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From the Publisher's Desk


Dear Readers,

Father's Day will be here tomorrow, and for me, it's always an interesting mix of emotions. This year marks my 21st Father's Day without my dad, which is three more than I got to celebrate with him. Each year, as this special day approaches, I'm flooded with memories — some sweet, some bittersweet — and I'm reminded of the incredible bond we shared.

Growing up, occasionally we'd be camping at the lake for Father’s Day weekend. But more often than not, our Father's Day tradition was a bit more relaxed, centered around our living room, where we'd watch the final round of the U.S. Open golf tournament.

One Father's Day, in particular, stands out in my memory: 1999. That year, Payne Stewart, a Springfield native, clinched the U.S. Open title in dramatic fashion. Phil Mickelson was hot on his heels, making it a nail-biting finish. I remember sitting there with my dad, both of us on the edge of our seats, as Stewart sank that final putt and raised his arms in triumph. It was a moment of pure joy and excitement, a perfect Father's Day gift. Little did we know that just a few months later, Stewart would tragically lose his life. That victory became even more poignant in hindsight, a reminder of how fleeting and precious life can be.

Tomorrow, I'll be keeping that tradition alive, watching the final round of the U.S. Open, just as I have for the past two decades. It's my way of feeling close to my dad, of keeping his memory alive. It's amazing how a simple tradition can bridge the gap between the past and the present, bringing a sense of continuity and comfort.

As I prepare to settle in for another U.S. Open final round, I'll be thinking of my dad, just as I do every year. I'll remember the sound of his voice, and the quiet moments we shared, just enjoying each other's company. And in those moments, I'll feel a little closer to him, even though he's no longer here.

So, to all the dads and stepdads out there: Happy Father's Day. May your day be filled with love, laughter, and the making of new memories. And to everyone who, like me, is missing their dad this Father's Day, may you find comfort in your traditions and the memories that will forever keep them close.

Warm Regards,
Chris Herbolsheimer
West Plains Daily Quill & West Plains Gazette