Mom, Sears and Channel 8 at 5

You walk into Sears and proceed to the electronics department. Twenty or so television screens share the same picture, whether it be sports, talking heads, or cartoons. There’s something about those images. All 20 of them. They’re hard to ignore.

I was a news reporter for several radio and television stations during my senior year in college. My timing coincided with the developing careers of women journalists such as Barbara Walters, Leslie Stahl, and of course, Mary Richards.

Mom and Dad would occasionally visit, but had yet to see or hear my broadcasts. Their home was outside the stations’ range.

Mom was a dedicated cheerleader. She clipped newspaper articles and photos when our high school speech and debate teams did well, and shared them with possibly every person she knew, however slightly, if I were mentioned or photographed. (She did the same for my brothers in their scouting careers).

So, how could Mom boast about her soon to be daughter reporter if she had yet to see or hear her over the airwaves?

She walked into Sears.

Will you please, she asked, turn one of your televisions to Channel 8 at 5 so we can watch our daughter do the news?

Well, ma’am, I’d be glad to. But if I change the channel on one, all the televisions will go to that same station.

That would be alright, Mom responded. She patiently waited to watch me.

On all the televisions in that Sears, in all my light blue pant-suited glory, I presented the news.

In fact, I was the news source for anyone who walked into that Sears.

Every Friday at 5 until graduation.

After graduation, Mom planned her visits to Dad’s family with my scheduled radio news reporting. They lived closer to the station. Mom asked everyone to be quiet until I was done. They winked and listened.

Years later, Mom pushed articles, brochures, and magazines on friends and family, as I moved into print media. Everyone she knew was familiar with my career, had read my work, or held on to overruns Mom had shared with them.

While Mom was our ambassador, we were so proud of her. She was a sought after nurse in area hospitals and older adult communities, and was the caregiver for years for our Dad. Mom was from Germany, coming over with our Dad after the war. She was a staunch advocate for women’s and girls’ rights through her words and actions.  She could be tough. Her expectations of us could be unrealistic. Or so we thought. Mom was the best. We miss her. A lot.

Now it’s your turn! 

Give your Mom a shout out! Share stories of her with your friends! And your family! Tell everyone (including your Mom, if you are lucky to still have her) of your Mother’s role in making you who you are today! (Please email me, too!)*

Share the funny stories! Share the sad stories. 

Share the stories of your Mom.

Remember. Reflect. Be happy. Be sad. Be grateful.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!


*(To share your Mom stories with me, please “Leave a Reply” at the end of this post, or contact me via the “Contact” page of



  1. Nancy Hecht says:

    My Mom was an amazing cook. She could stretch the family food budget allowing our family surplus money. I can remember her pouring over the grocery store ads as soon as they arrived. She would make out a week’s worth of menus using only items on sale. This didn’t mean we didn’t eat good food. We had meatloaf, but it contained oatmeal to enrich it and make one pound stretch for a family of 5. Or she would make a casserole using ground meat and lots of pasta to make a bigger casserole. We had potatoes with every meal. My Mom could cook potatoes hundreds of different ways-potato salad, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, fried potatoes, potato pancakes, boiled potatoes, potatoes fried with onions, and on and on. She even made potato cakes from left over mashed potatoes. We would have oatmeal for breakfast and when we got home after school, there was an oatmeal cake made from the leftover breakfast oatmeal. Nothing went to waste. I miss those family meals where we all sat at the table every night at 5, said our table prayer, and ate my Mom’s delicious food. Miss you Mom.

  2. Susan says:

    Dear Joanie. I love this story. What a blessing your dear Mom was to me! And true to the end she was your biggest cheerleader! At my last visit with her, she had an article you had written for the Shrine Apartment Community – I read it and then made plans with her to attend one of the social events mentioned in the article. I was so sorry that we didn’t get the opportunity for that visit. Love all the pictures too!!

  3. Diane Holland says:

    My mom worked for Anheuser Busch for many many years, she worked long and hard and I think that is where I got my commitment to my work always. She didn’t go to college but did well, she worked in the computer department and even studied what then was called COBALT a kind of computer language. I also did not go to college but did well at my job at Busch Creative Services, a subsidiary of AB. Now my oldest daughter doesn’t work for AB but a big law firm in St Louis, no college degree either but she is doing very well in her job too, very dedicated. All of us girls have worked long hours with a lot of stress, but I always think about the grace with which my mom did it. Because even though she worked long hours, she always looked perfect and was there for dinner and other important things. My dad worked hard too, he worked a full time job at a stock brokerage firm and played in a band on the weekends to help pay for my brother and I to go to Catholic school. I wasn’t very close to my mom, but I do know that my hard work philosophy came from her along with my terrible trait of being a perfectionist. I miss her now, there are things that happen and I think I should call mom and tell her and I can’t. She was the one when I was a shy soon to be high school freshman that made me take a speech class, which was the smartest thing she could have done. It helped me overcome my shyness and years later I used what I learned to give a presentation to upper management to recommend a new computer system. We got it and I got more work as the administrator of it. Oh well. I just wish my mom would have been as proud of me as your mom was of you. Mine never seemed to be, maybe because we weren’t that close. I’m proud of both of my daughters and I have a granddaughter in high school that I am trying to convince to go to college, break the mold, she is smart enough to go far.

    We will see what the future holds for the remaining women in this family.

  4. Mimi says:

    What a fantastic tribute to your mom! Well done, both of you!

  5. Danielle says:

    Very nice Joan!!!

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