My “pal” Jan

August 12, 2018

It started with a single email on a single column:

Although it’s getting harder all the time, I’ve always said as long as there are voices like yours, our country will make it. Hang in there,Geoff, & thanks. Jan Burnidge”

Over the years, that single email turned into hundreds and a friendship more valued than all the treasure upon this Earth.

A week ago last Friday an email from her daughter hit me square in the gut: “Hi Geoff—it is with a very heavy heart I have to tell you that mom passed away last Sunday.”

Last weekend I began re-reading those exchanges. She could nail any topic better than any paid pundit. But when she started using “pal”, my heart melted. There was “Gotta hand it to you, pal”, “Good job, pal”, “Way to go pal”, “I’m ecstatic pal”, “Thanks pal”, “Keep’m coming, pal”, “Nice job, pal” and many more. She could use a simple three letter word to lift my spirits they way no Pulitzer Prize winner ever could.

Below is a bit of the wit and wisdom of the woman I never met, written by the friend I shall forever miss.

Freedom of Speech:

If we don’t believe in free expression for people we despise,we don’t believe in it at all…. “

Media Bias:

The people rebelled against the news media giving us what they want us to read.. The ones who want to keep it this way are going to lose customers ….”

Since election night,I’ve turned to MSNBC every time Libs take a blow…The other a.m. Mikah said something about election mistakes, they hadn’t listened to what the people were saying, got ahead of their skis & looked up to see Donald Trump President ! My glow lasted all day on that one..Valerie moving in with Obamas.. They’re serious about going after Trump !”

…I’ve been so apprehensive about the damage these idiots are doing with their 24/7 attacks on Trump… I’m so afraid they’re doing damage to our whole country & they don’t even care !…..”

Their political bias is even more important than quality news reporting. What a shame… I fear what harm they are doing to our president & our country.”

Hillary Clinton

2 words tell it all. “Equal justice.” Dems aren’t even embarrassed by it…She always gets by with it….”

John McCain

We watch with pride as our President welcomes 3 hostages back to freedom….We watch with ultimate sorrow as America’s favorite hero becomes  a bitter , pathetic , shriveled up shell of his former self…”

Barack Obama

You need to write a book about Obama’s presidency….. It would only take one line… Better to deflect and blame than accept and lead..  JB”

Donald Trump

Someone asked if I’d vote for him & I said heck yes,if only because he isn’t a politician….”

I’m convinced the Cons. are just as determined as the Libs to hang on to their Washington power structure…”

Election 2016

Geoff   I cannot believe it! The silent majority was more majority than we knew….Bless you    Jan”

Liberal Lunacy..Libs mantra ‘Everything the Dems do is good, everything the Rep. do , is bad…”

“….Reading Dem. platform kills me.. Obama & Soros did a bang-up job & sold income inequality to the majority  of voters…Will last until the money runs out & we all get hurt…”

…It’s like trying to reason with a deaf person who can’t read lips….”


I stood up and sang “God Bless America” after reading today’s column ! History is so crucial & you make it interesting. One  of my g’son’s teaches history at Neosho High & now I know why…. It’s fascinating…”

Illegal Immigration:

..I’ve always said you try going to Mexico without paperwork & see how fast you  get slapped up the side of your head… This makes it even worse…$21 billion & they still have the nerve to lecture us…   OMG! “


My biggest pet peeve is these nimrods walking through life staring at their hand !!!  Everywhere !!!! ..200  years from now there will be people  looking like a Cro-Magnom man born with shoulders hunched & heads tilted downward…  You just watch…LOL     jb”

Somewhere along the way I started what I called the “Thursday tease”; one or two lines from the upcoming Sunday column. A sample of her replies:

Tantalize me like that making me wait!  Mean…. Don’t forget I’m 82 & don’t even buy green bananas>>>>>>>>>”

On July 28th I hit “send” on “Saturday’s Thursday tease”: “If President Trump is “Putin’s poodle” as some have said, than Vladimir did a lousy job house training his new pet……Hope you’re OK……..Best, g.”

A tease she would never see as she was already in hospital and passed the day that column printed.

But if there is a God, and I firmly believe there is, she’s reading this from above and realizing just how much she was appreciated and how terribly she will be missed.

God Speed Jan Burnidge. Your “pal” forever, G.

Publisher Note:  A version of this column first appeared in the August 12, 2018 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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