Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Waterloo's 2015 Memorial Day Parade, by Jack Kinsella

Uncle Jack did a write up of this year’s Memorial Day Parade in Waterloo, NY. While the next town over from Waterloo –Seneca Falls—is renowned for being the inspiration behind It’s A Wonderful Life’s town of Bedford Falls, Waterloo has an important distinction of its own—The Birthplace of Memorial Day.

Waterloo held the first formal, village wide, annual observance of a day dedicated to honoring the war dead. On May 5, 1866, the Village was decorated with flags at half mast, draped with evergreens and mourning black. Veterans, civic societies and residents marched to the three village cemeteries. 

One hundred years later, on May 26, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson, signed a Presidential Proclamation recognizing Waterloo as the Birthplace of Memorial Day.

Aunt CB, Jill, Ann, Dennis

Nowadays, Waterloo’s Memorial Day Extravaganza is a three day event complete with musical groups, an antique car show, a 5k run, and a pizza eating contest, as well as the Parade itself.
Dad writes:

It has been over 50 years since I attended a Waterloo Memorial Day Parade and since I attended it this year, I thought I should write up details about it.  Jim is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and since they were marching in the parade this year, he and his two daughters decided to march along with them. He and Jill asked us if we wanted to join them as they drove to Waterloo, and, of course, we said yes.

 The parade formed at Clark and Williams, just a few steps from 16 Clark St (
editor—what a coincidence—16 Clark Street is the house Dad grew up in. Therefore, this is one of the few corners in Waterloo I can picture!). The parade route was to march over to Main St, then up Main past the four corners and end at Lafayette Park (right next to my old Waterloo High School).

 The first questions were, where to park the car and where to sit to watch the parade? CB’s niece, Ann Taylor Catherman, lives directly across from the old Waterloo High School and she told us we could park at her house.  So Jill dropped CB and me (with 3 chairs) off on Main St. right near where the parade was to end (in front of the Genung Funeral Home --
editor—we attended many funerals at Genungs, including the funeral where we kids broke away and opened the back building to get a look at the naked embalmed body of George ‘Bill’ Bailey. Embalmed since 1899, he was a sight to behold that I still clearly see with his long fingernails and skin the color of tea. Fortunately for Bill, Waterloo finally buried him in 1971).

 She then took Jim and the girls to the starting off place and then drove back up Main to Ann’s house and parked the car. She then walked back a block and joined us. Mission Accomplished!! So there we sat at the very end of the parade and had a beautiful view of the whole event.
When the parade was over, we got the car at Ann & Denny's and drove over to Harold's (Aunt CB’s brother).We then had lunch at an Italian restaurant on Main St (Used to be the Fire House) and then drove back to Rochester

Waterloo High School Band

Rochester Chapter of SAR--Jim and girls are marching somewhere in the crowd!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Bryant Taylor’s College Years By Evelyn Taylor

Bryant Calkins Taylor was Aunt CB's first cousin. He was born in 1922 and was son of Floyd and Goldie Taylor, Floyd being twin to our Lloyd.

Floyd and his father, Bryant Waller Taylor in back
Sons Rexford and Bryant in front

His wife Evelyn tells of his many jobs during college:

In 1939 Bryant was the recipient of a New York State Scholarship to Albany State Teachers’ College, so there was no tuition to pay, but he had to work to cover board and room expenses.  His parents sent him $1.00 a week allowance, and his mother did his laundry (no Laundromats yet).  He mailed it home in a special plastic box for that purpose, and his mother returned it, washed and ironed.

 He had a job as a Page in the State Legislature at $30.00 per week for about 10 hours of work.  He delivered messages for the Republican legislator for whom he worked.  To get this job he was recommended by local Republican politicians of Le Roy who had interviewed him.  This was a fantastic job for those times!

Bryant, 1941

 Along with this job, he worked at a restaurant near campus called The Bull (probably named for the Boulevard where it was located).  He was a short-order cook and waiter. He said that he often filled the wrong order for sundaes and ended up being forced to eat the hot fudge sundae with pecans.

 At one time he had a job at a sorority house (”nice work if you can get it”), taking care of the coal furnace.  This furnace burned pea coal, which was a very small size.  One Saturday night Bryant really loaded the furnace to make the fire last the weekend.  The result was a fire in the chimney    and    a lost job!  However, before this incident, the girls taught him to dance.  I am forever grateful to them, for he was a superb dancer as I have said many times in my writings.

 Another food job was as a school cafeteria worker—getting there early and peeling bags and bags of potatoes.  This was preparation for KP duty in the army, although he did not know that at the time.

Bryant was a member of the national fraternity Kappa Delta Rho,Gamma chapter, but never lived in the fraternity house.  When I met him, he had a room in the basement of a brownstone house for students on Washington Avenue.  The landlord lived next door.  Actually, when I first went to Albany, no one was in the building except Bryant.  To me, it was a spooky place to live.

The ceiling was real low because of all the heating pipes; lighting was not bright; there were no windows; and there were many creaky sounds.  He had a small one-burner hot plate.  Working at the cafeteria and restaurant helped his food budget.  Although, even with those perks, he told of eating ketchup sandwiches.  But he gloried in his independence and once again he took care of a furnace and got his room at a reduced rate.

In the last term of his junior year, World War II raised its ugly head and disrupted his and many college students’ lives.  Bryant left Albany to go to Alfred University in Alfred, NY to take a 2-month radio course to better equip him for the army.  In June he finished the course and the following fall enlisted in the Signal Corps Reserves.  He continued with a radio/teletype course at the University of Rochester until being called up for active duty in June, 1943.

Bryant and his future wife, Evelyn at a U of R dance

     This is over sixty seven years after the events, and remembered by the second party as told to me or observed.  Details, I hope, are fairly accurate and valid.