Newspaper Clippings and Other Memorabilia
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Visited Fiery Peak by Helicopter

                                                                                                --Times Photo
Golden keys to the Mexican city of Uruapan were among many strange gifts received by Capt. and Mrs. George Colchagoff, former Toledoans, who recently spent seven weeks at the site of the flaming volcano, Paricutin. Mrs. Colchagoff was the only woman in the 17-member scientific helicopter expedition. Her husband formerly was employed by the Associated Press in Toledo.
Woman Aids Group
In Study of Volcano

Captain and Mrs. George Colchagoff
Members of Expedition


     Many a tired businessman has remarked in jest: "I've been sitting on a hot volcano all day!" But it remained for Lucy Colchagoff, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alvin A. Ayling, 1541 Gould road, to camp at the base of the fiery monster, Paricutin, in Mexico and return without a singe.
     As Spanish interpreter, still photographer, and "jack of all trades," Mrs. Colchagoff was accepted as the only woman member of a scientific helicopter expedition sponsored by the Air Material command, U. S. Army Air forces, and the National Research council.
     The party of 17 was headed by her husband, Capt. George Colchagoff, Wright Field, son of Mr. and Mrs. Demeter Colchagoff, 217 Worthington street, and had as its dual purpose a study of volcanic action and the effects of air currents upon a helicopter.
     Situated 23 miles from Uruapan, the volcano heaved up in 1943 from a cornfield and was named for the first village it destroyed.
     Two camps were set up by the scientific expedition, one at Paricutin's base and the other three miles away.
     "The volcano's beauty was breath-taking," Mrs. Colchagoff said. "At night it was a giant fireworks display in orange, red and yellow. Mornings were fairly quiet, except for great explosions. Then steam would pour out as from a dragon's mouth, and by noon the crater would be blotted from sight for miles around."
     In the interest of science, 75 helicopter flights were made over the flaming crater. "It was like looking down into a fiery geyser," Captain Colchagoff related.
     Army regulations prevented Mrs. Colchagoff from making a flight. However, one day when the helicopter was down for a check, she and her husband crossed the lava fields afoot, leaping crevasses where a fall would have meant instant death.
     Between flights, guarding the helicopter or "dragon fly" as natives called it, was a problem. "We hit upon drawing a circle on the ground around it," Mrs. Colchagoff said. "Natives always respected that mark."
Cooked on volcano
     Volcanic ash flew night and day like rain. To protect herself from it, she wore slacks, boots and always a straw hat. Often she slept in her clothes, for even heavy blankets were inadequate protection against bitterly cold nights.
     "Water was our big problem," Mrs. Colchagoff related. "All we had was brought by native women in huge jars. We never felt clean."
     Meals were a monotonous repetition of sopa or stew with frijoles, prepared by native women on stones in a hut with a floor of packed lava ash. "Once, though, we cooked our own supper on the volcano, using a large black but fiery hot clinker for fuel," she explained.
Honored by City
     Only one minor accident happened, when a member of the party was struck by a flying missile hurled by an explosion in the throat of the volcano. However, Mrs. Colchagoff also remembers a wild night when over-enthusiastic natives, following a mountainside fiesta, sent bullets crashing through the camp.
     As a grand climax to the expedition, the president of Mexico requested that the helicopter, the first ever to visit his Country, fly to Mexico City to hover over the National palace.
     Simultaneously, the mayor of Uruapan declared a fiesta, planning to present the keys of the city to Captain Colchagoff.
     The helicopter party took flight for Mexico City, leaving Mrs. Colchagoff behind to be official representative and guest of honor at the all-day, all-night fiesta.
     "All in all, the trip was exhausting, but fun," Mrs. Colchagoff summed it up. 'George and I couldn't get too much of Mexican life. So on our vacation, we flew to Yucatan, returning to Ohio only a few weeks ago."


Bulgarian native visits Arbor Hills

click to enlarge
[to see another photo taken at Arbor Hills not in the article click here]

Dance class
Arbor Hills students follow the lead of Dimitri Colchagoff as they learn native Bulgarian dances during a special guest program last week at the school. (Photos by Walles)
     "Through thick and thin," as Mr. Dimitri Colchagoff remarked last Friday, March 9, the world has advanced itself in many ways but yet is "pretty much the same." Arbor Hills Junior High School's Special Guest program has shown yet another facet of special interest available to all students.
    Among other parts of the program presented by Mr. Colchagoff, a Bulgarian native, students were presented a historical, geographical and sociological background of Bulgaria. Little did they realize that Bulgaria enjoys a climate exactly like that of Ohio, U.S.A. being on the same latitude plane.
     Likewise, the population parallels that of Ohio while customs obviously are different. The chief product manufactured for international trade, rose oil, ranks among the main sources of national wealth.
     Arbor Hills spokesmen noted they are especially indebted to Toledo's International Institute for their generous cooperation in the presentation of this program and to Pat Brunner, a Steering Committee mother, who has aided us throughout the course of the year in preparing the Special Guest Program; as an adjunct to the traditional Activity Period.
     Friday's program concluded with a group participation in a traditional folk-dance of Bulgaria.

 "WINDOW DANCE"  These long-time members of the International Institute's Folk Dancers are performing the Austrian "Window Dance" in anticipation of the 16th annual International Festival to be held May 17-19 at the Toledo Sports Arena. Shown are: Demeter Colchagoff and Madeleine Bonhomme.

May 17, 18, 19

International Festival
will attract gourmets

     How can you visit over 40 different countries in just three days?
     Or sample such exotic foods as Syrian Kibbee, Bulgarian Mekeetsee, or German Bratwurst all under one roof?
     Or sit in on one of ten International Folk Shows and watch the Bavarian Schuhplattler, a Czech Polka or Mexican Hat Dance, still under one roof?

     By attending the 16th annual International Festival, May 17, 18 and 19, at the Toledo Sports Arena
     More than 6,000 participants, dressed in traditional native costumes, representing over 40 different nations will become dancers, musicians, entertainers and chefs for the three day event.
     According to William Hostetter, president of the International Institute, the festival's sponsor, it is expected that attendance at this years show will exceed the 58,800 who viewed the event last year.
     The weekend of international events will begin Friday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. with a diplomatic reception at the International Institute, 2040 Scottwood Ave., where consuls and diplomatic officials from more than 15 nations will be hosted by local government leaders, festival officials and representatives of the International Institute.
     The doors will be open to the public at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 17, with official opening ceremonies being held at 7:30 p.m., highlighted by the appearance of the Mexico City Folklorico Ballet Club Cultural Hacienda and the Caribbean Playmates, a group of dancers from Jamaica brought to the Festival through the courtesy of Air Jamaica.
     Additional free parking has been arranged at the city parking lots located at Cherry and Michigan St. free shuttle bus service from these lots to the Sports Arena is available.


Demeter Colchagoff, left, Jean Czerwinski, Jean Scott, Peter Arvantes

'Cosmopolitan Night' Set
By Washington Guild

'COSMOPOLITAN NIGHT' is the title of a program to be presented at a meeting of Washington Guild of Washington Congregational Church Thursday in the recreation hall of the church.
     A potluck supper at 6:30 will precede the program, which is under the direction of Mrs. Walter E. Goruh, music chairman.
     On the program will be songs and folk dancing by a group from the International Institute in native costume. Members of the churches male quartet will sing. They include Mr. Boruh, Philip Hendrickson, Merle Smith and Robert Smith.
     A United Nations theme will be used in table decorations for the potluck supper, with each table having a centerpiece representing a certain nation.
     Those in charge of decorating the tables are Mrs. Horace Wachter, Mexico; Mrs. Dick Jensen, Holland; Mrs. Boruh, Russia; Mrs. Robert M. Smith and Mrs. Arthur Gustafson, Sweden.
     Mrs. Dick Daso, Mrs. Frank Shoemaker, Japan; Mrs. Richard King, France; Mrs. George Horen, Mrs. Alton Cornwall, United States; Mrs. Robert Mowery, Germany; Mrs. Mark DeBruine, Norway; Mrs. Harold Goudy, Ireland; and Mrs. Samuel Jordan, Hawaii.
     Devotions will be led by Mrs. Horen. Hostesses for the evening will be Mrs. Mowery, chairman, Mrs. Clarence Kitchen, Mrs. Cornwall and Mrs. Horen.

July 31, 1955

RASCAL'S GIRLFRIEND.  That's pretty Mary Ellen who will present "Our Gang" comedies on "The Little Rascals" series starting today at 6 over WEWS. There'll be cartooning, puppetry, songs and stories, too, in between the films.