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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Memorial Day                        Monday, May 31 2004

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Happy Memorial Day

While I was growing up in Blacklick Township Memorial Day was always a very special day. When it was observed on May 30 (now called "traditional Memorial Day") it was always the day before my birthday. Often we spent the day "back home," as Mom called it, in the northeast corner of Cambria County where she and my Dad had grown up. She was born actually across the county line in Janesville, Clearfield County, and started school in that village, but the family moved to and she grew up in Reade Township on a farm, and Dad in Blandburg or Mountaindale both of which I believe are in Reade Township but too small to even be shown on the linked map.

On the times that we went "over home" it was to link up with my Uncle Les and Aunt Tommy, who still lived in Reade Township, and on to the EUB church in Glasgow, which Mom and her mother had attended before she left "home." That was the church in whose cemetery most of my known ancestors of the time were buried, on both parents' sides, though Dad's family weren't church-goin' people. In the folks' time, Memorial Day was better known as "Decoration Day," which is what they still called it, and they decorated all the graves, but especially those of the war veterans, and especially the Civil War veterans. My Dad fought in World War I, so when they were still in High School, the "Civil War" was the war they thought of as "the big one," the way today's generations think of World War II as "the big one." And to this day, more American military were killed in the Civil War than any other and probably even more than all the others, combined.

The Glasgow EUB had a chicken and dumpling dinner in the basement on Memorial Days, following the march through the village (Belsano is a "city" in comparison with Glasgow!) and the military service ending with the playing of Taps in the cemetery. There were booths set up to sell nickle and dime candy, souvenirs, and toys like balloons and probably caps, if not also cap guns. The big thing for kids up to age 12 was scambling to pick up the spent ammunition casings left on the ground after the veterans' ceremonial "salute." We had to wait in line to get our turn at the chicken and dumplings, so it was one of the best meals you could ever eat as a kid.

There was a parade with the veterans and the Blacklick Township High School band in Belsano also every Memorial Day, with ceremonies at both the EUB and Methodist churchs (both of which are now Methodist churches). The kids scrambled for the shell casings in those cemeteries, too. And we decorated our bikes in red-white-and-blue crepe paper to drive with and after the parade. If it was a perfect Memorial Day, we went swimming in White Mill or Adams Crossing in the afternoon, though most parents most May 30s thought it still wasn't hot enough to go swimming.

The very best Memorial Days were those when May 30 fell on a Sunday. That meant that Memorial Day was "observed" the next day, Monday, my birthday, so the chicken and dumplings was my birthday dinner and dessert was my birthday cake and ice cream.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Less-known proverbs

Latest survey shows that three out of four people make up 75 percent of the world's population.

Sent by Mary Ann Losiewicz 

Thought for today

Old age ain't no place for sissies.

Bette Davis
Sent by Trudy Myers 

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