Posted by MVLSUN on Oct 26, 2017

From the Hawkeye-Record, Dec. 6, 1945 ‘One long vacation’ before the service
October 26, 2017

Editor's note: A search for "cross country" led us to these short biographies of a couple of Rotarians, which appeared in the Hawkeye-Record Dec. 6, 1945.

Two Rotarions Tell Life Stories

George Lewis Albright and Rudy Vodicka gave their autobiographies to the Rotary club on Monday evening at the Baker House.

From the Hawkeye-Record, Dec. 6, 1945 ‘One long vacation’ before the service
October 26, 2017

Editor's note: A search for "cross country" led us to these short biographies of a couple of Rotarians, which appeared in the Hawkeye-Record Dec. 6, 1945.

Two Rotarions Tell Life Stories

George Lewis Albright and Rudy Vodicka gave their autobiographies to the Rotary club on Monday evening at the Baker House.

George Albright

George was born in Lisbon on Nov. 15, 1911, attended the Lisbon school and graduated from Lisbon High School in 1931. His father owned the Lisbon lumber yard when he was a youngster not quite old enough to work. His first job was lathing houses for his dad, a contractor who had quite a time keeping George and his brothers on the job. He recalls his dad buying a pony for the boys. In high school, he played the violin in the orchestra and the drum in the band. His violin career was cut short when he broke his wrist playing football.

George attended the University of Iowa for a year and Cornell College for a semester. He and his brother Charles took over the Ford garage in Lisbon from Homer Sandrock in 1933, and George sold Fords in Lisbon, Mount Vernon and Mechanicsville until 1936, when he went to work for his father in the Cedar Rapids Sash and Door factory, which training was very good experience for him. In 1937 and 1938, he worked with Alfred Varnholt at carpentering, and in 1939 started in business for himself as a contractor. On June 29, 1937, he and Grace Beebe were married. They have two children, Patricia Joy, 6, and Jay 3.

Rudy Vodicka

Rudy Vodicka was born on a farm south of Cedar Rapids on Jan. 17, 1920. He spent what his dad calls "one long vacation" until he entered the service. After a year on the farm, the family moved to Cedar Rapids, where Mr. Vodicka worked for Mrs. Vodicka's father. In 1922 the family moved to Dysart, where Mr. Vodicka was employed in a meat market, and in 1923 moved to Mount Vernon where they have since resided.

Rudy's first interest in athletics was revealed at the tender age of 4 when the family lived in the brick house north of the Travis Garage. The Cornell cross country team would follow Second Street west to the gym and complete their cross country run by a lap around the track. Rudy shed his outer clothing down to his shirt and pants and followed the cross country runners as far as the college gym before he was discovered.

At the age of 5 he began school at the Ward building and at the beginning of seventh grade went to the high school building. In seventh grade he managed the high school football and basketball team, which kept him busy keeping track of the equipment. The coach usually took it out on the manager when the team lost, he said.

In ninth grade he went out for football although he weighed only 115 pounds. On the last day of practice before the final game of the season, he suffered a broken collar bone when he tackled the smallest man on the squad. By the next fall, he had convinced his parents that his bones were not so brittle and he should continue football.

In 1938, he graduated from Mount Vernon High and entered Cornell, where he was graduated in 1942, majoring in economics. Although he didn't mention it in college he was letterman at center on the football team for three years, being a mainstay in the middle of the line.

Although his draft number came up in January 1942, the draft board permitted him to complete his college course. He graduated on May 18, 1942, and entered the air corps on May 23. Since that time he has been in every state in the union and a good many foreign countries.

"I wouldn't take a million for the experiences in the army, but I wouldn't give a dime to go through it again," he said.

He served as a radio operator on a B-17 bomber based in England for 30 missions over Europe. He was discharged at Lincoln, Neb., on Sept. 30 and went to work for his dad in the City Meat Market on Oct. 1.

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