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sustenance and spunk

While all this was going on, Pat VanDeusen, Peg Bailey, Eleanor Zgrabik, Ruth Chodera and Theresa Mentzer setuup “housekeeping” on a knoll adjacent to the cave. Coffee and sandwiches, the ingredients of which were supplied by Costa’s Corners, Bowman’s and Bailey’s Custard Stand, were supplied to one and all.

Hazel Brown spent the night “ferrying” needed supplies from Babcock Plumbing, Hinckley Hardware, the fire house and Center-Ridge Shell. Mel West of Granger showed up with a gallon of glycerin. This commodity was really needed because oxygen and petroleum coul have caused an explosion.

Spunk comes in all sizes

The word had already gone out to Washington for help from a special group. Speleologists they call themselves. At about the same time requests were made for small people – 24″ hips or less. Many appeared on the scene, some were taken back into the cave. One, Evelyn Pettit, 1582 Idlewood Ave., Akron entred the cave on several occations. The rescuers soon learned that spunk comes in all sizes, and promptly fell in love with her. Newsmen who crowded around her found out, too, but for different reasons.

Jerry Ulrich, age 12, from North Royalton, gave it a try, too, but unsuccessfully.

Members of the National Capital Cave Rescue Team arrived in State Police cars before dawn. Exhausted workers left the cave and these seven took over, not without local help, however.

These men, led by Bill Karras, a newspaper man in Washington, were Bill Seles, John and Scott Thybony, Miles Lee, Fred Fridich, and Dave Newson. Dave was dressed in a skintight rubber suit.

Their efforts centered about the same basic ideas originally proposed by the untrained volunteers of the previous day. Repeated attempts to free Morris were to no avail.

Morris is freed after 25-1/2 grueling hours

Evelyn Pettit went back in and was partially successful. Then finally, after the umpteenth frustration and while talk turned to obtaining drilling rigs, Mike Ulrich, age 15, (Jerry’s brother and an Eagle Scout) entered the cave, got a rope around Morris, passed the rope through a pulley, and the boy was raised out of the crevice in which he had been stuck for over a day.

Grimness turned to laughter, the sun was bright. It was suddenly a wonderful day – October 6, 1965.

To be continued: “Community to the Rescue” – Part 3

SOURCE: "Near Tragedy Ends Well at Ledges", Hinckley Reporter, October 6, 1965, Vol VIII, No. 8

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