presidents to be depicted with full bodies. It was a government funded project and when the funding ran out, they had to stop. It was a beautiful sight, and we were as happy to have gone there and visited that piece of our heritage.
I know you all have seen the painted dolphins in Florida, the horses in Florida, etc. Well, hereâ€™s a genuine buffalo (bison, according to Jerry)
In Custer, South Dakota. The Sunday before we left we visited the National Museum of Wood Carving and then called it quits. If we had more time we would have visited Deadwood and Custerâ€™s Last Stand but it was time to head for home.
We headed south in South Dakota, driving thru Wind Cave National Park and Buffalo Gap Grasslands National Park and past the turnoff to Wounded Knee before reaching Nebraska. Saw a real live buffalo on the way and lots of beautiful rolling plains. There were forests and large rock formations â€¦what a fantastic country we live in! The only stops we made in Nebraska were for gas and lodging â€¦Jerry had enough â€œtouringâ€ - we missed the Great Platte River Archway featuring the Oregon and Mormon Trails, but I did get him to stop just east of Iowa City to visit the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum. He could have been a great president, but had the bad luck to be inaugurated just before the Crash of Wall Street and the Great Depression. We did enjoy the museum in a lovely setting of his birthplace West Branch, Iowa, a town which his Quaker family had helped to settle. Certainly worth the visit.
Since weâ€™ve been back to Kentucky weâ€™ve gone to the Stephen Foster Musical in the heart of bourbon country, Bardstown, Kentucky, had lots of great days with my family, celebrated my 60th birthday and prepare to celebrate Jerryâ€™s 65th, and.. oh, yeah, we bought a house.
Itâ€™s patio home on the southeast side of Louisville â€“ just close enough to all my family , but not too close. Weâ€™ll be staying there in the spring and summer when weâ€™re up here. We still plan to be in Panama City Beach or thereabouts in the winter. The house wonâ€™t be ready til March so weâ€™ll have the full winter in the south as usual.
We are looking forward to settling down, although we still may do some travelingâ€¦we arenâ€™t sure exactly whatâ€™s up with the traveling yet, but weâ€™ve pulled this fifth wheel a long way and probably will only take short trips now and again (other than to Florida and back, of course).
At the moment weâ€™re parked in my sisterâ€™s side yard and will be here for awhile. We have to wait for the pre-construction conferences on the house before we leave. We do plan to get to Dayton to the annual high school reunion October 11,12,13 as well as get to Hillsboro to see the younger Fullers and to Columbus to visit with Jerryâ€™s mom and sister before hitting the road for Florida.
SOâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦thatâ€™s all from our home front. Please drop us a note and let us know whatâ€™s happening with you all. We enjoy reading about what you are doing as much as we enjoy running loose all over the country!
Please take care of you and yours and know we love you all,
Becky and Jerry Fuller