Storm Lake Times Pilot

Letters to the Editor

To Mr. Goodfellow

Enclosed please find a donation in the amount of $100 given in memory of my mom, Mrs. Una Mae Strader.

For many years, mom taught elementary school pupils starting in Marathon and then moving on to teach at Sulpher Springs and then in Newell after Sulpher Springs closed.

She always had a special place in her heart for all of her students, but especially those that came from poor families. As the story has been told, one year there was a young boy in her class that came from a family that did not have much and as a result, he could not go off of the cement around the school onto the playground with the rest of his classmates as recess in winter because he did not have overshoes (probably the rubber ones with the buckles that froze in the winter as many of us had). His father did not believe in accepting charity so that young boy had no overshoes. 

My mom felt bad, so decided to buy a pair of overshoes herself for him that he could wear at recess so he could join his friends. He would put them on at the start of recess and put them back in his locker when recess was over. He never wore them home. His dad never knew about this arrangement. Mom felt better knowing that boy could be a part of the group.

Supporting Mr. Goodfellow seems an appropriate way for us to continue to help young people in need and keep mom’s spirit alive.

Thank you for accepting this gift.

Brad Strader | Storm Lake

Salute to Samsel

The story about Tom Samsel made my day and now I’m forlornly hovering in the distant past.

Back in the day, Samsel was a regular at the Struck house to show off his wheels and flirt with my five sisters. 

The girls kidded each other as to whom Tom had an interest in, but he was shy and funny and ate a lot of meals at our house as a high school lad. 

He was buddies with the late Troy Valentine, who would become my first brother-in-law and when Troy came to see Jeanine, Tom was always along. He took us boys on many car rides where he’d “tach out” on the Cobblestone road. 

An only child, Tom had a family in the Struck crew.

Memories are always bittersweet. Thank you for the wonderful story and salute to Tom Samsel.

Paul Struck | Cherokee

The good fight

Once again the Cullen brothers cultivate my faith in rural community journalism.

I applaud your column taking aim at Chuck Grassley and Kim Reynolds leading up to the Tuesday midterm election. Iowa mirrors Wisconsin so much with its politics. Buena Vista County mirrors Monroe County so much in its political climate.

I wish there were more scribes like John and Art Cullen in Monroe County and Wisconsin.

Keep fighting the good fight.

Bob Kliebenstein | Tomah, Wis.

Iowa Nice

A relative in central Iowa alerted me about John Cullen’s recent piece (“What happened to Iowa Nice?”). I enjoyed reading it and it did resonate with me.

Me? I was raised near Des Moines with three siblings. Three of us now live in states all bordering an ocean, as far from Iowa as possible in the lower 48. We are all nearing retirement age and all left before hitting 30.  I am in the San Francisco Bay area and have been for over 20 years after a time in Minneapolis (cold winters) and Wisconsin (cold winters) and a few other places.

I do believe rural and urban Iowa have a lot to offer. Schools are good. Cost of living is lower. Urban cities and rural college towns have culture and restaurants and the rest.  With Internet — the great equalizer — one can enjoy in Iowa what most do at home no matter where they live. I spend far more time watching YouTube than I do visiting museums and the like.

Iowa was good to me. I obtained my undergrad degree in Ames at ISU and worked my way through, taking five years to do what some do in four, and no debt — largely owing to the affordable tuition for in-state students (at the time, over 40 years ago). I suggest an opportunity exists for Iowa to adopt the Taiwan model (as I define it, having visited a few times and my husband being from there). Clean, safe, liberal, green, civic-minded, with a strong education and human-capital focus.

Iowa will never have mountains or oceans, so focus on strengths. Don’t slam other states. It’s not becoming. It saddens me to read the “circle the wagons” political mentality — so backwards, provincial, petty and small-minded. It’s a lost opportunity to target the other rather than praise what exists and build on it. But is that possible with the entrenched negative political atmosphere? Well, your article said it all.

Jonathan Howard | Larkspur, Calif.

King of America

As the date draws near for Donald Trump’s big announcement, I am reminded of a striking difference between the former president and another former president who lost his bid for a second term but came back to fight for it again.

When Grover Cleveland successfully returned to the presidency after sitting out for four years, it was because he was known as a strong proponent of rule of law, perhaps the last staunch defender of constitutional democracy to occupy the American White House. Donald Trump, on the other hand, is carving out an indelible role as the first unabashed champion of monarchy to occupy the White House.

Trump’s advocacy of absolute immunity from prosecution, his love of the British monarchy, his insistence that he be allowed to stay in office in spite of the electoral will of the American people, are just a few of the indicators of his intention to rule as the first lifetime king in America.

Kimball Shinkoskey | Woods Cross, Utah

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