OXFORD – Elbert “Bud” G. Mohr was recently honored in a ceremony at the NYS Veterans’ Home. Village of Oxford Mayor Terry Stark, friends, family, and members of the Fort Hill American Legion Post 376 gathered on December 8, at the Vets’ Home, for an auspicious occasion that honored Bud, a World War II Army veteran, with a commemorative “Gold Leaf” engraved with his name, on the “Giving Tree.” Now ninety years old, Bud has led a life rich with observations and experiences, and his valuable contributions to the military and community were expressed.
Warm speeches were given by Mayor Terry Stark and Post 376 Commander Darlene Ardron. The Mayor brought along a copy of Bud’s book, “Rambling Fever - An old Tyme View of Central New York” as a reminder of all the wonderful stories Bud has shared as “The Oldtimer.” Always with a cheerful greeting and an informative tale about town, Bud has endeared himself to everyone he has ever met.
Anyone who has read The Oxford Review-Times over the past years got to know “The Oldtimer” (or TOT) through his column, “Rambling Fever” that started in the early 1970’s. Bud expressed his “happy thoughts” about many of his experiences while growing up in the 1930’s. He learned: to be a movie projector operator (and changing the carbon sticks that provided the light) at the theatre owned by Walter Logan, the boat building trade in Trumansburg, sign and screen painting from Kelly Gillette, and photography from Olin Bowman.
In 1941, Bud left high school to enter the Army at the age of 17 where he proudly served in the South Pacific as a truck driver with the combat engineers. Bud was discharged from the Army in 1946. In his Rambling Fever column, Bud was requested a couple of times to tell about the real Kilroy. This was the WWII soldier who inspected ship weldings and marked them with a cartoon face and “Kilroy was here” graffiti that became legend.
Upon returning from the military, Bud worked in law enforcement, first with the Police department in Oxford working his way to the Chief position, eventually leaving this job to work for the County Sheriff's Department. In 1946, Bud worked as the town of Oxford Constable.
Bud has been a long time member of the Oxford American Legion (70 years) and the Oxford Fire Dept. (66 years). He helped with innumerable Community Breakfasts, rode in Memorial Day parades (in Joe Knoll’s classic Caballero), and participated in flag disposal ceremonies, Veterans Day observances and more with Post 376. He is an honorary member of the Lions Club, the Rotary Club, and assisted with an endless list of community events. Most importantly, Bud’s shared his trademark “sunny outlook on life” with everyone wherever he goes. It only seems fitting that he be honored in the Vets’ Home.
The Giving Tree is a plaque of gold engraved leaves and bronze branches on the wall in the piano lounge of the Veterans’ Home. It serves as a permanent record of special past and present residents of the facility who have been honored by friends, family or organizations. Donations for the leaves go into an account used exclusively for the benefit of residents in this home. The Tree was donated by the Detachment of NY, Sons of the American Legion (SAL).
To send Bud a card for this (or his birthday Feb. 6), mail to him at: NYS Veterans’ Home, 4207 St. Hwy 220, Oxford, NY 13830. For more info on the Giving Tree, contact Hettie Rosenbarker at (607) 843-3120/ email@example.com .
The Fort Hill American Legion Post #376 has over 600 members combined and is located at 17 S. Washington Ave., Oxford. Ph: (607) 843-8166. See the Post’s calendar, at oxford-ala.chenango.org