Long after General Winfield Scott�s Army of reinforcements headed southwesterly from Chicago, to help defend the Illinois settlers from the Sauk Indian Leader, named Blackhawk. And long after the American Civil War. And long after my grandfather, Oscar Jackson fought in the trenches during the First World War. And not too long after my Father, Samuel S. Glorso returned from fighting in the Second World War. And only a few years after I saw Korean War soldiers bivouacked along the highways on the way into The City of Chicago. But before my childhood friend Richie Mullin joined the United States Marine Corps. And before many from this little Town of Keeneyville, Illinois served in Vietnam; and before Andy Warhol painted 32 portraits of Campbell�s soup cans; and before Arlo Guthrie sang about the Illinois Central trains �Rolling along, past houses farms and fields�; and before I started putting survey monuments across this land; as a boy in my hometown of Keeneyville, I peered across a Campbell�s Soup tomato farm through a surveyor�s �Dumpy Level� for the first time in my life. It was a memorable moment for me, as it was the beginning of my fascination with my surroundings, and the technology that I would soon use in a Land Surveying career spanning more than 45 years. It is a career where I would make a difference by literally putting a mark upon the world.
The Dumpy Level, with optics I had never witnessed, was set up by surveyors laying-out the new construction of Case Foundation Company�s industrial machine shop, only 30 feet or so East of our tiny home along U.S. Highway 20, about 25 miles West of Chicago, Illinois. This was the start of big changes for the little Town of Keeneyville, and it would also be the start of my adult life where I would begin thinking about the future, and taking note of construction techniques, procedures, and technology that would make all these changes to Keeneyville possible. This moment in my life was also the beginning of a transition from being a child happy to spend summer days swinging on a rope tied high from a cottonwood tree at the place we called �The Laughing Place�, to being an adult.
In adult life, I would find myself yearning for the days I spent with my friends there, and use the changing technology to my advantage, by starting a �Facebook� group page, called �Keeneyville Swamp Rats� to reconnect with people from my hometown. The naming of the Facebook page was easy, as it represented �Baby Boomers� from this little town of lowlands and ponds. A name given to us by the more affluent children of Lake Park High School established some miles away from our town, but just across the street from a very posh, well known country club and golf course called �Medinah�. The condescending name Keeneyville Swamp Rats stuck with us, and today it is a name we wear with pride, and it reminds us of the wonderful little town that was long ago swallowed up by the expanding metropolis of Chicago-land.
One Swamp Rat that I reconnected with is Doug Ehorn. Doug also a writer and veteran, had written a book called, �Keeneyville Kids�. Doug�s book reminded me of the many wonderful people I grew up with, and he also recently started a list on Facebook of Military Veterans who served from our home town. The name of Richie Mullin was put at the top of the list of Marines who served. As Richie was the only one of us from Keeneyville who was killed during the Vietnam War. I remember Richie well, as he was a fellow Swamp Rat who lived closest to the old Laughing Place, a place now converted into a wonderful DuPage County Forest Preserve, called Mallard Lake. With Doug being, an Air Force Vet, retired Environmentalist, and fellow Swamp Rat who wanted to have a memorial service meeting at Mallard Lake for Richie on this Veteran�s Day, I came up with a land surveying idea for our fallen Veteran Hero.
I�ve used this idea before, and wrote about it in Colorado�s Professional Land Surveyor�s magazine, Side Shots Volume 33, Number 2, May Journal 2002 in an article called �One of Colorado�s Prides�. In the article I described placing a survey monument at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, in Denver, Colorado. I named the survey control monument �Tony Shiya�, after a young surveyor employee who was killed in a car accident, during the Red Rocks renovation, and new visitor center construction project. This is an idea that I presented to Doug Ehorn and we decided to use it for our friend Richie Mullin, by placing the monument this Veterans Day as pictured here. Doug will place it at or near the place we called The Laughing Place. Later a licensed land surveyor, registered in Illinois will establish GPS coordinates for the position and record the �control� monument with the appropriate agency. The 3-1/4 inch bronze monument reads: �RICHIE MULLIN USMC, WELCOME HOME, THE LAUGHING PLACE, KEENEYVILLE SWAMP RATS�.
Most everyone in the Baby Boomer Generation has someone they know who was killed in the Vietnam War. It is my hope that other Land Surveyor/Veterans will take the time to look up at least one of the 58,272 names on this web site www.vvmf.org and prepare a monument named in the veteran�s honor. Placement is up to the Land Surveyor, but I believe hometown parks are a wonderful place to Welcome Home our Vietnam War Heroes. The memorial monument set flush with the ground takes up no more space than a sprinkler head. Besides, every land surveyor knows, the more control points and benchmarks we have the better we like it.
Dean F. Glorso, Veteran USMC Vietnam 1968 � 1969
Colorado Professional Land Surveyor PLS# 16109 (Active)