18 March 2014

A Culver Family's Sacrifice


The Howard & Coral Bryant, Norm & Louise Lamunion, and Wesley & Chloe Bryant families of Culver
One of my favorite old family photos, though it is in poor condition, is one that was taken when my grandparents and my grandmother's family lived in Culver during the 1930s-1940s.  My great grandfather, Wesley Bryant, lost their farm near Argos during the Great Depression.  They relocated to Culver and bought a small house in town.  They had four sons and one daughter, Alice-my grandmother.  The oldest son, Henry, and my grandmother were already married and out of the house.  My grandparents also chose to live in Culver where my grandfather worked for the state highway, and my grandmother was a regular guest singer at a Culver radio station.

Private First Class Harold Bryant's gravestone in Culver.
When World War II began, my grandmother's three brothers who still lived at home all enlisted.  Herberdean (Beanie), Hilton (Bugsy), and Harold (the youngest) were called away to serve their country abroad.  My grandmother and grandfather, who had a hearing impairment and could not enlist, went to work at the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant.  They had a ration of gasoline to get them, and a carpool of other workers, from Culver to the plant on a daily basis.  Henry established a factory in Kingsford Heights and made rubber boots and coats for soldiers.  Henry's daughter married a Kabelin in LaPorte and began the regionally-based hardware chain.

From left to right:  the Lamunions, Howard & Coral Bryant, Harold Bryant, and Wesley & Chloe Bryant at Culver Cemetery
The old photo-which looks to have been taken during the winter months-was the last snapshot of the family all-together on the front porch of their Culver home.  The last photo, because Harold never returned.  He was killed on Christmas Eve during the Battle of the Bulge.  He, and my great grandparents, were laid to rest in the cemetery on Culver's south side.  My great grandmother's sister, Coral, married my great grandfather's brother, Howard, and they had one child-Louise, who married Norm Lamunion-an old Culver family.  The Bryants and Lamunions all share a row in the cemetery's midsection.

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