Brady plays host to frightened flyer

July 26-29, 1960 A unique tourist literally dropped into Brady Saturday, and although she said she was happy to get here, she seemed equally happy to leave just three hours later. A thoroughly frightened but relieved young woman, landed her single-engine plane at Curtis Field about 1:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The first thing she wanted to know was where she was. Mrs. Ann Gray, a young Fort Worth housewife was on her first cross-country solo flight. She had filed a flight plan from Fort Worth to San Angelo but somewhere along the line, had flown off course. Mrs. Gray told Civil Air Patrol Commander Cecil Striegler she had been flying about four hours and her gas gauge read “empty” when she spotted Curtis Field from the air. She flew over the town once, circled back and landed at the field, still not knowing where she was. “I gassed up her plane but it only took 17 gallons,” Striegler said. “That kind of plane (a Dow Cessna) has a capacity of 25 gallons, so she wasn’t in too much danger of running out of gas. “I told her if she would take off and fly 270 degrees from here, she couldn’t miss San Angelo, but she told me she wasn’t going to have anything more to do with that or any other airplane.” As soon as she found out where she was Mrs. Gray called her husband in Fort Worth and told him to come pick her up. “I asked her if she had eaten lunch,” Striegler recalled, “and when she said no, I offered to drive her into town to get something to eat. But she said she didn’t think she could eat anything. She sure was shook up.” About 4 p.m. her husband and two other men landed. Mrs. Gray said she couldn’t fly the plane back to Fort Worth, but one of the men with her husband, probably her instructor, got in the plane with her and made her take off. “When a person who has just learned to fly has a little mishap like that, the best thing to do is put them in a plane and make them fly it,” Striegler said. “Otherwise they will be afraid to fly for the rest of their lives.” At 4:30 p.m. Brady’s aerial visitors took off for Fort Worth. Mrs. Gray was at the stick of her plane, her instructor sitting beside her. * * * Newspaper people, visitors aid dedication of Caverns of Sonora By L.B. SMITH More than 2,000 persons gathered Saturday for the formal opening and dedication of the Caverns of Sonora, and to partake of the hospitality of Sutton County ranchmen, and Sonora businessmen and H.V. (Buzzie) Stokes, manager of the Sonora Chamber of Commerce. There were visitors from several states, including many spelunkers and newspapermen, and all were impressed with he splendor of this subterranean wonderland, developed by Jim Papadakis, a former geologist, who has explored more than 150 caves in the United States and Cuba. The scene of the dedication was a hilltop 15 miles west of Sonora on the Stanley Mayfield ranch. Herb Petry, Jr., of Carrizo Springs, chairman of the State Highway Commission, was the main speaker. Presiding at the dedication was J.A. Copeland, former Sonora mayor, who called upon Col. Homer Garrison, director of the State Department of Public Safety, for a brief talk. Other dignitaries introduced were Sen. Dorsey Hardeman of San Angelo; Brad Smith, director of the Governor’s Safety Commission, Austin; Vern Sanford, manager, and L.B. Smith, president of the Texas Press Association, and of course, the cavern developers, Papadakis and Jack Burch. The weekend celebration started Friday afternoon with a press party, when 25 or 30 newspapermen visited the caverns and converted a big room down in the cavern into a press room. The newspaper people made a one-hour tour of the caverns, and were guided by Papadakis and Burch. In the last five years these two men have explored more than five miles of the cave, and have not yet found the end. As a matter of fact, they claim that only a small percent of the cavern has been developed. “What you see here today,” they told us, “is just a sample of what is to come. Several thousand feet of fantastic rooms are to be added to the tour as rapidly as possible. Then the exploration and expansion will go on and on. What lies ahead, only time will tell.” Development of the cave began on March 10, this year with Papadakis and Burch beginning with the 18-inch natural opening on top of the ground. Following the dedication Saturday morning, a chuckwagon luncheon was served at noon. But that wasn’t all the hospitality shown the Smiths, the Sanfords and the Hal Bredlows of the Texas Press Association. We were guests over the weekend of Publisher and Mrs. Stanton Bundy of the Devils River News, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Teaff and Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Thompson of Sonora, at their private fishing lease on the Devils River. Some 90 miles from Sonora, and 14 miles off the pavement between Juno and Comstock, we were completely lost to civilization, and what fun we had fishing wading, swimming and riding a bucking jeep. It was a wonderful weekend, and we will forever be grateful to our Sonora friends for their hospitality. * * * Richland ag teacher Powell to be honored With a service record unique in the history of vocational agriculture in Texas, R.J. Powell of Richland Springs, will be honored at a meeting of the Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas in Corpus Christi on Aug. 10, according to James Wester, president of the organization. Powell has taught vocational agriculture in the Richland Springs Public Schools for thirty years’he never taught in any other school’and no other vocational agriculture teacher has taught in Richland Springs. Powell will receive a Distinguished Service Award from the association in the Corpus Christi meeting. Powell-trained Future Farmer judging teams have become a legend in agricultural circles in Texas. With nearly 1,000 departments in the state, Richland Springs teams have placed first , thus earning the right to compete at the national level, no fewer than eight times. The teams judging poultry (1954, 1950, 1949 and 1947) earned top ranking nationally three of the four years; meat judging teams from Richland Springs brought back Gold Emblems (top ranking) in 1949, 1947 and 1941. In 1935 a livestock judging team placed Gold Emblem also.

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