Okay, so i hope I got your attention with what sounds like the title of a bad teen slasher flick. Stay with me, please….this will eventually make sense.
My parents were members of the Greatest Generation. My father, Maynard A. “Red” DeGroff, was born on May 14, 1908 and passed away August 17, 2003. My mother, Sarah Elizabeth (Altman) DeGroff, was born February 7, 1915 and passed on July 8, 2000. As you can tell, they both lived to be quite old. They both spent most of their lives in small towns in Northwestern Ohio, and lived through the Great Depression and World War II.
My dad was a baker. In 1935, he opened the West Unity Bakery and Coffee Shop (West Unity, Ohio.) This was the same year he and my mother were married. They stayed in business until 1974.
Along the way, Dad served on the West Unity Town Council, the local park board, was a member of the United Methodist Church, The Chamber of Commerce, the Lion’s Club, was a charter member of American Legion Post 669, and was a volunteer fireman for 30 years.
In World War II, Dad served in General Patton’s 3rd Army, in the 3022nd Baking Company, 4th Armored Division. In November of 1944, Dad had the honor of baking Patton’s last birthday cake, which is a great story by itself.
He was 35 when he was drafted in 1943. I heard that he probably could have gotten out of serving because of his age. I asked him about it one time, and all he said was that the Army needed bakers and cooks and so he went. End of discussion.
My mother was quite involved with our local United Methodist Church and conducted the children’s choir for many years. She was also a former Worthy Matron of Unity Chapter #158, Order of The Eastern Star.
Thanks for staying with me this long. I wanted to give a brief introduction to what kind of people my parents were. They worked hard and even had the guts to open a business during the Great Depression. They both also devoutly believed in giving back to the community by way of service to others.
The bakery and coffee shop was open six days a week, closed on Sunday. But practically every Sunday, there was always something to clean and/or fix. In restaurant work, it never ends. I worked my way through junior high and high school doing dishes, busing tables, stocking shelves and cleaning. They made sure I worked.
My folks went out of their way to personally help people in town who needed help. I remember a mentally challenged old guy named Charley who came into the coffee shop often. Mom and Dad always made sure he got something to eat, whether he could pay for it or not. Our town also had a bag lady (before they were called that….) named Anna whose circumstances were just as bad. My folks always made sure that something was set aside for her as well.
Politically, Dad was a life-long Republican, and Mom was a life-long Democrat. In spite of that, Mom had a work ethic, hated taxes and government intrusion. She felt that the church and private citizens were more responsible for the welfare of their neighbors than was the government. They both had a deep respect for the military and all who served.
I know that Mom would have thought it was quite an achievement for a black man to become president. As to what Obama has actually done to the country, Mom would have been appalled. And Dad would have though…well, I’m not allowed to use that kind of language here.
I’m glad that they’re not here to see the destruction of our health care system, to see a Justice Department that deals in anything but justice, to see the IRS politicized. I’m glad they’re not here to see the rise of Islam, to see a president who is more concerned about not offending our enemies than he is fighting them.
I’m glad they’re not here to witness the invasion of criminal illegals who receive more benefits than honest American workers, or to witness our education system being turned into socialist propaganda mills. I’m glad my parents can’t witness the erosion of the American work ethic and the almost unrelenting rise of the welfare state. I’m glad that my parents, who worked and even thrived during years of adversity, are not here to witness the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.
I am glad though, that my parents and others of their generation, left a legacy of work, gratitude and concern for others that runs deeper than any government policy or program. My God grant us the will, strength and knowledge to take up the fight needed to save our country. The Greatest Generation has shown us what can be done. The fight is now ours.
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for such a legacy.