The Layout of the Book Thus Far ...
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Contribute a story! It can be a long story or simply a one-liner. It can be a memory. It can be anything!
A NOTE ON THE STORIES BELOW
As these stories came in, I typed them. There are several typos and grammatical errors in the stories. Rather than correct them here, they've all been corrected in the OFFICIAL BOOK.
|Added April 9|
|Added April 5|
|Added March 5|
|Added February 2|
|Added December 29|
|Added December 28|
|Added December 21|
|Added December 18|
|Added December 16|
|Added December 14|
|Added December 10|
|Added December 7|
|Added December 3|
|Added December 2|
|Added December 1|
Thoughts To Add
"That" in Writing
The Snowstorm at the Farm
The National Guard
"My Time at University of Nebraska"
Railroads, Mergers, and Testifying
1972 Olympics and Dave Wottle
A Note from a Woman Who Once Worked with Dad
Marlene and Family:
I recently heard about Jack and I wanted to offer my sympathy and let you know how much I liked and respected Jack. As a matter of fact, after giving it some thought, I can't think of any man I admired more.
He was a king among men. He was intelligent, had a wonderful sense of humor, compassionate, honest, humble, hard working and demanding, but always fair.
I started working for the railroad in Marketing/Sales in l969, so I knew Jack for a long time. I started in a clerical position and back then it was tough for a woman to prove herself and be promoted. One of the things I admired most about Jack was he recognized you for doing a good job, working hard and using your head and it did not matter to him whether you were male or female....or anything in between. He was one of the very few men in my railroad history that I felt respected women.
I always felt I could talk to Jack and get a straight answer. I trusted him. When he had a job to accomplish he gave it his all and sometimes he would come down hard on someone to get it done. He was the only person is his position I ever heard apologize to someone if he felt he had done or said something out of line.
While he was hard working and driven, he would always find time to joke around or play a trick on someone. I can remember a few times when a group of us would go out to lunch and not make it back to work until 5 o'clock because Jack was with us.
I worked for Jack for quite a few years. While it was stressful at times he made me feel valued and important and he created a "family like" environment.
I consider it an honor and a privilege to have known and worked with Jack.
I hope all of your wonderful memories of him will help to get you through this sad time.
"Get a Hammer"
It was my second summer working for Lehigh Portland Cement Company. The cement distribution process was an amazing one, I had found out. Early mornings, a train would pass by the company, and leave 3-4 rail cars filled with different cement. During my first summer with the company, I worked in the yard, aligning the car hopper with the pipes that funneled the cement into huge silos. I also had to vibrate the cars to shake all cement out of the cars.
From the silos, trucks would appear, requesting a certain type of cement. The men in the office ran the controls distributing the needed cement to the awaiting trucks, who then drove up to 400 miles to their destination.
My second year with the company, that was my job.
And it was nerve-racking at first. A different cement type in a railcar, for example required me to go to the top of the silos and reroute the flow of the cement. That wasn't hard, but the consequences of doing it wrong were huge.
I also had to run the controls funneling the cement from the silos to the trucks. When tons of cement are careening down pipes to waiting trucks, it's not so easy to give them exactly what they need. Their trucks have certain capacities. The roads they travel have limits.
Do something wrong, and they'll get the ticket.
But I got pretty good at all of this.
And pretty confident.
But I was still working with others in the office. There's always a certain level of ownership delegated when there's others in the room, even if you're doing all the work. They're there to make sure you're doing this right.
I suspect it's the difference between a flight instructor who does nothing in the plane, and not having the flight instructor in the plane.
A different feeling.
I was about to have that feeling.
I was to open the office the next morning.
But there was a problem.
The main plant in Iowa was having a strike. I was told to expect strikers at our main gate. "Just drive right through", I was told.
The next morning, I went to my car, a 1974 Buick LeSabre, to drive to work. 5:30. Locked. "That's odd", I thought. I never lock my car. I go to get my keys. They're not hanging up. I go back to the car. There they are. They're in the ignition. The car is locked. It's 5:35. And I have to open up the office.
I went back into the house to get Dad.
He came outside. He asked me to get a coat-hanger. He tried to open the door with the hanger.
"Go get a hammer", he said.
He tapped the driver-side, rear-window. The window exploded. The car was open!
Off I drove, making it to work at 5:55. There were no strikers. There were trucks lined up to get their cement.
And they got their cement.
Any my window? Boarded up. And for the remaining years I had that car, I left it boarded up. People asked me what happened. I loved that question, because I loved the story! I had to get to work, and we broke the window to get to work!
"The Answer is Always 'Yes' "
It was my junior year in college at South Dakota State, winter break, and I was celebrating Christmas in Omaha. There was a massive snowstorm. I had to get to Sioux Falls for our Holiday basketball tournament. Drive or don't drive? There was no choice to me. I braced my 1974 Buick Lesabre against the curb, and slid down the hill, bounding off the curb, and back to it. I made it to the main highway out of Omaha. Little did I know Dad was following me the whole way. In fact, when we talked on the phone that night, he told me the first thing I did when I got on that highway was pass a snow-plow!
Go or don't go. There was no question in my mind. I would not give the coach a reason not to play me.
It was from a lesson learned in 7th grade football.
I was the quarterback of our 7th grade A team. It was an away game, and we were well ahead. Towards the end of the game, I ran an option to the right, kept the ball, made a good run, and was forced out inside the five yard line. I was sore. We scored.
On the sidelines, the Coach asked if I wanted to go back in, or if he should send Matt* in (* not his real name). I told him to go ahead and send Matt in. We were ahead. I was sore. He hadn't played. It was a good answer.
Until I got home.
Until I told Dad the story.
"If a coach ever asks you if you want to go in, the answer is always 'Yes'".
"You Know What You Have To Do Now"
South Dakota State and the Apology
It had been a hard year. My senior year at South Dakota State University. I was a backup forward, after starting my sophomore season, and seeing significant playing time my junior year. I was still playing, but not as much as previously.
I hated power forward. I was not - nor was I ever - a good inside player.
I was unhappy.
I wasn't the best basketball player - far from it. I wouldn't even claim I was better than the players in front of me. I probably wasn't.
However, I knew I could help the team win.
And we weren't.
It was the Holiday Basketball Tournament in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (written about above)!
We had just lost our first game of the 3-game tournament. We had played horribly. I had played hardly at all.
I made a decision.
We went to the locker room after the game.
I went to my locker and got my stuff, basketball uniform still on, and headed for the door.
The head coach looked confused. "Mike - where are you going?"
I walked out of the locker room. Usually, in games like this and at this level, family members wait for you outside the locker. There was Mom and Dad. I had no idea what he would say.
I honestly don't even recall what happened in the next few hours.
Later than night, in my hotel room, I got called down to the coaches room. I called Dad. He said, "Go down there and talk with them. If you need me to come down, call, and we'll quit together."
I went to the room.
I talked a bit.
And then called Dad.
He came in, smiling face as always.
The coach talked. He explained why I was in the room, and how my walking off the court after being substituted for did not display the type of energy or respect a player should have.
"No objections", said Dad. "And he won't do it again. But let's be careful to make sure we apply these same standards to everybody."
Dad had a way of making someone realize - politely - immediately they were maybe right - but only partially right.
The conversation went on.
Dad concluded. "Mike will give 100% the rest of the season."
I was still on the team.
We left and walked down the hall. I was relieved it was over.
It wasn't. We were still in the hallway outside the coach's room.
"You know what you have to do, now?"
I had no idea what I had to do now.
"In the team meeting tonight, you have to apologize to everyone."
The meeting took place. It was coming to a close. I interrupted the coach dismissing everyone.
"Coach. I want to say I'm sorry for leaving the locker room after the game. I was angry and just left. I shouldn't have, and it won't happen again."
The assistant coach chimed in: "I want to apologize, too. And I'm going to make sure I do my best every game to help us win."
What would happen the rest of the year? I had no idea.
The second game of the tournament we lost as well. However, I played quite a bit of the second half. At a different position. Small forward. Outside forward. Passing forward.
The third game we won. I played most of the game - at passing forward. We had a new line-up. I was small forward. We had a new shooting guard.
We had a new team. We now weren't the best five players, but five players who knew how to win. Who knew their roles.
And we went on a winning streak, taking us to a 26 - 7 record. We finished second in the nation, losing in the championship game in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Yes, it was up to the coach to make the positional changes necessary, leading to the turn-a-round. But he - or any leader - never would have made the changes without the burden of the disciplinary issue lifted from his shoulders - in front of everyone.
Dad knew this.
He solved the issue for me - and helped solve the issue for them - all with a few simple words: "You know what you have to do now."
The Life of Jack Round
|Self Confidence||One Cool Guy||Future Hall of FameInductees||Mike Round: Trying to Keep Up!||Dad: Baseball||Dad: Football|
|High School Graduation||High School Graduation||Living with Passion!||The Thinker!||I Dare You to Comment!||Very Skinny!|
|Handsome Dad||Playing Texas No Limit Hold-um Decades Ago!||Christmas with Jack||Dad with Baby Jack||The Wedding||Married!|
|Jim in Husker-Red!||Mike and Jack||Brothers!||More Brothers!||Caring Brothers!||Jim ... Learning from the Best!|
|Always Busy!||Mike's First Bike||A Smile Makes the World Go Round!||A Picture Says it All||Big Wheel Keep on Turning!||First Minnesota House|
|Bobbing For Apples||Jenny in Training||Like Mommy! Like Daughter!||Halloween!||Jim in Training||Jim at the Wire by a Nose!|
|Memphis Speech||at Jim's Graduation||Determination!||with Bob Ingram||Team Building with the BN||BN Going-Away Present|
|BN Going-Away Party||Triple Threat Strategy||Triple Threat Kansas City||and 1||Two Tough Guys!||Two Sweeties!|
|Enough Said!||The Stars Were Aligned!||Chuck Foreman-Wannabe||Apple Valley House 2||Apple Valley House 2||Apple Valley House 2|
|Another MVP?||Piano Man||a Grand Event ... 1986!||Brother and Sister!||A Lucky Bride Indeed!||Jenny at Graduation|
|Lucky Men!||Jenny and Sean Wedding||Jack and Nancy Wedding||Home in Texas||Grandpa and Meredith||Grandpa with Jane|
|Winning Family||The Round Family||Mom and Jenny||Jenny and Snickers||with Santa Claus!||Dad as a Mechanic?|
|House 2 in Minnesota||House 2 in Minnesota||Jim Round Family||Baby Isaac at First Halloween!||Baby Isaac!||Isaac's First Smile on the Internet!|
|Marissa as Grandpa's Girl!||Tiger Girl!||Meredith ... A Tired Girl||Meredith Riding a Horse||Jim Looking Like Meredith||Meredith: 10/6/1999|
|Isaac & Meredith in 2001||Meredith with Cake in 2001||A Big Girl in 000||Like Mommy! Like Daughter!||Meredith in 2000||Meredith in 2001|
|Meredith in 2002||Meredith as an Airplane: 10/2000||Meredith and Christmas: 2000||A Christmas Doll in 2000||with Grandma in 2000||with a Doll in 2000|
|a Grapevine Sun Ad||Two Cuties! 2001||Best Friends! 2000||A Lucky Santa Claus!||Meredith Posing (again!)||with New Pants in 2000|
|A Nebraska Cheerleader||Two More Cuties||Getting Tired: 12/2000||Easter 2001||with Curly Hair in 12/2000||Piano-Man Version #2!|
DAD PICKING UP MIKE TO THE CEILING AFTER NOT DRIVING ME HOME.
A similar story about dad and me might interest you:
Context: Senior Year, High School: I was 6'7" / 230# and 17 years old. We lived 1/4 mile from the high school. Jim (then age 11) was at some sporting event at the High School, and I was to give him a ride home. Knowing we lived so close, I instead went to pick up my girl friend. Jim walked home.
When Dad heard what happened, he chased me through the house, burst into my room, grabbed me by the shirt just under the chin, and with one hand, picked me up, "explaining" to me not to do that again. I can assure you the Socratic method IT WAS NOT!!
(from a co-worker)
Also, one story on your Dad occurred in 1969 when CB&Q had company golf outing in Omaha. We would take sleeper cars from Chicago Union Station to Omaha on Denver Zephyr leaving Friday night after work arriving Omaha Saturday morning, play golf/have dinner then cars put on Zephyr Saturday night back to Chicago.
Howard McCoy (now retired and dealer in Las Vegas) was Sales Representative in Chicago office. Everyone brought libation but entire group chipped in on beer. Howard proceeded to drink bottle of Jim Beam and needed to go to the bathroom.
Unfortunately, though the bathroom was through the exit door, not bathroom door - Howard is about 5'9" and then weighed about 150 pounds - your Dad grabbed him just before he took step which would have put him off train moving about 60 miles an hour. He put Howard in his berth and all was well. Howard continued to argue he was "funning" and knew was exit but this was not the case.
As you know, your Dad was a life saver.
I remember one time when I was in junior high, I was writing letters to all of the sports teams through a class I was taking called YESTERDAY'S SPORTS PAGE. Dad saw that I had crossed out a mistake on the outside of the envelope and wrote above it. Well, as you can imagine, that wasn't acceptable as it lacked professionalism and wasn't perfect. He went into a tirade about why would that team send me anything with the bullshit that I was sending. He then went into a calm discussion about EVERYTHING WE DO IS A REFLECTION OF THE PERSON WE ARE and if you sacrifice perfection in anything, you are on a path of personal destruction.
JIM'S SPEECH AT DAD'S FUNERAL
I'm very honored and
privileged to stand before you today on behalf of my family to talk about my
Dad. Today is a celebration of Dad’s life and that is what Dad would have
wanted. I would like to share with you some of the great qualities we have come
to know and love about Dad and stories and memories that are so near and dear to
the family. Hopefully some of these stories will bring back some great memories
you have with Dad.
Dad was a man of great character and vision. He knew
what was right and what he believed in, and he never, ever wavered. He often
didn’t do what was popular, or what the next guy was doing, he followed his
heart and his convictions. Dad loved doing things right and if it wasn’t right
the first time, he did it again and again until it was. All of us that knew Dad
have gone to him for something over the years. Whether it was a story about an
accomplishment, a business decision that you were having trouble making or
something else, there was always a sense of relief in you decision after talking
to Dad. He wouldn’t always give you the answer because he believed in making
your own decision, but he would listen, gather the information, ask questions
and lead you down the path of an informed decision. THE DECISION ALWAYS SEEMED
TO BE RIGHT. We all learned from him and are better decision makers today
because of it.
Dad lived life with great gusto, and had many
interests, many simple and many not so simple. He talked with equal enthusiasm
about carousal music and calculus. He loved books and even as he knew his last
days were numbered, he was reading. He read everything, from Philosophy to
History to Mystery to Computers 101. A familiar sight that we all became
accustomed to was seeing Dad walking into the house with 15 new books ,and not
just any books, big, complicated books. When it was time to turn the books in a
couple of weeks later, he had read every one of them. He then went and got 15
more books. He loved music, and had a huge collection of 45s and 78s he acquired
as a young man, and 8-tracks, cassettes, and finally CDs as he grew older. He
never parted with any of them. He listened to everything, from Willie Nelson (we
came to find out) to Circus Music with the grandchildren to Rock & Roll & Pop to
Beethoven and Strauss. Dad loved everything.
Dad loved his grandchildren - they were his “babies”.
After 39 years with the Burlington Northern Railroad, he retired and took up a
new hobby, garage saling. Just like everything else that Dad did, if possible,
he took garage saling to a whole new level. Every Friday and Saturday morning he
went in his “big red truck”, as the grandchildren called it, and filled it up
with rocking horses, cars, dolls & anything else he thought the grandchildren
would like. His collection got very large, and even though he made regular trips
to the grandchildren’s houses in Kansas City, Ne and all around Texas for
deliveries, his own house was overflowing. Instead of getting rid of some of it
as I'm sure my Mom wanted to at times, he resorted to adding on a new “toy
room”, which is the delight of the little faces when they visit. Dad loved his
Dad loved to surprise his grandchildren and show up at
their houses unexpected. Dad’s kids had an arrangement that if he showed up on
their doorstep, they would issue a “red truck alert” to let the others know he
was on his way. The grandchildren would learn of his visit only when he showed
up at their schools to personally pick them up. Dad had a way to make every
grandchild feel special and when they saw Gpa, boy did they smile and get
excited. Dad’s babies loved him.
Dad loved working in the yard, building rock gardens,
taking care of his fountain, and trimming the many trees and shrubs that existed
that they had planted over the years. His yard was always something he took
great pride in and it was immaculate. If there was a crooked line in the grass
after mowing, he would mow again. If there was leaves that fell on the ground
after he had just raked, he would rake again. If trash blew in the yard, he
would pick it up immediately and then try and find out who did it. Dad loved
perfection and his yard was a perfect example. Dad also loved decorating his
home for Christmas and won several neighborhood award’s over the years for his
outdoor lights. From my perspective, the inside and the outside of the house
looked like something out of a magazine around the holidays. Dad loved beauty.
Dad was an eternal optimist. He never saw a half empty
cup - it was always half full - and he continually filled it. He never
complained and he made the most of each day. This is where I got my saying that
most of you have heard from me, live with passion. Dad lived with passion. And
even in the last l5-months of his life as he battled cancer and went through
months of chemo and radiation, he faced it head-on and did it the best. His
Oncologist said it best to me one day when we first found out the cancer had
spread and I wanted to know what else we could do. He said “If I could bottle
his attitude and give that to all of his other patients, there would be a heck
of a lot more cancer survivors and quality of life in the world today.” He was
so nice to everyone that treated him and they remembered it. I was amazed when I
would take Dad to one of his appointments, the response he would get. Everyone
always knew him, he would always get right in even though there were 10-15
people ahead of him that had appointments, he always would get the best care and
even would have decaf coffee fixed just the way he liked it when they knew he
was coming. One of his last nurses who lovingly took care of him for l7 straight
hours said “I’ve never taken care of a nicer man” and she was right. Dad loved
And most of all, Dad loved my Mom . One of the things
my Mom loves to do is play bridge and she often came home late at night from
tournaments. Dad would have her bed ready, electric blanket turned on, and was
always eager to listen to Mom’s bridge stories. She would talk about what she
did right, what she could have played differently and some of the hands that had
been dealt that day. Having experienced and listened to some of those
conversations, I CAN TELL YOU THAT THIS MIGHT HAVE BEEN HIS GREATEST
In summary, Dad was a man of great character, Dad was a
man who loved his wife, loved his children, loved his family ,loved his friends,
and most of all, loved his BABIES. He was also a man of great pride. One of the
things I will always remember and smile about as I'm sure you all can relate to
is the BEAR GRIP HANDSHAKE. When you shook Dad’s hand, you would never forget
it. Over the past several weeks as he got weaker from all of the treatments, he
still would get comments from the doctors about his grip and every time he got
that reaction, he would look at me with a little smirk saying, “I still got it.”
As I try and put this all into perspective, one thing
my brother Mike said shortly after he passed makes me feel better and smile. He
said that “Dad is already in heaven, getting things organized and making things
happen.” I can just hear him now. “ I know things are going pretty good up here,
but it’s time to make them better.” I know Dad will.
Dad loved finding rainbows and that is why it’s so
appropriate his final resting place is in the Rainbow Garden.
My family would like to thank everyone for all of the
cards, prayers, flowers, food, etc. The response has been overwhelming for my
Mom and my family and we couldn’t get through this without you.
Dad was my hero, my best friend, my mentor and the
greatest man I have ever known. Thanks for touching all of our lives in such a
special way Dad and we love you.
And as Dad would say, “GIVE THEM HELL.”
Dad, the last year has been and emotional roller
coaster as we all have experienced many high’s and low’s. Two things that have
really stuck out during the last year are the way the family has really circled
the wagons and come together and the heart, soul and courage that you have shown
during this time. Growing up, I used to throw the term “hero” around when I saw
someone score a touchdown, hit a home run or make a clutch 3 point shot. As I
grew up (don’t laugh, I have grown up a little bit) and my priorities changed,
it became clearer to me who my hero’s were and what this meant to me. But the
real picture became clear over the last year watching the way you have dealt
with this disease “cancer.” You have attacked this head on like everything else
in your life and your attitude has been absolutely incredible. I really believe
this has everything to do with beating cancer and other diseases. TOGETHER, WE
WILL GET THROUGH THIS.
Having said all of that, I head a dream that was so
clear and vivid in my mind, that I wanted to share it with you. I am not the
best writer in the world, but wanted to try and put this into a poem so that you
could see and feel the reality of this dream.
The family danced and laughed till all hours of the night
The nightmare of August 2000 was finally out of sight.
The feeling of euphoria filled the room with joy
And hugs and kisses for Gpa from every last girl and
It stared out so sad
And the fight had been real
But like everything else that Dad Round put his mind to
He attacked and attacked and closed the deal.
The cancer is GONE
And Dad, OUR HERO, is back
With energy, passion and desire
That we have come to know from Jack.
Saturday garage sales, trip’s to Sam’s
And house visits are once again here
But more important than these trivial things
The drive around the block in the red truck for Mer.
What do we do now to ensure you stay cancer-free
We put our hearts, soul and energy
To finding a cure for this awful disease.
The golf tournament is a start
But there is so much more that can be done
I believe God put us in this position
Because we are his favorite son.
“WHY US?” I ask
Time and time again
Because without people like the Round’s
Driving a cure for cancer
WE WILL NOT WIN!
I see the vision so clear in my mind
The world is cancer free
The time is NOW for us to fight
So the world can feel what I see.
The family danced and laughed till all hours of the night.
The nightmare of August 2000 was finally out of sight.
The feeling of euphoria filled the room with joy
And hugs and kisses for Gpa from every last girl and
A LETTER FROM A CO-WORKER
Many of us that worked with Jack loved him for his courage and dedication. He was one of the few that was involved with the original BN merger back in 1970, when headquarters then was in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was always a driving force in the marketing department of the BN railroad. He was also instrumental in BN's development of computer systems, and integrating them to help with BN's Marketing departments. He accomplished a lot during his career, and I hope that the folks now working for the BNSF remember his achievements that helped the current railroad get where it is today.
One of the projects that Jack and I worked on together was the development of BN's first domestic double stack program, then named the BN America Project in the late 1980's. I ended up Director of the Customer Service Center, which had a highly integrated computerized interaction with the railroad. It was one of the highlights of my career, although I retired prior to the ATSF merger. Unfortunately, I've learned that the ATSF merger brought a closure to the program, so the BN America project doesn't exist any longer.
Jack Round was a driving force, and a bundle of fun to work with ... If he's still alive, just mentioning that I really liked the guy in his ear should bring a smile.
A LETTER FROM A CO-WORKER
I've had the privilege of knowing Jack since about 1958. Jack's father Dudley was a mailman for the CB&Q Railroad when I started in Omaha in 1955. Believe Jack and I met in about 1958. I retired in 1995, Houston, TX.
I moved to the West Coast in 1957 and later Jack was tapped for a position at headquarters in Chicago. Through the years we crossed paths often. He is a standup guy with a heart as big as he was.
I worked directly with Jack for several months in 1975 during which time the BN was trying to purchase the Green Bay & Western Ry. Jack was the BN's "expert witness", and my joy was to lineup favorable customer witnesses on behalf of the BN for the hearings before the ICC.
I flew between my home in Green Bay, WI., to St. Paul on several occasions and more than once Jack loaned me his beatup blue Ford with the broken front seat. He was so big he had broken the front seat so it would lay back far enough for him and still be able to reach the steering wheel and peddles.
IF YOU'RE GOING TO DO SOMETHING, DO IT RIGHT
When I was 12 or 13, Dad had asked me to mow the lawn for him while he was at work. We were living in Apple Valley, MN at the time and we had a huge sloping back yard with a lot of tree’s to mow around.
Now going into this job, I knew what Dad’s expectations were and that was perfectly straight lines across the whole yard.
So as I started mowing the backyard, I noticed that the grass looked uneven for about the first 5 or 10 minutes. I kept going for a few more minutes and then realized that Dad would notice and it would be unacceptable to him so I stopped and readjusted the wheels so that everything was even.
I proceeded to mow the rest of the yard (big job) and when I was done with the rest of the yard, I pondered going back over the area that was uneven. I decided against this because I thought it looked okay, I had other things I wanted to do and I thought there was a chance that Dad wouldn’t notice. (deep down I probably knew better)
When Dad got home and I proudly walked him to the backyard to show him the results of all my hard work, the reaction I got is probably what I expected but hoping wouldn’t happen.
He immediately focused on the area of uneven grass and not the 90% of the lawn that was perfectly mowed. He looked me straight in the eyes, told me to go get the lawnmower (probably not as nice as that) and to come get him when the job was done right. So I proceeded to get the mower and not only mow the small uneven section but the entire back yard again.
When I called him back out, he looked at the yard and said nothing more than “if you are going to do something in this world, anything, do it right the first time, every time.”
For those of you that know me, I have had perfect lines in my yard since I started owning homes and something I take great pride in.
WHEN A CHOICE IS NOT A CHOICE: 6TH GRADE TRACK
Growing up, I played a lot of sports including soccer, baseball, football, basketball, wrestling (only 1 year after I body slammed my first opponent) and track. I loved playing and participating in all of the sports except track and I started track when I was 4 years old. You were supposed to be 5 at the time but since Dad was the commissioner, I got in a year early.
So after running track up until the 6th grade and really loving football, basketball and baseball, I decided it was time to quit track. I felt like the conversation with Dad would be a really tough one, but it was going to be even worse because he was the coach of the team. I agonized over the conversation for a period of time and one night decided that it was time to tell Dad that I was quitting and that my mind was made up.
Dad was standing in the backyard on our full court basketball court when I approached him. We were getting ready to leave for track practice at the High School so it was now or never.
Expecting Dad to get really mad at me, lecture me about how Round’s don’t quit and tell me to get my stuff on and get in the car, I was very surprised by his response.
Dad said to me that this “was great news.” When I shockingly asked him why that was, he told me that “ he had a lot of chores around the house that he needed me to do and I could start doing all of that while he was at track practice because he wasn’t quitting.” He then started naming all of the things that he could have me do.
Suffice to say, a young man would rather run track than do chores around the house so I got my stuff on and went to track practice.
ACCEPT YOUR PUNISHMENT
One time after washing the driveway, I put the hose up and was getting ready to go inside. Dad came walking over about the time I was leaving and noticed that the hose wasn’t rolled up perfectly and told me to roll it up again before I went inside.
Now, to fully understand the story, you have to understand that when Dad walked over, I was standing between him and the house with nowhere to go.
I said some smart-as- remark about it’s just a hose and that I wasn’t going to roll it up again. I could see immediately that this was the wrong response by the look in Dad’s eyes. Somehow, I got past him (still not sure how) and he was now standing between me and the house.
His tone changed and he calmly looked me in the eyes and told me that I had two choices. I could either come back right then and take my punishment or I could walk away and accept a much harsher punishment later.
With my tail between my legs, I walked back crying and accepted my punishment. I can’t imagine that it could have been worse later, but I am glad that I never found out.
A STORY I LIKE
I liked to bowl when I was younger. We lived close to a bowling alley in Apple Valley, MN. Apple Place. Saturday morning leagues. Do they even have these anymore?
I was 11.
4-people to a team. Our team against another team. 8 kids / 2 lanes. The place was crowded. And then I saw Dad. I don't know how long he had been there. Maybe the whole game. Maybe part of the game. That's the way he was. He would lurk in the shadows, watching with interest, making himself known usually when he wanted to make a point. Even here, he wouldn't need to yell his point. A gesture. A look.
I was having a good game. 159 after nine frames.
The 10th frame.
A perfect shot.
The 3-10 split.
Walking back to the ball return, I looked up. Dad's lips were together. No look of anger or excitement. Just a look.
The 3-10 is not much of a split, really, but nonetheless, it takes a good shot to pick it up. You can slice the 3-pin on the left, kicking the pin into the 10, or you can slice the 3-pin on the right, kicking the ball into the 10. I've always opted for the latter.
A perfect shot.
I turned to look at Dad. He raised his fist slightly.
My next ball. A powerful strike! I turned again. The fist was raised higher.
His look was not one of "You did it!", like he was surprised. Instead, it was one of "atta-boy".
NO SHORTCUTS IN LIFE
It was brutally cold outside and snowing one day in our first house in Apple Valley, MN.
I am not sure how Jack, Mike and myself ended up running around the block that day, but the fact was that each one of us had to run around the block. They were 13 and 11. I was 5.
With Mike and Jack far ahead of me, I decided to take a shortcut about halfway and run down the hill to our backyard. As I proceeded through the neighbors yard down to our yard, my steps got heavier as it had snowed a lot and it was deep. I got to our backyard and then just couldn’t go any further because I was stuck. Besides me being young and probably scared, I was also not feeling good about Dad knowing that I was cheating.
So I started yelling for help when Dad found me in the backyard. After helping me get out of the snow and back to the front of the house, I was fully expecting him to come hard at me for trying to take a shortcut. Instead, he told a boy that was scared, cold and maybe even crying: Run it again.
I couldn’t believe that he was going to make me run again but I took off around the block with no shortcuts this time.
When I got back, I again fully expected Dad to lash out at me. Instead, he only said one thing to me that has stuck with me until this day and then walked inside. "If you take shortcuts in life, you are cheating no one but yourself."
The phrase that I like to throw out often in relation to this story is: "Winners aren’t made when everyone is watching. Winners are made when no one is watching."
"PATIENTLY" AWAITING A GRANDDAUGHTER
Gretchen goes into labor and we are getting ready to rush her to the hospital. We call our parents and let them know that the moment is happening and that we are leaving for the hospital right away.
So after a short 10-12 minute drive, we pull up and Dad is already there waiting for us. You can tell that he is really excited to see his beautiful baby girl.
Gretchen was in labor for nearly 18 hours and pushed for nearly 3. While Gretchen was in the process of trying to deliver Meredith, there was a knock on the door and we all looked on as Dad walked in saying that he thought he heard a baby and that he wanted to be the first one to see her.
My wonderful wife wanted him out right away and expressed as much to him. After Meredith was born and she was really crying, Dad was the first one in to see her.
I don’t think he left that hospital all night waiting on his baby as he called her.
"IF YOU'RE PLAYING CHESS - PLAY CHESS"
Much of this story is a combination of fiction / non-fiction. The ending is real. That's the interesting / funny / not-so-funny part of the story.
I was playing Dad in chess. I was 12. Jack was watching. He was 14. The game had been going on for some time, and as I sat staring at the board, Jack had an idea:
"Mike: move your knight here."
He said the words out loud, and pointed to the position on the board.
Those were two crucial mistakes.
Dad picked up a pawn, pinching the piece between his thumb and fore-finger. "MOUTH", Dad yelled the piece at Jack.
Piece after piece flew across the room.
A couple morals to the story?
Here's one: "If you're playing chess, play chess. If you're not playing, be quiet - or else!"
Here's another: "There is such a thing as being too-competitive." (Dad later apologized to Jack).
ON GRANDCHILDREN - a story from Jim
Meredith still talks about Dad all of the time and wears a shirt with a picture of him on it to bed at night.
Meredith was only three years old when Dad died and I often wonder how her memories of him are so clear and then I start thinking about all that he did to be in the grandchildren’s lives and to make such an impact.
When Meredith was born, Dad came over to the house to see her all of time and would call at least once per day to check on how she was doing. As she got a little older, he would show up at her school unannounced. He also would come over and take Meredith in the big red truck around the block with her on his lap. He would go to garage sales and bring her back toys and he would always have chocolate milk, ice cream and a big smile ready when Meredith came to the house.
When I think about all of that, it becomes clear to me on how he made such a huge impact on his grandchildren at such a young age. The other thing that amazes me is how nice he was to all of the other kids that he met along the way. I know that he treated Meredith’s friend Emily Kane and her cousin Zoie as they were his own and they loved him also.
Mom has told me that she never saw Dad smile as much as he did when he was in pictures with all of his grandchildren.
For Meredith, the impact that Dad had on her will last a lifetime
BEING THERE - a story from Jim
The other thing I remember about Dad was that he was ALWAYS there for me no matter what.
I remember having a flat tire one night late in downtown Dallas after work and even though Dad had to get up early and be at work himself, he rushed out there to help me out.
I remember having some trouble at the first college I attended where security and police were involved and Dad rushed out there to pick me up even though he had to get up early the next day to go to work.
I remember deciding that I wanted to go to school in Duluth, MN and remember Dad driving me all of the way up there and all of the way home in a really bad storm.
And I remember him getting up early on a regular basis when he was retired to pick me up and take me to the airport.
He never hesitated to help his son and this is one thing I hope I learned from him and that Meredith would say the same about me some day.
A BIG HEART - a story from Traci Kane
My favorite memories of BIG Jack Round was how BIG his heart was.
When I was first introduced to Jack, by Jim, I of course went in for the hug and I think he just stood there and said, “Oh, Okay.” Not sure he knew what do with all of my 5’3” spunkiness.
I loved that he would come to Meredith’s and Emily’s preschool, at least once a week, and put them in the cab of his bright, red truck and drive around the parking lot. “Grandpa Jack”, they would yell in delight!
He never forgot gifts for Emily at Christmas or if he went to a garage sale and picked up something for Mer, there would be something for Em. We still have the Gymboree rocking chair that he gave Emily which I am certain took several garage sale trips since he had to get two. GENEROUS. I wish he could have known Turner. He would certainly get a kick out of him.
I also had a dream when Winston, our Labrador, died…that he made it to Heaven and ran up to Jack and jumped up on him with his front legs. Jack, not being a dog person, did not mind. At least in my dream.
I miss his BIG, gentleness and I am grateful that I knew him.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MEREDITH - a story from Jim
When Meredith turned two, we had a birthday party for her at our house in Grapevine. After everyone had eaten, we sang Happy Birthday to Meredith, ate cake and opened all of her gifts. The last thing that we were going to do was hit the piñata outside so that all of the kids could get the candy inside.
So after everyone gathered outside, Dad started walking towards his truck at the end of the driveway. Before we knew what was happening, Meredith had followed him, got in his lap and they took off driving the BIG RED TRUCK around the block.
5 or 10 minutes later, they came driving around the corner and they were smiling and waving.
At Meredith’s first birthday party that we had in a park, the same thing happened except for Dad and Meredith went for a walk hand in hand away from the group.
While Meredith was only three when Dad died, he had a major impact on her life and she would follow him anywhere and she loved spending time with GPA.
A GREAT ATTITUDE - a story from Jim
When Dad was diagnosed with cancer, I was amazed at how he handled the news knowing how crushing the news must have been. He stayed calm, he stayed positive and he never let on that there was any option except for beating it.
I went to a lot of Dad’s appointments and he always greeted everyone with a smile and a positive attitude. I sincerely believed that people looked forward to seeing him because of his attitude and his courage. It didn’t matter what the news was, he was always the same to each and every person that he met or talked to.
When Dad got really sick towards the end of his life, he had a hospice nurse with him for 17 straight hours. After Dad passed, she told us that “she had never taken care of a nicer man.”
I have thought a lot about this over the years as I see how people treat each other that have everything including their health. If people like Dad can have such a great attitude as he approaches his death, then it should be easy for each of us to have a great attitude and treat others with respect during life.
AN EXCHANGE BETWEEN DAD AND JIM --- A Few Months After The Cancer Diagnosis
Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2000 4:48 PM
THAT IS THE NICEST NOTE I HAVE EVER RECEIVED. IT MADE BOTH YOUR MOM AND I CRY A LITTLE. WE BOTH LOVE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY VERY LMUCH.
Jim Round wrote:
I appreciate the humble attitude Dad and that is one of your/my best qualities at times. But between you and I, the things you have taught me from day 1 of my life have transformed who I am, what Im about, and you and mom are the biggest reasons for any successes that I have ever achieved. The discipline, work ethic, directness, passion, focus are just a few of the things I have taken directly from you. I had to earn everything I have done, but without the foundation, this wouldn't have been possible.
When I first heard you had cancer, I couldn't breathe and thought my world was crumbling around me. That first Friday you called, I had to close my office door because of these feelings. Not knowing anything about cancer, I thought I was losing my best friend. I stayed strong in front of the family and cried my eyes out when I was alone at night. I always thought you/we would beat this shit, but I got very low at times. The one thing that I realized early on was that we only go around this crazy world once and we better let the people know around us how we feel and how important they are. The one on one talks we had in the hospital were some of the best talks we have ever had. We have always known deep down how we feel, but verbalize some of it seemed awkward at times, but felt so damn good. As you begin to feel better and beat this shit, lets not let this slide. We never know what can happen to us at anytime.
I love you and Mom,
AN E-MAIL FROM DAD --- Right After The Cancer Diagnosis
Sent: Thursday, August 17, 2000 9:45 PM
To: Jim Round; Sean & Jenny at Home; Mike L. Round; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: JACK,NANCY,MIKE,LISA,JIM,GRETCHEN,SEAN & JENNY
WHAT A SUPPORT TEAM YOU ARE. I WAS AWARE OF YOUR LOVE AND PRAYERS ALL OF
THIS WEEK. TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY. I AM VERY OPTIMISTIC WE WILL GET
THROUGH THIS ILLNESS IN A POSITIVE WAY. I NEED TO BE AROUND TO WATCH MY
BABIES GROW UP. I AM NOT VERY GOOD AT SAYING IT BUT I WANT YOU TO KNOW
I LOVE YOU ALL VERY MUCH AND IF I AM GENERALLY RELUCTANT TO SAY IT TO
YOUR FACE I ALWAYS FEEL IT IN MY HEART.
WHEN SOMEONE ASKS YOU "TO LOOK THIS OVER", WHAT DO YOU DO?
I'd been thinking about the state of math education in our country for quite a while, and decided to do something about it. I started a journal, titled =EQUALS=.
This was 1995.
It was beautiful.
It's the same size of most everything I create today: 5.5 x 8.5.
I gave a copy to Dad, and asked him to look at it.
Let me tell you what I expected. This was going to be a new approach to understanding math. No more artificial distinction between algebra and geometry. Integrate them. Incorporate the philosophies of Deming, Goldratt, Rand, and Montessori. Each issue would have a page called "The Concept Card" summarizing the main points of the issue.
I expected Dad to say, "This is really neat".
And then he said, "Now - where do you want to start?'
"What do you mean?"
"You asked me to look at it, and I have. There are some corrections needed, and I've got some thoughts."
"Let's start at Page 3, the opening paragraph."
Now, "Page 3" is really the first page of writing - there is the cover and then general information about the issue. He's talking about the very beginning.
"You don't need the word 'that' on line #4. It's redundant. Take it out."
I was sitting on the stairs leading from my office upstairs, talking through the wall alarm system that coupled as a speaker, taking notes, editing the issue as we moved from Page 3 to the end.
It certainly wasn't what I expected. I expected a "Great job". I got that. But I got a lot more. A much better issue.
And I got something more than that. I got a lesson in dialogue: if someone asks you to review something, and you agree, take it seriously. If you don't have the time to thoroughly review it, say so, and say what you can do.
"NOT IN THE BOOKS I READ": A Brief Lesson on Vocabulary
We were at Grandma and Grandpa's farm in Cotesfield, Nebraska for a brief vacation. The whole family was there, including Dad. One afternoon, Jack and I were talking, Dad resting on the family room floor.
Jack: "What does 'Garrulous' mean?"
Mike: "Talking, but you don't know what you're talking about."
Like most definitions I know when asked, this was far from explicit. I try to think of where I've heard the word, read it, seen it, what context, etc. It dealt with 'talking', so the most was very, very vague - obviously.
Dad: "That's not right."
Now, you may be asking, "I thought he was sleeping". So did I. Nonetheless, there was an answer. Had I been smart, I would have asked, "What does it mean, then?" Ignorantly, I pressed on, defending my vague answer with examples. I should have applied the "Rule of Holes: when you're in one, stop digging". I kept digging.
He listened to my answer, my examples.
Dad: "That's not how it is in the books I read. The garrulous person in a western book, for example, is the cowhand sitting at the end of the bar, going on and on about nothing in general, with all sorts of stories."
It was a good lesson: to know what a word means, know what it means and how it's used, so you can use it yourself. A second good lesson: shut up and listen.
HOW TO BUY GROCERIES: two stories from Lisa
I was cooking dinner one night and realized I needed a few things. "Jack? Would you go to the store for me?"
"Sure!" with a grin, and out the door he went, list in hand. Despite several grocery stores near the house, he was off to HyVee so he could chat with our neighbor, Suzie, who worked there.
He pulled the Big Red Truck into the driveway, and walked into the house, groceries in hand.
One of the items I wanted was bread. Bread for dinner. What he brought was a huge loaf of French Bread, something like this:
though the loaf he brought seemed to have food coloring in it. It looked awful. He was very happy with his purchase.
About this time, Marissa came into the kitchen, saying she was hungry. Remember, I'm now MAKING SUPPER! It didn't matter to Jack, who picked Marissa up, put her on the counter, and gave her the loaf of bread. Marissa immediately took a huge bite - RIGHT OUT OF THE MIDDLE OF THE LOAF!
They were both happy. I wasn't!
Another time, I was making soup for supper, and saw we were out of soup crackers. I asked Jack to go to the store to buy some soup crackers, each on sale for $0.89.
I told him which ones to buy.
He came back with an armful of different soup crackers, each costing $2.89.
"THESE ARE BETTER!", he exclaimed with a grin!
GARAGE SALING: a story from Lisa
Jack loved to go to garage sales. He loved to buy massive quantities of things. He was in town one weekend in the summer when the neighborhood sales were kicking in.
He was excited.
Saturday morning, he, I, and the kids got into the van. I was driving. (It's my van, after all).
Anxious to get to the first neighborhood, I'm driving a bit fast through a neighborhood when Jack sees a sign: BIG GARAGE SALE! It had the address under it.
Jack was excited.
I didn't know the address, so I told him I'd go back to see.
"That's OK - I've got it. 12345 W 143rd Terrace".
We drove to the next neighborhood where 143rd Terrace was. Nothing. We drove all around that neighborhood. Nothing. The kids were getting anxious. So was I! We made it back to the sign: 712 W Elm Street."
"OK!", he said! "Let's go!"
WHERE IS MY CHRISTMAS TREE STAND?: a story from Lisa
Isaac was about to be born, and I was scheduled to go into the hospital. We called Jack and Marlene to see if they could come up a little bit earlier than expected. They were already on their way!
While here, Jack took it upon himself to clean the garage.
Isaac was born October 13.
October passes. November passes. December comes, and it's time to set up the tree.
"Where is my Christmas tree stand?" I say to Mike.
"I don't know", looking everywhere in the garage, where it should have been, where I might have misplaced it.
We called Dad.
"It's upstairs in the attic. You go up the ladder. Turn right. Take about four steps. It's on the left side, on the top of three boxes.
No moral to the story - just a funny one!
JANIS JOPLIN: a story from Jack
At our house on Gannon Way in Apple Valley, Minnesota, Dad had built a shelving unit to house the stereo and his many books. The stereo was a phonograph, eight track player, and speakers.
He loved music and used to play music very loud. Especially classical.
I saw him one day listening to an 8-track tape, and he said something that has stayed with me to this day.
We belonged to the Columbia Music club and 8-track tapes used to come once a month. We’d received a Janis Joplin 8-track in the mail. He said he had disliked Janis Joplin because of her public behavior. He hit the #1 button on the 8-track, the 8-track click occurred, and “Me and Bobby McGee” started playing. He said, “But I guess I should have listened to her music before I judged her, because that’s one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard”.
The song that gets repeated most in our family from that 8-track is “Mercedes Benz”. And I think about his comments to this day.
(Mike Note: Here is Joplin singing, "Me and Bobby McGee"):
ART AND POLITICS: a story from Jack
Grandpa Round was visiting our house on Gannon Way, and we were sitting in the area by the deck. Grandpa was reading the newspaper, and I told him I was going to go watch a movie on TV.
“What movie?” he asked.
I don’t remember what movie it was, except it starred Jane Fonda.
Grandpa told me he would never EVER watch a Jane Fonda movie.
I asked him why, and he said because she had gone to Vietnam and had undermined our troops.
I remember not understanding, and telling him that her politics didn’t have anything to do with her art.
He said that by supporting her art, you were supporting her, which supported her politics. And he chose not to do that.
I’ve remembered that advice to this day.
AN E-MAIL DISCUSSION WITH DAD --- February 2000
Mike: "You come in droves, I come in groves. Perhaps ignorance, perhaps a typo. Paraphrasing Andrew Jackson: 'It's a mighty ignorant fella that can think of only one way to spell a word.' "
"My inappropriate use of words like this reminds me of the true story of a person being questioned while having their tax form filled out: 'I am not illiterate - my Mom and Dad were married when I was born.' "
Dad: "Or as a First Sergeant in my National Guard unit used to say when he wanted everyone somewhere at the same time: 'Let's circumcise our watches', rather than 'Let's synchronize our watches'. Different words mean different things to different people!"
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY: a story from Jack
When I was probably 5 or 6, I had set up what I remember to be a toy fort in the living room of our apartment on Monomoy St. It was from a cowboy and Indian set, and the fort was a brown model fort inspired from frontier forts.
I recall setting it up in the middle of the living room.
While I was not in the room, I remember my brother came running through the room and did some level of damage to what I had set up. I got mad.
I remember what Dad said to me: “It was YOUR fault for putting the fort in a place where it was likely to be broken.”
Wow!! The proximate cause of the damage was not to blame?? This was a very difficult lesson to accept.
I still think about this lesson all the time. And I’ve tried to teach it: Take responsibility for problems that can be reasonably anticipated and avoid blaming.
A BIG SMILE: a story from Paul "Mo" Moline
The time that stands out most to me was at his house when we got the margarita’s rolling. Every one was laughing and I still picture Jack with that big smile. He was always so positive and easy to talk to for such an imposing figure. Not a day goes by where I don’t look at the picture from the golf tourney with you, your Dad and Mom and my Mom.
Makes me smile.
MANY STORIES FROM JENNY
When I was in elementary school, Mom had to go on a trip and Dad was left home to watch us kids which included styling my hair for school one morning. I had long red hair and Dad attempted to put my hair in ponytails. Every time he tried to put the rubber band in, the rubber band would break because his fingers were so big. This is a great memory to me, because I love the fact that he tried to put my hair up even though he could have just said brush it yourself and get to school!
One Christmas in Minnesota Dad bought chocolates and hung them on the Christmas tree – how cool is that! He always went over the top for holidays.
Once he bought me shoes to increase my vertical jump. I can’t remember what the shoes were called. They basically made you workout standing on the balls of your feet. Dad strung a v-ball net across the driveway and put the posts in buckets with cement. I did various drills to try to become a better Middle Blocker. Dad always tried to help us be better at our game.
My senior year of high school Dad bought me a huge book to help prepare for the SATs. Needless to say, I was not too interested in studying for the SATs, but looking back I love that he cared enough to try. He was always trying to find ways to help us excel at whatever we were doing.
In college, he bought me the video and book called, Where There’s a Will There’s an A. That was his subtle way of saying, “You need to step it up, girl!” This time I actually read the book and watched the video and increased my GPA to an A average before graduating. Thanks, Dad!
When I was in the delivery room about to give birth to Andrew, he came in to visit me. This was before the epidural, so I guess he thought he needed to tell a few jokes to help me feel better. I was laughing so hard I had to kick him out of the room. Contractions and laughter do not mix. The next morning at the hospital, Dad and Mom arrived early with donuts. Those were the best donuts I have ever eaten.
I loved knowing that he was always there for me no matter what. He was like a safety net. I miss that.
I also want to say that I think that Dad was such a great Dad, because he had such a great wife. Mom and Dad made an unstoppable team.
A LETTER FROM MARIANNE, DAD'S OLDER SISTER
It all began in 1934, when Dudley Round and Elinor Raymer got married. In 1935, they had their first child, Marianne. Then, in 1937, we welcomed a blond, curly haired chubby little boy named John Dudley Round, but better known to everyone as Jack. In 1939 came Sharon and in 1941 Sandie was born.
We were always a close family but we also had our share of troubles. As kids, Jack and Marianne had some times dressed as a cowboy and cowgirl for Golden Spike Days in Omaha. That was a special time for us. Then as we got older there were the times of riding in our truck, singing favorite songs. Maybe not good but loud! We always ended up in Irvington for their special ice cream.
In the Round House, birthdays and Christmas were days of excitement and fun. A big Christmas tree and the village, but best of all was our very own Santa. Then, as Jack had homes of his own, he really was a person to enjoy and decorate for Christmas. I think he won contests for all that he did for Christmas.
Then there were the times of fishing trips and family picnics to South Dakota, Memphis, and Benson Park. A very large extended family, so we all brought food, and shared. The fishing and softball games left a lot of tired family members, but after eating they were all ready to go again. It usually lasted until the sun went down.
Jack was so good at sports, especially baseball and football, so as a family we followed his teams to the playoffs and tournaments. We made picnic lunches and piled into the car and off we went. The three girls didn't always watch the games but we were there. As Jack went to high school, we all went to the football games. As the oldest, Marianne already went to the games. Dad would load the pickup with my friends and we always had a good time but it was better when Jack was playing as my friends already knew Jack and enjoyed cheering for him. Jack had stories written about his exploits on the playing field, and they were in the Omaha World Herald, but there was a down side as the reporters didn't always have his name right! A lot of times his name went in the paper as "Jack Brown"! Then, as he became more known, they seemed to accept that his last name was "Round". He was an all-city and all-state player. That's how good he was, but he didn't brag about it. He was a big man even in high school. He stood 6 foot 4 inches tall, and weighed about 200 pounds, and people respected him for how he handled being a big guy.
A related story - this was 2001: I (Marianne) went to a pharmacy to pick up meds for my mother, Elinor, when a man asked if I knew a Jack Round. I told him I knew two: one in Omaha (my nephew), and my brother in Texas. The pharmacist (Bob) said it had to be my brother. When Bob was in North High, he was a small kid and was picked on all the time - that was, until Jack witnessed the bullying. He put his arm on Bob's shoulder and said this bullying needed to stop. Bob told me the rest of his high school career was good and safe. He told me he always felt Jack was special and called him his "Gentile Giant". This story was nearly 50 years after it had happened. I related this to Jack and he remembered Bob. That is how so many people saw Jack.
In 1961 and 1962, all of the Round kids were married. Sharon and Lannie Weak and Sandie and Denny Ferguson had a double wedding in April 1961. Jack and Marlene were married in November 1961. Marianne and Bill Morrison were Married in May 1962. That was a big deal and we were all in weddings. That was the last of us all living in Omaha. Bill was in the military so we traveled a lot. Then Jack and Marlene traveled with the railroad. When we were together it was always catch-up time. It was hard to lose Jack, but his life meant so much to so many people. He left a great heritage in a close, loving family. Especially his grand children, who were the joys of getting older. And he let them know how much they meant to him and he share that with others.
He was a great brother to me and he leaves a legacy of love, joy, compassion, honesty, humor, and always being fair. I loved him and will always miss my little brother.
Big Sister, Marianne.
A Brick from Omaha North ...
TEAM-BUILDING, WITH A NEW TWIST
In looking through the pictures on the website, many not included in this book, you'll see lots of pictures of a "different side of Dad".
For example, you may wonder what these were all about:
These are pictures from a team-building exercise at the Railroad.
I'm sure Dad didn't think much of the outing, preferring to do actual work, but nonetheless, when it was decided it was a go, he was ALL-go!
That's the way he was.
After this series of team-building exercises, everybody met to talk about the experience. The workers. The business that coordinated the outing.
An informal setting.
As they were watching a presentation of many pictures of the outing, a picture appeared on the wall of Dad and another woman, atop a large wall. Each had a safety wire attached to them, and the purpose was to jump off the wall, but be supported by the wire, with the counter-weight provided by several co-workers. Real team-work. Trust in your fellow employee.
She wouldn't jump.
In the picture, Towering Dad was seen bending over to talk face-to-face with the petite woman, obviously frightened by the ordeal. What was he whispering?
The business consultant happened a reasoned guess:
"Now that's what this is all about - look at this - offering words of encouragement sympathetically."
The woman who stood atop the wall was in the room.
She stood up.
"Now wait a minute. It may look like he was whispering words of encouragement to me. Do you really want to know what he said to me up there? He said if I didn't jump, he was going to throw my ass off that wall!"
HOW TO STUDY FOR A TEST: a story from Sandie - a younger sister of Dad
"I was helping Denny, my soon-to-be-husband, study for a history test. It was an important test.
Jack walked in the door, back from National Guard duty.
After hearing what we were doing, and a sufficient lecturing on having to cram for the test at the last moment, he said, "That's not how you study for a test. You go to bed."
When I woke up the next morning, Denny and Jack were still in the kitchen studying.
A PUNCH TO THE GUT: a story from Jim and one of Jim's friends, Craig.
I used to punch Dad in the stomach all of the time as a kid. He made sure that I punched him in the right spot or he would get really angry. "The wrong spot is how Houdini eventually died".
As I got older, I clearly remember doing this through high school.
One day, a friend, Craig, came over to the house for the first time. I started hitting Dad really hard in the stomach. Craig's initial reaction was that he thought Dad was going to kick my butt. He couldn’t believe it when Dad actually starting laughing.
When we walked outside, Craig said that he told me that I was lucky that Dad didn’t kick my butt and I told him that I do it all of the time.
He said that he never forgot that.
THE LIFE OF JACK ROUND
LIBRARY STORIES/LIBRARIAN SHOWED UP THE WAKE
THOUSANDS OF BOOKS IN HIS COLLECTION/TALK ABOUT VARIETY
History, mystery, geography
CASSETTES, 8 TRACKS, CD’S, RECORDS
OLD RECORD PLAYERS AND 8 TRACK PLAYERS IN HIS GARAGE
Huge variety of music including Willie Nelson, Shania Twain (whose bed have your boots been under)classical, rock n roll and pop.
Trip to MN listening to Madonna at the highest volume.
3) BN CAREER/MERGER
LOOK AT MERGER PAPERWORK
GO THROUGH CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY OF HIS LIFE AT THE BN
WHERE DID HE LIVE, WHAT WERE HIS TITLES, ROLES, ETC.
SURPRISE TRIPS TO THEIR HOUSES
MEREDITH’S MEMORIES THAT ARE STILL VERY REAL TO HER NOW.
SHOWING UP AT KID’S SCHOOLS UNEXPECTED.
5) APPLE VALLEY SPORTS STORIES
STORIES ABOUT FOOTBALL/DOLPHINS/CHIEFS
HISTORY AS A COMMISIONER
DEDICATION TO YOUTH SPORTS
6) DAD’S CHILDHOOD
7) LIFE WITH MOM
STORY ABOUT BRIDGE FROM THE FUNERAL.
MOVE TO TX IN 1984.
8) PRIDE-BEAR GRIP HANDSHAKE
9) CHRISTMAS-X-MAS TREE’S/OUTDOOR LIGHTS
STORIES ABOUT DAD, MIKE AND JACK FALLING FROM THE HOUSE
10) FUNNY STORIES ABOUT DAD FROM FRIENDS/FAMILY/EX BN PEOPLE.
DAD CLOSING ME IN AROUND THE HOSE IN MN.
11) SHORT STAY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
12) DAD-OUR HERO
13) DAD-OUR FRIEND
14) FIGHT WITH CANCER
MJ GOLF CLASSIC INSPIRED BY DAD. 9 YEARS-$2,500,000 DOLLARS. PICTURE OF THE FIRST YEAR.
HOW HE BATTLED ALL OF THE WAY TO THE END.
QUOTE ABOUT WHAT THE HOSPICE NURSE SAID ABOUT DAD BEING THE NICEST MAN SHE HAD EVER MET.
15) LEAVING A LEGACY
17) COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE NO MATTER WHAT HE DID.