(You may click on any image to pull up a larger format photograph)

So what are a middle-aged group of guys doing plunging into an adventure in South America?  Let’s rewind this newsreel a bit and see where the adventure really started:

David, Chris and Jim find common ground in a group of conservative, sedentary young men, who might just as well stare you down as say “hello”… a fine, upstanding example of the kind of youth the West breeds, all the way from Coronado High School in El Paso, Texas…ladies and gentlemen, please meet “La Raza“:

Etzold, Davison and Multhauf and the rest of the crew....

Davison graduated from the University of Texas School of Medicine and went on to practice as a double-board certified Emergency Room physician; Multhauf achieved fame and fortune in the business world after receiving his MBA from Cornell University; Etzold returned home to El Paso to practice commercial real estate brokerage and development after graduating from the University of the South.  As the years went by a common interest in experiencing those “moments of discovery”, so rare in our post-collegial and workaday lives, brought them together for occasional expeditions and adventures.

Then, there was the Post-911 Expedition to New York City, a pilgrimage to embrace the wounded financial and cultural center of the Western world….

Davison, Multhauf and Etzold, New York City 2002

There, at Ground Zero, in the post-traumatic atmosphere of a metropolis crying out for a new life and a new identity, in a culture sorely missing an example of unselfish adventurism, the vision was hatched!  Over dinner one evening in an upscale downtown bistro, the inspiration for a new creation came together:  It would be a bright and shining institution with a 1,000-year charter!  It would rise as a Phoenix from the ashes of the present and become a beacon to the world of the future, using the preservation of the past as the torch lighting our way!  The INHL (International Natural History League) began:

Founding Dinner for the INHL: Multhauf Davison and Etzold NYC 2002

Adventure was key to the core doctrine at the founding of the organization and regularly, for years thereafter, expeditions have been mounted to investigate, explore and discover the most remarkable (and sometimes un-remarkable) places in the world.  Photographs and artifacts brought back from those expeditions filled the INHL archives to such an extent that a formal INHL Headquarters needed to be established.  Fortunately for the organization, a palatial estate available to Multhauf was secured for just such a purpose:

INHL Headquarters and Founders 2003

Since then, the volume of material accumulated by the various expeditions mounted by the INHL has expanded exponentially.  Needing ample room to store and catalogue the remarkable collection of historical artifacts, the Board began a new program to build a museum to house the collection, and is in the planning stages.  Fundraising is proceeding parallel with the design phase.  Here are are some examples of artifacts that will be displayed for generations to come:

INHL Pre-Columbian Artifacts

Expeditions to the far corners of the world have been researched, planned and mounted out of INHL Headquarters.  However, were is not for the cooperation of the most un-heralded members of the INHL team, the Founders’ wives, none of this could possibly have happened (which might be something to ponder)!

It is with deep appreciation that we close this “Genesis” chapter with a few other INHL Expedition photographs, and deep and sincere thanks to Cheryl Davison, Lynn Osmond Multhauf and Melinda Etzold, without whom we would be lesser men!

Davison Family at Giza

Etzold Family in Antigua, Guatemala

Lynn & Chris Multhauf and Jim & Cheryl Davison-Chicago 2004

INHL with Creative Consultant, Harold Ramis

Multhauf and Davison at Chaco Canyon World Heritage Site

And, so…

We live those dreams that would pass away,

and mark the time until such day

as one of us, or chance, all three,

might gaze back at Earth and calmly pray,

” ‘Twas quite a ride, that much I’ll say!”

-D. F. Etzold 2010

…and who knows what the future might have in store?

~ by Dave Etzold on January 12, 2010.

One Response to “Genesis…”

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