“Throw a Nickel on the Grass…”

When I was a kid, my folks had an album of “risque” Air Force songs by Oscar Brand.  (He used the word “ass.”  Oh, Horrors!)   It was a 78 rpm record.  Remember those?  Anyway, we weren’t allowed to listen to it, because it was “risque.”  However, when they were over to the Officer’s Club, it wasn’t that risque!  LOL…

One of the songs was “Throw a Nickel on the Grass.”  It’s a Fighter Pilot song, and tends to upset shoeclerks.  Oh well…

Recently I received an email from Bill F. wherein he shared an account of an “informal” memorial ceremony held for Col. Ralph S. Parr at the Randolph AFB O’Club – now the Parr Club.  Again in his words:

“After the official internment ceremony Ralph’s widow Margaret asked everyone to “throw a nickel on the grass” for Ralph.  The family even had extra nickels for those who came unprepared.  Makes me wonder what the maintenance folks thought when they started cleaning up the area.  Several extra nickels, patches, challenge coins etc wound up on the casket.  The final attached picture is Margaret Parr next to the casket.  The helmet was the one he used in Korea.”



And one more comment, addressing Bill’s ‘wonderings’ about the maintenance folks having to police the area for nickels.  From my experience this would not have been an issue.  While the festivities were held at Ft. Sam National Cemetery, had they been held at the patio of the Parr O’Club, there would have been a multitude of shoeclerks overlooking from the nice ‘Formal Bar’ upstairs.  Once the first one saw a nickel being tossed into the grass, he/she would have been down the stairs and out the door in a heartbeat – to get on his hands and knees to grovel for that nickel.  They just can’t help themselves!  So, I have no doubt there were ‘shoeclerks’ drawn to the event who would have gleefully policed the area after everyone left….

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