A 15-hour journey by car from Traverse City to Wichita, Kansas took 30 years for Bill Burch.
One of the reasons — the main one — Burch physically avoided a return to Wichita State University was the mental pain of the survivor’s guilt he felt by not making the trip for a football game against Utah State more than 49 years ago. Burch, now a businessman in Traverse City, was supposed to be on the fatal airplane crash on Oct. 2, 1970.
The crash on a mountainside in Colorado killed football teammates. It made an orphan of the football coach’s daughter. It wiped out couples inside and out of Wichita State athletics.
Burch thought he was the only one outside of his teammates to feel that way. He certainly was the only one in northern Michigan.
He was wrong.
An emotional Merry (Worden) Ball of Leland called me the morning after the story was published, still shook from Burch’s tale. That’s because she was supposed to be on that flight as well with her then husband, George Worden, a vice president of development at Wichita State University.
Like an injury may have saved Burch’s life, a business meeting may have saved Ball’s. She said the cancellation was so last-minute that she and her husband were listed on the initial report of crash victims.
“When the original passenger manifest came out, our names were on it,” Ball said. “We canceled at the last minute. It was probably late at night.”
Ball said she and her husband were best friends with Wichita State athletic director Bert Katzenmeyer and his wife, Marian. Both Katenmeyers died in the crash.
Soon after hearing about the plane crash, Ball said she went to the Katzenmeyer home to tidy up before people started arriving for the funerals.
The crash instantly made an orphan of Kay Katzenmeyer, who came to live with the Wordens for a time.
If not for that business meeting, Ball’s daughter, Kathy, then age 9, would have been without her parents as well.
“To think she would have been left with us gone just blows your mind,” Ball said. “When you think about what might have been, that’s the hard thing.
“The side stories are always interesting and always affect the people who weren’t on the plane like we were.”
That’s why Ball wanted to get in touch with Burch; they shared the same story.
But that’s not where the ripple from the Great Plains to the Great Lakes stopped.
The article about Burch also “struck a chord” with Celia Hastings of Ellsworth. John and Celia Hastings were newlyweds living in Wichita, Kansas on Oct. 2, 1970. John Hastings was stationed at McConnell Air Force Base from 1969-71.
“We recall how eerily quiet the whole city was during that time,” Celia Hastings said in the email. “On weekends it was common for teenagers to ‘drag Douglas,’ a main street through the city, but no one did that weekend.”
Celia Hastings wanted Burch to know that “we haven’t forgotten.”
That’s still not where the story ends.
Stephen Ward, a Long Lake Township man stopped into Burch’s Cartridge World franchise after reading the article. Burch said they had a great conversation about not only the Wichita State plane crash, but also the one that happened to the Marshall University football team a month later.
Ward’s father Parker was a booster for the West Virginia university. He was one of 75 people on board when it went down. There were no survivors.
Ward was 5 years old at the time. His mother, Mary Plyde Bell, had remained behind to stay with her 10-day-old sister, Elizabeth, and older siblings Sharon, 8, and Parker, 12.
“There were four of us at home,” Ward said.
As he recalled, Ward said there were about eight couples on board that Nov. 14, 1970 flight.
“A lot of my friends lost both their mom and dad,” he said. “We were one of the lucky ones.”
There is a fountain on the Marshall campus that is turned off every Nov. 14 in a memorial ceremony. The football team turns it back on every spring on the first day of spring practice. Ward spoke at the event a handful of years ago when it fell on a Saturday that coincided with a home game on a beautiful November day.
“That was pretty intense,” Ward said, recalling the 3,000 people in attendance.
Ward attended a special premiere of the “We Are Marshall” film when it was released in 2006. He intends to give Burch a copy of the film, a separate tragic tale that the two share along with Ball and Hastings.
Burch said telling his story was very therapeutic as the 50th anniversary of both crashes rolls around in 2020.
I was glad and fortunate to provide the free therapy.
Oxford Joins Ripple’s UBRI As Kyoto University Fires Up XRP Validator
An entrepreneurship center at the University of Oxford says it’s joining Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI).
On its LinkedIn page, the Oxford Foundry announced its plans to join the initiative.
“The Oxford Foundry has announced its plans to tackle the growing technology skills gap in the UK with a new partnership with leading blockchain technology provider Ripple and its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI).
Through the Foundry’s new Tech Series, up to 1,000 University of Oxford students from across all Oxford colleges and divisions will be given the opportunity to gain new skills in blockchain, AI and machine learning across different industries. Students will also be given the opportunity to learn how to code in Python and build smart contracts.”
The Foundry was created by the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School to give students a way to “co-create, collaborate and build solutions to global challenges.”
It includes a startup accelerator that offers pre-selected startups a place to build their projects and collaborate.
Ripple formed the UBRI in June of 2018 to collaborate with top universities around the globe to accelerate academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments.
Kyoto University, which joined the initiative this summer, launched an XRP validator last week that will help the network verify and process transactions on the ledger.
Oxford Foundry Joins Ripple’s UBRI for New Tech Series Aimed at Blockchain Learning
The Oxford Foundry, which serves as an entrepreneurship center at the University of Oxford has announced the news about its strategic partnership with globally reputed blockchain technology services provider Ripple and its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI). The team-up has been focused on rendering fruitful solutions for tackling the widening technology skills gap in the UK region.
With the new Tech Series, the Foundry aims to give a golden chance to nearly 1,000 students of the Oxford University hailing from across all the colleges and divisions of the world-class institute to immerse themselves in the attainment of new skills of the blockchain niche, AI technology, and machine learning across various industries.
The students will gain knowledge through Foundry’s experimental learning model during the new Tech Series program. The series will include informative workshops and boot camps which will be governed by mentors, academicians, and student experts from Oxford’s enriching network and widespread intellectual capital. These camps will impart knowledge through peer-to-peer learning and the Zone of Proximal Development. This is the theory that encourages students to learn from those who are just one or two steps ahead of them. This allows students to delve into new disciplines and team-up with new people coming from different domains to find creative solutions.
Foundry’s Tech Series will also have a Tech Talent Networking Series to give the students a chance to get in touch with leading firms belonging to the blockchain and AI industry.
The series is aimed to fulfill the ultimate commitment of the Foundry that allows it to make available equal opportunities, networks, and resources to talented people with a view to help them build strong ventures.
The Foundry was created by the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School and was aimed to benefit the whole ecosystem of the University of Oxford. The founding donors of the Foundry were Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of LinkedIn and philanthropist Mohamed Amersi.
Leading blockchain network Ripple formed UBRI in June 2018 with the prime objective to enter into strategic collaborations with global universities for boosting academic research operations, technical development, and innovation in new-age technologies like blockchain, digital currencies, and digital payment pedagogies. In summer this year, Kyoto University became a member of the initiative. Last week the University unveiled an XRP validator that would aid the system in the verification and processing of transactions on the decentralized ledger system.
XRP Unfazed By Ripple Remittance Partnerships
- SBI Ripple Asia has just confirmed that it will be working together with SBI Remit and TPBank of Vietnam.
- This partnership will allow for “real-time and low-cost transfer of funds between SBI Remit and Tien Phong Bank.”
SBI Ripple Asia, a very important partner of both Ripple and XRP, has just confirmed that it will be working together with SBI Remit and TPBank of Vietnam. This is being done in order to provide remittance services through RippleNet.
Published by a popular cryptocurrency enthusiast online, the document, explains that the trio of partners has “started the first Japan-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency utilizing decentralized ledger technology, with a Vietnamese bank, Tien Phong Commerical Joint Stock Bank.”
This partnership will allow for “real-time and low-cost transfer of funds between SBI Remit and Tien Phong Bank.” As per Ethereum World News, this will then be given the green light by RippleNet and related solutions that are built on that network. The partners believe that this new service will be important, especially as the “population of Vietnamese in Japan has grown 4.57 times over the past five years to 330,835, and the number is expected to increase in the future.”
November 15, 2019.
SBI Ripple Asia, SBI Remit and TPBank (Vietnam) announced the start of the first Japan-Vietnam remittance service using #RippleNet.
“We will also develop remittance
services that incorporates crypto in the future” —@yoshitaka_kitaohttps://t.co/qOgpLMhwRU pic.twitter.com/qIL49qcFYH— XRP Research Center (@XrpCenter) November 15, 2019
Nguyen Hung, CEO of TPBank, expressed excitement for the deal to which he said:
“Our cooperation with SBI Ripple Asia Co., on the application of blockchain technology in cross border money transfers marks an important turning point in enhancing our customer experience and makes international money transfers via TPBank faster, more convenient and safer than ever before.”