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Solutions for clearing the snow from the track

Posted: May 11, 2012 - 9:11am

Kudos for Mr. Joe Ross at Nikiski; shoveling snow off the track at the Nikiski school was quite an undertaking. In my school days, way back when, the students who used the grounds would do some of the work.

I consider myself to be one of the Luckiest People to have worked, traveled and had a wonderful lady who has been with me in 57 years of these adventures.

In 1947 as a freshman in high school our school had plans to build a new gymnasium for basketball. Unfortunately, we did not have Sweetheart Governors with billions of dollars to send out to the schools when they needed money. Our Superintendent made arrangements with the government to salvage lumber from a military warehouse which was going to be demolished. He also acquired a truck from a local grain hauler and then accepted volunteers, like himself, two other men teachers -- we only had 7 teachers total -- plus the whole baseball and basketball team, total 15 players, plus some fathers. We took hammers, saws -- no electric ones at that time -- and bars to pull nails and spent two weekends salvaging lumber.

In 2005, I made a trip back to Iowa for my 55th class reunion. We had some of our activities in that gym, now 58 years old. The floor was just as shiny as the day we first played on it, still have a basketball league, now a community center, senior center with nice kitchen installed and seating for about 800 people.

Myself being an old welder-fitter got an idea about snowblowing the track. I know there are a lot of snowblowers in Nikiski and lots of old  welders who might help. My old friend, Doug Anderson, tractor restorer, I worked with at Agrium would probably have a "blast" designing a short shoe or ski with a screw-on clamp, one for each side of the blower blade to raise it about an inch to not damage the surface of the running track. That would leave about an inch of snow for the Spring Sun to melt. You can't imagine how much fun a bunch of boys could have taking care of the snow next winter.

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