Expected to Arrive in Elm Valley
Some Time This Afternoon to End March
(Editor’s Note – The Dike Scouts barring unforeseen problems, were due to arrive in Elm Valley this afternoon ending their long trek from Cohocton along the trail followed by Nathaniel Dike in his travels to Allegany county where 150 years ago he became the first settler.)
By Covered Wagon Gus
The quiet and peace of Millers Gulch was disturbed early yesterday morning by Scout Bugler John Gavitt, at 6 A. M. “Why so early,” growled the boys. “We have a parade planned for Hornell” was the answer.
Cereal, bacon and eggs, and the rest were soon stowed away by the boys with one exception. A snake about thirty inches in length crawled from between the rocks, to greet the morning sun, startling one of the Scouts, who in his excitement, spilled the contents of his frying pan in the fire.
The trekkers broke camp and hobbled out of the Gulch at 9 A. M. At North Hornell they were met by Officer Dillon of the Hornell Police mounted on motorcycle who escorted the Scouts on their parade thru Hornell. The lineup of the parade was as follows: Carl Ballerstein of Troop 33, Wellsville, mounted on the pony; color bearer and guards; the Covered wagon, followed by Don Wixson and Calvin Goetschius pounding the snare drums, followed by the staff, Ray Dare, Lewis Felton, Harry Goetschius, and Clarence Jewell with the trekkers following and all patrol flags flying.
Crowds assembled along the way to greet and cheer the “blister derby”. The parade broke up at the city limit’s on the Hornell-Almond road. A blister clinic was held and delayed the expedition about three quarters of an hour.
The hikers were greeted in Almond by the local troop of Scouts. Lunch was devoured in the Almond Community Park. Following the lunch a role was taken in which James Goodspeed, Troop 35, Wellsville, ran away with the laurels and a candy bar, awarded for having the most blisters.
The trek then crawled along to Alfred, and the morale was at a low ebb. At the outskirts of the village they were met by the Scouts of the local Troop 19 under Scoutmaster John McMahon, and the Alfred Fire Truck displaying the sign “Alfred Welcomes the Dike Hikers.” The fire truck and the Alfred Scouts escorted the Dike parade thru the streets of their fair village and as they entered the campus of the university they were greeted by the music of the Carillon being played by Carriloner Ray Wingate with appropriate tunes for the occasion.
The parade ended at the grounds of the South Hall building. In the center of the grounds the Alfred Scouts had placed a flag pole. Around this, in a circle, a number of fireplaces of brick had been erected, and an ample supply of fire wood was on hand.
South Hall toilet facilities were made available, and the boys enjoyed a good hot or cold shower – the first civilized bath since they had left home. Morale soared and it soon became apparent that Scoutmaster McMahon and his boys had done a topnotch job as a service unit.
At flag lowering time the boys appeared on the field thoroughly cleansed and sparkling. There were definite signs in the hikers, that the conveniences developed by civilization, were more appreciated by the hikers than before they had started their trip.
It was then announced that the Scouts would fall in and march to the Parish House where a banquet would be served by the Ladies Aid under the culinary direction of Mrs. Alexander Ferguson of Alfred. Morale went over the top which if it continues we will take Elm Valley by storm.
Ray Dare served as Toastmaster and introduced the Scouters of his gang. Leon Hopkins, Commissioner of Seneca Council, gave a short address, followed by the remarks of Charles Fuller, chairman of the Southeast District of Seneca Council, who paid tribute to Ray and his Staff for their part in engineering the Dike Trek. Singing was led by Charles Gray, Scoutmaster of Troop 22, Wellsville, with Ray Wingate presiding at the piano.
John McMahon then introduced his group ending with his presenting the speaker of the evening. Chaplain Davie Napier. Chaplain Napier mentioned the importance of the twelfth part of the Scout Law – “A Scout is Reverent.” He stressed that all should be alert to the methods of God expressing himself, that we were prone to accept the favors and privileges bestowed upon us and take them for granted without recognizing them as the work of God. He outlined that the fun and experience of the Dike Trek was a gift of God expressed thought he men who gave of their time to carry it out.
Chaplain Napier then taught the Scouts a song that proved successful in roundelay singing. He followed this by leading the boys in two group games, one of which was entitled “The Indians are coming.” This created plenty of mirth and enthusiasm.
The banquet closed with the repeating the Scout Oath, a prayer by James Goodspeed, Chaplain, Troop 35 Wellsville, and the singing of Taps. The rest of the evening was spent by the boys in roving around and inspecting the village. Others met visitors from home at the Campsite.