a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Greeting her admirers on Veterans Day

May Brock, a member of the American Gold Star Mothers, appears today in the Washington County Veterans Day parade in Charleroi, Pa. (Scott Beveridge/Observer-Reporter)

By Scott Beveridge

CHARLEROI, Pa. – May Brock looks a bit like a star of the silver screen as she rides today in a pickup truck bed in the Washington County Veterans Day parade.

Brock's gold-trimmed hat, long white hair, white pant suit, matching gloves and shoes and big dark sunglasses give her the look of an actress. However, she earns her star status for something that is far from glamerous.

The 88-year-old Washington, Pa., woman is featured in the Charleroi parade because her son, Glenn Smith, died in the Korean War. She belongs to the American Gold Star Mothers organization, whose members lost sons or daughters in battle and appear around the country wearing white at memorial events.

Brock brought with her a small plastic replica of Mount Rushmore mounted on an old metal high chair.

"What is that?" I ask between attempts to take her photo for the Observer-Reporter newspaper on a beautiful autumn day as the sun casts long shadows.

"Look," she says, before pressing a red button at the base of the toy, prompting it to play a patriotic song, the melody of which is drowned out by people loudly cheering her along the parade route on McKean Avenue.

"I think they like you," I say.

"I think they do," she replies, wearing a broad smile. 

1 comment:

Gina said...

I was talking to her and her husband (I think?) after the memorial service this morning, and she was a trip! It was a beautiful day for the service and parade.