Fifty years ago, 118 new graduates of FCHS celebrated. It was the Summer of Love; the Beatles still ruled; miniskirts scandalized; Israel won a six-day war; teenagers filled a gas tank for $.33/gallon, cruising a prosperous Forest City main street with mufflers booming; and after a year amid towering North Iowans and her first snows, exchange student Anna Ho returned to Vietnam where 475,000 American troops fought on. Within a few years, many from the Class of ‘67 would serve there, and Robert Roy Davis would lose his life.
The entire community mourned Bobby, a laughing, freckle-faced kid whose struggling family situation would never have been suspected. Despite being left a single, working mom, his mother, Helen, is remembered as a kindergarten teacher in Fertile, later a long-time Girl Scout leader and active in the Forest City Methodist Church, where Bobby was confirmed. Following her example, Bobby was active in school sports and even played the lead Mortimer in Arsenic and Old Lace while holding a job.
As the Class of ’67 gathers in August for a fiftieth reunion, Anna rejoins them for the first time. They will acknowledge Bobby’s sacrifice as at every reunion since the first in 1977, but coincidentally, as Anna returns this year, they will do more than talk about Bobby.
Generations of men, like him, have earned us the advantages we shortsightedly claim as the result of our own hard work. Acknowledging this debt, they are donating to a memorial scholarship in his name.
Recently, they realized the wider community and Iowans who served with him deserve the opportunity to express their appreciation.
Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Forest City Endowment Fund. Address envelopes to Carolyn Korth, 21102 340th St., Forest City, IA 50436, and they will be earmarked for his memorial.