Saturday, December 3, 2022

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Set the record straight on Zabel


I am answering a recent letter writer who wondered why Jim Zabel wasn’t in the service during World War II (Your View, June 20). A car fell on Jim, and he seriously injured his foot while trying to change a flat tire. This apparently happened after he graduated from Davenport High School in 1939. I traveled with Jim on many road trips to cover games, and he rarely talked about it. But he dragged the ailing foot rather noticeably, and I just assumed that’s why he wasn’t in the military. He probably flunked his physical test and was classified 4F. The rumors that he had recovered from polio are untrue.

Buck Turnbull
–Des Moines


I found the Bob Fagerland’s myopic and mean-spirited attempt to defame the legacy of Jim Zabel, an Iowa icon, silly and small minded.

During WWII about 11 million men were drafted, and while that is a high number, it is by no means all of the male population. Many were drafted; many were not. Those who serve this nation in times of war deserve our gratitude — this cannot be understated — however, implying that by not serving a person is somehow less of a man or anything than an honorable citizen is the kind of character assassination that is beneath contempt.

Mr. Fagerland states he is a veteran. So am I. But being a vet does not give one carte blanche to impugn the character or memory of those who were not drafted or did not serve.

James Bradley Robinson III
–Des Moines


It’s never too late to reminisce

This is somewhat late — I’ll be late for my own funeral, but I will be there — so I am here now to offer high praise for Mike Gartner’s recent recall of The Des Moines Register building and so many of its former occupants (“Memories of 715 Locust St.,” May 30). Excellent!

I have a lot of memories, too, and one of those was not mentioned in Gartner’s offering. I remember well The Register and Tribune Syndicate where I once wrote. (No, not worked. To me writing is not working. Whatever.) As you know, The Syndicate has long since been expired. I can go back, too, to the broadcasters on the top floor, Don Bell and Gene Emerald. My older brother sang on Gene’s program. I must confess as to the Register memories: “I’ve been there and done that.”

Craig Textor


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