Sunday, November 8, 2015

Grand marshal gave great sacrifice

Former U.S. Army machine gunner Alan Lewis is a strongly built man, but his outgoing personality is even bigger than his wide shoulders and broad chest.

He was riding up top of the back seat of my dad's 1958 Ford Skyliner as grand marshal of the Milwaukee Veterans Parade Saturday, greeting the onlookers huddled in patches of sunlight along the downtown parade route.

The Skyliner, also known as a "retractable," has a hard top that comes down into the trunk to create a convertible, making us a good candidate for carrying a parade dignitary. My late father made a tradition of volunteering for the parade and I'm driving to honor his memory.

Beside the grand marshal is young Alan Jr. "Wave that flag high, boy," his father would remind him from time to time.

"Are you real happy?" the boy asked, as his dad is awash in attention from the crowds on the sidewalks.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Budget cut brings swan song

By David Horst 
When a nature column reaches the end of a long run, you can really only describe it as a swan song — a tundra swan song in this case, I suppose.
My byline has appeared in these pages for more than 30 years. Nearly 13 of those have come since I left the full-time employment of The Post-Crescent to go to the nonprofit Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.
Due to budget cuts at the Post-Crescent, my column and other correspondent work has been eliminated
My intention in these columns has been to take you along on outdoor adventures. If you have ever felt that way, I've succeeded. If you have learned anything, it has come by way of the highly knowledgeable people this column has allowed me to meet.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Hanging with Jungle Jack

By David Horst

To see a slideshow, tap here and on the slideshow icon
in the top-right corner of the page that appears.
Jack Hanna thrilled a crowd of 700 people of all ages Oct. 16 at Kimberly High School with a blend of his stories, videos of some of his best adventures and cute, exotic animals from snow leopard to otter.

It all benefitted Mosquito Hill Mature Center and was sponsored by the Charlotte Bates Fenlon Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. That's the official story. My day was more about hanging out with Jungle Jack.

Jack Hanna is the definition of personable. He is interested in what people have to say and what they care about. He is funny and irreverent, and genuine.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Master canoe restorer's work will help people experience the Fox River

By David Horst

Master canoe builder Jim Suffield.
I’m standing in the pouring rain in the parking lot of the Waupaca Fleet Farm with two buddies from my Fox River adventures, when the one with the ponytail lights up a smudge pot and starts waving the sweet, aromatic smoke it is emitting under two 25-foot wooden canoes we’ve hauled back from the Rhinelander area.

It’s times like these that I realize I have amassed a pretty novel collection of friends.

The guy with the smudge pot is Glen Gorsuch of Neshkoro. He is part-owner of a voyageur canoe larger than either of these and a French fur trader in his re-enactor character. He wants to bless the canoes as they enter their new life, in the traditions of Native Americans.

The guy who provided the boat trailer and cobbled together a way to carry the two big canoes is Dave Peck of Appleton, an enthusiast of wooden boats of any kind.