It will be five years this month since Willie Martin passed away.
I first met Willie some 14 years ago. He was friendly, smiling and seemed to be a real good Joe. No pomp or fanfare with Willie. Just a down-to-earth, folksy, lovable guy.
Later, I learned he had helped so many financially, with no anticipation of return. Giving was his hallmark. A firm handshake or, better yet, a hug. He loved to hug, even someone he didn't know. He had a firm, strong "bear hug." Someone once said, "He may have accidentally cracked someone's rib." I believe it.
He was a devoted member of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church. He sang in the choir and served on the church council. The sign in front of the church was constructed with memorials to Willie Martin.
A boisterous and loud "Good Morning!" always greeted us, and a 20- or 30-minute chat would follow.
After selling his grocery store to his son, Paul, Willie wanted to keep active in the business, so he decided to do delivering.
Once, while returning from a delivery in Hancock, Willie said, "I want to work my way up to carryout."
John C. Inman
the 50 states
The 4th-grade class at Aviston Elementary School, located in southern Illinois, is learning about the U.S. and the different climates, resources and highlights found in each region. The kids in the class think it would be fun to receive postcards, souvenirs, resources or any information about our great country from each of the 50 states.
We hope that people who read this letter will be interested in mailing our class items pertaining to their state. Our address is:
4th grade at Aviston Elementary
350 South Hull Street
Aviston, IL, 62216
A sincere Thank You to anyone who is able to contribute! We appreciate the excitement you will add to our learning experience.
and 31 classmates
Does Obama lie?
In April, President Obama changed the tax withholding tables. This summer, in a CBS Sunday interview, Bob Schieffer asked about the middle class tax cut. He was told they have it -- they receive an extra $9 per week in take-home pay. This fall, I asked my tax advisor if the tax rate had changed. No was the answer. Now the change in withholding is for today, but the tax is bigger with no change in the tax rate. There is no tax cut. Does Obama lie?
Now, if I see this truth, CBS or the Star Tribune should disclose the facts as journalists.
The Obama Administration is currently debating whether or not to criminally prosecute agents of the Central Intelligence Agency for the treatment of captured enemy terrorists. Choosing to prosecute them holds reckless and willful disregard for both the short-term and long-range effects of punishing those who swore to protect our country.
There is a similar story recorded in the Bible. King David's son Absalom led a rebellion against David. A civil war ensued, the rebellion was stopped, and Absalom was killed. David, hearing the news wept, "My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you" (2 Samuel 18:33). When the victorious army returned and heard David weeping, the soldiers behaved like they had been defeated in battle.
One of his commanders rebuked David for his behavior. David's life and family had been saved yet his weeping made his men feel ashamed for their victory. "You seem to love those who hate you, and hate those who love you.... Now go out there and congratulate the troops, for I swear by Jehovah that if you don't, not a single one of them will remain here during the night" (2 Samuel 19:6-7). So David encouraged his troops.
There is no real difference for the CIA. These highly skilled men working in the intelligence agencies have protected us from further attacks. Yet they are told not to make it too tough on our enemies who seek to destroy us. Men who lawfully did their job during the time following 9-11 are now told that they may to be prosecuted under a new set of rules.
If we prosecute the men who have protected us from another attack, should we then be surprised that they are not as devoted to their jobs or even resign? When we are attacked again because our defenses are lowered, who will we blame? We should not blame our protectors because it seems to me that some in leadership are more concerned about the "rights" of the terrorists than the rights of citizens.
Allen L. Wold