I can't believe that it has been over 40 years since Larry Myers of the Chattanooga Fire Department was active here in Chattanooga. He was a very well-known professional fireman who also took great interest in our local youth, organizing some of them into a group of re-enactors.
I was fortunate to see them in action, especially at Fort Loudoun, where their authentic depictions of both Native Americans and Colonials were very convincing and beyond reproach.
His group was called the First Militia Company of Chattanooga, and his "Cherokee Warriors" were from Explorer Scout Post 2030.
Larry's wife and daughter were also both very active in the group, providing a welcome touch of femininity to the events. Mrs. Myers, besides portraying a Cherokee wife, also served the group as both costume designer and repairer of worn or injured garments.
His group joined with several others from along the eastern seaboard to re-enact such events as the seige of Fort Loudoun by the Cherokee at the time of the French and Indian Wars. I can imagine that for the former members of Larry's group, those were the happiest days of their lives, the memory of which has not been eroded by time.
For someone like myself (an OLD guy) it is hard for me to imagine how a computer game could ever replace the physical pleasure of re-enacting living history. Today's kids sit in front of their devices playing games - but it is the device that does all the playing, and nobody ever skins a knee or even works up a good sweat! Larry's contributions were made just before the massive wave of high technology hit, with video games, etc., and we can appreciate him for helping a generation of young Chattanoogans to find a constructive pathway through their formative years. A dynamic father figure for those of his group, memories of him have doubtless not faded. In the old newspaper picture he is shown kneeling at left.
When Larry Myers died unexpectedly - at the very height of his career, and still a young man himself - we lost one of the outstanding men of our community.
(Chester Martin is a native Chattanoogan who is a talented painter as well as local historian. He and his wife, Pat, live in Brainerd. Mr. Martin can be reached at email@example.com )