Remembering Sept. 11 in Austin

Published 10:01 am Sunday, September 11, 2016

Today, Sept. 11, signifies a point in history that I am sure you all remember.

Fifteen years ago our country was forever changed by the events on Sept. 11, 2001. The Hormel Historic Home garden was so named in reverence to the peace that all thought was shattered through senseless violence. My hope is that we never forget that day and that we can continue to make strides against terrorism across the world.

Today was also a significant day in the life of George and Lillian Hormel. One hundred and 24 years ago they welcomed the birth of their only child after a very difficult delivery.  George reflected on the birth in his manuscript “Three Men and A Business.”

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“We named him Jay Catherwood, for his great-uncle Jacob and for my best friend, and he was as vigorous, healthy, and active as the men whose names he bore. Indeed, his mother and I had reason to suspect when we got to know him better, that on the occasion of our first acquaintance he was simply exercising a personal prerogative — he, and not the doctor, would decide when he should breathe.”

Jay was a source of pride and joy for his parents and became a community and business leader that the world grew to recognize. It is often following one’s death that we learn most about the impact he had on others. Many thoughts of Jay C. Hormel were recorded in the Oct. 1, 1954, Hormel News-Magazine.

“The genuine sorry in Austin today over the passing of Jay C. Hormel springs not only from gratefulness and admiration for his career, but the deep, personal affection for an admired citizen whose allegiance was always close to Austin.”

— Austin Daily Herald, Aug. 30, 1954

“We have always had the greatest respect for his judgements.  We sincerely believed that he was an employer with a social conscience who not only was willing to talk about inequalities but who was willing to do something about them at considerable expense and effort to himself.”

—Executive Board, Local 9, UPWA-CIO

“His hometown neighbors and especially his employees have lost a true and beneficent friend.  My memories persist in going back much further-to our boyhood days.  To the only boy in our neighborhood who owned a pony and who shared it generously.  To the unlimited use of his football and baseball equipment and the sharing of his mother’s well-filled cookie jar.  Yes, the world lost a business leader, but lots of us still retain our boyhood memories and they are pleasant.”

—Walter Tollefson

Wishing you all peace on this significant day and remembering the legacy of Jay C. Hormel on his birthday.

History Happy Hour

Monday, 5:30 p.m. social, 6 p.m. dinner

Note: Change in topic due to speaker conflict

Medical History of the Civil War, presented by John Haymond, Executive Director of the Mower County Historical Society. Free for members of the HHH, Mower County Historical Society and the Friends of the Library. $5 for non-members

 Peace Garden Happy Hour

5 to 7 p.m. Thursday

Jamie and Cody Acoustic will provide their classic sound to rock and country favorites. Free

 Peace Garden Happy Hour

5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 16

Alonzo Steele will entertain with his Caribbean sound and clear rich vocals. Free