I was thinking of my hometown, Mason City, for some reason today. Then I just happened to think of my childhood pastor, Reverend Glen Bandel. The last time I looked him up on the web was about a year ago and saw a news item dated in 2019. He was celebrating his 90th birthday.
I looked him up today. He died on June 3, 2022.
My deepest condolences to the Bandel family. Reverend Glen Bandel was the definition of the caring family pastor in Mason City. He sat up in the chair with us nearly all night at our house when my mother was sick and my brother and I were little. He had a great sense of humor. The Bandels shared their home with us when times were hard.
They took us with them to visit a family up in Minnesota one winter. I don’t think my mother was with me and my little brother at the time. I think she was in the hospital and the Bandel family took us in.
The family in Minnesota lived and worked on a farm. They didn’t have indoor plumbing. I think Reverend Bandel had a particular reason to visit them. It might have been to try to persuade them to change the way they lived. They had several children.
I had to use the outhouse at night. I was too cold to move my bowels. My family was poor, but not as poor as this one.
I caught the father singing to his little baby daughter. I think the baby’s name was Dolly because he was singing “Hello Dolly” to her. I walked in on them while he was singing the lyric “It’s so nice to have you back where you belong.”
He was having a great time singing to her. But when he looked up and saw me watching him acting like a doting dad, he stopped and looked a little sheepish. I wished he hadn’t seen me.
Reverend Bandel was a hero in the eyes of the many people he served and in my eyes for sure.
I will remember him and the rest of his family for their kindness and generosity as long as I live.