Bunker Hill Day

by chuckofish

June 17 is Bunker Hill Day which commemorates the battle fought in 1775 mostly on and around Breed’s Hill, during the Siege of Boston early in the American Revolutionary War. The battle is named after the adjacent Bunker Hill, which was peripherally involved in the battle and was the original objective of both colonial and British troops.

Our grandfather, Daniel Hilton Cameron was born on June 17, 1900 and was always from that day forward called Bunker or Bunk.

He was the 4th child of Daniel and Susie Taylor Cameron of Burlington, Vermont.

I have blogged about Bunker and his baseball playing prowess previously here. School never agreed with him, but he was, by all accounts, a highly intelligent child who was talented in many areas. Rumor has it that he could pick up a musical instrument and play it by ear. Another story has him and a friend taking a car apart at night and putting it back together on top of a porte-cochère as a prank.

A porte-cochère, in case you’d forgotten

Clearly he had other talents as he convinced our strait-laced, deeply religious grandmother to run away and elope with him.

His own deeply religious father had had enough at that point (even though he and Bunker’s mother totally approved of his choice of wife) and disowned him, so he and his new bride were forced to go home to her father in Chicago. (No doubt, he hoped this would teach Bunker a lesson, something he had been trying to do for twenty years.) He worked at odd jobs and for awhile was a taxi driver. Eventually his father relented and they returned to the east where he went into his father’s lumber business. He and Catherine had three girls, our mother the middle and his favorite child. (They were the most alike.)

Funnily enough, when our mother decided against his wishes to marry our father in Savannah, Georgia, where he was stationed in the army, instead of waiting and getting married at home, he refused to come to the wedding, echoing his own stubborn father’s behavior. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. He also eventually forgave her, but think of her getting married far from home without her “daddy” there to give her his blessing.

Rest in peace, Bunker. I hardly knew ye, but I remember when our mother returned from Massachusetts after her own mother died and she wept because she knew she would never see you again. And she was right. You died within the year.

Daughter #1 at the Cameron plot in Lakeview Cemetery in Burlington, Vermont