SOUR GRAPES: Remembering Henry B

Jim and Henry

By Jim Magdefrau

Back in the days when the newspaper took pictures of class reunions, Dad couldn’t make it to one of the scheduled reunions. He gave me the assignment. It was Henry B. Tippie’s high school class of 1944.

Sure. I’ll do it. I was getting a free meal. As for paying for the pictures, Dad grinned and laughed, “He’s good for it.”

So it started. I had taken over Dad’s job of photographer for Henry B.

Decades on, he made sure I was at each event he attended or hosted. It took me to a fancy banquet hall in Iowa City to a trip in a B-29. He was always grinning, enthused about what was happening in our community and state, and had something smart to say to me about Iowa State Football.

His accomplishments are many and would take up this entire page. Let’s just say he’s a country boy who did well. Really really really really well. He always remembered his roots, his humble beginnings and his classmates and friends.

He borrowed a line from one of my columns for one of his books, about starting out as a kid who delivered milk to the city folks in Belle Plaine, and then kept on delivering for that community.

Our last correspondence was on happenings in the area, plus how he was weathering things in Texas. He saw great things continuing to happen.

He treated people he met for the first time or had known for a long time like they were kings.

If you treat people like they are kings, that makes you a king.

He was not one to look back. He was always going forward. We hope what he has done for us keeps us going forward with that same spirit, in our own lives and communities.

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