I have been informed that winter has been upon us for a good month now. It is during this long season that my thoughts invariably turn to my childhood so long ago in the Oregon Territory. My dominant memory of those times is of snow, snow and more snow. Snow whirling about in great billows; snow piled in huge, sloping drifts; snow coming to rest against the rough-hewn timbers and window-panes of my mother's boarding-house.
But what was a white hell to most was a fairy wonder-land to me. My fertile imagination knew no bounds! Why, in my child's eyes, the snowy expanse could be transformed into a vast battlefield, electric with sacrifice and heroism for a glorious and noble cause! The Union forever!
Alas, it was all about to end. Immersed in my childish pursuits, how was I to know that the seemingly barren Colorado mine my mother had foolishly purchased long ago was to yield the richest silver lode in North America? Or that I was to be suddenly uprooted from my happy home and escorted to the big city by Mr. Thatcher, the cold and distant guardian my mother had appointed to look after me? That my adolescence and young adulthood would be a glum and endless succession of exclusive prep schools and Ivy League universities, from all of which I had managed to be expelled? That, on a coltish whim, I would purchase an impoverished little New-York fish-wrapper called The Onion and assume its editorship? Or that I would eventually lead this modest little daily to what it is today: the largest news-paper empire in the Republic?
Of course, I knew none of these things. But throughout my long and eventful life, even as I became the esteemed confidant of presidents and kings, I yearned for the cherished item that symbolized my forever-lost youth and innocence: my sled, Daisypetal.
What do you mean, no more moving-pictures before bedtime, Nurse? I'll look at them any time I want, you sow! No, I won't take my sleeping-potion now! Take that needle away from me! No! No, I… urr… glurglhhh…
T. Herman Zweibel, the great grandson of Onion founder Friedrich Siegfried Zweibel, was born in 1868, became editor of The Onion at age 20, and persisted in various editorial posts until his launching into space in 2001. Zweibel's name became synonymous with American business success in the 20th century. Many consider him the “Father Of American Journalism,” also the title of his well-known 1943 biography, written by Norman Rombauer.