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The Columbia Missourian's From Readers section

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The Columbia Missourian has a section of the paper dedicated to readers telling their own stories. Here's a sampling of stories published in the From Readers section in 2014.

The section included well over 200 stories total in that calendar year. Readership of these stories is strong, especially among our core, local audience.

Published in: News & Politics
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The Columbia Missourian's From Readers section

  1. 1. MoreStory Related Media COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN FROM READERS: How my daughter's life was saved in Rocky Mountain National Park By Chip Sandstedt/Missourian reader October 16, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT Amanda Sandstedt ¦ Shared by Chip Sandstedt/Missourian reader Chip Sandstedt lives in Columbia. I'm writing to describe a life-saving product and the extraordinary acts of a group of talented people that all came together to save the life of my daughter Amanda Sandstedt. The story amazes even me, but the real message is very basic — be prepared. Given what I am about to write, one thing is clear: I am very fortunate to still have my oldest daughter alive and well. It’s nothing short of miraculous that the efforts of just the right FROM READERS: How my daughter's life was saved in Rock... http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/180222/from-readers-h... 1 of 4 3/1/15, 4:12 PM
  2. 2. MoreStory Related Articles Boys & Girls Club plans facility in Ferguson Missouri engagement office unfunded in proposed 2016 budget Ferguson officials: No word on federal investigations Ferguson and Lindenwood University announce partnership Records: Police wanted Guard in Ferguson neighborhood Denver police upset after memorial vandalized during protest Man indicted for trying to set fire to Ferguson Market FBI director: U.S. at crossroads on race relations, policing Mourners gather on 6-month anniversary of Brown's death COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN FROM READERS: Ferguson protesters more justified than one might think By HOU ZHANG/Missourian Reader December 17, 2014 | 4:30 p.m. CST Hou Zhang is a former Columbia resident who now lives in St. Louis. It’s been a couple of weeks since the grand jury case in Ferguson and a week after the Staten Island grand jury decision, but the riots and property destruction associated with the release of the decisions still ring in the ears of many in the St. Louis community. Ever since the start of the unrest in Ferguson, individuals have shied away from supporting the protesters, as the demonstrations spiraled into looting and burnings. In addition, many have thanked the police officers for their work trying to keep the peace in Ferguson. Therein lies the need to enlighten the nation about the factors that led up to the events in Ferguson. It's different now because the racial violence and discrimination is much more hidden, but nonetheless still exists, and this "hidden-ness" results in many who are unconvinced that the status quo warrants any protest. This makes it even more urgent to present the protester's side and go past the violence and disorderly conduct that the Michael Brown and Eric Garner protesters are associated with. Although most people today do recognize the importance of peaceful protest against the systematic racism in the justice system, there are still plenty who would rather condemn all protest due to the disruptions caused by a few bad apples. Those people should realize that the police are not virtuous peacekeepers, nor the protesters a rowdy and unruly bunch. We should not blindly thank the police because the problems in Ferguson originated with an ingrained tendency for the police to use excessive force during potentially FROM READERS: Ferguson protesters more justified than one... http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/182702/from-readers-fe... 1 of 3 3/1/15, 4:09 PM
  3. 3. COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN FROM READERS: How to run a metal band By SCOTT EAMES/MISSOURIAN READER December 5, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CST Metal musician Scott Eames poses for the camera with his guitar.   ¦  Shared by Scott Eames/Missourian Reader Scott Eames is the lead creative force of his band Nevalra and is also a member of Decadent Nation. He has two record deals, multiple musical equipment endorsement deals and has toured
  4. 4. MoreStory Related Articles FROM READERS: A conversation with metalheads of Non Serviam the country many times. Nevalra will be touring the United States, Puerto Rico and Europe in 2015 and 2016. Music is everywhere. Every commercial you see. Every sporting event you attend. When you wander the mall aimlessly searching for that specific item you cannot live without, there is music. Music took over my life when I was very young. Young enough that I didn’t even know what artist or band was resonating from the speakers. But I definitely knew what stood out to me as different. Intriguing. Fascinating. It was metal. Metal stands immensely apart from all the “cookie-cutter” artists in music. Bands that write and perform metal have seemingly endless creativity, skill, and ambition to spark that special something that makes their music exciting and captivating. To describe what metal is in regards to all other music, you simply have to look at your favorite movies. Metal is to music as horror is to movies: the heightened senses, the motivation to face your fear of the darkness. As a metal musician, I try and tap into that same sense of dark atmosphere and scary theatrics. As the lead creative force in my band Nevalra, I do not simply write and play chords and notes in typical fashion; I strive to create a frightening environment, a terrifying sense of awe. Constructing an unsettling locale within the music itself. It requires quite the imagination to step over the line most dare not cross. Malevolent lyrical content, intimidating artwork and imagery, and a live performance of this dark music can give the same sense of terror, brutality, and excitement that horror flicks can accomplish. Many who are unfamiliar with the genre associate metal as simply “banging on instruments.” In fact, metal musicians are typically some of the most skilled and talented I have crossed paths with. Guitarists and bassists in metal are incredibly well-versed in many styles: jazz, classical, funk, rock and blues, to name a few. The majority is familiar with music theory, scales and modes, as well as how to infuse this knowledge into their own music. Metal drummers nowadays are reaching almost inhuman speeds through exceptional technique and endurance. Many of the world record holders for fastest drummers are metal musicians. Most can even play multiple time signatures simultaneously, which is quite the task. For Nevalra, I construct songs using complex harmonies connecting guitar, bass, and drums, using each instrument’s unique characteristics as building blocks to guide the song’s progression in the direction I’m looking to achieve. For me, creating music is very rewarding. With the essential structure of the song together, I assemble the band to tweak its every segment, hoping to garner
  5. 5. MoreStory Since this post went up on the Born Just Right blog, Jen Reeves has published follow-up posts on this COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN FROM READERS: Can we teach our kids to stop staring? By JEN REEVES/MISSOURIAN READER September 22, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT Jordan Reeves pauses to smile for the camera while playing outside. Her mother, Jen Reeves, writes about parent advocacy and 8-year-old Jordan. ¦ JEN REEVES/MISSOURIAN READER Jen Reeves is a mother of two who works in social media. She writes about parent advocacy and her 8-year-old daughter, Jordan, on her blog. This post was originally published in Jen Reeves' blog, Born Just Right, on Sept. 17. Seriously. Can we raise children who choose to ask questions and speak directly to people who look or act differently? Can we FROM READERS: Can we teach our kids to stop staring? http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/178949/from-readers-c... 1 of 3 3/1/15, 4:13 PM
  6. 6. topic. Here's one about the T-shirt Jordan wore to her next dance class and another about the different kinds of staring. Related Articles FROM READERS: Nursing student describes life with bipolar disorder MU student born without forearm tests prosthetics technology in hopes of becoming police officer FROM READERS: A note to new parents of a 'Born Just Right Baby' FROM READERS: For mother, 'inspiration' has a deeper meaning FROM READERS: 7-year-old wins inspiration award have open conversations with our children to discuss why it can be so painful to whisper and point at people who are different or act differently? I’m so tired of it. Jordan’s tired of it. Jordan is a rock star. She rolls with so many punches. But even she hits her limits with staring and questions. Lately, she’s had enough of it all. This is a lifelong process for her. I know Jordan has to go through some really tough emotions and decide when she’s ready to just ignore the looks and whispers. But now is not the time. In the meantime, can we all just get over it? People are different. And all parents need to celebrate and recognize differences are cool and not scary. They are worth talking about and not whispering. Why do I feel like the only parent teaching this lesson? (I know I’m not. I’m just in a mood.) Where is the textbook we all need to read to help us raise our kids to be kind and understanding people? Jordan was feeling a bit unsure before her new dance class. Jordan started a new dance class recently. For the first time in years, she’s in a class with boys. During the first class, the boys spent a good portion of the time whispering and staring at Jordan. I asked her why she didn’t confront them. She explained it felt embarrassing, and she feels stronger when there’s another friend with her when she needs to confront staring. Holding my crying little (but not so little) girl in my arms hurts my heart. This sucks. We all know it sucks. But this was the moment when I realized Jordan might be ready to take the staring monkey off her back. It was a discovery that took time for me to understand. When Jordan was a baby, I used to look everywhere to find the people staring and whispering when we’d get out of the house. I wanted to catch those staring violators in the act and teach them a lesson. Or I just let anger build up inside of me. But around the time she was 3 or 4 months old, I realized I had a choice to get worked up by the looks and stares, or I could choose to live my life with my beautiful family. I had a chance to teach those staring people a lesson by FROM READERS: Can we teach our kids to stop staring? http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/178949/from-readers-c... 2 of 3 3/1/15, 4:13 PM
  7. 7. MoreStory Related Articles FROM READERS: Football helps young girl succeed in school FROM READERS: SECraft Beer Fest brings new craft beers to Columbia FROM READERS: Kids' winning essays address overcoming adversity COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN FROM READERS: Eighth­graders share hopes for the future By J. Evan Arnold, Missourian Reader Community, Tiffany Melecio June 4, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT Transitioning from middle school into high school can be overwhelming, exciting and scary. It can also be one of the most memorable periods of an adolescent's life. To document this transition, we asked a class of eighth­graders from West Middle School to answer this question: "What do you hope you can say about yourself in four years?" Some of the responses we received are below. We also sent a photojournalist to record these students reading (and expanding) on their original answers. You can hear those in a video at the end.
  8. 8. Michael Valvo "I hope to say that I graduated from Tolton Catholic High School. I hope to say that I was the captain of the soccer team. I hope to say that I excelled in all my classes. That I was respected by everyone, that I received a scholarship to the school of my choice. I hope to say that I made it." Avery Brooks "I hope to be graduating high school. I’m looking into a possible welding career. I have no intent to
  9. 9. MoreStory Related Articles ArtTalk: Lisa Bartlett writes about what inspires and excites her FROM READERS: Lions Club welcomes Tigers ArtTalk: Folk singer/guitarist David Dearnley makes up for lost time ArtTalk: Local artist produces textured paintings, most recently of animal eyes ArtTalk: Watercolor artist inspired by Ozarks, nature COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN FROM READERS: A letter to young thieves, from the owner of ARTlandish Gallery By LISA BARTLETT/MISSOURIAN READER May 23, 2014 | 9:47 a.m. CDT This story was written by Lisa Bartlett, the owner of ARTlandish Gallery. It was originally a note that she wrote and posted on her Facebook page. She wrote it in response to the theft of art and charity money from her store. Recently we had some young women steal from us. Many people wanted me to prosecute. I wrote them this instead. Dear Young Thieves, I'm sorry that your life finds you in such a place that stealing from artists and abandoned animals is ok. I'm not sure you even realize the implications of these two things and how your wanton disrespect for the hard work and diligence of artists affects so much more than the two of you. Your selfishness has caused hardship for...hard working artists and deprived animals for a second chance at life. Yes it means a puppy or two will die because you stole the resources for them to have a second chance. But what the heck, right? You needed that money for something important and you just wanted those things. The items you chose to steal are not mass produced, they are crafted by artists who have worked hard. Artists pour their heart and soul into their work and they add individuality to our society. What have you added? The items you stole were not things necessary for living. It's not like you are living on the street and needed food. If that were the case, you can bet artists would be the first ones to help you. If you have been deprived in some way in your life that makes you have total disregard for artists and their work and stealing from a donation jar for abused and FROM READERS: A letter to young thieves, from the owner o... http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/174533/from-readers-a-l... 1 of 2 3/1/15, 4:17 PM
  10. 10. MoreStory COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN FROM READERS: Nancy Rogers gives a farewell toast to a friend By Nancy Rogers/Missourian Reader August 6, 2014 | 5:25 p.m. CDT Gale Welliver Stone and her mother, Ruth Welliver, at the dedication of the Christy Welliver Memorial at Stephens Lake Park, Oct. 20, 2013. ¦ Nancy Rogers/Missourian Reader Nancy Rogers lives with her mother, Melania; four rabbits; and two cats in Columbia. The family has a tree farm in northeast Columbia. Nancy is a volunteer of the year with the Central Missouri Humane Society. The Rogers and Welliver families have been friends for a good many years. Judge Warren Welliver was a Missouri Supreme Court FROM READERS: Nancy Rogers gives a farewell toast to a friend http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/177465/from-readers-na... 1 of 4 3/1/15, 4:14 PM
  11. 11. Related Articles FROM READERS: A valentine for my ex-husband FROM READERS: The joy of finding beloved treasures at an estate sale FROM READERS: Celebrating fall with a poem titled 'Leaf' Gale D. Stone, Nov. 14, 1943 — July 21, 2014, of Frontenac FROM READERS: The story of 'remarkable' Ruth Welliver Justice. He received his law degree from the University of Missouri. The Welliver daughters Gale, Carla and Christy Welliver all graduated from the University of Missouri with degrees in library science. Ruth Welliver, son in law Bill Stone, granddaughter Jordan Stone and great grandson Chase cherish the memories of Gale, her two sisters, Carla and Christy and husband, father, father in law, grandfather and great-grandfather Warren Welliver. Recently Nancy had a conversation with Ruth. "Ruth, you are so stoic — happy, even. How do you do it after all you have been through?" "Sometimes I feel alone; lonely. But everyone has their problems. People lose children every day in the war. I am not the only one. Christy used to say, 'I have a choice. I can be very sad or very happy.' When I look at the sunset I imagine there are people waiting on the other side who will say to me, "'Where have you been? We've been waiting for you.'" It's not Ruth's time, yet. But it's nice to imagine that Christy, Carla, Gale and Warren are waiting for her on the other side. The following is a toast given by Nancy Rogers in honor of Gale Welliver Stone on Aug. 2, 2014. The toast reflects a conversation Nancy had with Gale during one of their last visits at Gale's home. Little Bird “I am not afraid to die. I have had a wonderful life. I am so happy!” “I have a wonderful husband, a wonderful daughter, a wonderful mother, and wonderful friends.” “I am so lucky.” We sit at the dining table looking out at the green lawn. A little bird flies up to the feeder hanging from a branch on the tree just outside the window. FROM READERS: Nancy Rogers gives a farewell toast to a friend http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/177465/from-readers-na... 2 of 4 3/1/15, 4:14 PM
  12. 12. COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN FROM READERS: Student heads back home to Albania after 6 years By VASIAN MARKOLLARI/MISSOURIAN READER April 30, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT Vasian Markollari moved from Albania to Missouri as a child. Over spring break, the MU junior traveled to Albania for the first time in six years. I went over spring break with my mom to Tirana, Albania, to visit my grandparents, specifically my grandma, because we had found out late last year that she had cancer. Since I hadn’t been back to Albania in over six years, and my grandmother’s situation was only getting worse, we decided to fly out and visit her. While I was there, I got the chance to go see the city that I was born in and left at the age of four.   This is a panoramic view of the outskirts of Tirana, the capital. Everything is still being developed and new buildings there are always struggling to be completed. Lack of funding and conflicts in property rights are the two major grounds for disagreement and the reason why most progress tends to come to a halt.   The above image shows a mosque located right in the city center, and only two blocks from the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church. My grandfather told me that the significance of this mosque was that it had a mosaic border all around with images that were less common in some kinds of Islamic art.  I grew up in an Orthodox Christian household in the U.S., and although the majority of Albanians are Muslim, there is a very widespread religious tolerance amongst the people living
  13. 13. COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN FROM READERS: Lazy writing is slowly ruining English language By NICOLE SCHROEDER/Missourian reader June 23, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT Nicole Schroeder, 15, is a staff member for Rock Bridge High School's online and print news sources. She finished her sophomore year at Rock Bridge in June. This story was first published at bearingnews.org. Anyone who texts or posts on social media sites on a regular basis knows of that person: the one who can’t seem to spell words out or has to use countless hashtags to describe their emotions, the one who has to shorten an already minuscule word to just one symbol so it becomes faster to type — "u" instead of "you," "2" instead of "two," "@" instead of "at." In fact, many probably realize they are this person, shortening words or purposely misspelling them so that they fit into the character limits set by Twitter or different phone carriers. I can list many people in my life who write texts and emails in this fashion or friends and family who have asked me why I take the time to spell out my texts instead of just shortening everything as they do. They don’t see the problem in using the numerous abbreviations and alternative spellings that this generation of socialites has created. “What’s the big deal?” they ask. I roll my eyes. The big deal, I think to myself, is that this habit of writing lazily is slowly ruining the English language. In truth, I may be overreacting. People still write essays and books with traditional English, and, for many, it’s only in their free time that this habit ever shows itself. Besides, writing in acronyms and abbreviations is more efficient in a world where everyone seems to constantly be on the run. Still, with so many people misspelling simple words on tests or speaking in FROM READERS: Lazy writing is slowly ruining English language http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/175578/from-readers-la... 1 of 2 3/1/15, 4:16 PM
  14. 14. COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN FROM READERS: The joy of finding beloved treasures at an estate sale By Nancy Rogers/Missourian reader November 27, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CST Nancy Rogers was able to buy these teacups that had belonged to her godmother, Alice Delmez, at an estate sale. ¦ Shared by Nancy Rogers/Missourian reader Nancy Rogers is the author of "Rabbit, Raw: Poems and Short Stories about Rabbits, Relatives and Relationships." She writes here about her godmother, Alice Delmez. I arrived early, walked to the front door of my godmother’s house, plopped my shopping bags on the doorstep to reserve a spot in line, then tiptoed around the house peeking in the windows to find where the items I wanted were located. FROM READERS: The joy of finding beloved treasures at an es... http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/181858/from-readers-the... 1 of 4 3/1/15, 4:10 PM
  15. 15. 0716 from readers challenger division FROM READERS: Volunteering as a Challenger Division "player buddy" is meaningful experience By Ji-Ho Lee/Missourian Reader Ji-Ho Lee is a rising sophomore at Rock Bridge High School and a volunteer player buddy for the Challenger Division. Corbin Dean is a baseball player. His favorite positions on defense are shortstop and outfield. The 15-year-old, who will attend Centralia High School as a freshman this fall, plays for the A’s, alongside his teammate Corey Fisher. The two players compete in the Challenger Division at Daniel Boone Little League. According to the league website, this division “provides boys and girls who have developmental or physical disabilities the opportunity to enjoy the full benefits and excitement of playing on a baseball team.” The program is open to kids in mid-Missouri whose ages range from 5 to 18. The Challenger Division is comprised of four teams: the A’s, Cardinals, Mariners, and Pirates. The four teams play against each other on Monday nights from late April to late June in games where runs scored and outs are irrelevant. Fisher will be a freshman at Moberly High School this year. For the past eight seasons, he has been making the one-hour trip from his home to the Daniel Boone complex to play baseball. Dean has been competing for the past four years. “He loves it … especially the social part of it,” said Tina Umstattd, Dean’s mother. Fisher, Dean, and every other athlete runs, fields, and hits alongside a “player buddy,” any person who wishes to volunteer and assist the players. Although the Challenger Print Article http://www.columbiamissourian.com/admin/core/article/176404... 1 of 2 3/1/15, 4:14 PM
  16. 16. COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN FROM READERS: Homecoming queen candidate raises money for Alzheimer's Association By TRISTEN SHAW/MISSOURIAN READER September 16, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT Tristen Shaw gives her Grandma Joy a kiss. Shaw is now raising money for the Alzheimer's Association to help people like her grandma fight the disease.   |  MEREDITH SHAW/ MISSOURIAN READER
  17. 17. MoreStory Related Articles FROM READERS: Homecoming Queen candidate raises more than $1,400 for charity FROM READERS: What I learned from moving to South Korea FROM READERS: 9­year­old cuts her hair and supports 2 charities Tristen Shaw is raising money for the Alzheimer's Association in honor of her Grandma Joy, who has the disease.   ¦  Shared by Tristen Shaw/ Missourian Reader Tristen Shaw is a senior at Hickman High School and is running for Homecoming queen. She is also raising money for the Alzheimer's Association. Grandma Joy is one of the most loving and patient people I’ve ever met, but with 8 kids and 16 grandkids, I guess you kind of have to be. She held me when I was just born. She sang, “I love you a bushel and a peck,” to me on numerous occasions. She knew what I wanted for lunch when I spent weeks with her during the summer. Grandma Joy went out and bought those little Barbie toppings and candy words for a birthday cake she made me, even though she didn't usually do that sort of thing. She gave me a whole collection of Barbie ornaments, porcelain tea sets, T-shirts, necklaces, and my first bike. She woke me up right before "The Price is Right" came on and taught me how to play Tristen Shaw is raising money for the Alzheimer's Association in the name of her grandma.   |  DAVYE HEINE/MISSOURIAN READER Tristen Shaw sits with the rest of Grandma Joy's grandkids.   |  MEREDITH SHAW/MISSOURIAN READER
  18. 18. MoreStory Related Articles FROM READERS: Anti­MU22, a new campus group, promotes healthy self­image COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN FROM READERS: African­American women are beautiful, have value By BRITTANY KING/MISSOURIAN READER March 17, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT Brittany King is a junior communications major at MU. She also is the co­founder of Anti­MU 22, an organization on campus that encourages students to love their bodies and themselves. I am a black woman, but that's not all I am. I'm stubborn, I'm loud, I'm a writer, I'm independent and I'm beautiful. It's not often you hear twenty-something black women in college proclaiming how beautiful they are. Do we exist? Absolutely, but that doesn't mean we still don't have our insecurities. Yes, I am black, I am also a woman, but I am not the face of every black woman everywhere and this submission is not a compiled list of the way all black woman in college feel. Growing up, I was a beauty pageant brat. I knew I was beautiful because the judges and trophies I won told me I was. A lot of people are quick to judge and ask parents how they could put their child through long days like that, but I loved it. I loved every minute of it. I think it’s where I got my competitive spirit from. I wanted to win, I needed to win. So during my childhood I never even questioned if my skin color was beautiful, or if it meant that I was worthy of winning a beauty pageant or becoming famous or anything like that. My color was not a problem and the people around me didn’t find it to be problematic either. It actually wasn’t until I got to college that I started to question whether or not I really was beautiful, whether black women in general were beautiful. In fact, I didn’t just wonder if I was beautiful enough for society's standards, I wondered if I was strong enough, and smart enough to rise above the majority in anything I did on MU's campus. I’m attracted to men from different walks of life and colors, but they do not seem attracted to me. Not only that, but being black seemed toxic. When I would apply for jobs and go in for the interview, managers would try to hold back the shocked looks on their faces. As if a black woman
  19. 19. MoreStory COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN FROM READERS: The rescue of Zipper the kitten By JENNIFER NEWBERRY and JOYCE WILKE/Missourian readers July 11, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT Brothers Ford and Harry Stanton pose with Zipper, the rescued cat their family recently adopted. ¦ Stanton family/Missourian readers Second Chance volunteers Jennifer Newberry and Joyce Wilke rescued a lively yellow kitten recently. These are their stories of Zipper the kitten. The Rescue, by Jennifer Newberry About a week ago, I was greeted by a huddle of small children as I walked in to my apartment building on Ash and FROM READERS: The rescue of Zipper the kitten http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/176376/from-readers-the... 1 of 3 3/1/15, 4:15 PM
  20. 20. COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN FROM READERS: What is that on his back? By Ilhyung Lee/MISSOURIAN READER March 24, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT Johnny Eblen always wears the yin and yang, as well as his last name in Korean.   ¦  Courtesy of Johnny Eblen Ilhyung Lee is professor of law at MU. His son was a member of the 14U Columbia Phoenix baseball team last summer.
  21. 21. MoreStory Related Media The Tigers’ 184­pound class wrestler and his mother, Hyon Nam Eblen. Coach Kendall Lewis (#11) of the 14U Columbia Phoenix baseball team meets with players during a timeout at a tournament in St. Louis last summer. Ethan Kleindienst (#43) of Auxvasse, Sam Kirby (#32) of California, and Ryan Witting (#12) of Boonville, await their turns for the batting cage. What do Hunter Hess, a freshman at California High School (in Moniteau County, southwest of Columbia) and Johnny Eblen, a junior at the University of Missouri, have in common? They are both student-athletes in mid-Missouri with a passion for their respective sport. Hess has been playing baseball since he was five years old, and is a member of his high school’s baseball team in California, Mo., this spring. Eblen is further along in his sport; a state wrestling champion while at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, he currently competes for Coach Brian Smith’s Missouri wrestling team. Nationally ranked in the 184-pound weight class, an injury cut short Eblen’s season. They both have something else in common. Hess has a jersey from his competitive baseball team last summer, with his last name – Hess – in Korean; Johnny Eblen’s surname, also in Korean, is tattooed on his back. For each, the name in Korean characters is a transliteration, that is, the way the name in English would be written in Korean, phonetically. Just above Eblen’s Korean name appears a half-Korean and half-U.S. flag in the yin and yang, which he got “to express my ethnic background.” Eblen’s mother is originally from South Korea, where she met Eblen’s army father when he was stationed there. Hess was a member of the 14U Columbia Phoenix baseball team last summer. It was the team’s head coach, Kendall Lewis, who came up with the idea of having an official team jersey with the team name on the front, and the player’s surname on the back – both in Korean characters. Suhwon Lee, the mother of one of the boys on the team, produced all of the players’ names in Korean. “Transliteration is not an exact science, and two Korean people might not write the same American name exactly the same way. But you try to get it as close as possible,” she said. Lee elaborated, “The ‘Witting’ name was easy to convert because the Korean version sounds almost exactly the same as the name in English. But ‘Kleindienst’ was a challenge, and the longest.”

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