Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

When a Ham Needs a Home, the Spirit of Giving Sets In

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

When a Ham Needs a Home, the Spirit of Giving Sets In

Article excerpt

THIS IS a story about a man who made a mistake and a ham that needed a home. It is a true story of a Christmas Past, and it serves to remind us that giving is receiving. Twelve years ago, Rick Haberstroh's wife, Pat, asked him at the last minute to help with holiday preparations. That was their custom then and still is now, he said. Typically, Pat, who owns an insurance agency, tries to do everything herself and then, at the last minute, asks Rick for help.

"She always assigns me a task or two, different tasks each year, and I don't have the nerve to say no," he said. "Invariably, my contribution is very little compared to the overall preparations, but Pat seems to prefer that."

The Haberstrohs live in Creve Coeur and have three grown children: Rick Jr., 22; Stacy, 26, and Michelle, 30. Twelve years ago on Dec. 23, when she had reached her holiday breaking point, Pat sent Rick out to buy the Christmas ham. "I'll be glad to," Rick said gallantly. Grocery stores were not on Rick's regular rounds, except in his capacity in the employee-benefits business. Off he went, though, to a grocery nearby. Confronted by many different types of hams, Rick decided to be a smart shopper. With pleasure, he noted that he could get a bone-in ham for $2.50 a pound less than a boneless ham. "Pat will be proud of me," Rick thought. He bought a 15-pound bone-in ham for Christmas dinner. He took it home and presented it to his wife. "Look at this, Pat," I said. "I got a 15-pound ham with the bone in for a great price." Rick did not get the cordial reception he was expecting. "We never buy ham with a bone," Pat spluttered. "I don't have the knives you need for it, and I don't have a rack that will hold it. If you expect me to keep this ham, then you go out and get me a rack to hold it and the right knives to carve it. Go now." Rick determined that he and his perfectly good ham were being treated unfairly. "We were being picked on," he said. "I decided to act as the ham's advocate. I announced that the ham and I were leaving." Pat told Rick that as long as he was going out, he could pick up their son, Ricky Jr. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.