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November 2001 NearNormal News



Jim Jacobs

Can you believe it?  The Near Normal Grotto,stuck square in the middle of the “great corn desert” (thanks, Steve) is tenyears old!  Whooda thunkit?  Updating the grotto history (which I hadnot done since 1995) really gave me a chance to reflect on all that has takenplace over this span of years.  This group is such an important part of mylife, that I can’t imagine being without it.  In this group, I’ve beenprivileged to be associated with some of the most interesting andmulti-talented people I’ve ever known, a lot of folks who’ve earned my mostprofound respect.  Thank you all for just being you.  And for beingNNG.  Even those who’ve come, stayed for a while and gone again. There have been great times, wonderful times, and I hope, more to come.

An important address has been changed. Much of the correspondence to the NSS goes through the Internal Organizationsrepresentative, Evelyn Bradshaw.  Her new address is 5713 Castlebridge Rd.Apt. 226, Fredericksburg VA 22407.  Phone (540) 785-5361.  Her emailis unchanged at ebradshw@staffnet.com

The National Cave and Karst ResearchInstitute invites you to view and use their new web site athttp://www2.nature.nps.gov/nckri

Announcement of this site has been longdelayed due to software and server problems related to assigning a shortenedweb address to the site (http://www.nckri.nps.gov), which will work eventually.For now, however, you may bookmark the above address.

At the October meeting, the following peoplewere nominated from the floor for the NNG Board of Directors for the comingyear:

President: Troy Simpson

Vice President: John Schirle

Secretary: Jim Jacobs

Treasurer: Dave Carson

Board member-at-large: Marc Tiritilli

The vote will take place at the Novembermeeting.  A ballot will be published in this issue for absenteevoters.  If you wish to mail your ballot, it must be received by the dayof the meeting, and your name and signature must be on it.  You may writein a candidate if you wish.

A huge vote of thanks is due outgoingpresident Julie Angel.  Our first lady president did a fine job, eventhough she had to cope with some rather time-consuming ongoing personal issuesat the same time.  Not only did she do a fine job as president, she hasalso served the grotto well in other capacities, such as treasurer and vicepresident.  To ensure that we continuously have new blood and ideas, theNNG long ago placed a limit of two consecutive one-year terms forpresidents.  Julie served us well for those two years, and she hasdeclined to run for any office this time around.  Time for a rest, eh? Thanks again! 

We’d really like to make this a specialmeeting and a good time.  If you haven’t come out to a meeting lately,please make this one.  We miss you!  And I think that a ten-yearanniversary for a group like ours is a big thing.  See you there!

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By Jim Jacobs

  I must admit that when I got homefrom work that fateful day, I was a bit rushed. I had just enough time to throwdown a sandwich, change clothes and get to wherever it was that I was rushingoff to (probably to a bowling alley). Marty mentioned that we had a phone callfrom someone named John Walther, who had found our names in the NNS MembersManual. He wanted to know if we were interested in starting a grotto? Ithought, "Nice idea, but there can't be enough people around HERE who areinterested in caving to make it work." Marty and I were enthusiasticnovices who hardly knew a cave from a hole in the ground. I so doubted that theidea had any merit, I didn't get around to answering John's call till a fewdays later. However, after my first dubious reaction, I realized that I didknow one person who caved, Clay Johnson, and I had also heard of another, Dr.Ted Century. John and I made arrangements to meet for coffee in a few days; inthe meantime, we would keep prospecting for members. The call I made to ClayJohnson was golden! Not only was he interested, he also gave me the names andnumbers of the friends that he caved with; Kevin Rasmus, Walt Rudy, and TimMikesell. They were all interested, but only Kevin was able to make it to ourplanning meetings. Ted Century also indicated his willingness to help. At ourfirst planning meeting, October 21, we decided to have the organizationalmeeting on November 18 at the Normal Public Library, and we split up thepublicity duties. I volunteered to do a newsletter (little did I know...) anddraft a Constitution and By-laws. We held one more meeting on November 11th toiron out those last-minute details.

  Marty and I had seen the newspaperarticle on Don Coons' upcoming trip to China. Finding his phone number in theMembers Manual, we decided to take a chance and give him a call. He thoughtthat the idea of starting a new grotto in central Illinois was a great one! Notonly that, but he would put on a slide show. Further, he had met Jeannie andBob Lawrence, whom he thought would also be interested. This was getting betterand better! Little did we know.......

  Following is a brief history of theNNG, gleaned from the pages of the NNN.

  The first issue's cover featured someoriginal computer art(?) by yours truly. The events leading up to the formingof the grotto were recounted and the November 18th meeting that marked thefounding of the NNG was described. The founding members were: John Walther, JimJacobs, Marty Jacobs, Ted Century, Don Coons, Clay Johnson, David Korn, TomKorn, Greg Kwasny, Bob Lawrence, Jeannie Lawrence, Kevin Rasmus, and DebraSmith. Since we had to be out of the Library by 9:00, Marty and I hosted theafter-meeting get-together. Don presented a slide show covering his trip toChicobul Cave in Belize. The first grotto trip was planned. Kevin Rasmus wouldlead a trip to Wayne's Lost, in Indiana.

  The cover of the second NNN(February, 1992) featured more computer art, (bats flying over a town), but thepicture was borrowed from a clip-art program. The NNG's official designation bythe NSS as grotto #363 was celebrated. New member T.J. Forman was welcomed. Iwrote a report about our first trip to Illinois Caverns, and a return trip wasplanned for February 22. Three French exchange students, cavers all, visitedthe February 10th meeting. Jeannie Lawrence first advanced the idea of a grottologo arm patch.

  The April 1992 issue was also adornedwith Jim's computer cave art. New members Tim Mikesell, Jim Rogers, TimSickbert, Saad El-Zanati and John Marquart were welcomed. Not only was theFebruary trip to Illinois Caverns well attended, but a reporter andphotographer from the Pantagraph went with us. We earned a page and ahalf story in the Sunday paper, complete with pictures. Kevin Rasmus reportedon a March 14 trip to Doghill/Donahue. At the last meeting, Kevin and Walt Rudygave a demonstration of their ascending gear.

  Another computer art picture, thistime a lady caver demonstrating the "frog" ascending system gracedthe cover of the May, 1992 issue. New members: Dale Walker, Larry Avery.Jeannie Lawrence and Marty Jacobs passed the rappelling class at ISU. Since allmeetings since the first one had been held at Jim and Marty's house, Deb Smithvolunteered to offer her house for alternate meetings. Don Coons reported thathe had made initial inquiries for access to the Blackball Mine for a surveyproject. Jeannie attended the MVOR and wrote a trip report on Mystery Cave.Another trip to Illinois Caverns, this time with a reporter from the PeoriaJournal Star. The Memorial day weekend trip to Cave River Valley, and anothertrip to Wayne's Lost were announced.

  July, 1992 featured our firstphotographic cover, a Steve Smedley photo of Armon Krueger leaning on the"Take nothing but pictures...etc." sign outside of Illinois Caverns.Don Coons wrote an article detailing our progress to date at Blackball, alongwith a description of the mine and the techniques used to excavate it. Ourfirst grotto equipment purchase was okayed, two B & B headlights forguests.  Kevin gave a slide presentation on cave mapping techniques. Thetrip to Cave River Valley was described, which featured visits to Endless,Lamplighter (Sleazy, Greasy crawlway) and Flowstone caves. Jim also reported onthe trip to Wayne's Lost. This was Ted Century's last meeting before he retiredand moved to Idaho. New member, Tim Shaffer.

  Fittingly, the cover of the November,1992 issue was a birthday cake with one blazing candle. Kevin announced that hewould lead a vertical trip to Freeman's Pit and Shaft Cave (Indiana). (Note:Only Kevin and I went. We never did find the pit. We got separated whilelooking for it, and I got lost in the woods for over an hour. We did have agreat time doing Shaft, though.) New member, Bruce Anderson submitted a tripreport on a week at Mammoth Cave National Park with a group of 20 teenage girlsfrom their church group. Marty and I attended our first MVOR. When the computerline plots came back from our Blackball survey, Don and I discovered that myheadlight bracket had been deflecting the compass whenever I was on instrument.We had to go back and re-shoot about 40 readings. The November meeting was ourfirst in the community room of the First of America Bank. We just got too bigfor home meetings. Don Coons resumes his world travels, this time to China andMexico.

  The January 1993 NNN signaled thebeginning of a new era. New member Brian Braye did the cover on his MAC,scanning in a picture he had taken of Bruce Anderson silhouetted in theentrance of Hamilton Cave, MO. The rest of the issue was done on Jim's old PCand Newsmaster program, but this was to be the last use of the old gear.Starting with the next issue, the entire NNN would be produced on the MAC. Newmembers from November included Brian, Valerie Winston, Jason Forman, Ben Smithand David Carson. Brian has some ideas for a grotto logo, and agrees to headthe committee to explore getting patches produced. We learn that the cat trackthat we had found in Blackball was identified by the Smithsonian as being thatof a cougar! A number of members purchased copies of the plaster cast of thetrack. Brian Braye contributes his first trip report, of caves in Meramec StatePark, MO. This issue also featured two Buckner's trip reports. The first wasmine, detailing my first wild cave trip a few years ago. Val Winston wrote thesecond. Buckner's was also her first wild cave. Her article communicatedbeautifully the awe and wonder most of us felt on our first trip, the one that"hooked" us.

  March 1993, the first issue producedentirely on the MAC. Brian Braye becomes Co-editor of the NNN. The cover was aphoto of my brother, Larry, covered with mud after exiting Buckner's, the onlytime I've been there that the crawlway was wet. The NNN's first advertisingappears. It's from Mad Dog's Cave Supply, and features a super buy onpre-moistened carbide. New members; Van Furrh, and Norm Rogers. The"frozen" trip to Wayne's Lost was described. Brian Braye's grottologo design is voted the best. He, Bruce and Jim form a committee to check outproduction costs for patches or T-shirts. Norm Rogers reported on a previoustrip he had taken to Wayne's, and Brian described our recent trip there,emphasizing three words; fatigue, fatigue, and fatigue. (I would have chosenbr-r-r-r-r) Kevin began a series of articles on vertical caving. Alan Winstonis finally shamed into going caving and writing a trip report. He liked it! Areal milestone is reached when the NNG runs two trips on the same day, onehaving 15 participants, the other, 14.        

  May 1993. A scanned photo of MickiVoorhees in Wayne's Lost. The trip to Mystery Cave was finally planned. Jimreported on the MVOR, and how unsuccessful he and Marty were in trying to"run the gauntlet" at vendor's row. Bob gets me every time. NormRogers, who runs the weeklong NSS Field Camp at Mammoth Cave every summer,renewed his invitation to NNG'rs to take part. He also reported on a trip toKeller cave. New members; Dan Vorhees, Dean Hastings, Mary Denicus, MikeGoodwin.

  The cover of the July 1993 issue hadthree photos of Berome Cave, MO. The Executive Committee approved a $50.00repayment to John Marquart for the purchase of recording thermometers for theBlackball project. Donations from members made up the difference. To this datewe had made $67.28 on the sale of grotto logo T-shirts. Jim wrote two tripreports, one to Teufelshohle, a German commercial cave, the other of thelong-awaited trip to Mystery Cave. John Marquart and Jim announce a trip toBuddha Cave (IN) in July. Kevin presented part two of his Vertical series.Brian reported that he and Bruce Anderson had led their church's young men'sgroup on a caving, canoeing, rappelling and camping trip to Missouri.

  The September 1993 issue wasdominated by an historic occasion, the rescue in Floyd Collins' Crystal Cave,Kentucky. This was certainly the BIG news of the year, and seldom, if ever hasa cave rescue been so thoroughly documented, both in writing and byphotographs. I have finally put my photo album in order. Combining my pictureswith John's and Brian's, I have a complete photo record of the week inKentucky, and of the rescue, from beginning to end. It will be on display atthe upcoming meeting. The trip to Buddha was chronicled by John Marquart,complete with pictures.  New member Sara Goeking reported on our trip toMonroe County, IL caves, including Lemonade Cave. New members; Sara, EliRodemaker, Chad Carter, Reid Siebert.

  The cover of the November, 1993 issuefeatured two views of the large shaft, which connects the two levels of theBlackball Mine.  Inside, Tim Shaffer reported on his participation in aweekend restoration camp at Mammoth Cave. Our grotto meetings were moved fromMonday evenings to Fridays, to the great relief of our out-of-town contingent,which comprises the largest portion of our membership. John Marquart, who wouldbecome the NNN's Science Editor, published a treatise on the chemistry ofcarbide in the NNN, which would be reprinted in many other venues, as far awayas England. It garnered much praise, and provoked a lot of discussion. Therewas an update on the Blackball Mine project, and Dave Mahon provided a log ofthe Mark Twain Grotto's activities for the year.

  An excellent multi-flash photo ofIllinois Caverns by Brian Braye adorned the January, 1994 issue. Electedofficers were: Norm Rogers, president; John Marquart, vice-president; BrianBraye, secretary; Jim Jacobs, treasurer; Don Coons, member-at-large. An articleabout caving on the internet by John Marquart led off the issue. Kevin Rasmusprovided part three of his series on vertical caving. Jim Jacobs reported on atrip to Illinois Caverns that he led for a group of Boy Scouts and dads. BruceAnderson described a "dads and daughters" trip, with photos by BrianBraye.

  The cover of the March issue was aclose-up of the glowing face of Vladimir Polevoy in Camp's Gulf Cave, taken byEli Rodemaker. New members Julie Angel and Dave Mahon were welcomed. Julieimmediately felt the excruciating pain of having her arm twisted by the editor,and provided a fine report of our trip to Hunter's Cave. Whew! It's a goodthing that nobody warns new members that this is part of the initiationceremony! Nobody would join! Don Coons was part of a group, which traveled toHawaii, and rappelled into an extinct volcano, which established a new recordfor a United States deep pit, nearly 900 feet. Norm Rogers described a trip toRoppel Cave, KY.

  On the cover of the May issue was awhite crawdad that Norm photographed in Roppel Cave. John Marquart gave a talkto the Peoria Sierra Club, which was well received. Oral reports were deliveredat the meeting to Mushroom Cave, Fisher Cave, Running Bull Cave, Mystery Cave,Grapevine Cave and Tom Moore cave. John Marquart speculated on the possibilityof caves on other planets. Dave Mahon provided information on the TelephoneInformation Briefing Service, which can be accessed before entering aflood-prone cave. Jim Jacobs described the problems involved putting together abasic first aid kit to carry into a cave. Norm Rogers examines his motives forcaving in his article, "Why Cave?”

  Mammoth Cave Park Historian, Bob Wardwas shown on the July issue supervising cavers busily removing graffiti fromthe walls at Mammoth Cave. (Note: It was later deemed a waste of time to removewriting from the walls in the passage from the Historic Entrance to theRotunda. Since tourists wander unsupervised through that area, blank spaces onthe wall are filled in nearly as fast as you can clean them off). Dave Mahonwrote about the Mark Twain Grotto's project to survey caves and springsthreatened by a planned expansion of highway 61 in northeast Missouri. TimShaffer described his survey trip to Linefork Cave, KY with friends from thePine Mountain Survey. Jim Jacobs reported on a weekend, which included a tripthrough Keller Cave, IL, and vertical practice down at Cove Hollow.

  The September cover showed Jim Jacobsnegotiating the "Turtle Hurdles" in the B-Crawl in the historic areaof Mammoth Cave. Brian Braye reported on the NSS Restoration Camp at MammothCave, noting that the Snowball Room looked really great after last year'scleaning. John Marquart authored a report on the endangered Indiana Bat, whichreceived many reprint requests from other grottos. The U.S.A long cave list wasreprinted. It was noted that Foglepole/Lemonade/Keller is #38, Illinois Caverns#97. Julie Angel detailed her first trip to Wayne's Lost. Jim Jacobs reportedon this year's NSS Field Camp and Mammoth Cave, and on his 9 1/2 hr. tripthrough historic areas of the cave. Tim Shaffer recounted his trip throughKeller Cave.

  A photo of Tim Shaffer "onrope" at Cove Hollow graced the November cover. New members Brian and MarkValentine, Rich and Chris Bell, and Pat and Kathy O'Connell were welcomed tothe NNG. The membership voted to allow a grotto president to serve two consecutiveterms in office rather than being limited to one. John Marquart summarized ourprogress at Blackball Mine. Tim Shaffer talked about looking for caves in PerryCounty, and also reported on the fall MVOR. Mark Valentine described ourvertical training trip to Cove Hollow. Norm Rogers told the story of how he anda group of cavers found Lucy Cox's lost dam in Great Onyx Cave in 1991. JulieAngel and Tonja Horn described the "rookie trip" to Illinois Caverns.

  Pat O'Connell peered through the mistof Crystal Showcase Cave, IN, on the January, 1995 cover. He also appearedwithin the pages, with his report of our trip to Buddha Cave and CrystalShowcase. Norm Rogers checked in with "Great Onyx Cave pt. 2". DaveMahon tells us how to repair split boot toes with Shoe Goo, if they have beendown too many crawlways, and Jim Jacobs wonders, "Why Do I Cave?"

  An ecstatic Lara Storm shows how shenegotiates the Buckner's Cave crawlway for March 1995. The editor's columndescribed how the February meeting had been enlivened by a homemade cavedesigned by Bruce Anderson, which ended with D.C. Young's notorious"portable" crawlway. (As in,"anything's portable if you'restrong enough"). The column also included a description of the grotto tripto Buckner's Cave. New member, Tonja Fraser described the trip throughBuckner's from a rookie caver's point of view. John Marquart described hismeetings with Bat Conservation International, and Norm Rogers and Jim Jacobsdebated the pros and cons of Beanie-Weenies in crawlways.

  The May issue showed Tonja crouchingby a waterfall deep in Smittle Cave. Rescue reports in Trapdoor and SalamanderCaves, IN were related by Anmar Mirza and Bruce Bowman. Jim Jacobs describedthe marvelous weekend that many of us shared with the Mark Twain Grotto atSmittle Cave.

  Julie Angel and JimJacobs tended to an "injured" Chris House on the July cover, as partof the Nation Cave Rescue Commission training weekend at Illinois Caverns. JohnMarquart reported on his participation as our representative to the newlyformed Illinois Speleological Survey.

  On the cover of the September issuewere NNG'rs Carol Rogers, Julie Angel, and Beth Reinke at the bottom of a pitin Indian Cave, KY. Norm Rogers and Jim Jacobs related the events at the NNSField Camp and Mammoth Cave, and Jim wrote about the great weekend we had inMissouri with the Mark Twain Grotto. Caving, camping and canoeing, and a goodtime was had by all.

   This history was published inthe November 1995 issue, which featured a photo of officials from the IllinoisDepartment of Conservation, Unimin Mine Corp., and Bat ConservationInternational who were checking out an entrance to the BlackBall Mine. John Marquart contributed an article outlining efforts to put together acoalition of organizations to install bat gates at the mine in 1996.  Johnalso reported on the progress of the establishment of the IllinoisSpeleological Survey.  John was our first ISS representative.  Therewere trip reports to Greene, Smittle, Wayne’s Lost and Click’s Cave. 

   The brightorange cover of the January, 1996 issue found Larry Matiz comin’ round thecorner of a Roppel Cave crawlway.  We installed our new officers. John Marquart became president, Beth Reinke, vice-president, Jim Jacobs, secretary,and Julie Angel, treasurer.  Ex-president Norm Rogers became Board memberat-large. John Marquart contributed an article on the population trends of theIndiana Bat.  Part one of this series had been published in 1994. Also included were some articles from the internet, a growing trend.

   The cover ofthe March 1996 NNN continued the trend of colorful covers.  This one waschartreuse!  Brian Braye was comin’ at ya from a crawl in Indian Cave,KY.    Our website hit the internet, designed by Brian Valentine. We reprinted a letter from Bat Conservation International thanking us for ourongoing efforts at the BlackBall Mine.  The plans for the gating projectcontinue, made possible by John Marquart’s coalition building between variousstate and national organizations.

   The May 1996 cover can only bedescribed as HOT pink!  A great picture of a smiling first-time caver(Kelly Perkins) graced this cover.  Around this time, we retired the oldcigar box, and actually established a grotto bank account.  [sigh!] Really going big time, eh?

   The July cover can best bedescribed as “cool blue”.  The smiling caver popping out of a hole wasLara Storm.  The BlackBall gating project was a raging success!  Aletter of thanks and congratulations from Bill Glass of the Illinois Departmentof Natural Resources was reprinted.  Norm Rogers and Tonja Frazercontributed related articles, and we published a photo spread of pictures takenby John Marquart of the work as it progressed.  Lara Storm and John alsowrote articles about the exploration of a very small cave nearby that shedubbed “Bird’s Eye Cave”.  Also included in this issue was a portion ofFrank Reid’s internet discussion of LED caving lights.  This reminded meof how friendly and knowledgeable Frank was.  Unfortunately, he passedaway of a heart attack not very long after this.  Fittingly, he was justfinishing his final caving trip, near the entrance to the cave.  He was aninstructor for cave rescue workshops, and gladly gave of his time andexpertise.  Many of our grotto members had been fortunate enough to knowhim.  Cave on, Frank!

   In September, we reran thecover from our fifth issue (July 1992) in honor of “The Spirit of IllinoisCaverns”, Armin Krueger, who passed away in August.  Everybody lovedArmin.  He had more friends than he would ever know.  We werefortunate to be allowed to print Larry Cohen’s tribute to Armin, which was alsoscheduled to be printed in the October NSS NEWS.  For our efforts in theBlackBall Mine conservation project, the Near Normal Grotto received “TheOutstanding Volunteer Award for 1996” from the Illinois Department of NaturalResources.  A plaque commemorating this honor was presented to JohnMarquart at the Illinois State Fair.  John also announced that the NorthAmerican Bat Research Symposium would be held in Bloomington, IL inOctober.  The Near Normal Grotto would be mentioned many times at thisSymposium, since our project was featured.  Dan Taylor’s presentation wasentitled, “The North American Bats and Mines Project: New Industry PartnershipsCreate Habitat for Mine-Roosting Bats.”  This issue also included reportson trips to Roppel, Fogelpole, and Wayne’s Lost Caves, as well as an article onthe Mammoth Cave Field Camp.

   The November issue was filledwith reports and photos of the Bat Symposium, which featured a trip toBlackBall Mine afterwards to see our handiwork!  The project was given the“seal of approval”  from “Mr. Bat” himself, Merlin Tuttle, who appears onthe cover.  Don Coons made another connection in Kentucky, this timeconnecting Jackpot cave to Whigpistle.  This was ironic, because eventhough this was his first visit to Jackpot, he had been one of the principleexplorers of Whigpistle.

   The January 1997meetingfeatured a presentation by Dr. Tom Griffiths of Illinois Wesleyan University,Bloomington, IL.  He is a well-known expert on bats, and organized theSymposium.  The NNN published a line map of BlackBall along with otherstatistics.  Julie Angel reported on a water-sampling trip that she hadtaken with state geologist Sam Panno.  The cover was an entrance shot ofGreene Cave, MO.

   The cover of the March 1997issue was again chartreuse, and featured Brian Braye’s daughter, Brandy. Julie Angel contributed another article on water sampling, this time toIllinois Caverns.

   The May cover showed the smilesof a group of youthful first-time cavers who had just explored IllinoisCaverns.  Brett Bennett joins the NNG.  Everybody else quits inprotest! (Just kidding, Brett).  He started out right, by contributing anarticle for the NEWS on his first wild cave trip, to Buckner’s.  Talkabout warming an old editor’s heart!  Marty Jacobs reported on the MammothCave clean-up weekend.  Dave Mahon, president of the Mark Twain Grottoannounced that Burton Cave was to be gated, and that NNG members were invitedto participate.  Julie Angel discovers that giving presentations aboutcaves to groups is very rewarding, especially when the group is elementaryschool kids.

   July brought a grotto fieldtrip to Brookfield Zoo.  The cover showed a zoo employee cuddling a batwhile the NNG looked on.  The issue was dominated by various internetarticles on a rescue at McBride’s Cave.

   The September cover showedBrett Bennett enjoying the “pleasures” of the Wayne’s Lost crawlway.  (Ithink the smile was faked.)  John Marquart was invited to give apresentation to the Midwest Bat Conservation and Management Workshop.  Hisarticle in this issue is a “must read.”  Norm Rogers reported on theMammoth Cave Restoration Field Camp.  Almost unnoticed among all of theselong articles, was a very small article, which gave a new member’s account ofhis first Near Normal Grotto meeting in July.  He had moved to our areafrom “down south”, and immediately felt right at home with the NNG. Welcome aboard, Steve Taylor!

   The marker placed at IllinoisCaverns honoring Armin Krueger was the November cover picture.  Inside,there were articles about two rappelling deaths, and trips to Burton Cave andMystery Cave by Julie Angel and Angi Bennett respectively.  Steve Taylor(a newsletter editor’s dream) chipped in with a tall tale about an MVOR withoutrain.  Yeah, yeah!  And the check’s in the mail, right!

   Outgoing president, JohnMarquart posed with his cave cake for the cover of the January, 1998issue.  It was a token of thanks from the grotto for a job well doneduring his two-year term.  Brian Braye was elected our new president, withJulie Angel as vice-president.  Tonja Fraser was elected secretary, butJim Jacobs resumed those duties when she moved.  Beth Reinke becametreasurer.  Rich Bell included information about the upcoming verticaltraining course, which he had volunteered to coordinate.

   Earl Nellerprovided a photo of Fittons Cave, Arkansas for the March, 1998 issue. Trip reports were provided by Donna Simms, Earl Neller and Nathan Horton(Illinois Caverns), and Jim and Marty Jacobs (Mammoth Cave weekend). Julie Angel reported on a presentation that she gave to an elementary school.

   The May issue featured anothercover photo by Earl Neller.  This time, a great passage shot of CarrolCave, MO.  The vertical training will take place June 6 at Pere MarquetteState Park, just north of Alton.  Brett Bennett contributed foursolo articles, and collaborated on another with his wife, Angi.  SteveTaylor also favored us with two articles.  Troy R. Simpson joins thegrotto.  Little did we know…

   The cover of the July issue wasan entrance photo by Steve Taylor.  Inside, were four articles bySteve, two by Troy Simpson and only one by Brett Bennett.  (I thinkhe had to work or something.)  Tim Sickbert and Julie Angel alsocontributed.  Tim did an NCRC rescue weekend, and Julie visitedFogelpole.  The vertical training went very well.

   John Vargo uses the“stump-puller” he invented to get bridge pilings out of the Echo River mud onthe September cover.  The issue inside is dominated by the informationrelated to the listing of the Illinois Cave Amphipod as an endangered species.

   The November cover is a photoof formations in Great Onyx Cave.  Inside were articles by Steve Taylor,Troy Simpson, and further information on the Illinois Cave Amphipod.

   Four Cavers waist-deep inIllinois Caverns river passage highlight the January, 1999 cover.  Thehighlight of the inner pages is the report of the historic agreement reached bythe NSS and the National Park Service to continue the Mammoth Cave Restorationproject.  This agreement formalized the philosophy of the project and thework to be done.  It will be co-directed by Karen Dennis and the NNG’sNorm Rogers.  Norm has led the project for the last eight years.  Theagreement also will result in funding for the project.  Lara Storm wroteabout caving in Hawaii.   Steve Taylor and Troy Simpson continuedtheir contributions.

   Marc Tiritilli (wearing his‘personalized’ hard hat) admires some formations in Cedar Ridge Crystal Cave onthe March cover.  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announcednew hours and regulations for Illinois Caverns.  John Vargo joins theNNG. 

   Suzanna Walaszek is on rope onour May issue.  The Near Normal Grotto annual report to the ISS (by JohnMarquart) is published.  Jim Jacobs reported on our weekend outing inMissouri with folks from the Iowa Grotto, the Mark Twain Grotto, and theMeramec Valley Grotto.  Suzanna Walaszek wrote about the High GuadsRestoration Project.

   In the July 1999 issue, it wasnoted that we were on our way to being incorporated.  Marc Tiritillidemonstrated some LED caving lights that he had put together.  SteveTaylor and Brett Bennett would enter into this new area in a big way. Articles by Marc and Steve and published in the September 2000 issue wouldlater be selected for inclusion in the SpeleoDigest.  Steve also wroteabout his continuing love/hate relationship with the MVOR.  Personally, Ithink that he goes just to have something to complain about.  ;-)

   The big news reported inSeptember 1999 was our incorporation.  The rewritten by-laws werepublished for comment/revision.  Thanks to Julie Angel and Beth Reinke whospearheaded this project.  Dennis Campbell inquired about the certificatesof completion from last year’s vertical training course.  (Thecertificates were, believe it or not, distributed at the August 2001meeting!  Three years after the event!)

   The November issue presentedthe proposed slate of officers who would be later be voted in.  JulieAngel became our first lady president, Steve Taylor agreed to run forvice-president.  Dave Carson became treasurer, and John Marquart the boardmember-at-large.  Troy Simpson’s photo of young cavers making their waythrough a narrow canyon passage graced the cover.  Earl Neller contributedfour articles, and Troy Simpson one, bailing out a panicky editor.

   The new century opened with agreat cover shot of Beth Reinke exiting a crawlway.  Brian Roebucklaunches a series of humorous articles “Dr. Beaner”, who is the caver’s answerto  “Dear Abby”.  He continues the spirit of “Dr. Biner”, which hadbeen published on the internet by the originator, Mark Richardson.  Markhad away from the TAG area, and no longer wrote caving parody.  A seriesof entertaining photos of the grotto members trying out the squeeze box at themeeting really told a tale.  Some of us bowed out after the first timethrough, but a few toughies fought it out to the lowest setting.  TroySimpson put us all to shame, not only getting through when no one else could,but also going through the same height with his hands tied together in front ofhim.  He also successfully put himself through a coat hanger.

   The March 2000 cover is myall-time favorite.  The “King of Cute” himself, Matthew Carlson, in hisDad’s helmet and clutching a mini-mag flashlight is ready to go caving. He even contributed (with a little help from Dad) an article about his firstcaving trip.  Steve Taylor contributed articles on caves that he hadrecently explored including the high-quality maps that he had created.  Atrip to Wayne’s Lost, organized by Lara Storm was announced.  The issueconcluded with a unique article on their New Year’s caving trip to theGuadelupe Mountains co-authored by Marc Tiritilli and Steve Taylor.

   Dave Carson(Matthew’s Dad) – before and after Wayne’s Lost Cave was the tale told by thetwo photos on the cover of the May issue.  Your editor contributes anarticle describing his uncomfortable discovery that it’s time that he limitshimself to caves a bit less challenging than Wayne’s Lost.  Grotto memberLarry Bird became BlackBall Mine Site Interpreter, and Project Director for theLaSalle County Historical Society.  Lara Storm prepares to leave us tohead out east for Graduate School.  [sigh!] Articles from this issue tabbedfor inclusion in the SpeleoDigest included Troy Simpson’s gear review of theCamelback Hydration system and Steve Taylor’s articles and maps of small caves.

   Dennis Campbell “drops into thedepths” on the July cover.  Another NNG member is named a Fellow of theNSS.  The honor this time was bestowed on Norm Rogers, primarily for hiswork over the years as the coordinator of the Mammoth Cave Restoration FieldCamp project.  Of course, the first NNG’rs to receive this honor was DonCoons.  Our first grotto picnic/meeting will take place on the 28thof this month.  John Schirle and Brett Bennett agreed to team up toreplace John Marquart, who is stepping down as our Illinois SpeleologicalSurvey representative.  John published his final report on grottoactivities that he had just submitted to the ISS.  Lara Storm’s articlecovered a lot of caving time, including how she got started as a 14-yr old bywriting a letter to the NNG (and other grottos) asking for information oncaving.  I feel honored that she kept my letter that I sent back to her,and she asked that I publish it as part of her article.  Shortly after,she and her father, Leonard Storm attended a meeting and became valued membersof the grotto.  Lara progressed from a 14-yr old beginner to a triporganizer and underground leader.  Troy Simpson described how he isdeveloping a PowerPoint presentation as an introduction to caving.

   In September, the articlejointly authored by Marc Tiritilli and Steve Taylor on LED Headlampsappeared.  This article, along with a humorous article by Troy Simpsonentitled, “My Bid for the NSS 2003 Convention”, will appear in theSpeleoDigest.  Troy appears on the cover.

   The cover of the November issueis a hilarious picture of two cavers who are facing each other with atwo-by-four balanced on their helmeted heads.  It’s entitled “BoardMeeting”.  Officers were nominated for the next term.  Currentofficers re-nominated were Julie Angel (president), Jim Jacobs (secretary), andDave Carson, (treasurer).  John Marquart declined to stand for re-electionbecause the schedule of his speaking tour for the American Chemical Society wasquite full, and he was going to be on the road a lot.  Steve Taylor(although he did a fine job as vice-president) decided that he was allergic tospeleo-politics, even the benign, non-violent form practiced in the NNG. John Schirle was nominated in his stead.  There were two good articlesabout work at Mammoth Cave by Norm Rogers and Larry Reece.  Troy Simpson,who is a teacher, wrote an article about giving presentations on caving tokids, complete with a list of ten very helpful hints for a successfulpresentation.

   The January 2001 issuetrumpeted the news of the first big change in our meeting status since we movedour meeting from individual homes to the bank.  That was the move from thefourth Friday of each month to the second Friday.  This meant that wewould no long have to schedule meetings around Memorial Day, Thanksgiving andChristmas.  This effectively changed us from eleven meetings per year totwelve, since we always moved the November meeting into early December, andthen didn’t meet again until January.  Troy Simpson prepared and publishedin this issue an index to the NNN for the year 2000, sorted by author, subjectand by issue.  He has volunteered to produce a comprehensive index if hecan get access to all of the back issues.  (Be careful what you wish for…)

   The cover photo for March was anice multi-flash shot of a large Northern New Mexico lava tube borehole bySteve Taylor and Barb Capocy.  Troy passed out copies of the NNN brochurethat he created.  He did a great job, and we’ll get it reproduced.  Acopy was included in the issue.  Larry Bird reported that trespassers tothe BlackBall Mine were getting arrested and fined.  Ralph Sawyer wrote anarticle about a group of Scouts that he took to Sullivan Cave.  Really,over the year, we have done a lot of work in educating the public about caveconservation.  NNG members have done many presentations for youth groups,from schools to scouts to church groups, and for adult groups as well.

   The May issue was dominated bythe project that has become our main focus,  the Mammoth Cave RestorationProject.  The cover photo was a group shot of the gang at the August weeklongcamp.  Beyond that, there are two or three weekend camps, and those folksget plenty of work done, as well.  This issue carried articles about boththe week and the weekend camps.  Jim Jacobs’ article about the weekendcamp has been tabbed for reprinting in the SpeleoDigest.  Troy did a gearreport on his LED headlamp, which was built by Brett Bennett.  Don Coonsalso contributed an article about discoveries a group he was part of made inthe Great Crack System of the southwest flank of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii.

   Steve Taylor provided anothercover photo in July with an entrance shot of Sheep Cave, MO.  The big newof the month is that we now have access as a group to the Illinois StateUniversity rappelling tower.  We are allowed to reserve it for groupvertical practice, instead of being forced to travel to southernIllinois.  This issue was filled with Steve’s great photos of our firstpractice session, with accompanying story by Jim Jacobs.  Steve alsocontributed three articles to the issue.

   A Steve Taylor shot of CindyLee peeking out of a wall pocket at Crooked Creek Ice Cave adorned theSeptember, 2001 cover.  We had our second vertical practice at ISU. We made plans to celebrate our TENTH anniversary.  Can you believe the NNGis ten years old?  Troy is spearheading many of the plans to make theanniversary NNN issue a special one.  It will feature caving biographiesof many members, and an updated history of the grotto.  (Which you are nowreading).  In August, we had our second grotto picnic.  This time, wedid not combine it with a grotto meeting.  We just had fun!  Finetrip report articles were submitted by Troy (River Cave) and by Ralph Sawyer(Sullivan Cave), as well as a tongue-in-cheek report on “Quimby Cave” by Troy. In honor of the Indiana Karst Conservancy’s purchase of Buddha Cave, wereprinted an article by John Marquart of a trip there, back in 1994.

   You hold the November issue inyour hand. We're now ten years old, going on eleven, and I find it hard toremember when there wasn't a Near Normal Grotto. There've been so many goodtimes, that the previous pages just scratch the surface. We've made a lot ofgood friends, and seen some amazing sights. Here's to more of the same.(clink!)

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   18 July 2001(Wednesday)-Barb Capocy and I leftChampaign/Urbana, Illinois, driving our trucks east and south towards Kentuckyand NSS Convention 2001.  We stayed that night south of Lexington,Kentucky.

   19 July (Thursday)-Back on the road at crack of 10:00 am, wesoon got to the NSS campground.  There, we quickly setup our camp-gettingfly up just as it started raining.  Later, after the rain, one of theconvention staff, Wayne Barton, and another guy took us on a walking tour ofthree cave entrances: Lloyd Mullins Cave, Crooked Creek Ice Cave, Hard BakerCave. All of these were within walking distance of our campsite.  We werealso joined by two other guys named Mike, who seemed to a have a knack forenjoying life with chemical assistance. 

   Anyway, atCrooked Creek Ice Cave, the five of us went into the cave with a total of onepen light, three LED keychain lights, and no helmets or other cavinggear.  Wayne made a point of asking us not to let other people know aboutthis.  A short distance into the cave, we came to the top of a ladderleading down to a lower level.  One guy (a Mike), lacking any lightwhatsoever, climbed down the ladder (perhaps 15-20 feet), soon to be enjoyinglife in a manner to which he had become accustomed.  Wayne assured usethat the odor was only the smell of burning cave crickets, but it reminded meof my high school pharmacological studies....

All along the hike, Wayneand the guy who's name we didn't quite catch, were arguing over the actualnames of the caves, and placing bets with various quantities of beer.  Areally fun hike.

Later we did somekayaking at camp just before it started getting dark.

   20 July (Friday)-Went to town to shop for food, came back,Moved our camp over to the quit camp area (being a little gun shy after theMVOR experience previously reported on). Walked about, helped unload theconvention hot-tub and sauna, then went to town for dinner

    21July (Saturday)- The campground isreally starting to fill up with cavers now, and opportunities for socializingabound.  Went kayaking, enjoyed hot showers.  I worked on my talk,naps for everyone.  Later in the afternoon, Barb and I explored much ofGreat Saltpeter Cave – and easy cave but esthetically appealing and fun. That night, our friend Cindy Lee, a caver formerly of Carbondale, Illinois, nowliving in Austin, Texas, showed up.

   22 July (Sunday) - Barb and I kayaked again in CrookedCreek, paddling the entire length of the campground - including a trip past thehot tub, where modesty was not the word of the day.  Later, Cindy, Barband I went to Crooked Creek Ice Cave, where we took lots of photos in the caveand generally avoided the heat.  In the evening, Cindy visited SaltpeterCave and found entertainment at the hot tub.

   23 July (Monday) - Convention is now in full swing.  Wewandered around vendors at the school, watched vertical contests, and generallyenjoyed a huge dose of cave mania.  Cindy napped. Later in the afternoon,Cindy, Barb and I returned to camp and did a photography trip into nearby LloydMullins Cave.  In the evening, we went to the ‘Howdy Party’ (arriving in alarge load of happy cavers towed by a tractor), the party moved into GreatSaltpeter Cave, where the beer was flowing and the cavers wereaccumulating.  That night, three more showed up from Carbondale Illinois -Ginny Adams, Kelly Smith, Linda Roman.  They, of course, needed assistancegetting started at the party in Great Saltpeter Cave, so we went back over tothe Howdy Party with the newbies.

   24 July (Tuesday) - Got up late, ate, in to sessions in timefor helping Ginny set up for biology session and luncheon.  I spentafternoon in biology session (w/ Cindy, Ginny), whilst Barb went to moldyantique shops.  Kelly and Linda returned to Illinois right after theBiology Session (where they gave talks).  Ginny and Cindy went hunting forfish in some surface streams.

Barb went to dinner withvarious Indiana Cavers, while I attended a JCKS Board meeting/dinner. Later that evening at the campground, there was a “60th Anniversary of the NSSParty” - free cake!

   25 July (Wednesday) - In the morning, Ginny and Cindy wentto Saltpeter Cave, and hung out at camp, then came into town did some shoppingat speleovendors, then Ginny left for Carbondale. Barb and I went into town andsaw International Session talks (Saudi Arabian caving was cool!).  ThenCindy, Barb and I went for a drive, not finding what we were looking for - akayak run.  Wednesday night was “Meet the NSScon Staff Pizza Party” with100 pizzas - we all pigged out.  Barb and I went to sleep early inanticipation of a long road trip the next day to go find some naturalbridges.  Cindy and her friends Iris Huetler, Chuck Lee (no relation toCindy), Chuck Chavdarian and James Wilson (all of Diablo Grotto, California)went to the “Wednesday Night Party” in Great Salt Peter Cave.  Seems likea party every night!

That evening, things gotinteresting.  Much of the following is transcribed from Cindy’s view ofthings, as she later dictated them to me (over a Denny’s Grand Slam breakfast):

   Wednesdaynight, at the party in Great Saltpeter Cave, Cindy was hanging out with herfriend Iris and companions (the two Chucks and James).  While sittingdown, talking to the others, Cindy felt right side of her body start to gonumb, and she started feeling disoriented.  She lost all strength in herright leg.  She motioned for Iris to come close and said “Something isreally wrong, get me out of here.”  Iris told Chuck Lee go get medicalhelp - he bolted immediately.  Staff arrived first - some band member witha guitar started checking vital signs.  No one - staff or medical everidentified themselves to Cindy, which she found very disconcerting.  Manypeople were sticking their faces in her face, she just kept saying "get me out of here, get me out of here."  Someone came over(just out of the crowd) and said, “I'm a paramedic, would you like me toassist?”  A golf cart came, a medical bag came, though they forgot oxygen,but brought a blood pressure cuff.  Cindy kept saying "get me out ofhere" and "I can't move my leg!"

They picked her up out ofher chair, leg dragging behind, and put her in the golf kart (don’t forget,we’re still IN the cave).  Iris got in cart with her- and they zoomed offto the medical tent, where oxygen was provided.  Iris went off to getCindy’s stuff (wallet and such).  The Medics decided not to call anambulance, and took a JSS van (JSS=Junior Speleological Society – a regularthing at NSS Convention, for younger cavers with some parentalsupervision).  They drove the van very fast on the long winding road totown, discovering en route that the gas gauge was on empty because someone hadforgotten to refill the rental van. But they made the trip without running outcompletely.

   Meanwhile,Iris and the others had, with some difficulty, awakened Barb and I, and wereexplaining what was up - it took us a while to wake up, but soon we weregetting going and we were only a few minutes behind the van, which had alreadybegun the shuttle of Cindy up to the hospital in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky.  Inthe van were Cindy, a security guy, a paramedic (Ethan Franz?), and Iris. The driver of van did not know where hospital was, but the paramedic, who wasalso caring for Cindy, was giving directions.  They arrived at hospital,passing one car and blowing a stop sign along the way.

The emergency room doctor- a hot looking blond- showed up as soon as they brought Cindy.  Thedoctor asked Cindy a few questions (still not identifying herself as thedoctor, but she was cute and wearing scrubs so it was OK).  They tookCindy back into the hospital to do various tests (CT scan, EKG, bloodwork[including electrolyte levels]).  They gave her an aspirin.  Barb andI arrived a short time later at the emergency room - we had no trouble findingit because we had taken note the location earlier in the week as we drovethrough town. When we got there, we were met by Iris - she gave us a briefupdate on Cindy's status.  We waited around in the waiting room. Eventually, the two Chucks and James showed up.  I got to go back andvisit Cindy, who seemed to be doing well.

   Withoccasional exception of Iris, who kept going back to keep Cindy company, and tomonitor what the hospital was doing, we all sat around waited for test results- for about two hours. We had time to talk about caves in our respective homeareas, and to speculate on what the causes, and consequences of everythingwould be.  Finally, Iris came out and said we were all going home. 

   The doctorsaid that Cindy had had a minor stroke (a TIA), but was doing very well, andthat there was no reason to keep her overnight in the hospital.  As aprecaution, Cindy stayed in town with the two Chucks and Iris at a motel. James road back to the campground with Barb and I.  When the three of usgot back to camp at 2am, we stopped at the medical tent (which was vacant) andleft a note detailing the happenings.  Then to bed.

   26 July (Thursday) - The next morning, the California caversdrove Cindy back to camp, and then Barb and I set Cindy up in a lawn chair inthe wooden pavilion to rest for the day - within sight of the medicaltent.  We were all happy to find Cindy doing very well, walking around andtalking like she always has.

Barb and I then went on along drive to try to see some natural bridges, but you’d have thought ourintent was to drive through every rain storm in Kentucky, the more intense thebetter. Red River Gorge was fairly unimpressive - not worth two hours (one way)of driving in the rain and to view things in the rain.  It's probably alot more impressive when you can see all the natural bridges, etc.  We didsee some wild turkeys.  Drove back to the NSS Convention site  in thepouring rain.  In the evening, we went back to town, to see the verypopular “Photo Salon” with 1200 of our closest caving buddies. 

Later, back in thecampground, heavy rain made some of the roads really bad, but did not flood thecampsites. Some of us were up half the night listening to the sound of variousvehicles getting stuck in the mud next to our tent.

   27 July (Friday) – Barb and I were up early, breakfast at"Jean's Resaraunt" - western omelet wasn't so good and ‘over easy’was closer to raw. But we were early enough to catch some morning sessions,then some shopping at vendors.  After lunch with Cindy, we went back tocamp, and packed up nearly all our stuff in preparation for leaving the NSSConvention in the morning.  We again drove into town, but added variety byhaving to change routes due to a stream flooding over one road. There we got inthe long line for the NSS Banquet.  When we got to the food, it was verygood.  The banquet hall (a high school gymnasium) was full of balloons,and various balloon fun ensued.  Then there were various awards for allsorts of things.  Back to camp in a long train of vehicles in the night.

   28 July (Saturday) - Up early to break camp.  Wediscovered that some kind of bugs had chewed holes through the bottom of Barb'svery expensive tent some time during the week.  We drove into town withCindy Lee for a "free" pancake breakfast (including 2nds, coffee, andOJ) hosted by the NSS Convention.  Cindy left, to caravan with Austinfolks on the long drive back to Texas.

   Barb and Idrove northwest towards Mammoth Cave.  En route we stopped by Indian Caveto look at the (gated) entrance and photographed a Black Widow spider livingnearby. 

   At MammothCave, all tours, of course, were sold out because it was a summerweekend.  The parking lot was packed with the usual assortment oftourists.  We walked down to the cave's Historic Entrance and lookedaround before heading onwards.  Our next stop was Sand Cave (where FloydCollins died). We barely made it back to the trucks before yet another delugecame out of the sky.  We drove on from there, crossing into Indiana southof Corydon, then continued up towards Bloomington, stopping along the way forpictures at Orangeville Rise (of the Lost River, owned by the Indiana Karst Conservancy). Then we drove on into Bloomington, where we spent the night with ErikLiebhaber, an Indiana caver, formerly from Chicagoland.  He was off cavingwhen we arrived, so we showered (first showers in a couple of days!).  Therain came that evening yet again.

   29 July (Sunday) – Home again after another fine NSSConvention.

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September 14, 2001

Present: Julie Angel (president), BrianBraye, Phil VanDeBur and daughter Jennie, Ralph Simpson, Troy Simpson and Amy,Jim Jacobs (secretary), Dave Carson (tresurer), Steve Taylor


Minutes of the previous meeting were read byTroy S.  Approved.

The treasurer’s report was accepted. We have $295.43


   Troy talked about thebiographies for the November NNN.  We decided to bring cake and drinks.

   The folks at the Mammoth CaveField Camp removed 178 feet of bridge!  Again, they had enough people tocover the entire tower so that they could just hand everything up.  Thiswas an all-time record, and was made possible by John Vargo’s “stump-puller”.

   Steve Taylor reported on thesecond vertical practice, and said it was well done.

   We discussed the grotto picnic. Fourteen people attended.  We had a good time discovering QuimbyCave.  (Actually a manhole cover for sewer overflow).


   “Project Underground”, which isa NSS project to get educational materials in the hands of people who are doingpresentations on caving for schools, youth groups, etc.  Julie and BrettBennett signed up.  Troy may sub for Julie, since she can’t go.  Theygive you a really large kit of educational materials and a $50 stipend forattending.

   Dave Carson proposed the grottomake a donation to the Red Cross in light of the tragedy in New York andWashington.  We approved $25 from the treasury, and members present gavean additional $35 for a total of $60.

   Jim Jacobs moved that thegrotto donate $25 to the Indiana Karst Conservancy toward their purchase ofBuddha Cave.


   Troy and John Schirle went toAva Cave.  The Little Egypt Grotto has begun a cleanup there.  Thereis lots of graffiti, sting and other trash.  Steve Taylor attended the NSSconventon (see article, this issue).  Steve also went down to Texas andscoped out some locations for his project on fire ants around caveentrances.  Ralph Sawyer and his Boy Scout Troop will be going to SullivanCave in November.  He discussed “Armstrong’s Folly”, a digging project inSullivan.  Armstrong tunneled through 150ft. of clay all by himself tryingto find more cave.  He finally gave up.  Adjourned.  SteveTaylor showed some really great slides.  Pizza at Tobins.

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Jacobs, secretary

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October 12, 2001

Called to order at 7:24 by president JulieAngel.  Present, Jim Jacobs (secretary), Dave Carson (tresurer), Angie Carson,(with Matthew and Justin), Brian Braye, Troy Simpson, Jeff and Debbie Gosnell,Bill Morrow.


   Minutes of the Septembermeeting were approved as read.

   The treasurer’s report wasapproved as read.  We have $249.00


   Planning for the10-yr-anniversary meeting.  Troy has received twelve bios for thenewsletter so far.  Please get them in soon.  Julie proposed that wehave a short meeting and use the rest of the time for socializing, presentationsand fun.  We have two possible programs available.  Bring a favoritepiece of caving gear.

   It looks like no one will beable to attend the “Project Underground” workshop this time.  Schedulesare too jammed.

   The Stemler Cave Cleanup isOctober 27.

   We are still talking about aSullivan Cave trip.  Troy will see if he can get the information.


   We discussed the article in theNSS News about the industrial park which has been proposed to be located on sixmiles from Mammoth Cave.  Art Palmer and others are prepared to fight.

   November 3rd is theMammoth Cave weekend camp.

   Nomination of officers for thenext year: The following people were nominated…

President: Troy Simpson

Vice President: John Schirle

Secretary: Jim Jacobs

Treasurer: Dave Carson

Board member-at-large: Marc Tiritilli

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