The above photo was taken in August 1940, Wheeling, West Virginia. It features Edgar Russell Parsons, 20, a drum major who led the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 32, Beckley, West Virginia. Standing next to 6-foot, three-inch Parsons is mini drum major John Robert Pedro.
According to a September 3, 1940 news clipping in the Wheeling Intelligencer, Parson gained famed earlier in the year at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The convention resulted in the nomination of President Franklin D. Roosevelt for an unprecedented third term.
“I remember him teaching my sister how to twirl a baton,” Parsons son recalled. “Man, could he twirl.”
Russell Parsons was born in 1919 and served in World War II. We have not been able to locate the year of his death; however, it was prior to 2010.