Write Team: I’m back, but why?

If you have read my columns, you probably read that my fans ask when my next Write Team column is coming out.

This is especially true when I am in the mandatory six months off after completing a round of columns. That encourages me to apply when the notice appears in the paper looking for applicants for the team.

I love writing for the Write Team. However, any more as I consider whether I will apply, it takes a little more incentive for me to warm up the laptop. This time, Dave McClure is to be thanked, or blamed, depending on whether you want to read more written by me.

In one of Dave’s stories, he wrote about the wonders of cheese. It came to me then, in all I wrote, I had never devoted print to cheese. Shame on me. A devoted Cheesehead, and a lover of many cheeses, and I had neglected one of Wisconsin’s finer products.

Thanks Dave. Even though I tried to justify in my mind the fact that I had made many trips to Wisconsin, distributing for free two types of cheese to many people I know; I hadn’t done what you did while on the Write Team. Let me correct that some by telling you about those two types of cheese I mentioned.

Sharp American is a unique cheese. It has a very distinct mild flavor, but I would have a hard time believing that any cheese would be better in a grilled cheese sandwich, especially when it is made with my favorite bread. Smoked gouda also does well grilled or melted on vegetables.

Dave can also be blamed, as other things he wrote convinced me to take another tour on the team. When he wrote about cooking breakfast at the PADS shelter, and there were potatoes available to fry up; I was touched again. That was because the potatoes were probably there from the fairly large contribution of potatoes I had made from my annual trip to Wisconsin to bring back potatoes to donate to those who wanted them.

When he wrote twice about working at a nursing home and his friend there, it took me back to several nursing home experiences I have had over the years. Between taking children from Christian camps in groups to visit at a nursing home; taking my step-father when he was in a home, on rides to places he remembered, and playing euchre with my “adopted grandmother” and her friends at a home, and even doing a bible study with a person from our church and others from the group, there were many memories.

Dave and I also shared similar, but different, careers at different agencies that helped children and youth. So, I guess it is no surprise similar scenes have played out in our lives. I had almost decided to skip being on one Write Team, after the fine articles by the last Write Team, especially Jonathan Freeburg, who hit on many topics I considered important. However, Dave rekindled the passion I have for writing for the team.

When my term ends, I look forward to more from Dave.

Rodney Verdine is retired as the assistant director at the La Salle County Detention Home, but also had been a probation officer. He can be reached at newsroom@mywebtimes.com