SOUR GRAPES: We’re back

Well, I’m back, in a limited capacity. All I can say that retirement is just as confusing as work.

* * *

Jim Magdefrau (and coach)

Shopping, before distancing — I was walking down the aisle of the local store, looking for my monthly supply of Sioux City Sarsaparilla. Two older ladies were talking with each other, carts parked and preventing passage, and they were glad to see me. Good! They asked where they could find tonic water. 

“I figured you might know, being a man,” one explained.

Well, thanks. It might be with the liquor portion of the store – not that I know where that is.

Well, that’s where it was. I’ll bring the gin. After social distancing.

* * *

Journalism – I’ve listened to a radio show dedicated to long-time Iowa journalist Dean Borg, and last night there was a TV show. Here’s my story on Dean.

We were upstairs at Vets Auditorium, Des Moines, for state wrestling many years ago. He asked where I was from.

“Belle Plaine.”

“There is a family of famous journalists from Belle Plaine,” Dean observed.

“Burrows?” I asked.

“No. A long name.”


“Yes. That’s them.”

Dean read up and listened to all forms of journalists. I heard on the public radio show that he was big fan of Jack Shelley. I think that was our connection. Jack had a weekly radio show in which he read columns from small-town newspapers. He liked to close his show with a snippet from Dad’s column. When he started reading from my column, I was humbled. When he interviewed us for his show, we were honored.

Let’s keep local journalism going, remembering Jack, Dean, Al Pinder, Frank Morlan, Jim Schwartz, Jane Bigbee, Jay Wagner, and Chris Mudge.

* * *

The obvious – I hope everyone is doing fine. I make a supply run about once a week, and make a point to get a meal or two from our local restaurants, while maintaining a respectable distance. I’ve given up shaking hands and line dancing. Wait. I never did line dancing before. There is some comfort in knowing I have an emergency toilet paper backup supply through local establishments. But if a person needs multiple big packages to get by, it’s time to look at the rest of your cart and what you’re consuming. 

Take care. We’ll get through this. I’ll see you at the virtual online line dancing class.


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