Thank you for your touching tributes to your neighbors for our annual “Thank You” issue. This is truly one of my favorite Journal projects of the year. To submit other notes of gratitude, go to www.southwestjournal.com and submit comments at our blog,
“The Compost,” or click on the link for the “Thank You” issue.
– Sarah McKenzie, Journal editor
Years ago, a daughter visiting from California came out of Settergrens Hardware with an elated expression. “They were so nice to me!” I knew what she meant.
Our purchases at so many places feel like a transaction, no more. It’s part of our bigness era. For a couple of months, as I drop in their store buying items for a kitchen project, it’s been a welcome respite. The people who own the store and the employees are quick to help me find an item.
It’s their attitude, one of friendliness and good cheer, that makes the world seem a better place. One night, to finish a project, we needed two sheet rock screws. Just as they were closing I called. They agreed to put them in a sack and set it outside the door. I’d pay the next day.
We laughed in delight that there’s still a spot where they’ll do a favor, albeit an odd one. It’s encouraging too to note that they train young people who work there to offer the same courtesy. So cheers to them and their staff.
I wish we had a picture or even knew the names of the couple we would like to thank, but unfortunately we do not.
On the sunny afternoon of Oct. 23, my granddaughter Lori and I went for a walk. On crossing at 54th and Upton Avenue, I tripped and fell. My nose was smashed and my glasses cut into my face.
Blood ran profusely as Lori frantically tried to care for and comfort me. A man drove up and called 911, while a woman came running to help with a cold, wet towel for my face and a pillow for my head.
We would like to thank the couple for that, as well as the kind words they said to comfort us while they waited with us until the ambulance arrived.
The couple disappeared and we had no chance to thank them or get their names. This is our chance to say thank you to two neighbors who live somewhere near 54th and Upton Avenue. We hope they are reading this, as they deserve recognition for being such caring and helpful neighbors.
We thank Southwest Journal for giving us this opportunity to let them know how grateful we are.
Dorothy and Lori Greene
I would like to nominate my neighbor, Martha Schafer, of the 3900 block of Beard Avenue South. Martha truly lives up to her biblical namesake. She is the eyes and ears of our block. Martha knows what is going on with almost everyone, and she helps wherever she can. She walks dogs for several people and even keeps some of them overnight. She drives elderly people to their errands as needed, though she is not a youngster herself. She watches over people’s homes and property when they are away. Martha has a smile and a good word to say to everyone. She has a treat for their dogs, too.
Martha is a bundle of positive energy and good neighborliness. We are all happy she lives on our block.
THANK YOU, DICK
Just last July, Dick Timm was a retired Lutheran school principal dreaming of his lazy days at the cabin. That all changed when St. Peter’s Lutheran School asked him to come out of retirement. He took on the role of principal just a few weeks before school started. I am so thankful that he said yes! Dick is an outstanding listener and leader. Not only has he done a great job jumping in and helping to reshape the school, he also makes a real impact on the individuals.
I am a volunteer at St. Peter’s, and Dick has encouraged me to say “no” sometimes; it seems counterproductive, but it has helped me to prioritize my time and efforts to make the greatest impact while not sacrificing my sanity — something that benefits everyone.
Thank you, Dick, for helping to make our little corner of the community a great place.
Thank you to the gentleman that walks his dogs along the creek between Upton and Penn while playing a beautiful wind instrument. I don’t know what it is, but the music makes me stop what I’m doing and just listen and enjoy for a few moments. It is always a welcome break to a hectic day.
A HELPER ON SNOWY DAYS
I am soooooo thankful for our neighbor, Trevor Hausske. Every time there is a big snow, I can count on him to run his big snow blower down my main sidewalk, and it’s such a gift! He will often do our driveway, too, and make it easy to get out onto the street.
It’s so nice to come home from work and be able to pull right up into the driveway, and we didn’t do any of the work! When I hear the gentle roar of his blower, it makes me smile because I know we aren’t plowed in any more.
I am grateful to our other neighbors, too, who run their machines all up and down the block after they do their own main sidewalk. It’s such a helpful and neighborly thing to do, I feel like I live in Mayberry and not the big city. When we are all outside shoveling and helping each other, it’s just a warm feeling of gratitude for all our wonderful neighbors and especially for Trevor.
SKATING RINK SAVIORS
I’d like to thank the crew that maintains the skating rink at Lake of the Isles. Each morning, they’re up early doing a cold, wet job. All season long, they do a great job keeping the sheet of ice in excellent condition, yet we skaters rarely see them face to face. So here’s a “Thank You” via the newspaper to those who do the work to make possible the best part of a Minneapolis winter.
Lowry Hill East
A special thank you to the neighborhood’s best friend and neighbor, Frank Litaker!
You’ve been a great neighbor for years now, helping people on the block whenever a need arose, often performing some kindness that wasn’t expected or requested — such as edging lawns up and down the block with your rented edger, or snow blowing the entire block after a particularly heavy snowfall. Personally, I’d like to thank you for all the times you mowed my front yard, watered plantings and the boulevard in front of our house, cleaned up the newly fallen leaves, provided emergency walks for Miles, and worked with me on correcting the drainage between our houses.
I know I’m forgetting many more incidents of your help and kindness; I’m sure Jeanine could think of many more!
The hard part is, I won’t be seeing you and your family out front and in the alley much longer as y’all are moving. There won’t be as many opportunities to thank you! The upside is, Southwest Minneapolis isn’t losing your helpfulness as you’re moving to a new address nearby. Your new neighbors have yet to learn how lucky they are!
Thanks, Frank. We’ll miss you and your family!
Sam and Jeanine Ross
IN AWE OF JERRY
Thank you to my dear neighbor Jerry Ungs.
Jerry is a wonder. He is the neighborhood watch and the neighborhood soul.
In times of need, he’s been there for his neighbors — providing rides to the doctor, to church, to the grocery store. He is the man who supported the ladies of the neighborhood with handyman jobs, lawn mowing or just chatting to keep spirits up. He never missed a neighborhood Night Out party, even after he survived a major stroke. And he never missed dessert!
Thank you, Jerry, for being there for all of us.
Love and thanks, Kathy.
To Robert, Ryan, Elizabeth, Cheryl and all the Lunds Grocery store staff:
Thank you for asking me how my children are when I check out. Thank you for helping the elderly when they arrive en masse. Thank you for helping me with my groceries in the frigid cold and super heat. Thank you for making specialized sushi for my son and giving my dogs treats. Thank you for being an important part of the Uptown community.
Courtney Cushing Kiernat
A TEACHER TRIBUTE
Dear Mrs. Sharp,
Thank you for teaching us about synonyms. I like the caterpillars. My favorite part is that you recommend different books.
Lucy Kiernat, 1st grader at Kenwood School, ECCO
When my family moved in next door to Dick and Dana just over a year ago, they immediately introduced themselves and seemed to be very kind. As the months passed, we got to know each other “over the fence.” Neighborly chat turned into an incredible friendship, and they are now like family to us.
They have given us support and encouragement through good times and bad. Our girls love and trust them, and Dana has often helped out in child care pinches. They taught the girls to play wiffle ball in their yard. Dick taught John the fine art of Guitar Hero. Dana has been a shoulder to cry on as well as a friend to laugh with.
Dick and Dana are the kind of neighbors I thought existed only in fantasy. They are people we can completely trust and enjoy living next door to. They have enriched our lives and we are thankful everyday to have them as our neighbors.
A ‘COMMUNITY MAGICIAN’
The world is moving so quickly.
People often spin in and out of each other’s lives in a blur — barely lookingback to see how that connection has changed their lives. Therefore, it is truly noble, in this age of transparency and technological wonders, to find someone who touches the community and leaves a trail of fairy dust. This community magician is Dr. Bill Smith, principal of Southwest High School.
As the burly captain of the Southwest Lakers, when the Legislature let blow a storm of financial change for public schools, he realized that “we cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” Together with the Quality Education Campaign, a group made up of parents, staff, and community members to raise critical funds for SWHS, a course was charted and our small community was positioned so that the sails are always filled with wind.
So we, the Quality Education Campaign Committee for 2007–2008, on behalf of a grateful Southwest community, say thank you, Bill, for your graceful spirit and strength of leadership!
Faith Adams, John Bellaimey, Kris Berggren, Craig Bishop, Mary Bolla, Sally Centner, Kathy Graves, Jenny
Hedberg, Carol Johnson, Ellen Butler Knighton, Kate Nolan, Michael Ries, Denise Rosen, Sarah Stoesz, Cheryl Thomas, Kim-Anh Tong and Ellen Van Iwaarden
A FUNDRAISING LEADER
We want to thank Kathryn Bauermeister for her leadership in fundraising in the Southwest area and in the community. She directs Wishing Dream Foundation to raise money for children who are poor or need medical care.
She has led many projects, such as making blankets and quilts, warm clothing drives and collecting items to help children, elderly people, and families in need. She has worked with lots of schools and service organizations in the area to plan and direct volunteer activities and learning projects with both children and old people (Warm Hats, Warm Hearts and Quilt Connection).
Kathryn also works as an adoption director and has placed lots of children from China in loving homes, mostly in the Southwest area. We know she will continue her helpful and awesome work in 2008! We are submitting this form because we saw her writing thank you notes to others in appreciation and we decided to thank her for all of her hard work, too.
Lulu & Emily Bauermeister
I would like to thank the employees of Guse Hardware for their helpfulness and cheerful attitude. Tom and his staff have helped me several times when I needed help moving things or figuring out how to fix things. We appreciate you in the neighborhood. Keep up the good work in the new year!
I would like to thank Santwana Dasgupta in the Kingfield neighborhood for hosting a foreign exchange student this school year. This is an important job which helps students learn about other cultures and forms links between our neighborhood schools, our city, the United States, and other countries.
Santwana is a wonderful host mother to Hakim while he attends high school in Minneapolis. He seems to have a good understanding of his coursework due in large part to Santwana’s coaching, as well as a comfortable home to live in.
Santwana has also spent many hours as a volunteer working to provide schoolling for Afghani children, especially girls, who would not otherwise be able to learn critical reasoning skills through education. As I write this, Santwana is working in Afghanistan to prepare children to be tomorrow’s peaceful leaders. In addition to holding a "day job," Santwana has included helping others as an important part of her life. Thank you, Santwana, for your work on behalf of others in the neighborhood and overseas!