This week in local history: Chinchilla Marine Bob Hendrickson wrote poem in 1966


Compiled by Elizabeth Baumeister - ebaumeister@timesleader.com



Cindy Hoyt, a first grade Waverly School student in 1962 poses for a picture in the Abington Journal after saving her baby brother from the flames when the family’s kitchen range exploded.


Abington Journal file photos

Standing in front of the Clarks Summit High School sometime before it burned down in 1895, from left, Will Litts, Silas Griffin, James Wagner, Asa Nichols, Mose Clifford and William S. Frace. The original photograph was loaned to the Journal in Februray, 1964 by Alden Singer, of Chinchilla, who identified the names.


Abington Journal file photos

1966 — Bob Hendrickson, of Chinchilla, an Abington Heights graduate and private first class in the 2nd Marine Division at the time was stationed at Camp Le Jenue, North Carolina, awaiting orders for Vietnam. He wrote the following poem, titled “Who Is He? Our Marine,” expressing his feelings about student demonstrations and draft card burners.

You sit at home and watch T.V.

You’re sipping a refreshing, cool, iced tea,

The news comes on and then you hear,

The all-star game is drawing near,

Where men are dying in the sand,

A frown appears upon your face,

You’re tired of hearing about that place,

Who cares about Vietnam across the sea,

It’s far away and doesn’t concern me,

You’d rather hear the Beatles play,

Than learn about the world today.

But stop and think for a moment or two,

And ask yourself if this does concern you?

It’s great to be alive and free,

But what about the guy across the sea,

He’s giving up his life for me,

He’s far away fighting a war,

So that I may live under liberty,

Instead of fighting at my front door,

This guy who lives in filth and slime,

How can he do it all the time?

He’s about my age so why should he care,

About a war someone else should share,

You call him vile names and make fun of his cause,

Yet he’s always the first to win at wars.

You lucky guy; you laugh and sneer,

Because you have never known such fear.

He faces death each day,

But he’s always got something funny to say,

No mail again, a twang of sorrow,

What the hell, there’s always tomorrow,

The morale is low, the tension high,

Some men even break down and cry.

He works all day and stands guard all night,

He’s tired and sick but continues to fight.

The college crowd thinks he’s a fool,

But that’s what makes him mean and cruel.

You don’t appreciate what he’ll do for you,

Like giving up his life for you.

He gives up so much and asks nothing in return,

Just so you can stay in school and learn.

No parties and dances for this young man,

Until he returns home again.

The days are hot and the nights are too,

He wonders what a cold canned beer can do?

He dreams of cold beer and thick, juicy steaks.

Then someone shouts “We got a hill to take.”

Some will be heroes because they are brave,

Others will get wreaths upon their grave.

You’ll recognize him by the way he walks by,

There’s a saddened look in his eye.

He walks so proud and yet looks so mean,

He’s a United States Marine.

1964 — Alden Singer, of Chinchilla, loaned to the Journal a photograph of the former Clarks Summit High School, taken before it burned down in 1895. According to the caption, the school was built six years earlier, in 1989 and stood on the South side of East Grove Street. Shown standing in front of the building were, as identified by Singer, Will Litts, Silas Griffin, James Wagner, Asa Nichols, Mose Clifford and William S. Frace.

1962 — Cindy Hoyt, then a first grade student at Waverly School, was labeled a heroine after saving her baby brother from serious burns when a kitchen range in their parents’ home exploded.

“Cindy was in the kitchen in her nightclothes warming herself before the kitchen range on a sub-zero morning,” the Journal article reads. “Her six month old brother Billy was sitting on the rug playing. A queer ticking came from back of the stove. Then an explosion blew the lids of the stove and sent flaming coals flying.

“Her first thought the safety of her baby brother, Cindy whirled between the flying coals and the baby, grabbing him from the floor and stumbling toward the porch and safety, into the below-zero weather.”

The mother, who was upstairs at the time, hurried down the stairs with the other children to find the kitchen in flames. She was then relieved to find Cindy and the baby safe on the porch.

Cletas Hoyt, who was employed as a farmhand nearby, spotted his family huddled on the porch, unable to go for help. He called to some of his co-workers to help put out the fire and rushed to the nearby home of Stephen Parker to call the fire department. Within a few minutes, the fire was extinguished and Mrs. Hoyt and the children were safe and warm in the Parker living room.

Cindy Hoyt, a first grade Waverly School student in 1962 poses for a picture in the Abington Journal after saving her baby brother from the flames when the family’s kitchen range exploded.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_ABJ-LH-0224-1962.jpgCindy Hoyt, a first grade Waverly School student in 1962 poses for a picture in the Abington Journal after saving her baby brother from the flames when the family’s kitchen range exploded. Abington Journal file photos

Standing in front of the Clarks Summit High School sometime before it burned down in 1895, from left, Will Litts, Silas Griffin, James Wagner, Asa Nichols, Mose Clifford and William S. Frace. The original photograph was loaned to the Journal in Februray, 1964 by Alden Singer, of Chinchilla, who identified the names.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_ABJ-LH-0224-1964.jpgStanding in front of the Clarks Summit High School sometime before it burned down in 1895, from left, Will Litts, Silas Griffin, James Wagner, Asa Nichols, Mose Clifford and William S. Frace. The original photograph was loaned to the Journal in Februray, 1964 by Alden Singer, of Chinchilla, who identified the names. Abington Journal file photos

Compiled by Elizabeth Baumeister

ebaumeister@timesleader.com

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.

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