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The Wisconsin School of the air must break a tradition a 21 year old habit. Not today nor on any Monday morning here after. Well the Wisconsin School of the air invite you to go afield with Ranger Mac. We want to explain why this old and very fine tradition must now be broken. Here is the director of the School of the air and the state broadcasting service. Mr. HB McCarty. Hello boys and girls. Usually when I'm uncomfortable or unsure of myself. I try to keep other people from knowing it. But right now I don't mind admitting that I feel very uncomfortable. I'm in another man's place and I'm very much aware of it. His presence surrounds me even though he is not here. This is his place his time. His voices hear it echoes all around me don't you hear it.
A lot more. This is your day. I'm way way way way way. Wisconsin's boys and girls have heard that greeting at 9:30 on Monday mornings every year for 21 years. Hundreds of thousands of young people among them perhaps your own parents have let their minds and imaginations be up and away when Ranger Mack called. Is it any wonder that we're hearing echoes. But let me explain why I am here and Ranger Mac's place. A short time ago Ranger Mack sent me a letter. Here's what that letter said. Friend Mack I have arrived at a point where my judgment tells me it is inadvisable to continue carrying on this program. It is with deep regret that I feel compelled to make this decision. I do it with a fervent hope that the program will be continued with increased effectiveness because the subject of conservation is of great importance in all lives and of supremum importance in the lives of young
people. Well I thought long and sadly about Ranger Max decision. I looked out my window and saw the green returning to the land and I wondered if a site would be half so meaningful to me if I hadn't often gone afield with Ranger mag. I thought them of the school forests throughout Wisconsin. The Green would be returning to them too and I wondered how many of those trees might never have been planted if Ranger mag had not so often through the years encouraged the planting of trees and I wondered how many trees would never be planted in the future without words of encouragement from Ranger Mack. Words like these. Some people tell boys and girls it is their duty to plant trees. I like to tell them that it is their privilege because of the joys and satisfactions the trees bring to them. Drive started in youth that extend throughout the lifetime the trail
stretches ahead through the years where ahead through the years. And if that trail is tree lined it is sure to be a more enjoy a little trail. All of this is aside the values that trees bring in the way of lumber and fuel and the influence of trees in building in holding the moisture enriching the soil and providing habitats living places for birds and animals. These things come also to him who plants trees and that is what is meant by a heavy gauge of tree. How could I be sure that your trails and your children's trails would be tree lined. If Ranger Mack did not continue his weekly meetings with you and the children who will come after you in his letter of resignation Ranger Mack had stressed the importance of conservation in all lives and particularly in the lives of young
people. This meant that Ranger Mack himself was concerned about what might happen after he ceased to be your guide. So I had another problem. How could I reassure a Ranger mag that you would continue to care for the natural wealth of our state. I remembered that Ranger mag had made our conservation duties very clear by calling us watchers of springs. But I couldn't be sure that you would remember. The story is told about one of our Western towns wanting to improve its water supply pipes were laid into springs that came fresh and clean from the field. This water flowed by gravity into the homes of the village. But after the season the housewives began to complain about the water that it was dirty with bits of twigs and leaves that found their way into the pipeline. So all the town officials hired a man to keep the springs clean of leaves and
debris. He was a quiet man and a few and only a few people knew him by name but he was performing a great service keeping the springs clean. All of this occurred during the First World War. You are not old enough to know but a depression followed shortly after that war when that depression came the town officials laid off the Watcher of the spring in order to cut expenses. But soon the mothers again complained about the bits of twigs and leaves in the water that reached the home. And the Watcher of the springs once again faced the least sought out and returned to his own task in a short time. The villagers knew that the Watcher was back at the Springs again. Ranger Mack is telling this story because he feels just as any older person should feel that you young people are learning
to be watchers of the springs. These springs are our natural resources though saw out of the trees and the wildlife upon these things our happiness in fact our out of existence depends in our rambles over the air. It is Ranger Max hope you will catch the idea that even now and more so as you grow older you are the watcher of the spring. When Christ trod the pavement sod of this earth there were about fifty million people about the population of France today. Now there are over two Gideons. Four hundred times as many. Over half the people of the world are in hunger or in need. And if we had plenty of good land for people to take up after they had exhausted the old plenty of new forests to go to to get the needed materials
after the forest near retiring and had been caught. The need for watchers of the springs would not be so great. But we cannot do that anymore. We must learn to guard that which we have. You are the watchers of the spring. The future guardians of resources which we had. The moral range of Max words I remember that day as I stood before my window with his resignation in my hand. The more worried I became. How could I reassure Angel Mack. How could I reassure myself that you would continue to be watchers of the springs and out of the darkness of my questions and answer began to take form and it was an answer straight from Ranger Makem self. I am sure he has told you many times that in nature wherever there is a need there is a way. Remember what he meant by that. Where there is a need there is a way.
Have you ever thought how kind the Great Architect of the universe was to this earth when he placed it just where he did among the planets in the family of the sun. When you studied geography you musta thought about that the Earth is far enough away from the sun so that the sun warms it just enough and not too much if the earth were much farther away. This planet would be frozen all the time and if it were much closer things would burn up. You have thought about that I am sure. Then when it comes to the creatures of this earth they too were made just right to fit into the great plan and to meet the business of living the rabbit with hardly any tail at all couldn't get along with the tail of a squirrel. He comes close to sitting on is wrong when he hops
and such a tail of wood that would soon bog down with snow and get filled with hitchhiking seeds as he traveled through the weeds at the weed patches and underbrush. The woodpecker couldn't perform its tasks excavating grubs from a tree with the curved bill of a shrike. Or if he had the tail of a brown thrasher he would be unable to support himself while hammering his way to the ground or in digging out a cavity in a tree for his home where there's a need there's a way. That was my answer. All the dark questions were swept away. I reasoned it through like this. We are human creatures of the earth also a part of that great plan are equipped with ways to meet our needs too. It's natural that all human beings as they travel along the trail should come now and then to cross roads where a good companion turns off to help them meet the need that
arises at such a time. Nature has provided a way nature has equipped all human creatures with the ability to remember. When a companion turns off at a crossroads. We continue along the trail with the memory of his teachings his friendship his strength and that memory continues to help us. Just as the companion did when he was at our side. I had looked out my window at the springtime world and remembered Ranger Max words. I had pondered serious questions and remembered Ranger Max teachings. But I forgot that you can remember too high forgot that you and hundreds of thousands of others cannot sit in the shade of a tree or wade in a stream or tramp through an autumn woods without hearing echoes of range or Max voice in this century. Science has taught men to build things which are somewhat like memories. These things are cameras and sound recording machines
right here at Radio Hall. We have a range of Mac's voice recorded on disks and tapes. You heard some of those recordings today. But these manmade recording devices have many shortcomings. We have to use them in a special place at a special time. And with Time's passing recordings of this sort tend to fade but the recordings made by our memories with us all the time and they remain fresh and clear just as long as we're making use of them. You will be using your memory recordings of Ranger Max voice every time you go out of doors to play or to work so they won't fade as time passes. And what's more he will pass his words along to your children. That too is in the nature of things. We are all teachers in one way or another. At one time or another this was my answer then to the questions that crowded into my mind when I learned that Ranger
Mack would no longer conduct this radio program. Through 21 years a whole generation Ranger Mac has touched the hearts and minds of thousands. And his words have been recorded in their memories. Just as Ranger Mack encourage the planting of school forests which assure Wisconsin a heritage of trees. So he has planted the seeds of devotion to nature's beauties and pleasures and assured us the heritage of watchers of the springs. Later I found evidence that this heritage really exists. I found this evidence in our files of letters here already or have letters written to run your Mac. I'm going to ask Miss Arlene McCullers the associate director of the School of the air to read from some of those letters now. Will you do that for us Mr. McCullough. I'll be very happy to Mr. McCarthy. These latter should be shared with Ranger Max. Just in case you hadn't thought about it.
I'd like to remind you that your teacher has been going afield is Ranger now just the same as you have and his teachings are is clearly recorded on her memory and they are poignant. Can I prove that to you where this letter came last week from a teacher an expression of appreciation to Ranger Mack for all he has meant to her these many years. Here's what this teacher will do. They range in the back. I don't believe I should have continued teaching all these years without your help. The broadcast had been a weekly spark of information and inspiration to open up new avenues of teaching and learning experience. Contacts with parents who lifted the joy of new concepts of nature's grand share and the opportunities for pupils I could go on and I had even used your vision and inspiration in dealing with the Sunday school class. I found I could teach the majesty
of God with a magnifying glass. I am trying to give you an idea of what you have done to one life. Multiply that by thousands and I am sure the Great Spirit will put an additional sunshine into your heart. And here's a letter from a trailhead his mother. Oh yes. Parents know Ranger Mack too. This mother wrote about something her grown up son had once said about Ranger Mack. Here's part of her letter. When my son wrote me about the meeting one thing he mentioned was a picture thrown on the screen showing Ranger Mack with children of different nationalities gathered about him commenting on it he said. You don't know Mom how much that man means to me. I think that if I were ever tempted to do something wrong and his face came to my mind I'd have to do what I knew to be right that supports Mr. McCarthy's beliefs that you were
remembering your max words and perhaps see his face in your mind whenever you need his help. You know some letters from you. One trailhead her writing to Ranger Mack said Dear Ranger Matt every Monday morning I listen to your most helpful beneficial and wisdom giving nature and conservation talks. I've been helped so many times by your advice that you give out. I'm 13 years old and in the eighth grade I've listened to you for years and years. Thank you. Inherent in the following note is the partnership of Ranger Mack and his trail hitters. A partnership that invites sharing and question their range of maque. Wednesday I saw sun dog in the sky. I was wondering if you could tell me what causes it. I saw it at 4:30 PM sunset.
It's like the color of a rainbow. My mother and I were watching it. It lasted 15 minutes and the last one from a little first grader. Because she went to a one room school she had the privilege of sharing the thoughts of this kindly guide as he talked with the older pupils. Their Ranger Max. We like to listen to you on the radio. We like you love Joan. Those are just a few of the statements from the many in our letter files what they prove. Don't say that this heritage does exist. The heritage of watchers of the spring's begun by Ranger Mack to be continued by you boys and girls. Now we've come to the end of today's trail. You know what to do now. Let's all stand. That's right. Stand up beside your seat and let's repeat the Indian farewell all
together. These words of farewell especially today for Ranger Mack. May the Great Spirit what sunshine in your heart today and forever more. He much. Maybe maybe maybe it is in your Hong today I might remember him on he MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH. This special recorded program in tribute to Wakeman MacNeil brings us to the end of our trips of field with a ranger Mack. This series of programs will not be heard next year. Appearing on today's program or Mr HB McCarty director of the state broadcasting service and Miss Arlene Mackellar associate director of the School of the air Ranger Mac's voice was heard by recording this is the Wisconsin School of the air.
Wisconsin School of the Air
Afield with Ranger Mac
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Wisconsin Public Radio (Madison, Wisconsin)
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Wisconsin School of the Air went on the air in 1931 with programming aimed at used in primary and secondary schools, covering topics such as government, music, art, nature, and history.
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Wisconsin Public Radio
Identifier: WPR1.14.6.T152 MA (Wisconsin Public Radio)
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Duration: 00:18:35
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Chicago: “Wisconsin School of the Air; Afield with Ranger Mac,” 1954-05-24, Wisconsin Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 19, 2024,
MLA: “Wisconsin School of the Air; Afield with Ranger Mac.” 1954-05-24. Wisconsin Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 19, 2024. <>.
APA: Wisconsin School of the Air; Afield with Ranger Mac. Boston, MA: Wisconsin Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from