Singing is the cornerstone of Jim Laughlin’s spiritual being. In high school he attended the Luther College Dorian Music Festival, participated in the Iowa All- State Music Camp, sang in the Iowa All-State Choir, and received scholarship offers from Drake University and Luther College. The draw of the University of Iowa was strong, and he enrolled as a music major in 1967, earning a degree in anthropology in 1971. A significant part of his undergraduate work was in art. His artwork hangs on the walls of his home and in the homes of others, as his creations have been sold in an Iowa City gallery. If you check Jim’s Facebook page you will discover samples of his original poetry.
Jim has sung with the UUSIC’s Fireside Choir since 1978, the year he signed the membership book, although he became a UU in high school, around 1966. He finds singing in the choir a wonderful way to connect with others in the congregation. His involvement in the church far exceeds his participation in the choir. He has served as a member of the Board, a Worship Associate, as Capital Campaign Treasurer, and as a member of the Leadership Development Committee, Stewardship Committee, Buildings & Grounds, Treats & Talents Auction, Finance Council, and numerous other committees focused on building a new facility.
Jim and his wife, Barbara, have lived on a picturesque acreage near West Branch for 29 years. They have raised and cared for many horses, dogs, and cats over those three decades. The acreage boasts extensive flower and garden beds, fruit trees, and manicured lawns. One of Jim’s favorite pastimes is driving his tractor while mowing the pastures. Traveling? Jim prefers being at home on the farm and enjoys the adventure of exploring the back roads of Iowa.
Jim’s professional work career with the United States Postal Service found him serving as a Quality of Worklife Facilitator trainer throughout the Midwest. He served Tipton, Iowa as Postmaster for 10 years before retiring in 2010.
If one were to combine Jim’s professional career with the USPS and his interest in music, a quick Google search would reveal many songs with a postal theme. Which of the following songs come to mind? “Please Mister Postman” (Beatles, Carpenters) or “Signed Sealed, Delivered” (S. Wonder) or “The Letter“ (The Boxtops)? Jim lists his music taste as broad, favoring folk music and the blues. Perhaps a selection by B.B. King would be his number 1 pick.
You can always find Jim first in line asking, “How can I be of service?”
-Submitted by your Music Director, Gloria Corbin