By: Kathie Brennan
09/18/12 02:59:42 PM
Sunny skies greeted every one who gathered at the DD trail head for the dedication of the memorial signage honoring Ozark Trail Association co-founder and volunteers John Roth. As friends and family along with representatives from the Forest Service, AmeriCorps and the Sierra Club sat among the trees, OTA members Steve Coates, Greg Echele, Kathie Brennan, and Bruce Hadley paid homage to the “Pied Piper” of the Ozark Trail. Memories and recollections were shared by several including John’s wife Anne and son Mike, along with his parents, Charley and Marie. After unveiling the memorial, attendees gathered around the memorial to read about the man who was instrumental in connecting the upper and lower sections of the Ozark Trail making it the longest multi-use trail in Missouri.
As customary with any OTA event, Jeff Goetter along with OTA volunteers Ed Kindley and Dean LaBoube, served lunch to those in attendance at the Council Bluff Campground. The beautiful spring weather was enjoyed by many that afternoon as various sections of the Ozark Trail ranging from the Council Bluff Lake trail to DD trail head on to the Middle Fork –John Roth section to Hwy72 were hiked. Saturday evening under a star-filled sky found many around the time-honored campfire as stories and laughter were shared by all.
There are not enough words of gratitude and praise for the volunteers who spent countless hours designing, planning, reading and re-reading copy to hauling digging, gathering stones, carrying and installing the memorial. A special acknowledgment to the memorial committee comprised of Paul Barbercheck, Matt and Kathy Atnip, Bruce Hadley and Kathie Brennan; without their contribution of time and effort, the memorial would not have come to fruition of a lasting tribute to John Roth.