Progress 2013 reflecting community pride

Published 10:50 am Thursday, February 7, 2013

Column: Thanks for Listening, by Scott Schmeltzer

On Sunday night during the Super Bowl, I watched and listened to a commercial that reminded me of our area.

It was the voice of longtime radio broadcaster Paul Harvey.

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Harvey passed away in 2008 at the age of 92, but I remember growing up listening to his “News and Comment” radio programs and his “The Rest of the Story” segments. As a matter of fact, I actually bought his book, “The Rest Of The Story,” in middle school. His great voice in this particular commercial was bestowing accolades on the American farmer. I have a lot of respect for farmers and for hard-working people in general. I think that is why this spot made me think of our little piece of the world.

One part of this commercial was just a picture of a farmer’s hands. They were dirty, soiled and worn, like you would notice on a person who worked hard for a living. These hands were what built America. The fingers strewn together that by day protected families and at night folded together, prayed to get up and do it all over again the next day.

This is what progress is. Progress is a day-to-day battle with the trials and tribulations that face us each day. It is waking up and doing the right thing. It is having a son or a daughter wanting to be just like you. It is moving forward.

I am so proud to be a part of this area because like this commercial. It is about hard work and dedication. The people and businesses stand together for the greater good.

On Feb. 24, we get to honor all of the people and businesses of this area with our annual Progress Edition. It is a culmination of a lot of work by the staff here at the Albert Lea Tribune. To honor everyone who make up our cities and villages is a task that we love to do. Though we still have a couple weeks to go, Progress 2013 is shaping up to be an amazing array of stories and photos of the astonishing people who live here in southern Minnesota.

I would like to thank our readers for the support they continue to give us by reading both our daily paper and our annual Progress Edition.

I would then like to thank our advertisers, who allow us to prove year in and year out that our area has much to be proud of.

It is through the resources of both our readers and our advertisers that we can bring you such a large Progress issue year after year, and we are so grateful to you all.

Thank you to the editorial staff for the tireless dedication to the stories, people and photos that make up this amazing annual edition.

Thank you to our classified and retail advertising staffs, who starting in October of last year, plan out the needs of all of their customers and work hard to make sure everyone is taken care of and happy.

Thank you to our top-notch creative staff, who from ad creation to placement, take care of every fine detail in the many ads that grace the pages of Progress.

Thank you to our circulation team for delivering the heaviest edition of the year. Please be careful lifting this edition.

Thank you to our prepress and press people, who make sure all the printing is crisp and sharp.

Finally, a huge thank you to the people of this area who get up everyday, maybe pour a cup of coffee, simply go to work and raise their kids with the same code and work ethic that they were raised. I am very proud to be a part of you all. I am honored to have the same worn, dirty hands.

Tribune Publisher Scott Schmeltzer’s column appears every Thursday.