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February 2, 1999

Several summers ago -- in August 1935, to be exact -- eight local business and professional men made a trip to Wyoming for a fishing Party. In the group were Russell (Pop) Dotts, owner of Dotts Hardware; Ira Stout, owner of the OK Filling Station at Seventh and Elm; John Mugler, partner in Donahue-Mugler Insurance and Real Estate Agency; E.O. Edson, co-owner of Kraemer's Shoe Store; Dr. A.M. Evans, prominent local physician; Romaine Powers, abstractor with the W.S. Powers Agency; W.J. (Billy) Reckert, owner-operator of the Palace Café; and Burton Hamilton,manager of the local Long-Bell Lumber Yard. All were avid sportsmen.

Being businessmen, they kept meticulous, detailed records of expenses on the trip. One of them (probably Billy Reckert) furnished the vehicle hauling a trailer and the other seven shared the costs equally. They entered all the information in their journals and summarized the cost after returning home, and now I have a copy of it. You'll find it interesting. The trip was made some 64 years ago, when the Great Depression was still affecting Americans at every level, and many prices were quite low. Even allowing for that, the cost of their trip may amuse you in light of today's much higher cost of living.

The trip covered 2,455 miles. It required 221 1/2 gallons of gasoline costing a total of $45.41 (an average of about 20 ˝ cents per gallon). Here's a further rundown:
Oil & lube on trip $2.01
Wash job $1.00
5 qts. oil before leaving $1.25
5 gal. oil taken on trip $3.70
Tube for trailer tire $2.25
Tire repairs $1.10
Fender repairs $1.00
Welding trailer hitch $1.00
Total car expense $60.20
Meals en route $27.77
Ice $1.61
Groceries $33.54
Truck bed lumber $2.90
Carpenter labor $2.00
Truck top canvas $4.75
Four car cushions $4.00
Film $1.40
Tea towels .60
Presdwood (?) .64

The "carpenter labor" listed above was for services rendered by Bob Marchbanks. There was an additional cost of $54 for “pack trip to and from lakes (ten horses in: 12 horses out)”, and $1.98 for 11 gallons of gasoline in Perry with washing and greasing. Locally, the gas price was 18 cents per gallon. Total for trip $193.41

The total cost divided by seven came to $27.63, plus a $3 fishing license for each, or a total individual cost of $30.63. The report does not tell how many pounds of fish, if any, the men hauled in, but I’m sure the fellowship they all enjoyed on the trip was well worth the cost.