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Posted Thursday, February 21, 2008, at 6:40 AM

Venus Store 1926 - Courtesy Midwest Messenger
92 years ago today my Dad was born near a place called Venus, Nebraska. The Venus store is where the name came from as far as I know, and it was located a short distance north of Orchard in the northeastern part of the state. He grew up on a dryland farm without electricity or indoor plumbing, and wood stoves and ice houses were the way things were heated and kept cold.

The family didn't have much, and Dad mentioned putting cardboard in his shoes to extend their life. He rode a Shetland Pony to the school 3 miles away as a boy, went off to the Grand Island Business College, joined the Army and served during WWII, married my Mom, and worked as a railway mail clerk sorting mail on the California Zephyr between Omaha & Cheyenne Wyoming. When the Postal Service ceased mail service via rail, Dad was transferred to Denver where he retired several years later. Mom and Dad ended up moving to Washington state where Mom still resides. Dad passed away a couple years ago after a long illness.

Somewhere in there, I came into their lives. Dad taught me to fish, hunt, a special love of the outdoors, honesty, and to respect others and their property. We hiked, camped, and traveled throughout the USA and Canada, and I now know just how lucky I was as a kid to get to see and experience what many never get the chance to. Dad's railway mail job had him out of town several days a month, but he always made up for it when he was home. He taught me to use a hammer, saw and level, and I know these skills will come in very handy in the near future.

Thanks for everything Dad...you are as much a part of our buying the farm as anyone. I suppose you're up there smiling (you know) wondering when our minds took the walk off the map and decided to buy the farm. Happy Birthday!

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