Readers Respond

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What a pair to draw to!


/ Storm Lake

A few months ago, I wrote an article about my life-long friend, Del Laird. I have been overwhelmed at the responses it has generated. It made me realize that I need to write, just one more time, about a pair of Storm Lakers whose devoted friendship to so many people like me, kindled the spirit of caring for others for which Storm Lake is well known.

My dear friend, O.B. Kelly, told me that if I had 5 friends I would be the richest man in the world. What he meant by friends went beyond mere acquaintances. He meant the Del Laird kind of friend, who when you ask to borrow $1000 from them they reply, "Cash or check?" not "What for?" Having been a card-playing man for most of my 93 years, I likened having 5 friends to 5-Card Draw. As I reflect on my poker-hand of friends, Del is in my winning hand. I was lucky enough to have a pair dealt to me, as well. I learned over the 60 years that I knew them, that I was not the only one fortunate enough to have them among "my five". They were as good of friends to many, many others. The pair was Virg and Doris Jones.

Virg and Doris were both born around here in the 1920's, and both graduated from Storm Lake High School four years apart. They didn't meet until after Virg had served in WWII and had earned a Bronze Star. They met when he returned to Storm Lake, and they both were working at the courthouse. They were married October 12, 1947. They were blessed with a daughter, Marcia, and a son, Brad.

Most people knew Virg as the Safety Director for Iowa Public Service. This job had him flying and driving to and from South Dakota and all over central and western Iowa. (He was notorious for knowing every back road in the state!) He was also the Assistant Chief of the Storm Lake Fire Department.

I first met Virg and Doris shortly after they were married. The pair of Joneses, without exception, was always there for me. This was true the entire time I knew them, but I leaned on them pretty heavily after I could no longer drive. It didn't matter if I needed to get groceries or go to Iowa City to the doctor, their response was always, "What time should we pick you up?" Over the years I learned that they did the same for numerous other people - not just me!

I don't know how they did it, but they were a royal pair - always easing our burdens with their friendship.

In poker, you have to decide what you want to save and what you want to draw to. Virg and Doris was the pair to save throughout my life. They died within about a year of each other, and I miss them terribly. They taught me, and many others in this town, how friendship can truly impact on an entire city. We shouldn't be content with being among the five close friends to just one or two people. We should be the ace in many friends' hands. Virg and Doris showed us how.

It is so sad that they have departed this earth, but another one of "my five" shared a story with me today that has helped me live with their loss. She was at the hospital this morning with a serious family emergency. She took a minute to step outside of the ER into the main entrance of the B.V. Regional Medical Center. She had a lot of troubles on her shoulders, and she went to sit down on the bench just inside the door. Her eyes caught the plaque attached to the bench. It said, "In Loving Memory of Virgil B. and Doris E. Jones". She said that it gave her great comfort to still feel their friendship envelop her.

I hope you were one of the many who were dealt this pair in your friendship hand. But even if you didn't know them, we can all learn from them. Their kind of friendship is not only powerful, but eternal.

Celebrate 4-H


/ Maple Valley Ag 4-H Club

This week (Oct. 5-11) is National 4-H Week! As a member of 4-H I would like to take a quick moment to let others know how much fun 4-H can be. 4-H just isn't pigs, lambs, and corn anymore, it's computer clubs, photography, sewing, and cooking. 4-H has so much to offer that you might get dizzy trying to find everything you like. In 4-H you will meet people from across your own town and county, and you will make friends that will last a lifetime. 4-H has enabled me to have tons of fun, meet new people, learn new skills, take a exciting trip to Washington DC, it's built my self confidence, taught me responsibility, and showed me how to set and achieve goals.

When you're in 4-H you can take part in the Buena Vista County Fair and other shows, you can go to camp, and be part of statewide 4-H youth gatherings. In 4-H there is something for everyone, so how could you not want to get involved? You have nothing to lose except for time that you spend being bored. Do something about it! Call Debbie Erpelding at our Buena Vista County Extension at 732-5056 and ask how you can join 4-H today!

Throw the Bums Out


/ Nemaha

Americans have more sense than nitwits in Congress!

Everyone, Joe Sixpack to renowned economists, knew rushing to 'Bailout Wall Street' was not any fix. It will not stop this slide, but only make it worse!

Everyone who voted for this 'Bailout' against their constituents will must not return to Congress.

Both Harkin and Grassley failed in their duty to the People, both must be thrown out!

The verifiable truth about who brought us to this historic economic collapse is at this web address - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIVvvoDbCV0 - everyone needs to see this, before they vote.

This is not the first time these parasites have done this to us, but it must be the last! This exact scenario happened six times before; they knew exactly what they were doing! They were serving special interests, instead of the public good!

This is the most important vote of our lives; we must not make it in ignorance, or blind hatred of what we don't understand.

Educate yourselves about who is really responsible for wasting the taxpayer's money on ineffective and destructive government give-away programs, and throw the bums out!