CMA David Boswell Burns Contract
David Boswell Burns - in his own tales, of the past told of how he had worked as a kid at CMA, in the Mess Hall etc.
He was a private contractor and built the bird sanctuary pond, at one time till
he destroyed existing paper work in 1982 there was checks, recipts etc. from this work bearing names of his workers, Freda
who done the book work etc. - if memory serves righ t some of the employees were Jake Johnson, his sons David Michael and Douglas Keith Burns and several others.
The only existing piece of paper work that connects him to the Academy - which he loved 3rd - a tie between 1st and 2nd was
Culver and Lake Maxinkuckee and fishing - is below it is dated 19 May 1966 (clicking image will englarge):
Item #4 - he was furnished with an international jeep for use during the duration of this contract - he had use of that jeep
till the day he f ully retired in sometime after 1975 - it was of course red! How many remember that old dependable jeep? - I do!
Ad Item #9 - stating that he was Fire of Culver Union Township Fire Department and stated that he was Assistant Fire Chief of the
Under this contract many a campus building was tuck pointed, tiles replaced etc. by David. He either poured seawalls or retaining
walls along the lake edge too; and repaired those that had been in existence. His last helper was Russ Salyer and when David retired
he remained and took over the job f ull time himself.
The one story - related by Russ was how - when someone had hit the main gates at the chapel and infirmary entrance - David began
tearing down what remained to clean up and re-build -- he began muttering, and cussing whoever built it had intended it to last for
forever and if he ever found the guy... Pretty soon all the muttering etc. had stopped - he was asked why nothing was said so Russ went
over to see what was going on - buried down inside the post was a coffee can - with a piece of wood written on the date and name of the
builder - GUESS WHO? no other than David Burns!, David was holding it reading it and saying nothing more.
||Below he is with General Carpenter being presented with his retirement watch when he reached 65 in March of 1974 - he recieved it
and went back to work a half hour later for at least another year to 2 years. This watch was inscribed on the back with his name
either as David B. Burns or David Boswell Burns, sometime after his death it disappeared out of the house - it was to go to his
youngest son who bore his name David Boswell Burns. It was a self winding watch which was to have been activated by wrist movement
but for some reason - while David wore it it wo uld never keep accurate time - and no jeweler co uld explain why -|
I am sure there is many a cadet who remembers this brick mason.
After he died I remember cleaning out his pickup truck shortly after his death on 23 August 1990 and coming across an box of stuff
out of his so called office at the academy in the facility plant - was a gold CMA class ring with the year and the name inscribed
on the inside - year, student etc. long forgotten - but I was able to contact him thanks to academy personell and it returned
to the rightf ul owner after many a year being lost, he lived out west somewhere Arizona comes to mind.
Russell Saylar was his last "helper" who took over his duties when he retired; he was still in that postion in the early 1990's.
Does any of the Alumni, former staff or board members have any memories of David?