This is a really old photo. Exact date unknown. Back in the middle to late 60s. It was sometime before 1969 because this photo was taken in the basement of the old church at 11th and Sandusky. On the left is Scoutmaster Bud Kunze. The two leaders are, I think, Bob Moses and Earl Cox. I may be wrong about that and, in fact, Bob Moses may have been the Scoutmaster. I’m not sure when Bud took over from Bob. Rick might know. I can remember some of the young men on the floor but not all. The boy on the left with his back to the photographer I think is Jeff Glanz. The boy with his hand up pointing at the Advancement Chart is Mitch Dittus. His little brother, Tommy, now Tom Dittis, was one of my first recruits in 1969, made Eagle Scout and later started the Blue Rose Cafe on South Peoria. Mitch has passed away but when he grew up he was instrumental in getting the Tulsa Street School started on the site of my old elementary school, Franklin on 11th and Yale. Right behind Mitch in the photo is Warren Peters. The scout in the very middle with the different type of neckerchief on, I’m almost sure, is Rick Hayes. Look at all those ribbons on the wall. Look at all that perfect uniforming. Troop 26 had a great history long before I got there.
This was taken in Washington DC in front of the nation’s capitol. What a photo. The sky was so blue and the building and the clouds were so white. A great group of kids and adults. In fact, the best Scouts in America from the best troop in America. I am, of course, slightly prejudiced. I love this photo because the building reminds us of times gone by and the men who climbed these steps who helped build this amazing country. And the kids represent the future and the boys who will grow up and continue to build it. This photo makes me feel patriotic.
When I arrived at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on the first Monday night in 1969 to become the new Scoutmaster for Troop 26, Bill Kirwin was one of the young men present that night. He became an Eagle Scout and was also my Senior Patrol Leader in 1970. This is a photo of Bill in 1972 when he became the Lodge Chief of the Ta Tsu Hwa Lodge of the Order of the Arrow.
This is a photo from 1955. Fifty-nine years ago. The scout in the middle, the one holding the patrol flag, is Gailard Sartain. A member of Troop 26, Gailard Sartain went on to graduate from Rogers High School and the University of Tulsa. He became a Tulsa celebrity in local television when he appeared as Dr. Mazeppa Pompazoidi in 1970-73 on the “Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting.” He dressed in a long robe with moons and stars on it and had a long pointy wizard’s hat. Actor Gary Busey got his start on the Mazeppa show, playing a character called Teddy Jack Eddy. Gailard joined the comedy team of the Sonny and Cher show and then went on to be a member of the cast of Hee Haw. Gailard worked with some of Hollywood’s best in films like The Outsiders, Elizabethtown, Earnest Goes to Jail, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Mississippi Burning. He has worked with Gary Busey, Orlando Bloom, Kathy Bates, Gene Hackman, Tom Cruise, Jessica Tandy, Ted Danson, Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze. This photo is is of a young scout who followed his dream to be in the movies. He was in Troop 26 back when I was first joining. He was quite a character.
Some related links…
This was a high point in Troop 26 history. Our Special Camporee made the cover of the National BSA leaders magazine, “Scouting”, and was sent to Scout leaders all across the country. One of our best scouts, Tommy Steele, was featured on the cover. The issue was dated May -June 1983. A lot of national response came as a result of this cover photo because of the Post 26 hat that Tommy was wearing. Lots of old scouters across the nation confused the patch on the hat with the Exploring Silver Award. It looks similar and was certainly based on the Silver Award, but was different and larger. We got a lot of great responses too. National attention for a great program. Tommy , now Tom, is one of our current Assistant Scoutmasters and Tom’s son is on his way to Eagle.
Click here to view the article about the Troop 26 Special Camporee from the 1983 issue of Scouting Magazine.
We have always encouraged our scouts to think of something that might make our troop better. This photo is of the beginning of one such innovative idea. Eagle Scout Don Zvacek wanted to add something to make our campfires better. His idea was to use the Native American custom of the “talking stick” in our campfire planning. The Native Americans would tell stories around their campfires. The person holding the stick was the speaker. Everyone else had to respectfully listen to the story he was telling. When he was done, he would pass the stick to another person and that person became the speaker. We purchased the stick from Lyons Indian Store in downtown Tulsa and the idea became a reality on a Thanksgiving campout over ten years ago. We were having our campfire in the dining hall at Garland and there were lots of parents there as well. Don Zvacek appeared in the full regalia of an Indian Chief. This photo is of Don presenting the stick to me for the very first time. The rules were that the storyteller had to tell a story that was over five years old. This would be a unique way of passing down troop history. The speaker would select the next person to tell a story and pass the stick to him. As an adult, I was directed to pas the stick to a youth member. On the next campout, the youth member would tell a story and then pass the stick to an Adult leader. Back and forth for over ten years at almost every campout, from adult to youth and back to adult. Thanks Don Zvacek for an amazing legacy. It is called “the Zvastick”.
This photo was taken at the FDR Memorial in Washington after the 2001 National Jamboree. There were 42,002 participants at the Jambo at Fort A.P,Hill, Virginia. TheMemorial was one of the places we stopped to visit on the return home. Seven Troop 26 Scouts, three older and four younger, posed in front of one of the waterfalls inside the memorial. The three older scouts are all Eagles. The four younger scouts all became Eagles. Back row, left to right: Eagle Scouts Miitch Weigt, Levi Vivion, and Todd Wagner. Front row: soon to be Eagle Scouts Robert Dennis, Reid Spears, Daniel Rusco, and Conner Wann.