July 2000 BSDC Newsletter, 

by Fred Thompson

Hello everyone.  The month of July is here.  With this is one the nations most celebrated holiday.  The Fourth of July.  This is the time for the gathering of family and friends.  The time for cookouts, picnics, and fireworks.  Like so many of our holidays it has lost a lot
of its true meaning.  In the greatest nation in the world it is hard to imagine what it is like to be ruled by another country.  What it is like not to have the freedom we take for granted today.  I don't want to sound too somber but while you are enjoying your cookout and oohing and aahing the fireworks just take a second and think of the hardships that were endured and live that were given to allow us the freedom we are enjoying today.  Then thank God that there were men and women that were willing to fight and die for that freedom and that the blood that ran in their veins is the same blood that has kept this country free for better than 200 years.  With that I say GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Look back on our struggle for freedom,
Trace our present day strength to its source,
And you'll find that man's pathway to freedom,
Is strewn with the bones of the horse.

  Boy am I glad I got that off my chest.  Now I can get back to all the thing that makes this club what it is.  Fun, food, fellowship and the love of driving.  (Not necessarily in that order)  The first thing I should mention is the fact that the Fourth of July drive at Kenton is
on.  In the morning we will be displaying the vehicles.  At one o'clock there will be a parade.  The route of the parade is not known at this point.  There will also be driving at leisure on the grounds.  Food venders will be on the premises to satisfy your taste buds.  If you have any questions contact Mark Newman.
   May 21 found the BSDC gathering at Van Buren State Park for a drive hosted by the Hohenbrinks.  The clouds looked like they could have caused some problems, but I don't think even a drop of rain fell.  The day turned out to be just fine for driving.  The cookout-potluck couldn't have been better.  There was plenty of good-no I mean great
food to try.  My only regret was I was unable to try everything.   I would like to thank Al Hohenbrink for taking it upon himself to clear the picnic area of all of the savage beasts.  Ok, so it was just one overcurious raccoon looking for a handout.  Al was a little more
effective than Mary Elliot's imitation of Rin-Tin-Tin was.  Nice try anyway Mary.   I think I counted 35 people around the tables.  Since that number exceeds the number of fingers and toes I have, I could be off by 1 or 2 people.  We had some new faces joining us from, I think, the Whitehouse area.  Sorry if I got the location wrong.  Plus we gained
two new members.  They are Art and Paula Miller.  Welcome!  I had to eat and run, but I did count 10 turnouts for the drive. I was told the drive was very enjoyable and covered some nice country roads.
  The drive at the Kentucky Horse Park once again was a whopping success.  It was the largest yet.  BSDC contributed 12-13 turnouts.  It took three barns to house all of the 163 horses.  There was five driving clubs participating in the drive.  Friday night tailgate party had fifty people showing up.  The food ?  There were four tables full of food with
the desserts getting a lot of attention.  I was told that there was a caramel apple pie that was simply out of site. This person regrets not getting a bigger piece the first time because he never had a chance for the second.  Let that be a lesson to you Gary.   If you are going to pig-out, make the first trip through the line count.
  The scavenger hunt was again a wonderful way to get out and see the countryside.  The weather was great with the temperature in the high 80's and clear skies.  A sunburn was kind of hard to avoid unless you came prepared.
  Saturday night supper had 200 people showing up.  Again this was the largest yet.  Our own Angie Hohenbrink walked away with the Most Improved Whip award.  Way to go Angie!   Roger Higgins presented Charlie Poppe with a Thomas Kinkade wall hanging.  This was our way of showing Charlie that we appreciated him coming up and putting on our safety clinic for us earlier this year.  Thanks again Charlie.  

A Note of Thanks from the Cooks.
>From my wife Joyce and myself, we would like to thank everyone who kept us in their prayers after the kidney transplant on April 26th. We believe the Good Lord kept watch over us. Joyce is home and is on her way to recovery. She gets stronger everyday. We look forward to attending club functions in the very near future. Again, Thanks to
    Michael & Joyce Cook

Member Profile: Roger and Susan Murray
BSDC:  We're here with Roger and Susan Murray of Tiffin, Ohio.  They agreed to be interviewed for what is the first and may be the last interview ever to be put in as a Member Profile.  So Roger and Susan, just how did you get into driving and become associated with the Black Swamp Driving Club.

Roger:  We use to be horseback riders, but when I developed arthritis in my hips, we switched to driving.  Then in 1988 when Henry zum Felde was trying to get a driving club started in this area we were contacted and invited to attend the meeting and became Charter Members.

BSDC:  Other than the interest in driving what was the main reason for joining Black Swamp Driving Club?

Susan:  The people.  They are the ones that keep the club going and they are a great group to be around.

Roger:  No, we met when we were at Bowling Green State University.  We got married June 10, 1968.

BSDC:  Any children?

Roger:  Nope.  No kids, no grandchildren either.

Susan:  Duh! (Dirty look from Roger)

Roger:  But we have two nieces that are horse nuts too.  One of them is Jennifer Murray of Huron.  She is a member of BSDC also.

BSDC:  Tell me, what do you folks do for a living?  Where do you work?

Roger:  We both work for the government.  Never mind where or what.

Susan:  Yea, It would make people nervous if they knew exactly what we do.

BSDC:  Well then, let's talk about your horse and buggies.  Is it horse or is it horses?

Susan:   We just got our second horse in October of 1999.  He is a two-year-old Percheron/Tennessee Walker cross and his name is Derby. Our first horse is now a twenty-six  year old Palomino named Acapulco Gold.  We raised him from birth.  He cost us seventy-five dollars.  That was the breeding fee and half the cost of his dam.  We started driving him when he was fourteen.

BSDC:   So what kind of buggies do you own?

Roger:   We have a single horse Goddard buggy that we had on display at the Longaberger Carriage Classic last year.  We also own a four-passenger Flandrau sleigh, a park phaeton made in Piqua, OH, and a couple of "beaters"  (Modern buggies for every day use)

BSDC:  Other than the social drives with the BSDC, what else to you
folks get into?  Do you get into any sort of competitive driving?

Susan:  No, our driving is kept pretty low-keyed.  We enjoy driving around the neighborhood south of Tiffin.  Although we did participated in the tailgate lunch at the CAA Conference in French Lick, Indiana last year.

Roger:  In 1993 we took a Nemitz tour for a week in Bavaria, Germany. We rode in an antique opera bus pulled by a team of horses.  Then in 1998 we visited Ireland on a CAA tour.  That time we traveled in a gypsy caravan with a "Traveler" horse for a week.

BSDC:  You mention CAA.  Then I take it that you also belong to the CAA.

Roger:   Yes we do and at the present time I am a State Representative to the CAA

Susan:  He was also past president of the BSDC.

BSDC:   How about you Susan.  Have you held any offices in either of the two organizations?

Susan:    I'm the secretary/treasurer for the BSDC.

BSDC:   I know horses and horse activities can take up a lot of time, so do you have time for any other hobbies or special interest?

Roger:   I also enjoy hunting, swimming and cooking

Susan:   I'm a gardener

BSDC:  So Roger and Susan, you folks have been in the Black Swamp Driving Club since the start, but is there something that most of the member may not know about you?

Susan:  Probably most of the member doesn't know that last year our horse and buggy was used to carry dignitaries at a dog funeral.

BSDC:  A dog funeral?

Roger:  Yes, the dog died in 1932 and he had to be reburied when the new Rite-Aid building uncovered his grave.

BSDC:  That was a truly an honorable gesture and your part.

Susan:  I'll bet there is something else most of the members don't know, even though some of them helped.  When the club gave us our second wedding reception at the Kentucky Horse Park during the Carriage Roundup of 1995.  They probably didn't realize that there were more people and more food there than at our first wedding in 1968.

BSDC:  Well Susan, I'm glad the club could help out to make it a memorable occasion.  Well I'm afraid we have run out of time and we'll have to wind this interview up.  I do want to thank the Murray's for taking this time to talk with us.


July 6 Henry zum Felde
July 9 Connie Gillfillan
July 12 Dave Kuhlman
July 14 Doris Fairchild
July 18 Darlene Higgins
July 26 Joyce Cook
August 7 Dan Secrist
August 8 Gene Pore
August 18 Larry Young
August 25 Diane Franz


  July 4...Fourth of July drive at Kenton, Ohio
*August 27..  Drive at Sandy Young
*September 10. Drive at Oak Opening hosted by Mike Cook
  September 24-24  Longaberger Carriage Classic, Dresden, Oh.
  October 5-7. Topeka, Ind. Carriage Auction
*October 7-8..Heritage Days at Kenton, Oh hosted by the Gillfillan's
  October 11.. Mt. Hope Carriage Auction
*October 14-15 Corn Huskers hosted by the John and Sara Hunter
  October 18-20 World Singles Champion at Gladstone, NJ
*October 29... Drive at Mark and Marla Newman
* Denotes a BSDC sponsored activity

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