James Spangler

Essayist

Jim Spangler comments on the life experiences we all share, drawing on a 40-year newspaper career in Human Resources and labor relations, following a business degree from the University of Iowa and a stint in the Marines.

“After four decades in the people business, I still don’t understand why people think the way they think or do the things they do. And I hope the mystery never ends,” he says.

Jim and his wife, Carol, live with Bentley, the most spoiled dog in Brookfield.

Michael J. Kearney / Wikimedia

Lake Effect essayist Jim Spangler has lived in Wisconsin for a while now. But while he calls the state home, he does not think of Brookfield as his hometown.

Nearly 80 years ago, John Steinbeck wrote “The Grapes of Wrath” about the uprooting of farmers from the dustbowl to the promised land of California. Time moves on, things change. The Model A Ford has been replaced by the airplane and the moving van, and migration is now corporate relocation. But the basics are still the same, to follow the economic crops across the country in search of a better life.

zinkevych / Fotolia

Regardless of your political view on income disparity in this country, the truth remains that there are haves and have-nots in our society.  Lake Effect essayist Jim Spangler says the have-nots have occupied a little more of his thinking recently:

Winston Churchill once remarked that the game of golf was, in his words, “a good walk ruined.”

carballo / Fotolia

Have you sent out your holiday cards yet? Many of us have or will send out cards that comprise a photo collage from the past year. There are dozens of websites that let you put them together with fairly little effort. That’s meant that fewer of us are sending the long update letter along with our holiday cards. But, as essayist Jim Spangler points out, they haven’t gone away entirely.

eugenesergeev / Fotolia

Are you going home for Christmas this year?  Or are you at home, looking forward to the day that someone else will be coming home for Christmas?  Lake Effect essayist Jim Spangler believes there’s more to coming home for Christmas than simply bridging some distance:

BillionPhotos.com / Fotolia

Essayist Jim Spangler spent much of his working life at and around newspapers, during which he met people from many walks of life. But it was as a small town Iowa teenager, working a paper route, that he says he learned some of his first lessons about profit, people, and prejudice:

When I hung up my newspaper bag for the last time 58-years-ago, the Clinton (IA) Herald, my home town daily, was delivered and paid for by every single one of the 68 families on my route. Everyone except Old Ed (black '49 Chrysler). 

Peter Kim / Fotolia

For the majority of Major League Baseball teams (including the Brewers), the season comes to an end this weekend. Players will go home to their families, and sports fans will turn their full attention to the playoffs, or to football. Many people will miss watching the games on television, but Lake Effect essayist Jim Spangler is not among them. 

“Why don’t you come up stairs and watch the baseball game on TV?” my wife asked during a recent Milwaukee Brewers broadcast.