Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Travel Tuesday - American Legion Nonstop Goodwill Tour

Spokane Daily Chronicle
April 2, 1930

Plan Big Welcome  
When Boys Reach 
Starting Point

  Mexico yesterday opened its arms to the Spokane American legion nonstop travelers of good will in a reception reported as second only to the welcome extended to Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh.
    "Our 55-minute stay  in Mexico developed into a international good-will  tour, with Mexican officials dashing here and there taking every possible precaution  against our being stopped," Grant Ware telegraphed the Chronicle from Los Angeles at 2:13 a.m. today.
  With Mr. Ware and his driving partner, Frank Smith, refueling their way homeward, elaborate plans started here today for a rousing homecoming.  The nonstop car is scheduled to arrive at 2 p.m. Friday.
 Boys Need a Shave
It will be a shaggy pair of faces that smile a welcome to those witnessing  the downtown parade, because neither Ware nor Smith has enjoyed  a shave since leaving last Friday.
   Homecoming arrangements are being made by Warren  W. Greenberg, first vice commander  of the legion.
   An aerial escort, motorcycle officers  and a convoy of legionnaires will meet  the drivers  as they  near  Spokane.  Richard Casatt, state highway patrol officer, will pick up the nonstop car at the Oregon line, and military planes from the 41st division air services unit will swoop  down in dives  on congratulations.
Where to Meet Car
   "Spokane people desiring to meet the boys should gather at Third and Maple ," said Mr.  Greenberg.  "We are asking  every one to keep traffic cleared as we do not want the trip ruined before legion headquarters are reached at the Dessert hotel, where  the tour started."  Highway patrolmen K.G. Griffith,  Harry Hall and John Golden will meet the car on the Inland Empire highway south of Spokane  and help keep the path open.
   Included in the honor escort will be the wife and mother of Mr. Ware, Mrs. Smith, Mr. Greenberg, Dr. S.E. Rosenthal, head of the 40 and ___, Major Leonard Funk, Edward W. Robertson, past state commander of the legion; A.G. Tucker of the Richfield Oil company, Colonel Joseph K. Partello of Fort George Wright , B. H. Kizer, Chamber of Commerce president, a representative of the Chronicle and Charles Fancher Jr.

By Grant Ware
LOS ANGELES, April 2, 2:18 a.m.  Mexico we have seen you and how.  We were met at the edge of San Diego by a motorcycle escort and W.D. Russell, first vice commander of San Diego post, came aboard.   We went into the center of town and did one of those refueling acts as we had dreamed of doing in a perfectly arranged lot.  
    Then to gate No. 2 at Mexico.  We imagined that we would merely cross the border and return, getting the signed slip as our reward.  But to our surprise Billy Silver, representing the Mexican chamber  of commerce, requested  us to circle for a moment  and then prepare  for a trip to Tia  Juana and Agua Caliente.   One of the customs officers accompanied us to see that we brought no contraband.
Super-Cop Clears Way
  Assigned as motorcycle escort was Luis Ayala of Tia Juana , and let me state here and now that he is a super-motorcycle officer.  Silver was everywhere directing American and Mexican photographers and doing everything, as he stated, "for the representatives of the distinguished American legion."
   Every courtesy was extended us during our stay in Mexico and it developed into an international good will tour with Luis dashing here and there taking every possible precaution against our being stopped in his territory.  We had no thought of such a reception as was accorded us, neither of us having had a chance to shave since the start of the trip, but that meant nothing to them.  They took us as they found us and treated us as royalty.
    Photographers Swamp Them
   The thrill of this welcome trip is past words.  We  saw the famous buildings, including the Foreign club, where the photographers went to work in earnest.
    Upon leaving we were presented with several copies of the Tia Juana Herald, which carried the story of our trip in boldface of the feature spot on the first page.  The San Diego Union also carried several articles about our trip.  As we started back we were again accompanied by our motorcycle escorts.  It was a fitting end of the southern portion of our run  and made us feel that the American legion and Spokane are getting real publicity in a way that leaves pleasant feelings.

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