Chip and Sandy open up the room and manage it all day...every day during Veterans week.
This is a place where veterans can come for coffee and snacks; a place where they can sit and visit with other veterans; AND a place where they can bring their guitars and other instruments and play and sing. This year we had determined to spend most of our time here as we both enjoy visiting with all the veterans who stop in here.
As we arrived we notice that Erwin...one of the authors who had been given an award at the opening ceremonies was just leaving. BUT when Eddie got his guitar out of the car, Erwin decided to stay a while longer. He had brought his fiddle. He and Eddie enjoyed playing for a while before he had to leave.
Veterans are asked to bring photos of themselves to display...and the display in the Day Room is growing every year. This year I made up some displays for the room. I had pictures to frame of one of our church members who served in WW11 and did a display of family members of the Gaudette's (my side) and the Beesley's who have been in military service. I also got permission from Joe Bonsall, one of the Oak Ridge Boys and author of G, I. Joe and Lilie to frame and display a picture of his parents from his book (He liked what I did and asked if he could have it.)
We left for a bit to visit Vendor Village. It is always fun to visit the booths and see what they have to show...books and many other interesting items! This also is a place for visiting and "hanging out". AND most importantly for registering for the week...to get the ALL IMPORTANT badge that will get the veteran into the lunch tent for a FREE LUNCH! YES there really are FREE lunches for veterans every day for Veterans week. The local Golden Corral supplies the food and it is very much appreciated by all! Vets are FREE and spouses pay only 4.00...what a deal!
This year the tent was set up on uneven ground...but instead of complaints we were all teasing and having fun. The ones setting on the upper side would promise to hold onto their plates and drinks so they would not slide into the one sitting across the table from them! And they were also gracious enough to let us know they would warn those behind us should we fall backwards! Except for the fact that we were not rolling about on ocean waves the tables and chairs were slanted at precarious angles! A flatter place would have been nice but would not have inspired our conversations!
After lunch we went back to the Day Room for more visiting. Eddie once again took his guitar inside and soon more veterans arrived to "pick n grin"...
This year many more of the ladies brought cookies and snacks...there was enough that everyone could find goodies that they liked. Even those who were not Marines enjoyed the sugar cookies that I brought...made in the shape of the Marine Corps Emblem.
All week long we told folks that someone "special" was going to be there with his banjo on the 10th! When the big day arrived the Day room was full and the anticipation was high! Then the special guest arrived...Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys! He came with his banjo and soon there was a crowd listening and enjoying the fun and music! Joe had someone video them and that can be seen on his web page. When it was time for another group...the Mimes...to perform the musicians were not quit ready to stop playing...so they moved outside the room and continued making music! What a treat for the mall shoppers!
I had intended to add pictures to this...but since I am still learning how to do all of this I think it will be best to post this then add another blog with the pictures.