NEWS FROM THE HUT by John Hamilton
Well, we are already into the second month of 2021. Can you believe it? I think it is clear by the news media, and all the online medias that the consensus is that the year 2020 was not one of the best to look back on. The center of unhappiness, fear, and unrest was the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020.
The year started out great with Charlie O’Leary and John Hamilton attending the Mid-Winter Conference in January at the Hotel and Casino in Shawnee, and a successful flag deployment for Martin Luther King Day. We were having our Monday morning breakfasts and planning for the annual Legion-Auxiliary Valentine Dinner in February. The Sons of the American Legion (SAL) were in full swing with several outings in 2019. Boys State was moving forward with a nice Chicken Noodle Fundraiser in March netting the Post plenty of funds to send two or more Juniors from Hominy High School to Boys State. The positive beginning for Post 142 in 2020 did not last.
The first revelation in the year 2020 was Gary Lanham, a member of the American Legion for the past nine years and a CMSgt retired from the USAF, OKANG, USAFR, and OKARNG became ill but he is on the road to recovery and we are all excited to welcome him back. The next disheartening event was the impending threat from the Corona Virus pandemic, and that American Legion events were being postponed or canceled because of the virus. The Hut stopped having the Monday morning breakfasts and postponed the meetings altogether due to the members being in a high-risk group. Then the Department of Oklahoma and District conventions were canceled. The Post Executive Committee decided to keep the Hut closed and meetings on hold until the end of April. Amid all of this, a longtime long-time Legion member, Korean War Era vet, Past Post Commander, and grandfather to another post member, Heather Wolinska, Dean Bach passed away from complications brought on by the Corona Virus. Then another disappointment, the Summer Department of Oklahoma Convention, scheduled for June 18-20 was canceled. Boys State and other functions were canceled Then the Executive Committee decided to keep the Hut closed until mid-June and all meetings and functions. The flags at the cemetery event for Memorial Day was canceled. The O’Leary Family took over putting out the flags on Main Street and on Hwy 99 and 20 when required. Finally, the first meeting since March was scheduled for June 18th but the SAL meetings were still on hold. Sadly, we lost a wonderful lady and wife of our long-time member Jack Cross, Linda Cross who was a former President of the Auxiliary Unit 142 at the Hut.
Then we started to get back to somewhat of a normal schedule by scheduling a monthly meeting on the third Thursday of each month without a meal, with social distancing and masks. Still no Monday morning breakfasts. The Mid-Winter Conference has been rescheduled twice at the Hotel and Casino in Shawnee and now is finally going to be held April 9-10. I can only imagine how 2020 has changed all the readers of this article and the monstrous changes it has made in your personal, work, and school lives across the state of Oklahoma. Hopefully we will all get back to normal, whatever that might be, in 2021.
Until further notice, our regular Legion meeting will be the third Thursday of each month. Our next meeting will be on Thursday, February the 18th. at 7:00 PM. The Sons of the American Legion meetings have been suspended until further notice, depending on the future COVID-19 situation. All dinners have been cancelled until further notice. The Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings have been postponed as well for the same reason. If you are a veteran, come by for our monthly meeting, and if you have a good story, it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at the Post 142 website “americanlegion142.org” and Hominy Legion on Facebook.