From Frontier Squares
The Fourth of July is a day of celebration, and on that date in 1920 another reason to celebrate was the birth of Carl Bertrand. He was born into a farming family in Williamsburg, Ohio, during the times of outhouses, hand pumps for water, oil lights, crystal set radios (around 1930) and Model T automobiles. Carl doesn’t have anything positive to say about the “Great Depression,” except to say that he hopes history never repeats itself. The “Life” lessons that Carl learned from his childhood, that he would like to pass on to younger generations, were to “learn to do without” and to “recognize and be thankful for life’s blessings.”
Carl served our country as a pilot in the U.S. Navy Air and believes World War ll had the biggest influence on our history. Medical science had the greatest impact on mankind when they discovered the polio vaccine, and one of the most impressive technological advances was when jet engines replaced propeller driven planes.
Carl describes married life as the best time of his life. Carl & Ruth were married in 1947 and celebrated 63 years togetherjust before Ruth passed away in April, 2010, and became an angel in a different form. The two of them are an inspiration to all of us. It’s almost impossible to talk about one of them without the other, so a lot of this story will also
include Ruth. “Family” means everything to Carl — it is his universe. Carl was proud to stand next to Ruth as her “Soul Mate”, and loves being “Dad” to Jerry and Jane, and “Pop” to their grandchildren, Molly and Matt. Theirfamily circle was strengthened and blessed by his children’s spouses, John & Karen. Carl lives for the times spent with each of them and the memories they create. He especially loved the time spent at the cottage in Michigan —their Heaven on Earth.
In 1950 Ruth & Carl built their home in Mt. Carmel, Ohio, where they raised their family and were active in the community. Carl is most proud of a summer-long project when approximately 100 people joined the Glen Este High School Athletic Boosters to build theirfootball field. They purchased bleachers from the Red Bird minor league stadium in Columbus, Ohio, assembled them in the new field and installed lights. Thirty people pledged $500 each to complete the project and it teaches us that anything can be accomplished when you have a vision, are willing to make a commitment and work as a team. Carl was also a Boy Scout leader for many years and was awarded the distinguished Silver Beaver Award in Scouting for his life-long seivice. In 2006 Carl & Ruth moved to S.E.M. Retirement village in Milford, Ohio, where he volunteers with odd jobs, plants flowers and helps keep the property manicured. Carl loves and respects “Mother Nature,” still enjoys vegetable gardening every summer, plays golf on Mondays with square dance friends, and after a snow storm can be found cleaning off his friends” cars in the retirement village’s parking lot. At the young age of 91 (July 4, 2011), Carl could teach all of us a thing or two about staying youthful and being helpful.
Carl attributes square and round dancing as major contributors keeping him both physically and mentally fit and alert. Frontier Squares is blessed that Carl & Ruth joined our “Square Dance Family” in 1985. Our club is successful because of their hospitality and dedication. Carl and Ruth always worked behind the scenes to do whatever needs done and get the job done without praise or recognition. Carl is still dancing and is an “Angel” at class on Tuesdays, which is where you would have found him almost every Tuesday for the past 25 years. He is known by the dance community as a fun, friendly, outgoing, caring person and is loved by all that know him. Frontier Squares is blessed to have Carl as our perfect “Sr. Corner.”