The seemingly spontaneous line got an uproarious laugh from the crowd as Winpigler, along with Ralph Putman, continued to list off the members, the majority of whom are deceased. The jabs kept coming a few minutes later when Past Commander William Kennedy Jr., the program’s de facto host, returned to the microphone.
As they should be.View here social clubs in America provide this weird, yesteryear fraternity that is often overlooked and under-appreciated by the younger set. It’s somewhat sad to see that brand of establishment struggle with membership as their deceased patrons aren’t always replaced by a still-developing subset of people whose age number is decidedly lower than the majority of the people currently patronizing said places. And it’s especially sad to see that happening to the American Legion, a place that distinctly honors this country’s military veterans.
Which, of course, added a particularly poignant layer of inspiration to the proceedings. Everybody treated everybody else like family, including me, a grumpy reporter from the local newspaper who had no previous affiliation with the club. It didn’t matter, though, as countless members came to shake my hand, offer conversation or even allow me to view some very old — and very cool — photos.