It was brought to my attention during the American Volkssport Association’s 40th anniversary banquet in Fredericksburg, Texas, in June, 2016 when Volkssport pioneers were sharing wonderful, touching stories about how they became involved with volkssports, that each story should be shared, with not just the hundred people at the banquet but with everyone. Everyone has a story to tell. Historians have finally recognized that memories of everyday people have historical importance.

Ellen Ott

President, Randolph Roadrunners, American Volkssport Association

Dr. David N. Toth, then an Air Force Physician, was tricked into going on his first Volksmarch while stationed in Germany in the 1970s. Despite his blisters (he wore penny loafers and nylon socks!) he was hooked. In 1977 he began organizing AVA Club #2 in Dayton, Ohio. The Ohio Wander Freunde was officially formed the next year and held its first international walkfest on September 23, 1978 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the first powered flight. Dave was elected the AVA’s first president (1979-1981.) Here is his story (or at least some of it … ) He was interviewed by Ellen Ott, President of the Randolph Roadrunners, at his residence in San Antonio, TX, 22 August, 2017. Interview length: 35:31

 


History of Volkssporting in the USA: 1976-1989 was written by Dr. Charlene Agne-Traub, Ph.D., then a professor at Howard University. Dr. Agne-Traub died in 2015. You can read the book online.

Lady Bird Johnson (5th from the left), former first lady, and her daughter, Lynda Johnson Robb, were among the almost 2,000 participants Fredericksburg, Texas, in June, 1979. (Photo from the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post.)

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