Letters to the Editor

Don’t like this? Well, blame the editor

Howard Schonberger - Journal file photo
Howard Schonberger
— image credit: Journal file photo

"Howard, how about doing a column on things to be thankful for to go in our pre-Thanksgiving issue?” editor Scott Rasmussen suggested last Wednesday…”I’ll need it tomorrow since we have an early pressrun and go to press Friday night.”

He knew I’d agree since I invited him to join our “Hellbox” trivia team the previous Thursday and he’d led us to a second place win (worth a tin of great imported cookies to each of our five players that night).

That’s why they call the editorial staff the “brains department” at newspapers. As one of our teammates says when we vote for a wrong answer; “Never in doubt; always wrong!”

Scott wanted to know what a 92-year-old was most grateful for around Thanksgiving. Here goes:

My Mom taught me forgiveness, for which I will always be grateful. As a toddler, who walked at six months and didn’t talk for two years I was known for moving furniture from one room to another and tearing up books.

If my mom, Anna, were like some I’d see later, I would have spent years in the corner of dark rooms. Instead they made a happy game of my destructive tendencies.

My dad, Ed, was working the usual six days a week, 10 hours a day. But he always liked to get me active in sports, Boy Scout merit badges, picnics and eating Phil Geil’s barbecued ribs in North Omaha near the Storz brewery and the Baptist Zion church where we heard great choruses on Sundays.

My only sibling, big brother Stan, is now 97. I am so grateful that he was so careful having me as a tag-along. He saved me from cashing in as a youth when I fell in quicksand at Lake Okiboji, Iowa during a storm one summer, and when I threw a boomerang from a cliff that hit a pitcher  below in a softball game at Hansen Park in Omaha.

Later, as a surgeon, decorated for bravery in Normandy, Stan was a battalion surgeon with the Eighth Infantry division. He still is remembered by a few survivors, as “the sawbones who kept working on a wounded GI whose leg was being amputated and ignored an 88-shell that went through the canvas of the hospital tent in the hedgerows.” I still worship big bro.

I am grateful that Stan and other doctors and nurses have kept me going and taught me to listen to my body so I can keep on plugging in this tough and beautiful old world.

I have now spent more time on San Juan Island than any other location. Two years ago we went to Alaska, the only state I had not seen. For that, my biggest thank you.

There’s no place like home. Particularly when you have a dear partner to be with. Most all of that time has been at this newspaper. Never a dull moment.

The only thing I’m worried about is how the world can have too many “things” (e.g. all of us doubling populations and needs so rapidly).

We’’ll leave it up to you young-uns to figure it out.

— Go with the F.L.O.W.   (Ferry Lovers Of Washington)



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