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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

A fond farewell to Mister Dublin

By Barry Schrader.................................September 1, 2005

David Burton personified all that is good about Dublin and was the best community booster of any person in the town’s history. He was a fun-loving and public spirited person like his counterpart in Pleasanton, Ed Kinney.

I first met Dave back in the 1970s when he was pushing for Dublin cityhood—something that became a reality in 1982. I felt strongly that Dave should be the first mayor of the new city so printed up a dummy headline on the newspaper that said “Burton Elected Dublin Mayor” and presented it to him at a Rotary meeting. That is the only honor that escaped him and I wish there was a way to make him “Honorary Mayor of Dublin,” even posthumously. At the very least there has to be a park or civic building that could be given his name.

As you may have read in the paper or heard at his funeral last week, Dave was a leader from an early age--an Eagle Scout, then a volunteer in the Army Air Corps in World War II. At the young age of 21 he piloted B-24 bombers on 50 missions over Europe, bringing his crew home safe from every flight. Assemblyman Guy Houston in paying tribute to his mentor said, “Dave was a member of the greatest generation…one of the veterans who came back and changed America…transforming this country into a modern society that made America what it is today…and they changed the world in the process.” He added that “our generation today can’t hold a candle to what Dave and his contemporaries did for our country. They built America in their vision.”

As was repeated several times, Dave’s trademark one liner was “Never let a good crowd go to waste.” Chamber CEO Nancy Feeley, a close friend for 30 years, recalled how David charmed the Chamber crowds with his green vest and white straw hat, leading them in singing “O’Danny Boy” every St. Patrick’s Day. Then at Christmas time he was decked out in his red vest, “whipping up the crowd” into a holiday sing-along. He was also often evident at a seasonal party at the home of Chuck Brydon where my wife played the piano while Dave led the Christmas caroling—with gusto. And I loved to hear his stories—we don’t have enough good storytellers in the generations since his time.

Dave was also a legend in the local Rotary—he had joined the fledgling club in 1974 when he first moved to Dublin and went on to become the only member to hold the presidency twice. Fellow member Dennis Miller shared his fond memories of Dave with me this week, saying he lit up the club with his presence—giving more than almost anyone else to assure the perpetuation of Rotary. He led a Group Study Exchange trip to India for six weeks, and donated thousands of dollars not only on his behalf but in the names of each of his children, grandchildren, and wife Bea—becoming a multiple Paul Harris Fellow. The club is going to have to work hard to replace the likes of Dave Burton!

I guess I will cherish the memories most of Dave as a fun-loving and sometimes mischievous gentleman from the good old days. He always made me feel welcome when I visited Dublin, whether at a Chamber or a Rotary meeting. And he was always ready to give advice on any subject. I think he was best described as “a character with character.” You just can’t find the kind of beloved community advocate like Dave anymore.

* * *

Postscript on Sunolian column: I got an email from Debbie Hernandez this week telling me about the front page of the February 1983 issue. A half page ad said: “Debbie Petersen, will you marry me? Love, Brian.” She said yes and Brian and Debbie, now living in Livermore, have been married for 22 years. So that issue ranks highest in significance in her life!

* * *

The repeated history mystery about the Cub Scout Pack with its own Drum & Bugle Corps way back in 1945 finally got some response. Lou Wittkopp provided the information that it was Hayward Cub Pack 6 whose Cubmaster Bill Reno decided to organize the boys into a well-trained corps. The 35 youth, including two who later moved to Livermore as adults (Lou and Charlie Smith) where they worked at Sandia and Lawrence Lab, collected tons of newspapers to turn in for cash. That paid for the drums and bugles and started them on their way to parades all over South County. Lou recalls the Livermore Rodeo Parade as the most fun because they also got to participate in the Grand Entry to the Rodeo which meant free admission plus hot dogs and ice cream for all.

Now let’s jump forward 30 years to the formation of a Drum & Bugle Corps in the Livermore-Amador Valley in the mid-1970s. It was a co-ed Explorer Post formed specifically for the purpose of organizing the Tri-Valley Royalaires, a spinoff of the Royalaires that had folded in San Leandro. The new group lasted about two seasons, before soccer, high school band and other competing interests spelled its demise.

The question for this week is: Can you name any of the players in that corps? And the bonus question: Who was the Post adviser who organized the group?

 

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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