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LTE – Charlie Lofgren – 12-12-2012

Dear Carlton,

Brother Jim just copied me on his email to you about the items he’s sending. It provides the occasion to tell you how much I enjoy the reading the Tribune, as it used to be known. (And on the point of old versus new–so to speak–, I remember Jim’s and my father being slightly annoyed when Frank Neu changed the type font in the masthead from what it had been during at least the last years of the family’s long ownership.)

It’s good to follow the news of Glenwood City and environs and be reminded of where I grew up to age 10. A lot of those memories still persist. It’s fascinating to get glimpses of what’s changed and what’s remained the same.

I especially appreciate the “Days of Old” column. Some years ago, it contained the obituary for Jim’s and my mother (Helen Mary Augustin) in the Spring of 1945, which I don’t recall seeing before it appeared there. That brought back memories of her last days, and before–which run to the beginning of my memory.

Of course, 1945 was not a good year for the Augustin family (and I carry the family name as my middle name). Late summer 1945, on the eve of Japan’s surrender, cousin Dick (Charles Richard Augustin) died in combat with the Army Air Forces over China. I have some memories of Dick visiting in Glenwood, probably around 1943 or ‘44. (He traded something that I don’t recall for the radio from the family Chevrolet.) The “Days of Old” column carried the death notice that his father, Jim’s and my Uncle Allan, received from the Army. Uncle Allan was then in Morocco, Indiana, where the newspaper business had taken him from Glenwood City. I’ve tried to create in my mind how the verbatim message got into the Tribune. Communications being what they were then, Uncle Allan must have mailed a copy to Jim’s and my father in Glenwood City, or else had a telegram forwarded. My own memory is that our father spoke to me in the living room of the family house (in my mind, I can see the sun rays coming in through the windows). He was pretty solemn when he told me that Dick had died. (And when Jennifer and I visited in 1996, I’ve got to say that the house and living room seemed a lot smaller than I remembered!)

Recently, the column had an item on the final disbanding of Glenwood’s G.A.R. post, which was named after Capt. Oscar Brown, Jim’s and my great-grandfather (father of Anna Brown, C.J. Augustin’s wife). That brought to mind the picture I’ve seen of him–a Civil War-looking guy with a thin beard.

Then, still more recently, there was an item on our uncle Howard Augustin’ being mustered into the Army for World War I. Alas, he drowned soon after the war and I never knew him. But the news item recalled to me the big propeller from the airplane that (as I was told, anyway) he and Uncle Allan flew after WWI before it crashed–which was hanging on the wall in what I called the “printing shop” when I was a little kid.

I can’t certify the absolute accuracy of all the memories, but thanks! And thanks too for your good editorials. From what I’ve learned of him, grandfather C.J. Augustin would approve. (I myself continue to vote the way great-grandfathers Augustin and Brown both shot in the Civil War, for the party of Mr. Lincoln. May it recover its fortunes!)

Charlie Lofgren