Sunday, December 5, 2021

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Let Zabel rest in peace, along with his integrity


Bob Fagerland’s question about why Jim Zabel didn’t serve in WWII is first and foremost no one else’s business (Your View, June 20). I had the pleasure of running into Jim on numerous occasions when flying through western cities. He was always wearing very thick-lens eyeglasses. He probably couldn’t see well enough to serve. That being said, Mr. Fagerland, you are disparaging someone who can no longer defend or explain why he didn’t serve. Mind your own business, and we won’t ask after you die why you did or did not do something that would tarnish your image and the reputation you may or may not have. Why was Fagerland’s letter even printed?

Mark Challis
–West Des Moines


How dare Bob Fagerland insinuate that Iowa legend Jim Zabel somehow weaseled his way out of WWII, as per his snarky Letter To the Editor. Fagerland questioned Zabel’s integrity by clacking, “How on Earth does a person avoid the draft?”

The answer is simple, Zabel was not called into action. The 1940 Selective Training and Service Act operated under a lottery system. It was similar to the current Iowa Lottery.

It would make my day if people like Fagerland would stops lobbing rocks at Iowa’s favorite sons.

Doug Potter
–Des Moines


How do cows know Latin?

Mr. Weeg’s piece on Latin-comprehending cows was a most enjoyable read (Joe’s Neighborhood, June 20). It called forth vivid memories of my father (as well as my brother and I) calling the dairy herd in for evening milking. We used the same phrase, “Co’ bos,” (which I always understood to mean “come bos”) to bring them to the barn. Thus, it is clear that an understanding of Latin is not unique to Iowan Black Angus but extends to Guernseys born and raised in the Hudson Valley in New York — and perhaps to all bovines. The use of that Latin word (bos) by farmers of that generation always intrigued me. I knew it because I had four years of Latin in high school, but how farmers like my dad and Weeg’s uncle knew it I couldn’t figure out.

My father had had only eight years of schooling and certainly no Latin, but he was one of the most well-read people I have known. His knowledge of Latinate words in English often surprised me. Once we received a visit from an uncle, a college educated engineer from New York City. As evening milking time drew near, my father got up from the table where everyone was gathered socializing. He hitched up his dungarees and pulled on his cap. “Where are you going?” asked my uncle. My father replied, in his best diction, “I’m off to extract the lactile fluid from the bovines.”

Karl Schaefer
–Drake University


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