Marker will remember Buchanan

To the editor:

Greetings, historic Amsterdam, and to our friends and neighbors in the surrounding hills, valleys and towns, to the many proud and former students and faculty members of old Springfield High School’s Flying Tigers, and to the alumni of the former Amsterdam High School Flying Dutchmen and their old nemesis, the Purple Tigers of Bergholz High, a great day is upon us.

Through the many generous and thoughtful monetary contributions from you and so many others — some as far away as Oregon — the Forest W. Buchanan Memorial Committee is proud and honored to inform you that our favorite son’s historical marker is complete and in our hands after two years of effort.

At 10 a.m. on Aug. 31, there will be an unveiling and dedication of his beautiful and one-of-a-kind marker to be held at the Amsterdam gazebo in the center of town.

Buchanan was born on April 15, 1905, near Amsterdam on the family farm. His life’s work as an educator and his dangerous adventures, from his 1930 exploration of the dark and deadly Amazon River to his three big game hunts on the African continent, made his a world-class traveler and a local celebrity.

But for his entire 96 years of life he never felt the need or want to abandon the safety and comfort he felt for his hometown here in Amsterdam, where his roots dug the deepest.

The great man’s list of accomplishments in his long and productive life and the list of important men and women he took counsel with reads of a who’s who in their fields of excellence and would require more space than can be given here. If you ask me to pick two out of the list, so be it: In 1999, Forest was inducted into the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Hall of Fame. In 2006, Mount Union College dedicated the Forest W. Buchanan Explores Trail at the Mount Union College Nature Center near Alliance. And did I mention that he could dance like Fred Astair?

Through the help and guidance of many, I need to thank the committee members for their untiring and devoted help in the honoring of Buchanan. Virginia Glenn, this project would have absolutely had a hard time moving forward, if at all, without her encouragement and belief in this endeavor. She did not know Forest but soon fell in love with him. Pat Wilkin, one of Amsterdam’s greatest gals, was always ready to help; Paul Bright, Forest’s son-in-law; Autumn Day, proud granddaughter; and last my father, Tom Stone, senior adviser.

Come join us, won’t you, and say a few words if you will. If we don’t take care of our own, who will?

Mike Stone