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November 23, 1996

Edwin Malzahn and his Ditch Witch company are featured in two bright new publications now being distributed by Oklahoma State University. One of these is from the OSU Alumni Association, titled simply OSU Magazine, and the other is OSU Impact from the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (CEAT). Both have slick formats with full color covers and inside photos. Ed Malzahn's familiar smiling face adorns the cover of the latter magazine, and both publications contain interesting stories about the Ditch Witch trencher that he and his father, Charles Malzahn, invented in 1948.

OSU Impact focuses on four successful CEAT graduates Wayne Allen, James E. Barnes, Edwin Malzahn and Frank A. McPherson. The article describes them as highly successful, hard working top executives of Oklahoma companies, all with strong ties to CEAT and OSU. "In fact," the writer states, "(they) are outstanding examples of OSU graduates whose 'dreams have been brought to life'." Wayne Allen is CEO of Phillips Petroleum, Jim Barnes is CEO of MAPCO, Inc., a diversified energy company, Frank McPherson is CEO and chairman of the board of the Kerr McGee Corporation, and Ed Malzahn of course is president and CEO of the Charles Machine Works Inc., manufacturer of Ditch Witch underground construction equipment. Full-length color photos of each of the four men accompany the articles about them

The CEAT magazine tells how CMW began in 1902 as a small repair shop and has grown to 25 acres of manufacturing space with 1,000 employees. Describing Ed as one who has truly lived the American dream, it quotes him as follows: "If retirement is doing just what you want to do, then I've been retired since graduating from college." Less than five years after his 1943 graduation from OSU with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, Ed and Charlie were inventing the first small mechanical trencher now known world-wide as the Ditch Witch.

"A strong supporter of his alma mater," the article continues, "Malzahn has served on the OSU board of regents and OSU Foundation board of governors." More recently he used a remote controlled trencher to start construction on CEAT's Advanced Technology Research Center. Continuing from the magazine: "The company is still owned by its profit-sharing employees and the Malzahn family. Known by everyone simply as Ed, he still oversees daily operations while his wife, Mary, tends their herd of cattle. 'I've never had any desire to be anywhere except Perry,' Malzahn says. 'I've watched my friends' kids and grandkids grow up and I want a lot more years of the same thing'."

The Alumni Association magazine contains virtually the same article plus another photo of Ed wearing a Ditch Witch ball cap and a Ditch Witch Underground Authority" sports shirt, open at the neck. I also noticed in the Alumni magazine that Wade Edmundson, son of Dr. and Mrs. Paul Edmundson, is listed as a member of the OSU Alumni Association executive committee. All in all, the two magazines contain a lot of interesting reading even for those who are not products of that big, friendly campus across the way in Stillwater.

Jerry Dawes believes he has discovered proof that there is life after web worms. A flowering crab apple tree in the lawn fronting the Oklahoma Department of Transportation building here, where he works, seemed to have been totally devastated last summer by those varmints. Every leaf on the tree was destroyed inside the tight, gauzy cocoon spun by the worms. Today, however, the same tree is covered with brightly blooming foliage. Its timing system may be slightly off, Jerry says, since it is supposed to flower only in the spring, but he's relieved to know the tree survived last summer's awful web worm assault.