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EP271: Coming Face to Face with the “Nuclear Abe Lincoln" and The 1st "Disneyland" on Lake Michigan's Shore

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
April 20, 2022 3:05 am

EP271: Coming Face to Face with the “Nuclear Abe Lincoln" and The 1st "Disneyland" on Lake Michigan's Shore

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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April 20, 2022 3:05 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Bill Toti tells us the story of his experience with Admiral Hyman Rickover and the impact he had in the Navy. Chris Siriano of the House of David Museum in Saint Joe, MI, tells the story of how a band of religious misfits ended up in along the shores of Lake Michigan and used their massive amounts of wealth to invent everything from the waffle cone, to food taken up into outer space by astronauts—all while creating an amusement park that even Walt Disney would take inspiration from.

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Time Codes:

00:00 - Coming Face to Face with the “Nuclear Abe Lincoln"

23:00 - The 1st "Disneyland" on Lake Michigan's Shore

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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It's Dramos. You may know me from the recap on LATV. Now I've got my own podcast, Life as a Gringo, coming to you every Tuesday and Thursday. We'll be talking real and unapologetic about all things life, Latin culture and everything in between from someone who's never quite fit in. Listen to Life as a Gringo on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Brought to you by State Farm.

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Light, comfy, good to go to. This is Jem. And Em. From In Our Own World Podcast. My Coutura Podcast Network and Coca-Cola celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with incredible content creators like Patti Rodriguez. I was born in East L.A. and I remember growing up there was a small little shack in the apartment we lived at and I would make that shack into a television studio and there I would play pretend.

I would pretend that I was a news reporter and that's how I would spend most of my afternoons pretending and imagining that one day I would be able to tell our own stories. Listen to Out of the Shadows hosted by Patti Rodriguez and Eric Galindo on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Brought to you by Coca-Cola, proud sponsor of the My Coutura Podcast Network. Hispanic heritage is magic. This is Lee Habib and this is Our American Stories, the show where America is the star and the American people. And we love our listeners stories. If you have one, share it with us at OurAmericanStories.com.

That's OurAmericanStories.com. They're some of our favorites. When we talk about the United States nuclear navy or even the widespread use of nuclear reactors to generate power, we need to talk about one man, Admiral Hyman Rickover, a man whose active duty service spanned 63 years, making him the longest serving naval officer as well as the longest serving member of the U.S. armed forces in history. Despite Rickover's impressive length of service, he is more known for his unorthodox interview tactics. Here is retired Navy Captain Bill Tody to tell us about his experience with the kindly old gentleman. The time was about 7 p.m. after a series of very long days. Like the others, this day was filled with tests and interviews, hours of mental intensity interrupted by hours of mind numbing boredom. I was a first class midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy and this was the singular event that would determine the course of my professional life.

For the previous few hours, a combination of fatigue and nervous energy had been building and I had become riveted, torn between the awe of the moment and fear of screwing this up. We had heard many tales about what I would soon encounter. Most of these stories were presumed to be tall tales. For example, several different renditions of the Make Me Mad story had been circulating where Admiral Hyman Rickover dared a midshipman to do something that would anger him, purportedly to see how willing the midshipman would be to follow an order. Some midshipmen were said to have complied by clearing the admiral's desk with a single arm sweep. Then there were the various confinement tales of being locked up in a small space or tiny closet for hours. This apparently was one of the admiral's famous tests for claustrophobia to see if the midshipman had what it would take to become a submarine officer.

The only anecdote I heard from our current round of interludes had supposedly involved a classmate of mine just a few hours earlier. As the breathless rumor went, the admiral had been berating him for a particularly poor performance in a certain course of study. What would your mother think if she knew you were goofing off like this, the admiral had supposedly asked my classmate, who reportedly replied, my mother's dead. The admiral's alleged response?

Well, it's a good thing she is or she would die of embarrassment. This is how the legends usually spread. Most of them were unbelievably over the top.

Each was uncorroborated. I had been running through my potential reactions to these various scenarios when it happened. I was ushered in to see the kindly old gentleman, the KOG of nuclear power lore. The year was 1979.

Since the admiral was born in 1900, it was never difficult to calculate his age. The man was 79 and of almost mythical stature. I walked into his office and something seemed vaguely familiar. I couldn't quite place it, but I had witnessed this scene before. I looked around, searching for a clue of why I had this sudden bout of dreamlike familiarity. And as my backside hit the seat of a sadistically teetering wooden chair, designed, it was said, to keep the midshipman off balance, the first of the rumors I could now actually validate, it hit me. The room was right out of the holiday movie, It's a Wonderful Life. He was Mr. Potter, and I was George Bailey. He was about to offer me a job and hand me a cigar. And then the admiral, without ever looking up, muttered the only words I would hear during round one of toady versus the admiral.

I can't use a philosophy major with a 3-0 average. Get out. My assigned shepherd, a prospective commanding officer or PCO student, grabbed my elbow and yanked hard enough to overcome my inertia. Suddenly we were standing outside the admiral's office to visit having lasted less than 30 seconds. As the door closed behind me, I broke through the mental fog enough to proclaim, but I'm a physics major. Clearly weary of playing advocate to a bunch of wide-eyed midshipmen, he led me off to parts unknown. He pointed to a door and said, I'll see what I can do. Wait in here.

My holding pen was a very small office with bare walls and dust and filled nearly to capacity by a large metal desk. After a couple of the most excruciatingly tedious hours of my life, the door opened and the same commander said, come. We retraced our steps down the now familiar corridor into the admiral's office and I threw myself back onto that demon of a chair. Admiral Rickover was gazing hard at a file, occasionally muttering to himself. I was surprised how old and frail the great man looked.

His desk was stacked high with files of various sizes. I could barely see him behind this morass. After what seemed an eternity, again, without looking up, he said, you got to see in philosophy.

Why that philosophy again. And you've been listening to Navy captain bill toady tell the pretty dramatic story of his first interview with a living legend and a curmudgeon. And back in the day, there were a lot more interviews like this.

Now you'd get arrested for this stuff or thrown in the stockade. When we come back more of captain toady's story about coming face to face with the nuclear Abe Lincoln, admiral Hyman Rickover here on our American stories. Lee Habib here, the host of our American stories every day on this show, we're bringing inspiring stories from across this great country stories from our big cities and small towns, but we truly can't do the show without you. Our stories are free to listen to, but they're not free to make. If you love what you hear, go to our American stories.com and click the donate button.

Give a little, give a lot, go to our American stories.com and give. And we're back with our American stories and retired Navy captain bill toady's experience with the father of the nuclear Navy, admiral Hyman Rickover after accusing toady of being an underperforming philosophy major. He was actually a physics major. Rickover brought toady back into his office to grill him once again, after what seemed an eternity again, without looking up, he said, you got to see in philosophy. Why that philosophy again, and thus began my rant, which went something like this. My professor was a product of Yale university and didn't believe in grades. He would frequently say, I can lead you to philosophy, but I can't make you think. Our grade was dependent on the number of papers we submitted rather than the quality of our work. While the other students submitted for two page papers to get an a, I submitted one very good 60 page paper, essentially daring him to give me a C and he did.

I gambled and lost. I could see the rage starting to build. I think it started somewhere in his neck, but maybe it started lower than that.

I couldn't really tell because his lower regions were obstructed by the stack of papers. By the time this passion had risen to his head, it had grown to what can only be called Rickoverian proportions and his eyes. The fire in his eyes was not that of an old man. This was a young visceral anger.

That's bull. He stood halfway up, spittle shot out of his mouth as he yelled, summarizing a much longer tirade. The gist of what he screamed was, I heard a lot of bull my day, but I've never, ever heard such before. I want you to know young man that you now hold the record. Get out of here.

Get out of my office. At this point in my life, I would not have called myself an overachiever. And I kind of gloried in the possibility that now after all these years, I might finally hold a record at something. And I had earnestly simple mindedly stupidly wondered what I could have said or done to earn such wrath. I also honestly began to wonder if I really had the stuff he was looking for.

Would I be accepted into the program that was at the time, the most prestigious the Navy had to offer? I followed the PCO down the hall to what I presumed would be the same office. And to my surprise, when I stared through the door, I was looking into a closet, the closet of legend. I would now have the honor of referring to myself as one of the closet survivors.

In there, the PCO said, and then he left. I wondered about the criteria for putting malcontents in the last Baron office as opposed to this closet. My Catholic upbringing provided the answer. I concluded that the office was sort of a nuclear purgatory, saved for those innocents who were guilty only of original sin. That is those who through no fault of their own were simply stupid by birth. The closet on the other hand was reserved for those truly despicable characters who had actively, if not knowingly sinned against him.

Those who were actively stupid, not merely passively so. It all made sense in a nuclear justice sort of way. But it wasn't the kind of closet I had imagined when hearing that miscreants had been banished to the closet. In my mind, the place of banishment was a coat closet or a storage room of some sort. Instead, my current station was actually one of those janitorial closets with brooms and bad smells in a deep sink. For almost two hours, I considered my plight while pondering the intangibles of this closet. I contemplated the fine art of dust mop construction.

I remembered the many times I had been trusted with operating such equipment in my first real job when I was still too young to drive, sweeping and mopping floors. And although I was successfully killing time, I was completely missing the point. Maybe it was because of the boredom, or maybe a couple of stray neurons in my brain collided in a freak fission-like accident, but eventually I began to think. I traced the sequence of events in my life that had led to this day. I began to recall the drive that caused me to toss off the constrained dreams of a young steel town boy and apply for an appointment to the academy. And while searching for my motivation, I began to ponder my heritage. My grandparents were immigrants who escaped from Italy to avoid the unhappy fate of a poor dirt farmer in a poor dirt land. At one point, my father's father found employment in his new homeland by digging ditches for a living, happy to drill sewer lines through solid Ohio sandstone with nothing more than a pick ax and a hard steel shovel.

My mother's father had toiled his entire life shoveling coal and working the steel mills. I remembered that even at a very early age, I understood the travails of a hard life. And so, while still just a young boy, I made a commitment to myself that for me, it would be different. And suddenly, there in that janitor's closet, among those mops and brooms, I had an epiphany. So when the door finally opened, I rose from my deep sink sofa and walked into the admiral's office with confidence. Are you ready to tell me the truth?

He asked. Admiral, it doesn't matter what grade I got in philosophy. What matters is that I could have worked harder but didn't. And by not giving my best effort, I betrayed myself and I betrayed the investment the country was placing in me. And although I didn't say it, I also knew that I had betrayed my past. And amazingly, for the very first time, the admiral looked at me. The rage was gone. The fire was gone. And it was now after 11 p.m. All I saw was an old man with the weight of the greatest submarine force in the world on his shoulders.

That's right, he said. If you give less than you're able to, you'll let everyone down. Me, your ship, your navy, your country. I can't use people like that.

I can only use people who have the courage and discipline to give everything they've got. I can be one of those people, Admiral. You better be or you'll never survive my program. And that is how I was accepted into Admiral Rickover's nuclear training program. I've since commanded one of the submarines the admiral brought into this world.

And I've served as Commodore of a submarine squadron. And after all these years, I'm still not sure if Admiral Rickover intended for that simple janitor's closet to serve as his mecca of wisdom and humility. Was that confinement merely a sadistic ruse, as some have said? Or did he really intend for those cleaning tools to be symbols of what my life might have been?

Tangible touchstones to our collective past. I hear people frequently say that the admiral's methods were trivial or petty. But I don't believe that. I'm one of those who think there was a method to his madness. After all, I found truth in a closet. And in so doing, I found myself. And a terrific job on the production by Robbie and a special thanks to Captain Bill Todie.

His book, From CEO to CEO, A Practical Guide for Transitioning from Military to Industry Leadership is available wherever you buy your books. And what a story he told about being in that closet and having to come to terms with who he really was and having to tell the truth to, well, a legend. I could have worked harder and didn't. I betrayed myself and my past. His life began on that day.

The story of Admiral Hyman Rickover and Captain Bill Todie here on Our American Stories. Soon millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year. And UnitedHealthcare can help you feel confident about your choices. For those eligible, Medicare Annual Enrollment runs from October 15th through December 7th. If you're working past age 65, you might be able to delay Medicare enrollment depending on your employer coverage.

It can seem confusing, but it doesn't have to be. Visit UHCmedicarehealthplans.com to learn more. UnitedHealthcare, helping people live healthier lives. I know everything there is to know about running a coffee shop. But for small business insurance, I need my State Farm agent. They make sure my business stays piping hot.

And I stay cool and confident. See, they're small business owners too. So they know how to help you best. State Farm is in your corner and on it. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.

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Purchase All-Free Clear Mega Packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types. This is Our American Stories and one of the things we love to do on this show is tell history stories. Our next story comes to us from Benton Harbor, Michigan and is a bit of local history you won't forget. Here's our own Monty Montgomery with a story.

In Benton Harbor, Michigan, there's an interesting story that started because of a Michigan eccentric. The media called him King Ben. They started calling him in the teens, they called him King Ben because he was mega wealthy and he ruled an empire very much like a Michigan Roman Empire. I mean, who had that much wealth and that much success in America?

I don't know very many people. That's Chris Seriano, founder and curator of the House of David Museum in St. Joe, Michigan. A museum dedicated to an interesting bit of local history that got its start because of the so-called King Ben. Benjamin Purnell was born in Paducah, Kentucky in 1861 to a very, very poor family. He was the seventh son in the family. Grew up basically with nothing and was an intelligent child and loved to listen to the fire and brimstone campfire talks at night and that his father would give and the townspeople.

By the time Benjamin was 14 years old, he was extremely book smart and could basically memorize a book cover to cover. He was given the King James Bible for Christmas on his 14th birthday and he digested the whole Bible. At that point, he felt like he should be a messenger from God and like a missionary. When he was 16 years old, he met Mary Purnell, his wife, and then were itinerant preachers through the south up into the Midwest where he set down roots in Fostori, Ohio. That's where he first started his first church. It was called the God House, a huge congregation of people, believers in his faith, which was a Christian communal celibate vegetarian lifestyle very similar to the Shakers is what he taught.

If you believed in all these things and were a Christian and believed in God and Jesus, that you would have eternal life of the body on earth, you would never die. It was in Fostoria that his daughter Hetty turned 14 years old. Hetty started her first job at a fireworks factory in Fostori, Ohio. He announced to the congregation that evening that Hetty, he was proud of her, that she had gotten a job and you could see the factory out the windows of the church. About halfway through his sermon, the fireworks factory caught on fire and actually blew up. It was very obvious that nobody survived that explosion to the people in the church.

Benjamin and Mary went over to the window and were quiet. Within a couple of hours, authorities came banging on the church door and wanted Ben and Mary to positively identify the remains of Hetty's body. He refused to acknowledge that that could be his daughter because of the fact that here he is teaching, if you believe this faith that I'm sharing, you'll live forever. You'll never die.

You'll have eternal life of the body. There's no way that he was going to admit that his daughter was dead, especially to his whole congregation. Immediately after that was that the town's people had to get together and have a huge funeral for Hetty. She was a very popular kid in town. It was the most decorated funeral in the history of that town.

It's not a small town. After the funeral, they stoned the church and drove Benjamin and Mary out of town. They didn't want them there anymore because they wouldn't partake even in their own daughter's funeral. At that time, Benjamin already had knowledge of the Albert and Louis Boschke who were considered the second leading wagon factory manufacturers in the country behind Studebaker. They were here in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Extremely wealthy, extremely successful men with a lot of intelligence and a lot of connections, but the biggest thing was is they were already believing in this faith. When he arrived, he explained who he was and what he was doing and they accepted him.

They gave Ben and Mary over $400,000 at that time, which was fall of 1902, to acquire the land and begin life on Britton Avenue there in Benton Harbor. Life at the House of David basically consisted of strictly Christian lifestyle. They were all vegetarian. They were celibate, so they could come to the House of David and join a single married or married with 10 kids.

It didn't matter. They did not live anymore with their spouse, so the men were separated in mansions different from the women, even different from the kids. The kids lived in a building called the Ark, which is also a schoolhouse and a dormitory until they were 14 years old. Rules were that there was basically no contact with the opposite sex.

If you wanted to have lunch or dinner with your spouse, you could eat for 30 minutes in the married couple dining hall in the basement. The men could also not cut their hair or shave their beards, but despite these rules, countless people looking for a new life flocked to the House of David, many of whom were wealthy industrialists. They acquired people from all over the world.

They didn't focus on recruiting highly intelligent, successful people, but they were a magnet to those kind of people. Those people from all over the entire globe flocked in, but when they joined, in exchange of life at the House of David, where you were given a place to live, a gorgeous place to live, you're given housing, food, clothing, in exchange for that, you gave them all your worldly possession. According to the people that I interviewed at the House of David, they felt that the biggest day in the history of the House of David was the day that 85 Australians landed in Benton Harbor. Amongst them were a husband and wife that owned a diamond mine.

Along with them were world-famous actors and actresses and musicians. By the 1920s, it's documented that the House of David had over $35 million in the bank. That's a lot of dough today, along with cruise ships and trolley cars and bus lines and hotels and resorts around the world and the diamond mine and a gold mine in western Oklahoma and a coal mine in Kentucky. The reason for the coal mine was because during World War I, when the government tried to ration the use of coal because of the war, Benjamin just went down and bought a coal mine and made it private. Because they generated their own power with coal, with giant coal turbine engines, they generated their own electricity.

There was nothing that would stop them. And you've been listening to Chris Seriano, and he's the curator and founder of the House of David Museum in Benton Harbor, Michigan. And what a story you're hearing, folks.

And when we come back, more of Benjamin Purnell's story on Our American Stories. Soon millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year, and UnitedHealthcare can help you feel confident about your choices. For those eligible, Medicare annual enrollment runs from October 15th through December 7th. If you're working past age 65, you might be able to delay Medicare enrollment depending on your employer coverage.

It can seem confusing, but it doesn't have to be. Visit UHCmedicarehealthplans.com to learn more. UnitedHealthcare, helping people live healthier lives. I know everything there is to know about running a coffee shop, but for small business insurance, I need my State Farm agent. They make sure my business stays piping hot, and I stay cool and confident. See, they're small business owners too, so they know how to help you best. State Farm is in your corner and on it. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.

Call your local State Farm agent for a quote today. Doing household chores can already be time-consuming and tedious, and there's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done. I mean, that can be overwhelming for anyone. So, if you want to get those larger laundry loads done right and get back to your life, try All-Free Clear Mega Packs. All-Free Clear Mega Packs are bigger packs with two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry. All-Free Clear Mega Packs are also 100% free of perfumes and dyes and they're gentle on skin, which is great for any family's sensitive skin needs, which my family, we definitely have sensitive skin. So, the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation is that's caused this big pile of dirty clothes, just know that All-Free Clear Mega Packs, they have your back.

Purchase All-Free Clear Mega Packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types. And we continue with our American stories and with Chris Sariano, founder of the House of David Museum in Benton Harbor, Michigan, telling the story of a religious colony in town at the turn of the century. People didn't want to sit around and just wait for paradise to come. They wanted to do something to occupy their minds and they were good at it. You had a job that you were given. Benjamin would interview you and try to figure out what your talents were and he was amazing at finding out someone's highest best use, even though maybe you didn't know it yourself. He had the financial wherewithal.

He had the power of people and the ability to take someone to the greatest in the world and the greatest in the nation. And because of that skill, the members of the House of David were able to create new inventions that they otherwise wouldn't have. Sometime in 1903 when a guy came and joined from Sweden that was an ice cream maker, he helped invent the waffle cone and then they introduced it to the St. Louis 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.

There are people that say, no, this person made it or this person made it. But the House of David, in fact, did make their own waffle cone starting in late 1903 because they had cruise ships on the Great Lakes. They invented the cross propeller system because they lost some cruise ships from early storms that tipped them sideways because they were so tall and thin back in the day. They had a hundred thousand acres of farmland. So the quality of the fruits were very important to them.

Benton Harbor had the world's largest grower to buyer fruit market anywhere in the world and huge money. And the House of David had a hundred thousand acres of farmland, but they couldn't they couldn't guarantee the quality of the fruit if it was a super hot sweltering day or maybe it was raining hard or maybe a frost was coming. So they they thought, you know, we have to we have to invent some way of securing our investment in fruit. So they built the world's largest cold storage building where people from the world's largest fruit market could pull off, pull up to the House of David cold storage building for pennies. You could put your fruits and vegetables in the cold storage units, which would take the temperature down to a point where it would stabilize the quality as long as you wanted to from that day that you brought it there. So the next day that that fruit market was really popping and dollars were big and the buyers were big, the farmers would fly over to the House of David cold storage, pull their fruits and vegetables out.

They looked exactly like they did when they dropped them off. And they invented that. And they they they were cutting edge on that. And so back in the 60s, when NASA was planning on sending people to the moon, the astronauts, they were trying to figure out a way. How do you make a full meal be able to go into outer space with the pressure and not explode and not screw up the astronaut's stomach if he does get it in there? And so they approached the House of David, who in turn took that process with their own scientists down to a powder form.

So steaks, potatoes, whatever is on a full dinner plate. They made it into a powder form with the airtight wrap. And those little packets were what NASA sent to the moon with the astronauts House of David made. But the House of David's interest in travel wasn't just confined to outer space in the sea. It also extended to trains, miniature ones that you could ride on. In 1904, Benjamin and Mary Purnell traveled to the St. Louis World's Fair.

There were so many reasons that they went there, but mostly to get ideas on how how to do things to with crowds of people. It was during that time that they saw and they traveled on little steam engine trains built by the Cagney brothers out of New York. And those steam engine trains in St. Louis were hauling millions of people all over into this World's Fair during this whole year long event. So at the end of the World's Fair, Benjamin bought one of those little steam engine trains, had it brought back to Benton Harbor, Michigan, taken apart every piece of it. And they recreated those trains, made them better, stronger, slightly bigger.

And they built eight of them just exactly like that. And from 1905 to 1908, there was a fleet of eight 15-inch wide steam engine trains, which were promptly put to work carrying passengers around their amusement park, something they inherited as a simple resort called Eastman Springs with the money their wealthy backers gave them when they first settled in Benton Harbor. The reason that they had the amusement park was basically because of the Australians, their desire to entertain. They wanted an avenue to be able to draw people in for the purpose of entertainment. And because the 85 joined on the same day that were world famous actors and actresses and vaudeville show people and musicians, they thought, what better way to use that Eastman Springs Park as to turn it into an amusement park. So in 1905, they started building the railroad around the amusement park. They started building the amphitheater, which was state of the art, world-class amphitheater. And they wanted to entertain people.

They wanted to get their message out through the form of music, basically. So when you arrived at the park by your trolley car or your bus line, you just thought that you were going to go to a show or, you know, you were going to listen to a band. But in fact, you got on their little miniature train to go into the park. You bought, you got the whiff of those waffle cones cooking and the homemade ice cream. You couldn't resist that like a Kilwin's times 10. So you got that for a nickel.

You went back in there and we got entertained. You got food for nickels to maybe a dime. You could drive the little race cars. You could go to the zoo. You could spend the night in their park hotel.

You could eat at their vegetarian restaurant in the amusement park. But it was, they did it for an experience and for people to think of them as something more than just a fave. It was such a unique experience to see all these men with long hair and long beards, long beards and very humble Amish type people. And it was actually an awesome experience. I went there as a little kid and we went for years and it was a good feeling.

It was like an old grandpa standing there. They were very kind. They were very accommodating. They would answer any questions that you had.

They would help you with things. It was a unique experience and it brought people by the tens of millions. It was the leading amusement park in America only behind Disneyland. And that was only after 1952. Before that, from the time it opened in 08 until the early fifties, there was nobody that had more people attending an amusement park in America more than the House of David amusement park. Walt Disney came here and studied the House of David in 1950-51. And he actually bought one of the House of David steam engine trains, one of the original ones, took it back to Anaheim, California with him where he created his own little railroad there at his property first and then later at Disneyland.

So it was a huge, huge success. But despite the continued popularity of the park, people didn't necessarily want to join it. And as a result of their belief in celibacy, one by one the members of the House of David, including Ben Purnell, passed away until the point where they had to close it. It had closed in 74. People would still wander through. You were allowed to go there and walk around and reminisce and feel your memories and stuff. They didn't keep you away. But it was closed. It was totally like an abandoned amusement park kind of thing.

They closed everything down. They still ran a print shop. They still had their art department building where they made their own beautiful statuary. They still participated in blossom parade floats and musicals and things like that. And they just wanted to enjoy life quietly from there. You know, they were up there pretty good.

It's like a fairy tale place in a way. They touched America in such unique ways. They definitely left their mark. They left a beautiful mark on the world. They touched people in unique ways. What they created will live on, you know, their inventions.

There's so many things that live on way past them. They invited us in to feel it, to experience it. But then we had to go home and they got to stay. They found a pretty dang cool way to live. And they were happy all the way until they closed their eyes.

They really were. And you're listening to Chris Seriano, and he's the founder of the House of David Museum in Benton Harbor. The story of Benjamin Purnell here on Our American Story. Soon millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year, and UnitedHealthcare can help you feel confident about your choices. For those eligible, Medicare annual enrollment runs from October 15th through December 7th. If you're working past age 65, you might be able to delay Medicare enrollment depending on your employer coverage.

It can seem confusing, but it doesn't have to be. Visit UHCmedicarehealthplans.com to learn more. UnitedHealthcare, helping people live healthier lives.

What up, it's Dramos. You may know me from the recap on LATV. Now I've got my own podcast, Life as a Gringo, coming to you every Tuesday and Thursday. We'll be talking real and unapologetic about all things life, Latin culture and everything in between from someone who's never quite fit in. Listen to Life as a Gringo on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Brought to you by State Farm.

Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. This is the start of a new era. We have an opportunity to be the better future for everyone. Combining the best of humanity in the technology, we will unleash our imagination. Everything that can be connected, will be connected. We as an industry must dare to dream. So we find ourselves at a critical juncture in human history. See, touch and experience the very latest in technology. Meet us at MWC Las Vegas September 28th through the 30th.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-15 14:26:21 / 2023-02-15 14:41:19 / 15

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