Every year we the employees of the National Park Service and the Presidio Trust get an important opportunity to celebrate Black History Month. The event is organized by the African American Association - the only one of its kind in the whole United States among all the National Parks.
We had in our presence three Buffalo Soldiers Mr. Ulysses Moore, Mr. Ralph Hobson, and Mr. John Reid at this year's Black History Month - which we celebrated at the Presidio Officers' Club.
Our President, Mr. Joe Oliver reminded us that we all should call ourselves Americans. I too feel the same way but someone started this business Chinese Americans, Native Americans and after all our Association is called the African American Association.
We were gathered to remember the good stuff and the not so good stuff. We had live jazz music and that was nice. There was good food and some cool soft drinks. The people were happy but there were some African American employees from the Presidio Trust but more from the National Park Service. There was no one from the United States Park Police. They are busy I suppose supporting the Home Land Security efforts.
The speakers were all great and many of them had some great stories to tell. The Rosier Riveters had a lot to say and I saw many look aghast at the tough life they had to live and work in.
Joe Oliver our President spoke last and mentioned to us all that he had enough. He boldly made it known that he would throw in his gloves and announced that Rick Penn and I would have to bear the heavy cross. We are now to take the AAA and make good stuff happen!
It has not been easy keeping the African American Association alive. Every method has been used by some of the authorities to keep the membership down. We will not give up. We will ride our horses and hold our heads high - just like the Buffalo Soldiers.
The photographs you see are all Buffalo Soldiers with the exception of the person who is smiling the most. Always nice to be with the Buffalo Soldiers - they spur you up and cheer you all the way to high heaven.
Rick Penn put on the show and did a good job. Thanks to all those who supported us and the many who made the audience. Most of the people were happy to meet the Buffalo Soldiers.
The Buffalo Soldiers are here to stay in spirit for a long, long time. It would have been nice to see Craig Middleton, the Executive Director from the Presidio Trust - but he was not there. It would have been nice to see the new Major from the United States Park Police but I guess he was busy too. None of the National Park managers were there - they were very busy.
It was nice to see the Rangers and some one like Will Elders a great guy. Ranger Osborne, now here is one person who always has cheer in his bones. I saw Ruth Foster and Mike Crahnan and Hinda Kahane all fine people. Warren White has retired but he was at hand as he always is.
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dakin were listening to all that I was saying. There were others too many to mention.
I saw the Presidio Trust historian sitting on the steps at the far end of the hall - he was listening and I hope he learned a lesson or two about real history. Time to put the photograph of General Moraga where it belongs - it may soon be substituted with that of James Meadows! Time to give some credit to the Buffalo Soldier and to the Muwekma Ohlone.
February 19, 2003 at the Officers Club - the live Buffalo Soldiers were all happy at least some one had thought about them. At least some one loves them, as they ought to be loved.