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Barry Schrader
Columnist

 

I currently have columns running in 3 newspapers;

  • Tri-Valley Herald : Looking Back
  • Valley Times : Do You Remember?
  • The Independent : Do You Remember?

The Articles appear in the Herald and Independent on Thursdays,
and the Times on Sundays.

They will also be found on this page each week as well.

 

If you've missed any please follow the links on the dates to catch up.

Archive Page

The Price of Freedom: Americans at War

By Barry Schrader.................................April 14, 2005

This past week, while visiting our son Darrin in Washington, DC, we went to see the new exhibit at the Smithsonian's Museum of American History funded by a grant from Ken Behring of Blackhawk.
Titled "The Price of Freedom: Americans at War" the history of conflicts in the US was portrayed in an 18,000 square foot area on the museum's third floor. It is a stunning display, covering the history of the American military, including the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, right up to the present day. Film footage of battles and objects such as the hat from Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman and a Huey helicopter make it well worth seeing. And there is no attempt to glorify war, just a portrayal of how it fits into America's history.
A dedicatory plaque at the entrance offers a quote from Behring worth sharing: "I have never taken the freedom I have enjoyed throughout my life for granted-and I can think of no better tribute to my country than to honor those who have sacrificed so much in times of war."
That feeling was impressed on us even more when we visited the recently-completed World War II Memorial. There you can see the Wall of Freedom with 4,000 gold stars that recognize the 400,000 Americans who lost their lives back then.
Another addition to the Smithsonian museums on The Mall is the National Museum of the American Indian, a breathtaking architectural marvel encompassing 254,000 square feet and containing some 7,000 native American objects and works of art. What a coincidence that just after Kay and I returned home from DC I got a call to come to the Livermore Indian Center, now occupying a portable building at Junction Avenue School, first operated out of a little building next to the Eagles Hall on North Livermore Avenue back in the early 1970s. I was invited to the local Indian Center as they celebrated the lives of two of the Society of American Indians' founders locally-Eugene and Mary Jamison. Gene was a lifelong printer, working for several newspapers and then operating Jamison Printing in the old Wells Fargo building on Railroad Avenue in Livermore until his retirement in 1976. Little is known about the tunnels that ran from that building up to First Street and beyond, apparently constructed by Chinese laborers over a hundred years ago. But that is another mystery waiting to be solved.
I was pleased to be invited by Mary Puthoff of the Indian Center to take part in the memorial potluck and also glad to once again meet the remaining Jamison family members who traveled some distance to honor their parents' memories. Mary died in 1993 and Gene in 2004. Their early efforts, along with others such as Lona McCallister, have turned the Indian Center into a valuable learning experience for schoolchildren as well as a lifeline to their past for many Native Americans in this area.


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After the column on Las Positas and its 30th anniversary I got an email from the Chabot founding superintendent-president Reed Buffington, who deserves a lot of the credit for the creation of our campus in the valley. He said in part: (the column) "brought back great memories. We were most pleased to have been able to bring the college to the Valley. Dr. Mertes, Don Milanese and the staff brought quality and innovative education to an eager group of students. The growth of the college is rooted in the vision and planning of those talented educators. The strong support from Deans Yeo and McKinley and the financial acumen of our business manger Pete Barthleme played a major role in getting that institution off to a sound start. It is rewarding to see the progress the college has made."

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Question for this week: What was the first school built in the Tri-Valley and when?

The columnist can be reached via email at :

Historian2sbcglobal.net

or by snailmail at:

Barry Schrader
PO Box 446
Livermore, CA. 94551

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