July 19, 20, 21, 2013



Charter Members

Five charter members of "The Ohio Historical Canoe Route Association Inc" were present for the 30 year reunion activities. They were, Ralph Billows, Paul Kerlin, Richard (Jock) Klinger, Ted Spadlin and Paul Wood. Paul K., Jock and Ted are still paddling today and showing younger members the way of the canoe.

The club had access to two homes in Russell's Point on Indian Lake thanks to the great efforts of Wil and Gloria, the organizers of the reunion. They are friends with Denny and Kathy Stemen that own Indian Lake Guest House at 210 Warren Ave. The main house has four bedrooms and three sofas. Staying in the home was Tony and Alice, Steve, Lynda and daughter Erika, Ted and Connie, Jock, Jamie, Paul K. and Lance. In house two was Tom, Sharon and daughter Jessica. Wil and Gloria stayed with Denny while Harold, Laurie and Liz camped at Indian Lake State Park. Joining them in the park cabins was John and Kathy Zizka, sons Jason and Jonathan and grandson Joshua. Larry and Sophia Morton stayed at a hotel in Bellefontaine. Paul Wood and Ralph joined the group on Saturday being driven many miles by Paul's niece Brenda Prezenkowski.

Yacht Club

After most of the crowd assembled Friday evening, it was off to The Landing for supper. At one time, Indian Lake was known as the "Midwest's Million Dollar Playground" and it is still very much commercialized today. The Landing had good food but the air conditioning was on the blink making for a hot and humid meal. Back at the "cottages" everyone talked and shared memories. Here is a link of how 22 people in a house sound like... After a few too many adult beverages it was off to sleep in everyone's respective sleeping quarters.

The plan for Saturday was to paddle the Black Hawk Area in the northwest corner of the lake. As the cottage guests were eating a provided breakfast of ham, egg casserole, hashbrown casserole, fruit and juice, it started raining. And rain it did until around 2:00pm. With thunder and lightning all around paddling was called off. There is a huge flea market on the west side of the lake and most folks went to spend money on junk. There was also a vintage car and boat show in downtown Russell's Point. After the different groups of members had lunch at different places, they all met back at the cottage for drinks and planning of the rest of the day.

River Board

The club had the use of the Indian Lake Yacht Club shelter house for Saturday afternoon and evening. Food and miscellaneous OHCRA memorabilia were staged there, and then everyone got ready for the big event. Wil and Tom had planned a bobber race. There were 4 tandem canoes being used to play a hunting game on the water. The bobber race consists of wooden 2 x 2's with a hole drilled in one end. A lead weight is placed in the hole so the opposite end floats out of the water. A number is written on the part of the stick still in the water. They used numbers 1 thru 4 with each number having 4 sticks. There were 2 sticks without any numbers on them. All the "bobbers" were scattered in the water. The 4 teams lined up and when ready they took off searching for their numbers. If a team found a bobber with someone else's number on it, you threw it as hard as you could, away from the other teams, so they had to paddle after them. The first team to find all 4 of their bobbers and race back to the dock won. The team of Tony and Wil won to choruses of laughter and clapping. The bobber race is a true spectator sport but physically challenging for the participants.

After the race it was social time at the shelter house with pictures of the past being viewed. 30 years of memories were viewed until the 6 o'clock meal was ready. Tom lead the club in blessing the food and the 30 year OHCRA feast began. Pulled pork, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, pickles, cookies, iced tea and lemonade rounded out the meal. After filling bellies, club present Tony welcomed everyone with a short speech followed by the charter members highlighting the past 30 years. Small trinkets and tee shirts were given to everyone in attendance in honor of the club reaching such a milestone in its existence. It was a great evening. Kathy even took everyone on a pontoon boat ride around the lake, in 2 shifts. As darkness fell the party was moved back to the cottages for the evening. Games were played and talking filled the rooms until slowly people drifted away to bed.

Sunday morning Denny and Kathy were back with more breakfast. It was a sunny morning and after eating part of group did get to go canoeing in the Blackhawk area. Others socialized with still others heading for home. 31 folks had an OHCRA good time of a weekend. As the saying goes, "It sure is good to be us!"

Reunion Cake

View All Pictures From the Reunion