PATRIOT OF THE MONTH
GEORGETOWN - Quietly,
peacefully, a former naval seaman makes his way to a
local coffee shop. He takes his seat on a short stool at
a curved counter, smiles to a familiar server, shares
quips and views on the past days events and the
morning papers. As he sips his coffee he banters with
friends, cupping his ear and leaning forward to hear.
Everyone knows the man, George-towns former Fire
Chief and current Electric Light Commissioner. The
proprietor of a small clothing store. A familiar face, a
friend to many. Another day for Arthur Rauseo, age 82.
Peeling away the years, one stands in awe at the
simplicity, the determination, the sincerity, the energy,
the Americanism of this gentleman citizen. At age sixteen
and a half (although his photos from the era make him
look more like age 14), Mr. Rauseo enlisted in the armed
forces. We were at war, and, like so many in our Country,
this young lad stepped forward with deliberate eyes to
serve our country. He kissed his mother goodbye, and that
was the last time he would ever see her. She died before
he could return from the war. I never saw my mother
Mr. Rauseo sports his familiar cap: U.S.S. LOWNDES A.P.A.
154, IWO JIMA - OKINAWA. A reminder of challenging times
as he related the events of a long-ago journey to bring
an end to hostilities.
His brother Joe was a U.S. Marine. A miserable
bastard when they wouldnt let him fight! Mr.
Rauseo said. My brother George, he flew. We were
all fighting. There were seven, seven of us kids, Georgie
his eyes began to well up a bit, Georgie was, well,
we, my brothers, we all, we did, we all served. His
siblings: Nicholas, Angelo, Joseph, Michael, Mary, and
George. Arthur was the youngest. One sister, five
brothers. Mother Marian Maringello, father Pasquale,
On board the U.S.S. Lowndes, Mr. Rauseo served as an
electricians mate. I fixed things, and
sometimes I shot things. We did whatever we needed to do.
They trained. We served. He received medals. He
received a Combat Action Ribbon. He lived war.
Saipan. I was there, he said with a big long,
drawn sigh as he pointing to old photographs showing
staging areas. That was just one place. We were
preparing, you know, for assaults. Assaults. You know,
supplies, he said. Lowndes a transport
ship. I served on two ships. See. Supplies, soldiers,
thousands of them. Okinawa. You know. They shot at us.
From the sky, from the sky.
Boxing gloves? Yeah, in the navy. Those are mine,
he offered as I turned them over. In those days,
they would keep you for training, you know, until, until
you know, youre supposed to be 17, O.K., so I get
into Boston, and I was supposed to be, well, we were in
war, they just sent me (to active duty), he
Medals. Medals in boxes, dusty in a basement.
Photographs. Folders. Aerial photos, scrubbings.
Treasured memories hidden away. Yeah, some of this
stuff, I guess I should show he said.
Decades of service on the Georgetown Light Commission,
past chairman of the Cable T.V. Advisory Board, past
member of the finance committee, a former water
commissioner, former real estate broker, construction
supervisor, electrician, and having served in many other
capacities within the town, Mr. Rauseo is a life member
of V.F.W. 7608, and the American Legion.
He helped start little league baseball in town. A former
president of the Georgetown Student Athletic Fund, the
Georgetown Fire Dept. Inc., and Georgetown Shoe Sales,
Inc,. Retired from the Georgetown Savings Bank board of
directors this past June, after serving as a bank
director sine 1991. He was a member of the Massachusetts
100 club, a charity organization that provided thousands
to children ... a lifetime of work and volunteerism. His
proudest involvement is his 55 years with the Georgetown
Fire Departments Central Fire Company.
Everyone whos been in Georgetown for more than a
handful of years seems to know Mr. Rauseo. Hes
seemingly done every position except selectmen. I
wouldnt do it. They put me up to it. I said no. I
cant do it. You know what you get. I run a store. I
dont want it. I dont want it. So I killed it,
and said no. I wouldnt take it. And still, they
voted for me. I cant have it with the business.
People. You know. Its too much, he explained
as why he avoided that one position.
Ah, the smile as he shuffled and lifted the heavy old
firemans coat. A big grin. This was mine.
Chief. When I was chief he said. Original.
These, they protected you. Heavy like this. You know
he said. Wife Marjorie, son Jim, daughter Sharon. Four
grandchildren, all girls: Catherine (16), Alex (15),
Megan (14), and Sarah (12).
Pouring through more photographs and old documents, he
showed one of small ships around larger ships. See,
we were the small guys, we went in here, he said
pointing towards some unidentified shoreline. I dont
want a kid to see a photo like this, he said
showing wounded soldiers. You see we were getting
the s*** kicked out of us. How can I show that to a kid?
I dont want to. Again, you could see history
scanning across his face. A mix of dedication, sorrow,
and energy. Good energy. Friends and service. Service to
his country, a patriot. A hero.
This is the hardest thing you had to do, he
said relating to a photo of sea burial. We paused.
Mr. Rauseo returned from the war and did what many others
have done. Raised his children. He seldom spoke of the
war even when prodded his daughter Sharon said. He
didnt, most of them. That generation, they didnt
want to talk about it too much. Look, he has so much. I
tell him, people should see this, she said. A
loving daughter. Dad, this really should be
someplace, she said holding another memento. Ten
years ago, they wouldnt talk she said about
the war heroes. I saw a documentary theyre
doing. Now, theyre starting to talk. Theyre
at that point. They know they have to. I never heard some
things when I grew up. Now, I see these, and he tells
Turning over another package of photos, Mr. Rauseo
exclaimed everything but the kitchen sink,
his ship delivered to the front. Thats going
in. I kept these in pretty damn good shape, he said
showing yet another set of photos.
The Valley Patriot is proud of the heroes in our midst.
And we are especially proud of those who served in war,
and then continued to serve in our communities, adding to
the fabric of our lives, helping in whatever way they
could to help others. Engaged in the community, serving,
helping. Working with others. Enjoying life,
he said. As the long-time proprietor of Georgetown
Clothing, his shop, now manned by his son Jim, serves yet
another generation. Long gone is his cobblers shop.
And long-ago memories from Sharons sewing lessons
at dads store. I used to take a shoe box
cover and run that in the sewing machine. Thats one
of my earliest memories, she related.
Mornings at Theos coffee shop. Arthur
gets called out by many, raising their voices so he can
hear them, deaf in one ear now. Talking of the days
events, he shuffles a paper. Just another day in a small
town. Sitting alongside a hero. A hero in our midst.
*Send your questions comments to ValleyPatriot@aol.com
The December 2007
Edition of the Valley Patriot
The Valley Patriot is a Monthly
All Contents (C) 2007, Valley Patriot, Inc.
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