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Readin', Ritin'. Rasmusson

Doug Rasmusson passed away Sunday at the age of 78. Unlike many of you, who knew him for decades, I talked with Doug only about a half-dozen times in my 15 months at this paper. Like many of you, however, I enjoyed every minute. And I am proud the Sun Tribune was able to include his column weekly on these pages.

Doug could say in 10 words what many of us can't say in 10,000. Evoking powerful, poignant and humorous memories and emotions with a brevity of words is a gift shared by only the truly talented writers. To use a Doug-ism, it's a skill he had in spades. Most of the compliments received from Sun Tribune readers were directed at something Doug wrote, be it his column or a series of stories published last summer about his Lewis and Clark trip. So, in newspaper parlance, we're going to put Doug's column to bed one last time by letting his words take over, with reprints of writing from his columns and his two books, I Guess You Ha To Be There, and Celebrating the Commonplace.&

Doug's family has included a Thank You note to many people in the area, and graciously allowed the Sun Tribune and the Hancock Record to publish his final column. You don't often see the likes of people like Doug. He was a humble, insightful and funny man, and an observer and writer of exceptional wit. Count your blessings, those who knew him well.God speed, you old farmer.-- Tom Larson, Editor<

With my current health concerns, I was glad when the first Sunday of the month came and Communion was offered at our little church.I have been thinking mostly of myself lately, and I guess you can understand that, but then sitting in our usual pew watching the folks file up to the altar, a different feeling came over me.

In front, Marion sits, thinking no doubt of her sister in the Courage Cottage by the hospital in Morris. Alfred walks by, so full of pain killers and tranquilizers that he can barely talk, waiting for experimental surgery on his spine. Sometimes kids do the wrong thing without thinking of the consequences for them or their family. Sometimes people lose their jobs unexpectedly. This makes a hardship on the family. In my prayers, I now intend to give more thanks and mention others. I will also make fewer personal requests.

Doug will be missed by us, but he is free from pain and that is a comfort. We all feel humbled by the love you have shown us during this time. Thank you all.