LEWISTON — Jerry Der Boghosian, 90, has been reunited with a thought-was-lost relic of the defunct Lewiston United Members veterans club — a bust of World War I Gen. John Joseph “Blackjack” Pershing.

Der Boghosian thought it was gone, lost when the once-popular downtown club closed its doors in 2002.

However, as described in a Nov. 11 feature story, the bust wasn’t quite forgotten. For 11 years, it decorated Turner veteran Paul Bernard’s lawn.

Bernard said he rescued the head-and-shoulders sculpture from a trip to the dump, where many relics of the club were discarded.

But last month, he plucked the general from the lawn and presented him to Der Boghosian, who took the bust home.

“I love it,” Der Boghosian said. “It’s there, right on the mantle. I salute the son-of-a-gun every day, morning, noon and night.”

But the general is showing his age.

His neck was already broken when he was at the United Members hall. Years in the garden had stripped away a layer of paint and weakened his face until his chin fell off.

Der Boghosian hopes to find someone — perhaps an artist at a local school — to restore the bust.

“General, stick around,” he said. “We’re going to put your chin back. And we’re gonna glue your head back to your body.”

Der Boghosian hopes other relics will also live on. Before the club closed, he saved a few of the photos of past commanders, rescued two books that listed the war records of Mainers who fought in World War I and a painting commemorating the signing of the treaty that ended World War I.

He hopes more relics will turn up.

“I still think the post commanders’ pictures are someplace around here,” he said.

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Revisiting the top stories of 2013

The Sun Journal staff writers and photographers have updated the top stories in our communities.


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