This past Sunday I dismantled the Veteran’s Roll Call window that the Married Daughter and I put up downtown before Operation Celebration in May. I would like to find a way to make the display permanent, but a window that catches so much early morning sun is not the best spot to house such a display for the long term.
I first saw a window of veteran’s photographs a number of years ago while visiting in Fort Morgan, Colo. The store was a flower shop, housed in former shoe or clothing store — the type built back in the 1940s with an elongated entry and large boxy display windows on each side. We visited with an employee who said they leave the display up all year long because the owner likes it. Periodically they pull everything out, dust the frames and shelving, and re-arrange the pictures, adding new ones as additional Fort Morgan youngsters leave for the service.
I saw another pair of windows in a building on the square in Harrisburg, Ark., two years ago when we were visiting family in the area. The windows were small and not very deep. They were on the front of the American Legion building and there were a dozen or so photos in each. Unfortunately, no one had tended them in a long time. All of them were warped and faded — some so faded I could not even see a shadow of the image that had once been there. It was a pitiful display. The newspaper office was right across the street and I thought of marching in to meet the editor and give him my thoughts on what his next opinion column should address. However, I didn’t.
During the first of the Operation Celebration observances, the collection of pictures adequately filled one window of the former Keller Clothing/Hot Stuff Pizza building. More recently we gathered enough photographs to move the display into the large picture window in the building owned by Duke and Beth Eldridge at 107 Walnut. This year, even that space was a tight fit. If we get additional pictures — and we usually do — it will be tough to get everyone in.
The display seems to be a popular one and there are no restrictions on how closely related the veterans must be to Peabody. They needn’t be “natives,” they only need to have some kind of tie to this community.
So, give me some feedback about this. Where do we go from here? I expect we can use the Eldridge building again, perhaps stacking the pictures higher and closer. That will work for a year or two.
Or do we just forget it? Our World War I veterans are gone and the World War II vets are close behind. Veterans of Korea, Vietnam, and more recent conflicts still are with us. Sadly enough, it seems that we are always sending our young people off to war.
We may not have enough space to house all the photographs. What do you think?
— SUSAN MARSHALL