Even after decades, memories of fort still fresh for family
July 24, 2009
- Fort McPherson
In the bathroom of Quarters 532 on Fort McPherson is a small wall plaque that reads, "We do not remember days, we remember moments." On July 21, previous residents of that home came back after more than half a century to relive those remembered moments of days long ago.
Despite not having set foot on Fort McPherson for so long, the historic ties to the installation run deep in the veins of Ulie Jeffers Jr. and his older sister, June Coleman.
"There\'s a lot of history for them here," said Coleman's daughter, Melissa Grevemberg, who helped arrange the tour for the pair via coordination with the U.S. Army Garrison Public Affairs Office community relations officer, Shari Nettles.
The brother and sister began recalling history as they toured the installation with their extended family.
"We used to jump on the pony's backs and go riding down the field," said Jeffers, while passing Gammon Field. Back in his youth on the post, the field used to house horses used on post for polo matches and other activities, such as pulling the carriage that used to deliver fresh bread baked at the post bakery, a building that now houses the Veterinary Treatment Facility clinic. "Bread used to be 5 cents a loaf," he recalled, about half an hour's wage at his first job, setting up pins in the old bowling alley, which is now home to the ID card building.
"Nothing looks right to me so far," June said as the tour took them up the paved road alongside the U.S. Army Forces Command Headquarters, a dirt road back in the days of her youth, growing up on post between 1920 and 1942. Still, like the scenery around her, her perception would change as the tour made its way toward the post chapel, where she was married, and their old home, Quarters 532. The group met current occupant Vera Green, spouse of Chief Warrent Officer 5 Clyde Green, a military intelligence officer at U.S. Army Central.
"It's fascinating. Dad used to sit on the porch there," Coleman said at the home. She also pointed out the tree where she used to pick figs.
"It brings back memories, for sure," Jeffers said.
Though the siblings said it was a blessing to come back and see their old home, they said that the trip was also a little painful knowing that in a few years the post will be closing down for good. Still, despite the closure, the memories of that time will live on in their minds, and in the minds of their family.