Ermal Shimps Memorial Cannon firing

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
May 5, 2017
Ermal passed away last year, and the Battery had intended to do a memorial firing at one of the early re-enactments..then the pandemic reared it’s ugly noggin, and everything in the season got cancelled. His widow decided that she wanted the firing to happen on their property. He had his own cannon..yeah, he liked things to go “Boom!”

Yesterday, we travelled 3 hours in order for my son to take part in drill, so that he could be on the team that fired a cannon at the actual memorial. We had Ermals gun, and a mountain howitzer. I had no idea that there would be 2 guns, nor that they would both fire so many rounds. It was an amazing experience.

Everything was held outside, and while we were masked, most kept social distance..there were some hugs, but, whatcha gonna’s a memorial..ya know?

I met Ermal once, at Hale In 2019. He was just the nicest person you ever wanted to meet. We talked and I shared my Ginger bread cookies (Stauffers) with him. He ate quite a few!! And we talked brands of gingerbread cookies! Such fun. He really treated me with kindness, even though I was not a member of the battery. And that is how things should be. He was a true Gentleman.

Best comment of the afternoon? “Oh, Ermal would be smiling” after a very nice blast from his personal Cannon. “Nellie Bell”..

As a member of the battery, my son wore his Artillary shell jacket and forage cap with brass. I chose to dress in my newly completed Mourning gown. Period dress was not required, but I kinda felt Ermal would approve. When I greeted his Widow, she said to me “Oh, and you came in full mourning attire, Bless your heart”. She seemed really, really pleased. Glad I went that little extra..driving in stays is an experience...not to mention hoops. But you know, you manage! Skirt origami is a thing!

Pictures to follow when I get them sorted.