MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Combat Center Marines and members of the Twentynine Palms Historical Society gathered under clear blue skies in front of the Twentynine Palms Museum to set up the annual Old Timers Reception Saturday.
The Old Timers Reception has been a tradition for the Twentynine Palms community since Bill and Prudie Underhill, residents of Twentynine Palms, hosted a social gathering at their home in 1968. They hosted the reception until the 80’s. Due to the Underhill’s age, the Historical Society then took over and held the event at the town’s first school house, according to the Historical Society’s Web site.
The society asked the Combat Center to help out with the setup and breakdown of the canopies, tables and chairs for the reception, and eight Marines showed up ready to help.
“I volunteer for a lot of the opportunities I hear about,” said Pfc. Trayia Wilson, an ammunition technician with the Center Magazine Area, Company B, Headquarters Battalion.
After the Marines finished setting up the event, they took time to look around the museum. Some Marines stayed for the entire day to hear the stories a few of the city’s elder residents shared about the town.
“I want to hear all the retired military guys’ stories,” said Lance Cpl. Douglas Tierney, an ammunition technician with CMA, and a Beauregard, Ala., native. “A lot of my family is in the military and this will give me more stories to tell when I’m with them.”
When the old rustic clock in the museum struck 1 p.m., the event began with a slide show presentation with pictures from the town’s first photographer, Harlow W. Jones, which was presented by his daughter Ann Maier.
Once the slide show wrapped up and everyone was finished going down memory lane, they headed outside to enjoy tasty food and ice cold drinks.
All the “old timers” spent hours telling the younger attendees how the town was different in their youth and all the achievements people have accomplished over the years.
All who showed up had the chance to learn something new and to talk with “old timers” who remember Twentynine Palms when it was still young.