• Wed. Jun 23rd, 2021

Ashland Speaks: Remembering Decoration Day | Columnists

Okay, the weatherman said it was going to rain on Sunday afternoon. The morning felt like it was going to rain any minute now, and it was a very heavy day, but except for a few sprinkles, we got nothing. It’s time to plant our gardens, since next Monday is Memorial Day, but we need rain to germinate the seeds. Why is it always too much or too little? Never just right. Speaking of gardening, has everyone gotten their plants yet? We stopped off at Hewlett’s last Saturday, but they didn’t have everything we needed, so Tuesday we go out again. Can’t wait for the big harvest!

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Last Sunday, Tom (Sparky) Bristol and his harem had brunch at Nana Gail’s. Also joining in were Ken Smith and Eric. It was a nice get together.

Heard from Annie J. that plans are coming together for a Youth Center in Windham. It is going to be a great, safe place for our youth to hang out. Hopefully, there will be enough staff to make sure things run smoothly. The idea is to provide homework help, yet let the kids just have some fun — Drug Free.

Sunday we placed flowers and flags at the Alle gravesites in South Jewett, Windham and Ashland. It is always so interesting to read the inscriptions on the headstones.

Memorial Day in Prattsville, under the auspices of the American Legion Virgil E. Deyo Post 1327, will be recognized with the traditional ceremony on the Prattsville Town Green at 11 a.m. a.m. May 31. The parade has been put on hold until next year. The public is invited to attend to pay homage to our fallen heroes. Please follow current health guidelines.

A Memorial Day service will be held at the Community Hall in West Kill at 9 a.m. May 31 after which participants will march to the cemetery between the Baptist and Methodist churches in West Kill, then to the memorial monument/flagpole by Route 42 and Spruceton Road, returning to the West Kill Fire Station for ice cream.

Prayer group will meet at 5 on Sundays at the Windham ME Church. All are invited.

A chicken barbecue will be held at the West Kill-Lexington Community Hall, 141 Spruceton Road in West Kill 5-7 p.m. June 5. Take-out only. Chicken dinners are $13, chicken halves $8. All proceeds benefit the West Kill-Lexington Community Improvement Association. Pre-orders must be received by May 31. Send checks to WKLCIA, PO Box 113, West Kill, NY 12492.

Benefit for Kevin Chase at Vesuvio Restaurant.

Ashland Church Chicken Barbecue June 24.

Jewett Fire Department Annual Brooks Chicken Barbecue Aug. 7.

Last week, The Meadows in Catskill had bands playing music for the residents. Then someone tested positive for COVID so all are, again, in quarantine.

Many have had falls lately. Janet and Ed Armstrong had a bad couple of days, ending with Janet falling and breaking her wrist. Louise Mac is getting better every day. Josephine Tompkins took a header and is bruised. Marie Smith got into a fight with a Shad Fly and got the worst of it.

Sympathy to the family of June Nichols who passed this week and to the Holdridge family for Charles, brother of Ann Warner, Jean Darling and Richard Holdridge, cousin to Lula. Prayers for Kevin Chase.

When Wally T. was 5 years old, he remembers that on Decoration Day, the families would all gather at the local cemetery to decorate the graves of family and departed service members. The morning was spent cleaning the dirt off of the headstones, trimming the grass around them and just general upkeep of the loved ones’ final resting spot. When all of the work was done, the families would gather at the Band Stand (Gazebo) in the Town of Altamont, where the band would be playing Patriotic Songs. Then everyone would gather for a picnic. Each family would spread a blanket on the ground, mom would unpack the picnic basket and everyone socialized while eating. The kids would all play together, Do you know that Hide and Seek is really fun to play when you have all of those gravestones to hide behind.

In 1968, The Federal Government changed many of our Federal Holidays to Mondays to give Federal Employees a 3 day weekend. Although it was still called Decoration Day, most grew up calling it Memorial Day in memory of the dead, In 1971, the Holiday officially became Memorial Day.

On Saturday we went through Greenville, and the school is all decked out with flags. What a sight to see!

Many local cemeteries have small flags on the graves of those who served. Some are forgotten. There is no “Thanks for your service.” Do you remember your departed? How will you celebrate?

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