Remembering Memorial Days past – Lifestyle – Akron Beacon Journal




I’m writing this on Memorial Day. It will be our second time to celebrate it here in Columbus, North Carolina. It brings back memories of those times in the past in other places.

My earliest memory of Memorial Day was when I was a little girl on the farm near Nashville. For some reason we called it Decoration Day, I guess because we decorated the graves. Our peonies were always in bloom at the end of May. We would pick some and walk in the parade in our town.

Walking all the way from the school to the cemetery beside the Methodist Church seemed like a very long way for a child. It is all of two city blocks, if that.

When I was in high school the band marched in the parade. It was hard to walk and play my cornet at the same time since we had so little practice at marching. Some years the band was invited to participate in parades in other towns, too.

Then there were the years in Orrville. One year I marched in the parade with my troop of boisterous Cub Scouts.

My favorite Memorial Day celebrations were in Winesburg. It was a big deal. There was always a parade from the fire station to the cemetery. Kids rode decorated bikes, the fire department drove their trucks with sirens blaring and tossing lots of candy to the crowd. There was always a speech, the roll call of those locals being remembered back to the Spanish American War, and the Hiland band played a few numbers. Then we went back to the fire station for coffee and doughnuts.

One year there was no parade for some reason. At that time the Strong family was living with us. The six kids were devastated at no formal parade so they formed their own. They used their bikes and coaster wagon to parade up and down the sidewalk.

The last few years my Aunt Ellen lived I would take her from the Walnut Hills community to the Nashville Cemetery where we would spruce up the graves of our departed family members. It was important to her to have them look nice before Memorial Day.

When we moved to South Carolina there was no parade to attend, but at Del Webb we of the Society of Singers sang some patriotic numbers and there were some speeches. After that we always went to the Strongs’ house for a cookout.

This year we are hosting a cookout with our neighbors, Rich and Ann from across the street. They are bringing chips and dip, and Pat next door is bringing a surprise dessert. We are furnishing the hamburgers with the tomatoes, lettuce, onion, pickles, (but no special sauce) and my world famous baked beans, and the drinks.

In preparation, a week ago I assigned inspecting the grill to the Man of the House. It has not been used for at least a year and a half since he is not much into grilling. In fact, last summer it was used only by some wasps that had built their nest in it and were eventually exterminated.

This year it was discovered the heat spreader had rusted through. The rest of it is stainless steel so it is just fine. That put him on a search which included two stores and the internet. The grill is probably 8 years old, having been purchased at Sears at the New Philadelphia mall so it was a surprise to actually find something that worked.


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