Silver Platter

I have this silver platter.  It was a wedding gift, and it’s treasured more and more as time passes by.  I think of this wonderful group of people, and how they greatly enriched my life… and I try to imagine them going to the local jeweler and selecting this gift, then having it engraved.

“To the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary’s Sweetheart”

Probably Mrs. Patrick and Mrs. Wilbanks were in charge of it.  They were the two who always called me to set up our programs.

When I was in junior high, I went with some other classmates to give a program to the American Legion and Auxiliary on the evolution of the American flag.  I know that was the topic, because I’m looking at the newspaper clipping as I type!  I’m holding my guitar in the photo, so I’m feeling pretty sure part of our program included singing “You’re a Grand Old Flag”.

And this is where it all began.  I have no idea how many times I took my guitar and sang for them after that.  My parents took me.  My sister took me.  Eventually I had a driver’s license and could go on my own.  I loved their programs.  I loved their patriotism.  I loved their wonderful potluck meals.

I sang three songs every time I joined them… faith, freedom and friendship.  So I always got to sing a hymn, then a patriotic song, then I’d sing some new song by Mac Davis or John Denver, or a favorite oldie like “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”… with all of them singing along.  Mostly they were the men and women who had courageously made it through World War II.

This morning it is my privilege to sing “God Bless America” for our local Veteran’s Day Breakfast.  One or two of those men from the American Legion will be there.  As always, I will do my best to hold back the tears as I sing for them.

I miss those dear souls.  They were so good to me.

When I was 15 years old - singing for the Legion & Auxiliary


11 Responses to “Silver Platter”

  1. M. Sue Moore says:

    Beautiful memories of another time! I wish I had been there then…and I wish I could be there today!
    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing, Sandy. I love you more with every thing I learn about you!
    M. Sue

  2. Betty Williamson says:

    Okay, true trip down memory lane this morning! Do you remember singing at a meeting where I did the program? I had been to a high school program called Freedom’s Foundation at Valley Forge, and the American Legion invited me to come and do a slide show and presentation, and YOU sang. I think that might have been the first time I ever actually was in the same room as you. Would have been 1978 or so. Your picture took me straight back to that night. In my mind, that’s still how you look! 😉

  3. Beverly Gree says:

    Beautiful. Remember olur vets on 11-11-11 next week. Especially the older ones. Give them a call or a letter. We were blessed to have our oldest son on Vetrans Day so he gets to celebrate with American flags and vets.

  4. Sandy says:

    Betty, I felt pretty sure I had done a program with you at the American Legion!
    What wonderful times. I’m so grateful.
    Marilyn Sue… you are always so kind with your words. Thank you!
    Beverly… I love your suggestion!

  5. Donna McBroom says:

    What a great memory!

  6. Margret Evangelista says:

    Sandy, I share your great affection for the local American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary. I had several connections with those fine people, although I’m not sure which came first. I remember meeting Mrs. Floy Wilbanks through the County Spelling Bee and having her tell me, “I’ve got my eye on you, young lady!” Later, as a junior in high school, I entered the American Legion Oratorical Contest and won at the county level and finished in 3rd place at the State. Later that year, I was surprised to learn that the American Legion Auxiliary had arranged for me to attend Girls’ State as an “Special Observer” because I was not eligible to go since I was not a U.S. Citizen at the time. (I was born in Iceland and later took the oath of citizenship across the street from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia!). I don’t remember who paid for me to attend, but I was so touched and honored that they went to those great lengths to make sure I could go. The next year I competed again in the Oratorical Contest, won the local and NM State contest and represented the state in the Regional contest in Denver. Mrs. Wilbanks called on me to recite “In Flanders Field” several times for Memorial Day celebrations. I also remember singing at their meetings on more than one occasion. I have a treasured picture of my father playing the piano in the background in the same room as your picture! The support and encouragement of those fine men and women was so important to me as a young woman, and I truly appreciate what they did for me and more importantly, for our country. Thank you for sharing your memory!

  7. Bette says:

    You have not changed at all! You must have found that fountain of youth!!!

  8. Sandy says:

    Margret… loved reading all your treasured memories! (I never realized you were born in Iceland!)
    They were a very, very special group of people. So good to all of us!

  9. Marcea Clive says:

    Sandy, thanks for sharing and thanks for what you did this morning for the veterans. Keep it goin’, girl.

  10. Sandy says:

    It was a wonderful morning. A great time to show appreciation for our veterans!

  11. michelle pond says:

    What a cutie! You’re a Grand Old Flag is my favorite patriotic song. I grew up in DC and we learned a lot of them to sing at various places around the nation’s capital.

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