A Clarkson Mosaic - page 282

and sleigh to be purchased in Buffalo and then to be driven through the major cities and their
colleges and universities on its way to be delivered to Potsdam.
At first, only the two students originating the idea were to take the ride, but by the time
plans were finalized, the party had grown to eight: two women for companionship on the long
road, a married couple as chaperones, the chairman of the budget committee formed to oversee
the finances of the expedition, and a student from the publicity staff as press agent. Diane
Schug '60 from State and Wes Beal '63 from Clarkson were the first chosen; Wes was in charge
of the horse and sleigh. Irene Williams '61, a transfer from Buffalo State, was chosen to
represent the nonparticipating colleges and universities along the way. Her escort was Robert
Morgan in charge of taking photographs along with member number five, Thomas Crowley, a
freelance photographer from Buffalo, who, along with his wife, were the chaperones. The
seventh and eighth members were William Johnston '60, in charge of the budget, and Alan Katz
'63, in charge of the publicity. The ninth member was the horse named Pat O'Brien.
This team arrived in Buffalo on January 27 to prepare for the journey. The men stayed
in Tower Dorm of the University of Buffalo and the women in MacDonald Hall. On Thursday
afternoon, the 28th, a group of Buffalo State students saw them on their way with gifts of
mittens, scarves, ear warmers, and a banner.
Starting from Buffalo, the sleigh traveled 335 miles through Rochester, Syracuse, and
Utica. In Rochester on the next day, the students were welcomed with a key to the University of
Rochester followed by a reception in their honor at the Theta Delta Chi fraternity house. As
guests of the U. of R. students, the men stayed overnight in the fraternity house and the women
in the dorm. Chaperone Crowley noted that his wife was staying at the girls' dorm, too, so
"I had to walk her `home' and kiss her good night, making sure she was in by one a.m."
The next day and night in Syracuse they stayed at the farm of a Clarkson alumnus, made
a TV appearance, and found a garage that would put wheels on the sleigh in addition to the
runners, since the suggested addition of eight pairs of roller skates didn't work out. They spent
the night on the Syracuse University campus: the women as guests of Kappa Delta sorority and
the men of Delta Upsilon.
When they entered Utica on Sunday they were met by a Utica College student dressed
as a pioneer (Utica College's mascot), who led them to the Hotel Utica for a reception
sponsored by the area alumni where a representative of the Utica Chamber of Commerce gave
them a key to the city. Following the reception, they were guests of Utica College at a dinner
and were housed at a nearby tourist home. After breakfast at the Utica College cafeteria, they
left for Watertown.
There they were greeted by a group of Clarkson alumni and representatives of the
Chamber of Commerce, and honored at a dinner in the Hotel Woodruff. After a radio interview,
the group made a TV appearance on "Kiddie Carnival." Staying overnight as guests of the Hotel
Woodruff, the group left for Potsdam, arriving at 4:30 in the afternoon.
The sleigh and its occupants were greeted in front of the Civic Center by a band and
students and faculty from both colleges. Mayor Van Ness presented Bill and Diane with a green
and gold key to the Village of Potsdam.
Truth to tell, these stalwart young people did ride the entire distance in the sleigh; the
horse, however, did not pull it for the full distance. Most of the distance was traveled with the
horse, O'Brien, riding in a truck big enough to accommodate it, the sleigh, and the eight people.
When they traveled between cities, they took turns sitting in the sleigh. Before entering a major
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