The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


April 7, 2014

A Don McCormack column: Shot in the dark...

Readers prove to be right on target

There’s nothing like a good mystery to pave the way toward a terrific story, topped perhaps only by coming up with a solution.

Back in January, I found two old black and white photographs in a file labeled, “Amboy Rifle Club.”

The photographs featured two groups of people — one featured a group of men, holding their rifles. The other featured a much larger group, all but a couple being youngsters.

Anyway, I printed the photographs as part of a Variety Store column in January with the caveat of asking if any Loyal Readers could provide some information and, even better, possibly some identifications.

Lo and behold, I struck gold, so to speak, in the form of Dave Greer and Joe Simak.

“The top picture is of the team at the time — my guess, early 1960s,” Greer wrote, then providing all but a few IDs of the men in the photo.

“The bottom picture is a hunter safety class from the mid-1960s,” he continued. “The teacher in the back row at the far left is Pete Graham. The helper at the far right is Bill Patacky.”

Simak came through with some help on the photograph of the Amboy squad of shooters.

“I’m quite sure I know two of the people in the photo — Joe Schor and John Lemack — they are both deceased,” he wrote. “I don’t know if this is of any help to you, but I thought I’d send it.”

It sure is, Joe.

Turns out, Greer has quite a connection to the Amboy Rifle Club, which was founded in 1930, according to none other than the esteemed R.D. Best.

“My great grandfather and great uncle founded the Amboy Rifle Club, which started at the southwest corner of Amboy Road and Route 20,” he wrote. “It was in a car garage by great uncle ran.”

Oh, by the way, here’s the really neat aspect of receiving the correspondences from David and Joe.

Before he finished his message, Greer threw in what is the really neat aspect of finding these photographs, running them in print and asking for information and/or identifications.

“(In the hunter safety class photo), I am the fourth kid from the left, kneeling,” he wrote.

Mystery solved, with a twist!

McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at

Text Only
  • Sam Going strong!

    Back on track... and still alive and kicking, er, hitting!

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 18U Outlaws split first two

    A stirring rally in their last at-bat allowed the Ohio Outlaws 18-and-under squad to prevail in its first game at the Eastern National Tournament on Thursday in Sterling, Va.

    August 1, 2014

  • UMC rolls to church title

    The Andover United Methodist Church co-ed softball team capped a successful season by applying the basics. Timely hitting and solid defense both came into play as they polished off the losers’ bracket winner, New Life Fire of Geneva, 10-4, to claim the Ashtabula Church Co-ed Softball League — Thursday Massucci Division championship.

    August 1, 2014

  • Indians Mariners sink Tribe

    Another difficult day on the trade front ended with a disappointing loss for the Cleveland Indians.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Taylor Outlaws edged by a run

    The slimmest of margins proved to be the difference in determining the outcome of a clash between the Ohio Outlaws Gold and the Virginia Shamrocks in the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals on Wednesday in Salem, Va.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Olivia-smile A Don McCormack column: Holt right at home at Mount

    When a young person from this area goes off to college and continues to play sports at the next level, we do feature stories on them.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Twin State Night at Raceway 7 next

    This week is the annual Twin State Club night at Raceway 7. Regular racing will be presented in all five divisions. With the points races nearing their conclusion the racing will be hot as August weather Friday night.

    July 31, 2014

  • Tribe Kluber twirls gem

    “The ace is gone. Long live the ace.” That’s how Indians fans might be looking at matters today.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SB1 Let’s play another

    It pays to have the right hitters at the plate at the right time.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Outlaws roll again

    They may be Outlaws by name, but the Northeast Ohio-based Ohio Outlaws Gold are certainly running with the in crowd at the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals in Salem, Va.

    July 30, 2014

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video