Todd Lindley, District Governor of Rotary International District 6060 from Webster Groves, Mo., was in for his annual visit. Dr. Lindley, a dentist, said he was immediately impressed when he turned into Cuff and McCormick's a little after six a.m. at that number of cars already in the parking lot. And, then he came inside. (By the way, Lindley was going a little further south for a noon meeting with the Blytheville Rotary Club and its guest for the day, Dr. Condoleezza Rice).
The local club had extended an invitation to all veterans of the United States military. Including Rotarians, I believe there were 25 veterans on hand, representing all branches of the military.
The veterans stood, introduced themselves and most shared a personal story about their experience.
I believe the veteran with the earliest enlistment was Spencer Stout, who enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1938 and had a 20-year tour of duty. Mr. Stout told about the time on base when one young fellow came up missing. He had been searched for all over the base to no avail. Then as they were getting ready to close a door to on one of the larger buildings on base Mr. Stout spoke up and said, "Wait just a minute, I know where he is."
He climbed a ladder to an overhead storage loft and found the missing sailor sound asleep on a mattress. The sailor was surprised and asked how he had come to be discovered.
"Son, who do you think put that mattress up here?" Mr. Stout replied.
When William Cunningham stood up and said he had 38 years of combined service Dr. Lindley turned to me and said, "He barely looks like he's 38 years old himself." There might be something to that fitness thing after all.
Roland Morgan was on hand as well. In addition to the recognition on Veterans Day, Mr. Morgan and several other U.S. Marine Corps veterans probably figured the breakfast was an additional late birthday celebration. The Marine Corps turned 235 years old on Wednesday of this week.
Charloyn Miles was on hand as well. "Bid," as most folks affectionately know her, was one of the first women to enlist in the U.S. Navy in 1943. She pointed out that sometimes folks, okay, men and one fellow in particular, who came up to her several years ago at a different veterans' recognition event and said to her that the service was only for veterans. She explained I'm sure just as politely, that she did indeed belong at the event.
Mike Mowrer also attended and no one should have been surprised the City Judge was legal. Mike had a copy of his draft card with him. He didn't give the exact date, but it was the late 1960s. He then read from the card where the Selective Service has inscribed "Keep this card with you at all times." Mike wanted everyone to know that he was obeying the law.
Tommy Striegel was among the guest veterans. Tommy pointed out that while he was in the U.S. Air Force and stationed in Iowa, I believe it was, no enemy aircraft ever got south of his duty station.
Retired Sergeant Major Phillip Greenway presented club president Jonathan Mays with a commemorative Challenge Coin from VFW Post 5443, our local post. The challenge which accompanies the coin falls right in with Rotary's commitment to young people.
I attended as a very interested observer. I am not a veteran. When I graduated high school the lottery was in place and so with a high number I went on to college. A couple of years after that volunteer military went into place.
However, I have a huge amount of respect, admiration and appreciation for the veterans and what they have done for our country. The Rotary Club, by its actions on Thursday displayed the same sentiment and I believe every veteran there went away feeling like their service was appreciated.
One of the DDD's own veterans did attend the breakfast and helped out the newsroom by getting them a photograph. There were a couple of hiccups with the names of the veterans honored at the breakfast and so we're rerunning that photo in today's edition.
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Lost and found
Several months ago Daren Robertson ran across a box of "valuables" at a garage sale. As the story goes, Daren made an offer of $2 for the entire box and whatever happened buried at the bottom.
When Daren got home he began rummaging through his box of treasures. Near the bottom he came across an old baseball glove and written on it was a name, "Shetley." Daren gave the glove to Dave Schilp, figuring Dave was likely to see the previous owner sooner.
The name "Shetley" in this part of the country made it pretty easy to determine who the glove had belonged to at one time.
Dave gave the glove to Matt who recognized it immediately. Matt's dad, Roy Shetley, had written his son's last name on the glove years ago.
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Well it appears as if Ron Harris won't be making the trip to Washington, D.C., to work on his son-in-law and newly elected U.S. Congressman, Rick Crawford's staff after all.
Last week it was speculated, in this space, that Rick might be interested in filling out his staff with his dad, Don Crawford, and his father-in-law.
I haven't heard from Don yet, but Ron did say he was going to remain behind and man the home front.
Bud Hunt is
regional vice president,
publisher of the
Daily Dunklin Democrat, Daily Statesman, Delta News-Citizen, Missourian-News and
North Stoddard Countian.