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Houston Voice, No. 814, May 31, 1996
File 014
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Houston Voice, No. 814, May 31, 1996 - File 014. 1996-05-31. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 22, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/515/show/499.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1996-05-31). Houston Voice, No. 814, May 31, 1996 - File 014. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/515/show/499

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 814, May 31, 1996 - File 014, 1996-05-31, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 22, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/515/show/499.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 814, May 31, 1996
Contributor
  • Bell, Deborah Moncrief
Publisher Window Media
Date May 31, 1996
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 014
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE / MAY 31. 1996 13 PLAIN SPEAKING by Larry Lingle Remembering Memorial Days Past This past Memorial Day, like many before it, passed with barely a notice except that I was aware the banks were closed and the mail was not delivered. Memorial Day is one of those bottom-tier holidays, so unrecognizable that they can be placed on random Mondays and not be affected. Such was not always the case for me. As a child, I actually looked forward* to ihis harbinger of summer not just as an end to another school year, but as a day of adventure. In my distant youth. Memorial Day was an occasion when my grandparents took my brother and I to the cemeteries. While on the surface of it, hardly an auspicious beginning, such adventure was but an open door to history—in my case, family history. Our little party ventured a mere twenty miles to the hamlei of Otterville — which, one supposes, came by its name from a certain animal in the nearby Lamine River, although I failed to ever spot such a creature. From the highway, we walked down a dirt road, stopping intermittently for short visits with assorted relatives, and finally reaching the town's cemetery. In those remote years between the Second World War and the Korean action, veterans groups had already placed tiny flags, marking the graves of those who fought in the war that really mattered-—the Civil War (hardly civil) or the War for Southern Independence. Years later during a somewhat brief teaching career 1 found that the history ol that war. if taught at all.centered around causes and effects, battles and generals. Yet the guts of thai conflict was represented by ihe more than six hundred thousand soldiers who fell in battle. Based on a percentage of the nation's population at Ihe time, that would correspond to five million war dead today. This Otterville grave site was connected io my maiemal grandfather's family, ihe Langdons of Indiana and before that, New England. Bul no flags marked the graves of the male members of that clan as none had actually had to wear their nation's uniforms. After a few hours of surveying the markers and receiving a refresher course on this family's history, we found our way to an even more remote dirt road which runs past an almost hidden small church with accompanying cemetery. Here the Mount Olive Baptist Church silently stands over nearly overgrown grave markers of perhaps two hundred mounds. Yet. as a child, this was the most fascinating place on earth. This was home to the remains of my maternal grandmother's family, the Steeles of Kentucky and Virginia. Actually every one buried there I bore some relation. So remote was tiny Mount Olive thai by lhat time no veteran group maintained the usual flag ritual. Nearly all ihe markers bore dates ending before or around the turn of the century. But it was here that I search for the grave of Uncle Green Sieele so that I could once more hear Grandma tell me the stories of Uncle Green's riding with the "irregulars, Southern troops nol always actually in Confederate service. Il was in thai peaceful selling that I heard the sto ries of the Seven Years War (1854-1861) when Missourians fought Kansans over the extension of slavery lo that more wesiern state. Missouri was a slave state, surrounded on three sides by freedom territory, and my part of Missouri, that central strip which marks the influence of the Missouri River, was the bedrock of slavery in a divided state. My mother's parents had shouldered much of the responsibility in raising my brother and me. And certainly my grandmother's love of family history passed on to me a broader fascination with history itself. And. while I learned something of the toll of our great Civil War, I also absorbed from my grandparents an understanding that a person's color was no longer an issue of conflict. Il was from my grandfather's experiences in the union battles with the railroads (my hometown of Sedalia existed only because of ihe railroads) early on confirmed my failh in the right of working people to fair treatment and just wages. Finally, if we had the time, my grandparents would stop at another small community—this one right on the highway to Jefferson City, the state's capital—Syracuse, the origin of which I would not learn until college. Here was buried my father's family. My paternal grandfather—who died the year before I was born— had the requisite American flag denoting his service in the Spanish-American War, although I have no idea whether he made it to Cuba or was trained in Texas. The bulk of my lather's family was buried in Clinton County where they had settled a century and a half ago and generally pursued journalism for several generations, producing but one noteworthy individual, my cousin. Jake Lingle. whose lasting claim to the history books is that while a newspaperman in Chicago, was murdered by Al Capone's gang after offending that noble soul in print. I don't go back to those cemeteries anymore. I don'l go back home anymore. If I did, I'm not sure they still plant miniature tlags. Certainly there would be fewer stories to tell. My father and some uncles and cousins fought in World War II. My brother served in Korea. Bul considering all the bloody conflicts, the closest any member of my family came to heroic sacrifice was an uncle of my paternal grandmother, a Fry, who was hanged on the road io Booneville for allegedly being a spy. Unfortunately, family history failed to recall which side. North or South, for which he was spying. At leasi in true family style, 1 served my time in the Army between Korea and Vietnam, maintaining the family tradition ol survival and undisiinguished service—which puts me somewhere between Bob Dole's heroism and Bill Clinton's dodging the draft—I can appreciate the position of both without judging either. In the oft-quoted words of Thomas Wolfe, "you can't go home again." certainly applies to me. But I can appreciate the heritage acquired in those early Memorial Day treks and have no regrets at the demise of a cherished tradition. WE TAKE TIPS! Your 110US TON VOICE appreciates your news lead or feature story ideas. Call us (best time: Thursday or Friday) at 529-8490 (Fax:529-9531). 'S. (713) si* ,r 3* r •%*-# Sunday, June 2, 8:00 pm Xavier Luna, Candidate for Mr TGRfi '96 Presents on 27 tye&M fan, t£e S&i^ #W 11t4u<iyewmt(! i> * *•* ' * i» ' Every Monday, 4-8 pm "FREE" HIV Tasting & Counseling by Montrose Clinic Denim Party Host Sign-Up June 2 4-7 pm June 9 4-7 pm June 13 6-11 pm Thursdays Hamburgers 6-9 & Dance Lessons 9 pm Drink Specials till 11:00 pm ♦ r * tyou* SW4 0({ff Sundays Steak Night 6-10 - only $6.00 r
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