Tag Archives: Veteran

Requiem for Booker T. Gibson

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
March 18, 2016

Instead of writing this right now, I’d be at Booker T. Gibson’s funeral at Union Baptist Church in Hempstead, if I’d learned about his March 10th death sooner, rather than a few minutes ago when I read his moving obituary by Herald reporter Scott Brinton.

Merrick, New York, USA. May 27, 2013. Veteran Booker T. Gibson at Annual Memorial Day Parade 2013, hosted by American Legion Merrick Post No. 1282, with ceremony at Merrick Veteran Memorial Park. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. May 27, 2013. Veteran Booker T. Gibson at Annual Memorial Day Parade 2013, hosted by American Legion Merrick Post No. 1282. (© 2013 Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Booker was an active member of the American Legion Merrick Post 1282, and I’m a member of its Auxiliary. We first met on December 10, 2011, at the Northport VA Medical Center, where he played piano to accompany our AL Post members singing Christmas carols to patients. Which was more mesmerizing and expressive: Booker’s big bright eyes, his hands as they played, or his warm personality? I can’t decide.

Close-up of Booker T Gibson's hands as he plays piano at Northport VA medical Center, on Dec. 19, 2011. Light vignette. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Northport, New York, USA. December 19, 2011. Close-up of Booker T Gibson’s hands as he plays piano at Northport VA medical Center to accompany American Legion Merrick Post 1282 singers. (© 2011 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Years ago, filmmaker André Joseph contacted me to license editorial photos for EPYX Productions’ 2013 documentary film on Booker T. Gibson. When we spoke, Joseph’s deep respect for Gibson was clear, as it was later in his 2013 documentary:

AJ EPYX Documentary film:  Book T. Gibson: A Teacher’s Journey

Writing this visual requiem, I feel both sad (quite sad) and profoundly grateful to have known and photographed fellow Merrokean, fellow teacher, fellow lover of music, Booker T. Gibson.

American Legionnaires, Booker T. Gibson at right, riding in classic car in Merrick Memorial Day Parade on May 28, 2012, on Long Island, New York, USA. America's war heroes are honored on this National Holiday. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. May 28, 2012. American Legionnaires, Booker T. Gibson at right, riding in classic car in Merrick Memorial Day Parade. (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Booker T. Gibson playing piano:  GALLERY

Scott Brinton/Herald Life:  Booker T Gibson Obituary

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Final Roll Call – Merrick Memorial Day Parade 2014

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
May 26, 2014

Once again, three generations of our family attended the Merrick Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony.

Merrick, New York, U.S. - May 26, 2014 - Mother holds her 2-year-old son who is pointing to a Fire Engine in the Merrick Memorial Day Parade, hosted by American Legion Post 1282 of Merrick, honoring those who died in war while serving in the United States military. (Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. May 26, 2014.  Mom and her toddler son watch fire engines in the Merrick Memorial Day Parade. (© 2014 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

This morning it was even more moving than usual because Dad’s name was one of those read during the American Legion Merrick Post 1282  “Final Roll Call” near the end of the memorial events at Merrick Veteran’s Memorial Park.

Dad loved history, especially about the Civil War. He had a photographic memory – which landed him in military intelligence during WWII. He enjoyed reciting poems, and we all enjoyed listening to them, including a dashing rat-a-tat-tat one about a military reporter, that Dad heard the author recite just once. He was also quite the raconteur.

In the above video, Dad becomes more his animated self as he goes along. Our family loves how it gives a glimpse of the kind, gentle man he was.

We miss you and we love you, Dad.

Merrick, New York, U.S. - May 26, 2014 - A veteran salutes fire fighters marching in The Merrick Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony, hosted by American Legion Post 1282 of Merrick, honors those who died in war while serving in the United States military. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. May 26, 2014 – Merrick Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony, hosted by American Legion Post 1282 of Merrick. (© 2014 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick Memorial Day 2014:   SLIDESHOW  |   GALLERY

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