Navy veteran is a man of many talents
Wednesday, January 09, 2013 9:00 PM
Ninety-year-old Archie Dale Krout is an absolute joy of a man and owns such multi-talents.
About a week ago, after three hours, I was convinced I had chosen a great subject for this week's column. A true-blue Montgomery Countian, Archie saw many beautiful places while in the Navy during World War II, but he told me that the truly gorgeous area of the world, he saw when returning home to Montgomery County.
Archie was born in Alamo May 13, 1922 to Clarence Alvie and Fay Louise Keller Krout. It cost his parents a whopping $5 for Dr. Griffin to go to Alamo and deliver the little one.
Archie was raised by his grandparents, William Alvie and Margaret Whitaker Krout and graduated from Crawfordsville High School in 1940. One of the interesting parts of his life is that he graduated as Archie Mitchell, due to his mother's second marriage to Elmer Mitchell.
It was when Archie's Uncle Roy suggested Archie join the Navy in order to avoid tromping in the mud carrying a gun, that Archie decided it was a good idea. However, they would not let him join as Archie Mitchell, thus his grandmother had to fill-out an affidavit in order for Archie to join-up.
Luckily, Archie used his earlier baking experiences at A-Loaf bakery in Crawfordsville, to become a Cook/Baker in the service. His training was at the Pier in Chicago. Many times, he was manning a gun and warming up C-rations versus making a home-made cherry pie, as his LCI-19, 90' boat delivered and picked-up men.
There were 27 men and 3 officers on the LCI boats that carried about 200 soldiers. There was no invasion where the little boat was not shot at when delivering the Army troops.
One of the most interesting things that Archie enjoyed was Mt. Vesuvius when it erupted. He thought there was snow on the deck, then looked up the mountain and saw the huge fire spouting at of it. Riding the fanicula up the mountain at the Isle of Capri was exciting, as well.
When Arch returned home, after a couple of short-term jobs, he worked for the telephone company for 36 years (Indiana Bell, then AT&T), under Basil Deck for 25 of those years. While in the war, once he had a chance to buy an Armadi violin for $30 but couldn't borrow enough money from his fellow sailors and had to tell the English-speaking lil Italian lady no. She wished he had it versus the Germans coming to confiscate it.
Archie has hand made more than a dozen fiddles, and playing (by ear) is one of Archie's favorite pastimes. He invites interested parties to come join their Mt. Zion jam sessions the last Friday of the month at the church there.
Arch and his wife, Alberta were in the Backporch Pickers for over 12 years and played all over this area. One of the most interesting points about Archie is he is his own 2nd cousin, his maternal grandmother also being a Krout.
Definitely, Archie is a fun person and a great choice for this week's "Around the County!"