AMERICAN LEGION Post 1392

Indian Lake NY Post 1392

Congratulations Ben Hutchins!

Benjamin Hutchins is the son of the President of the Post 1392 Auxiliary - Katie Hutchins and father Paul Hutchins! Ben was honored this past weekend the Silver Star. "Former airman to receive Silver Star during ceremony at Fort Bragg" SOURCE: Fayetteville Observer|September 28th, 2016 Airman 1st Class Benjamin Hutchins risked his life in an attempt to save two Fort Bragg paratroopers. For those heroics, and actions in a firefight days after the 2009 rescue attempt, Hutchins will receive the Silver Star in a ceremony on Fort Bragg in November. The medal is the U.S. militaryís third-highest decoration for valor, awarded for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States. Hutchins, who was originally nominated for a lower award, learned he would be receiving the honor in July, according to officials with Air Combat Command. The award was publicly announced last week by Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command. Speaking during the Air Force Associationís Air, Space and Cyber Command Conference, Carlisle singled out Hutchins, a tactical air control party member, as one of the airmen who helped make the Air Force great. He told the tale of HutchinsĎ heroics on the event stage, explaining how the airman ó deployed to Afghanistan with soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division ó was part of a group sent to retrieve an aerial resupply. That supply came in the early hours of a cold November morning, and it caught the attention of more than just friendly forces. As enemy fighters moved in on their positions, one of the bundles landed in the Bala Murghab River, Carlisle said. And the two soldiers who originally went to retrieve it were unprepared for the might of the river. ďThey donít anticipate the swiftness of the current in the river and they are swept away,Ē he said. According to an award citation, Hutchins dropped his personal protective gear, or ďbattle rattle,Ē and dove into the frigid water to try and save the soldiers, Sgt. Brandon Islip and Spc. Benjamin Sherman. At the same time, enemy forces that were attracted by the falling supplies arrived on the opposite bank of the river and opened fire. SOURCE: http://popularmilitary.com/former-airman-receive-silver-star-ceremony-fort-bragg/

Photos

On August 24, 2016 a dinner was hosted for wounded vets who receive their rehabilitation treatment from the NorthPort Long Island VA. You can view the services of this rehab center at the following link: http://www.northport.va.gov/index.asp Thanks to Locke Harbor on Abanakee Lake, these vets were able to enjoy Indian Lake Ė follow the link to http://lockeharbor.com/ Post 1392 Veterans hosted a dinner at the Post Hall followed by a band concert presented by the 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum, NY at Byron Park, Indian Lake, NY. The attached photographs taken by our good friend Larry Foy are as follows:

                                            Index of featured members    

 

13. Ed Gagg

12.  Ken Locke  11.  Ken Cannan  10. Ralph G. Erickson   9. William J. Stewart 

8. Bob Harris 7. Walter Smorgans  6. Frank J. Casazza  5. Tom LaVergne 

4.Bud Mahoney  3. Robert Fisher  2. George (coach) Burgess  1. Leroy Spring 

                                                                                                     

Ed Gagg

                                 Ed Gagg

   Ed was born on Sept. 29,1930, in Midland Park, N.J. Later his parents moved to Ridgewood, New Jersey. He attended grammar school in Ridgewood, N.J. From there he went to Paterson Technical and Vocational High School. He was studying to be a machinist. He has a sister who lives with her husband in Queensbury, New York.

   In 1947 at the age of 17, he enlisted in the Navy and had his boot training at Great Lakes. After boot training, he went to machinist mate school also in Great Lakes. After graduation he was assigned to the USS Springfield, a light cruiser, and his duties where in the engine room. His ship sailed from California and was assigned to the Japanese occupation forces, which operated between Japan and China.

   In 1949, His ship was sent to Shanghai, China to evacuate American citizens because of the eminent threat of attack by the communists. The cruiser he was on, was decommissioned. The crew was sent to different stations and ships throughout the world and he was sent to Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific. He was there for 10 months. He was then called back to the states to recommission a WWII destroyer, USS Porterfield. they were deployed to Korea in the fall of 1951 and spent close to a year in the Korean conflict. In September of 1952, he was discharged with the rank of Machinist mate 2nd class.
   In 1953, he went to work as a letter carrier in the Ridgewood, N.J.  Post Office. In 1963 he met Ida who worked as a postal clerk in the same post office. In 1970, Jan. 24th, they got married. They both retired from the postal service in 1985. After visiting Ed's sister and brother-in-law in Indian Lake, they fell in love with the area.

   In 1979, they bought 3 acres on Lake Abanakee, on the end of LaVergne Road. The two of them built a one room log cabin, for their vacations until they retired and had a log home built in 1985. They have a son who lives in Piermont, N. Y. and a daughter in Ellicott City, Maryland.

   The taxes got too much for them and they moved to Pennsylvania. But their hearts were still in Indian Lake, so they moved back in May, 2011. and now they live on Big Brook Road.

   Ed loves the outdoors, hunting and fishing and he drove for Indian Lake School bus. for 15 years. He is a member of the Indian Lake First Baptist Church. He became a member of the American Legion in 2011 and helps with the bottles and can brigade every Mon. and Fri. morning.

 

 

                       Ed 1947                                 Ed & Ida Gagg 1970 Ridgewood, NJ 

                                                                                                                                              

                                      Ken Lee Locke

 

        Ken was born in Glens Falls hospital on September 13, 1950. He is one of three sons born to Cora and Francis Locke. One brother lives in Indian Lake while

the other lives in Keene.

        He went to Indian Lake Central school up through the 11 grade and quit to go to work, however, while in the service he worked and got his GED

(General Education Degree). He immediately got a job at the saw mill on Cedar River Road where he worked until he was drafted into the Army on 3 November, 1969,

he was 19 yrs. old.

        His basic training was at Fort Dix, in New Jersey, after which he went to Advanced Infantry Basic at Ft. Lewis in Washington state. He was then shipped to

Panama where he often had guard duty, as well as being trained in Advance Jungle warfare. He got fed up with all the state side duty and requested to be transferred into a combat unit.

        His request was granted and he went into the 25th. Infantry Recon Unit and sent to Vietnam, where during the next eleven months he went on many

reconnaissance missions. He did not want to elaborate any further on his experiences during this time.

        Later he was transferred to the 39th Base Post Office and after three weeks he came down with severe Malaria. He was told his fever at one time was as high

as 107 deg. After his convalescence he was sent back to the States and was on the plane returning home on his 21st. birthday, 13 September, 1971. On

29 September, 1971 he was discharged from active duty with the rank of SP4 (corporal) and served in reserve until 2 November, 1975 when he was retired.

        When he came home, after a couple of months to gather himself, he found out that the County needed people and of course veterans had priority, so he

applied. In December, 1971 he started as a laborer with Hamilton County and retired 13 September, 2005 reaching the highest salary level as a heavy

equipment operator.

        Soon after leaving the Army he met Ellen through playing golf with Fred Turner, who was her stepfather, her mother is Jean Turner. They had two children,

Laura and Sarah who both live in Indian Lake. However, after five years Ken and Ellen both agreed to separate and eventually got an annulment.

        Later he met Jane Mahoney at a trailer court where his mother and father lived. They were married on 17 March, 1978, are still together living on Main Street

 in Indian Lake. They have a daughter Mandy. Jane, is co-owner of Cathy & Janeís Restaurant a popular gathering place for the local people in town.

        Ken joined the Legion soon after he was discharged and is a past commander. He likes to play golf and plays in a league. Of course, he likes hunting and fishing

as well. He is a member of the Legionís Cans and Bottles Brigade and hardly ever misses a day helping with collecting and sorting. He can always be counted on for

parades, and other ceremonies when the Legion needs him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

               

                                                                                                                  

         

 

 

                                                            Ken Cannan

 

          Ken was born Maurice K. Cannan, a relatively local boy, on December 23, 1942. He came into this world in Lowville, which is almost directly west of Indian Lake by about 100 miles. 

          He went to school there through all 12 grades and graduated high school at the age of 17. He grew up there with three brothers and three sisters and did farm chores during his school years. While on vacation in the summer months he worked on a dairy farm which was close to where Beverly Stanton lived, yet he never noticed or acknowledged her.

          In his senior year in high school when it came time for his prom, not having been dating anyone, he needed to find someone he could take. He always liked to ice skate, so one day, while skating at the local skating pond he was talking to a friend about it and his friend said why donít you ask her, pointing to Beverly who was skating by. He did and with that after the prom they started dating regularly. Fate works in strange ways.

          He graduated in June and in October of that same year he was hired by the Upstate Phone Company as a ground man. Eventually wound up a lineman, then progressed to installations and repair, and finally became a cable splicer. It is interesting to note that a splice detecting device he used was an instrument very much like a sophisticated Ohmmeter. By reading the resistance of a line and checking with itís existing recorded resistance data he could usually locate the breach easily.

          In 1964 he entered the Army in the signal corps and had his basic training at Ft. Dix, NJ and then went on to advanced training in radio signal transmission at Ft. Gordon, Ga.

          Ken came home on leave in 1965 and had a mind to get engaged. He had previously asked both his parents and Beverlyís if it was OK with them, in other words for their permission and Iím sure their blessing. He was brought up the old fashion way to respect his parents and all his elders for that matter.

          While on leave he visited the local jewelry store and picked out a ring but did not know Bevís ring size. He managed to get her to the store with him and casually got her to check her ring size for the future should they become engaged. Later, he returned to the store and ordered the ring figuring it was going to be done before he left at the end of his leave. That didnít happen, so he arranged to have his father pick up the ring when it was done and as his proxy give it to Bev. which he did. His father took a beautiful picture of the ring on Beverlyís hand and sent it to Ken with a letter explaining how things went.

          Ken was stationed for a while outside Stuttgart, Germany and Ken being the way he is didnít particularly like the regimentation at his station and fell in disfavor with his sergeant. As a result his sergeant had him transferred to a remote relay station on top of a mountain near Stuttgart manned by only three men living in primitive conditions. The sergeant thought he was sticking it to Ken, but the reverse was true, Ken loved it. He was now away from routine ways of an army base, he was relatively free to do what, when he pleased as long as their duties at the relay radio station were fulfilled.

          When he got to his new station the two men there were living like homeless people with meager bedding, crude cots, no sheets, and few comforts. Ken, in time, managed to get descent beds, warm blankets, clean sheets and they started to make regular runs down the mountain to the hospital where they picked up good food, gasoline, did their laundry, took showers and got other supplies they needed for better living, no more K rations.

          The German Forest Master came often to visit (check)  them and they became friends. He would bring them wine and they would give him gas for his motor scooter. In fact, he invited them into town during the beer festival.

          On one of his trips to town they had a whole load of round watermelons and Ken asked the sergeant for a couple to take back but he was refused. Ken kept trying to convince him to give him two melons and finally figuring heíll discourage Ken he said that he had to take two dozen if he wanted them. Ken took the two dozen melons and put them in the truck. In town he went to a nearby grammar school where the children were playing in the yard and offered them watermelons. The children were very cautious and hesitant so Ken broke one open and started to eat it, then the children flocked around and took them, all but the two Ken wanted originally.

          Ken was discharged on September 19, 1966 and married Bev in Lowville, but they decided to rent an apartment in N. Creek.

                                              

They lived there about a year which gave them time to buy a little manufactured home on Rt.28 in N. River. While there they started a family which grew to be a family of three boys, Kenny, Steve and Jeff. It was crowded with five people in that little trailer home so in 1971 they bought the house in which they presently live in Indian Lake at the end of State Street. Kenís work was between Chestertown and Long Lake and he always liked this area so for those reasons the move was made to Indian Lake.

          They now have three grand children, two girls and one boy, Kylie, Kaitlyn, and Logan. They also have a camp on Brantingham Lake near Lowville and with Beverlyís mom there and some of Kenís sisters and in laws there as well they make visits rather often.

          Ken was a part time school bus driver form 1996 until  2001 he became full time from 2001 to 2005 and back to part time in 2005 to the present time. He has been a member of the American Legion for the past 37 years and was Post Commander in 1976 for a year and again became Post Commander for the past five years and still is at this time.

          He was a member of the IL Ambulance Corps for 12 years and when he lived in N. River he was in the Volunteer Fire Dept.

          He loves to hunt, to go snowmobiling and going to his camp as a get away with his sons at time or even alone for the solitude. He also loves to go to the hunting camp with the guys from the hunting club to which he belongs.

          He does a great job as commander of Post 1392 and Iím sure he loves to do that as well. Weíre all fortunate to have a good functioning post because of his efforts.

              

                                                                                        

               

                

         

           

 

 

 

                           Ralph G. Erickson

 

          Ralph was born on July 21, 1933 in Nyack, NY hospital which was the nearest hospital to his native town of Pearl River, a little town just over the northern border of New Jersey.

          He went to grammar school and high school in Pearl River and spent much of his life there. He married his high school sweetheart, Janet who he met in 1949 during his sophomore year. Their meeting was quite unusual, for that time period, she asked him to go on a hay ride and theyíve been a couple ever since.

          In 1953 Ralph volunteered for the Army, since he was going to be drafted anyway, and soon after married Janet. He was stationed state side at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and he and Janet lived off base in nearby Tennessee.

          Fort Campbell is on the Kentucky/ Tennessee border and is the home of the famous 101st. Airborne Division which was written about in Steven Ambroseís book Band of Brothers. Easy company featured in the book was part of the 101st and was one of the first lines in the battle of the bulge during WWII.

           It was part of Ralphís job working in the Petroleum and oil depot to keep the airplanes and other vehicles fueled and maintained. After two years he was discharged as a Pfc in 1955. It seems that promotions were more prevalent among the airborne but not so among the support groups.

          Before entering the service he was working as a printer and after he came back he went into the printing trade again. Janet and he had four children three girls and one boy, all born while they lived in Pearl River. All their children presently live in the Troy area within a few miles of each other. Ralph had moved his family to Troy in 1968 and that is where they all grew up.

          He got into real estate sales, became a broker and had his own business for a while and then in 1980 he decided to take a job as an appraiser for industrial properties with the state of New York. After 15 years he retired in 1995.

          During this time he and his wife bought a home in Florida. Janetís father owned a house on Bennett Road, on Adirondack Lake and Ralph with his family used to vacation there during summers. Eventually he bought the place from his father in law and when he retired in 1995 they started to spend the summers in Indian Lake and their winters in Florida.

          With his children and their families living so close in Troy, many times particularly on the holidays, the Erickson household is packed with family members. There have been as many as thirty of them here at one time and they all pitch in cooking and etc. This year at the Memorial Day parade some Legion members were riding in golf carts and when Ralph went by this one area it sounded like the whole town was cheering, here it was Ralphís family.

          He joined the American Legion in 1995 but does not belong to any other organizations as of now. However, when he was in Pearl River he was a member of the volunteer fire department, 23 yrs and a member of the Elks.

          He likes to do wood working and also likes to watch sports. He is also a member of the Legion cans and bottles brigade and comes regularly to help. A good man to have with us.

 

              

                   

 

 

 

 

                                                             

                                                     Leroy Spring

 

   Leroy is our oldest member, not only in years of age but in longevity with the Legion. His name is on the original Legion charter as James L. Spring, his formal name. He was born in Indian Lake on July 15, 1915. and is one of five children, three boys and two girls.

   His oldest brother and one sister were born in Minerva, while he and a younger brother were born in Indian Lake, yet they all were born in the same house! Originally their house was within the Minerva town line, however, later the town lines were rearranged and that area became part of Indian Lake. His other sister was born in Canada. He went to grammar school at the district school up near Parkerville Road and then on to high school at what is now the Indian Lake Central School.

   In May 1941, before Pearl Harbor was attacked, Leroy volunteered and went into the army. His duties were varied through his military career, for a while he was with the coastal artillery and anti-aircraft. He also served in Alaska and worked with the quartemaster. He worked his way to the rank of Tsgt. before he was discharged on January 1, 1946

   When he came home he went to work for Wilson Electric. Charles Wilson bought a military surplus generator and started a company supplying electricity to Indian Lake, before Niagara Mohawk came on the scene. He worked there a couple of years until the opportunity came along to work for Mr. Joseph Sisti as a caretaker of the Sisti home just outside Indian Lake, which lasted only a mere 37 years. Having obtained his official Adirondack Guide license during his younger years, Leroy, in addition, to being caretaker was also the hunting and fishing guide Mr. Sisti and his guests when they came up from New York city.

   Being an ambitious man, he started a gas station on Rt. 28 bordering Lake Abenakee, while he was holding down the caretaker/guide job. The location was where the Leroy's Cottage is on Rt. 28 opposite the entrance to Chain Lakes Road going to the landfill. He rented boats,sold bait, as well as gas, all the while doing what was necessary at Sisti's place. His father, Clyde, along with Dick Spring and Mickey Merwin, then a boy, ran things at the station when Leroy was away at his other jobs.

   He has been on the IL town board, he is a charter member of the IL Ambulance Corps, a member of the IL VFD, a charter member of American Legion Post 1392, post commander in IL as well as Hamilton County commander, and Sgt. at Arms for the NY State American Legion. Through the years he was involved with many other groups, charities, and functions which are too numerous to include here.

   In 1981 he officially retired and lives independently in his own home in Indian Lake. For a man soon to be 95 yrs young he's in darn good shape. His appetite can put a man half his age to shame and he sure has a sweet tooth. Leroy never got married, I guess, he was always too busy!

   On March 17, 2005 he was given an award by the American Legion, for "60 years of outstanding and dedicated service". The most important thing is that he is presently healthy and still active in the Legion attending meetings and helping to collect cans and bottles with the brigade.

God bless you James L. Spring.

     

Cmdr. Ken Cannan presenting award to Leroy                                   Leroy with 60 year service award

 

 

   

                                       George (coach) Burgess  

   Most people in town call him "coach" because he was their coach through their school years. He is 89 years young with his 90th. birthday coming this June 26, 2010.  He is 100% an Adirondaker, born on Rt.30 in Sabael in 1920. He was one of five children, and was the only boy. Being surrounded by girls that way no wonder he was such a good athelete.

   Each school day he walked to a small schoolhouse in Sabael on Rt.30 where he attended through the fifth grade. Afterwards, he went to the Indian Lake School Township#1 which was located on the same site where the Indian Lake Central School is now. At that time it was not the building you see today. The present main building was erected , as the new school, in 1929 due to the efforts of a committee headed by Dr. Carroll, the local town physician. In those days there were no school buses and for the children from the Sabael area that was about a 4 mile trek to school. Lee Fish made a make shift bus out of a used truck body and this was their mode of transportation to their upper grades school.   

   In school coach played all sports, at first under the coaching of Milton Pope, who was also the principle. Later Charles Andrews became the full time coach, and under Mr Andrews George developed into a good athelete and his love of sports blossomed. After he graduated George was accepted by Ithica College into their Physical Education Program with the help of Mr. Andrews. He almost finished his fourth year when he was drafted into the Army during WWII. It was 1942 and the war was well under way when he went in. A short time before he was drafted George applied for the Navy V-12 program, which was offered to college students, at that time. If a student took all the tests and was accepted he would be allowed to graduate before entering his training to become a Naval Officer. The Draft Board got to George before all the paper work was proccessed so he was inducted into the Army missing this opportunity.

   He was assigned to the Military Police, trained and was shipped to Africa, and then went on to Italy with the invasion. He was discharged in December, 1945 with the rank of corporal, came home and was married on December 31 to Sylvia Kolar. Sylvia was from NJ and came to Sabael during the summer  to work as a governess for the Kiggins family, who owned what is know as the Chief Sabael Cottages. They also owned The Bull Steamship Lines, which shipped supplies to the armed forces during the war. Sylvia loved to play tennis and so did George, with tennis courts being so convnient, and George being a close neighbor they played a lot of tennis. In fact, they went together for about eight years before their marriage. They had two children, both of them girls and both are living on the opposite end of the country, one in California and the other in Washington.

   It was back to college for George, this time with a wife, so they found a small apartment in which to live while he attended and got his Bachelor's degree three months later. He had been corresponding with Mr. Pope all during the war so after he finished college he was offered a teaching position in the IL school working for him. While teaching he worked for hos Master's Degree, which took him four summers to achieve.   

   He coached all sports and started some innovative programs such as, trampoline, and indoor roller skating in the Gym with the use of skates with special rollers not to dammage the floor. Having a good rapport with both the students and the faculty he became Director of Athletics with a total of 415 students in his charge. He became Assistant Principal in 1968 and was still in charge of all the athletic programs. After 33 years of coaching and teaching he retired in 1976, but stayed on as a substitute teacher for another three years.

   George joined the Legion not too long after it's initial charter, has served as Finance Officer and is currently our Post Chaplain. Originally he got involved in his Chaplain duties when the legion recieved a request from Ethel O' Brien to have funeral service for her husband Bernard O'Brien. Ethel and her husband owned Wakely's lodge back then but it was not yet a golf course, it was a lodge mostly for hunters and fishermen. When the O'Brien's house, which was farther down Cedar River road, caught fire, the family got out unharmed, but Bernard went bach into the house to get something, and never came out. Having been a veteran Ethel wanted the Legion to conduct a service, which George did by taking charge of all the proceedings. He must have done a good job because he is still doing it, not only for the Legion but for Mike Miller at the funneral home with their services. 

   George (coach) Burgess has help so many people in many different ways that I could not mention them all in this article. As a result of his dedicated help he was voted Citizen of the Year, he was also voted Senior Citizen of the Year, given an award for "service to the community' at least twice and these are only some of his accolades. Up until recently he was an active driver taking those who could not drive or had no means of transportation to the doctor, shopping, to the pharmacy or to the hospital. 

   As I mentioned before he is the Chaplain for our Post and is still a very active member. He regularly attends the meetings, is there at just about every occassion and you can rest assured at every funeral or memorial dedication. He is always there helping  to collect cans and bottles with the Legion. 

                                                                                                                               

                                                              Three cheers for George (coach) Burgess

                      

                           

 

                                                                              

   

 

 

 

                                                                  Robert Fisher       

   Bob Fisher was born on Decenber 8, 1934 in the Inwood Hills section of upper Manhattan, NY.  He was one of seven boys, and went to a catholic school which went only to the sixth grade. During his early grade school years he contracted Spinal Meningitis and was absent from school often. His absence became so frequent that his mother started to home teach him, but this was not enough. His grades were such that failure to get through the sixth grade was imminent. He was transferred to PS 152 and  eventually graduated in 1949.

   He enrolled in Samuel Gompers Trade School in courses for auto mechanic and refrigeration. the country was in the middle of the Korean War so Bob decided to join the Army and enlisted in January, 1952. 

   He was sent to Schofield Barracks in Hawaii for his basic training, then he went to Giessen, Germany into a heavy mortar outfit. Then it was back to California to a port of debarkation and on to Korea. He was a radio operator and forward observer in the fiels artillery there.

   UN forces were also in this field of operation and the Turkish soldiers were experts at covert forays. There were no lines of battle, the enemy could be anywhere, so the Turks went out in the night searching for them, like snipers, except they sneaked up and used knives. While everyone slept in their bunkers or out in the open the Turks in the dark would identify an enemy by feeling the way he laced his boots. This is where the expertise was used, to do this undetected and kill the enemy. 

   Bob was discharged in 1955 and stayed in the active reserve with the MPs. He married his first wife in 1956 and  they had two sons. He was called back to active duty in 1961, as an MP, and got out a year later. 

   In 1966, after enduring for 10 years he divorced his wife, who was an alchoholic, and drug abuser. His divorce lawyer later convinced him to go on a blind date with a lady he knew and he arranged a meeting for Bob. Reluctantly he agreed and went to find and meet a red head in a green coat in Alexander's Dept. Store on Long Island. When he got to the location there were three ladies with green coats, two were red heads and one was not. The first one he approached was mary Ann and the datemust have gone well because on May 27, 1967 they married and are still together. 

   For awhile Bob worked in a plastics manufacturing plant until he got hired as a laborer by the city of Babylon, Long Island. He enrolled in night school and took courses which eventually lead to his becoming a Senior Engineering Aid for Babylon. He was there for 30 years and retired in 1990 immediately coming to live in Indian Lake. He and Mary Ann were able to come to live here so soon because they had their log house built two years before retiring and it was ready when the time came. They were attracted to Indian Lake from camping on Lewey Lake through the years.

   Through much of his working years Bob had to pay child support for his two sons. Therefore, he had to supplement his income by working as a security guard as well. Along with Mary Ann's income as a beautician they were able to sustain their lifestyle. 

   Bob was always active, in Babylon he was president of the Civil Service Employee's Association, he belonged to the VFW and the National Rifle Association. When he came to IL he joined the Legion after meeting Larry Van Bumble, who was commander at that time. He immediately saw that the ten 1903 Springfield rifles, used for parades and such,  were in bad  condition so he arranged to have the Army replace them with the M-1s we have today. At that time, Legionaires paid for their own uniforms so many had nothing but a hat. Bob worked to have the Legion pay for shirts, ties and jackets so now a much better presentation is made at all our functions. 

   He is a past commander and currently holds several positions in the Legion, Judge Advocate, Historian, Sgt.@ Arms, and Home Land security. Bob has had open heart surgery so he can not do the actual collecting of cans and bottles with the brigade, but he does his part by making up cartons and counting Coor cans which are done separately from the others. He does this at his leisure when he has the time or if he feels up to it. He attends monthly meetings regularly partaking in most functions and is a definite asset to the Legion.  Carry on Bob.

       

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

                                                   Bernard F. Mahoney

   Bud was born on September 2, 1919 in Chestertown, NY. His mother and father had a road stand in Friend's lake which was like a "One Stop" selling necessary items as well as gasoline. He recalls that gas back then sold for 5 gallons /$1.00.

   His father worked as a caretaker for the Murphys who owned the Friends Lake Inn at that time. Bud's father was ill with tuberculosis (TB) which was a prevolent and deadly desease in those days. Bud was 12 yrs old when his father succumbed to it leaving his mother with seven children to care for, three girls and four boys. His mom ran the stand and Bud got a job working at the Friends Lake Inn taking care of the boats.

   He went to grade school in a little one room school house which went only to the sixth grade, then he went to Chestertown Central School. After two years of high school he  had enough and decided he wanted to get a full time job. The family moved to Glens Falls and Bud got a job with a road construction company making roadways by hand. There was no heavy working equipment, all the gravel, sand, and stone had to be shoveled and spread by hand. Then Tarmac, a liquid tar, was spread over the surface as a binder holding everything down, it was not a hard surface like Macadam of today. When he was eighteen he and his brother, Tom, moved to Indian Lake and went to work for Bill Ward Lumber as helpers on the logging trucks.

   WWII had started and was going on in Europe, but the U.S. was not yet involed, however, in preparation the selective service draft was started. In June of 1941 Bud was drafted and went into the army on 26 June, 1941, five months before Pear Harbor when we entered the war.

   He was in Ordinance but soon got involved with the motor pool working in vehicle maintenance and got rated. Bud was not what you would say an ideal military man, it seems he was too independent for that way of life. During his service he was "busted" five or six times for various reasons. At one time he got to the rank of staff sergeant yet when he was discharged his papers show his rank as pfc. He was caught sleeping on guard duty one time which resulted in a demotion.  Another incident was when he left his post thinking nothing was happening so he could leave and be back before being missed. Unfortunately, there was a surprise attack and that's when it was discovered his post was unmanned. Good thing the attack was a training excersise here in the states. If it had been in real combat many men in his oufit might have died and Bud would have been court marshaled, dishonorably discharged and probably sent to Leavenworth for a long time. Yet another time, he was on guard duty when a general tried to get by his post without the proper code and he refused to let him by. The general tried to pull rank and intimidate Bud, but knowing he was following his orders he stood his ground and brought the general, in custody, to the provost marshal's office. He was totally supported for what he did despite the fact that the general was making all kinds of threats.

   On 25 September, 1944 he was shipped to the South Pacific in a casual company which did various jobs, and being sent out on patrol was one. He was in New Guinea for a while and on to Luzon as well. One day they were approaching a hut and realized that a Jap was hiding inside, rather than storming the hut Bud crawled under it, their huts were built off the ground on stilts. He could see the impressions of the Jap moving around inside on the underside of the flimsy floor. Aiming his carbine and timing it with the movement he shot and made the kill. He recalls that the Japs many times would launch their suicide attacks at noon trying to catch the troops off guard while they were eating at mess.

   He was discharged on 27 November, 1945 came back to Glens Falls, and got a job with the water department. He was there for 4 1/2 years when he decided to go back to Indian Lake after buying a truck to start hauling logs, this didn't last long and Bud had to fold. He then went to work for International Paper and eventually became a crane operator.

   He met his wife, Betty Eldgidge, who was a waitress at Marty's owned by Marty Harr Sr. and she was also their baby sitter. They got married in 1953, had eight children together, four boys and four girls. All are still alive, three of which we all know as Jane, Cathy and Patty of Jane and Cathy's Restaurant.

   For a while Bud owned a gas station in Lake Pleasant, but problems with the in ground tanks developed and operating on a shoe string he could no longer keep it. After that he went to work for the County highway department doing various types of work and retired in 1973.

   Along the way he and Betty built up a sizable Amway business with a pyramid of many agents under them. For a while he was in the real estate business too. His wife Betty passed away after 40 years of marriage and he is living in their home on Main Street in IL. 

   Bud has been a member of the American Legion for 30 years and has served as Post Commander as well as County Commander, which he was four times. He was also County President of the Hamilton County Council of Senior Citizens. He is a life member of the ILVFD, and a life member of the Fish and Game Club, and a 4th degree Knight of Columbus in St. Mary's church.

   Before his last set back you could always see Bud walking in town no matter what time of day and no matter what the weather. He could no longer drive but he sure could walk. Maybe a little slower or with a walker as he got older but he did it. Bud is a tough old bird and as soon as he can he will be back walking all over town again. We hope to see that soon. 

      

                        Then                                                           Now

 

                                                           Tom LaVergne

 

          Tom was born on Rt. 28 in Indian Lake right by what is now Lake Abenakee. Of course, back then it was not a lake it was the Indian River and when the dam was built Lake Abenakee was formed.

           His older brother went to the little school house near Parkerville Road which only went to the sixth grade and then to IL Central school. When it came time for Tom to start school the new Central school had been built so he went to IL Central School from Kindergarten through high school. He graduated in 1948 and went to work in a grist mill as a general helper.

          He was such a good conscientious worker that the owner noticed and was impressed offering him the job as miller. This was unheard of because it usually took years to attain that position. When he took the offer many of his coworkers were not too friendly toward him, in fact, they resented him.

          Some time later the manager found the workers on coffee break while the mill was running. Apparently he was not aware that this was customary so he directed them all back to work and announced that there would be no more coffee breaks. The men along with Tom were furious so Tom went over to the main power switch and pulled the handle shutting down the entire mill. The manager got the owner and wanted Tom fired immediately, but when Tom told the owner why he shut things down the owner sympathized with him and reinstated the coffee break almost firing the manager. From then on Tom was forgiven and the men all pitched in to get the mill up and running again.

          During the Korean War Tom was drafted and entered the army on Dec. 12, 1950 into the amphibious trucks and vehicles. He trained operating Ducks ( an amphibious six wheel truck made by GM ) transporting patients to shore from hospital ships. Later he was shipped to Thule, Greenland and hauled cargo from supply ships to shore where a new USAF Base was being built from a small air strip. In 1951 he came back to the states to Fort Story in Virginia where he was training new recruits.

          In 1952 he was discharged as a corporal on Dec, 12 exactly two years to the day from the date he entered the service.    

          When he got home he went to work for Joe White hauling logs on long distant runs. He had a good driving record and had been driving a while but when he asked for a raise he was refused and was told truck drivers were a dime a dozen so he quit on the spot. Years later he found out that Joe Whiteís trucks had over turned six times since Tom had left.

          Tom met Martha in Indian Lake and got married on May 7. 1955. They had a daughter who passed away at birth and later adopted a boy, David, not too long after Martha had another girl who was fine.

          After quitting the trucking job Tom went into the woods working for a while for Niagara Mohawk clearing the woods for their transmission lines right of ways. Later this work was given to a contractor so Tom went to work for him. Tom was always fast with a chain saw and became known for it. He always used a direct drive chain saw while the other lumber jacks used gear driven saws, of course the direct driven saws were much faster.

          He got a job with Barton Mines and became a shovel operator retiring in 1975 after 20 years with them. He was offered an early retirement package which apparently suited him just fine because he started his own saw mill and later went into the chord wood business. One year he cut and split 378 face chords and at that time he did it all by hand, no log splitter.

          He built the house in which he is still living little by little borrowing money and paying it off so after seven years he finished it and had no mortgage to deal with. A far cry from the thinking of todayís home builder.

          Tom has been a member of the American Legion for more than 30 years and still turns out for Memorial Day, Flag Day and burial services.

          He showed me his prized trophy which he has in his living room as big as life. He was checking his traps four years ago when he found a big 42 lb. Bob Cat caught in one. He had only small traps out and the cat got his paw in one of them. What could he do? If he tried to free it he surely would be attacked so the only solution was to shoot it in such a way for an instant kill. He aimed to put a shot between the eyes and as he pulled the trigger the cat turned itís head. It fell dead immediately but he could not find the bullet hole going in or coming out. Later he found that the bullet went in through the opening of the catís ear and being only a 22 short the slug didnít have enough power to penetrate the skull to come out the other side. Amazing shot leaving no outwardly visible damage! He had it mounted and there it stands looking magnificent.   

                                                                                                                            

                                                           TOM'S BOB CAT      

    

                                                  Frank J. Casazza    

 

          I was born on a memorable date April 15th. remember income tax day? Although it is not clear what year the IRS was born, my year of birth is 1925. My father came from Naples, and met my mother here while working for my grandfather. They married and had two children, me and my sister, who is no longer living. 

         Paterson, New Jersey is my place of birth and where I grew up. I went to elementary school and through high school never getting a ride on a school bus. My grade school was about a half mile away and my high school was about 2 Ĺ miles away and in both cases I walked to and from them every school day, rain or shine.

          It was the great depression years and to earn a little money I worked a newspaper route with about 60 customers. On my way home from high school I picked up my papers and carried them in a canvas bag slung over my shoulder. I weaved my way back and forth through the streets where my customers lived and it was uphill all the way. It was hard work but at lease I had a few cents of my own because my parents did not have the means to give me an allowance.

          I met my wife, Fran, in high school, she was a junior and I was a senior. My best friend and I were in front of school on a beautiful fall day in 1942 when Fran with two of her girl friends came by. I didnít know any of them but my friend knew one of the girls from study class so there were introductions all around. I felt a strong attraction for her from the very beginning and it must have been mutual because we hit it off immediately. I was sorry when it was time to go to class, and I will always remember the way she moved as she walked away. I was beguiled by her and I knew then that I had to see her again, which I did every chance I got.  

          As silly as this sounds it was the style for young men to wear bow ties when we were in high school. If a girl and a boy were going together it was the fad for them to wear the same color tie. It soon became known through out the entire school that we were going together since we often wore those ties.

          In 1943, while WWII was raging, the Army Air Corps offered high school seniors an attractive Air Cadet program, in that, if you passed all the tests and was accepted by a review board of several officers you were allowed to graduate before you had to go into cadet training. I was always interested in flying so I took the tests, was accepted and two weeks after I graduated I was on my way to basic training in Miami Beach, Fl. it was June 1943.

          During the next fourteen months we were tested for every imaginable thing, mentally, psychologically, physiologically for fitness, coordination and aptitude. We were going through an accelerated flying program so the training hours were long and very intense. I persevered and on August 21, 1944 I earned my wings as a navigator and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. I was then 19 yrs old.

          I got a short leave after graduation and while at home Fran and I became engaged. I was ordered to Davis-Monthan Field in Tucson, Arizona where I met my crew and we trained together getting ready for combat duty. In December, 1944 we were on orders to go to the European Theater of Operations and In the beginning of January 2, 1945 we sailed from Boston Harbor. We were on the ile deFrance, which was a luxury liner converted to a troop carrier, we were bound for England.

          I was assigned to the 8th Air Force in the 446th Bomb Group of B-24 Heavy Bombers. I flew ten combat missions over Germany including one over Berlin on 26 February 1945. We would have flown more missions, but for some unknown reason after mission #7 our crew was picked to ferry a brand new B-24 from Liverpool England to the 15th Air Force in Bari Italy. Due to complications and circumstances which would take too long to explain at this time we did not get back to England until three weeks later. We flew three more missions and then on 8 May the war in Europe came to an end , it was V-E Day.

          We flew our planes back to the states, taking the North Atlantic route. I was on my way home to get married so I was so pumped up that I navigated all through the night while everyone on board was asleep. The pilot put the plane on automatic pilot and I was able to make any corrections in flight by using the bomb sight without waking him. We landed in Greenland to refuel and spend the night but after talking with my crew it was decided to take off again right after refueling was done. I knew I would not be able to sleep anyway so why not continue.

          Back in the states we got a 30 day leave before we were to go into B-29s and eventually bomb Japan. During that leave Fran and I were married, on July 1, 1945. As my wife she could now come with me to all my assigned bases while I was getting ready to go to Japan. I was on orders to ship out to the Pacific when the A bomb was dropped on Japan and the war ended on V J Day 14 Aug, 1945 United States time.  

          Winding down the war effort and processing military personnel took three months before I was discharged from active duty, so Fran and I actually had a three month honeymoon. All I had to do was call in every day and the rest of the day was free time. We were on a base in San Marcos, Texas which was near San Antonio so we went there often, had picnics in Brackenridge Park, ate ice cold watermelon from the push carts in the park, went to dances at the officerís club, often ate dinner there as well, we swam in the crystal clear waters of the San Marcos river; we were having a ball. However, when it came time for us to go home to our families we were so happy it was now November, 1945.

          After the war I stayed in the reserves, went to College at Newark College of Engineering under the GI bill and our first child, Karen was born on Aug. 30, 1946. I got a job in the research dept. of the Okonite Company, in Passaic NJ which was a wire and cable manufacturing company. With the help of a GI home mortgage we bought a house in N. Haledon NJ a neighboring town of Paterson. This was on an acre of land away from the city up on top of the first foot hills facing Manhattan, which was 12 miles away. We could plainly see the New York sky line in the distance and the towns in between below us. We lived here for 33 years.  

           In 1958 I was offered a job in St. Petersburg Fl. with a new facsimile company owned by Bendix Corp. We moved to Florida from NJ and after a year the new company failed. AT&T had a similar division so being their competition they gave us a hard time when we needed special phone lines to demonstrate and sell our product. Remember back then the phone company was AT&T. By this time Fran was carrying, Michael, our second child.

          Knowing that this was a risky move I had sense enough to rent our home with the condition that the renters would move out within a reasonable time on short notice. We moved back to NJ and within a few weeks we were back in our home. I got a job with Universal Mfgr. Corp. a company which made transformers for fluorescent lighting where I worked for 28 yrs. Soon after on September 1, 1959 Michael was born.

          At Universal I started as a specification and procedure writer. Then went into the Technical Engineering Dept. which handled all the technical problem calls from our customers. I traveled all over the country, as needed, trouble shooting and arranging to correct malfunctioning lighting installations. Later I became manager of the department until I was asked by our VP of Sales if I would like to join his team in Sales, so I took a shot at it. I was always involved with customer relations doing trouble shooting, but I was not a salesman. I became Eastern Regional Manger and later National Sales Manager for all Original Equipment Manufacturer accounts.

          During my working years I was in the AF reserve serving one week end a month and two weeks on active duty every year. This way I was able to earn credits for retirement as well as promotions. I took various courses through the years with the Military College and eventually retired from the reserves on 15 April, 1985 with the rank of Major. I was lucky to have worked for companies that were sympathetic with what I was doing in the reserves. They gave me the two weeks for active duty, with pay, each year without my losing my vacations or any sick days.

          In 1987 I retired from Universal, at 62 years of age and we moved to Indian Lake where we had our summer camp since 1968. We made Indian Lake our permanent home and we traveled to Florida every winter where we bought a double wide mobile home. I built our house while we were here during the warmer months living in the small camp. It took me three seasons to finish the house to the point where we could move in. However, we continued going to Florida every winter until 2009 when we decided we had enough of the snow bird thing, sold the Florida house and stayed put.

          Through my working years my hobby was building furniture and I had done some construction to our house in NJ so when it came time to build in Indian Lake I felt I was ready. With the help of my wife we started to design our IL home 2 yrs before I retired so I knew from the start where every rafter and joist was going. I was the general contractor and gave out the contract for the masonry work and the overhead sheet rock the rest I did myself including all the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms. We love our home and there is very little we would change in itís design. However, it would be nice to be closer to our children, one being in Pleasant Hills, Ca and the other in Boynton Beach, Fl.

          I was a member of the VFW in NJ. and now Iím with the American Legion in Indian Lake. I worked with little league and had a group of youngsters from the YMCA for a while. I belong to the 446th Bomb Group Association and Iíve been a member of the Military Officers Association of America for many years. I was lucky enough to make a hole in one at the Cedar River Golf Course on Aug. 30, 1993 on hole #8, which is registered so Iím a member of the National Hole in One Association. Iím the treasurer of the White Birches Association, which is our home owners group. We enjoyed our fist winter in IL especially Christmas and look forward to many more. The good Lord willing.

                                    

                                                                Me and Fran way back in1944

 

 

                           

 

                                       

         

                                                               

 

 

                                            

 

  

 

                                                        Walter Smorgans

 

        On September 10, 1920 in South River, New Jersey Walter was delivered into this world by a mid wife on the kitchen table. His parents had migrated to the U.S. from Russia and were living in Hazelton, Pa where his father worked in the coal mines.

        He was the youngest preceded by three sisters all of whom are now deceased. One day his father was waiting for a crew to return before his shift rotation, but they never came back. He realized that with a family to look out for the mines was not where he wanted to stay. He moved his family to South River NJ not too far from New York City. It was an industrial area so finding work was no problem.

        Walter went to grade school and then to high school, both of which were in large brick buildings. Brick making was one of the large industries there and the Empire State Building in NYC was built with bricks from South River. In school he had a teacher in Problems of American Democracy who was very current on what was happening in Europe with the Nazis invading countries in Europe. So Walter was very aware of the threat of war in 1939 when he graduated high school.

        He did not want to leave his fate in the hands of the draft board so he signed up for the Army Air Corps Reserve as a candidate for the Air Cadet program. He was told it could take months before he was called so he went to apply for a job at the Hercules Powder Works where they made smokeless gun powder. When he got there about 200 other job seekers were waiting for an interview already. He sat waiting to be called and started to juggle some stones he had picked up. Apparently he was pretty good at it because when the interviewer came out to make a selection he was fascinated and asked Walter to come inside. He was hired along with a high school friend who came along with him and these were the only two hired that day.

        On May 4, 1942 he was called up and was sworn into the service. After basic training he was sent to Maxwell Field for classification for aviation cadets. He was then sent to Albany, Georgia which was a small field with a civilian flying school contracted by the government to teach flying to cadets. His instructor was from Florida and had a very thick southern drawl which Walter had a difficult time understanding. During his flights in an open cockpit plane, with communication through a voice tube he could not clearly understood his instructor. In addition, the instructor was a very heavy drinker which didnít help matters.

        During his check ride, the check pilot found nothing wrong with his flying yet his instructor had turned him in as unsatisfactory. He told the check pilot that he was having trouble understanding his instructor and asked he could change  instructors but was told that it would surely mean the end of his pilot training. So Walt struggled with his flying, hoping for the best, but eventually was washed out of pilot training for slow progress.

        He was then sent to Bombardier school in Childress, Texas. He did well in his simulation bombing flights with a high percentage score for bombs on target and he loved his navigation classes. However, one day he got to the plane early and was looking over the parachutes and noticed the D rings for pulling the rip cord were not there. When the instructor came and asked if he was ready to go Walter point out what was wrong with the chutes . The instructor just ignored his comments but Walt refused to fly without good parachutes on board. This too did not register well on his record. When graduation day was near the cadets were being called up to be fitted for their officer uniforms but Waltís name was not on the list. He then found out he was taken off the cadet rolls and was now a buck private and being sent to a Radar school in Boca Baton, Fl. where he trained for weather reconnaissance. They flew 16 hr. flights all around the coast and out over the Caribean Ocean through all kinds of weather gathering data and recording it. In fact, they looked for bad weather and storms so they could fly into to get information to help us understand how they are formed and what goes on inside a storm. 

        After his training he was shipped to Will Roger Air Field in Oklahoma City where his crew was assigned a specially equipped B-24 with the latest Radar to track and record weather. They  flew their plane to Hawaii and then on to Guam where he was stationed as his home base until the end of WWII. He was discharged in 1945 as a Staff Sgt. although his job was usually done by and officer and most of the time the officer was a rated navuigator.

        When he came home he went back to work for Hercules Powder and they gave him full credit for the years he was away in service. He met his wife Helen while working at Hercules before the war and had been corresponding the entire time; he in the Air Corps and she in the Navy. Helen was a typist monitoring coded messages for the Navy and typing them out.

        Helen and Walt got married in 1948 and after living with the parents for a while in South River they got  an apartment  and  eventually built a home on a piece of property they had purchased earlier. They stayed in South River, NJ and raised two children, a boy and a girl, Barbara and Michael.

        South River is close to the Atlantic Ocean and itís waterways, yet after spending some vacations at Brant Lake and coming to the Adirondacks for skiing they liked what they saw. For some time they scouted for a place to buy as a summer get away until they found a split level on Lake Abenakee which was a little small but priced right so they bought it. The plan was to buy this and eventually move to a larger place in this area. It never happened, instead, as time went by, they built additions to the place and this is where they now live permanently.

        Through the years at Hercules Walter worked at various jobs mostly on the equipment which distilled alcohol used in the process of making gun powder. He started to work in the electrical department at the plant and learned how to wire, eventually getting his license so he could do electrical work on his off hours from Hercules. He developed a nice business wiring many new houses in his area, which was growing rapidly.  Helen became a beautician in earlier years but after the children grew up she decided to go back to work. She got a job with Johnson & Johnson and from entry level she worked her way far up the ladder. Before she retired she was Corporate Fleet Manager and was inducted into the Automotive Fleet Hall of Fame. She was one of 27 candidates for the honor all of which were men with her exception. Below is the article which appeared in the Hamilton County News .

      Helen Smorgans of Lavergne Road in Indian Lake was recently inducted into the Automotive Fleet Hall of Fame in a special ceremony at the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association's (AFLA) annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. Sponsored by AFLA and presented by Automotive Fleet magazine, Hall of Fame members are recognized industry leaders and pioneers who have contributed significantly to the commercial fleet management profession.

      Prior to her retirement in 1984, Mrs. Smorgans was Automotive Fleet Manager for Johnson & Johnson Corporation in New Brunswick, NJ where she managed 1,500 vehicles dispersed throughout the US and Puerto Rico. She managed fleets for J & J Corporate and ten other J & J companies. She was chairperson of the New Jersey National Association of Fleet Administrators Chapter, which she helped to organize, and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association.

     In 1982 Walt retired and in time moved to IL on a permanent basis. He worked with Jack Virgil for a while, joined the American Legion here after being with the VFW for many years in NJ, and Helen joined the IL Volunteer Ambulance Corps. They added several rooms at different times through the years and are living in their comfortable home facing Lake Abenakee.

        Walter will be 90 this September and Helen is quite ill requiring most of Waltís attention so letís remember them in our prayers. 

   

            Walter is on the bottom right corner next to the arrow. 

   

                                            Bob Harris

 

        Bob Harris was born on April 14, 1938 in West Chester, Pa. which is a town west of Philadelphia and almost in itís metropolitan area. He was one of four children. The only boy, his sisters, Beth, and Sandy are still alive however, Bonita is deceased.

        He went to grammar school in Thorndale , Pa. up to the 4th grade when his father, a machinist by trade, got a job in Bridgeton, NJ. There he finished grammar school and graduated from Bridgeton High School in 1956.            

        After High School he went directly into the USAF in July 1956 and after basic training was sent to Air Traffic Control school. From September 1956 to January 1957 he learned the workings and duties of a traffic controller in the school at Biloxi, Mississippi.

        In February 1957 he was shipped over seas and was an Air Traffic Controller in Metz, France which is in the northern part of France near the German border. He traveled to different bases in France and also for a while went to Wiesbaden, Germany as Air Traffic Controller for Emergency Control Procedures. His job was to instruct the Traffic Controllers at these bases on types of emergency procedure for different kinds of emergencies.

       

        He got out of the service in February 1960 and got a job with Owens Glass in which he stayed until February 1962. During the summer of 1960 he met his wife, Kay, in Bridgeton, NJ. and they were married on October 29, of that year. They have three children, two girls, Sharon and Lynn and their son Robert.

       

        Bob was employed by the Federal Aviation Agency for 32 years in different Air Traffic Control functions starting in New York in February 1962. In 1963 his job took him to Great Falls, Montana and then he was moved to Anchorage, Alaska in June of 1964, and back to NY again in 1968. During his stay in Montana he joined the Air National Guard from June 1963 to June 1964. He retired from the Agency in January 1, 1994 after a long career.

       

       Bob loves to hunt and after coming to Indian Lake, as far back as 1969, on some of his hunting trips he decided hereís where they should settle after retirement. He joined the American Legion only a few short years ago and has been a steady and reliable member of the Cans & Bottles Brigade ever since. Heís always there to help when a hand is needed at the Post. He's been a member of the Indian Lake Volunteer Ambulance Corps and just completed his fifteenth year of service.

       

       He is a member of the Methodist Church in Indian Lake and here too he has been a great asset. You can see Bob in the kitchen cooking at the church at any of their chicken and biscuits dinners or their roast beef dinners or what ever else dinner. He is the chef and king pin in these functions. Iím sure theyíre happy to have him. I know, we in the American Legion, are.

 

 

  

           

 

                                 William J. Stewart

 

      Bill was born in Albany Memorial Hospital at 5:37 PM on October 19, 1948. He doesnít remember how he knows the exact time and place but he says he just does.

        He grew up and went to school in Troy, NY. From Sept. 1956 to June of 1963 he attended Troy PS #1. He then went on to Troy High and graduated in June 1967. Bill was always on the go even back then in High school working in the mornings before class as an audio and visual equipment tech installing and repairing this type equipment. Then in the evening he worked as a janitor.

        He met up with a musical group in high school called ď Up With PeopleĒ and was asked to join them as their audio/visual engineer. He was with them through out his school years until he joined the USAF.

        In June, 1967 the day after he graduated he started to work for Montgomery Ward in their parts & equipment mailing section, He also worked for WT Grant in their stock room.

        It was only a matter of time when he would be drafted into the military so he decided to join the AF. His father was a career AF man so it was sort of natural for him to do the same. He claims he has the AF in his blood. When he was at the Albany Airport about to leave for basic training his mother handed him his draft notice so their joke was that the draft board was three hours too late. That same morning his father  left for military duty also, so he was not there to see Bill off.

        Billís parents came from large families with 13 brothers and sisters between the two of them. So he had relatives in all branches of the service and when they had family reunions they had many discussions on military subjects.

        He entered the USAF on 3 May, 1968 and was discharged on 5 Feb. 1972. Basic training was at Lackland AFB, San Antonio TX. and then he went to Chanute AFB to train in aircraft repair and maintenance. His specialty was aircraft Egress repair which means he was responsible to keep the ejection equipment functional.

 

        He was then sent to a Tac Recon squadron in Mountain Home, Idaho whose function was to be on itís way or at their destination to anywhere in the US within 24 hours after being alerted.

        On 20 Dec. 1970 he was shipped to Kunsan AFB in Korea which was also a Tac Recon base that supported South East Asia theater of operations. Bill got to see much of the US and a lot of SEA during his time in service for which he is thankful.

        Before he went over seas he was on leave when he read about an Up With People concert so he went and got himself reacquainted and was asked to attend a rehearsal. When it was over he needed a ride home and was told of a girl there who had a car so he asked her for a lift. On the way home he asked her if she wanted to stop somewhere for a cup of coffee and a snack, that sounds like Bill. He found that she was not going with anyone and so started the courtship of BJ. He dated her every day he was home and when he got back to the base he called or wrote to her every day. He was home again on leave for the holidays and he and BJ were then engaged.

        In Feb of 1972 he was asked to re-enlist and if he had, within several weeks he would have received three promotions taking him to five stripes, the rank of Tech Sgt. He chose not to and got married to Elizabeth J. Macomber, BetteJo, instead on May 19, 1972 in St. Augustineís RC Church. BJ was Catholic at that time, so after they married  they went to Catholic services as well as Billís church which was Methodist. In time BJ decided to convert to a Methodist and went to Wesley Seminary college to become a minister.

        Bill and BJ have two daughters, Melissa who lives in Cooperstown, NY and Kristina, who lives in Baltimore, Md. They also have two grandchildren, Wyatt C. by Melissa and Madaline F. by Kristina.

        In April, 1972 Bill started to work for the NY Dept. of Motor Vehicles and through the years he worked in itís mailing, printing, and computer operations. Eventually he became a supervisor in the mailing operation, retiring March 31, 2002. From 2002 until December of 2005 he was at Schenectady Community College as their day EMT.

        BJ and Bill came to Indian Lake on Dec. 22, 2005 when BJ was assigned as pastor of BML & IL United Methodist Churches. They like it here and hope to remain for many years to come.

        Bill is always involve with one thing or another and has endless energy. Maybe due to all the coffee with cocoa he consumes not to mention his appetite. He Is a life member of both the VFW and the American Legion serving our post as adjutant as well as the county AL as Chaplain and adjutant. He is an EMT with the Indian Lake Vol. Ambulance Corps, a member and chaplain for the IL Fire Dept. He is also a chaplain for the Adirondack area fire Police. When an emergency call comes in Bill responds like a race horse at the starting gate, heís off and running. As a substitute in IL school he does respite work with one of their youths. He also umpires during the high school's softball and baseball season.

        Computers, audio and video and photography are some of his hobbies and he loves to apply his skills any time he can.

        As a member of the Cans and Bottles Brigade you will find him helping almost all of the time. Of course, having breakfast at Cathy and Janeís afterwards might have something to do with it. Bill is an OK guy.