Meaningful Calls

May 25, 2011|By Pat van den Beemt

My phone rang at 8:30 Tuesday night and I saw it was someone I had called a few days earlier to get information for a story. I was tempted not to answer it. Geez. Can’t people call me during work hours?

I answered it anyway.

It was Rev. Jim Banach, from Redeemer Lutheran Church in Parkton, to give me details about a Civil War Day event at the church on May 21.

He apologized for calling late, but said his mother had died earlier in the day. After offering my condolences, I said I was astounded he’d call me when he had more important things to deal with and other calls to make.

He said getting a notice in the North County News was important, because he knew it would attract people to the event.

It humbled me to know he placed such importance on what I would  write.

Banach’s phone call came two hours after another one that warmed my heart. Jerome Murphy, 87, calls me every year to give me details about Ma & Pa Railroad Days at a museum in Pennsylvania.

He left a message on Monday morning and I didn’t return the call until Tuesday evening. The first words Jerome said were, “Pat, are you OK?”

I guess I’ve been very prompt in returning his calls over the years. When I didn’t call right back, he worried that something was wrong.

After assuring him I was healthy and still working, we talked for a while and I got all the details for a story.

If it were up to me, I’d make both of them front page stories, but I have the feeling Banach and Murphy will be pleased with whatever makes next week’s paper.

What a great job I have.

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