Ray Miller and his Bumbled Bee StarCruiser made a quick exit from Saturday's cruise and literally flew back to the Muscoda boat landing averaging 34 to 42 mph, per his GPS! His intention: to meet the aunt of a fellow university teacher and take her and her girlfriend for a hover ride.

It seems that not so many years ago Ray and his good friend, Carl Perkins, taught at the University of Slippery Rock, PA, and they have maintained that relationship for the years hence. When Carl learned that Ray was heading for Muscoda and the National Cruise, Carl's wife Marjorie stated that Ray had better not go by the city of Dodgeville without stopping in and saying 'hi' to Doris Perkins (Carl's aunt). Ray made a special effort to do so, and when he walked up to her door, Doris was waiting to see him. Marjorie had called ahead and prepared her. After talking for awhile, Doris asked if he could demonstrate his Bumbled Bee StarCruiser right there on the street in front of her home. Ray declined, as he thought this would probably not go over too well with the neighbors or law enforcement, and instead invited her to the Muscoda boat landing for a cruise on the river! Doris was delighted and invited her best friend, Marion Peterson, to go along with her and arrangements were made with Ray before he left Dodgeville.

When I returned from the cruise on Saturday, I tracked down Ray to see how his friend's aunt liked the hover ride. She and her friend were still waiting for us to return from the cruise, so I had the pleasure of talking with her direct. She was ecstatic about the ride and her immediate remark to me was that 'We flew right over the sandbars!' They both had undoubtedly enjoyed their ride and praised Ray's expert flying capabilities.

After pictures, the girls went to say goodby to Ray, and I realized I had not gotten their names and addresses to send them each a copy of their picture in Ray's hover. When I found them and started writing down names and addresses that sounded very familiar for some unknown reason, we soon realized that we knew each other from times past, too, as they had been very treasured neighbors who had lived nearby in the 1970s when I lived and farmed in the Dodgeville countryside. What a we three were talking about fun times and other acquaintances in the area from then and the changes resulting, all arising from a thoughtful hovercraft owner, a friend and a renewed old acquaintance. One never knows what you could have happen to you at a hoverin! ...Linda Weber

Here's more about other cruises and rallies in 1998...

National Cruise at Muscoda 98!

National HoveRally at Troy 98!

St. Louis Cruise at Alton!

Report of West Alton Cruise (February 1998) by Jack McKinney!

Terre Haute Races and Cruises!

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(Since August 28, 1998)