The public has a rare opportunity to learn about the honorable life of a soldier from Milford, the only man from Pike County to be killed in the Korean War.
In a grant made possible by the Richard L. Snyder Fund through Greater Pike Community Foundation, actors from the American Readers Theatre (ART) will present “Milton Wesley Bailey: Letters Home” on March 26th at the Pike County Historical Society (PCHS).
Columns Museum Director Lori Strelecki compiled the letters and photos for the production. She explained Bailey represented the fourth generation of the family that lived on West High Street, Sarah Showers Davis having purchased the family home with her husband’s Civil War pension.
The audience will see family photos projected on a screen and hear actor Darren Fouse read the letters from this proud soldier to his mother and grandmother, written while in the army during a year-long period beginning in 1950.
“His letters home provide the audience a rare and poignant look into the lives of these wonderful folks. We are all better off because of it,” Strelecki said. “The Davis-Bailey Family Collection is an important part of Pike County’s history, and the Historical Society continues to work with our friend Sharon Siegel in her quest to identify and return Milton’s remains home through Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations.”
ART Director Jeffrey Stocker said this will be the fourth in a series of Living Histories that focuses on extraordinary citizens who lived in and around Pike County. “There are people still here today who knew Bailey and it’s wonderful to learn about him,” he said.
Fouse added, “It’s an honor to represent somebody with a heart, courage and intelligence.”
Also from ART, Pat Corcoran and Linda Fields will be narrating. Corcoran said the story has extra significance for her since her husband was a Korean War veteran. Fields is also pleased to participate. “History is so important, and in the words of actor Morgan Freeman, ‘Black history is American history,’” she said.
“Milton Wesley Bailey: Letters Home” will be presented at the Foundation Room at the Pike County Historical Society on Saturday, March 26, at 4 p.m. Admission is free.
“His letters home provide the audience a rare and poignant look into the lives of these wonderful folks. We are all better off because of it.” Lori Strelecki