Donald Ambrose Eubank
Born: July 22, 1949 On This Day
Birth City: Kansas City, Missouri
Father: Dr. Will R. Eubank MD
Mother: Adelaide D. Eubank
faces of Donald (2002 added)
Birth City:

The Muddy Marais des Cygnes Still Has Beauty


Gentle River,
Golden Day

By Cheryl Hentsch
Photos by Zeke Wigglesworth

Paddling Down Old Mary

Maple seeds pirouetted in the morning breeze above the languid river and shafts of sunlight darted through the trees beside the quiet Kansas stream. Only the sound of jay and owl and rushing wind above the river bank interrupted the peaceful scene -- until . . .

"Hey, where's the trail? Watch out for that tree -- the canoe'll hit it if you don't turn. Somebody get that bow line before I trip over it!"

On the dirt road above the river, car doors opened. Children and adults jumped out. Within minutes, a procession of silver canoes zig-zagged through the trees and underbrush searching for a path to the rive below, like water witches weaving back and forth to find water.

Thirty members of the Kansas City - based Ozark Wilderness Waterways Canoe Club (OWWC) had arrived at the Marais des Cygnes to spend a Sunday afternoon floating the river.

During the week, canoe club members and their families are busy with school activities, business conferences and housekeeping duties. But on weekends - rain or shine - they leave routine behind, pack a lunch and load a canoe on their car. For a few hours, only the grip of a paddle and the forward surge of a canoe, a leisurely coffee break on a gravel bar and a tall-tale swapped with a friend concerns them.

In short, the OWWC is a group of inveterate waterrats - canoeing fanatics. During the last 10 years, club members have "put-in" on streams in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas -- the Buffalo, the Current, the Northfork, the Beaver, the Missouri and the Platte.

On holidays and extended vacations, club canoeists travel farther to float rivers. Any free flowing stream with a riffle or two is fair game. It is not unusual for some members to travel as far as 800 miles on a weekend to find sun and relaxation..

Elected officers and committee chairmen direct monthly meetings and schedule trips for every month of the year. Trip leaders designated for each river plan the trip details and alert club members. The club currently has more than 200 family and single memberships.

Donald Ambrose Eubank

Coffee Break At The River's Edge

The club recently had its first scheduled "close to home" trip (within 100 miles of Kansas City) on the Marais des Cygnes. Trip leader Howard O'Connor of Lawrence guided 12 canoes over the 9 mile stretch between Pamona and Ottawa.

During the trip, steersmen guided canoes around fallen trees and protruding branches, over submerged rocks and hidden logs. Toddlers and teenagers played in the bottom of canoes or helped their parents paddle.

Several stops along the way provided opportunities to explore animal paths, to identify deer and raccoon tracks and to look for Indian arrowheads, clam shells,and fossilized plants -- and to just sit down, lean back and enjoy a sunny afternoon away from it all.

Later in the day when the sun climbed higher, one or two daring canoeists took a dip in the cold spring water. Several boys rescued an injured redheaded woodpecker from the river and climbed a sandstone bluff to get a better view of the Marais des Cygnes.

But all too soon, the river carried the canoeists homeward. By 4 p.m., the canoes pulled into the "take-out" and 30 tired canoeists rapidly packed up and drove away amid hurried "good-bye's" and "see you soons" - temporarily satisfied until another weekend and another canoe trip.

And in their wake, the maple seeds pirouetted in the late afternoon breeze and the rushing wind blew above the languid river.

Canoeing Is For the Young. . .

And For The Old

Ottawa Herald May 9, 1967


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April 23, 2000