ASHLAND — When Belva Moreau met Frankie Crane in September 1955 dancing the night away at American Legion Post 152, little did she know that 52 years later she would be in the very same building in the heart of Ashland. At the age of 15 she was smitten when the recently returned Korean War veteran asked her for a dance. Soon after, it was apparent that Belva had met her match.
“After a couple of socials my sister told my mother that Frankie was the boy who would take me home,” Belva said.
Belva and Frankie Crane have been married for 51 years and are still active at American Legion Post 152, now accompanied by their daughter and granddaughter. Instead of taking her partner and spinning him round and round, Belva is making sure 120 quarts of ham and bean soup get fed to the 208 Ashland residents who turned out and donated $5 in support of local veterans at the annual Ham and Bean fundraiser put on by the Women’s Auxiliary of Post 152.
Belva Crane has been a member of the Harry B. Prior American Legion Post 152 Women’s Auxiliary for more than five decades and is its current president. Frank is Post 152 Commander. Their daughter, Marla Johnson, 49, is a lifelong member as well as her daughter, Heather Johnson, 19.
While Marla and Heather serve up the soup, Marla’s husband, Daniel Johnson, is taking money at the door, though he’s not a member because of legacy rules. That chance encounter in the fall of 1955 led three generations of a family to volunteer their time and effort to raise money in support of local veterans in the same place where the family started.