With each passing hearse, older baby boomers are witnessing deaths of the few remaining World War II veterans and others of the Greatest and Silent generations, folks we’ve said “Yessir” and “No ma’am” to since we were young’uns.
Seems like police officers, process servers and funeral directors are about all that’s left to spark our Southern manners.
This week began honoring a man deserving such respect, a true Greatest Generation gentleman and a decorated World WWII and Korean War veteran, Herbert H. Gannon Sr.
There was a large funeral crowd for times troubled by COVID-19, protest demonstrations, high noon heat and because HHG Sr. was a 96-year-old who’d outlived his wife and lifelong friends.
Everyone gathered for Monday’s service could attest that Mr. Herbert was always armed with a smile to share with everyone.
He was a two-term city councilman with no axe to grind, no personal agenda to follow, except to always keep the best interest of Enterprise, Alabama, at hand.
Mr. Gannon and your scribe crossed paths for decades and in various ways.
Like Daddy, Herb Gannon was once in the auto salvage business with Preston Richburg.
After Mr. Herbert left the salvage business to take over operations at Redmon’s, next door to the First Methodist Church, Daddy and Preston and third partner Wayne Whitehead moved their fledgling used car outfit, City Auto Sales, from North Main Street to the Park Avenue location where the Gannon/Richburg operation had been.
Soon after the move, City Auto Sales snagged the Dodge dealership and Mr. Herbert got busy selling boats and boating extras, tires, TVs, Cushman golf carts and motor scooters and lawnmowers, among many products and services.
Therein lies the only problem with Mr. Herbert, whose abilities as a salesman were once suspect to your scribe.
Oh, he did a great job when he sold Dick Adams an Admiral TV, the first color set in the House of Adams, but that was almost overshadowed twice.
First, he sold Daddy a new lawnmower with big rear tires but no self-propelled feature. The only “self” propelling about it was the HoA’s only child.
Second, and more importantly, Mr. Herbert didn’t sell Daddy a Cushman motor scooter, a magnificent machine popular in these parts in the middle decades of the 20th Century.
Mr. Herbert should’ve known the sound of a Cushman Eagle or Super Eagle engine running would haunt your scribe until the very day these words were written.
Mr. Herbert likely didn’t try too hard, if at all, to sell Daddy a Cushman, knowing full-well he’d have to have been the type salesman Bro. Dave Gardner described as “being able to sell aluminum siding to a man with a brick house.”
Could be such salesmen are running amok in this country, unwisely re-opening recreational facilities, restaurants, professional and amateur sports operations, etc., before this insidious COVID-19 monster runs its full course.
Now, we’re worse off than we were two months ago, and we ain’t seen the light at the end of the tunnel yet!
Sooner or later, somebody’ll discover a formula, including Gorilla glue, Superglue, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, vinegar, baling wire, WD-40, castor oil and/or scratch in it as the cure for this demonic coronavirus.
Sooner, rather than later, will somebody please, as Verne Lundquist said, “Cue the duck.”
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