Memorial Day

I haven’t been able to post and visit my blogging friends’ sites like I’m used to and I miss it. But I could not let Memorial Day pass without giving tribute to the many men and women who have sacrificed so much so that I can continue to experience freedom.  My heart is full of love and gratitude for all soldiers past, present and future. I’m sharing just a couple of my favorite heartfelt songs (there are so many!). I hope you enjoy.

 

HAVE A SAFE, HAPPY AND BLESSED MEMORIAL DAY EVERYONE!

Revolutionary War = Independence Day

washington_crossing_the_delaware_by_emanuel_leutze_mma-nyc_1851

Washington Crossing the Delaware byEmanuel Leutze
Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York City – 1851

Since I began delving into my genealogy, it seems that especially at times like this my thoughts are turned to my ancestors who sacrificed so much. I present just a few of the family patriots related to me and mine who served so valiantly. I know that there are more and I will find them and honor them when I do.

John Arthur, Sr.

Wounded in Yorktown in final battle with Cornwallis. On 17th May 1843, in Bedford County, Virginia John made a declaration for his pension stating he was 85 years of age.  He married 12 Oct 1784 in Bedford County, Virginia to Elizabeth ADDAMS (ADAMS), with the consent of John ADDAMS.  In his pension papers it states that she was the daughter of John & Sarah ADDAMS.  Elizabeth was born 28 Sep 1769.  John ARTHUR died 24 Aug 1850, Bedford County, Virginia.  John ARTHUR was drafted into the Bedford Militia and served the following four regular tours:  about the last of May 1780 under Capt. Thomas LEFTWICH.  He served at Gate’s Defeat at Camden, SC; from 15 Jan 1781 three months in Capt. Isaac CLEMANS’ Company during the siege of Ninety-Six in SC under Gen. GREEN; Sept.1781, two months under Capt. John TRIGG in Col. TUCKER’s Regiment.  He was injured by a cannon ball from the enemies’ guns 19 Oct 1781 during battle of Yorktown and surrender of Lord CORNWALLIS for which he was granted a pension from the State of Virginia. He received wounds to both of his knees, right arm and under jaw. He was granted 100 acres 11 Apr 1818 Bedford Co.

Joel Arthur

Joel ARTHUR, born in 1761, Bedford Co., VA fought under Capt. John TRIGG, Lieut. John DAVIS, Ensign William HANDCOCK, under the command of General MULLENBURG, Col. MERRIWETHER and Major McCLURE in 1780 around Portsmouth, VA.  In June 1781 for three months in the militia under Capt. Thomas LEFTWICH and Major OVERSTREET by way of Richmond and was stationed between Little York and Norfolk.

Thomas “Tom Titt” Arthur, Jr.

Thomas served in the Revolutionary War. He was a resident of Bedford Co. living “between the waters of Goose Creek and Stauton River” during that time. He was in the battle of “Gates’ Defeat”, Siege of 96. It was stated that his nickname as a boy was “Tom Titt” and after he came from the war, he was called “Squirrel Tom” to distinguish him from the others of the same name in that neighborhood. He stated his brother, John ARTHUR, as 85 yrs old in 1843, living in Bedford Co. and had served two tours in the Revolution with Thomas.

Matthew Wallace

1744-1831. Matthew was listed as a private in the 4th Class of Chanceford Township. Inhabitants in Capt. Joseph Reed’s Company in a 26 Apr 1778 return.

Jeremiah Burns, Sr.

Assisted in establishing American Independence while acting in the capacity of Private.  His services during the Revolutionary War were as follows:  From Records Nat’l Archives, enlisted at Bedford Co, VA in 1776 for a period of three years as a private in Captain George Lambert’s Company, commanded by Colonel George Matthews under Major General Nathaenel Greene, it being the 14th Virginia Regiment, afterwards consolidated into the 7th.  At expiration of three years he reenlisted for another three years.  In 1781 he was marched to Yorktown and served in that seige.  He also had served in the battles of Germantown and Manmouth.  He was discharged soon after the Seige of York by Col. Roan.  Jeremiah came with his family to KY and settled in that part of Greenup Co. that became Lawrence Co. when created from Floyd & Greenup Counties in 1821, effective 11 Feb 1821.  On 28 Jul 1818 he applied for his pension.  Certificate of Pension No. W.F. 2063 was issued.

god_bless_americaConstitution

A Memorial Day Tribute

I just want to pay homage this Memorial Day weekend to all of the men and women, past, present and future, wherever and however they have sacrificed or will sacrifice in giving service to this great country and the freedoms I enjoy. God Bless each and every one of you and your families.

The true meaning of Memorial Day.

FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He’d stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?
How many pilots’ planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?
No, freedom isn’t free.

I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant “Amen,”
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn’t free.

 — Kelly Strong

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God

Matthew 5:9

William Edwin Carter
Corporal
B CO, 2ND BN, 60TH INFANTRY, 9TH INF DIV, USARV
Army of the United States
Van Wert, Ohio
July 28, 1949 to September 16, 1969
WILLIAM E CARTER is on the Wall at Panel W18, Line 93

My Downtown Playground – Part 2

Downtown Van Wert, Ohio

Downtown Van Wert, Ohio

This picture doesn’t do downtown 1950’s Van Wert justice! Of course, this particular picture is not from the 50’s but it’s the best I can do for now! But this was a big part of my playground. Growing up in a hotel without having other kids around to get into trouble with, you learn to find your own trouble!

Mary BethMy best friend (then and now!), Mary Beth, and I spent a lot of time walking Main Street, stopping after school for French fries and Green Rivers. We would occasionally switch out the Green Rivers for Cherry or Vanilla Cokes!

Directly across the street from the Hotel is the historic County courthouse. Click here for a brief history of the courthouse.

Van Wert County Courthouse

Van Wert County Courthouse

Cannons in front of Courthouse

Cannons in front of Courthouse

Mary Beth, and I used to hang out a lot at the courthouse. No, we weren’t in court. We were in and around the courthouse. We were just kids and we weren’t juvies. To continue. We’d roam the halls sometimes but mostly we spent time climbing around on the cannons. It’s amazing how fast those “horses” could go.

Memorial Hall at Courthouse

Memorial Hall at Courthouse

See that little white building with the green roof in the lower left hand corner of the picture? That’s a War Memorial building that houses a collection of photos of soldiers from Van Wert. Mary Beth and I used to wander through there looking at the pictures of the men and women who served this great country. We didn’t know any of them but it was fascinating. I know some of the photos went back to WWI.

William Edwin Carter

William Edwin Carter

Viet Nam Memorial

Vietnam Memorial

Of course, at the time, neither of us ever suspected that one of our dear elementary school friends would end up on the Vietnam Memorial Wall and have his picture placed in the Memorial Building (I don’t have a copy of it or I would post that). Dead at the age of 20. So sad for so many. But I digress. William Edwin Carter, R.I.P.

Across from the Hotel is a restaurant called “Balyeat’s Coffee Shop” that has been there what seems forever.

Balyeat's Coffee Shop

Balyeat’s Coffee Shop

Well, okay, forever to me is from 1922! That red neon sign can be spotted a mile away. The sign and the coffee shop are still there and they’re still serving excellent down-home cooking. Their pies are to die for. In fact, I wish I had one now. My family and I used to eat in there quite often. In fact, that’s one of the locations I was chatting with Cisco and Pancho.

In this old postcard, you can see the old movie theatre across the street from the Hotel at the end of the block.

Cinema

I used to spend time in there. I suppose you could say there were some perks living in the Hotel. I’m guessing now but I’m pretty sure my Dad had made some arrangement with the theatre owner to let me in for free. Otherwise, how could you explain all the times I just walked in? I know there were a few times I would take a friend or two with me. I loved that old movie house. Some Saturday mornings they would have games and contests for the kids followed by cartoons. It was a few hours of Saturday morning freedom for lots of parents! I still remember one of the contests I entered. We were supposed to fill our mouths full of saltine crackers and then whistle. For some reason, I didn’t win. Could it be that I have trouble just whistling even without anything in my mouth? Nobody would do that today because they’d be so terrified of a kid choking and the parents suing. People didn’t think that way then. Kids actually were allowed to have fun. I can still hear the roar of the laughter from probably a hundred or more kids. Boy, it got loud in there. But fun.

When you walk a couple blocks or so the other direction from the Hotel, there was Fountain Park.

Fountain Park

Fountain Park

Two acres right in downtown. It was a pretty park with swings and paths. I don’t think I spent a lot of time actually in the park because there was just so much other stuff to do. I did cut through it a lot, though, on my way to friends’ houses!

YWCA

YWCA

Last time I was home the YWCA was still there. I think Van Wert is one of the few towns that had separate YWCA and YMCA facilities. Now, this is one place where I did spend a lot of time. Nearly every Saturday morning when I wasn’t at the movie house, I was in there roller skating. Yep. I loved it. I was never a fancy skater or anything but I had fun doing it. I remember one time, a bunch of kids formed a chain and put me on the end of it. I think it was because I was small. Boy, I never let them do that to me again! I was flying. It’s a miracle I didn’t crash through a wall or something! Of course, it might not have been as bad as my memory serves!

My Mom was such a fashionista. I remember I had a special roller skating outfit. It consisted of a red satin blouse and a short black velvet skirt with red satin trim and matching red satin pants. I had a rhinestone roller skate pin that I would always wear.

Rhinestone Pin

Rhinestone Pin

I still have the pin and, as you can see, it’s missing a few of the rhinestones so I don’t wear it anymore.

I used to go swimming a lot at the Y. It was an indoor pool and the smell of chlorine was so strong I can still conjure it up. And, of course, after all that exercise of roller skating or swimming or ping pong or checkers, etc., I always had enough money in my pocket to buy a snack. It was always the same thing no matter what.

6 oz. Coca-Cola

6 oz. Coca-Cola

MoonPie

MoonPie

But my absolute favorite downtown playground activity has to be The Brumback Library! There is no way I can do justice to the beauty of this library. I’ve never seen anything like it before or since. Click here for a brief history of the Library. The Brumback Library stands as the first county library formed in the United States. The building was dedicated on January 1st, 1901. It’s been renovated a couple of times and expanded but they’ve done a magnificent job of maintaining the integrity of the building. I saw it a number of years ago after the expansion.  They did a fabulous job of making everything match.  It’s such a beautiful place.

The Brumback Library

The Brumback Library

I have such wonderful memories of this library. It has been likened to a CASTLE! That’s how I always thought of it. I spent more hours in this library when I was in elementary school. Maybe that’s why I love reading so much. Not only was it a treasure trove of books, it was a fabulous place to explore! I don’t know if they still have them, but some of the upstairs walkways were made of heavy frosted glass. They were so cool! I think they may have been removed or replaced when they remodeled. There were so many stairways and alcoves to explore. I doubt the kids today would have the run of the library like we did back then. Migosh, I miss it!

Library Interior

Library Interior

Library Interior

Library Interior

Library Interior

Library Interior

I could go on and get really detailed about all the stores and alleyways and things to explore downtown. But I’m sure you’ve read enough for now. Besides, I’ve got to save some for the third and final installment on Van Wert in the 50’s.