Michael Rubel's 1917 German Krupp Cannon
—Michael C. Rubel, 1/25/1989
As children many of us played war with the Krupp cannon on the WWII scrap pile located on the Dalton Wash just north of Leadora Avenue. The great pile of metal that had been donated for the war effort was priceless for children, but the incredible toy was this cannon. We painted it and oiled it and greased it and protected it.
The time came when a bunch of us wanted to move the cannon to our fort located across the Dalton Wash. Mr. Ole Hammer explained that the American Legion owned the cannon and we would have to get their permission to have it. This was about 1949. We went to, what seemed like, countless people to argue for possession of this cannon. We, after all, were responsible for painting it with donations from Jim Reed, who gave paint with the condition we painted it brown. Jim Reed had a lot of old brown paint, we discovered.
At one point we removed a wheel to grease the hub and the cannon fell down on one side making it impossible to move. One morning we found the wheel had been replaced. We all thought this was an act of God.
When I was eleven years old my friends pushed me to get the cannon. We assembled at the American Legion Hall on Cullen Avenue for this momentous occasion. I was frightened to death. Yelling at everyone in the hall I explained it was our cannon; we made it better with grease; made it shiny with paint and no one had more right to this cannon than David Wilson, Duncan Menser, Skipper Landon, or Me. A great applause gave way to a motion that I be sold this cannon for a dollar, with a condition that we move it within three days. The Legionnaires thought this would be the end to the issue since children could not possibly move an eight ton cannon. When we begged Lorne Ward to help us, he said he could not for the Legion really wanted to keep it for their hall on Cullen Avenue. Carl Gunn and Frank Brown gave us similar answers. On the third day, in total despair, I went to Wilson School knowing we had lost the cannon.
that afternoon I found the cannon right in front of our fort.
Again, a miracle which made me very heady
with my magical
Many years later I found that Fred Barns and Carl Woford and Andy
Blair had moved it, probably with Ole Hammer’s blessing,
to get it off the irrigating company property.
In 1954 Odo and Maria Stade convinced me that the cannon would attract a bombing should the Russians fly over Glendora and spot the cannon. This is the kind of logic I have always suffered with. It shows.
I was offered five hundred dollars by the Los Angeles Historical Museum, but not knowing what five hundred dollars meant, I turned them down. When they offered me a brand new Winchester shot gun (which cost about $50) to win the Glendora Turkey Shoot with on the Charley Gordon Ranch, I jumped at the offer. I still have the shot gun, but did not win a turkey.
From Christopher S. Rubel (Mykee's Brother)
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