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Friday, March 27, 2009


Our next issue of the Bass River Gazette will be out in a few days. The following is a preview of it's contents to whet your appetite.

• Boyhood Memories of Allen's Dock by Jim McAnney - p1+
• Antiquity Revisited, Leah Blackman's description of a country kitchen comes alive in a pen and ink sketch by Ron Kurtz - p3+
• Spotlight on "Dolly" Falkinburg, a pioneer in women's race car diving in the New Gretna area in the 1950's through the 1970's by Pete Stemmer - p 4
• Genealogy Corner - The Headley Family of New Gretna by John and Nancy Headley - p5+
• News From The Past - A visit back to New Gretna on May 19, 1949 - p7+
• Another Thing I Remember - Duck Hunting on the Wading River by Steve Eichinger - p8+

We are introducing a new feature in this issue called "SPOTLIGHT ON". From time to time, it will feature an individual who has made a significant or unusual contribution to the history of the New Gretna area. Our first SPOTLIGHT shines on Myrtle "Dolly" Falkinburg, a pioneer in women's car racing in our area from the mid 1950's through the 1970's. In the latter part of her racing career she was known as "The Racing Grandma." That's about all I'll say for now. You'll have to read the rest of the story in the upcoming Gazette.

Dolly Falkinburg carrying the checked flag in a 1950's race at the Pleasantville track in a car sponsored by New Gretna Esso. (Photo courtesy of Myrtle Wiseman Falkinburg.)

While speaking with Myrtle in the preparation of her SPOTLIGHT feature, she asked that I be sure to mention Joe Schmutz who raced in the 1960's and the young people in New Gretna today who are carrying on the racing tradition. Unfortunately, there was not enough room in the Gazette to carry out her wishes . . . but the Blog comes to the rescue.

Joe Schmutz raced on various tracks in the area in the 1960's. (Photo courtesy of Myrtle Wiseman Falkinburg)

Myrtle mentioned two young people from New Gretna that are carrying on the racing tradition today, Jordon Adams and Nikita Cope.

Racing a 1934 Ford sedan, Jordan has been active on area tracks since 2003, including Atco where Myrtle also raced.

One of Myrtle's not so secret desires is to drive a midget racer. She told me that she would just love to see how they handle. Nikita Cope, from Leektown, is fulfilling Myrtle's dream.

Nikita Cope showing her midget racer at the October 11, 2008 Bass River Day. Her eyes are closed as she day dreams about the start of her upcoming race. (Photo by Pete Stemmer.)

Nikita Cope with her mom, Bass River Township Mayor Debbie Buzby Cope, on a racing day in July, 2008. (Newspaper photo by Pat Johnson.)

Well, I hope I have whetted your appetite for the next issue of the Gazette and have satisfied Myrtle's request of mentioning Joe Schmutz, Jordon Adams, and Nikita Cope. So, ladies and gentlemen, start you engines and start looking for the upcoming edition of the Bass River Gazette. It will be here soon.

Pete S

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