Sunday, May 01, 2011
Top 10 Favorites
Take the Laker with you
Barbara Reynolds of Moneta sent in the first submission in late 2006 and it ran in the January/February 2007 issue. In the photo, snapped by her husband, Tom, Reynolds holds an issue of the Laker in front of the Kremlin in Moscow. And while entries didn’t start pouring in right away, we soon had a steady stream of Lakers submitting enough photos to fill a half page.
The feature continued to grow in popularity and, at the end of 2008, we expanded it to a full page. Thailand, Belize, Italy, South Africa, Serbia, Greece, Fiji and China are just a handful of the locations to which readers have taken the Laker over the years. We’ve featured four local soldiers serving in Iraq and one in Kuwait. And three readers have coaxed participation from semi-famous people – country singer Darryl Worley, IndyCar driver Sarah Fisher and Keith Colburn, captain of the “Wizard,” one of the boats featured on the Discovery Channel series “The Deadliest Catch.”
Thanks to Take the Laker, I know where Eva Peron is buried, that Oregon’s Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States (and seventh deepest in the world), where Tanzania is located and countless other interesting facts. My co-workers will tell you I get excited (probably too excited) when photos come in featuring Lakers in countries we’ve never included before.
Through the years, several submissions have been so interesting we thought they merited stories in our sister publication, Laker Weekly. One recent feature detailed the hectic life of lake resident Josh “J-MO” Miller, guitar technician for pop sensation Justin Bieber. Another chronicled a sweet story about Rod Pitta, a part-time Laker who took out an ad in a Key West, Fla., newspaper while he and wife Bev were there celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. In it, he asked those who saw the couple around the resort city to offer their condolences to Bev for “putting up with me for all these years.”
In honor of the magazine’s 10th anniversary, we’ve compiled all of the Take the Laker submissions and pinpointed them on a map, which follows on pages 24-25. More than 100 have run in the magazine and dozens more are posted on our website, smithmountainlake.com (unfortunately, we can’t publish them all). In addition, we’ve chosen 10 of our all-time favorite submissions – ones where readers have gone the extra mile to include famous landmarks, unusual attractions or stunning scenery – and are re-running here.
Thank you to everyone who has gone to the effort of staging a shot, snapping a photo and sending it in for Take the Laker. We hope you’ll keep them coming for many more years!
Send Us Your Photo!
Take the Laker with you on your next adventure and e-mail us your photo with a famous landmark, unusual attraction or stunning scenery in the background. And if you run into someone famous, be sure to include them in the fun. Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary and Steve Campbell of Moneta traveled to India in September 2009, making stops in Delhi, Agra, Fatehpur and Jaipur. The couple is pictured here at the Taj Mahal in Agra, built in 1631 by the Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved Queen Momtaj Mahal. The Campbells described their travels as an enjoyable, educational and enlightening experience.
Mary and Bernie Smith of Moneta took the Laker to new heights while on a 16-day trip through Tibet with National Geographic Expeditions in September 2008. Pictured with the couple at the base camp of Mount Everest (16,404 feet) is guide Peter Hillary (middle), son of Sir Edmund Hillary, who, in 1953, became the first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest. The Smiths said a highlight of their trip was seeing the sunrise reflecting on the summit from the Pang La Pass (17,000 feet).
St. Petersburg, Russia
From left, lake residents Ann and Peter Coriasco, Judy and Russell Johnson, Carol and Ernie McConnell and Jeannie and Don Printz took not only the May/June Laker but also our sister publication, Laker Weekly, on a two-week cruise in June 2008. The couples sailed out of England and visited several cities in Scandanavia, Estonia, Lithuania and Russia. This photo was taken in front of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Nick Karavatakis of Union Hall took this photo of daughter Olivia and wife Phyllis at the Great Pyramid of Giza while on vacation in June. The family traveled to Egypt, Cyprus, Greece and Germany to celebrate Olivia’s graduation from East Tennessee State University, where she earned a degree in engineering. “We took the Laker with us on the whole trip to show friends and relatives where we lived,” Nick said.
Loretta McLaughlin took this photo of her husband, Don, in front of a sign along U.S. 20/26 welcoming visitors to Moneta, Wyo. (population 5). “We never saw anything except a crossroad, not even a house,” Don said. “We did see the sign and had to back up for the picture.” The couple, from Union Hall, traveled 8,500 miles on a 30-day trip in the summer of 2008. Don said highlights included the Pacific Coast of Oregon, Yellowstone National Park and Galcier National Park.
The Great Wall of China
Jack and Mary Kuhn of Moneta took the Laker with them on a two-week tour of China in September 2007. In addition to the Great Wall, the couple (parents of Laker Editor Andie Gibson) visited numerous cities and cruised for four days down the Yangtze River. Mary said another highlight of the trip was visiting the Terracotta Army, a collection of 8,099 larger-than-life figures of warriors and horses that date back to 210 B.C.
Brad Vogel and his dad, Bob Vogel of Moneta, picked an idyllic spot in California to pose with the Laker – in front of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Brad, a 2007 graduate of Virginia Tech, is a senior software engineer with HP-Palm in the Silicon Valley. Mom Janet Vogel, who took the photo, said, “This is our second-favorite scene in the United States, second only to the panoramic mountain/lake view coming down the entrance hill to Bernard’s Landing.”
Thailand & Australia
Moneta globetrotter – and noted Thai chef and cooking instructor – Mantana Heim took the Laker with her on two trips in 2007. Mantana is pictured holding the January/Februay issue of the magazine at the famed Sydney Harbor in Australia and at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand.
Lorraine and Doug Conary of Hardy pose with the Laker in front of the Matterhorn. Located on the border between Switzerland and Italy, the mountain peaks at 3,376 feet and is part of the Pennine Alps range. The Matterhorn has four sides that face the four compass points and derives its name from the German words matte, meaning meadow, and horn, which means peak.
Mitchell, South Dakota
Greg Coombs of Moneta took the Laker with him to the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D., established in 1892. Every spring, the multi-use center is completely covered with thousands of bushels of corn, grain and grasses arranged into large murals designed by local artists. The facility hosts concerts, sporting events and stage shows.