One of several possible reasons for crossing Lake Erie is to have a farewell party on leaving Erie, Pa. "You know how these farewells get," said Art Oehme, a Cleveland laundry operator, who set out for home with his wife and 15-year-old nephew in his 27-foot Chris Craft. "People were seeing us off, and I forgot to get gas."
Discovering the shortage a few miles out, he thought he might make it to Conneaut, Ohio, but a 35-mph wind blew up, and within sight of Conneaut Harbor the engines died. The Coast Guard was too far away to be of assistance.
But, ah! In the liquor cabinet Oehme's wife found the better part of two bottles of Scotch and a fifth of bourbon. Pouring these into the port tanks, Oehme started the engine. They made it a quarter of a mile inside Conneaut Harbor before the engine died. A soup�on of vodka took them within 200 feet of shore. Desperate, Oehme and his wife combed the bulkheads and cabinets in the teeth of the storm and found a little vermouth. Figuring the vermouth might not mix with the liquor he had poured into the port tanks, Oehme emptied it into the starboard tanks. "That engine came right to life," he said. It ran just long enough to get them to shore.
"If you've got to use it," Oehme concluded, "I think a good grade of Scotch or maybe Canadian whisky is best."
BEWARE THE RAMBLERS!
Now that spring has come, the British Ramblers' Association is marching into combat again. Just (he other day, 300 Ramblers gathered in Millington Pastures in the East Riding of Yorkshire for a little stroll. And as they strolled, they cut farmers' fences, put stock lo rout and trampled such crops as were in their way—all to preserve the sanctity of the British footpath.
Organized in 1905, the Ramblers are the storm troopers of the older Commons, Open Spaces and Footpaths Preservation Society. When they campaign for national parks and footpaths and a tightening of public rights-of-way laws, which they do incessantly, the Ramblers can muster 15,000 members and a reserve force of 40,000 belonging to 360 affiliated Rambler clubs. When they march, woe betide the Tanner who impedes them.
In command is 73-year-old Tom Stephenson, a walker and climber all his life, whose greatest triumph is the Pennine Way, a sort of mini- Appalachian Trail that stretches 250 miles from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk-Yetholm over the Scottish border. Stephenson suggested the walkway in a 1935 newspaper article, and when a survey showed that 70 miles of footpaths could be added to 180 miles established, there was no stopping him. The path was completed last year, and 2,000 people gathered on Malham Moor to celebrate.
Such victories have not softened the Ramblers. Currently, Stephenson finds the Labor government weak on footpaths, and when Tom's annoyed, the wire cutters go snip, snip, snip.
AMOR VINCIT ALBUQUERQUE