By Reba Phelps
The Village of Goldonna celebrated the Veterans of their town and the surrounding area on Nov. 8. The special event was held in conjunction with the town’s fish fry to assist in the funding of the Christmas in the Park Festival.
Mr. Larry McGee, formerly of Goldonna, was the coordinator of the celebration. Although he is not a Veteran himself, he has always had a heart for those who have served his country. Mr. McGee was a 1964 graduate of Goldonna High School before he attended Northwestern State University where he met his wife, Sharon Carnes McGee.
While he walked the halls of Goldonna High School there was a plaque dedicated to the area Veterans. He grew accustomed to seeing it on a daily basis and it had always been etched in his memories of high school because it bore the name of his father and three uncles. Back during these times the High School was a three story building and the Veterans plaque hung on the second floor on an inside wall.
Sometime around 1979 the old high school was torn down and remodeled into what you see located on Ash Street today. He always wondered what happened to his favorite plaque. He later found out that a father and son duo found the plaque at a local garbage dump site and donated it to local resident, Charles Cloud.
Soon after Mr. Cloud passed away, Mr. McGee was contacted by his widow, Gayle Cloud and her daughter, Charlene. They asked if he wanted the old plaque from the high school. Mr. McGee was more than excited when he received that call. Once he had possession of the memorabilia he soon went to work on it. He dismantled the plaque and cleaned it. Time had taken its toll on it and all of the name plates had slid to one side.
Once it was taken apart he alphabetized the names for ease of reading. To this day two of the slots are missing and he is unsure what happened to them or where they may be. While Mr. McGee was enjoying his new plaque his wife, Sharon, Gently reminded him that it was given to him but it truly doesn’t belong to him.
He knew exactly what he needed to do with it. He contacted the Mayor, Jennifer Smith, and to let her know that he had a special presentation to make on behalf of the heroes who served from the area. And, just like that, a Veteran’s Day program was initiated.
“Sunday was a wonderful celebration of our local heroes from times past as well as the present”, said Mayor Smith.
“I am honored to see how the community came out to support those who served to allow us our freedoms. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Mr. McGee for donating this historical plaque to the people of Goldonna”.
Mr. Larry McGee is still very curious to know more about the history of the plaque. If you have any other information that may be pertinent to the construction, donation, or possibly who the other two names that should be featured please email him at email@example.com.
If you have news to feature in this column please email Reba Phelps at firstname.lastname@example.org.