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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 11, 2005 / 30 Adar I, 5765

An American Original

By Tom Purcell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Jimmy Hartner was shipped off to Viet Nam when he was 21.

He enlisted in the Army in 1968, and managed to get into an area where he could make use of his considerable skills — a near genius ability to design, build and repair anything mechanical or electronic.

His primary job was to keep electronic devices in excellent working order, but the Army also certified him as an expert marksman. One of his duties was to protect ammunition dumps at night, and such duty resulted in frequent fire fights with the Viet Cong. Jimmy was put in the position of kill or be killed, and did what he had to do to survive.

He eventually fell in love. After a year and a half in Viet Nam, he was transferred to Germany. He met a young pretty girl named Cecelia and the two married. They had a son named Ricky (they'd later have a daughter, Chastine, and four grandchildren). When his three-year tour was up, he brought his young family home to Pittsburgh.

Many men were forever changed after the things they'd witnessed in Viet Nam, but Jimmy never was. When he returned he dove right into his new life. He enrolled in a one-year course in a technical college, graduated tops in his class and took a job with a big retail firm.

He bought an old farmhouse, a mess of a place, and began rebuilding. That's how Jimmy was — where others saw problems, he saw the end result. He saw what he could create, and got to work right away tirelessly creating it.

His co-workers said he was the go-to guy — able to resolve problems that left everyone else stumped. When presented with an impossible challenge, he'd zone out — he'd visualize the problem in his mind — and, every time, the solution would come.

His playfulness was legendary. I must have met 30 of his co-workers last week and every one of them had a "Jimmy" story. Every day, they said, he came in with a smile on his face and mischief in his eyes.

One day he covered a telephone receiver with a thick coat of grease. He went to the other side of the office and then phoned it. He expected one of his friends to pick up, but the department manager picked it up instead. While the manager chased Jimmy around the office, the entire department was doubled over in laughter.

Jimmy was serious about many things, though. He followed current events closely — had an opinion for most any subject under the sun. He'd chew your ear off on taxes, America's porous borders, and the war in Iraq. He had strong feelings for what was right or wrong and what needed to be done.

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I never really thought about it until he died last week, but he was a perfect reflection of the heart of America. Only a country like ours can give life to a being that is at once hard working, mischievous, playful, concerned and won't hesitate for a moment to give you a piece of his mind.

Jimmy not only believed that one man could make a difference, he believed a man should exhaust himself trying to. He believed he had the power to change, improve and repair the world — just as he had with cars, houses and thousands of gadgets over the years.

America thrives because we have millions of fellows just like him — the first to volunteer at his church, the one who stops to help out a stranger stranded on the side of the road, the one who spends his free time assisting friends and family, never asking much in return.

He was my Uncle Jimmy and he died unexpectedly at the young age of 57 last week. He was a real piece of work — an American original — and my family has suffered a tremendous loss.

But then so has America.

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© 2005, Tom Purcell