Forstrom presents Glider program at Golden K meeting

By Orice Walters

For The Daily News

Kingsford – It’s always an enjoyable Monday at Golden K. Singing oldies like “Moonlight and Roses” and “Put Your Arms Around Me” adds to a fun Monday morning.

Chairperson Mary Jane Nelson opened the meeting with everyone saying the Pledge to the American flag and singing of “God Bless America.”

Program chairman Al Calcari offered the prayer before coffee and fresh rolls. His Thought For the Day was; “A smile is a curved line that sets things straight, so every one keep that curve.”

The GK welcome song was sung for guests. They included many relatives of the Calcari’s. Present were Al’s nephew, Guy Forstrom, who presented an excellent program about Gliders. Also Guy’s parents David and Lucille Forstrom and Al’s brother, Bob and Carol Calcari.

Happy Anniversary was sung for Kirk and Carol Olson and Doug and Iris Machus.

Happy Birthday was sung for Terry Champeau .

The big 50/50 winner, Jim Verette, was really happy when Guy picked his winning number.

GK music director Margaret Trudell thanked all the Golden Throats who sang at the Northwood’s Garden Clubs Strawberry Social. Thanks to Don and Kay Williamson who provided the portable keyboard and Alyce Derwinski who kept the keyboard hot in spite of the wind blowing the music pages and more. All in all it was a wonderful social and the GK thanks the Garden Club for keeping our area beautiful with flowers they plant.

The GK peanut fund-raiser will soon be happening in August, so Harlan Walters gave a presentation on the need for captains and volunteers.

The Golden Throats enjoyed a beautiful picnic at Freeman’s Nursing Home this past Wednesday where they sang for the residents and their families who were present. It’s always great singing with Scott Furlow keeping the tunes rolling over the ivories and Margaret directing.

As Al Calcari introduced his nephew, Guy Forstrom, he told of Guy taking an old rusty fire truck apart and giving it new life. Guy is a member of the Menominee Range Historical Museum and has a hobby of local history. It was obvious he knew a lot about the years gone by and in particular the Ford Plant and the making of Gliders in the 1940s in Iron Mountain-Kingsford and used in World War II.

Guy presented a power point he produced about gliders and the Ford Plant. Much of the photos, film and information about the CA-4A Glider by Ford was obtained from the U.S. National archives in Washington DC. He worked on his production for about a year, on and off. It is dedicated to those in the military.

The glider was tough and sturdy made with a lot of wood and covered with fabric. It was towed about 20,000 feet in the air.

One of the first ones was built by Ford Motor Company in 1943.

A glider would be built in seven major sections, which were put together, wheeled off the assembly line, and spray-painted.

The USAF PG 4A was built and each month 16 RR cars would travel 120 miles per hour in 20 seconds carrying these gliders.

There were several departments for building the gliders. Material, gluing and curing, sewing, and the craftsmen who designed and built the sections, etc.

Engineers designed and built hundreds of jigs to hold the sections together.

The glider floor was like honeycombs.

It took 440 workers round the clock to produce eight gliders a day.

The CG-13 glider could carry up to 42 personnel.

The CG-4A fuselage was manufactured in Menominee, MI by Lloyd Manufacturing.

The local plant was also known for the making of woody body parts for automobiles.

Many of us still remember the Woody Station Wagon.

In 1944 a celebration was held in Iron Mountain with banners over the street and at the Ford Plant.

The celebration brought Henry Ford II to town who along with plant superintendent. Walter Nelson presented the “E” Award for excellence in War.

An estimated 5,000 people were there to celebrate.

Also present was the AFL CIO Band. The Uren-Cooper Legion Post presented colors. Included in this historic event were the USNR chaplain, Army and Navy

upper personnel, many “E” award Flags, along with singing of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

The local Ford Plant produced 4,190 CG-4A at a lower cost than any other plant in the country. It is said there were six other similar plants in the USA.

The local plant employed 4,500 people round the clock, many of them our fathers, grandfathers, uncles, or neighbors.

Our thanks to Guy Forstrom for such an informational, interesting, and enjoyable presentation about the glider plant; gliders built by many of our fathers, grandfathers, uncles and neighbors.

The GK looks forward to another local history lesson by Guy for a later GK program.

The July 21 Golden K program chairperson is Lois Outcelt. Present will be Bobbie Samme talking about the LCpl. Eric A. Palmiscano Care Package Project for our military.

All are invited. The meetings begin at 10 a.m. at the Presbyterian Church of Kingsford. Use side door of parking lot. All retired people are invited to be a part of Golden K or just come for a visit. You’ll be glad you did.

The Golden Throats sing at Evergreen assisted living on Wednesday, July 23 at the usual time of 2 p.m.