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Winter 2004

Affiliated with the American Council of the Blind

Available in large print, via e-mail and on cassette

Edited by Darian Hartman

Contributions by Members of the Oregon Council of the Blind

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Editor’s Note

If you receive this newsletter in recorded format, it is no longer necessary to return the cassettes.

In order to produce an interesting, informative and creative newsletter, articles of interest; chapter reports; etc., need to be submitted in a timely manner. The Stylus will come to you quarterly in March, June, September and December. Please submit materials by the 1st of February, May, August and November.

Please note, this is the last issue of “The Stylus” produced by Darian Hartman. Please contact President, Bob Johnson, (See State Officers) for information regarding upcoming issues.

Those wishing to receive “The Stylus” via e-mail should contact Joan Hill (See State Officers), by e-mail. Please include the words “Stylus via e-mail” in the subject line.

Please sub mit any address changes or requests to receive “The Stylus” in a different format to the Membership Chairperson, Joan Hill. Thanks for your cooperation.

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President’s Message and Willamette Chapter News
By Bob Johnson

Most every one knows that I now wear two hats, as I returned from the convention as your new state president. I'll let the other new board members Joan Hill and James Edwards speak for themselves. I just hope that I can do as good a job for the state as our past “prez” has done.

Our chapter has united with the school for the blind in an incentive program for the students, that is really working well. The student of the month receives a gift, and they are all working extra hard to achieve that honor.

We are also honoring small grant requests for items such as canes, calculators, watches and back-up beepers for wheelchairs. These requests are not covered by school funds or other grants.

We are gearing up for our Decembe r Christmas party and pirate gift exchange. This type of exchange is so popular that it has become a tradition in our chapter.

e passing of Ed. Ripplinger left many shoes to fill. Board member for A.V.I., commission for the blind, and at our local level, vice president. Luckily, Marie Anderson accepted the offer to fill that post for the coming year.

With so many deaths this year within our entire state community, we, locally, are asking each member to bring someone new into the chapter. Perhaps that could be a building block for every chapter in the state. I told you I was wearing two hats.

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Multnomah Chapter News
By Patty Bessant

We have had two meetings since our new year began. Darian Hartman attended our state convention in Eugene and gave a very thorough report on its events. Dick Kohl won the fifty-fifty raffle drawing.

Elections were held in November. Our new president is Sharon Lofting; Priscilla McCree, vice-president; Darian Hartman, secretary and Dick Kohl will serve as treasurer again.

We also had a guest speaker, a traffic engineer from the city’s Department of Transportation. There is a new crop of grant money, and by July 1, 2004, over 60 audible signals will be in place in the city of Portland. We are proud to have been a part of these efforts.

In December we will gather for our Christmas lunch at Steamers Restaurant; we have met there before and enjoy excellent service. We will be collecting funds for the organization we have chosen to receive our Christmas donation. This year our collection will go to the Oral; Hull Foundation. We know that the folks at Oral Hull Park will find a worthy way to dedicate our money; and, we will all enjoy its benefits.

May each one of you have the best ever December with all its accompanying festivities. May 2004 bring forth less violence and abundant peace worldwide.

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Rogue Valley Chapter
By Bob Matti

Our chapter has been quite active since the summer break. We recently sponsored a concert featuring Brett Claytor a totally blind local musician with truly amazing talents. The concert received real good media coverage, which of course, gave the Rogue Valley Chapter and The American Council of the Blind of Oregon some great exposure. Chapter members decided to donate a large portion of the concert proceeds to the Christmas basket and Family food programs.

We recently held election and the following members were elected to serve as officers for the next biennium: President, Ron Whelchel; vice-president, Kevin Bird; secretary, Grace Handley and treasurer, Vi Moore. Bob Sells and Ken Handley will serve as board members.

(Editor’s Note: The rest of this issue seems to be about recreation.

Yes folks, we blind folks surely do know how to have fun.)

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WORLD'S LARGEST FREEFALL FORMATION: comprised solely of totally blind skydivers
By John A. Fleming, and Dan Rossi

September 13, 2003: Garrettsville Ohio.
The world record for the largest freefall formation of blind skydivers was shattered today in the skies over rural Ohio. The two-way freefall formation smashed the existing record by a factor of two.

The participants, John "BJ" Fleming of California/Oregon, and Dan Rossi of Pennsylvania stepped off the tailgate of a Casa at 14,000 feet and into the skydiving history books, becoming the first two blind skydivers to ever be in freefall together.

The jumpers exited in a side-by-side and were stable right off the tailgate of the Turbo prop aircraft. They closed for the two-way, screamed their congratulations to each other and then opened back to a side-by-side. At 6,500 feet Rossi gave Fleming the pull sign, a hard shake of his upper arm. Fleming deployed his parachute into position and then Rossi, assisted by a safety diver who was lurking nearby, tracked to 4,000 feet and deployed his parachute.

There was quite a bit of radio traffic as Larry Wereb ably talked down the two skydivers, bringing them both in for great landings.

"We really pulled it off. I can't believe it." Said Fleming after landing back on the drop zone. Page 7 of 13 "It was beautiful." Said Rossi. "I can't believe that BJ let another blind guy give him the pull sign. He's crazier than me." He added after making his way back to the packing area.

When asked about the complexities in a skydive such as this, Rossi responded: "Well, large freefall formations like this take months of planning and practice. A lot of people have to be in the right place at the right time. We think it might be theoretically possible to add another blind jumper, but we'd really have to investigate the aerodynamics of a formation that large."

When asked about the experience and talent of a jumper to be part of this momentous skydive, Fleming explained: "Well, for a jump of this magnitude we had to take the best, and only the best skydivers qualified to make this jump. We had to look for the best, most experienced, and most active blind skydivers in the country. Of the two possible candidates, I think we chose well."

To prove it was no fluke, Fleming and Rossi made a second jump together on Sunday. This time they invited their two safety divers to join them in a four-way. Rossi and Fleming repeated their flawless exit from the previous day and were joined in freefall by Don Schwab of Ohio and Howard Hutchetson of Oregon. The four-way built quickly and the divers got bored of “geeking” at each other while waiting for 6,500 feet. Rossi again gave the pull signal and then tracked with Schwab to a 4,000-foot deployment. Mary O'reilly of Ohio successfully talked down the two jumpers for great landings.

Page 8 of 13 The record attempt was nearly ended before it began when Rossi was "lost" on a jump Thursday evening. Due to a much greater than expected push from the uppers, and deteriorating lighting conditions, Rossi's radioman was unable to see him from the ground. Rossi landed uneventfully in a field more than a mile from the landing area.

Book Review:
Sticks and Scones by Diane Mott Davidson, By Carrie L. Dixon

Diane Mott Davidson writes mystery stories with a delicious culinary flavor. She starts out with “The Cereal Murders”, and some of her best dishes are “Prime Cut” and “Dying for Chocolate”.

In her latest book, “Sticks and Scones”, a caterer, Goldie Shultz is involved in a castle, delectable Old English fare, stolen stamps, and of course it is topped off with murder and mayhem.

Goldie is married to a police officer, and has a precocious, but sometimes exasperating teen aged son, and a more than exasperating, if not dangerous ex-husband. They are all mixed thoroughly with medieval history, and even some sword fighting.

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Interested in Taking a Cruise?
By Sue Slater

My name is Sue Slater. I am an independent cruise agent who is blind from R.P. My mission in life is to make cruising accessible for the visually impaired. To this end, I have organized a group cruise to Alaska from Seattle. There are two cruises for people who are visually impaired, their friends, relatives and guide dogs. Documentation in Braille and large print as well as volunteers are available on the cruise. Guest lecturers will tell you about the beautiful nature and environment of Alaska.

Holland America Amsterdam New Ship 1,1900 passengers 11 decks Sails through the Hubbard Glazier 7 nights Seattle to Seattle Pre and Post Packages in Seattle available Saturday to Saturday Itinerary: Seattle Juno Sitka Ketchikan Page 10 of 13 Sailing through Hubbard Glazier Victoria British Columbia Seattle $350.00 deposit upon booking Final deposit not due until 75 days before sailing Prices start from $1,200 per person double occupancy, all-inclusive, includes port charges, taxes, and gratuities

Don't miss this exciting opportunity!! To book a cabin or for more information, call Sue at: (314) 726-6893 or e-mail her at:

Cooking in the Dark,
hosted by Dale Campbell,
airs monthly on Phil Parr's Blind like Me.

To help promote the show and raise awareness about ACB Radio, we have had cooking aprons made. They are a natural color and have the Cooking in the Dark logo screen-printed on the front. From the waist they measure 23 inches long and are about 28 inches wide. They have ties for the waist and neck. The logo is of our mouse, Bart B. Cue. He is a gray mouse and is a little plump. For those that remember Jerry of Tom and Jerry, he looks very similar. He is wearing dark sunglasses reminiscent of ZZ Top's song, "Cheap Sunglasses". He has his chef's hat on and a spatula in his left hand, just ready to start cooking. He is posed at a 45-degree profile and his tail has stitches in it where it was sewn on after the run in with the farmer's wife. Page 11 of 13 On his vest are the words "Cooking in the Dark" in black letters under him is the logo of the Cooking in the Dark show, "You Don't Need Sight to Make Dinner Tonight!" in cartoon lettering. His vest, stitches in his tail, and the lettering under him are Purple. He is outlined in black and the spatula and tail are also black. His hat is white and his inner ear is a bright pink. Of course the sunglasses are black! The logo can be seen at by entering "Apron" in the search engine and clicking on the product when it comes up. The aprons are retailing for $26.95 on the Cooking in the Dark show and on and mice m art. This is a special invitation to purchase an apron for the cost of $18.40 because of your affiliation with ACB. If you are interested in purchasing an apron for yourself or a friend please place your order request with Dale Campbell at or by calling 713 876 6971. Shipping will be an additional charge dependent on location and number of aprons ordered. These will make wonderful Christmas gifts. The mouse is really cute and any visually impaired cook will love them! Also if you are interested in joining the cooking in the dark group list, send a blank email to Don't miss the next Cooking in the Dark show.

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State Officers

Bob Johnson
4915 Swegle Rd. NE #69
Salem, OR 97301

(503) 361-8693

Past President: Bev Rushing
4730 Auburn Rd. N.E., Space #52
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 362-4151

1st Vice Pres.: James Edwards
1075 Laurel Ave.
Reedsport, OR 97467
(541) 271-1226

2nd Vice Pres.: Joan Hill: 4332 Meadows Drive
Klamath Falls, OR 97603
(541) 882-9967

Secretary: Geri Hallisy
746 Browning Ave., SE
Salem, Oregon 97302
(503) 364-5561

Treasurer: Bob Rushing
4730 Auburn Rd. NE, Space #52
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 362-4151

District Rep. #1: Jerry Delaney
Golden Hours Radio
7140 SW Macadam Ave.
Portland, OR 97219
(503) 293-1902

District Rep. #2: Charlotte Noddin
63204 Crown Point Road
Coos Bay, OR 97120
(541) 888-9651

District Rep. #3: Jan Chance
1505 Madison, Space #67
Klamath Falls, OR 97603

Web Master: John Fleming
1075 N. Rancho Ave.
Colton, CA 92324
(909) 824-5399

Last updated: November 6, 2006

Copyright © 2000 by The ACB of Oregon/Oregon Council Of The Blind