The Scioto Valley Volunteers Chapter, U.S.D. 1812, received a very memorable visit from “Uncle Sam” when he was introduced to the group by Mrs. Naomi Shewman, SVV Chaplain. Mr. Howard Richard (“Uncle Sam”), a retired Bloom Local School District teacher, presented a rousing patriotic recitation at the SVV Chapter’s July 26th meeting held at the Portsmouth Welcome Center. Crediting the narrative as a poem originally written by the Rev. Charles Hasting Smith, Mr. Richard admits that he had long since “tweaked” it to his own liking. Howard has been performing this recital for 28 years to local schools, civic organizations, churches, Portsmouth River Days, to name a few, as well as in the Chillicothe/Columbus area.
Accompanying Mr. Richard was his wife, Arlene, who offered that she heard Rev. Smith recite his poem when she was a child at a church camp. Many years later she bought a copy of his tape, and Howard memorized it. She also said her mother, Mrs. Esther Conklin, made Howard’s original “Uncle Sam” outfit; “he wore it out, so she made a second one at the age of 86—-he wore that one out as well!” When asked what had prompted him to present this recital, Howard simply said: “because I love it and it is patriotic.”
SVV President, Mrs. Gail Swick, extended a warm thanks of appreciation to Mr. Richard for his commendable patriotic community service.
The SVV Chapter meets in July, October, January and April. If you are a woman over the age of 18 with a desire to honor your United States War of 1812 ancestor, and you are interested in belonging to the SVV Chapter, please contact Joan Phillips, Registrar, at email@example.com for membership eligibility.