Final thoughts on jobs, people and yes, governors

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 7, 1999

Evidently, someone has been rubbing a lamp awfully hard these past few weeks.

Thursday, October 07, 1999

Evidently, someone has been rubbing a lamp awfully hard these past few weeks. It seems the wish of a person or two has come true. I’m leaving.

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Word came in just about a week ago and I’ll soon be in another newsroom, in another town, in another state.

That state is Oklahoma.

In the past week, several people have asked, &uot;Why Oklahoma?&uot;

The simple answer is, &uot;That’s where the job is.&uot; I received an opportunity for advancement in the company and would be a fool not to take it. It’s a challenge I can’t turn my back on.

But, that doesn’t mean leaving is any easier.

I know that what I have achieved wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the people of Albert Lea, Freeborn County and the surrounding area.

Granted, there have been rough patches.

I’ve had otherwise nice people call me up and say my kind wasn’t needed here (and that was the first week.)

I’ve received a few phoned in threats made by people too spineless to leave their name. I’ve had a public official all but offer to help me move if I promised to never return.

Others have merely whispered their disparaging remarks or told my coworkers what they thought.

I know I’ve rubbed people the wrong way. Just ask the residents of Albert Lea Township who kept my phone ringing or the Jesse &uot;The Ego&uot; Ventura supporters who whined because I was picking on the poor guy.

Still, I like to think I helped open lines of communications among our readers.

Hopefully, I sparked a debate or two at dinner tables and coffee shops across the region.

That’s what my job is, as I see.

I’m here to first inform and second to help people think about how the news affects them.

I’ve never asked everyone to believe what I believe. I’m not always sure I believe it myself.

All I ask is that people consider other points of view. That they listen, ponder and rationalize.

It’s easy to jump off the handle and attack. We’ve all done it.

It’s more of a challenge to offer criticism and point out why the action is wrong and offer a way to change it, or not let it happen again.

While I may have upset the apple cart a time or two, hopefully I helped people see things a little differently.

If not, I can say this. The residents of Albert Lea, Freeborn County and the surrounding area have helped me to see things differently.

Every time I listen to someone tell their story, struggle to make their point at a public meeting or even complain about something I wrote, I get a new insight into the people who live here.

And, so far, I like what I see.

Sure, many of my fellow Minnesotans helped vote an ex-professional wrestler into office, only to regret it less than a year later. But, I’ve learned to live with it – somewhat.

Granted, there are still some close-minded people who will never accept the change that is happening around them. But, that’s their problem.

Overall, I am once again taking with me positive memories of what it means to live in Minnesota.

Like my childhood days just east of here, I remember many good times, many challenges and many opportunities.

To me, that’s the essence of Minnesota.

So, why am I leaving?

As I said, &uot;That’s where the job is.&uot;

But, before I go, I have just one last question – does anyone know anything about the governor of Oklahoma?