The 3rd Annual Harry Michelson Open was held July 21-23 at St. Joe Valley Conservation Club just north of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Originally named the Pickle Open, falling on the same weekend as St. Joe’s celebrated Pickle Festival recognizing the city’s Sechler’s Pickles, the name of the shoot was changed to honor long-time referee and club member Harry Michelson. Though he no longer referees, he does attend every shoot at St. Joe Valley and volunteers his help, along with his “sidekick” Ish (a.k.a. his wife) driving up and down the line in a golf cart retrieving all the score sheets and delivering them to registration.
Friday was a little breezy for the Doubles event, but Fred “Boom-Boom” Tschantz still managed to break ‘em all for the lone 100 to win the championship. The rain came after all the shoot-offs were completed, so the timing was good! Saturday’s weather was nicer, but considerably warmer. Two 100s were posted in the 12-gauge event and five in the 20 gauge. After the smoke cleared from the shoot-offs, Larry Israel was the 12-gauge champion and Jack Grehan the 20-gauge champ.
Sunday, as one would expect since we were shooting the baby bore, was breezy once again. Three managed perfect scores in the 28-gauge event, with Dennis Jameson the victor. A number of shooters were in the hunt for the High Over-All. Though there were no 100s in the .410, Bruce Christian eked out a 99 to capture the HOA Championship. He shot off against Brent Edwards for the .410 Championship, and also won that.
The shoot was near capacity with 69 shooters (70 is full) and follows a format similar to the Poco Loco (the 400-target, .410 shoot in June) with two flights in the morning and two after lunch. Harry and Ish Michelson not only treated everyone to lunch, but also provided $4,500 in added money. So, untold thanks and appreciation go to Harry and Ish, and also to all referees and volunteers. St. Joe is an all-volunteer club; if you haven’t been to a shoot at St. Joe Valley, you should find your way there next year!
– Contributed by Trish Magyar
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