The Kentucky Caver Quarterly Proceedings of the
Bluegrass Grotto: the North Central Kentucky Area Chapter of the National Speleological Society
Page 08 [contents] ||   ||  ||
 vol. 41. iss. 2, June 2006
finally mentioned the rescue, a fact they were coyly avoiding.  I got the distinct impression they wanted me to say something that would sound condemnatory, anything to increase the marketable tension of a rescue effort already far overplayed in the media coverage.  The interviewer had cheerily grilled me about what constituted safe caving, feeding me provocative scenarios, and I had responded with the usual checklist, but none of that made the cut for the actual broadcast.  This confirmed my suspicion that this was not about caving safety at all, but a disguised way of getting an "expert" to discredit the behavior of the subjects of their lead story. 
   After bringing up the rescue without prompting, I stated that the Michigan cavers had obviously "exceeded their limitations", but that they had otherwise done everything as they should.  I further remarked that they were led by a solid, experienced caver who had notified the proper people of their caving route beforehand and, short of a couple misjudgments en route (Steve and I had already spoken by this juncture), that he had done an excellent job of assuring the group's safety, had himself initiated the rescue effort, and that the rescue was an unquestionable success.  Accidents happen...even to the best of cavers.  What was kept under wraps was how serious the situation had become in a matter of seconds and how Steve's heroic response had saved the day.  Nevertheless, I was pleased that the ten
seconds of air time culled from my half-hour interview stressed the positive aspects of both the cavers and their rescuers.  But mostly, I am overjoyed that the lessons that Steve shares with the caving community in his report were not at a greater cost than they were.  My kudos to Steve Gladieux for his meeting the challenges that befell him and his party underground, and for his excellent and educational reporting.
 


(album cover, click to enlarge)

(Music in Caves: the Great Stalacpipe Organ at Luray Caverns, by Mark Kidd, continued from p. 1)
 
sound files:
Red River Valley
  A Mighty Fortress is Our god

the countryside, yet a unique emphasis on musical performances, particularly a demonstration on the formation named the Organ, had already become part of the tours that Campbell regularly led in Luray Caverns.
The Smithsonian group’s report includes the earliest published account of Campbell’s striking aptitude at playing ‘familiar aires’ on the Organ,  -- by that time he had developed a repertoire flexible enough to entertain the national spectrum of tourists who were coming to Luray Caverns in increasing numbers.

    By 1954, the year Leland W. Sprinkle conceived of the idea for what would become the world’s largest musical instrument, Luray Caverns already had an exceptional history of musical performances, ranging from guided-tour performances of the Organ and Chimes


Page 08 [contents] ||   ||  ||