All Posts By

James C. Schaap

Essay

All about D-day

I didn't know him--couldn't have. He was killed four years before I was born. For years I wouldn't have known his story any more fully than I might have known the stories of any other veteran who didn't return from…
Essay

Musical Bewonderment

Last night I couldn't help thinking of an old story told to me long, long ago by an organist--the organist, the very one who'd been asked to do a concert on a brand new pipe organ a country church had just…
Essay

Job in the Panhandle

Job's friends had his health in mind, but none of them, nor their arguments, could satisfy the emptiness in his soul. He'd lost everything, his family, his land, his enterprise, even his health in a tsunami of bad times unlike…
Essay

Remembrance

The only means of getting man and woman, beast and wagon across the rain-swollen Niobrara River was by rope, hand over hand. Dozens of oxen and as many as 500 horses had to get to the other side, as did…
Essay

Our small corners

"Why are they called Canada geese?" our third-grade grandson asked us last week. It seems no one really knows; after all, they show up in every state of the union and don't necessarily make pilgrimages up north to watch hockey.…
Essay

When nothing is something

We visited Stratford-upon-Avon, of course, toured Shakespeare's house and watched the Royal Shakespeare Company perform Julius Caesar in the Royal Shakespearean Theater. I vaguely remember the grave of Jane Austin, but, twenty years after our visit, Piccadilly Circus is gone completely from…
Essay

St. Boniface among the Frisians

Some heartfelt sympathy is in order for St. Boniface. After all, he lost his head to the Frisians when he decided to go back to their neighborhood to de-paganize them after once, years before, throwing in the towel on a…
Essay

Buffalo Soldiers in the Trenches

By the time American troops got to Europe in 1917, African-Americans had an established, but not celebrated history in military service of our country. In 1862, under the direction of Thomas Wentworth Higgenson, the sworn abolitionist and literary heartthrob of…
Essay

Voices in Lancaster County

"Sunday, October 15, we went to church. The wind was then blowing wildly, but this became worse further along in the day. When we got out of church, we saw smoke in the distance, because the prairie was on fire."…