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My Perspective: Special letters from a class to a veteran

Our newspaper reaches a lot of people. And because it reaches so many, there are a lot of interesting connections that are made. I know of at least two weddings that have happened because of Sr. Perspective, and there are many instances where mini reunions were held because a person saw a long-lost friend in the paper.

“Speed” gets letters from high school class from North High School. Photo by Tom Hauer

Last month, we had one of the more touching connections since the paper started in 1993.

Elvin “Speed” Homan, a paratrooper and POW in WWII and the Korean conflict, was featured on the front of the “Heroes Honored” special section published in the November editions.

Jim Honsa, a teacher at North High School in North St. Paul, picked up a copy of the paper during his travels. He brought the paper back to his class and showed the students. Honsa’s students then wrote personal letters to Homan thanking him for his service for Veterans Day.

The writer of the story, Tom Hauer, collected the letters from Honsa and hand delivered them to Honsa, who lives in a retirement home in Hutchinson.

Honsa received 57 letters. Hauer said Honsa was very surprised and pleased to receive them. He enjoyed reading them. The students also included questions for Honsa.

“The most common question was ‘How did you get the nickname Speed?’” said Hauer. “I asked him, and he said his dad gave him the nickname when he was young but doesn’t know exactly why he gave him that name.”

Some of the other questions included: What was being a prisoner of war like? How did you have faith while you were in the prison camp? What did you fear most? How were the conditions like in the prison camps? How did you feel when you awoke to the SS officer standing above you? How did you feel before dropping on D-Day? How did you feel when the war was over and you were able to come home? When you were a POW what did everyone do for passing time and what did the Germans think of the activities? How did you feel when you were liberated by the Russians? What is your favorite sport? How happy are you knowing your grandkids are serving the country? Did you know any of your fellow inmates and have you met with them recently? What motivated you to stay in the Army fighting? Did you or anyone you know try to escape when you were a prisoner? What were you thinking when the Germans were going to execute you? Were you injured in battle? When you were in prison camp what did they tell your family? If you could go back in time what would you do different? Where is one place you would like to return to one day? What was it like jumping out of the airplane? Were you scared? What were the Nazis like?

Some great questions in there! Maybe there are some young reporters in the making in that class. I want to thank Jim Honsa and his class at North High School for their letters, and I want to thank Tom Hauer for his great story and for helping deliver the letters to “Speed.” It is a feel-good story and I am happy that Sr. Perspective had a part in making it happen.

Fun with Cookbook

The latest Sr. Perspective cookbook (Vol. 16) is on newsstands now, and sales and interest in the book have been great so far. As you may know, the books often sell out before Christmas, so if you are interested in picking up a book for yourself or for family/friends, do it now! A list of all the locations who have the books is printed on page 14B.

The cookbook is a big project for Sr. Perspective, and so to celebrate the completion of the book, the office team at Sr. Perspective had a little potluck the other day. But it wasn’t just a regular potluck, there were rules. Every recipe needed to come from the current cookbook. But there was more. Every participant picked two page numbers out of a hat. They were then required to pick one recipe from the two pages to make for the potluck.

The result, a successful potluck!

I picked the Barbequed Meatballs by Delores Balfe, of Waterville, on Page 7; Kathy Estwick made the Baked Lemon and Honey Chicken from Khadija Chaudrey, of North Mankato, on Page 35; Bud Prescott picked Mountain Pie from Judy Rossell, of St. Cloud, (he substituted cherries in place of raspberries and it was delicious) on Page 98; Joanne Brown made the Bacon and Cheese Deviled Eggs by Donna Krueger, of Clements, on Page 11; David Drever picked the Banana Cake by Caroline Kreps, of Willmar, on Page 89; Bethany Hellem picked the Sour Cream Pecan Coffee Cafe by Shirley Ross, of Alexandria, on Page 55; and Jen Bergerson made the Taco Soup by Audrey Lohre, of Lamberton, on Page 65.

The recipes in this books are tremendous each year. They are tried and true. And we can attest for these seven recipes. They were all great.

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