November 8, 2013
I recently was invited to attend the annual Boys and Girls State dinner at the American Legion. I am always impressed by the Students that were chosen to attend Boys and Girls State. Each of them gave a report to the people who attended the dinner. The event was emceed by Ron Scharbor, American Legion Post 95. This is what two of the boys had to say about their experiences at Boys State. They didn’t say which high school they were from, but it is Las Plumas, Oroville or Gridley High School.
“My initial thought when I arrived at Boy’s State was surprise. There were so many people and so many new things in front of me all at once. I quickly realized this event would become one I would never forget. I made friends I keep in contact with daily, in the first hour there. The experience showed me a massive amount about the governmental process and how the government incorporates the opinions of the people. It was an eye-opening realization that the government is still truly in the people’s hands and that anyone can have an affect on the way our country is run.”
“During my stay at Boy’s State I got to know some amazing guys from all over California. We were quickly separated into counties, and then further divided into cities. In our ‘individual’ cities it was easy to create close bonds with many of the other guys in my city, I was in charge of Disaster Relief. This experience was very beneficial to me. I was involved in electing city, county and state officials to run our very own Boys’ State government. This gave me great insight into how our U.S. government is run. I greatly encourage anyone interested in politics or leadership activities to seek a nomination. I would also like to thank the American Legion for sponsoring me and allowing me this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Check here next week for the final two stories of Boy’s and Girls State.
I received a call from Bob Bowder. He had called me a few years ago. He was a former Sea Bee, which is the construction arm of the Navy.
He served at the end of the Korea War and wanted it to be known that they have established a Museum at the Sea Bee Base at Port Hume, down at Oxnard, California. They are looking for members and history of those that served. He told me that it was free to go in and that they used no Government money to build it and that 20 million was donated, one million from Caterpillar Tractor Company. The “Cat” was used by many a Sea Bees. One was used by Oroville’s Chet Foursha, fighting the Japanese on Iwo Jima, you can read his story on our website. He was awarded the Bronze Star serving as a Marine. Other notable Butte County Sea Bee’s are Donald “Dyke” Richter, Oroville, Theodore “Ted” Martin KIA, Iwo Jima, Pvt. James Savercool, Oroville, Bill Brown, Chief Carpenters Mate, Art Harris, Fireman 1st Class, Carl D. Lindahl, Richvale, Harold Varnum Chief Motor operator Machinist Mate John M. Flatter Electrician’s Mate 1st Class KIA, Rudolph Ghianda, Mail Specialist Second Class. William Watkins Oroville, Karl W. Kramer Ship fitter 2nd Class, received a Purple Heart. See these men on our website.
Our Grand Veterans Day Parade, 15th Annual will be Monday, November 11th, 2013 at 11am. “Thank You Korean War Veterans” 60th Anniversary, Sponsored by the Oroville Exchange Club, Chamber of Commerce City of Oroville, Honor Our Veterans Past and Present. For Parade Entry Forms Chamber of Commerce (530)538-2542 and Bob Hewitt (530)534-8393. This year we choose Three Grand Marshalls , Lyles Phillips, Bob Morehouse and Bob Simpson. Below is some, but far from all, of their stories. I will get the more of their stories soon in this column. Parade starts at 5th and Montgomery.
Bob Simpson grew up in Jackson Mississippi. Bob joined the Army in 1943 to retire from the Air Force in 1964. As an African American, he joined a very segregated Army and when he retired it still had a long way to go. Bob fought in two wars, WWII and Korea. More of Bob’s story soon.
Bob Morehouse, Senior Chief Petty Officer Retired, 30 years of service. Served in three wars, WWII, Korea and Two Tours in Vietnam. In WWII he was in Panama 2 weeks; went to Guam, Saipan, Okinawa. Took our Marines back to Guam, went to Tinian back to Guam on to Iwo Jima when the war ended. After the war ended he went to Okinawa to take a surrendered Japanese ship, dismantled guns and made it a troop transport back home.
Lyles Phillips has quite an amazing story, from being born in Oroville long ago until now and he promised me that “rest of the story”. In school he was friends with Oroville’s Tuskegee airman, Sam Broadnax.
They would have graduated together with the Oroville High School Class of 1944 but a big war got in the way. Lyles served on Guam with the 9th anti-Aircraft Battalion. Lyles joined the Marines in 1943.
Remember the First United Methodist Church at 45 Acacia Ave. Oroville will Celebrate Veterans on Sunday, November 10 at 10:30AM. Pastor and retired Navy Chaplain Dave Rieck will have a Chaplain’s display, complete with a WWII chaplain’s Jeep, tent and chaplain’s office setup. Come and enjoy the display and become a part of our recognition of their heroic and patriotic service to our country.