The Odessa Record -

Airport possible, homecoming, first helicopter landing, Black Wolf rides in

 
Series: This Week In Odessa History | Story 9

October 24, 2019



100 years ago

The Odessa Record

October 26, 1919

News updates: Sunday morning at 2 o’clock the clocks of the nation will be moved back one hour, the end of the daylight saving time, started last March.

Odessa contribute 11 of the class of 300 taken in by the Elks lodge.

The earliest real snowstorm of the past 25 years hit Wednesday, leaving three inches of “the beautiful.” A wind had drifted piles as high as four feet.

Glen Becker, who was released from the army two months ago, was up from Lacrosse to visit old friends.

J. A. Jones, operator of the Hotel Odessa, returned from Spokane, reporting that the snow storm ended before reaching there.

Mrs. Gus Weber has been relieving her brother, Al Wagner, at the Quality store while he is away on a hunting trip.

Mrs. Ralph Clayton of Great Falls, Mont., began work Thursday as teacher of the Maltby school north of Odessa. There are still a number of schools in the county without teachers.

75 years ago

The Odessa Record

October 26, 1944

Airport may be reality: Odessa’s long desired airport may become a reality, it was announced at the Friday evening meeting of the Civil Air Patrol, after D. N. Harper, assistant airport engineer of the Civil Aeronautics Administration, Seattle, had spent two days here surveying the site.

The site chosen is on the hill northeast of Odessa, alongside the J. P. Weber road, approximately 1 3/10 miles from the post office. Land involved has been placed under option by a committee from the commercial club, awaiting approval of the site before making the purchase.

An airport under class two designation could be laid out successfully on the land, the engineer stated. This classification is governed by wind conditions and length of runways, and demands at least one stabilized runway.

By rerouting the road that runs north there, it would be possible to lay out runways suitable for any of the prevailing winds.

Financing the airport would be strictly a community affair, he stated, as his organization has no funds for construction. There has been a bill placed in committee in congress that would finance a number of airports for after-the-war projects. Whether any of this would be available, and when, would depend upon the action taken.

Asked whether an airport for Odessa would be sound, economically, he stated that the location at the intersection of an east-west and north-south highway, at a midpoint between Spokane and Wenatchee, would seem an asset to an airport. Relative freedom from dense fog and generally open winter conditions would add value.

Discussion brought out the fact that at least 18 of the Odessa young people had either taken private flying instruction or had army training in aviation, most of whom could be counted upon to want airplanes after the war. Among these are Max Amende, Don Birge, Leland Boyk, Tom Bresee, Velmer Diefe, Art Derr, Paul Fiess, Rudolph Fiess, Jack Goetz, Lawrence Giese, Harold Hoefel, Al Kissler, Eugene Kramer, Harvey Nitschke, Walter Ott, William Raugust Jr. and Dave Wacker.

The committee will continue work. Cooperating in formation of the airport are the city council, American Legion, Lions club and Commercial club.

Soldier group adds to Sunday dinner: Mr. and Mrs. Sam Schafer were hosts at a dinner on Sunday, which was marked by reunions. Pfc. Paul Schafer was home from Fort Lewis, accompanied by T/Sgt. Albert M. Michael and Sgt. Roy Triplett, of his outfit there, and by his aunt, Mrs. Marie Nix of Seattle. Her son, Cpl. Herman Nix, came down from Spokane to meet her.

Sgt. and Mrs. Paul Hoefel, home from Douglas, Ariz., Mr. and Mrs. Robert Schafer and Mr. and Mrs. Roland Schafer completed the list of guests.

Street oil available to property owners: The present street oiling program only provides an oil strip down the traffic line at the center of the streets. If property owners would like to extend this up to their curb, they can get one application of oil and gravel at 15 cents per square yard, or a double application at 25 cents a yard. This will include the gravel. Contact can be made with Jno. C. Jantz, A. W. Birge or the contractor, F. F. Barnes.

50 years ago

The Odessa Record

October 23, 1969

Town trial reset for October 29th: Lt. J. G. and Mrs. Don Bischoff and son Brian have just spent a 10-day visit with his folks, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Bischoff. Don has been chosen to be one of three pilots for the Apollo 12 mission. He will be stationed at Pago Pago, Samoa Islands. His duties will be to haul cargo, mail and personnel to the USS Hornet, which will be the recovery ship.

The Bischoffs have been stationed at Vallejo, California, where Don has been flying cargo and mail to U. S. Navy ships.

Homecoming: A variety of homecoming activities have highlighted this week at Odessa High school. Monday was “Do your own thing day” and a slave auction, with the freshmen as slaves, was sponsored to raise money for the field lights. On Tuesday Mr. Football Irresistable was chosen, while Wednesday was Mr. Legs Day. The Pep Club also brought lunches for the Tiger Football team on Wednesday. On Thursday the Homecoming Queen vote will be held at noon, with a serpentine dance and bonfire scheduled for Thursday night. Friday a pep assembly is planned for downtown, with a tricycle drag as a highlight.

The Homecoming game with Odessa playing Davenport is scheduled for 2:30. The Queen will be named at half-time at the game. The Homecoming Dance will begin at 8:30 Friday evening in the basement of the new gym.

Homecoming Queen candidates this year are Marlene Gies, Beth Hemmerling, Virginia Lachmann and Claudia Wraspir. Class princesses are Debbie Smith, freshmen, Aileen Fink, sophomore, and Debbie Luiten, junior.

Cast chosen for junior class play: Tryouts for the Junior Class play “Strangers in the Night” were held last week at the high school. Chosen for parts were Mary Beth Fink, Vickey Thompson, Paul Scheller, Rick Reihs, Jennifer Beck, Neil Jeske, Ann Schillinger, Reid Schafer, Marilee Frick, Bob Schorzman, Jenny Zacher and Lora Richardson. The play will be directed by Miss Woods, OHS English teacher.

25 years ago

The Odessa Record

October 27, 1994

A ‘once-in-a-lifetime event’: It was a perfect autumn day for the first time landing of an ambulance helicopter at the new heliport atop Odessa Memorial Hospital.

And it was a perfect day for the dedication of the facility, too. About 150 persons turned out to see Northwest MedStar’s Twinstar helicopter touch down for the first time on the rooftop helipad, the only one of its kind among the state’s rural hospitals. The facility was recently completed on the roof of the hospital’s north wing.

Aviation consultant David Ketchum, who was instrumental in arranging state funding for the heliport and who also designed the heliport, spoke at the ceremony. The program was held in the small park between the hospital and the Odessa clinic, beside the emergency driveway formerly used as a landing spot for ambulance helicopters. Two years ago, on a visit to Odessa, Ketchum noted that the driveway was quite inadequate, and proposed a new site, the park.

“When I mentioned that, Carol didn’t answer me, and I knew by her silence she didn’t want the park disturbed,” said Ketchum. He was referring to hospital administrator Carol Schott, who worked with him in planning a new facility. The rooftop proved to be the safest and most accessible place for the new pad.

“When I looked over the new pad, I saw that Lenn Barney didn’t leave one flaw,” said Ketchum. Barney is the hospital maintenance supervisor, who interpreted plans for the structure prepared by 3E Design. During the installation, Barney was project manager and accomplished much of the work himself.

“To me, and I believe to many others, this is the most exciting thing ever to happen in Odessa,” said Mary Kern. chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Lincoln Public Hospital District #1. “It is a once-in-a-lifetime event,” she said.

The helipad was built for approximately $77,000 with funds from the Aeronautic Division of the state Department of Transportation, cash donations, a contribution from the Odessa Healthcare Foundation and volunteer labor and services by local businesses and individuals.

Following dedication ceremonies, visitors thronged to the newly remodeled elevator, which has been extended for rooftop access. They were taken in groups on tours guided by Odessa EMTs to the helipad, where they inspected the craft and talked with the flight crew.

Cake, coffee and punch were provided by the Odessa Healthcare Foundation, which sponsored the dedication event.

The day Black Wolf rode into town: By Linda Gustafson

A stranger rode into town last week, not on a Harley or in a car, not campaigning for any candidate, but on horseback. He drew just a few stares. He smiled and waved while his horse plodded along.

Before Black Wolf-- that is the name he gave me-- got even five miles from Odessa, I had my first report that there was a man on horseback who looked like he was traveling a long distance coming towards town. Because it was Thursday, I wasn’t working in The Record office but next door at Record Square. Therefore, I couldn’t hop in my car and get his story. I had to wait. It took quite a while for Black Wolf to cover the five miles to town.

Jessica Kagele, an employee of The Odessa Record, had taken his picture outside of town near Keith Schafer’s farm.

By the time Black Wolf and his trusty steed, Stardust, got into town, the phone had been ringing endlessly with people telling me there was a stranger on horseback coming into town. I wonder if this is what it was like early on when the only mode of transportation was horseback. Of course, people wouldn’t be using a telephone, they’d just be passing the word by mouth.

Black Wolf stopped at the grocery store, tied his horse to the only hitching post he could find--the pole for Denny’s Thrift sign-- and entered the store. He bought himself some grub and two apples for his horse.

“She expects that,” he said.

It was dusk when he rode by The Record office. He needed to find a place to bed down with his horse before it was too dark.

“She’s tired,” Black Wolf said.

Early the next morning, he was at the Farmer’s Inn having breakfast while his horse was tied to another pole. After breakfast, he rode back to the store, got two apples and some other treats to start the journey to Sandpoint, Idaho.

Black Wolf told me he had been in Seattle working for a friend who had pony rides. Now he was headed back home.

He said he doesn’t stay in one place too long-- maybe six months at a time-- and then it is on to another spot.

“This horse has been with me a long time. We have been to Oklahoma, Montana, Texas, California--just everywhere together,” he said. “We move at whatever pace she wants to go and just about anywhere she wants to go.”

As they rode out of town Friday morning, I wondered; “Is this what they call a drifter?”

 

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