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Dr. Harry Neel was at my first Rotary meeting

Last week a legend passed away: Dr. Harry B. Neel.

My first Rotary Club meeting was when I moved to town more than five years ago and Dr. Neel was there. I was lucky enough to talk with him. A good friend. A meticulous surgeon.

“A real gentleman” was how my colleague Sarah Stultz started out her story about his passing last week, and I could not think of a better summation of Dr. Harry B. Neel. In being amazed at Dr. Neel and how long he lived, I looked up some famous people who at 103 years of age Dr. Neel was older than.

Did you know that Dr. Neel was older than the following famous people? Barry M. Goldwater, Claire Trevor, Errol Flynn, Jessica Tandy, Joseph R. McCarthy, Peter F. Drucker, Bette Davis, Edward R. Murrow, Frank Leahy, Jimmy Stewart, Lawrence Welk, Lyndon B. Johnson, Milton Berle, Louis L’Amour, Ethel Merman, Lefty Gomez, Paul Brown, William Randolph Hearst Jr., Thurgood Marshall, John Wayne, Fay Wray, Gene Autry, Burgess Meredith, Cab Calloway, Bonnie Parker, Bugsy Siegel, Mother Teresa, Jimmie Foxx, Laurence Olivier and Katherine Hepburn. I think that is amazing as was Dr. Harry B. Neel.

Rest in peace, my friend.

Happy Halloween!

Please, everyone, be very safe this weekend because we will have children running door to door getting candy and other Halloween treats. Slow down on all of the streets and really watch out for the little ones. I think it is the responsibility of we parents to watch out and be with our kids as they go door to door.

Be responsible and cordial to all who not only give candy, but those who do not as well. Watch out for people’s yards and try to stay in well-lit neighborhoods and on sidewalks.

Frozen tundra

Regular readers of my column — all 77 of you — knew this part was coming: Go Green Bay Packers.

I like Brett Favre, and it will be cool to see him back at Lambeau Field, but I really want the Pack to win! A win would tie them with the Vikings for the lead in the division. My prediction is Pack 31 Vikes 24.

I will have to say that as a die-hard Packers fan I have come to enjoy watching a few of the Vikings’ players and not just Brett Favre. I think that All Day Adrian Peterson is the best back in the game and is a superb athlete. I also think that defensive end Jared Allen is a throwback to what NFL players used to be. His drive is amazing to watch. Other Viking players that impress me are linebacker Chad Greenway and guard Steve Hutchinson.

Family note

Congratulations go out to my niece Shanon Parnell, who will be married this weekend to Jeremy Ottoway.This great couple has been dating for many years and just recently purchased a home in Marquette, Mich., together. Good luck, Shanon, and remember to have fun!

A haunting

This note is to my tremendous coworkers at the Albert Lea Tribune. Although I will miss the Halloween party on Friday, I want you to know that I will be with you in spirit (as a ghost). Please take photos of the costume contest as that has grown to be a awesome event! (Readers can see it in the blog section of the Tribune’s Web site.)

Have fun and I will see you all next week. Thanks so much for all you do.

A final, solemn thought

Please remember the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. This October has become the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the start of the war in 2001.

Pray for the safety of the men and women serving their country in combat.

Tribune Publisher Scott Schmeltzer’s column appears every Thursday.