The Junior Class of Ocean City High School was recently visited by Col. Rocky Gannon, U.S.A.F. (Ret.). Col. Gannon was introduced to the students by Barbara Daniel, the Social Studies Team leader at the high school. In referring to the U.S. II American History book used at the school, Daniel stated that Col. Gannon “lived half the book, his stories are amazing, and he’s local.” Gannon was a combat pilot in World War II, Korea, the Belgian Congo, and Vietnam. After World War II, he served three years in the Occupation of Iwo Jima and Japan.
Gannon began his talk by saying, “Seventy years ago this month, I was a junior at Ocean City High School.” Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, during his junior year, he enlisted in the Air Force and became a Commander of a B-17 bomber at age 19.
Gannon remarked that “Ocean City High School and the kids I was with were the foundation of my life.” He noted that “twenty-five percent of our class had gone to war before graduation.” He spoke of getting his “GED,” and while in the service, “received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees.” In 2003, he was awarded his diploma from Ocean City High School.
He remarked, “I’ve had the most fantastic life. I’ve been around the world many times, visited 71 countries, and learned five languages.”
Another story which he shared with the class was that he “was 12 years old” when his family “first had electricity.” Before that, he did his homework by a kerosene lantern. He also mentioned that at his first Boy Scout meeting in 1937, while playing outside, the Scouts saw the Hindenburg and “waved to the people in it,” only to find out later about the disaster.
Everyone in the audience gave their absolute attention to Gannon as he related his fascinating stories. Barbara Daniel remarked that his talk “was a great introduction to what they’re going to study in junior year.”
Gannon’s career spanned 37 years in the Air Force where he received 50 military awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and ten Air Medals.
John R. Elliott Hero Walk – Join the Hero Campaign for Designated Drivers at this 5K Walk on Oct. 14. Registration begins at 9 a.m. at the Sports and Civic Center, 6th and the Boardwalk, with the Walk beginning at 11 a.m. Call 609-626-3880 or visit www.theherowalk.org for more information.
Everything is in apple pie order for the 12th annual Applefest to be held on Oct. 20 (rain date Oct. 21), from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Gandy Farmstead, 26 Tyler Road, in Greenfield. While at the AppleFest “Gala,” look for “Granny Smith,” “Jonathan,” and possibly the “Pink Lady.” A special appearance will be made by Johnny Appleseed.
Demonstrations by traditional craft artisans will take place, as well as apple pie baking contests for children and adults. It’ll be bushels of fun, as there’s always plenty of good food, along with children’s games, horseshoe pitching for children and adults, and live music featuring the Piney Hollow Drifters. There is no admission charge, and parking is free. For more information, phone 609-390-5656, visit www.uppertwphistory.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.” Bernard Baruch.
For a complete list of upcoming events in the county go to the Herald calendar, in print and online, at www. capemaycountyherald. com/ calendar.
If you would like to make the public aware of happenings in your town, classroom, group, or club, please email me at RWhelan@cmcherald.com.