The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 9, 2012

Cedar man’s eye for detail may stir up memories for veterans

OTTUMWA — Somehow, explains Richard Beaver, when someone risks their life for you, “thank you” isn’t enough.

That’s part of the reason he spent months planning and building a series of military dioramas and models to show how much he truly appreciates veterans and current service members.

With Veterans Day approaching — it’s Sunday this year — Beaver, a farmer from Cedar, is grateful that Bridge View Center has allowed him to set up his display through Nov. 14.

The model aircraft he built are the first items to catch a visitor’s attention. While his Mustang fighter plane and the B-17 bomber are popular with history buffs, it’s the bright yellow trainer used by Ottumwa pilots that jumps out from the display.

It’s big — and bright. Which is important, since Bridge View management honored vets by giving Beaver a prime location: tables along the wall of glass overlooking the Des Moines River.

However, veterans who have been  deployed, even those who served in peacetime, will be drawn in by the scenes Beaver dreamt up rather than the river view. They’ll recognize their buddies opening mail, something that meant so much — showing off photos from “back home” to the other guys in their platoon.

“I didn’t want to have scenes of shooting Germans [taking cover behind] walls,” said Beaver Thursday. “I wanted to show their [down] time.”

There are several different dioramas, with a lot of detail. Though the basis of the display may have started out as “toys,” it’s the details that stand out.

He purchased a wool-like fabric to cut into blankets, rubbed dirt on soldier’s uniforms as well as their vehicles and created the land under their feet by digging up earth from his machine shop, then sifting it through a filter.

There are a few photos, too, a World War II caption and explanations of equipment on display.

The display focuses on those WW II vets who fought in the Battle of the Bulge or served with the 8th Air Force.

But it’s Beaver’s way of thanking all vets,  he said, “dedicated to those who served our country in the armed forces, for their sacrifice for our country and for us.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0802 OTT 73 Annual Golf Classic 73rd Annual Golf Classic OTTUMWA — There were a few records broken at the 73rd Annual Chamber Golf Classic Friday. "We had a record amount of people, and we also had a record amount of sponsors," said Tim Kurtz, executive director of the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce. Fri

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Beach Task Force formation under consideration OTTUMWA — From the establishment of a Beach Task Force, to public hearings, to a discussion of open meetings rules and training, the Ottumwa City Council will have a full pate of items to digest during its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 5. The council will

    August 1, 2014

  • Sewer works starts on Glenwood OTTUMWA — The 900 block of Glenwood Avenue will be closed to traffic starting Tuesday, Aug. 5. Boitnott Enterprises will be closing that block of Glenwood for a repair of a sewer lateral. Motorists should seek other routes around the work zone. Thi

    August 1, 2014

  • Emergency Management Coordinator leaving OTTUMWA — Wapello County Supervisors are hoping to compromise and assign a tax sale certificate to property owners within the city of Ottumwa. On Tuesday, the board will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the third-floor meeting room to discuss a variety of issues

    August 1, 2014

  • CAUTION: Drivers will notice delays on Quincy Ave. OTTUMWA — Beginning Monday, drivers on Quincy Avenue will start to notice the beginning of a major reconstruction project in South Ottumwa. The right lane of northbound traffic on Quincy Avenue, from the car wash located near the Quincy Place Mall's

    August 1, 2014

  • Transfer of West Nile Virus First reports of West Nile Virus coming in OTTUMWA — Three cases of West Nile Virus have already been reported in the state of Iowa this summer, but the timing isn't much out of the ordinary, local officials say. Current surveillance data shows one case each in Clay, Monona and Woodbury count

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • WWI outbreak stranded Ottumwan in Paris

    OTTUMWA — Being stuck in Paris isn’t the worst thing in the world. The City of Light has always been a key stop for Americans traveling to Europe. It’s a city of culture, capitol of a world power. But Howell Cresswell, an Ottumwan in Paris, wanted no

    August 1, 2014

  • File.png Pleasant start to August

    OTTUMWA — Seasonal temperatures and a slight risk of rain herald the arrival of August in southeast Iowa.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Graham's presentation A sweet history lesson OTTUMWA — In one of the most popular monthly presentations the Wapello County Historical Society has ever hosted, it was standing-room only to hear the history of Graham Milk and Ice Cream Company and try some of the popular product. A landmark in Ot

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Ready, set, shop! OTTUMWA — Iowa's government says businesses must participate in the Tax-Free Weekend this Friday and Saturday. Store manager Greg Martin isn't complaining. "It’ll be much busier [than typical weekends]. Back to school is the second busiest season nex

    July 31, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook