Black Swamp Driving Club November 2004  Newsletter


Break out the heavy coats and wool socks!  Brisk autumn days snuggled up to the ones you love in a horse drawn vehicle is a great way to enjoy this time of year.  The long cold nights of winter are quickly creeping up on us.  I have already noticed that it is increasingly difficult to get the things I have planned in to the shortened days.  Very soon, we will be eating dinner in the dark and the horses will be munching hay in their stalls instead of pulling us around.  We have no more scheduled drives this year, however, we did have three drives since I last wrote.

The following was written by Roger and Sue Murray highlighting their September 26 drive at the scenic Sandusky River, near Tiffin, Ohio. I was not able to attend. There was a touch of fall in the air as six turnouts from BSDC and WRCA meandered along the hilly back roads above the scenic Sandusky River near Tiffin, Ohio on Sunday September 26, 2004.  The crisp autumn air gave the horses a lively step as the ten members of the Black Swamp, four members of Western Reserve, and two couples that are members of both clubs gathered for a delicious potluck buffet.  The event was held for the third year at the Sandusky River Coonhunters’ Lodge, an old bank barn converted in to a meeting place for sportsmen and nature lovers.  It was especially nice to have Gerald Rasey in attendance once again.  Members were updated on the status of Linda Spears and Mary Elliott, and thanked for their kind remembrance of Darlene Higgins’ mother’s recent death.  After lunch, it was time to hitch.  The route was well marked with a choice of a 5-mile or a 9-mile drive.  Although they drove on public highways (and everyone remembered their SMV), drivers reported seeing only half a dozen cars all afternoon.

Residents of the areas were attracted by the “parade” of smart looking buggies and came over to the Lodge to investigate this strange phenomenon.  Those attending admired the prototype cart that is now being produced by the Wagners for competition driving. 

As members said their goodbyes, they were all looking forward to the next BSDC drive that was to be held at the Parker Covered Bridge (near McCutchenville) on the banks of the Sandusky River south of the Coonhunters lodge.

The next drive was indeed at the afore mentioned location.  Again, I was not able to attend so our club secretary, Julie Emmons, who coincidentally was the co-host of the event wrote the following account of the drive.  The Emmons/Higgins drive was great!  The weather was awesome!  We had six units that made the drive. Roger and Darlene Higgins brought the covered wagon.  We placed the covered wagon near the Parker Covered Bridge.  It was a great site; the covered wagon beside the river, with the covered bridge as the backdrop.  It was an awesome picture.  We had several visitors as well.  People took pictures and talked with us about what we were doing.  I could not estimate all of the film that was used that day.  We served homemade vegetable and chili soup from the grub box of the wagon. The potluck was good as usual with lots of choices. A big thanks to all that participated.  I think everyone had a great time at the drive.  There was a lot to offer on this one.  I also want to say that Roger and Darlene Higgins had their covered wagon at the Civil War Re-enactment in Kenton, Ohio and will have the wagon on display at the Corn Huskers outing.  We are looking forward to the drives next year.

Speaking of the State Corn Huskers Contest, it was a smashing success this year. John and Sara Hunter hosted the wonderful weekend event.   With approximately seventy people in attendance, it was the largest gathering of Black Swampers (and friends) in recent memory.  The famous covered wagon owned by the Higgins family was placed in front of the tent that held all the goodies (and people when it got too brisk).  The Mulligan stew was delicious and was cleaned up well as we were “threatened” that no one was allowed to go home before it was gone!  Really, the cooks did a great job.  There were ten turnouts in attendance and a few horseback riders scattered in for fun.  Drivers had a ball maneuvering around the course set up for the club.  The children had fun riding, running, climbing on everything and admiring all the equine friends.  Our little buddy, Chance, (owned by Connie and Gary Gillfillan) was nearly mauled by the cherubs.  Good-natured as he is, he took it all in stride.  If horses could smile, I think he would have just then.

Good news was spread around about all the recovering folks in our club. Mary Elliot, Linda Spears, Barb Striker, and Brandy Eckard all are recovering in one way or another.   May there be God’s speed in all of your recoveries.  You all are in our thoughts. 

Here is one last reminder of the annual banquet at the Schnipke Inn in Ottowa, Ohio on November 13, 2004.  Please contact Tom Shapler or Peg Graham about your reservations ASAP if you have not done so.  We will be enjoying a delicious meal and fellowship with cocktails at 5:00pm and dinner at 6:00.  In addition, we will be having the fun and exciting auction again this year.  Please bring something nice for the auction.  We had a good number of items last year (that puzzle I got hangs on my wall now) so let’s have another round of fun.   I hope to see you all there. Happy Holidays Everybody