At Cobb’s Hill, a tree, a plaque and fifty years after the death of Shirley Louise Anderson

At Cobb’s Hill, a tree, a plaque and fifty years after the death of Shirley Louise Anderson

Off Culver Road

Lovers of Cobb’s Hill know there are always discoveries to be found.  (See full series, Adding Audrey to the Cobb’s Hill Series)

Recently, on the Culver Road side of the park, I saw for the first time a plaque memorializing Shirley L. Anderson, who fifty years ago, was killed along the Israel-Jordan cease fire line. In October 1969, Monroe County sponsored a Memorial Crisom Maple tree.

Jun 18, 1969

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Jun 18, 1969

In Democrat and Chronicle articles, I learned more of the tragic event. A 1960 graduate of East High and the daughter of Gordon B. Anderson, a Republican county legislator, Anderson was visiting Israel where she was killed by Soviet-made guns of Iraqi troops stationed in Jordan when their shells exploded in a tourist beach area where she and a companion were preparing for a swim.

As seen in the plaque, Anderson, then 26, was returning from a teaching position in the Congo.  At the time, she was the first tourist killed in the Mideast since the Six Day War in 1967.

Jul 09 1969

Jul 09 1969

Poignantly and horrifically, her father heard of the death via a radio account. Gordon Anderson then called Representative Frank Horton who confirmed the account. Horton would later say that both the U.S. and Russia must share part of the blame because both countries supply arms to the Mideast.

Jun 19, 1969

Jun 19, 1969

Anderson then drove home and told his wife. The next day the family moved to establish a college scholarship fund in their daughter’s name. In July, the County Legislature expressed its deep sympathy and sorrow.

In the June 18th article, Gordon Anderson simply said, “We just thanked God we had a good Christian girl for  26 years.” A bright life cut sadly short.shirley l anderson

Anderson 3

From Adding Audrey to the Cobb’s Hill Seriesuntitled

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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