A day for remembering A flag and cross frame the Memorial Day services scene at the Los Osos Memorial Park this morning. The American Legion Clair Tyler Post of Morro Bay sponsored the commemoration.The Tribune/Jim Vestal 5-30-1966
Weekend at San Simeon As fishermen dip their lines in San Simeon Creek, a forest of campers and trailers fills the creek's campground on the north coast. County and state parks were filled to overflowing with tourists, and Hearst Castle tours were booked full. (©The Tribune/Jim Vestal Photo)
This year marks the 47th year that Los Osos has presented a Memorial Day program. This weekend will have ceremonies across the county, the listings will be in the weekend's paper.
Memorial Day also is the holiday that opens tourist season in the region. Campgrounds fill and travellers swarm to the coast. The newspaper from May 30, 1966 was filled with stories that ranged the spectrum of human experience. A small plane crash on Cuesta Ridge had claimed the lives of local residents John Bradley Fisher and Robert Dannenberg. The third of a series of Buddhist monks protested the war in Viet Nam by self-immolation. Gov. Brown, that would be Jerry's dad – Pat Brown, signed the law that forbade use or possession of LSD. The Surveyor robot was set to land on the moon preparing the way for a manned moon landing. Sometimes there can be so much going on you can loose sight of individual stories that help us remember why we have Memorial Day.
The following story is from The Tribune June 3, 2009
OSOS COMMANDER MOURNED
HUNDREDS GATHER TO SAY GOODBYE TO THE NAVY RESERVIST KILLED BY A BOMB IN IRAQ ON MEMORIAL DAY
By Leslie Parrilla
They walked one by one, wearing Navy whites, Air Force blues, Army fatigues and leather jackets emblazoned with "Jesus is Lord, " into a San Luis Obispo auditorium dimmed Tuesday for a fallen comrade.
In the back row of Perlee Theater at Camp San Luis Obispo, tears flowed down the creases of Donna Rathbun's face as hundreds of voices roared in song, "Glory, glory hallelujah, " to honor her fallen colleague, Navy Cmdr. Duane Wolfe. Each time she tried to join in, she stopped, shook her head and tried again. Only to be stopped once more by tears.
Kary Rust knelt down in the aisle and placed his 5-year-old son Glen on his right knee as the pair watched Wolfe's casket wind its way past them, flanked on either side by a Marine and two Naval officers. The men met at church, a long, long time ago, he said.
And Naval Commanding Officer Paula Brown stood behind the podium, attempting to explain who Wolfe was, and why it was important to remember the 54-year-old Los Osos Navy commander killed in a roadside bomb attack in Iraq on Memorial Day.
"Duane Wolfe made you feel like you mattered, " Brown said. As an engineer, "he learned that the greatest joy in life was building (up) people."
Next to his casket draped in an American flag, his comrades described him as unflappable — most of the time–methodical, a leader, a mentor and a loyal man devoted to God.
Wolfe, who graduated from Cal Poly in construction engineering after serving active duty in the Navy, had joined the military at 17. He was an active reserve officer whose home unit was in Port Hueneme and had worked as a civilian at Vandenberg Air Force Base for 24 years.
Air Force Col. Rick Wright of Vandenberg remembered Wolfe coming to him before he left, volunteering for another tour in Iraq when he could have turned in retirement papers instead.
"I still remember his words when he came to me, " Wright said. " 'I need to go. This is what I joined the Navy for.' " And he did.
And although his daughter, Carrie Wolfe-Smith, said neither she nor her mother, Cindi Wolfe, or siblings Katie and Evan Wolfe, will see again her father's morning routine of placing his red Tupperware bowl in the kitchen sink beside a silver spoon, — a sign that he was starting the day — his influence is still around.
"That evidence is still here" in our conduct and what he has taught us, Wolfe-Smith said. "Even though that dish will not be in the sink anymore."