NEW FOR 2018!
REPLICA U.S. NAVY DESTROYER
Recreational boats have been a consistent feature at the Exposure outdoor and recreation shows through the years. Now looking ahead to the 2018 shows, they’ll be joined by a big brother, a ship.
It will actually be a replica of a World War II U.S. Navy destroyer. The 16-foot ship, named the U.S.S. Norton, will be on display at the Exposure shows to honor and recognize military veterans and those on active duty.
“If there are veterans involved, we try to get it there,” said Bud Bessey of the replica ship. “We’ve had it in several different parades and at several different events.”
Bessey, a U.S. Navy veteran and a Myrtle Creek resident, and a handful of his retired Navy friends built the ship in 2013. He said the local chapter of the Fleet Reserve Association, of which he is a member, needed something to represent it and its members in parades and at events.
In 2016, prior to the annual Veterans Day Parade in Roseburg, the replica destroyer was christened the U.S.S. Norton by two-star U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Nancy Norton, a 1982 Roseburg High School graduate.
“Everybody is in love with it,” Bessey said of the response the destroyer receives when it is displayed.
Bessey said the ship is “built to scale, for the most part.”
“We’re glad to have it at the shows or wherever veterans are involved,” he said.
Bessey joined the Navy at age 17. He worked as a welder, working on ships ranging from salvage tugs to oil tankers. In 1967, he was deployed to Vietnam where he worked on a repair ship that serviced the Mobile Riverine Force.
After three years in Vietnam, Bessey became a Navy recruiter, then a career counselor for sailors and eventually took a job with the Traveling Vietnam Wall, a memorial to those who served during the Vietnam War.
Bessey is an accredited veterans service officer with Veterans Affairs. He said he and the U.S.S. Norton are always proud to represent the U.S. Navy and its veterans and sailors at different events.
Cascade Mountains Gold, Dog Rock Enterprises, Armadillo Mining Shop and the Douglas County Prospectors Association will be bringing gold fever to this year’s Exposure sportsmens and outdoors shows.
The businesses and club will share a booth and display area at the shows in Eugene, Roseburg and Medford.
“We want to show people how to get started in prospecting,” said Josh Bohmker. “We’ll have prospecting equipment there that people can hold and touch. We’ll explain how it works, why it works. We want people to ask questions about how to get started and we’ll explain it. Prospecting can be a great escape from reality.”
Josh Bohmker and his wife Sarah own Dog Rock Enterprises in Cave Junction. His father, Thomas Bohmker, owns Cascade Mountain Gold, a company that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Armadillo Mining Shop in Grants Pass is owned by Shelley and Robert Stumbo. It is the largest mining shop in the Pacific Northwest, according to Josh Bohmker.
The mining booth will offer prospecting seminars and panning demonstrations. Visitors will have the opportunity to pan for gold. And the firt 100 successful guests get to keep their gold! There will also be presentations on how to use metal detectors when looking for precious metals.
A couple glass cases will feature gold specimens found in the western U.S., Alaska and Venezuela. There’ll be memorabilia from the early days of mining and equipment from more recent times.
The Douglas County Prospectors Association will set up a boomtown facade.
Literature on mining and maps on where recreational mining is available will also be at the booth.
Visitors are also encouraged to bring in rocks so the geology and identification of the samples can be discussed.
“We are ready to answer all of your prospecting questions to help you begin your own odyssey,” said Sarah Bohmker.
Sign up to win prizes at the shows!
Autographed pans and photos by Dakota Fred, panning concentrates and classes!
NEW BB GUN RANGE!
A new inflatable Gun Range will debut at four sportsmen’s shows in southern Oregon and northern California. Kids S.A.F.E. Foundation will operate this exciting family-oriented exhibit as a way to teach basic firearm safety. The bright red inflatable range will provide Kids S.A.F.E the opportunity to reach a larger audience with their gun safety message. The basic program introduces open, honest dialog between children and parents with the goal of protecting families and preventing senseless tragedies through education.
“Our goal is to reach as many children as possible,” says founder and chief instructor, Derek LeBlanc. “With the support of the community, I am confident our goal will become a reality because ZERO Firearm Accidents is the Only Acceptable Goal!”
Along with individual and corporate sponsors, partnerships with school districts help ensure no child will ever be turned away from participating. Course content links knowledge of firearm safety with accident prevention.
Kids S.A.F.E. Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to safety around firearm education for children and families. For more information about this innovative attraction, contact Derek LeBlanc, President/Chief Instructor of Kids S.A.F.E. Foundation at 541-731-7200 or visit https://kidssafefoundation.org