Every now and then, I get a letter from a reader that is rather poignant. It's like this person is reading a good story in the local newspaper and then there is a passage that produces a kind of melancholy feeling, a sense of curiosity and loss.
Was there a religion ghost hiding somewhere in the story? Would anyone else read this news report and feel the same way? Would other readers have the same suspicion that there was crucial religious material missing?
So the reader sends me the URL to the story, often with a note that reads something like this:
Numerous media outlets have published stories about Oromo Ethiopian refugee Tashitaa Tufaa's success in the US. ... As a Greek Orthodox when I read the article I was curious as to whether his religion -- Christian or Islam -- had any effect on him. I reviewed many of similar articles. Religion was never mentioned.
In this case we are dealing with a story from the Star Tribune in Minneapolis-St. Paul. The double-decker headline proclaims, success-story style:
Minneapolis/St. Paul transit entrepreneur Tashitaa Tufaa is Entrepreneur of the Year
Tashitaa Tufaa, who built a $12 million school bus service in just a decade, is the Metropolitan Economic Development Association's 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year
Simply stated, this is a business story about -- from all accounts -- a remarkable man:
Tashitaa Tufaa, whose walk to school in his native Ethiopia was a 10-mile round trip in bare feet, now sees to the safe transit of thousands of schoolchildren daily as president and CEO of Fridley-based Metropolitan Transportation Network Inc.