Category Archives: QUILL SALUTES

Remembering Keith Allan Miller

Keith Allen Miller 5/27/48 - 9/7/67

Keith A Miller
5/27/48 – 9/7/67

It’s never a happy day, yes there may be outward smiles but inside there is a sense of loss, a memory and thoughts of what might have been.  It was over 60 years ago we were little kids in Buckley School, we played tag and ran on the playground.  It was the 1950’s and sometimes we walked home for lunch.

The years are long but the memory is crystal clear of the day Keith and I walked to the top of Barry Road and Keith challenged me, “race you down the hill” and with that he took off.  I was tall and thin with a long stride, Keith was short but solid and fleet of foot.  I gave it all I had but I never had a chance, I remember thinking, “I wish I could run like that”.

As I think back and remember, “run” was not a word to associate with Keith.  When we picked our teams Keith was a kid you wanted on your side.  You knew Keith would cover you, he would have your back, and Keith would stand his ground.  His hands were as quick as his feet.

We walked different paths, but I never forgot the race down the hill, I never forgot the kid that would not back down.  Now I reflect how well his choice to be a Marine fit his personality.  He was tough, he was strong, and he was determined.

When I hear the National Anthem or see a Marine I think of Keith.  I think of how young he was, I think of hopes and dreams, I reflect on life and what he sacrificed.  As the rain falls today I will think of tears of sadness shed for Keith and all our fallen soldiers.   Memorial Day, is to honor and remember those that gave their last breath in service to our United States.

I will go back to Buckley School today, I will view a memorial for my friend Keith.  I will bow my head, and say a prayer.  The tears that roll along my cheek may look like drops of rain cascading off my face but I will be remembering.  I will remember he never had a chance to live out his hopes and dreams.

I will remember Keith and I will remember his family.  I will remember his mother.  There has always been a special place within my heart for Keith’s mom.  She suffered and endured greatly for our nation, she lost both a husband and a son in service to our nation.  She will be remembered.

I will remember Keith’s siblings, and the heartache of emptiness that his passing has left.  I will remember because I can never forget my friend, Keith Allan Miller.  I can never forget what he and his family lost in Vietnam on September 7, 1967………………rest in peace, Keith.




Coventry After Dark

1 Coventry Night 4 011-2X-2Coventry Connecticut known as the birthplace of Nathan Hale and the Gateway to the Quiet Corner is a rather traditional New England small town. A rural community, with farms and forests, a town bifurcated by the state roads Route 44 and 31, Coventry provides visitors and residents a respite from the harsh lights and noise found in other cities and towns.
A night time trip through Coventry can pass uneventfully and yet there is plenty to fill the eyes and embed a memory. Like any town, residents of Coventry can become accustom to the sights, take them for granted, but what will you see if you visit at night?
If you are a current resident of Coventry we hope you enjoy this presentation, if you are a former resident, perhaps this will bring back some memories of Coventry. If you have never been to Coventry let this be an introduction but not a substitution for a visit.
Coventry After Dark provides a glimpse of the lights and sights as you spend some time at night in this Quiet Corner of Connecticut. You’re invited to view this photographic slide show as we take in a view of Coventry as it appears to the night time traveler.

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A Father’s Day Remembrance

East Cementary 009-3XThey say time heals all wounds, I sometimes wonder if I have enough time remaining in my life to heal.  It has been twenty five years, and the scars upon my heart remain and yet the memories and lessons still provide strength and guidance.

My father was not a man of elegant words; his lessons were passed on by example and action.  A man working day and night holding two jobs for thirty-five years without missing time passes on a work ethic.  There is no doubt he was a provider for his family but it was his acts of kindness and love that have proven to be his lasting legacy.

Today I enjoy the toil of clamming and the results of my harvest, an endeavor passed on by a man that never ate the fruits of his labor.  No, my dad would dig and clean the clams for family and friends out of love and kindness, receiving only smiles of joy from those that ate the fruit of his labor.

The first year he was gone was filled with memories and tears, the wounds of such sudden sorrow were deep.  Trying to move forward would bring back memories and moments of sadness over his passing.   The first time clamming alone was one I can never forget, but the story is true and the memory is clear.

It was a warm and sunny day like many others on Cape Cod Bay, an ideal day with a tide that would accommodate an early afternoon of clamming.  I ventured out over the tidal flats, a walk I had taken with my dad and always taken for granted.  He would always lead the way knowing exactly where to go.  Over the years the clam beds were getting smaller, but dad knew just the spot to go in the uncharted expanse before us.

Now alone I ventured out, rake in one hand and bucket in the other.  Yes I thought I could do what dad had done; he made it look so easy.  I dug, and I struggled, the tide was turning and little did I have to show for my efforts.  My emotions were raw, as I thought back to the times I had shared in these waters with the man that never ate the clams.

Alone in thought, I believed if he were there we would have had our limit and been walking home by now, but I only had three clams.  The tide was changing but not my luck.  I saw a seal not too far away, I paused to observe and thought how much my dad liked to watch the wild life that Mother Nature so kindly brought his way.

It was then I noticed the seal seem to be nodding his head to my right, I moved in that direction and he continued to nod and I continued to move.  It wasn’t that far until he stopped and suddenly began to move his head up and down as if to say, yes.  I paused, and without hesitation I began to rake for clams, for the tide was turning and the time was coming when I would have to stop my quest.

There with the first stroke of the rake was a clam, as I reached for my bucket I looked toward the seal but he was gone.   I continued to rake and in a short time I had what I had come to seek, a bucket full of clams.  It was time to go and leave the bay but the memory of that day will never leave.

It has been twenty-five years since dad was killed by a hit and run driver, not a day goes by that I don’t think about the man.  The wounds of that day are deep, the scars of time remain and I wonder if I will live long enough for time to heal the wounds of loss.  On this day, I can only write these words in his memory, happy Father’s Day, dad.

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They Are Nearly Gone, A Generation Passing

Our FlagThey are nearly gone now, time has taken them away.  They are men of another generation, children of the great depression.  Boys that turned to men on the beaches of Normandy, in the sands of Iwo Jima and carnage of Pearl Harbor they remember their brothers in war and peace.

Memorial Day has a deeper meaning for them.  They were there among the dead; they carried the bodies, of fallen brothers.  They were the defenders of freedom, the lucky ones that returned home.  Their memories were strong and clear, the times they wanted to remember were the times spent with their fellow fighters.  They could not forget the carnage and destruction left by the scars of war but their love of fallen brothers ignited traditions of remembrance.

They vowed to remember; they organized and joined together in organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Army Navy Club, the Marine League and the American Legion.  Traditions of remembrance and honor for their fallen brothers were building blocks for the next generation.  No day had more meaning than Memorial Day, a day to honor the men and memories from their time at war.

They were younger then, stronger in mind and body.  Today, time has taken most of them away.  Every year there are fewer veterans of the “greatest generation” to carry on those traditions of remembrance.  The traditions have been passed to a new generation; the sacrifices will never be forgotten.

The light of freedom shines bright upon our nation, the torch of responsibility to remember has been passed, and we must never forget.  Memorial Day is time set aside to remember the sacrifice of all our fallen brothers and sisters.  The sands of time will take away a generation but the traditions of remembrance will not pass away.

When the sun rises above our land on Monday we will be given another day to remember, we will remember those that never lived to see the light of God grace their dreams and hopes.  We will join as a nation to honor those that sacrificed their lives for each of us and for our hopes and dreams.

In the evening the light of day will slow set to the darkness of the night and we will still remember, we will remember those brothers and sisters that did not return.  We will remember because we can never forget those that served, fought and died for us.



Remembrance and Rededication

Keith Allen Miller 5/27/48 - 9/7/67

Keith Allen Miller
5/27/48 – 9/7/67

Across America on Memorial Day weekend folks will gather to remember, honor and memorialize those that gave their lives for this great nation.  They are the men and women that sacrificed their hopes, their dreams and their future to preserve and protect the land they loved.

In Manchester there will be a special ceremony of remembrance for a fallen native son, a brother and a friend to all that knew him.  On Saturday May 25th there will be a re-dedication of a memorial in honor of Keith Allan Miller near the main entrance to Buckley School.  Keith began his education at Buckley as a first grader in 1954, the year it opened as his new neighborhood school.

The original memorial included a tree and plaque placed in his memory by the community after his death in Vietnam, but over time many forgot.  The plaque was covered by the sands of time and the Town had plans to remove the tree, they had forgotten, but those that will gather will never forget.  The plaque has been restored, the tree has been trimmed and the memorial has been enhanced.  It is time to re-dedicate the community memorial for Keith Miller.

Once again the community will gather in honor of Keith.  They will never forget the void in their hearts, the pain of loss, and the dreams destroyed.  They will remember a young man of courage, strength and love of country.  They will remember his eager willingness to serve his nation.

Those that grew up with Keith remember a little boy that could run like the wind, but they will remember him Saturday as a consummate Marine. A brave young man standing tall and strong in face of any foe, fighting for his country, a land he loved.

This Memorial Day would have been Keith’s 65th birthday, a time when many of his contemporaries retire, a time when they look back at life and recall special moments of great joy.  For them Memorial Day will mean a family gathered round and grandchildren learning family traditions.  Keith never had that chance; he was only a teenager with hopes and dreams serving as a man when suddenly his life was over, but he was not forgotten.

We will never forget his sacrifice; we will never forget the void in our lives and the pain in our hearts.  We will gather together, family and friends that remember a young man full of potential with dreams and hopes.  Community members that never knew Keith will join us to honor his service and sacrifice, Keith will not be forgotten.

On Memorial Day weekend, we are all part of that one nation under God that Keith so dearly loved.  We will remember others this weekend as we do each year, we will remember their sacrifice but for many of us this will be a weekend to remember one very special Marine.  We will remember his birthday, his life and his sacrifice; we will remember Keith Allan Miller.

In 1966 Keith could have graduated high school, gone on with his life, with dreams of young love, children, and family traditions but his goal included service to his country as a young Marine in time of war.  We can never forget.

On this Memorial Day weekend, there is a time and place to express your remembrance and honor for a native son of Manchester. Keith Miller stood for you in time of war; you can stand for him in a time of remembrance.  The community is invited to remember Keith by attending the rededication.

Schedule of events:

Meet and Greet the Miller family from 10:30 – 11:30am

Rededication ceremony to begin at 11:30am


For more written in honor and memory of Keith Allen Miller use the links below:

Memorial Day Honor And Remembrance

KEITH ALLEN MILLER – He Will Never Be Forgotten

They Never Asked And We Can Never Forget




Historic Cooperation Of University And China Brings 漱芳斋 To New England

Artist's concept for Bryant University's Shu Fang Zhai reconstruction

Artist’s concept for Bryant University’s Shu Fang Zhai reconstruction

Bryant University in Smithfield, RI will soon have something not found anywhere else in the world except in the Forbidden City of China.  In April ground will be broken for the construction of a replica of Shu Fang Zhai (漱芳斋).

The university historically has focused on the study of business and with that comes the ever expanding need of a cultural understanding for global marketing.  In 2005 Bryant University recognized the importance and growing role of China as part of their curriculum and established a U. S. – China Institute.

Students and professors have rapidly expanded their exposure to China through internships, foreign exchange and travel.  Bryant added a Confucius Institute in 2006 to enhance offerings and opportunities on campus.

It was an historic event when in 2008 President George H. W. Bush attended the ceremonial announcement that Bryant University would be receiving approval and cooperation from China to replicate a building from the Forbidden City.  This is the first time China has allowed such project anywhere in the world.

Shu Fang Zhai is a palace not open to the public in China and was originally constructed as part of a 15 year project to build the Forbidden City during the early 1400’s. The Forbidden City required over 1 million workers to construct.  Shu Fang Zhai, once a palace for opera productions has most recently been used as a reception chamber for visiting heads of state and dignitaries.

The Bryant reconstruction will be fabricated in China using the same historic techniques employed in the 1400s when the original structure was built, taken apart, put into containers, and shipped to Rhode Island, where it will be reassembled.

The project is not only intricate and complex, in terms of architecture and construction but also in terms of securing government approval.  When completed, the structure’s buildings and courtyard will cover approximately half an acre on the Bryant campus and will be used as part of Bryant’s U.S. – China Institute.    

Bryant University celebrates their 150th anniversary this year and expects the Shu Fang Zhai project to be completed by year end but it is not the end of Bryant’s ever expanding cooperation with China. Recently a Bryant delegation met in Zhuhai and Beijing with directors of the Beijing Institute of Technology, Zhuhai to continue discussions on a joint academic venture that will result in Bryant developing a branch campus in China.

Plans for this unique joint facility will be the subject of continued meetings among the universities, their accrediting associations, and the Chinese government. It is expected that the Chinese partners will provide all capital investments, including land and facilities, in this new joint venture.

While the growth in technology and information systems may be shrinking our world the expansion of educational opportunities and cultural understanding is expanding our minds.  A tip of the Quill goes out to Bryant University for their accomplishment in reconstructing a part of the Forbidden City of China in New England.

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She Gave Us More Than Musical Memories

Patti Page bPatti Page, a legendary star of musical fame from the 1950’s died on New Year’s Day; she left us with musical memories of a time gone by and so much more.  Today the Opining Quill salutes Patti Page for her performance of “Old Cape Cod”.

Patti Page created more than music with “Old Cape Cod”, she created a mood, a visual and took you to a place where life stood still while you could exhale stress and relax.   Listening to Patti as the sunsets over Cape Cod Bay brings a special feeling of calm and peace, the perfect elixir for stress relief.

Join me now in listening to Patti Page sing “Old Cape Cod” and enjoy some of the visuals that make Cape Cod such a wonderful escape and bring you to a world of relaxation, beauty.

Click on first picture to hear “Old Cape Cod” by Patti Page

Sunset at Thumpertown Beach 013a

Path To Setting SunGull At The HelmSun At Sunken MeadowSunset On Cape Cod BayDucks In MarshBird On SandCAPE COD 005 - CopySunrise At Nauset Marsh 003aWatching Sunset


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