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Phil In The Blank

Phil in the Blank A column by Phil Custodio

Time marches on

November 17, 2010 - As I get older, the relentless march of time becomes more noticeable.

In grade school, World War I veterans were the old guys in the American Legion and VFW halls, World War II and Korean War vets were the guys in charge, while Vietnam vets were just getting involved in the veterans groups.

World War II vets were young. One of my elementary school principals fought in the Pacific Theater. He told us war stories, too. They had trouble with snipers hiding in the treetops on an island somewhere, so they machine gunned the treetops. All of them. Sometimes coconuts fell out of the trees. Sometimes Japanese soldiers fell out of them, he told us.

Now, World War I vets are almost entirely gone. Wiki lists three still alive, all 109 years old.

The World War II generation is fading fast. They're no longer working as principals, or anything else.

That's why I like Veterans Day events and Clarkston Junior High School's Remembrance project so much. They provide a chance to listen to veterans before it's too late.


Reading Trevor Keisor's story on the planned combined performing arts center, I see just about everyone involved is gung-ho for the project.

I'm not so sure.

A lot of Clarkston's charm is its preserved history. I work in part of that – 5 S. Main Street is more than 100 years old. Henry Ford himself commissioned many houses and buildings on Main Street.

I see the Depot Theater as key to that, as well as the house used by Clarkston Music Conservatory. Now these buildings are set to be replaced by a fancy new, three story Clarkston Center for the Performing Arts.

If Clarkston does need a "proper and modern entertainment facility," what about the one at Clarkston High School? That's plenty proper and modern.


I expected a quick holiday season and so far, with Halloween a couple weeks in the past and Thanksgiving next week, it has been. I've had better years, but there's still plenty to be thankful for.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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