Amazing Friends—Met at Maddenfest

Meeting new people at Maddenfest,learning their stories was the best part of the festival. Brentwood has nurtured great people, people you need to know. We would like to share a few of them with you.

Four Amazing Friends rolled up to Maddenfest Parade line-up in a maroon Model “A” Ford. Gentlemen in front, ladies in back, all smiles. The placard on the car announced that they were graduates of Brentwood High School, Class of 1941. That puts them at nearly 90 years young! You would never guess their age to look at them or listen to the laughter and conversation.

The first to share her story was Maxine Gray-Reisenleiter. She was born in Dallas, Texas in 19-none of our business. Her parents moved to Brentwood by the time she was 2. Once, her family lived at 8822 Powell, renowned haunted house of Brentwood. She attended Grade School #1 and Brentwood High School where she served as Brentwood’s first drum majorette. Maxine nursed at St. Mary’s hospital during The War, volunteered with hospice, has always been a patriot and a lady.

Maxine married a paratrooper after World War II. Both Maxine and Harry “Lee” Reisenleiter are true examples of the Greatest Generation. She is proud of her husband’s military achievements. He was dropped into France behind the enemy lines on D-Day. His section lost comrades but completed their mission; bring back a German Iron Cross as simple proof.

Keeping up the Brentwood tradition has been a big part of Maxine’s life. Both her son and daughter (now 65 and 59 respectively) attended Brentwood schools. Of course Maxine was active in their school days then beyond. She is founding member, previous board president and avid supporter of the Brentwood High School Alumni Association.

After 52 years of marriage, her husband passed away. So, when she was 76, her memory of his wish to jump out of an airplane without being shot at became her goal. She did. Her jump made local, even national news. She didn’t stop there, Maxine jumped 6 more times!

There is much more to be said about Maxine Reisenleiter. If you are disillusioned with the direction of things, Look a little deeper, Listen to the people you may be tempted to call “old geezers”. Learn what it means to be an American. Then say, ‘Thank, you Maxine. Thanks you all of our veterans, soldiers and military families”.

(For more on Maxine see Mary Conroy’s article at the link below)


Keep watching the blog. There are more heros to come.

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