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Monday, February 26, 2024

Veterans in Touch – Saturday in the Park

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Update, Nov. 13, 2023 / Saturday evening, Nov. 11, Brass Transit: Chicago Tribute & Cover Band performed on stage at Pfeiffer Hall on the campus of North Central College. While welcoming the audience and introducing the band, Jennifer Berosek, Associate Director of Fine Arts, acknowledged Veterans Day and encouraged all Veterans to stand to be recognized with applause. Columnist Mike Barbour was there with his wife, Jan, and he stood.

The words to one of many memorable songs performed by Brass Transit last Saturday, “Saturday in the Park,” are featured below in an old column written by Mike Barbour in July 2020, reminiscent of Chicago and the band’s many great hits from the 1970s. What joy it is/was to sing along with the music!

Originally Posted, July 9, 2020 / I’m always looking for fun times and thoughts in these stressful times. The other day I heard the song by CHICAGO, “Saturday in the Park,” that made me remember those fun times we had in previous years.

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Saturday in the park

I think it was the Fourth of July

People dancing, people laughing

A man selling ice cream

Singing Italian songs

People talking, really smiling

A man playing guitar

And singing for us all

And I’ve been waiting such a long time for today

Another day in the park

Listen children, all is not lost, all is not lost, oh no, no…

Simple words, but they bring back some really great memories.

I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania – Hanover. You may have heard of it if you have eaten Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels or Utz potato chips. Riding my Schwinn bicycle everywhere, mowing lawns, caddying at the country club – remembering those times has made me realize that my life growing up was truly idyllic.

My counselor at the VA has told me to eliminate stressful things in my life. We no longer watch the news, just the weather. Does that mean I’m growing old? I hope not. Although when I come into the house from gardening, I question that premise.

Another milestone in my life has come. I turned 75 in June. There were times in my early twenties that I questioned whether I would see the next day. Vietnam does that to you. I survived the Tet offensive, Agent Orange maladies and PTSD. Unfortunately, the PTSD will always be with me. VA counseling and the support of my wife and daughter help me through it.

I guess what I am trying to convey to the world is to look on the bright side of life. All the events and happenings that my wife and I like to do have been canceled until next year. But do you know what? They will be coming back. Be positive, be kind to people and most importantly, be kind to yourself.

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Mike Barbour
Mike Barbour
Mike Barbour is a Service Officer, American Legion Post 43, and regular contributor to PN. Also contact him at mbarbour@wowway.com.

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