Friday, May 23, 2008

Decoration Day


As a young boy I remember "decoration day" as being special. Every Memorial Day my dad would gather up roses and other live flowers and prepare them for our trip to the Dexter cemetery.

My grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins along with others including the Wesbrook clan would all meet for decorating the graves. The kids would play and traverse the cemetery area for hours of fun while noting the sadness shown by our relatives at some of the grave sites.

A ceremony honoring the military dead would be observed. Picnic lunches would be shared for an enjoyable meal. Though it is supposed that some families still observe this special day as a family event ... it would be surmised that the holiday has pretty much changed for many (like other traditional family activities).

20 comments:

DFCox said...

We still have the Memorial Day ceremony in CV Cemetery. All the flags are flying, each veteran has a flag at his grave site. "Taps" with the distant echo is still played at the end if the ceremony and rifle volley. All very beautiful and causes many a lump in the throat.

Anonymous said...

Don, do you know what rank Carl Steward had in the military??

Diane Archer Bradbury said...

I think our generation has not continued with the same habitual attitude to take the family to help decorate the graves of our loved ones. These days the adults just go decorate when they can work it into their schedule, and they like to have it done by Memorial Day. Seems a little crass.

My husband and I tried to interest our nephews and families by taking them with us to decorate his family's gravesites, but it was just too difficult to find time when they could go. I think they will take this responsibility when their parents and our generation are all deceased. If not, oh well.

Some of the old ways may have been best, but we can depend on one thing, and that is 'change.'

Anonymous said...

Could someone help refresh my memory. The name "Barger" comes to mind, but I can't picture who the family was. Any help from the old timers??

DFCox said...

I believe Carl was a Master Sergeant in the army. This could be confirmed by checkeing his obit. on the internet.

Two Bargers come to mind, Newt Barger was the Village Blacksmith whose shop and forge were by the alley across from the Chevy Garage.
As a young lad I used to enjoy him heating plowshears in his forge and then beating them and reshaping them on the big anvil. The final job when they were cool was sharpening them on a huge grinding wheel. This was the depression years--nowdays I guess the farmers would just go and buy a new shear.

Gus Barger and his wife Ferrell lived and worked in CV in the 30s into the 50s. I think he was related to Newt. Their pretty daughter, Shirley, is a 1948 grad of CVHS and was just here for the 60th reunion of her class.

Anonymous said...

Was he Newt Barger, or Harve Barger???

DFCox said...

He was Harve, there I go again!

SBarger-Barnett said...

Hi,

Newt Barger was my g-grandfather, he along with his brother Harve Barger owned the blacksmith shop.

Bus Barger, my uncle, was my grandfather's(Harold Newton Barger)brother and my Dad was Hal Barger.

Bus was married to Ferrell Cable and she worked at one of the grocery stores(name of store escapes me at the moment)for years. Shirley lives in Ramona, Oklahoma and was married to Leroy Henson.

wayne woodruff said...

Well, Don C. and I were both right about the ownership of the smithy. Could you tell me more about Bus Barger because that is a name that I remember, but no details of him come to mind.

SBarger-Barnett said...

Yes, you both were correct....Bus, commuted from Cedar vale to Bartlesville,Ok where he worked and retired from Phillips Petroleum. After he retired, he then continued the daily trek and worked at a hardware store in B'ville for several years. He and Ferrell loved watching the birds and had several feeders in their backyard. It was amazing the many different species of birds that would show up in their yard. When a bird showed up they hadn't seen before, they had several bird reference books. They also made some of the most delicious homemade ice cream. I asked him one day, how or why he was named "Bus". My young mind could not comprehend why anyone would be named Bus. He would always say, no one should ever be given his real name. After much coaxing I finally got him to tell me his given name. He said no one should have to go to school with a name like that and could I even imagine what it was like for a boy to go to school with the name Francis Mortimer....lol. I, in my adolescence mind, was set off into uncontrollable laughter. He was named after his maternal grandfather and my gg-grandfather F.M. Hills. This was a running joke and dialog between us for the rest of his life. The orneriness in me caused me to utter "How is Francis Mortimer today?" many times as my first greeting when went to visit them. That would always start him in on....why anyone would name their child that...lol.

wayne woodruff said...

Where did Bus live in the late 40's and early 50's?? It seems to me that he played an important part in my memories of old CV, but I can't place it exactly, Thanks.

SBarger-Barnett said...

I was very young,at that time. But I do remember going to their home often, and I know that at that time they lived on Cedar St. on the west side of the street and was in the middle of the second block north of where the school is located now. I have an old phone book from those days somewhere in all my genealogy papers and probably can give you an exact address. They moved into another home on Plymouth St, at some point, but not sure exactly when they moved to that location, but think late 50's or early 60's.

Harve and Pearl(Bartgis)Barger, my g-uncle and g-aunt lived on Caney St. think in the 900 block, I know the house when I see it, but can't remember the number right now.

My g-grandmother Genevieve Hills Barger(Newt's wife) and my g-aunt lived in a house directly across from the hospital. Another of their sisters, and my g-aunt also lived on Cedar St.
Sherry

Phil Foust said...

Ferrell Barger worked at Crescent Grocery (Charley Fields) and possibly for your dad prior to that, Wayne. I worked with her and thought very highly of her as she was a fun, hard working, and good person.

Sherry. certainly I remember your g-grandmother and g-aunt. A picture in my mind is of them walking uptown so very many times. They were always such pleasant and nice folks.

Welcome to the neighborhood!

wayne woodruff said...

Sherry, thanks for the information. Now, another question brought up by your mention of Pearl Bartgis Barger. One of my dad's better friends was a big, rough old guy named Bert Bartgis. Any relation? Was Bert married to an Alma?? Did they have kids?? Where did Burt live?? I don't know why I want to know these things, because they are just wisps of my memory.

wayne woodruff said...

If his wife worked for my dad, then that would explain why the name was so familiar. (Bus).

SBarger-Barnett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SBarger-Barnett said...

Hi,


Phil Foust: Thank you.I will write about my g-grandmother and g-aunt at some point.I am very fortunate that both of them lived into their 80's, so they were very much apart of my entire growing up years and beyond.

Although I was not even a 'fig newton' in anyone's mind yet, as it would be several more years before I was born, remembered Bus telling me he worked for Adams in early 40's. I don't know for how long, and also at sometime in the 40's he worked for Continental Oil Co., before he went to work for Phillips, if my memory is serving me right.

Wayne Woodruff: Bert Bartgis would have been Pearl's first cousin, her dad and his dad were brothers. He was married to Alma, but I am not sure of her maiden name, but think possibly was Hassard.I don't know if Bert and Alma had children. I don't recall really knowing them, although, I know the name,from listening to family catching up on what everyone was up to growing up.

Sherry

DFCox said...

Alma was Alma Duensing, a sister of "Sonny" Duensing, the crippled man who ran the pool hall. They married when they were well into middle age and had no children. Bert Bartgis worked for Melvin Schrader for many years as a farm hand. He did most of the work while Melvin was "overseeing". This included the farm which your father later bought Wayne. Alma had a slight speech impediment.

wayne woodruff said...

Thanks, Don. I have been trying to get some feed-back regarding Bert for quite a while. He worked for dad at times when there was a lot of work, and he was big and boisterous and really did not smell good, but was fun to work with.
Seems like you had a good memory regarding Melvin Schrader's work habits.

Phil Foust said...

Believe that Alma and Sonny Duensing were siblings to Betty and Shirley Sweaney's mother.