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Stories, salutes on Bradentonunion leader’s 103rd birthday

Bradenton retiree James P. Crane just turned 103 and was recognized for his life’s work as a union man.

Crane received the first Resolution Award from Chicago’s Union Local 150, for which he was its first elected president, founded its pension fund and has remained an active member for 76 years. Union 150 is part of the AFL-CIO and is the nation’s largest operating engineers union.

At the birthday celebration, son-in-law James Schrader told an amusing story about how Crane was one of several union leaders called before U.S. Senate hearings in 1960 involving Bobby Kennedy and Sen. Barry Goldwater.

“They were trying to get at racketeering but Grandpa got cleared,” Schrader said. “As he was leaving, Goldwater came to him and said, ‘I want to shake the hand of an honest union man.’ ”

Also on hand for Crane’s birthday were daughter Janice Schrader, granddaughter Tammy Gaede, great granddaughter Jana Mirrilees, grandsons Dan and Ron Schrader and great grandson Mark Schrader.

n Check out the Henry Lawrence R&B Blues Show & Jam at The Touch of Class Night Club/Resturant, 5131 14th St. W., at 6 p.m. Sundays.

n LRHS Marching Mustang percussionist Jason Howze is 15. And flutist Kristi Todd is 17.

n If you were one of the 4,000 people who went to the The Crosley Festival of Trees, you’ll be interested to know the winner of the favorite decorated tree was the Live Orchid Tree, decorated by Bradenton’s Miracles of the Sea. The winner of the favorite gingerbread house was created and decorated by Sarasota’s Old Heidelberg Pastry Shop, owned by Karl Schoenberger.

Vin’s People, runs Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Have a column item? A photo you want to share? Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or email him at Please include a phone number for verification.