By Jennifer Lumley.
Several Carver members, including James McIntyre III, Bill Wiley and Dick Sherman, had an opportunity recently to be interviewed about their military service. The filmed interviews were part of an oral history project put together by Purcellville Library's Teen Library Council, under the direction of staff member Natalie Zullinger. The Council is made up of young volunteers from local Middle and High Schools as well as home-schooling families. These teens donate their time year-round in the library and out in the community. Ms. Zullinger developed this particular project after hearing a co-worker in the PRCS camp program entertaining kids returning from fieldtrips with stories of his service in the Coast Guard. When the chosen theme for this past summer's Council turned out to be "Super Heroes," she turned to veterans as real-life heroes with stories to tell.
Dick Sherman told me that a different young person interviewed each participant, asking questions like "What did you miss while you were in the service?" (Dick missed good drinking water, access to a nice bath, and modern toilet facilities), "Who did you meet?", and "Who did you consider a hero?" Dick appreciated being able to share his story, because he is not sure that the Vietnam War, which claimed so many lives, is receiving enough coverage in today's history books.
After the segments were edited, they were combined into a single feature which was presented at a group viewing for participants, their families, and friends. Since each veteran had been interviewed separately, this culminating event which included delicious chocolate chip cookies, fruit, and drinks was the first chance for participants to hear one another's stories. Dick, who had his friends and family send him Kool-Aid during the war to mask the taste of less than perfect drinking water, was amused to learn from one of Bill Wiley's sons (a vet from a more recent era) that he had used Kool-Aid granules to polish the brass fixtures on his US Navy ship's same product, different application. He said that it worked wonders, getting the fixtures spotlessly clean.
The culminating event's most surprising moment came at the end, when each hero was presented with a beautifully crafted quilt. Made by the volunteers of Joshua's Hands, a local non-profit dedicated to service, these soon-to-be family heirlooms were obtained through the help of Purcellville Library Board member Nancy Reaves. When asked what stood out for her at the completion of this project, Ms. Zullinger cited her groups sincere gratitude to those who were willing to candidly share their experiences in stories the group found so meaningful and thought-provoking.
Carver's Spring Bazaar is Saturday
The Carver Center Advisory Board will hold its annual Spring Bazaar on Sat., Apr. 2 from 8am to 2pm at Carver Center.
This annual event showcases local vendors offering unique items for sale perfect for Spring shopping. There will be antiques, decorative items, unusual glassware, jewelry and a bake sale. The Bazaar is a primary fundraiser for the Board. There are still a few vendor tables available. Contact Myrtle Mahowald at 540-258-3400 for table rentals.