Columns/Opinions

Wed
23
Jan

Empire State of Mind:Mentoring has had a positive impact on my life

 

Chris DeBack is a mentoring in the North Fayette Valley Mentoring Program. He has been matched with his mentee, Kywren, since January 2017. He and Kywren enjoy playing video games, going to dinner, seeing movies, and attending NFV Mentoring group activities together. The program is in need of more male mentors.Chris DeBack photo

 

Empire State of Mind: Mentoring has had a positive impact on my life

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

North Fayette Valley Mentoring is in need of more male mentors.

Wed
23
Jan

A farewell to Gene

A farewell to Gene

 

By Jerry Wadian
jwadian@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

After 82 years, the gravelly voice of legendary West Central girl’s head basketball coach gene Klinge is still. Untold thousands of people across northeast Iowa lament the passing, including this lowly sports writer. 

  I wish that I could go to the memorial service Saturday because I greatly admired the man. Unfortunately, the UIC wrestling meet is the same day, and duty calls; I am sure Gene would understand.

  Klinge’s basketball legacy stands as one of the greatest in Iowa high school sports history. But aside from the numerous honors and awards, Klinge was always a greater man than he was a coach.

  My first memories are of walking into the gym that now bears his name. Before I even entered, I could hear the loud, gravelly voice yelling away at somebody. 

Wed
02
Jan

Empire State of Mind: I'm one lucky guy

Empire State of Mind: I'm one lucky guy

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

It’s no secret that I love video games. 

I have loved them ever since picking up the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) — or what I called growing up “regular Nintendo” — controller and playing “Super Mario Bros.” I’m sure some of you remember how “Super Mario Bros” came with “Duck Hunt” on the same cartridge. I vividly remember the red and grey NES Zapper (gun) and how the plastic felt in my hand as I stood mere inches from the TV to shoot those darn ducks. 

Wed
12
Dec

Families and names

Macy Elizabeth Wadian

 

Families and names

By Jerry Wadian

 

jwadian@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

When my son, Taylor, got married to Tammy Sonnentag in June of 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio, there was a discussion of names to use. Since she already had a number of scholarly articles published – very important in academia (she teaches psychology at Xavier University) – using her maiden name seemed a good idea. There also was the possibility of the rather ponderous, Sonnentag-Wadian, or just plain Wadian.

  Now Taylor, who inherited my slightly left-of-plumb gene, came up with an interesting solution: the Wadentags! Fortunately that’s one idea that didn’t get too far – at least, I hope it didn’t go too far but you can’t be sure exactly what kids are really up to. However, the name remains a standing family joke.

Wed
05
Dec

Empire State of Mind: From deer to delays

 

Union reporter Chris DeBack struck a deer as he headed back to his office in West Union on Tuesday, Nov. 20. The deer hit the driver’s side headlight and flipped up into the windshield before its body hit the driver’s door and shattered the window. Chris DeBack photo

 

Empire State of Mind: From deer to delays

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday! Mine was marred with deer and travel delays to go along with a 10-year high school reunion, making it one of the more memorable Thanksgivings in recent memory. 

My holiday got off to an inauspicious start on Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 20. I was driving along Highway 150, headed back to West Union after completing an interview. It was a chilly afternoon with overcast skies, but my spirits were high as I was mere hours away from going on vacation. My wife, Megan, and I were heading back home to Rochester, N.Y., for Thanksgiving to visit my family and friends, as well as attend my 10-year high school reunion.

As I drove back to West Union, I was thinking about the final few things I would need to complete before I could head out of town with my conscience free from work. We had a 5:30 a.m. flight the next day out of Rochester, Minn., so I was itching to get done and head for the hotel we would be staying in that evening. 

Wed
28
Mar

Empire State of Mind

 

The picturesque campus of St. Bonaventure University, located in rural southwest New York, is where Chris DeBack earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism. (submitted photo)

 

Bonnies endure fray of March Madness

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

I like to think that I have adapted to life in Iowa pretty well since I moved to Vinton over five years ago. 

However, as my wife, Megan, likes to say, “You can take the man out of New York, but you can’t take the New Yorker out of the man.”

While I may have “an Empire State of mind,” having been born and raised in Webster, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester. With an allegiance to a number of New York-based sports teams including the Buffalo Bills, New York Yankees, and Buffalo Sabres, I have grown fond of the Iowa Hawkeyes over time and adopted the Iowa State Cyclones when I initially moved to the Corn Belt. 

None of them can compare to my affection for my alma mater, St. Bonaventure University in Olean, N.Y., though

It’s located on New York’s southern border approximately 1½ hours south of Buffalo, two hours south of Rochester, and 30 minutes north of the Pennsylvania border in western New York (yes, there’s more to New York than just the Big Apple). It’s nestled between the small towns (or at least what is considered small in New York State) of Allegany (8,000) and Olean (13,500), along the Allegheny River, which was my first glimpse of small-town life.

Wed
21
Feb

I sat, I read, I cried

Chris DeBack

 

I sat, I read, I cried

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

I cried as I read about the heroic acts of educators at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., who used their last breaths on Wednesday, Feb. 14, to protect the children they educated every day.

The nation mourns the loss of 17 souls, 14 of them children, whose flames were extinguished before they even had a real chance to light their futures. However, if not for the heroic acts of many educators on that day, things could have been much worse. 

Wed
14
Jun

A day (and a father) like no other

A day (and a father) like no other

 

 

Brian Smith
Contributing Writer
bsmith@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

Father’s Day will soon be upon us, and as many of us make plans, buy a card, and find just the right tie, mug, or T-shirt to present to Dad, let us take a moment to reflect. This mid-June holiday takes on many different meanings, depending upon your relationship with your father, your age, and whether or not you yourself are a father. Before this one slips away, perhaps it would be beneficial to consider what makes a good father.

Wed
29
Jun

A chance to remember, honor and learn

 

Union photographer Jerry Wadian took this photo of the moveable version of the Vietnam Wall when it came to Dubuque a few years ago. The angled light of the late afternoon sun, highlights the lettering of the names, units and dates of death of the over 57,000 soldiers, Marines, Navy and Air Force personnel killed in the nine-year war. At the base of the Wall are mementoes left by families, friends, and comrades in arms to honor the dead.

 

A chance to remember, honor and learn

 

 

By Jerry Wadian
jwadian@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

The Vietnam Memorial Wall – at least the traveling version – is coming to the Clayton County Fairgrounds in National Thursday, June 30 through Tuesday, July 5; it will be open to the public 24 hours a day.

I urge all who can go to make the short trip. It is a chance for remembrance, honoring and learning.

For the vet, the Wall is a powerful remembrance and emotional stimulus. The names of the over 57,000 dead engraved on the marble surface speak eloquently to the living.

Wed
29
Jun

A chance to remember, honor and learn

 

Union photographer Jerry Wadian took this photo of the moveable version of the Vietnam Wall when it came to Dubuque a few years ago. The angled light of the late afternoon sun, highlights the lettering of the names, units and dates of death of the over 57,000 soldiers, Marines, Navy and Air Force personnel killed in the nine-year war. At the base of the Wall are mementoes left by families, friends, and comrades in arms to honor the dead.

 

A chance to remember, honor and learn

 

 

By Jerry Wadian
jwadian@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

The Vietnam Memorial Wall – at least the traveling version – is coming to the Clayton County Fairgrounds in National Thursday, June 30 through Tuesday, July 5; it will be open to the public 24 hours a day.

I urge all who can go to make the short trip. It is a chance for remembrance, honoring and learning.

For the vet, the Wall is a powerful remembrance and emotional stimulus. The names of the over 57,000 dead engraved on the marble surface speak eloquently to the living.

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