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Through his eyes, 12 years and 1,200+ columns later

The month just ended marked 12 years since this writer began to

write more than 1,200 News-Press columns about Glendalians and the

city. My thoughts at this Flag Day season are of many whose lives

have impressed me, both in their hallowed past and in our exciting



* I remember the late Roger Barkley, whose premature passing was

a shock. The La Canada Flintridge resident turned each of several

major career setbacks into an advantage, excepting the final one.


After a career as a disc jockey, talk show host and comedian, he

became co-owner of several restaurants. Also, he established the

Roger Barkley Foundation. As a master fund raiser, he left us with a

legacy deeply involved in providing assistance where needed. In his

memory, the Roger Barkley Foundation goes on.

* I respect and enjoy knowing Foster Dennis, who, at 8, began to

turn a family tragedy (his father was killed by a motorcyclist) into

several decades of material and thoughtful thanks to the people of


Glendale for their loving support for his family in that painful


* I remember bidding goodbye to the beloved mom and pop stores

which lined North Brand and North Central and displayed small flags

at proper times. The stores’ ghosts are dominated by

economy-generating tall buildings, where flags fly higher, but no

more proudly, than the mom-and-pop banners.

* I am glad I know Georgia Abelmann, who is loved by those in


each of many organizations to which she gives her time, her wisdom

and her energy. It’s hard to believe that someone so tiny can have

such a big heart and endless stamina. If there is a doll at the

senior level, it’s Georgia. It was nice that she was honored recently

by the Oak Society at the Glendale Adventist Medical Center.

* It is inspiring to visit the Self-Aid Workshop, where a large

group of mentally limited individuals are employed, full-time, and

paid proper wages, for commercial projects contracted by large

businesses. Preparing old newspapers for recycling, attaching price

tags to new products and stuffing sample kits are just some of their

many activities. Carol Jarouyan, with lots of help, supervises the

benevolent discipline. The workers are a happy family.

* I am proud to know Bob Munroe, 1941 Hoover High graduate, who

was at Pearl Harbor on the morning of the Dec. 7 attack. The Navy

acknowledged that his ship, the Tangier, fired the first Navy shot at

the attacking planes, and the Tangier captain said it was fired by

Munroe. The Tangier, a PBY tender, survived nearly four years of one

scary miracle after another in the Pacific Theater.

* I remember the late Mark Doyle, who survived a high level

combat assignment in the same war. He came home to father eight sons,

all college graduates. Each of the eight is still married to his

first wife.

Last year, shortly before he left us, Mark Doyle was on hand and

honored by the Glendale Chamber of Commerce at its annual Flag Day

Luncheon (June 14). This year, the chamber will honor war heroes and

others who pledge their allegiance to Old Glory and that for which it

stands. The honorees will include Joel Youngquist, the Glendale fire

and police departments, Danius Anelauskas and Nestle, USA.

* I am honored to know the war stories of George Haney, Tom

Bistagne, Fred Whitaker and many others in Glendale whose days in the

military were daring and fortunate. They walk down the street now,

unrecognized as heroes by members of the younger generation. It’s not

their fault. They weren’t around.

To many of us in the senior bracket, May through August is a

special span of time to notice the flag and remember the best of the

patriotic past.

VE-Day, D-Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and VJ-Day are times we

are filled with prideful thoughts and memories of both tragic and

joyful historic times.

Ours is a grand old flag.

* CHUCK BENEDICT’S columns run on alternate Mondays. Reach him at

637-3200 (voice mail 974), by fax at 549-9191 or via e-mail at