Ulysses S. Grant, commander of the Union Armies and 18th President of the United States, and his wife, Julia, were the evening’s guests and entertainment at the McVeytown Fire Hall.
Larry and Constance Clowers, of Gettysburg, are a husband and wife team who portray the Grant’s. They said their true-to-life portrayal of the Grant’s provides unusual insight and educational information about the pair and their influence.
“I passed through Mifflin County in 1879 at the age of 17,” Clowers said, staying in character the entire evening.
“I’m a westerner, and my parents are from Pennsylvania. In fact, a lot of your Mifflin County men served under me,” he said.
The couple has dedicated much time to reenacting, and according to their Web site, www.ulyssesgrant.net, their portrayal is nationally known, having performed in California, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia.
By profession, Larry is an electrical engineer retired from the U.S. Air Force, Northrop-Grumman and the SBC Corporation. Constance is a master seamstress trained in clothing construction. She constructed all of the clothing seen in the play, according to their Web site.
Clowers took time to give a detailed description of Grant’s life from birth until the end of the Civil War.
“When you talk about duty, it’s not always pleasant,” Clowers said as Grant.
“You ask me what I have seen, my hardest moment was crossing the Panama Canal,” he said of losing more than 300 people from a 700-person group while journeying to California by way of the canal.
“President Lincoln charged me with winning the war ... we did,” Clowers said.
“I realized war was not glorious. We were taught as soldiers to do our duty, that’s it,” he continued.
In other business at Thursday’s meeting, the following officers were announced: Stephen Rynkewitz, president, Dan McClenahen, first vice president, Paul T. Fagley, second vice president, Nancy Aurand, recording secretary, Robert Ingram, treasurer, and Winona Simmons, corresponding secretary.
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREITZER
Larry Clowers portrays Ulysses S. Grant during the Mifflin County Historical Society Spring Dinner Meeting held Thursday evening at the McVeytown Fire Hall.