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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, July 16, 2017 1:00 am

Letters to the editor

WWII-era classmates contributed to defense

I want to thank Steve Warden for the nice article, “Class bond forged by WWII” (Page 1D, July 2). I am a member of that class, and usually eat with them but was not there when the picture was taken.

I wanted to mention another way that we were involved in the war effort.

Some of us worked in the defense plants. I worked part time during my junior and senior years, and full time during the summer in between, at the GE Supercharger Plant on Taylor Street.

Unlike some of our class who were in the service before graduation and were not able to attend, I did attend, but was in the Navy one week later.

Lewis Allendorph

Fort Wayne

Colonoscopy need will outlast reminders

As many of you know, my Linda (Vandeveer) died of colon, pancreatic and liver cancer because she would not get a colonoscopy. Had she gotten this simple procedure10 years earlier, she could have been treated and still be with us today. I promised her I would share her message to save others and am writing to clarify something that has obviously been misconstrued since my Linda's death on Sept. 29, 2016.

I have rented billboards and taken out commercials on TV about colonoscopies. And I have shared my Linda's story in many ways, including at a colorectal doctors' symposium, a hospital in Ohio, and on the Courthouse Square. Although I have heard from hundreds that they have heeded the message and listened to their doctor's advice to get a colonoscopy, as well as 12 who found cancer and were or are being treated, I think you are not getting the correct message.

The majority of you think I am just doing a sweet thing to honor my Linda and keep her in everyone's minds. Believe me, this is not the case. I could put a big picture of her on my building and save a lot of money.

What I am about to say is not bragging or complaining; it is being said to help you understand my Linda's message. I have spent thousands of dollars trying to get this message out to you and your families. My fear is that when the money runs low and the billboards and commercials no longer appear, you will all forget how easy a colonoscopy can detect cancers that can be cured. I don't want your money as donations for the “cause.” I want each of you to promise my Linda, me and yourself that you will try to help a loved one stay alive by talking them into having a colonoscopy, especially if there is colon cancer in their family history or they are 50 years or older.

If you refuse a colonoscopy and end up being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer (as in my Linda's case) your families will be put through hell having to endure the pain of watching you suffer a terrible death and losing you forever. We are now seeing people in their 30s contracting cancers of the colon. It may be our diets or how the food we eat is grown that is causing the uptick in cases, but it is not the colon cancers they have known in the past.

Every time I hear of someone having to endure daily sickness for weeks and months, hair loss and tons of appointments during chemo, or removal or bypass of infected organs, it makes me sick. Especially if it is cancer, which could have been detected with a simple colonoscopy. And all that is just to get you stable and functioning again.

My Linda made me promise that no matter what it took, I would share her message with all of you so you would share it with your loved ones. She never got a colonoscopy until she was 65 and was diagnosed with Stage 4 as a result. She hated what her cancer put me, our kids and especially her grandbabies through. Promise Linda, me and yourself that even after the money runs out and there are no more billboards or commercials that you will continually share this message with your loved ones, friends and coworkers.

Jerry Vandeveer

Fort Wayne

JEERS to our inconsiderate neighbors at Oliver Lake setting off “boomers”  until midnight July 3. We have children and old folks trying to sleep at our house.



I'd like to send out CHEERS to the Children's Sanctuary Board, a nonprofit board that represents and supports the foster care agencies and youth in our community.

Children's Sanctuary recently purchased more than 900 tickets for our agency ResCare Youth Services, along with several other agencies in our local region, for the July 4 TinCaps game. Our foster youth, foster parents and their bio-families, along with our staff, enjoyed a full buffet at their expense along with the tickets for the game.

The board also provides gift cards for all of these foster care agencies at Christmastime, which ResCare Youth Services in turn uses either to purchase gifts that Santa can hand out at our annual Christmas party or provide the actual gift card to our older youth.

We want to thank them for their generosity and their continued support on behalf of so many children within the foster care system – truly a blessing.


Program director

ResCare Youth Services

Rolland will live on in commitment to FWCS

I got to know Ian Rolland best when I was writing Journal Gazette editorials calling for the city school district to desegregate all its schools.

Ian invited me to join him for lunch to discuss the racial imbalance in the city schools. I put him in touch with Washington, D.C., attorney Bill Taylor.

That was some years ago. Today, I believe Fort Wayne Community Schools maintains one of the most fully desegregated city districts in the country. The district remains a living tribute to Ian's commitment to justice and equality for every child.

I realize that Ian and his wife, Mimi, contributed so much in so many ways to the quality of life in Fort Wayne. But surely the desegregated school district is a legacy that will benefit our city's children for generations to come.

Larry Hayes

Fort Wayne

A few observations on safer roadways

I imagine by now Sharon Riley (June 24) wishes she hadn't written her letter. But she and a whole lot of other people on the roads have a problem with being safe and wise.

Awhile back a law was passed requiring all drivers to use the left lane as a passing lane because when they don't traffic backs up behind them, making passing dangerous. Around the first of June, I ran into such a case while driving east on U.S. 30 from Warsaw. A man was in the left lane driving at the posted speed. He did this for several miles, even when people flashed their lights behind him. I have no idea what he was trying to prove, except that he's not very smart.

Then we have those who have decided to demand their rights to the road on a 40-pound bicycle because the state erected signs telling drivers to share the road. Just how lame does someone have to be to ride down the road with vehicles weighing thousands of pounds coming up behind them. They have no idea what is going on or if the driver has even seen them and is going to hit and or kill them. This is not Germany, folks, the roads are not designed for you. I suggest for your safety and the rest involved in your pursuit of physical well-being, you have a rule posted that all bike riders must ride toward traffic. That way you and I will know that we see each other to be sure that you are safe.

I hate to drive up behind you, not knowing whether you even know I'm there.

Bill Richardson