Two Harry’sJan 10th, 2014 | By Editorial Staff | Category: Jack Schrock's Blog
One of my very favorite topics is the towing museum in Chattanooga. Cheryl Mish is the Executive Director and is largely responsible for managing the program’s success. Today, the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. includes a museum chuck full of tow trucks and wrecker stuff of all sizes and shapes. And the ITRHFM sponsors the annual Hall of Fame and Wall of the Fallen events, together with a charity foundation that provides scholarships for deserving children of towers. But this isn’t everything that’s going on. You need to visit for the whole story.
In the beginning, Friends of Towing (as it was known then) had no money or facilities and was driven by a small steering committee chaired by the late Val Reich, II. Among their members were Harry Saehlenou of Anaheim-Fullerton Towing and Harry Zipse of Zip’s T & R Sales in New Hampton, Iowa. Everyone on the committee did their share, but these two Harry’s were driven to make Friends of Towing a reality. Zipse stepped up to serve as secretary and general manager while Saehlenou developed the first traveling museum (with help from a few tower friends) in his Southern California shop. And that development included the complete conversion of a tandem axle furniture trailer that included outfitting the interior with the Hall of Fame pictures and memorabilia provided by John Hawkins (the Hawk) of Tow Times. FOT had no money or facilities, but these two guys went the extra mile to make Friends of Towing known to towers throughout North America and beyond to England, Scotland and all of Europe.
We lost Saehlenou several years ago, and Zip? Well, he and his wife Vivian are somewhere out there traveling around the world visiting old and new friends.
Thanks to both of you guys for making Cheryl’s job easier.