Tons of Fun Travel of Kenton recently took a group on a 12 night tour of Alaska with a 7 night northbound Voyage of the Glaciers, 1 night in Vancouver, 2 nights in Denali, 1 night in McKinley, finishing up with one night in Anchorage. Tons of Fun Travel owners, Stephanie & Robert Temple escorted the group of 53 on their journey. The majority of the group were from Hardin County and while doing the 24 months of planning for the trip, Mrs Temple knew that many in the group would like some type of exposure to the paintings of Kenton native, Fred Machetanz. In researching opportunities to see a Machetanz display while in Alaska, many in the group were disappointed to find that the Anchorage Museum of Art & History was undergoing renovations and the Machetanz exhibit there would not be available to view. Mrs Temple made contact with a local Alaskan tour company, Salmon Berry Tours, that she works with on customized Alaska vacations, and explained the dilemma and a search began. Tons of Fun Travel was able to surprise their group in Anchorage with a private viewing of one of the largest Machetanz exhibits at the Obeidi’s Fine Art Gallery. Even though, this gallery is closed on Sundays, on July 31st, owner Mousa Obeidi opened his gallery so the Tons of Fun Travel group could have a private viewing of the vast collection of authentic Machetanz prints on display.
According to sources, Fred Machetanz, born February 20, 1908 in Kenton, Ohio, was an Alaskan painter and illustrator who specialized in depictions of Alaskan scenes, people and wildlife. Growing up on N. Detroit Street and graduating from Kenton, he was the art editor of the yearbook which he collaborated on with Mary Lou Johnson. He then attended Ohio State University where he designed the artwork for the OSU football covers. He also studied at the Chicago Institute of Art & Design. He first came to the Alaska territory in 1935, when he traveled to Unalakleet to visit his uncle, Charles Traeger, who ran a trading post there and offered him a 6 week visit. He spent 2 years developing a portfolio of Alaskan scenes. After leaving Alaska, he spent some time as an illustrator in New York, but longed to return to Alaska. He returned in 1942 after volunteering with the U.S. Navy and requesting a posting to the Aleutian Islands during World War II. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and was responsible for intelligence for the North Pacific Command. After the war, he trained for a short time at the Art Students League in New York, studying lithography under Will Barnet, and then returned to Unalakleet in 1946
Machetanz married Sara Dunn, a writer, in 1947, and the two settled near Palmer, Alaska in 1951. It was told that Sarah had planned to write about Alaska and Brazil and that was the reason for her arrival in Alaska, but she never left, so no stories about Brazil were written. They published several books together and collaborated on films for Walt Disney, the Territory of Alaska, and Encyclopedia Britannica. They also made many promotional and lecture tours through the lower 48 states from 1948 through 1960. The turning point in Fred's painting career came on April 21, 1962, when Bob Atwood, editor and publisher of the Anchorage Times, arranged for a one-man show of his paintings. The works at the show sold quickly, and the success allowed Fred to pursue painting full-time. Machetanz died in October, 2002 at age 94.
Local residents may remember that in the 1950s, Machetanz and his wife, returned to Kenton to do lectures at the local schools and brought sled dogs with them for their lectures. Another item of local interest, in the book “Barney hits the trail”, the mother depicted in the book is Sara Machetanz, the father is local man, Jim Conner, and the boy is local Jerry Wolf, and the girl is Eileen Malone, sister of Jane Phillips Furbush. Bill Malone, Jane’s brother, is the boy on the cover of the OSU/Purdue homecoming cover done by Machetanz.
For the Hardin County Sesquicentennial in 1983, a collection of Machetanz paintings that were owned by local residents were put on display at the Hardin County Courthouse. The Sullivan Johnson Museum in Kenton has a very nice Machetanz exhibit in the upstairs. It can be viewed by the public, Tuesday-Friday afternoons. Machetanz paintings are also on display at the Mary Lou Johnson Hardin County Library and Kenton Sr High Library. While traveling in Alaska, whenever, we mentioned Fred Machetanz to local store/art/gallery owners, it was obvious that he was much loved and reknowned by the Alaskan people. Machetanz was the Uncle of Eleanor Jane Faulkner, who was just 3 years younger than Machetanz. EJ Faulkner taught at the Kenton Schools for many years. His great nephew, Dave Faulkner, still resides in the area, and we were able to speak with him in reference to our article.
Thanks to Sue Sanders & Dick Aller for their assistance with researching the facts.
Submitted by: Stephanie Temple, Owner-Tons of Fun Travel
We dream of beautiful destinations....white sand, blue water, island breezes, we can't wait to go and begin living in that dream. BUT, first we have to get there! Even though, I have never been a Sci-Fi fan, on travel day I do wish that the scenes from Star Trek were true, and I could just "beam myself" where I want to go. You see, I'm a travel agent, but not necessarily a good traveler. It comes from being a "control enthusiast" and a planner. Any of you who have traveled know that on travel day, sometimes, the best laid plans go to Hell in a hand basket and you have little control of your environment. As planes continue to pack more passengers to the square foot, layovers seem to either be 42 minutes or 4 hours with nothing in between, and fellow travelers sometimes are less than considerate of their seat mates, getting there can cause a great amount of stress. Many travelers are already stressed out when they arrive to the long airport lines with more self service than customer service, baggage weight limits, the now necessary evil of "stripping down" at TSA checkpoints, and non existent meals/airline food service. By the time we are in our seats, we are not feeling mellow. Then kick in the "what-ifs". Will I be able to get up to go to the restroom? What if my baby cries? Why is the kid behind me kicking my seat while the 5' 2" person in front of me feels the need to recline in my lap? It can be exasperating!
SO, HOW DO WE KEEP A BAD TRAVEL DAY FROM TURNING INTO A BAD VACATION?
1. Be prepared. Seems simple enough. Have a travel check list and pre-travel list, that allow you to be sure you haven't left any boxes unchecked. Seeing those check marks will make you feel like you have some control.
2. Make sure you have read the documents that were provided by your travel agent. There are instructions in those documents that should be followed and will ease your worries.
3. Give yourself ample time. Arriving early also keeps you calm. I would rather be the first person in the line than the last person in the line. When traveling to the airport, give yourself additional travel time, just in case you encounter unexpected traffic delays. Also make sure you allow yourself time to park at the airport and get the shuttle to the terminal. Sometimes this can be a slow process as the shuttle may pick up many travelers from the parking lot if it is a peak time.
4. If you have an early morning flight, consider staying at an airport hotel the night before you fly. A rested traveler has a better demeanor than one who has been up most of the night. Many hotels offer packages that include long term parking, so the cost is really reasonable.
5. Purchase travel insurance. It is worth the minimal cost to have this additional piece of mind. Not only will you be covering yourself against flight delays, cancellation, illness, and lost luggage, most plans provide medical coverage for all passengers as well as rental car coverage, concierge services, and a 24 hr assistance line.
6. Make sure you get your seat assignments right after you book your trip. Picking your seats in advance will ensure you get an aisle seat or whatever seat provides you with the most comfort. If space is an issue or you are claustrophobic, consider paying the extra charge for exit row or economy comfort seating.
7. Eat-low blood sugar can contribute to anxiousness and irritability. Pack a wholesome snack in your carry on bag or carry glucose tablets. Also, drink (non alcoholic). Staying hydrated will help you feel healthy and content.
8. Be a kind traveler. Think of others and smile. Most everyone is feeling the same anxieties that you are, so smile at your fellow passengers, be courteous, if you see a way to be helpful, do it. You know, the old adage, you catch more bees with honey, can go a long way.
9. If you are traveling internationally, it's important to remember that you are in someone else's country and being a US citizen, doesn't grant you immunity to the laws and rules of those locations. Also, you aren't necessarily guaranteed your due process. So, follow the rules! When it says no cameras or cell phones, when going thru immigration and customs, they mean it. Your opinion of the rule doesn't matter. Be courteous to customs officials. make sure you have completed your paperwork as instructed and listen to what they tell you. Those instructions will affect your exit from their country as well.
10. Be smart-confirm your transfer company is the one listed on your documentation. Don't take a ride with anyone who offers it to you. If you visit a property that offers all inclusive, unlimited privileges, just remember just because alcohol is unlimited, you should know your limits! Intoxicated travelers sometimes make poor decisions which can lead to unfavorable outcomes.
11. USE A TRAVEL AGENT, they assist you in whatever manner you need. We are available to our clients, before travel as well as during travel. We are your advocates! We have connections and we aren't afraid to use them to provide you with the best travel experience.
Following these suggestions, and remembering that you are on an adventure from your day to day life, will help you roll with the aggravations of travel days, and still be able to enjoy your vacations. On travel day, chin up, keep your eye on the prize.
Submitted by: Stephanie Temple, Owner
Tons of Fun Travel
Good evening, well actually it's very early morning. I think best when it's late and it's quiet. I'm not a blogger, I am a travel agent. But I am told you should be both, so this is my attempt. I just wanted to let folks know that travel agents are alive and well. In this day and age of the internet, many thought we would be extinct by now. But in our agency, we have seen significant growth in our sales every year since our inception in 2007. I like to think that is because we offer exceptional service and attention to detail. We work when our clients are available, in the evenings on the weekends. We listen to what our clients have to say, about their desires, their budget, their bucket lists. We make it affordable by offering low deposits, and payment plans. We do the time consuming research for you.
We form travel groups and accompany the groups to be sure all the details fall into place. For individual travel, we supply our clients with several options, with trusted suppliers to make sure that you are getting the best value for your dollar. I didn't say we find you the cheapest, because most likely the cheapest isn't really what you want. We find you value! There's a big difference there.
We travel. That seems simple enough, but it's important. Your travel agent should travel, should see first hand where they are sending clients. If the agent doesn't feel it would be worth their money, why would it be worth yours?
We have partnerships with vendors, which means, if something does go wrong during your vacation, we have someone we can call on to assist. We are a preferred agency with Sandals Resorts, we are an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner Agency, Palace Pro Agents, Globus Tour Experts, the list goes on and on.
We are educated. Several of our agents have attained their certification thru The Travel Institute. We attend many vendor training events as well as taking online courses to stay up to date with all the changes in our industry.
We are licensed to sell travel insurance products so that our clients can have peace of mind if the unexpected were to occur and ruin their plans.
And what does all this cost, you the consumer? Nothing. We do not charge a fee to our clients, we are paid a commission which does not affect the consumer price at all. If you don't use a travel agent, the vendors keep that money as profit, they don't pass it down to you. So, why wouldn't you use a travel agent?
And those who book on Expedia, Groupon, and all the other OTAs (online travel agencies), you are using a travel agency. But it's a nameless, faceless travel agency that will never see disappointment in your eyes when something goes wrong. Where you will never speak to the same person twice regarding any questions or concerns you have regarding your trip. The OTAs will never support your local organizations and economies with donations, purchases, support, and memberships like a local travel agency (business) will.
We thank our many clients, many of whom have become our friends, for helping us to meet our goals in 2015 and we look forward to working with you in 2016. We plan to be "alive and well" for many years to come. We truly do appreciate your support!
"Let us do all the work, and you'll have Tons of Fun on your next trip!"