March 21 • 06:17 AM

Story brings drill team back to life

July 29, 2009
It was with great interest when I opened the July 22nd issue of the Tri-City Times to read Maria Brown's "Posse helps new drill team." Especially the phenomenal Larry Potter...for that he is. I remember Larry telling me some time ago that as a young lad he watched my late husband, Red, in the Lapeer County Sheriff's Posse (now the Lapeer County Mounted Posse) and wanted to be just like Red when he grew up and I guess he is accomplishing that.

I mentioned last week that my 4-H Saddle Club scrapbook was hiding but, son Alan and wife Pauline drove in with it a few days later. it was on a wagon in his barn still loaded with "stuff." The scrapbook was like a visit with an old friend. I spent all afternoon looking through it and reliving those wonderful years and wondering how we did it. Those great weekend trail rides were the big events of the year. Our first weekend camp out and trail ride was in July of 1960 when we rode 33 miles to King's Ranch in State property north of Lapeer. For the next few years we rode 22 miles to Hadley Hills in Ortonville Recreation Area and finally in 1968 we rode 23 miles to the Pioneer Archery Range on Turrill Road, Lapeer.

Nancy Peterson, Linda Kuhn, Gretchen Kuhn, David Willing, Carol Brooks, Phyllis Terry, Peggy Dunbar, Alan Brooks, Cindy D’ Arcy, Jim Forsang in front, in a 1962 photo.

The late Ed D'Arcy and Red worked with the club on Thursday mornings at our farm to form a drill team and practice for the Lapeer County 4-H Horse Show. The club also put on drills for the Lapeer County Sheriff's Posse Horse Shows. I am looking at a picture of a team in 1964 with 18 members. In 1967 is a picture with a 26 member drill team. In October we would have a 'Fun Day' and the members would be allowed to undo all they had been taught all summer. Just have fun and games on their horses.

We also had a Parliamentary Procedure Team. We got to go to the State 4-H Show with it and didn't do well the first year. For the next two years we came in second in the State. Red and I were the Fearless Almont 4-H Saddle Club leaders for 13 years, from 1955 to and including 1968. In 1963 we were named Leaders of the Year for Lapeer County. After our own kids were out of high school and not in the club anymore, it was hard keeping track of what went on at school etc., and our interest wasn't the same. We passed the leadership on.

The old saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words" so, if you were in our club maybe you can find yourself in the drill team of 1964. I do know the flag bearers were Chuck Herpolsheimer and Alan Brooks. Good grief! It just occurred to me that most are grandparents...just think what that does to me!

Thanks for the memories!

— Country Cousin

Gertie Brooks, of Almont, has been a columnist for the Tri-City Times for over three decades now. Gertie's style of reliving days long past in her writing make her one of the Times' most popular columnists.
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