South Hamilton band instructor, Max Whitlock, was recently honored when he was selected by unanimous decision to be the candidate for the Karl L. King Distinguished Service Award. This is the first year that the award will be presented and currently plans call for it to be given annually by the Iowa Bandmaster's Association to the band teacher most deserving.
Max was nominated by the North Central Iowa Bandmaster's Association and is one of six candidates to be chosen throughout the state. The award will be presented at the Iowa Bandmaster's Association Annual convention in Des Moines in May.
The attendance at the 1982 NCIBA Honor Band Festival changed by a blizzard.
The Honor Band Festival held at the North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City
South Hamilton High School instrumentalists selected for this Honor Band Festival:
Stacie Schaible - Oboe
Susie Jacobson - Bassoon
Lorna Ehlert - Clarinet
Carolyn Jenison - Contra-Alto Clarinet
Julie Tisdall - Alto Saxophone
Kevin Leininger - Trumpet
Tim Anderson - French Horn
David Doyle - Trombone
South Hamilton School Junior High instrumentalists selected for this Honor Band Festival:
Paula Anderson - Flute
Kristi Hegland - Alto Clarinet
Elston Erickson - Tuba
Syrina Young - Percussion
Julie Hill - friend and guest on this trip
An excellent article was published January 14, 1982.
The text from the article follows below:
Stranded travelers who found good accommodations
The sub-zero temperatures and high winds of this past weekend made for miserable weather conditions and extremely high utility bills. The weather also left many motorists stranded throughout the midwest. There were several cases of being stranded reported by local residents, but perhaps the most interesting of all the stories is the one involving twelve South Hamilton students and two instructors.
The students had attended the North Central Iowa Bandmaster's Honor Band on Saturday and were on their way home when they encountered the severe weather conditions. South Hamilton teahcer Alan Spohnheimer was on the bus with the students and driver LeVerne Dickenson, while Max Whitlock and his wife, Carolyn, followed in their car. Somehow, as they were heading south on Interstate 35, the car and the bus became separated due to the lack of visibility. Max and his wife managed to get off the interstate at the Thorton exit while the bus continued on south.
The Whitlocks found refuge in the home of the Methodist minister in Thornton and stated there until Monday morning.
Meanwhile, the bus was in need of fuel and a rest stop for the students and pulled off the highway at the Hampton interchange and were stopped by a deputy sheriff who needd to get other stranded motorists into the small community of Latimer where the citizens have constructed a community center and outfitted it with blankets, cots and canned goods for just such a situation.
The journey from the truck stop, located near the interstate where they originally stopped, to Latimer took over a half hour to complete the three mile trip. The high winds of Saturday night caused almost zero visibility in some areas, particularly on the east-west roads, and a large amount of drifting snow. The intention of law enforcement officials was to use the school bus and a snow blow to shuttle other stranded motorists to the community center from the truck stop, but a large snow drift, that the South Hamilton students nicknamed Freddie, stood 15 feet tall blocking the road and making it impassible.
According to Mr. Spohnheimer, the people of Latimer couldn't have been kinder. There were people at the center to prepare the food and a medic available in case of someone suffering fro exposure to the ellements, so that they could get treatment for their skin.
The students were able to help by keeping the other motorists entertained wih their music. As it often the case when presented with the strain of a situation such as was experienced this past weekend, with the long wait to get on the road again, yet, the people of Latimer were more than cooperative, bringing games and puzzles to keep everyone's mind off the weather conditions that roared outside the building.
When Mr. Whitlock arrived on Monday morning, he was greeted by one of the ladies from the Latimer community who gave him a large compliment concerning his students, that hey were a very well behaved goup of students and they were enjoyable to have as their guests for the weekend. The students felt the same way about the people of Latimer. When they discovered that Latimer's centennial was to be celebrated this next summer, the students decided that they wanted to atted and renew the acquaintances that they had made this weekend.
Kevin Leininger, a student in the South Hamilton band, made the remark as hey approached the Ellsworth exit that he had never been so glad to see Ellsworth.
Max Whitlock made the comment, so often we find it easy to criticize the students and it is a pleasure to hear the nice comments made by the people of Latimer concerning our students.
Alan Spohnheimer made the comment that this experience had really heightened the appreciation of travel and transportation in general.
Although the article was well written, it did not include all the personal details of this unusual winter blizzard experience. South Hamilton transportation director Kenney Voss tried to discourage taking this trip because of the weather report, but the students and teachers wished to go. Mr. Voss wouldn't allow the bus to leave unless each student would take a blanket along. This delayed departure time while the kids scrambled home or called home to secure a blanket. This was the first bus trip that included the newly installed strobe light mounted mounted on top of the rear of the bus. While this light was new and different, it is now common.
During the day, the two bands practiced many hours to prepare for the 7:30 concert when parents and guests would attend. Mid-afternoon, the weather reports forced the evening program to be cancelled, so the two bands performed for each other before the students and teachers were encouraged to get home. Spohnheimer called superintendent Textor to inform him the evening concert had been cancelled, and was told by Mr. Textor that the weather was resonable in Jewell. "Let's get the students home while we can!" But the blizzard was advancing in the northern part of Iowa, so visibility was restricted on Interstate 35. Sometimes people were parked on the interstate because they had stopped driving. The bus stopped behind these cars and then eventually pulled out to slowly drive around to slowly drive home. Carolyn and Max Whitlock were following the bus, but once they didn't notice when the bus moved around a stopped car. When Carolyn eventually noticed the bus was not in front, she passed the car. Carolyn and Max never saw the bus again until they all got home.
When it became more obvious that there should be a stop to get gas and to take a restroom break, everyone wondered where the stop could be. When lights from Dudleys Truckstop were finally seen, the bus had already driven past the exit ramp. Vision was very limited, so they needed to drive over snow-covered grass in order to drive back up the "interstate off ramp" to get to the highway to Dudley's Truckstop. There was no other traffic, so driving the "wrong direction" seemed the best option that could be found.
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