A FEW WEEKS ago, Kathy and I were invited to a brewery in Woodbury to celebrate the life of Robert MacGregor Shaw. We got to know Bob and Virginia Shaw through the Minnesota Newspaper Association where he was manager. Having served on the board of directors of the association, we got to know them very well.

Bob was born in 1922 in International Falls and died on Jan. 6, 2021. His son Robert arranged the tribute to his father. Robert is currently a reporter for the Pioneer Press.

In his aging years, Bob wrote several books. The following is a summary from the “The Joys of Old Age.”

“…old people will be called old people, not senior citizens. You will not encounter sugary phrases like ‘golden years,’ ‘glory road,’ or ‘silver’ to describe old people. Nor will you find other euphemisms created by hucksters to sell hearing aids, cures for hair loss, or control of hemorrhoids. What you will find are reminders of the joy received from outwitting the Poltergeist (the dirty little demon who tampers with your memory) and stomping the wastebasket (both therapeutic and efficient!)”

Another book he wrote is the “Bachelor Slob in the Kitchen.” Following are four points made in that humorous book:

1)   Become independently wealthy. You’ll save some money, but not very much.

2)   Become young, vigorous, loving, public-spirited, and kind to dogs and little children.

3)    Enjoy the pangs associated with the no-sweets-in-the-icebox rule and the no-booze-by-yourself rule.

4)    Improve your table manners. They will deteriorate as you discover the joys of eating with your fingers, drinking from the bottle, and eating right out of the frying pan.

Bob loved newspapers, promoting freedom of the press and open meetings. He was a key part of the Minnesota Press Council in the 1970s which lasted about a decade. It was an opportunity for newspaper readers and TV listeners to challenge information presented and get a fair hearing and response.

FROM THOMAS JEFFERSON, “If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.”

FOR THE BENEFIT of your community now and in the future, shop local, eat local, read local.

TYLER GREGORY, EXECUTIVE Pastor of Eagle Brook Church, reported at the annual meeting that the ministry is at an all‑time high and so was the financial generosity of those attending. In an unusual year, with Covid and so many restrictions, giving reached an all‑time high of $52,907,228.

Eagle Brook Church has 10 campuses allowing anyone living in the Twin Cities to be within 20 minutes of an Eagle Brook Church.

During the last year, Eagle Brook reported 21,970 decisions to follow Jesus were made by those attending. 763 people were baptized.

KATHY AND I will be at the Letterpress Museum at the Minnesota State Fair on Friday, August 27, and again on Thursday, September 2. We will be there for the morning shift from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The operating museum is located in the front area of the 4-H Building.


Gene Johnson is publisher emeritus of Press Publications.

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