09-05-2019 Letters and Commentary

LIFE CHANGING EVENT… What were you doing the morning of September 11, 2001 when 4 hijacked passenger planes became deadly missiles? Those planes carrying innocent passengers slammed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, into the Pentagon and into a vacant field in Pennsylvania. When the dust cleared nearly 3,000 heroes were the victims of the terrorist attack on America. Anne and I were watching the national news that morning. Katie Couric had just announced there was a news report of an airliner crashing into one of the towers. Moments later she announced they had a live feed at the World Trade Center and as we watched a second plane crashed into the other tower. From that moment on, America knew it was under attack. By then there was news of a plane crash in Pennsylvania and another in Washington D.C. From those horrendous moments, America had changed forever. Now there is ever increasing security for travel, public gatherings and at schools. We are more vigilant, but also more suspicious of strangers. The “land of the free” has embraced giving up certain freedoms in exchange for more safety of our family, friends and country. At the same time, we remember the victims of that awful attack. This coming Wednesday is September 11, 9-11. The Watervliet VFW will host a ceremony to recall the sacrifices of those that gave their lives serving others.

POLKA IN HEAVEN? Do they polka in heaven? If they didn’t, they are now since brother-in-law Leroy joined the Angels Saturday night. Leroy loved to dance the polka and when he couldn’t dance, he would listen to his polka records. On many occasions he could be found sitting at the kitchen table enjoying a cup of Sanka coffee and listening to his records. Kids and grandkids all knew they would get to dance with Leroy. While I never danced a polka, I have wonderful memories of him at most family occasions dancing, especially with his daughters, his mom, and mine. I called him “this that and the other”, he greeted me as “you old rascal”. Leroy had a large vocabulary of wonderful phrases suitable for any occasion, probably all the way back to his days in the navy and from years on the CB as he drove a truck. “You know what I mean, Fur sure, By golly and You betcha” peppered every story plus “this, that and the other.” He loved to fish, especially ice fishing on a particular farm pond. Ten years or so ago, while fishing that pond he hooked the giant pike of his dreams. At Christmas last we were chatting about (what else) fishing. I was loath to bring up THE FISH as Leroy was confined to a wheelchair and had not fished in a couple years. I didn’t have to worry, with a twinkle in his eyes, he asked, “Doing any fishing lately”? Knowing he meant ice fishing, I retorted, “The only ice I want is at the bottom of a glass of Kessler’s.” “You old rascal you, you’d be on the ice today if you saw what I did a few years back,” This that and the other said. “I hooked a big one, I just got a look at its head and it took off thataway. By golly, when I got that rascal back to my hole in the ice, I could see that pike’s head wasn’t gonna fit through it. You know what I mean, you betcha. He wagged his head and headed for bottom like hell wouldn’t have it and slapped his tail in my other ice hole, by golly, at least 5 feet away! You betcha!” Leroy will be missed, you betcha by golly!

Back to school with Social Security

It typically takes people a lifetime of planning to reach their retirement goals. The earlier young workers know about saving for their future, the better chance they’ll have at achieving a comfortable retirement. This is why Social Security has created a resource specifically for teachers and students. Our Information for Educators page contains a toolkit with information and resources to educate and engage students on Social Security programs and services. Within the toolkit, you’ll find: Two lesson plans with objectives, infographics and handouts for each lesson plan, links to Social Security webpages, talking points, and quiz questions and answers. It’s important for students to understand why Social Security was created and why it is essential to their lives today and in the future. This knowledge and understanding will provide students a strong base on which to build their financial future. You can access the webpage and toolkit at www.socialsecurity.gov/ thirdparty/educators.html. Young workers can also see how Social Security directly relates to them at