the BEACON Newspaper, Indiana beacon6-18 - Page 12

St . John Lutheran Church
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Page 12A THE BEACON June 2018

G

In the OOD OLD DAYS

goodolddays @ goBEACONnews . com
Editor ’ s Note- Life in the ‘ 60s was so diverse when comparing small towns to big cities , east coast to the midwest , and even the west coast . While history books paint a consistent picture of the feel of society at that time , a few leaders offered their memories of that time in their lives .
Barb Bedel grew up in Bear Branch , a picturesque , rural community with a strong German heritage . Farming was , and still is for many , a way of life . She shared her thoughts on life in the 1960 ’ s .
“ I was born in 1950 and grew up on a farm in Bear Branch , Indiana- that was my Dad ’ s home place . My brother , Bob Sommer , lives on the family farm now . I was very much a farm girl and loved it . I still do . Yes , it was
Founded 1869 The Family Church hard work . We had cows to milk every day , twice a day . We raised pigs and sometimes up to 25,000 chickens . We raised tobacco , and of course , had a garden . There was always something to do- hay to bale , crops to tend to- but it was a simple and peaceful life . I always liked going to bed at night when the windows were open and hear my dad working in the fields , or the crickets , frogs , etc . My mom worked right alongside my dad and loved driving the tractor .
I went to a two-room school that had grades 1-4 in one room and 5-8 in the other room . I had a great childhood growing up and have such great memories . It was a safe time , no social media , electronic gadgets , cell phones , ( we had a crank phone , and eventually a rotary phone ). It was an adjustment when I got married and moved to Oldenburg where my husband , Gary , was born and raised . Even though Oldenburg was a small town , it was hard to adjust to the
St . John Lutheran Church
4937 State Route 48 at Bellair , Lawrenceburg , IN 47025 Pastor Matthew Voyer , STS Office 812-537-2865 • Cell 812-577-2407
Sunday Worship 9:00 AM • Sunday School 10:15 AM www . stjohnlawrenceburg . org
Facebook : St . JohnLutheranChurchLawrenceburgIndiana

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513-367-4005 street lights , traffic noise , etc . The farm and the country is a wonderful place to grow up , and I am so blessed to have been a part of that .
Yes , the sixties was another world away- at least that is how it seemed to me . It was a very scary time and , quite honestly , I don ’ t remember very much about it . Most of the information came to us in the newspapers and the evening news ( when we had time to watch the news !) As far as the social unrest and drugs go , back then they didn ’ t affect us . We never thought about that kind of stuff . It sounds like we were sheltered , but I NEVER felt that way . We went to church , picnics , fairs , town , and worked on the farm . I loved my childhood and never felt deprived .”
Some members of our community had a very different perspective of the ‘ 60s . These veterans took the time to share their experiences , a few of whom have not shared much even with their families . They were asked , “ What was it like for you when you came home from Vietnam knowing there were protesters waiting for you ?’
Marvin “ Marty ” Sizemore shared , “ I was drafted into the Army in 1970 and spent my year in Vietnam mostly with an artillery unit and then with an infantry unit . I was with a communication unit at the end . When my tour of duty was up , I didn ’ t know too much about the protesting going on back home because my access to information like that was very limited . I left Vietnam and returned to Oakland , California in the early hours of the morning , and I was alone . I was given the option of wearing my military uniform or my civilian clothes . I chose my Army uniform . Turns out I was lucky because many of my fellow Vietnam Veterans who wore their uniform were called vulgar names , spit on , and had things thrown at them by the people protesting the war . After thirty days of leave , I spent the next three months finishing my time in the Army at Ft . Riley , Kansas . When I was discharged in Sept . 1971 , I came home , got a job , and only spoke of Vietnam to my family until 1986 when I became a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America , Chapter 71 in Aurora . Many times I watched what was going on to protest the war , but thankfully I never encountered it directly . Today , I ’ m proud of my Vietnam service and proud to be a Vietnam Veteran and to my fellow Vietnam buddies---- WELCOME HOME !!’’
Joe “ Big Joe ” Halloran was proud of his service in Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry . He served with some outstanding soldiers during major battles , many on hot , humid days . On June 10 , 1966 , he remembers calling his mom from Oakland , California and telling her that he would be flying out and returning home that day in just a few hours . His mom told him to be careful because if he had his uniform on , the protesters at the airport would try to single him out to cause trouble . She had been watching TV and felt so sorry for those who had given so much only to be treated like that . She said they were calling soldiers baby killers and other names . Joe said he hoped she was kidding , but she wasn ’ t . At the airport , he didn ’ t notice anybody protesting . When he boarded the plane , he changed from his uniform since he was flying military standby . When he arrived in Chicago , he noticed protesters yelling at a young man in uniform about being a baby killer and threw items at him . They didn ’ t realize that many of those soldiers had gone to Vietnam at 18 or 19 years of age . The soldiers had a job to do in Vietnam , and they did it to the best of their ability .
“ Today , I still love my country and have so much respect for it , as well as our American flag . I ’ m now seventy years old and still fly the flag daily at my house along with an Army flag and POW-MIA flag . I have so much love and compassion
By Carol Donovan
Welcome ALL to our June get-together . Old Friends & Bright Beginnings will meet on June 7 at 11:30 a . m . at the Dearborn Hills United Methodist Church in Bright . Our special devotional leader , Irene Estes , will be back to sing all of God ’ s praises for the end of winter and the coming of the sun . Along with Irene , professional county & gospel singer Doug Morgan will be performing . He sings with a local band called ‘ The Cavaliers ’ and also is for those who have served and are serving today . I serve in two Color Guards with the American Legion Post # 59 in Rising Sun and the Korean War Veterans Chapter 4 in Aurora . I ’ m a life member of the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 71 in Aurora too .
“ I never told my children about my Vietnam service until my wife was murdered on 9-21-1994 and they told my eldest son , Joe , who is now deceased , to get all my weapons out of the house because his dad was a Vietnam Veteran and would kill the person who had done this horrible deed . The children quizzed me as to why I never told them about my service , and I told them it was to protect them from the public scorn and what was said about us . I still suffer today from PTSD from my experiences in Vietnam and regularly attend meetings with other veterans . I ’ m proud to be a veteran and so blessed to live in the greatest country on the face of the earth . I wish I would have handled my situation differently years ago and let my family know about my time in Vietnam . We are a brotherhood , and we ’ ll always have each other ’ s backs . I stand and salute the American Flag during the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance . To the ones who make big money playing sports , find another way to protest because the veterans and that flag have given you the right and freedoms to do what you do today . Wake up America and pay tribute to the real Heroes- veterans and those serving today .’’’
Many thanks to those who shared their thoughts on this tumultuous time in our history . Look for more stories about the ‘ 60s in future issues of The Beacon .

Old Friends Luncheon

a regular at Renfro Valley . Should be quite stimulating . Then , of course , a delicious lunch will be offered of BBQ pork , green beans , mac and cheese , coleslaw and best of all- strawberry-rhubarb pie ... luv pie !
As is our custom , you may reserve your place thru the Church Office at 812-637- 3993 or pay at the door . We appreciate your donation of $ 10.00 for great food and good company . See ya there , Carol

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