by Walter and Valeria Lang
Anniversary of Bible-Science Newsletter
In September of 1963 Walter Lang decided that, as an aid to his efforts in promoting creationism, it was necessary to publish a Bible-Science Newsletter on a regular basis. One benefit would be to ascertain which persons were creationists. At that time Lang had been in the parish ministry for 26 years and had devoted no time to the sciences. At that time, also, there existed no publication devoted to promoting creationism or to identifying creationists. The Evolution Protest Movement in England, which had been founded in 1931 and which counted among its members A.G. Tilney, author of numerous booklets and tracts, and Douglas Dewar, author of The Transformist Illusion,1 did not publish a periodical. The Creation Research Society, founded in June of 1963, did not publish its first Quarterly until January, 1964. Organization of the Creation-Science Research Center and the Institute for Creation Research did not take place until some years later.
Modest as that very first mimeographed Newsletter was, it filled a greater need than its publishers realized at the time. Issues for September, October, and November of 1963 were mimeographed on a church office mimeograph. Mr. Art Krohn, an elder in the church served by Walter Lang, was chief accountant for a well-known food processor (the Simplot Company) in Caldwell, Idaho where all this began. He prevailed upon the printing department of that firm to run the Newsletter, on its offset equipment, from January to July of 1964.
As the mailings had increased to approximately 5000 per month, it became
too much for the Simplot Company to print this periodical gratis. A local
typesetter and printer, Charles Sellers, still using a linotype and flat
press, printed the September, 1964 issue. After a year of this kind of
operation, he decided it was more economical to take the work to Ontario,
Oregon (about 30 miles distant) to be run on a rotary press. After a short
time he transferred the work to a printer in Boise, Idaho by the name of
John Street, owner of the newly formed firm Graphic Arts. They also had
a rotary press. Graphic Arts continued to expand its facilities and equipment
and printed the Newsletter until the fall of 1978 when the Bible-Science
Association office was moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. The typesetters
during this period were Bonnie Robinson and Judy Hambley (B & J Typesetting).
All three of these groups (Bible-Science Association, Graphic Arts, and
B & J Typesetting) sort of "grew up" together and maintained a friendship
as well as a business relationship.
|Beginning with the very first issue, Mrs. Lang (Valeria) typed the copy for the Newsletter, a task which she continued to fulfill for the next 18 years. Soon she was handling all the mechanics of the Newsletter, doing most of the writing, preparing copy for the typesetters, proofing, and paste-up. This work was handled from an office at home. When in June, 1979 a computer was installed in the Minneapolis Bible-Science office, a terminal was installed in her home office. This enabled her to prepare the Newsletter copy (including typesetting instructions) and transmit it to the office computer through a telephone line. (An aside: once during a thunderstorm she was struck by lightning through the computer while working on the Newsletter.) In June of 1981 (at age 70) she retired from full-time work and Paul Bartz, a young pastor in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, took over duties as editor.||
Almost from the beginning it became necessary to incorporate book distribution with publication of the Newsletter. Information was furnished on books authored by creationists and made available to Newsletter subscribers because it was difficult to obtain them through other channels.
Office Facilities for Bible-Science Association
The very first office facilities were in the parsonage of Grace Lutheran in Caldwell. Zip codes were something new and sorting for mailing was done on the living room floor.
In 1966 when Lang resigned from the parish ministry to devote full-time to the project, a house was rented. Jerry Bengtson (husband of Mildred, BSA secretary) built shelves in the basement for the theological library and the developing science library. In 1970 the Lang's purchased a home on an acre of land outside city limits. This was owned by Ed Rochlitz, first BSA secretary. Due to his deteriorating health because of multiple sclerosis, he and his by-then smaller family had moved into a smaller home in town and rented the new house with option to buy. When he was forced to repossess the property, he offered to sell the house at the original purchase price, carrying a second mortgage. A used mobile office was purchased and moved onto the backyard. The oversize double garage was outfitted with shelves and a heater, and the printing equipment was moved in.
Soon the facilities became inadequate with the ever-growing work load and added workers. Included in the purchase of the home was an adjacent vacant lot which in 1972 was turned over to BSA for construction of a house to be used temporarily as an office. The basement was used for the printing operation and for storage. Offices, library, mailing equipment, and shipping facilities were located on the main floor. Visitors were always amazed at the volume of work produced in these quarters. Several used #1250 presses were purchased. Mailing facilities at first consisted of Elliott equipment and later a Scriptomatic mailer. All addressing, sorting, and bundling were done in the office.
At one time it had been suggested that BSA purchase an old building on the campus of Mankato State University in Mankato, Minn. Some funds were collected but eventually it was agreed that maintenance costs would be too high to be practical. Instead, an old Seventh Day Adventist church/school building was purchased in Eagle, Idaho (20 miles from Caldwell). Attempts were made to start a church and school and the upstairs had been renovated into an apartment for Sally Mills who was to open a Christian school, beginning with kindergarten. This was unsuccessful and Sally worked in the BSA office until she moved to Hood River, Oregon to teach.
On the 1978 Hawaiian tour Bill Overn indicated his willingness to help in the operation of BSA. It seemed practical for the office to be moved to Minneapolis; this was accomplished in November of 1978. An office was purchased on East 42nd Street and the Lang's bought a home on Morgan Avenue South in Richfield.
Major purchases in the Minneapolis office include a computer which has already been enlarged, a mimeograph and a scanner. A copy machine is being rented.
When Paul Bartz assumed duties as editor of the Newsletter, board member Charles Stemsrud purchased a home in Richfield which he offered to the Bartz's rent-free. Recently Charles has been forced to sell the home and BSA purchased it by mortgaging the office and the house. This debt amounts to more than $100,000, and supporters are encouraged to assist with its payment.
Over the years equipment problems plagued the operation. The first printing equipment was an A.B. Dick table model printer purchased for $500. Later this was sold and a # 1250 offset press was purchased in Portland, Oregon and hauled to Caldwell in a utility trailer. Still later, another similar press was purchased in Minneapolis and hauled to Idaho via the same trailer. There were problems, but the equipment was kept running many hours a day. ... In the mid-60s a group of lay Methodists in California, dedicated to overcoming liberalism in that church body, disbanded and gave the Bible-Science office equipment consisting of a Pitney-Bowes mailer, folder, inserter and stapler. These items are still being used.
In the early years addressing was done on an old Elliott addresser which seldom caused problems but which required typing address stencils. Then there was progression to a more sophisticated system which used Scriptomatic address cards. Rebuilt equipment was purchased in Los Angeles. This was used extensively. After the move to Minneapolis and purchase of a computer, the Scriptomatic equipment was sold.
The move to Minneapolis was made with the intention of computerizing the operation. Bill Overn, who agreed to become a partner in the Bible-Science operation, had worked with developing computers. The original computer equipment consisted of a computer, three terminals, a printer, and two 10-megabyte disk systems. Within a short time this original equipment proved to be inadequate, and in 1983 a Winchester technology disk system with a 60-megabyte capacity was installed which has tripled the on-line storage. A letter-type printer is still needed. At present the computer maintains the mailing lists and is used for printing addresses. It is also used for accounting. There are three word-processing systems on the computer, and keying for typesetting is done on it and transmitted to the typesetter by wire. This system reduces costs of typesetting. For the future a library reference system is envisioned.
Equipment has always been a problem mainly because of lack of funds to purchase good equipment. And there was a lack of funds to obtain the type of operators needed. In spite of these obstacles the Lord has provided many fine workers and adequate equipment. And, when in desperate straits, the Lord provided help through various individuals. When $65,000 was needed to consolidate the debts left from the Caldwell operation and the leases for the new computer and mimeograph equipment, the Lord sent another miracle.
Soon after publication of the first issues of the Newsletter, a few people in California (mainly Paul Hackstedde, Nell Segraves and Jean Sumrall) became aware of it and suggested that an organization be formed. In the summer of 1964 Bible-Science Association was founded as a non-profit, educational and religious organization. Officers were elected both from the Caldwell, Idaho area and from southern California. Paul Hackstedde was elected as the first president and has served in that capacity continuously.
In the fall of 1964 a significant Creation Seminar was held in the Los Angeles area. There was discussion among creationist leaders on the suggestion that Bible-Science Association and the Creation Research Society unite. It was decided the Creation Research Society ought to concentrate on technical aspects, appealing to scientists, whereas Bible-Science Association (with its Newsletter) should address itself to popularizing material produced by members of the C.R.S. Perhaps the best-known members of the fledgling Creation Research Society at that time were Dr. Walter Lammerts and Prof. Wilbert Rusch, both of whom spoke at the first California seminar.
History of Creationism
Let us digress a bit to bring you up-to-date on the history of creationism. Current editor of Bible-Science Newsletter, Paul Bartz, has done an excellent job of describing the early history of the creation/evolution controversy, dating back to the time of Greek philosophers. This booklet is available from Bible-Science Association under the title "Luther and Evolution."2 Writing in Fossils, Flood, and Fire,3 Dr. Harold Clark makes interesting comments about Aristotle. Though he recognized the need for a "Prime Mover" and realized from nature that some kind of Creator was necessary, Aristotle believed that nature of itself could develop upward. Actually, he was worshiping two gods. Clark also makes interesting observations about St. Augustine who lived in the fourth century A.D. Though he had been an agnostic for 30 years, finally, in answer to his mother's prayers and the preaching of the Bishop at Rome, Aristotle was converted and he went on to become a leader in the church. According to Clark, Augustine was a theistic evolutionist who believed that in spiritual matters the Bible had preeminence but in areas of nature, science ought to rule. This initiated the idea of separation of Scripture from science which still today plagues both the church and the science disciplines. But others, including Dr. Robert Ingram of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, claim that Augustine was totally a creationist.
Modern evolutionism began with publication of Origin of Species4 by Charles Darwin in England in 1859. To our knowledge the first group to be organized specifically to combat evolution teaching was the Evolution Protest Movement formed in England in 1931. Early creationists who authored articles and books and who gave lectures included Dr. Harry Rimmer and Dr. Byron Nelson, the latter also writing Deluge Story in Stone5 and After Its Kind,6 books which are still available. Nelson was a pastor in the American Lutheran Church in Madison, Wisconsin. Another forceful creationist and author was Dr. Alfred Rehwinkel who taught at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis (Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod). His books include The Flood7 and The Wonders of Creation.8 Another professor at the same seminary. Dr. Theodore Graebner, wrote God and Cosmos9 against evolution. Dr. George McCready Price was the Seventh Day Adventist's champion for creationism, for catastrophes, and for deluge geology. He published about 30 books, most significant of which is the textbook, now out of print, titled New Geology.10
What really sparked the modern creationist movement was the publication in 1961 of the book titled The Genesis Flood.11 Authors are Dr. Henry Morris, an hydraulic engineer, and Dr. John Whitcomb, a professor of theology at the Brethren Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. While attending Rice University in Houston, Texas, Morris was an evolutionist. Reading the books by Rehwinkel and Price convinced him that creation was a fact and that modern geology could be explained primarily through the Noahic flood. In order to better understand Noahic flood action, he attended the University of Minnesota, graduating with a doctorate in hydraulics. He taught first at Rice University, then at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and for a long time at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia. He became acquainted with John Whitcomb and, together, they wrote The Genesis Flood.11
Creation Research Society
Let us backtrack to 1941 when a group of scientists who were Christians formed the American Scientific Affiliation. Dr. Russell Mixter of Wheaton College in Illinois was a leader. Though many of its members were strict creationists, the leadership soon began to take a theistic evolution position. In 1959 Dr. Mixter published Evolution and Christian Thought Today12 in which he espoused the idea of long periods of time. This division in thought between theistic evolutionists and special creationists led to a small group of creationists meeting at the home of Dr. John Grebe in Midland, Michigan. In June of 1963 they formed the Creation Research Society, an organization whose members denied all forms of theistic evolution. First president of this group was Dr. Walter Lammerts, well known for his outstanding work in rose breeding which won him numerous "All America" rose awards. At the time he was living in Livermore, California. Treasurer was Prof. Wilbert Rusch, at that time teaching science at Concordia College in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The American Scientific Affiliation is still active and publishes a significant journal. Creation Research Society members have done outstanding research and publishing. In our opinion the catalyst which brought all these scientists together was publication of The Genesis Flood.
At the time the Bible-Science Association was organized in the summer of 1964, Walter Lang was pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Caldwell, Idaho (southwestern Idaho near the Oregon border). First officers of BSA were: President—Paul Hackstedde of Arcadia, Calif., Vice President—William Gehrke of Denver, Colorado, Secretary—Ed Rochlitz of Caldwell, Idaho, Treasurer—Herman Voss of Caldwell. Board of Director members, in addition to the officers, were Dr. Jack Andrews of Tustin, California, Dr. Larry Kier of Denver, and Ernest Manthei of Petoskey, Michigan.
Objectives of Bible-Science Association, as stated on the masthead of the Newsletter, are to promote the following concepts: special creation, literal Bible interpretation, divine design and purpose in nature, a young earth, a universal Noahic flood, Christ as God and Man—our Savior, and Christ-centered scientific research.
While on a BSA-sponsored geology tour of Grand Canyon in 1964, a conversation with Dr. Paul Hooley of West Liberty, Ohio led to promotion of an annual Creation Week during the third week of January.
Organization of California Creation Groups
Perhaps even better known than either the Bible-Science Association or the Creation Research Society are the Institute for Creation Research and the Creation-Science Research Center in California.
In the fall of 1968 Walter Lang was scheduled for talks in the Los Angeles area where Dr. Morris was also scheduled. Kelly Segraves, son of Nell Segraves, volunteered to drive both Lang and Morris to their respective lectures. He returned to Idaho with Lang, and in the BSA office he copied tapes which he planned to use in his new position as manager of the radio programs for Bible-Science Association. By the spring of 1969 it was obvious that Bible-Science could not afford the type of radio program which was developing. Finally, the active group in southern California organized a branch chapter which was to operate independently and was to finance Kelly Segraves and his radio programs.
Again in the fall of 1969 Kelly Segraves transported Dr. Morris to his lecture schedules in the Los Angeles area. What developed was that Dr. Morris left his teaching and administrative duties at Blacksburg, Virginia, and joined with Rev. Tim LaHaye, pastor at Scott Memorial Baptist Church in San Diego. The goal was that Dr. Morris would organize a research group and found a creation college. Kelly Segraves transferred his radio programs to the new group and soon his mother, Nell, joined them. Together they organized the Creation-Science Research Center and together they started a college with 30 students. Scott Memorial Baptist Church already had a high school, and college classes were held in their buildings.
In January of 1971 Walter Lang took Kelly Segraves with him on an extensive lecture tour of cities to and along the east coast. These included Detroit and New York, cities in Florida and along the way to Chattanooga, Tennessee.
In April of 1972 the California group divided. The Segraves (Kelly and Nell) continued with the Creation-Science Research Center while Drs. Henry Morris, Duane Gish, and Tim LaHaye organized a new group under the name of Institute for Creation Research. The latter group also continued with Christian Heritage College. The ICR is well known for creation/evolution debates, with Dr. Gish, Dr. Morris, and others debating leading evolutionists. The college has grown to an enrollment of 600 students. ICR publishes a monthly magazine titled Acts and Facts13 which is distributed without subscription. This group is perhaps the best known of all creationist groups today.
The Creation-Science Research Center has continued distribution of a series of science workbooks for schools which were first published in 1970. They are now out of print. The Center is operated mainly by Nell Segraves. Kelly is occupied with a book business, known as Beta Books. He is also working with a Christian television station, producing Christian and creation-oriented TV series. The CSRC is the group which was involved in a suit against the State of California over the teaching of evolution in schools.
In 1972 Bible-Science launched a new publication titled Five Minutes with the Bible and Science.14 Issues were published six times per year. In the beginning it was coordinated with a "Five Minute" radio program sponsored by BSA. The devotional type readings employed aspects of science. Later this magazine was combined with the Newsletter and it is still used as an insert in the Newsletter.
In 1973 a science education leaflet for school-age children was launched. The first two years Mrs. Warren (Pat) Taylor of Caldwell (formerly a teacher) served as editor of these magazines written on two age levels. Editor for the next two years was Howard Barth, who was a teacher and an artist. More recent editors included Jim and Darlene Robinson of Arvada, Colorado, Ken English of San Antonio, Texas, Nancy Pearcey of St. Louis, and Wes Chase of Minneapolis, assisted by others, particularly artists. For the past year Paul Bartz has served as chief editor, assisted by Nancy Pearcey, Barbara Johannes, Norman Hafley, and Bonnie Bartz.
The Science Readers are titled as follows: Our Beautiful World15 (kindergarten and grade 1), Our Created World17 (grades 2-3), Our Orderly World18 (grades 4-7), Our Scientific World19 (high school). Our Structured World20 and Our Wonderful World16 have been discontinued and the material incorporated into the other Readers.
From the beginning the objective was to reach public schools as well as Christian schools and Christian homes through these publications. For a time the section pertaining to a religious connection was placed at the bottom of the sheets so that for the public school editions these could be clipped off before mailing. Due to prejudices being generated against creationism in public school circles, there will be only one edition, the Christian edition, for the next series.
Over the years a number of books were printed on the presses used for our periodicals. These included Challenge of Creation21 in 1965 (a collection of essays presented at the 1964 creation seminar in the Los Angeles area), The Creation Alternative,22 published in 1970 (a collection of ten articles selected from issues of the Newsletter by the Rev. Vernon Raaflaub), and Theology and Science23 (1973), essays presented at a creation symposium at Faith Lutheran Seminary in Tacoma, Washington. Convention essays have also been published in book form. Some of these are now out of print. In 1982 Genesis and Science24 was published. This is a revision of "Five Minute" readings dealing with the first 11 chapters of Genesis.
Footprints in Stone
On the 1968 Bible-Science tour of Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks and Banff, Canada, Stanley Taylor, his wife and son, Paul, joined the tour group. Taylor was intrigued by Dr. Clifford Burdick's description of human footprints and dinosaur tracks in the Paluxy River bed at Glen Rose, Texas. The weather in Glacier Park was discouraging, and Taylor wanted to leave right then to examine the footprints in Texas. In August of that summer the Taylor family took movie equipment to Glen Rose. They spent time during the next five summers excavating and taking movie shots of their discoveries.
Footprints at Antelope Springs
In May, 1970 Walter Lang attempted to get pictures for a filmstrip of the "Meister Footprints" discovered at Antelope Springs, Utah. W. J. Meister was a rockhound living in the Salt Lake City area who liked to dig in the Antelope Springs area because he could find trilobites which he used in making jewelry. While breaking open a rock one day, he found fossilized trilobites in a print made by a sandal. When he showed this to a University of Utah geologist by the name of Stokes, he was told to keep quiet about this discovery. Stokes was a Mormon, but also an evolutionist, and to him it was inconsistent that a human footprint existed at the time of trilobites, alleged to be 600 million years old.
When Meister managed to get news of the discovery not only into local newspapers, but also on television, Stokes became an enemy of the project. In July, 1968 Dr. Clifford Burdick (a geologist living in Tucson, Arizona) did some digging at Antelope Springs and he also found a child's footprint in the rocks. An engineer named Tewes found footprints too.
Dr. Melvin Cook, formerly a professor at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, head of a company making slurry explosives for mining, and author of a technical book upholding the creation position, titled Prehistory and Earth Models,25 went to the site, confirmed the finds, and advertised them in the Creation Research Society Quarterly.26
In May, 1970 Dr. Ernest Booth, formerly biologist at the Seventh Day Adventist College in Walla Walla, Washington and head of Outdoor Pictures, accompanied Walter Lang to the site, planning on producing a filmstrip of the footprints found. The whole Meister family was present, also Dr. Cook and Mr. Tewes. Several Seventh Day Adventist scientists arrived unannounced, after having visited the Glen Rose, Texas site. They contended the Texas footprints were merely erosion marks and also that the Utah footprints were erosion marks. Thus, the planned filmstrip was never made.
Meister refused permission to dissect the rock footprints which he had found but, later, Burdick allowed his child's footprint to be dissected. It showed pressure marks, indicating these were genuine footprints.
Because of this experience, Lang contacted Taylor, warning him of the possibility that the Texas tracks might not be all that he claimed for them. At Thanksgiving in 1970 Stan Taylor spent $10,000 to assemble ten scientists at the site and to ask their professional opinion about the tracks. Their statements are included in the movie, "Footprints in Stone,"27 lending credibility to the movie.
This movie had its premier showing in October, 1972 at the first creation convention, held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was released for public showing on New Year's Eve of that year. It has been shown at least 10,000 times and has been helpful in the cause of creationism. People in Europe latched onto it because in the film Taylor claims he first became interested in fossilized footprints through reading a book by Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith. Wilder-Smith is well known in Europe and he has authored several significant books upholding the creation position. When Lang and Burdick gave talks in Munich in May, 1975, they omitted references to the six days of creation and to the Gospel witness in the film in order to reach the scientists at Munich. Dr. Earl Hallonquist of New Westminster, British Columbia, vice president of Bible-Science Association, showed this film all across Canada and throughout the southern part of the United States, and even in Hawaii. It has been shown in many schools, including public schools.
Stan Taylor produced another film titled "The World That Perished"28 in which he describes the Noahic flood and cites worldwide legends of a great flood. When Taylor died in 1977, his wife and son Paul continued his work. As his thesis for a Master's degree at the University of Southern Illinois, Paul produced a film on dinosaurs. More recently Films for Christ has collaborated with a creationist film group in Holland; they have available six excellent films on origins. Dr. Wilder-Smith is narrator. These are available on a rental basis for showing in schools and churches.
Another film now available is "The Timeless Issue of Life—Creation/Evolution,"29 produced by TQ Productions of Eugene, Oregon. Dean Griffith, with Creation Concerns of Portland, Oregon, has produced a 20-minute film on the Two-Model approach to teaching origins. A group in Rockford, Illinois (called Quadros) has a 30-minute movie on creation. Also available is a two-model film on origins, prepared for use in public high schools, produced by a group of creationists in Columbia, Missouri known as the Missouri Association for Creation. An excellent film on the search for Noah's Ark was produced by the Ken Anderson group in Winona Lake, Indiana; it is titled "Noah's Ark and the Flood."30 The movie which was shown in theatres throughout the United States, titled "The Search for Noah's Ark,"31 produced by Sun Classics of Salt Lake City, Utah, is now available on videotape. The interview with Dr. John Moore, produced by Gospel Films of Muskegon, Illinois has been taken out of production.
Presently, videotapes seem to be supplanting movies, filmstrips, and slides. A new group, called the Genesis Institute, on Morgan Ave. South, Minneapolis, Mn. 55423, is making videotapes available. Obtainable from this source is the Gish/Kirkwood debate of 1976 and the Gish/Doolittle debate in 1981. The newest tape is titled "Enemies Survived Together for a While"32 and the producer is Dr. Carl Baugh. He describes the 130 new dinosaur footprints and the 32 new human footprints which were found at Glen Rose, Texas in 1982. Also 450 new dinosaur tracks (and possibly cart-wheel tracks) unearthed at Canyon Lake, Texas (near San Antonio) have been filmed and a tape is available for rental. Available too from the Genesis Institute are a number of teaching tapes by Walter Lang, plus a videotape of Lang's 1983 trip to India and Israel.
The first creation convention was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin October 10-13, 1972. Russell Leitch and Lorraine Schaefer received much help from other local interested persons. Gerald Mallmann, science teacher at Kenosha, persuaded us to have all the essays printed in a book prior to the convention. This was titled A Challenge to Education33 and copies are still available.
Several interesting events came about at this first convention. In the summer of 1971 Dr. Robert Armstrong, an osteopathic surgeon located at that time in Florida, joined the Bible-Science tour group at Grand Canyon and Supai Canyon. He financed several guests at the convention, including Mr. Christenson, editor of Moody Monthly, who became interested in creationism. Walter Lang visited Christenson and his staff in Chicago in November, 1972. From time to time this periodical has carried creationist articles. Mr. Christensen believed the creationist position might be subject to change in the future, and he feared he might need to retract something which he had allowed to be published. Lang explained that absolute truth can be found only in the Bible; even in creation science there will be changes.
A Lutheran pastor (Missouri Synod) from Milwaukee attended sessions with the idea of ridiculing the position that the earth is only thousands of years old. He favored theistic evolution and he did embarrass some of the speakers. But, afterward, Dr. Donald Chittick had an hour-long discussion with him and convinced him of the young-earth concept. From theistic evolution to special creation was a drastic conversion.
A principal of a Christian school in San Jose, California had problems with a teacher who accepted theistic evolution. This principal financed the teacher's attendance at the convention, and he has been an aggressive special creationist ever since.
The front page of the April, 1970 Newsletter carried a report by an engineer named Harold Hill, claiming that scientists at a Naval Research station, in their computer study of the stars, had discovered a "missing day," and in further checking it was determined that this "lost day" occurred at the time when the sun stood still at Joshua's command (Joshua, chapter 10). This report was immediately challenged by scientists, including creationists, who claimed that computers do not operate so as to give this kind of information. These reactions were printed in subsequent issues. The Bible-Science staff did not take a position on this issue, but merely reported a newsworthy item. Privately, Harold Hill has expressed doubts about the trustworthiness of the claim.
It has been the policy of the Newsletter staff to attempt to get out to the general public information regarding creation/evolution issues. Meanwhile the Creation Research Society, through its Quarterly, concentrates on publishing scientific research and establishing scientific credibility for its positions. Both types of publishing are important. A simpler form of reporting is needed by the average Christian, and the Newsletter attempts to fulfill that need.
Second Convention in Milwaukee — 1974
A second convention was held in Milwaukee in 1974. The same group of people who managed the 1972 convention made arrangements for this one, doing an excellent job. The lectures were divided into two groups — technical and non-technical. Two books of essays were printed. These are titled A Challenge to Education II (A)34a and A Challenge to Education II (B).34b These are still available. An added benefit of these conventions was that creationists from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina were able to meet with creationists from the Seventh Day Adventist schools.
At these early conventions leaders in creationist circles met with one another for discussions, a practice not easily carried on at present. Attending were Henry Morris, Ph.D., Duane Gish, Ph.D., John Grebe, Ph.D., Walter Lammerts, Ph.D., Wilbert Rusch, D.D., Lt. Col. Richard Korthals, and Eryl Cummings, the well-known "archaeologist." John Morris had just returned from a trip to Mount Ararat; his first trip there was with a Bible-Science sponsored tour in 1971.
Seattle Convention — 1975
At first, it was decided to hold conventions only every other year. Then it was decided to hold interim conventions, alternating between east coast and west coast cities. In 1975 such an interim convention was held at Seattle Pacific College in Seattle, Washington. No book of essays was published. Theme of this convention was "Astronomy." Speakers included Donald Chittick, Ph.D., John Read, Prof. James Hanson, Prof. Robert Whitelaw. Banquet speaker was astronaut Jim Irwin. Local people active in putting together this convention included Fred Beierle, Dick Caster, Ed Nafziger, Roy Smith, Roy Mulligen, Edith Mitchell and Bill Hansen.
Following the convention, Walter Lang, Clifford Burdick and four Others went on a geology tour of Alaska.
Twin Cities, Minnesota Convention — 1976
A helpful convention was held in 1976 in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Dr. John Cunningham, chairman of the Science Department at Northwestern College in Roseville (suburb), made arrangements to hold the convention at this school. Assisting were members of the Twin Cities Creation-Science Association, a branch chapter of BSA. This was a professional type of convention with a call for papers being issued. Again, there were two divisions — technical and popular. About 1000 copies of essays were printed in advance, but the book soon ran out of print. Actively assisting with the convention particulars were Paul and Kathy Sorenson, Norman Gullixson, Vince Nelson, Bob Helfinstine, Jerry Roth, Rev. Hans Theiste, Bill and Ann Overn, plus others.
Twin Cities Debate — 1977
As a by-product of the convention in Minnesota a debate was arranged between Duane Gish, Ph.D. of San Diego (creationist), and Sam Kirkwood, Ph.D. (evolutionist) at the University of Minnesota. Kirkwood had declined to participate in the debate in connection with the convention but did agree to debate at the university. Although all debates in which Dr. Gish participates draw large attendances, this had the largest — 5000 in the University auditorium. The local group worked hard but was left with a debt of $3000 which was paid off over the next three years. The debate is available on cassette tape and on videotape.
Philadelphia Convention — 1977
This was the year to hold a convention on the east coast. David Livingston, Director of Associates for Biblical Research, was in charge of arrangements. Livingston had served as president of the Kwan Dong College in Korea, had studied at Trinity Divinity School in Deer-field, Illinois, and has done a considerable amount of work in archaeology. Convention meetings were held at the Philadelphia Bible College in downtown Philadelphia. Speakers were Walter Lang, Emmett Williams, Ph.D., William Ouweneel, Ph.D. from Holland, David Christenson, M.D., David Kaufmann, Ph.D., Dale Crowley, Jr., Albert Anderson, M.D., William James, M.D., Richard Bliss, Ed.D., Duane Gish, Ph.D., George Koshy, Lane Lester, Ph.D., Paul Hooley, M.D., Henry Grimm, David Livingston, Chris Hummer, R.G. Elmendorf, Micah Leo, Ph.D., Rush Acton, M.D. Theme of the convention was "Biology." About 200 persons were in attendance. The book of essays A Challenge to Biology35 is still available.
Wichita, Kansas Convention — 1978
In 1978 the convention was held in the Midwest in Wichita, Kansas. Much work was done particularly by Paul Ackerman, Ph.D., psychologist at the University of Kansas in Wichita, Bob McWethy, and Mrs. Ellen Myers. Theme of this convention held in the Broadview Hotel was "The Challenge of Design." Speakers were as follows: John Whitcomb, Ph.D., Paul Ackerman, Ph.D., Clifford Wilson, Ph.D., Gary Parker, Ed.D., Richard Bliss, Ed,D., Thomas Barnes, D.Sc., Bol-ton Davidheiser, Ph.D., Duane Gish, Ph.D., Harold Slusher, Ph.D., Clifford Burdick, Ph.D., David Kaufmann, Ph.D., Albert Anderson, M.D., George Graf, M.D., Henry Morris, Ph.D., Edward Coleson, Ph.D., also Rev. Walter Lang, Rev. Robert Ingram, Rev. Greg Bahnsen, Prof. George Mulfinger, Rev. Marvin Lubenow, Mike Wilson and Verne Bigelow. The book of essays is out of print. Standard Media International of Holland showed a filmed interview with Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith.
15th Anniversary Convention — Anaheim, Calif. — 1979
One of the most successful and most enjoyable conventions was the 15th anniversary convention held at the Sheraton Hotel in Anaheim, California directly across from Disneyland. The group which managed this convention in August of 1979 was the same group which organized the first significant seminar in the Los Angeles area in November of 1964. These included BSA President Paul Hackstedde, Mrs. Nell Segraves, Mrs. Cal (Jean) Sumrall, Fred Sill, assisted by Wayne Mohr and Don Walther and others. In 1964 this group was known as the Southern California Bible-Science Association, the same group which helped the San Diego group get its start in 1970. Still later members began another group in the San Fernando Valley, known as the San Fernando Valley Bible-Science Association. All these groups cooperated to put on the anniversary convention which had as its theme "Repossess the Land." The book of essays Repossess the Land36 is still available.
Speakers were as follows: Paul Ackerman, Ph.D., Albert Anderson, M.D., Prof. Harold Armstrong, John Baumgardner, Fred Beierle, Verne Bigelow, Richard Bliss, Ed.D., R.H. Brown, Ph.D., Clifford Burdick, Ph.D., Dick Caster, Donald Chittick, Ph.D., Harold Coffin, Ph.D., David Coppedge, Gerald Croissant, Ph.D., Bolton Davidheiser, Ph.D., Douglas Dean, Ph.D., Judge Braswell Deen, E.W. Faulstich, George Graf, M.D., Prof. James Hansen, Rev. Robert Ingram, David Kauf-mann, Ph.D., Robert Kofahl, Ph.D., Robert Koontz, Ph.D., Clyde McCone, Ph.D., Prof. George Mulfinger, Ed Nafziger, Dr. Ethel Nelson, Bernard Northrup, Ph.D.. Rev. Herman Otten, William Overn, John Read, Wilbert Rusch, D.D., Joachim Scheven, Ph.D., Mark Tippets, John Whitehead, Prof. Robert Whitelaw, Emmett Williams, Ph.D., Paul Zimmerman, Ph.D. Dr. Zimmerman gave the keynote address while Dr. Kofahl developed the speaker schedule.
Chicago Meeting — 1980
The Midwest Center for the Institute for Creation Research at Wheaton, Illinois (Chicago area) was approached about sponsoring a convention during the last week of June, 1980. As plans developed, it was decided to hold two meetings: one would be called a conference and would be held at Wheaton College, while Bible-Science Association would sponsor a convention at Concordia College in River Forest, Illinois. At the conference there was only one session in a given time-slot, while at the convention there were several presentations during each time-period. Altogether there were 61 lectures which were made available on tape. The book of convention essays is out of print.
At the Wheaton College conference the topic of "Time" was discussed and speakers included the following: John Whitcomb, Th.D., Richard Bliss, Ed.D., Steve Austin, Ph.D., Gary Parker, Ed.D., Rev. Walter Lang, Prof. David Watson, Wendell Bird, Judge Braswell Deen, Dr. James Hodges, Dr. Don DeYoung, J.C. Vos, Marlyn Clark, Ph.D. and Bill Overn.
At the River Forest convention the relationship between Scrip-ture and science was explored. The following served as speakers: Rev. Walter Lang, Bill Overn, Rev. Paul Bartz, Rev. Vernon Harley, John Moore, Ed.D., Carl Mueller, Robert Kofahl, Ph.D., Paul Freeman, Dick Caster, Russell Arndts, Ph.D., Anne Driessnack, Ed.D., Wesley Chase, Judge Braswell Deen, Wilbert Rusch, D.D., Rev. Herman Otten, Lane Lester, Ph.D., John Klotz, Ph.D., Raymond Surburg, Ph.D., Dean Griffith, David Nelson, John Woodmorappe, Albert Anderson, M.D., Charles Roessger, Lane Anderson, David Kaufmann, Ph.D., Prof. David Watson, Paul Leithart, M.D., Fred Beierle, Robert Shaibley, Robert Preus, Ph.D., Gerald Mallmann, Verne Bigelow, George Saxenmeyer, William Strube, Ron Schuchard, Edith Mitchell, Prof. James Hanson, Prof. Paul Boehlke, and Gerardus Bouw, Ph.D.
Atlanta, Georgia — 1981
Following the plan of holding odd-year conventions alternately between
east-coast and west-coast cities, the 1981 convention was held in Atlanta,
Georgia at the Ramada Inn Central. Dates were August 10-13. The Rev. Larry
Vinton, assisted by Dr. Emmett Williams and others, made arrangements.
Convention theme was "Evolution: Fact or Fiction?" Speakers were as follows:
Judge Bras-well Deen, Rev. Walter Lang, Lane Lester, Ph.D., Russell Akridge,
Michael Grey, Arthur Tyson, Lee Eimers, Duane Gish, Ph.D., Emmett Williams,
Ph.D., Richard Herdklotz, Prof. George Mulfinger, Jim Jones, James Cook,
Russell Arndts, Ph.D., Wendell Bird. College credit was offered through
Baptist University of America in Decatur, Georgia. Dr. Emmett Williams
administered added work and tests for credit.
In connection with this convention the Science Health Foundation (Albert Anderson, M.D., president) held its seminar. Emphasis was on the value of nutrition.
Baltimore Conference — 1982
BSA did not sponsor a convention in 1982, but the Baltimore Creation Fellowship sponsored a conference in Baltimore, Maryland June 3-5. Meetings were held at Essex Community College. Although some speakers held to a long-age concept, much helpful material was presented. Speakers were as follows: Robert Gange, Perry Phillips, Raymond Seaman, Prof. Robert Whitelaw, Menachem Kovacs, David Kaufmann, Ph.D., Dr. John Cuozzo (dentist). Dr. Jerry Bergman, John Brabner-Smith, Jeffrey Brown, Austin Robbins, Prof. Daniel Won-derly, Lane Lester, Ph.D., Bruce Chrier, Bill Overn, Robert Newman, and David McQueen. Dennis Cheek, a local pastor, was in charge of arrangements.
20th Anniversary Convention — 1983
Approximately 500 persons attended the 1983 National Creation Conference, held August 10-13, 1983, in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Sessions were held in the Fine Arts building on the campus of Northwestern College in Roseville. Nearly three dozen persons from all over the world offered papers and presentations at the sessions. Theme of the conference was "Science at the Crossroads: Observation or Speculation?" Among the highlights of the conference were presentations by Barry Setterfield of Australia regarding his findings relative to the speed of light and by Dr. Thomas Barnes regarding his non-relativistic unification of physics. The mini-conference opened on Friday evening with a multi-media presentation on fossils by Rev. Marvin Lubenow and continued through Saturday.
Dr. Carl Baugh displayed casts of footprints and photographs of digging for tracks in the Paluxy River of Texas. Paul Taylor of Films for Christ provided showings of new films on origins. Miriam Mitchem gave showings of her recent filmstrips on dinosaurs. Children at the convention were taken on a fossil hunt. Walter Lang recounted the history of creationism and its progress over the past twenty years.
Members of the Twin Cities Creation-Science Association whose dedicated work contributed to the success of the conference include Bob Helfinstine, Al Heitkamp, Max Callen, Jerry Roth, Norman Gullix-son, Bill Overn and Paul Bartz. Assisting with other details were Ann Overn, Bonnie Bartz, Betty Sutliff, Becky Gullixson, Valeria Lang, and other volunteers.
The following presented papers: Russell Arndts, Ph.D., Mace Baker, Thomas Barnes, D.Sc., Rev. Paul Bartz, Dr. Carl Baugh, Gerar-dus Bouw, Ph.D., Marlyn Clark, Ph.D., George Cooper, John Eidsmoe, Eugene Faulstich, Prof. Wayne Frair, Rev. Orval Friedrich, Robert Gentry, Ph.D., Duane Gish, Ph.D., George Hahn, Dr. Keith Hedges, Al Heitkamp, Bob Helfinstine, Monty Kester, Ph.D., Robert Laing, Rev. Walter Lang, Rev. Marvin Lubenow, John Moore, D.Ed., Bernard Northrup, Ph.D., Nancy Pearcey, Walter Remine, Barry Setterfield, Prof. Hilbert Siegler, David Tyler, Prof. Robert Whitelaw, and John Woodmorappe.
The Proceedings of the convention, also referred to as Science at the Crossroads: Observation or Speculation?37 will be available early in 1984.
Developing the Bible-Science program has entailed much travel. The project was begun on faith and a shoestring and necessary travel had to be done in the most economical manner possible. This meant traveling by car and even the most economical car. At first these were small wagons, some type of Ford product. The wagon was loaded with books for a tour lasting from two weeks to a month, or once a year for six weeks. One long and difficult trip started in Watsonville, California following a talk on Friday evening and closed with a schedule in northeastern Iowa on Sunday. The drive started following the talk in Watsonville and included a stop in Winnemucca, Nevada to pick up books which had been shipped by the office staff. The Sunday morning service schedule in Iowa was met, followed by afternoon and evening talks.
BSA director Walter Lang has traveled all over the USA by car, sometimes logging up to 66,000 miles in one year. At a 1967 lecture in Lake Zurich, Illinois, Larry Marquardt of the Marquardt Buick Agency in Barrington, Illinois offered to supply Buicks at an irresistible price, an offer which was appreciated and accepted many times over the years. One of these Buicks, a 1968 Skylark, became Valeria Lang's business and personal car, and it had 152,000 miles on it when it met an ignominious end. An 18-year-old girl, driving a car with faulty brakes, ran into it at an open intersection, pretty well demolishing it.
In 1978 it was found to be very expensive shipping books to the convention in Wichita, Kansas. With the help of Gilbert Nettleton of Boise, an enclosed utility trailer was purchased for $200; it has made many trips since then, to conventions and in the move to Minneapolis.
We take this opportunity to thank the many people who have served as hosts on our trips over the years. In recent years this includes also hosts for Bill and Ann Overn and for Paul and Bonnie Bartz. There are seldom funds to pay for motel rooms, so these speakers stay in private homes. This has the added advantage of developing a more personal interest in the program as well as more personal friendships. Many of these hosts have been pastors and their wives, but often they are lay people with an interest in the program. We thank them and ask God's blessings on them.
The Jinxed Truck
When the time came for the move from Idaho to Minnesota in the fall of 1978, there was discussion, pro and con, over buying an old truck which had served as a moving van. For $1200 this 1949 GMC vehicle was purchased. Altogether inexperienced as a truck driver, Lang's first mistake was to overload. This resulted especially in tire problems. Fearing problems with permits, a friend in the Idaho Transportation Department was contacted; he informed us that a vehicle with no more than two axles and weighing under 26,000 pounds was non-apportional and needed no permits.
On the first trip Lang drove across Idaho, and on Saturday evening at nine o'clock was in Logan Canyon in Utah when the truck lights went out. Pulling over to the side, he discovered that the flasher lights, clearance lights and parking lights were operational. It was hoped these would provide sufficient lighting to get the truck out of the canyon and to a motel. However, that proved too risky, and three miles farther into the canyon (the deepest part of the canyon) there was another place to pull over and stop. Most of the night was spent listening to Bible-Science tapes. At first dawn, with much groaning and laboring, the truck managed to make it out of the canyon and on to Kemmerer, Wyoming by 9:15 on Sunday morning.
Lang found a Lutheran Church and the lay pastor, Rev. Vernon Boehlke (a supporter of BSA since 1970) asked him to serve in the Bible Class, invited him to dinner, and asked a young parishioner to repair the wires and fuses. Soon after starting out again, a tire went flat, necessitating a return to Kemmerer to buy a new tire for $100. Lang managed the drive across Wyoming, including the long hill out of Laramie, and across Nebraska, Iowa and to Minnesota.
Members of the Twin Cities Creation-Science Association helped unload the truck at the office on E. 42nd Street. On Sunday morning Lang started back, after having bought another tire and fixing a flat. The next Sunday morning he was back in Kemmerer, Wyoming by 8:30. It was decided to attempt to get to Logan, Utah, 135 miles distant, in time for a service. In the phone conversation with Rev. Boehlke, it was learned that the very night Lang was driving in Logan Canyon with flashing lights on the truck, there were numerous calls to authorities about UFOs.
Lang arrived in Logan in time to attend services at the Lutheran Church, located across from the University campus. He was surprised to see the Rev. Leo Rubel who had shared a college room with him at Concordia, Missouri. Rubel was serving as vacancy pastor, and the new pastor, who was to be installed the following Sunday, was there also. The UFO accounts provided amusement. Later, in a call to Dr. Frank Salisbury at the University, his wife informed Lang that Salisbury believed the alleged UFOs were bright stars seen against the canyon walls. Dr. Salisbury is a biologist with a special interest in life in space. He has authored a book on alleged UFO sightings in Utah, also books on creationism, particularly for members of the Mormon Church.
UFO in California
Mention of stars being mistaken for UFOs reminded Lang of an incident ten years earlier. Following a talk in Chula Vista, California, he started out for Idaho. About four o'clock he reached Bishop and then drove along the west side of the White Mountains for 25 miles and crossed the Pass leading into Nevada. This highway crosses the Nevada desert, travels through Hawthorne and Winnemucca, and leads to Idaho. Driving along the west side of the White Mountains he was certain he was seeing a UFO object traveling north above the mountains. This was his first experience with such an object, and he was startled and even a bit frightened. However, after crossing Montgomery Pass, he realized that what he was seeing was not a UFO, but was the very bright Morning Star.
In September of 1978 the Langs drove to Minneapolis to purchase a home prior to moving. En-route they stopped at Kimball, Nebraska where Walter preached at a Lutheran church service on Sunday morning. Following the service it was announced that in the evening there would be a talk on "UFOs." A lady asked the question, "Why do you say that beings in space are either angels or devils? Why can't they be other forms of extraterrestrial life?" The lady was Mrs. Carl Higdon, a native of Kimball who had married an oil rig worker and had moved to Rawlins, Wyoming. Higdon claims that one day while he was out hunting, driving a company pickup, a UFO moved his vehicle into a place where he could not have managed to drive it. Then the UFO (he claims) took him to a distant star and later returned him — all within the space of two hours. Psychologists at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, who examined him, claimed he was telling the truth. In the fall of 1978 his story appeared on a series of television accounts titled "UFO Report." This explained his wife's sensitivity. Perhaps she had already noticed the little booklet on UFOs on the book table.
Later that fall while traveling this same route in a rented truck (the fourth trip), Lang spent the night in Rawlins, Wyoming. The snowstorm made the drive through the Elk Mountains at night unattractive. From the hotel room Lang called Carl Higdon (of the UFO story above), who was delighted to chat. He did not try to convince Lang that he had been taken to a distant star; rather, he complained about the television people taking a whole day of his time (worth $100) without reimbursing him.
An Exasperating Trip
The most memorable of the truck trips was the second one. Gilbert Nettleton, retired contractor from Boise, Idaho, accompanied Lang. The BSA bookkeeper and office manager, Frieda Maahs, and her husband Charles made the trip by bus, stopping to visit relatives in Nebraska. Before starting, $245 had been spent on repairing tires and, while checking the alignment, it was discovered that a wrong tie rod had been put in. After only 100 miles there was another flat tire; the truck was inched into Glenns Ferry, Idaho where the spare was put on. At a weigh station the truck sputtered and then stopped. A wrecker towed it to get it started. Near Wendell, Idaho there was another flat tire. Two tires were purchased and the newly "converted" salesman spent time "witnessing." A motel room provided lodging.
Next day the travelers made it to Rawlins, Wyoming. In the morning the truck would not start. After a mechanic installed a new fuel pump, they got started at noon. After only 21 miles of driving, the truck sputtered and stopped again. Lang caught a ride back to Rawlins while Nettleton stayed with the truck. The mechanic refused to help. Lang caught a ride back to the truck. At Wolcott the mechanic said the trouble was vapor lock. Enroute to Rock River it was drive a while, stop a while, then continue. A mechanic guessed there was water in the distributor. An elderly mechanic was persuaded to install a new coil, clean the spark plugs, and put in new points. They made it to Laramie, but the sputtering continued. Twice a mechanic at Laramie worked on the truck, but it could not make it up the long hill outside Laramie on the way to Cheyenne. Another mechanic determined that a new fuel pump was needed but he refused to work that evening, being a Friday.
Lang called the Lutheran Campus Center at the University of Wyoming, Laramie and they were invited to spend the night at the Center. He talked with students about the Bible-Science program. By 1:30 next day the mechanics had installed the new fuel pump and worked on the carburetor. With steam issuing from the radiator, the truck finally made it up the Cheyenne hill. In the middle of the night, near Hershey, Nebraska, there was another flat tire and the motor died and would not start again. Lang walked several miles to an all-night station, and at three o'clock in the morning the attendant gave the truck a shove, and it started. It was inched to a truck stop where the spare tire was put on; there was no new tire available in the correct size.
By seven o'clock next morning the truck had made it to Sheldon, Iowa. A call to E.W. Faulstich of Spencer, Iowa resulted in an invitation to the weary travelers to spend the night at his home. Starting out again next day, only 30 miles down the road, the truck sputtered again. So another night was spent at the Faulstich home. Next morning the generator was taken off and new brushes put in. The truck worked better but as Faulstich led it in to Minneapolis next day, there was another flat tire. He took it to a tire shop and had two new tires put on. He also had a larger battery installed. On the seventh day of travel, truck and passengers finally reached Minneapolis.
The Maahs's had been waiting for the truck at the home of Bill and Ann Overn since Friday evening. After the truck arrived they stayed at the office, which was equipped with a kitchen of sorts and sleeping cots provided by members of the Twin Cities Creation-Science Association. A week later, with shelves having been installed in the office and contents of the truck put into place, the truck headed back to Caldwell. The drivers spent the first night in Fremont, Nebraska, the second in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and the third in Burley, Idaho.
During this week Mrs. Lang had sold both their home and the office property through a newspaper ad and a tour of the properties. On their return trip, as the Maahs's were boarding a bus in Omaha, someone unzipped Frieda's purse and stole her billfold with traveler's checks, a small amount of cash, and ID cards.
Before the third trip on November 9 the truck was checked and repaired and loaded. Mrs. Lang stayed to finish packing and tend to disconnections, etc. On this trip trouble began early, at Burley, Idaho. Assured that the problem had been taken care of, Lang started out next morning, but at McKinney, Idaho the problem reappeared. The truck was pulled into town where the battery was recharged and the journey continued toward Soda Springs. Another flat tire was fixed and the battery was recharged once more. After waiting all day Saturday in Soda Springs for the generator to be repaired, Lang went on to Kemmerer, Wyoming; the truck stopped at the edge of town with not enough electricity in the battery to go farther. Some young people pulled it off the highway and took Lang to the home of Rev. Vernon Boehlke. Next morning he made a presentation on dinosaurs at the Sunday School session, and in the afternoon Bruce Diedrichs repaired the worn-out brushes in the generator. After Rock Springs, 20 miles beyond a truck stop, two wheels came off, leaving Lang at the edge of a freeway on a wallowed-out rim and a cracked drum. At Soda Springs the tire had not been put on properly. A man driving a pick-up found the tires, one on either side of the road. There was no help at the truck stop, so the night was spent in the truck stop lounge. In the morning it was learned that a patrolman had ordered a wrecker to tow in the truck. It was realized nothing would be done on the truck very soon. A call to the local Lutheran pastor, Rev. John Johansen, resulted in arrangements for a talk on "space" that evening. Attendance at this last-minute schedule was seventeen people. Next morning the pastor took Lang to the airport for a flight to Minneapolis. However, the airport was fogged in and the plane did not even land. The next flight was at 2:30 p.m., arriving in Minneapolis at 8:00, in time for him to attend an important meeting.
The Buick Trip
Meanwhile Mrs. Lang and the Maahs's (Frieda and Charles) drove the 1968
Buick, leaving Caldwell about nine o'clock on Friday morning, November
10. Everything was fine until they left Logan, Utah. At first it was rain
in the canyon; then they fought blowing snow and ice on the highway. Stalled
trucks cluttered the hills. It was 6:00 p.m., dark and 40 below zero (with
the wind-chill factor) when they reached Evanston, Wyoming (elevation 8200
feet). They obtained the last available motel room in town, which took
all night to warm up. (Only a few days earlier the air-conditioners had
been in use.) The streets were littered with stalled trucks and nothing
moved all day Saturday. About noon on Sunday the Buick started out for
the climb up the "Three Sisters" hills, fitted with new tire chains. The
chains soon wore out. They reached Rawlins by dark and decided to try for
Laramie in order to reach Minneapolis on schedule for the
Tuesday evening meeting.
At Medicine Bow, however, they ran into a blinding blizzard which, thankfully, let up slightly now and then. A few miles before they reached Laramie, the weather cleared and they were grateful for a hot meal and warm beds. There was ice on the Cheyenne hill next morning, but after Kimball, Nebraska roads and weather were clear. They spent the night in Lincoln, Nebraska and arrived in Minneapolis next day at 6:00 p.m. Going directly to the new home at 7232 Morgan Ave. South, they were surprised that the moving van had already brought the household furnishings. The movers had called Ann Overn, and she had gone over to direct placement of furniture. In a phone call it was learned that Paul Hackstedde, president of BSA, was at a home nearby, and another phone call brought Paul over to pick them up, take them to dinner and the meeting.
Two days later there were six inches of snow on the ground, and Lang walked to a bus which would take him to the airport for a flight to Rock Springs, Wyoming. The truck was handed over to a mechanic while the Rev. Johansen rounded up a group of able-bodied young men to transfer the load from the stalled truck to a rented U-Haul. These materials were needed to run the office. Lang drove through the night, arriving in Minneapolis on Sunday evening. By Monday evening the U-Haul was unloaded.
Very little progress was being made on repairing the truck; it was claimed parts could not be found, so the necessary parts were shipped from Minneapolis by bus. Bill Overn had spent two days locating them. In Caldwell another U-Haul was rented and loaded with the remainder of items, including a heavy press. The trip was uneventful.
During the Christmas holidays Jerry Roth (active chapter member) of Minneapolis accompanied Walter Lang to the Grand Canyon of Arizona for a seminar. From there they drove to Rock Springs, Wyoming; Jerry drove the Vega back home while Walter drove the truck which needed a generator repair in Nebraska. For a time the truck was parked at the office back lot and used for storage space; then it was given to a young man working at the office who still has hopes of rebuilding the engine.
The move to Minneapolis was difficult and costly. It was also found
that nearly everything costs almost twice as much in Minneapolis as in
Caldwell. It is appreciated that with the Lord's blessing, things are now
reorganized and running smoothly.
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