Ganske served in the Pacific during World War II. He and his Army comrades were spared the task of invading Japan when, as Ganske terms it, “they dropped the big one.”
The atomic bomb ended the war, and he served out his military duty as a base cook on Guam, where emaciated GI prisoner-of-war survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March were sent to recover.
“Nothing but bones,” he says of their condition.
Upon returning stateside, Ganske embarked on a 45-year career as a meat cutter.
In his tenure as a newspaper shorts runner, he became familiar with the foibles of customers such as the woman who reasoned that because she arose daily at 5 a.m., her paper should be delivered then as well.
And the man who politely called to cancel his subscription because each morning the paper lay on his steps 4 inches too distant, requiring him to set foot on cold concrete to fetch it.
And the guy who inadvertently complimented his newspaper carriers even as he was griping.
“This is the first time in 80 years I didn’t get my paper,” he harangued over the phone, “and it better damn well be the last.”
Ganske’s retirement will leave the paper with some big “shorts” to fill, as it were.
“He was our final contact with our readers and the public.” Rheaume said. “We always felt comfortable putting the ball in Al’s hand, and he never once dropped it.”