OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Time to share early memories of WW II and Urschel Air Field

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-01-06T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Time to share early memories of WW II and Urschel Air FieldBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Even though it's the new year and everyone is looking to the future and 2013, there's still a reason to also gather past memories.

Reader Cinda Urschel is working on a new research project and asked me to share the details with readers who might be able to lend some help.

"I contacted you a few weeks ago with a request to put something in your column and I think I am now ready to hopefully start receiving information," she explained.

"I am compiling information on all early aviation in Porter County for a future book. I am interested in all photographs and memorabilia. The heart of the book will be the stories told by all that had anything to do with aviation from the earliest days to around 1962. I am NOT doing any research on the Porter County Regional Airport. Much of the book will concentrate on Urschel Field. If anyone has information on the time that they spent there, or have a relative or friend that was involved with aviation in Porter County, please let me know. Many believe they have nothing to contribute until they start talking about those good ole days. Please email me at urschelairfield@gmail.com. Readers should ontact me on the computer first. But if you do not have one, they can call (219) 531-8688. Thanks Phil!"

More memories

Volunteers of the Porter County Museum of History in Valparaiso and Urschel Laboratories collaborated to preserve the stories of the greatest generation and their memories of World War II. Valparaiso resident Eunice Slagle, whose late husband was a WWII prisoner of war, organized the oral history documentary.

"This was a great opportunity to capture local memories of the War before everyone is gone," Slagle said.

The documentary evolved from plans to update the military exhibit at the Porter County Museum.

"We knew we wanted to integrate local stories of our veterans into the exhibit. The men and women of Porter County played a significant role on the world stage and have some fascinating stories to tell," said Executive Director Kevin Pazour.

Plans to conduct the interviews initially stalled last June, until Urschel Laboratories came to the rescue and provided use of their professional studio, supplied snacks, and rented a World War II-themed golf cart to transport the interviewees from their cars to the set. I'm told several Urschel employees went out of their way to make the sessions a resounding success.

An advanced screening of the film was held on Veterans Day at Memorial Opera House, along with a walk through the updated WW II exhibit next door at the museum at 153 Franklin St.

I'm told another screening is being planned for the new year and individual copies of the film on DVD are available for a $5 donation by contacting the museum at (219) 465-3595 or by e-mail at info@pocomuse.org.

Winner congrats

Here are the names of the lucky readers who won last week's Viennese concert tickets trivia contest: Micheline Beattie of Porter, Gerhard Henning of Lansing, Patty Sivertson of Dyer, Rueben and Constance Hernandez of Schererville and June Musikant of Lake Village.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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