31 December 2009

Obituary(?)—Frank Chillis

I am almost reluctant to call this an obituary, although it is supposed to be one. No dates or next of kin, just a walk down memory lane, inspired by the death.

25 January 1912 Fremont Times Indicator

Frank Chillis, of Ferry, was found dead in his home by one of his neighbors last Wednesday morning. Death supposed to have been from apoplexy. Frank Chellis was an old time resident of Hesperia. He was a young man living with his parents when the writer first came to Hesperia, a green little Scotch girl, and she remembers Frank Chellis as a dashing young man with black trousers, a white shirt with a frilled bosom and a gay red sash trimmed on the ends with silver fringe, playing in the first band that was ever organized in Hesperia. She also remembers her first appearance in public in Hesperia at a school picnic when Miss Romanda Carpenter was the teacher. The Hesperia band was there all young men looking so gay in their natty uniforms. The little “Scotch girl” sang a little Scotch ditty in her shy timid way and she can hear the roll of the drums and the cheers yet as they brought her back to sing another. These happy early days are passing swiftly by, and only one of those band boys, to our knowledge, is left, (George Overly), and as much as we may regret their passing we must submit to these changes that are bound to come. Perhaps it is just our notion, but Hesperia in all her palmist days, Big Meetings and all, never produced a finer looking set of young men; never discoursed sweeter music than that played by the Hesperia band of 71-2. We pay our tribute of respect to Frank Chellis; and clothed in that uniform in the glory of youth and the pride of young manhood, he will hang a pleasing picture of our childhood on memory’s walk.

Whew. Remember what I said once about being able to recognize my favorite local correspondent by her style? Without a doubt, this has to have been written by Mrs. Robertson. I just love how she took a few mentions of Mr. Chellis’s death, and turns it into an entire walk down memory lane and the good old days for her.

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