Hot Corner: WNA Awards follow-up on Zambrowicz
By Rich Palzewic
GREEN BAY – Sometimes, it’s the little things that make life tolerable.
If you haven’t gotten a chance to read my Hot Corner article from the March 5 edition of The Press Times, you should check it out.
I reminisced about how I got my start in journalism and discussed my two, first-place awards in the 2020 Better Newspaper Contest.
The Press Times competed in Division D, the category for weekly newspapers with a circulation of 4,000 or more, the highest weekly newspaper category.
One of the stories I received an award for was on 87-year-old Larry Zambrowicz, an unofficial and uncompensated employee of the Green Bay Packers since 1953, working in the press box.
I went to Zambrowicz’s house about six blocks away from Lambeau Field and chatted with him, his wife, Sharon, and two of his children.
It was one of my favorite stories I’ve written because Zambrowicz is living history.
A short time after The Press Times announced I had won the award, I heard from Larry’s son, Jim.
Jim emailed me and said he heard I won an award for the article I did on his father and mother, and he congratulated me.
In responding to Jim, I asked how his parents were.
Jim wrote, “Last year was a challenging year for us.”
My heart dropped as I read the remainder of the email.
Jim proceeded to tell me his parents both were currently living at (separate) assisted living facilities because they suffered medical setbacks.
Both of their goals were to return home soon, he said.
The rest of Jim’s email read: “My family is so grateful to you for your story on our father, which allowed him to enjoy some much-deserved recognition. We never know how long our parents will be with us, so it’s important to do things for them to let them know they are loved and appreciated while they are still around. Your story helped us accomplish this.”
Jim’s words hit home with me.
As a writer, we don’t know what our written words will do for one’s soul and how it might positively affect them.
My message is simple: Be kind and help people when you can.
I don’t look at my job as work – I look at it as pure enjoyment.
I’m not sure what good the first-place plaque I received for the story will do sitting in my closet or hanging on the wall.
Sure, I could look at it on occasion and remember the story and the fond memories I had writing it, but maybe it would be better suited for the Zambrowicz household, waiting for Larry and Sharon upon their arrival back home.