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Do-overs can take a person back to World War II history

July 31, 2011
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

Do-overs should be available to anyone.

I need do-overs big time.

With a do-over, I wouldn't cry my heart dry when my boyfriend broke up with me, no matter how blonde his next girlfriend was. With a do-over, I'd say yes to the first boy who ever asked me for a date. As it was, I was so startled anyone would ask, I said no. It was for a hayride, too, and I love hayrides.

With a do-over, I'd be nicer to my sister when we were both out doing chores. She says I wasn't nice, and I can't even refuse ownership of that faux pas. I know I was nasty. I had a foul mouth, a quick temper and low self-esteem.

Hmm, that may be what led to the breakup, though I'm pretty sure the low self-esteem came after getting cut loose.

Of all the do-overs, however, I'd pay more attention to Mr. Hanson in high school history class. I'd even learn his first name. When we studied World War II, I'd study harder. I'd read more. I'd care.

Back then, in the early 1960s, it was fairly recent history. We were Baby Boomers, after all. Born in 1947.

Then it was history. Today it's as real as the ticking clock in my kitchen, as unnerving as the drainpipe scratching against my bedroom wall in a brisk wind.

Today that history is real. Real men fighting. Hurting. Dying.

Since June 1968 I've been writing for newspapers. Not continually, but often enough that I've covered just about every kind of news there is. And of all the stories in all the states, nothing compels me like the Honor Flight stories I've written for The Messenger. I could spend the rest of my writing life writing those stories.

I got to take May's Honor Flight. My heart nearly burst. You can't spend the day with the men and women who served during World War II and not be humbled by their spirit.

My friend, Eddie Simpson, felt the same, so we decided to do something about it. We're putting on a benefit for the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight at 2 p.m. Aug. 7 in the showroom at Shimkat Motor Co., thanks to the generosity of Bruce Shimkat in offering the space. That's next Sunday.

Eddie's an Elvis tribute singer. He rounded up Maurice Jules, of Webster City, and a portion of the Harmony Brigade Barbershop Chorus to sing, too. Some of my friends are making cookies and bars. We've got donation raffle stuff - Eddie's painted feathers, my red-white-and-blue wall hanging, a full year's subscription to The Messenger.

Tickets are just $15 at the door.

Come play with us. I promise not to sing. Well, maybe, do-overs or not.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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