228 Green Bay Road, Highwood, IL (847) 432-4608
This Week's Del Rio Story
When I was a kid, Memorial Day was not the end of a three day weekend. It was a day for wearing the Cub Scout uniform and marching in the parade. We had our meetings at the American Legion building down the street under the very gracious leadership of Mrs. Peradotti, our Den Mother.
The parade took us past the forty or so restaurants and watering holes of Highwood. As we passed each establishment more folks would join in as we made our way to the center of town and our War Memorial. There we would hear speeches by the Mayor, the Fort Sheridan Commander plus some long winded words of a few local politicians. They would always recognize and honor the last remaining veteran of World War One, Mr. Frankie Cassario, the shortest veteran of any war. I will never forget his proud face, his ramrod posture, and the stride of a hero. He seemed a Giant.
There was a concert by the Fifth Army Band who worked out of Fort Sheridan and were considered to be the best marching band in North America. In later years, we were graced by the Highland Park High School band.
After that we went home, loaded flowers and tools into the car and it was off to the cemeteries. A short prayer, a wisp of tear and the flower bed at each stone was readied for Summer. For such a sorrowful day, I was always amazed that the weather was sunny and quite cheerful.
By late afternoon, we were in our Grandmother's yard with food and wine for the adults and a sweet drink called Tamarindo for the children. We chased fireflies at dusk and dropped into innocent sweet-dreamed slumber when the moon got high. The perfect end to a memorable Memorial Day. Try to text that you modern day ten year olds.