I was motivated to write after reading the article concerning the gentleman having his wheelchair stolen while he used the restroom as he was serving as a volunteer at the Elks Lodge fireworks stand on the southwest corner of 6th Street, and Gateway Drive.
I usually purchase fireworks at this location as the people are friendly and I know the Elks are a worthy organization. This year, as before, I dropped by, and as I was looking things over I noticed a granite marker where a metal plaque used to be located.
I originally discovered this by accident a few years back and marveled at the plaque describing the fact that the tree behind the granite was planted in 1921 and was to honor the men from Madera County who had served in World War I. The plaque was donated by the “Daughters of the American Revolution” (Now there is an organization I bet folks don’t hear much of. I am not sure if they are still around) This was before we had a war memorial site, and I am not sure if we even had a courthouse park in those days.
I said that this granite marker “Used to have” a metal plaque on it, because this year it was gone.
I could see some chip marks around the edges where the plaque used to be. I am assuming it was pried off during the dark of night sometime during the year, and then no doubt sold to an unscrupulous metal-recycle location, probably by a junkie just trying to get enough money to get high just one more time.
I checked the other plaque located out by the sidewalk on Gateway (This one from the “Pioneer Mothers”, who I have never heard of). That plaque was there, with some chip marks around it. Closer to the street, and lights, so the thieves were foiled in their attempts to get this one too.
It is a shame that everything now days has to be locked behind bars, chained down, or have a security guard straddling it. Lots of people have populated the City of Madera since those historic plaques were dedicated, and lots of people and changes are under way, unfortunately not all good.