Sunday we spent most of the day in Montgomery Illinois to be there as Uncle Clarence (Jr.) Bark was honored as the Grand Marshal of Montgomery-fest. Uncle Jr., as I have said, is a WWII veteran, and has also served the village of Montgomery, IL as part of the planning commission for more than 30 years now. He and Aunt Jeanette built their home there in the 1950’s, and have lived there ever since. He joined the Navy at age 17, in September of 1941..3 months before Pearl Harbor. When Torpedo Squadron 8 was almost wiped out in the Battle of Midway (only one crewman survived), Clarence was part of the new Torpedo Squadron 8. He served in the South Pacific Theater on 2 different Aircraft Carriers, and saw more islands than he can remember.
He and Jeanette went together 9 years before they married. He will be 88 years young this month, and Jeanette will be 96 in September…I gotta tell ya, in their day, they could really dance up a storm…Everyone loved to watch them when they hit the dance floor and made everyone else out there pale in comparison. They will be married 52 years this fall….never had children (not that they didn’t want any), and have been each other’s soul mate and best friend these many years past. As you will notice, Aunt Jeanette knows how to dress up for any occasion, and she loves anything having to do with the Southwestern style…They owned a home in Sedona, Arizona for a couple years, but only went there occasionally because they were both still working. They have since sold it, but what a spot it was!
So, we had one Heck of a great day yesterday…and I will share some of the pictures I took…(I warned you!)
Above, left…on their screen porch before the parade…Right, getting ready to line up…
Left is Uncle Jr. with the Mayor of Montgomery… Here Jr. is rubbing elbows with Jesse White, Illinois Sec. of State…
McGuyver had no idea he would drive them…They were the lead car (after the firetrucks,) and then Den stopped in front of the viewing stand, where I was waiting to help Dennis get Jr. and Jeanette from the car, up the steps to the viewing stand…They are not very sure on their feet, and there were a few steps to navigate, but we got them settled and McGuyver took the car back to the line up area. Then he walked back just in time to see most of the parade…Jr. and Jeanette sat with the Mayor in the viewing stand…Three honored VIP’s getting their kudos and watching the parade.
Dennis and I stayed close by the viewing stand to we could help them down when the parade was over….
Left is the Honor Flight Car, 1929. Uncle Jr. usually rides in this at parades with 2 other Vets, but this time he had his own special “honor car” as the Grand Marshal. The photo on the right is the Kaneville HS band, and their leader saluting Uncle Jr. in the viewing stand…I almost cried..Oh, Hell..I DID cry, alright?
When the parade was over, Den and I took Jr. and Jeanette across the street to the VFW, where everyone certainly knows them…(after a potty stop for all of us,which took another 1/2 hour…as I said, they don’t move too fast these days..neither do I!)
Those 3 goofy people in the distance, with beers in their hands are Ronnie, Den’s brother-in-law, Leanne, Ronnie’s daughter, and Tommy, Leanne’s hubby…They were anxiously awaiting us to bring Mr. and Mrs. Grand Marshal over for a beer.
There was quite a few family and friends at the VFW, and we had a good time partying with the “VIP”S. Even Jr.’s 92 year old sister came up with her daughter and son-in-law.
Let it never be said that this family doesn’t know how to party…You see?? We inherited that “Yahoo” gene…
It was hard to get a word in …and if even “moi” couldn’t get one , then you know darn well there was a lot of gabby family there..People from all around the room were coming up and shaking Jr.’s hand…We managed to clear out about 5PM. McGuyver and I drove Jr. and Jeanette back to their house and stay a little longer to get them settled…..and of course, Jr. insisted we stay for “uno mas” drink…WHEW!…I seriously cannot keep up with these two! What fun we all had!!
….Right, is Hershel…He is a Vietnam Vet and was Uncle Jr’s Guardian for the Honor Flight he took to D.C. 2 years ago….
"Never in the face of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few."
- Winston Churchill