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Remembers rope splicing exploits

By Staff | Mar 9, 2009

To the Editor:

We just received our February 28 issue of The Faribault County Register down here on Saint Simons Island, Ga., and Dick Quaday’s story about rope splicing really brought back memories.

I did not learn how to splice rope from 4-H but in helping my father splice ski-tow rope in about 1935. Dad, with the help of The Lake Luzerne N.Y. Ski Club, put a ski tow on Stone’s Mountain in back of our house.

Dad bought the old car to power it and the ski club bought the rope. We had to splice it together and the rope kept stretching and we had to cut it and take some of it out a couple of times the first year. Dad ran the ski tow for several years until we moved away.

The reason I am sending this is that Betty Ann’s brother, Victor Heinrich from Delavan, learned to splice the hay rope from his father, Walter. After he graduated from high school he went to work for the factory up in cities that was building gliders to carry troops for the army.

They decided to put on a demonstration at the airport on how they did it. All the big brass – and I think the mayor – were there to see it. On the first pull their rope broke before the glider got off the ground. The people in charge tried to find another rope but could not find any, so they said we will have to cancel the demonstration.

Victor told them he could splice it. They did not believe he could do it, but told him to go ahead. After he had it spliced they hooked it up between two trucks and gave it a good pull and the splice held..

So they were able to go ahead with the demonstration and the rope did not break again. A farm boy from Delavan was smarter than all the big brass.

      Harold Ogburn, Jr,.

Saint Simons Island, Ga.