© 2009 Bert Clayton
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To Lorraine, who stuck by me through thick and thin and who inspired me to start “Cocky's Boy.”
To daughter Cristine Adams, Retired “Madam librarian” director, who encouraged me, proofread and helped polish this manuscript and without whose assistance these pages would never have seen the light of day.
To daughter Cynthia Keeter, who proofed and helped polish my work on Spearhead News, the official publication of the 5th Marine Division Association during the nearly five years I served as secretary, treasurer, editor and chief cook and bottle-washer of that gallant organization.
To Maxine Clayton. We rescued each other from a well of loneliness, and she became, along with Cris and Cindy, one of my staunchest supporters.
To Josh Phillips, computer guru par excellence of the Harrison Daily Times, who kept my iMac in top working condition throughout.
To Denise Jorgenson, Composing Editor of the Harrison Daily Times whose creative abilities and research efforts served me numerous times during my editorship of Spearhead News.
To Alexander Jeffries, Reference Technician of the Chillicothe, Illinois, Public Library whose eye-opening research revealed to me how terribly close the March 16, 1942 tornado came to devastating our small community.
And to “Cocky” and Nellie, who gave me life and helped make me what I am today. God bless them!