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Bob Lind, Published August 16 2012

Neighbors: Radio program’s poems collected in 1951 book

Do the names Johnny Desmond and Aunt Fanny click with you?

They might, if you’re old enough to remember Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club radio program from Chicago in the 1940s and 1950s. Desmond and Aunt Fanny (portrayed by Fran Allison) were among the performers on that show.

Patty Sandeen, Moorhead, has a book published by the show titled “Don McNeill’s Favorite Poems.”

The book, published in 1951, contains pictures of McNeill, Desmond, Aunt Fanny and many others, as well as many poems.

Here’s part of one of the poems Patty likes. It’s titled “The All-American Dad:”

“He stands with men of the ages, unique in his way of life;

“Kindness his one great virtue, generous to child and wife.

“Not always the graceful lover; not always in fashion clad;

“But the kind of man to tie to, this All-American Dad!”

And this is part of poem, titled “Conversion,” which was found on slain soldiers during World War II:

“Look, God, I have never spoken to You, but now I want to say, ‘How do You do.’

“You see, God, they told me You didn’t exist. And like a fool, I believed all this.”

The poem concludes with:

“Well, I will have to go now, God – goodbye.

“Strange, since I met You – I’m not afraid to die.”

While Patty appreciates the poetry, there’s a special reason she treasures this book: Her parents, Alfred and Mabel Huebner, who lived in rural Averill, Minn., and brothers Dennis, who died in 2009, and Jerry, now of Rochester, Minn., gave it to her on her 19th birthday.

By the way, that Huebner name may look familiar, and well it should. Patty is a first cousin of the father of The Forum’s and WDAY’s Robin Huebner.


If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107;

fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com