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    by cadetat6, papa Art

    Marion Puzzle,

    This is the story of Marion puzzled life fitting the pieces together. Here is a 5-foot (standing on a telephone book) grandmother in her fifties (early fifties) and husband Lee Chard. They owned a machine shop, computer service (she also taught computer programming at night Novi High School). She attended St Francis De Sales and going to work she often passed Art West Chicago Baptist Church. Her father was a Combat Engineer in WW2.She would sit on his lap as they watched “Combat” on TV. When she was 12 her father died. Years later June 24, 2004 she decided to make a Web Site dedicated to her father and combat engineers and write a book about the engineers. Now the puzzle pieces started to fall in place.


    This all started July 14,2004 when Art posted his famous “ How I met my wife”. Marion read Gratiot and 8 Mile Road, Belle Isle and said here is a fellow Detroiter. Art would send e-mail to Marion and they would be more parts to her puzzle. Each e-mail came when she needed a boost of moral. They would remember Rivera and Annex theaters, Montgomery Dept Store, City of Northville,Novi, Plymouth, her sister-in-law lived only a mile from him, streets Fenkell,Pinehurst Chalfonte,Kentucky,Cheerylawn..This went on with puzzle pieces falling in place until December 2004..Art had meet 101st Airborne (his brother, Robert, was 101st K.I.A.) Don Burgett..Joe Beyrle,, George Koskimaki,, and Don Strith, who Art had lunch with at Big Boy on Telegraph Road, talked about Robert Morneweck who was wounded at Bastogne and was K.I.A. crossing the Rhine River.

    Marion was reading a book “Beyond The Rhine’ by Don Bugett. And said it would be nice to meet Don for an interview.. Art did not say anything, but went home and called Don Bugett, who he knew through his brother Robert who was K.I.A. crossing the Rhine. Art told Don he knew a lady who would like to interview him. Don said he was busy for the rest of the year,then looked at his schedule and said he had Thursday Dec. 16,2004 open. Art e-mailed Marion and said “ I got a deal for you. Don Burgett is busy but if you can make it here on Dec. 16 ,he will be home and will meet you for an interview and sign your book. Let me know if you can make it. Marion now on cloud nine sent e-mail back saying “ Houston we have a go, how cool is this. Wow, you are my guardian angel. Look at this he even arranges meetings with her heroes and yes she would pick Art up haha...Art you can take the place of my dad on earth, I will adopt you as internet adopted father. . Art called Don to verify the meeting and he asked Don if he could sign her book with note welcoming Marion to 101 airborne.. Marion ( 240 miles away in Alger, Michigan) picked up Art in Novi and they went to Howell, Michigan for the interview, Dec. 16, 2004. This was the day Marion became a part of 101st Airborne 506th Infantry. She met Don and his wife Twyla and the four of us sat for hours talking, watching the deer in Don’s back yard ,drinking coffee , we also had a tour of his house that he built one summer, sleeping in a pup tent. Back home Marion got e-mail from her friend Rich Horrell saying you are now in with the Big Boys. An other piece of the puzzle was the man who sold them the store in Alger was brother of Art daughter Toni Ann hair dresser. There were puzzle pieces falling one after the other. Remember Marion Puzzel started when she seen Art post about Gratiot and 8 Mile Road, Guess what, George was raised near there. The Dec interview Marion & Art were invited to third Wed. monthly lunch for 101st. 506 infantry . January 19, 2005 they planned on meeting. Snow storm keep Marion from the lunch but Art ,only a couple miles from the lunch made it and he kept notes to e-mail to Marion.. Art told them he would bring Marion to next meeting in February. They didn’t seem to care. You see it is after you meet this little dynamo that you get infatuated with her.. Feb. 16 Marion drove down from Alger, Michigan, picked up Art and they went to the lunch. She was welcomed by all and she met Mr. K ( last name too hard to pronounce) called George, Don Burgett and Don Straith. ,Burgett had to leave early. George took Marion and my-self to Dinner at Guernsey Restaurant ,then we went to George house and Marion fixed his computer. Merrion now asked George to be her mentor .Now March came along and Marion was needed at the Alger store, so Art went alone.

    April 101st lunch brought more puzzle pieces , her high school teacher Gene Kramer was there. also WW2 buff Geoff. After lunch Burgett signed three books for Marion. Now the raffle, the table Marion & Art was at took most of the winning tickets, we gave away a lot of them.

    May 101st lunch was fine and after the meeting about six men met Marion & Art at Chills resturant at 8 mile and Haggerty. At Chills was George,,Gary Drake,,Gene Kramer,,Bill Seaman,,Ray Makela,,Geoff Gale,, Marion got George and one of his students together by phone. The model plane was the flying tigers P-40

    June 101st lunch , Marion could not come due to Alger store needs. . I asked George if I could bring a friend. Got the OK and brought my buddy Chuck Gray , a Army Air Corp. Radar Man.who guided ships across Atlantic Ocen.

    July 101st NO MEETING

    Aug, 101st NO MEETING

    Sept. 101st Marion could not come. Marion could not make it, so I took Chuck again. Last night I called Ray Gonzales and he came. I gave George a two page of talking points about Ray and he read the whole two pages and many said Ray should have received the Medal of Honor

    Oct. 19,2005 was big time. Marion picked up Art and they went to 101st lunch at Leather Bottle Restaurant. George had every thing set for a good day. It opened with pledge of Allegiance to our country and a prayer by George. Then we heard from a young soldier just came back from Iraq. A Michigan State Police Officer was asked if you could drive 5 miles over the speed limit and he said you can drive as fast as you want BUT his look told you had better not. Don Bugett did not make this meeting but most of the regular did. George always there, Don Straith on crutches from his broken hip, Mark Bando with his tape on his jumping from C-46, and (I can ‘t remember names) rest of the regulars. Marion set up her WW2 items that took up a whole table. A Ike jacket, --- S.P. Arm Band,--- a M.P. Arm Band,---many old army booklets of regulations,---many item that her fathers friends gave her--- a German emblem,---a tape she made of Don Burgett tripe to Bastogne. Mark Bando came over and looked at all the WW2 items and invited Marion to one of his next tripes. Again our little historian was on cloud nine. After pulling her back to earth, we went to my house so she could send the lunch pictures to Lee ( her husband) in Alger, Michigan. Then we had supper and Marion went to meet Lee sister.

    All this time Art was Marion inter net adopted father so being old fashion father he took her to the 101st lunch and dinner at night, took her to his daughters house to meet his daughter’s and son-in-law and grand-son, and gave her 20 some web sites he posted in. many times. Art read post’s about Combat Engineers and he e-mailed the engineers message to Marion. Now after Oct. lunch Mark Bando ,who we had only seen at a couple of the lunch, came by and invited Marion to one of his trips. That was Oct . ,2005 and to-day Nov. 09, 2005 Chuck and I received the following e-mail from Marion, Hey you two, I was thinking ,why don’t the two of you plan on going to the 101st meeting next week? I haven’t seen Chuck in a long time and it would also help me out too because I’m going to Mark Bando’s house after the meeting next week. He lives in Detroit, so after visiting with him, I am going to go to my cousin’s house in Grosse Pointe and spend the night with her and her husband. I can just plan on meeting the two of you at the luncheon. I think it would be fun. I know Chuck didn’t get to go last week because of his hand. So whadya say Chuckie-poo, gonna go or not? Hugs, Mare ..Now as Marion friend Rich would say “you are now in with the Big Boys” her web site is growing so fast that Reg Lennon is taking over as moderator and Carolyn is re-seachering NARA.. Now for the Nov. lunch..I just received this e-mail N0v. 15. Sorry to do this to you guys because I was really looking forward to seeing you and everyone else, but it's not working out today for my trip tomorrow. First my car is still in the shop and it looks dubious whether I will get it back by tomorrow morning. Secondly Lee is sick again and that would mean him working all day tomorrow by himself.

    So I will have to cancel out. Please send everyone my love. I will also call George and let him know.

    I will try and make it in December if weather is good. That is always a factor for the long drive.

    Miss you both. Take care. Oh and don't worry, I won't forget to call Mark Bando either!

    Hugs, Mare Marion can not make it today

    Nov. 16 We met at Leather Bottle, and did the Pledge of allegiance and prayer by George. Then he read a couple of new’s item and then it was time to eat. We had Pot Roast,mashed potatoes,mixed vegetables bread and carrot cake. Chuck and I sat with 3 WW2 Buff’s, a Viet veteran and a 101st who was a prisoner in WW2. One member told about a history channel program about 101st company “E” saying they stayed at a old stables,.They did stay there a short period but it was company “A” that lived in that old stables. Another member (a POW) said POW could get 2500.00 a month by applying for it.. Another member said they were stating a program for all to write to our service people in IRAC… About 2 o’clock we all headed for home.

    Dec. 16,2005 is Marion one year anniversary. I will talk to George and see if we can do something special for her. Like parachuting out of a plane for her silver wings.

    Dec. 21,2005 is monthly lunch

    Five day’s ago Dec. 16, 2004 was the one year anniversary of 101st Airborne and Marion, the five foot (standing on telephone books) Dynamo. As Bogart, in Casablanca said “Marion (Loui) I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

  2. #2


    Marion WEB SITE



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