Milton Bass: Kids make Veterans Day special

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RICHMOND

Our town has no economic center or marketplace of any kind. There used to be a town dump where people would gather on a Saturday to get rid of their trash and chat about this or that. The place was also frequented by hunters who would improve their skills by shooting rats, which were not quite as big as bears but came pretty close.

The dump was also frequented by second-homers who thrilled in its quaintness. But thank goodness we have had trash pickup for several years now. Although people no longer have a place to mingle, the town is the better for it.

We also have the post office where you can meet and greet fellow townspersons while getting your mail. Richmond is blessed or cursed with two ways of getting mail because it is handled by two different postal unions, neither of which is willing to give up the ghost. So half of Richmond gets its mail delivered by Richmond and the other half is delivered by Pittsfield. We solved the problem of having two addresses by renting a box at the Richmond post office and devil take the hindmost.

There is also a catering service that shares the post office building, which is privately owned, and they have a retail store on the second floor where you can buy coffee and various comestibles. And there is, of course, Bartlett's Orchard, which has yummies as well as apples.

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Which brings me to the Richmond Consolidated School which affects everybody in town one way or another. There have been efforts over the years to merge the Richmond School into a larger community but it has never been brought to a successful conclusion because most Richmond people have found it to be exactly what they want for their children. It is a first class, happy school that prepares our kids beautifully for the great outside that faces them. We have always had mostly great teachers, good discipline and a certain joie de vivre that permeates the town atmosphere.

For several years now the school has made Veterans Day a special occasion when all local veterans are invited for lunch and various classes, from the littlest kid to the biggest, sing songs, read poems and show the veterans how much they are appreciated for their service to their country. They also make patriotic placemats and write cards of appreciation to the veterans.

It gives you an uplift of spirit to walk into the mess-hall-for-the-day and see all that precious energy in its regular environment. You have such a sense of pride when some tyke serves your food and then gets up on the stage to do his bit. This indeed is what you were fighting for.

And hats off to chef Tammy Jervis and her marvelous group of helpers. The food is so delectable compared to what we ate in Army mess halls that it brings a lump to your belly.

A good Veterans Day for all. We seem to be in a perpetual war with terrorists of various sorts and it would be nice to hope that someday we won't need to have as many veterans as we have now.

Milton Bass is a regular Eagle
contributor.


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