In my 51 years as Denis' friend in the living history band of brothers, I spent many an evening singing songs by firelight with the bhoys. My two most spiritual memories were being a “shadow fifer” in the rear rank at the Maryland monument dedication at Gettysburg and bringing up the rear as the last confederate to surrender at the 125th anniversary of Appomattox with the last battalion, Company E 2nd Maryland Infantry. In both cases, this was accomplished with a wink and a smile from Denis.
Denis once mentioned the carpentry work that he did at his church. I responded, “Ah, the old workman's trick of slipping in the back door of heaven- my uncle Fritz successfully used the same tactic.” Denis smiled and said, “Thanks, French, I know it works.”
Denis, when you enter heaven, you may use the front gate and give my greetings to all my old comrades: Ernest Peterkin, Tom Callaway, Tom Tankersley, Tom Reimer and finally my wife Wanda and all my kin.
Thanks again for a wonderful half century with smiles and memories in the “Wearing of the Gray” Frenchie