Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 20, 2018

Where is the holiday cheer?

By Brooks Taylor


Mt. Pleasant News


It is supposed to be the happiest time of the year — that is what the song says.

The holidays of 2012, however, has proven to be the most tragic time of the year.

The nation’s heart is still bleeding from the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Twenty-six, 20 of which were students, gunned down in their classrooms and hallways. We’ve heard of the heroic acts of teachers and administrators who gave their lives to protect others.

Where is the happiness?

Closer to home, Pocahontas is grieving, too. I don’t talk much about Pocahontas in this forum because I am trying to forget, rather than remember. It is impossible, though, to wipe 11 years completely from your memory.

Across the street in Pocahontas from the newspaper I owned was Princess City Floral (Pocahontas is called the Princess City for obvious reasons). Deb Lundt owned the shop, which was much more than a floral shop. An interior design extravaganza would be more appropriate.

Lundt was one of the people in Pocahontas I chose to remember because she was a good friend. I would walk across the street during slow times and pull up a chair at the table she had in the back of the shop and we would have a good chat.

Divorced, she had two children, Andrew and Anastasia (Annie). Both were involved in sports and I got to know Annie quite well because she played volleyball and basketball with my oldest daughter. The two were part of a three-player team, dubbed the Tornado Tripod, in the summer.

Like her mother, Annie was one of the good persons in Pocahontas. She was a homecoming queen, well-liked by everyone and is currently studying in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Iowa after picking up her bachelor’s degree at Wartburg College.

Annie and Joe Reigelsberger from Rofle have been an “item” for as long as I can remember. The relationship dates back to high school and the couple have been engaged for a while.

The three were going to Ft. Dodge Friday night (ironically one week after the Newtown, Conn., tragedy). They were traveling a back road that goes past Kennedy Park (site of the state cross-country meet). I have traveled the road hundreds of times as it is the way most Pocahontas people enter Ft. Dodge.

Iowa had its first storm a day earlier. The roads were not good, black ice and ruts.

Just past Kennedy Park, there was an ice patch and a pickup coming from the other direction. The pickup hit the ice and skidded across the center line. It was not good.

The SUV Reigelsberger was driving and the pickup met head-on. Reigelsberger and Deb Lundt were killed instantly. Annie Lundt suffered a broken ankle and the pickup driver a broken arm.

I cannot imagine the pain Annie is suffering. The loss of your husband-to-be and mother at the same time is unthinkable.

There were plenty of consoling messages of thoughts and prayers on Annie’s Facebook page. I added mine. The consoling messages may not ease much of the pain now. But hopefully when she reads them in the future, she will take comfort in the fact that hundreds of friends are with her and wishing her nothing but the best.

There is power in prayer, I know that. Those prayers can and will pull Annie through the most difficult of times.

So where is the holiday cheer?