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Happy to be here!

Hi, I’m John.

I’ll be here for a short period to fill in while Forum Communications finds a replacement for Dain Sullivan.

For over 20 years I owned the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood and I have worked there for nearly 40 years altogether in a variety of roles ranging from sportswriter to publisher. For the past eight years I have been semi-retired, although I still cover the school board and do other assignments.

Wadena is a place we have been to and through many times over the years. We used to take our two daughters to Itasca State Park on day trips. Now we do that with our grandchildren, often stopping at the Dairy Queen here on the way through for a snack.

We also used to come here and go to the factory store at the Homecrest Furniture plant. Up until a few years ago I still had a Homecrest chair in my home office, now it is at the home of one of our children.

Remember the molded fiberglass sofas they used to make with the floral patterned cushions or white and black check cushions? We had one of those and my mother had one with a couple of matching chairs. All were white fiberglass, if they made other colors we didn’t see them on our trips. They were very sturdy and light and easy to move. My mother had hers until she moved into a senior housing complex a few years ago.

One time I came up to Homecrest with a borrowed 51 Chevy pickup to pick up some stuff for my mother who lived in Alexandria. That truck was an item itself, it was the model with the wooden floor cargo box. Its owner had solved the problem of rotten boards by putting a couple of sheets of plywood down and going to the ready mix plant were they dropped a couple of inches of concrete in the box which he smoothed out as it set. The truck was heavy and slow but the owner told me it really had good traction in the snow!

Another attraction to Wadena for my wife and I were the model homes the Merickle Lumber Mill used to have. We would come up where there was little else to do and walk through the homes.

That was in the day when they were left open much of the time, back in the days when you could do that. I remember walking through them on Sunday afternoons when nobody else was around.

Like a lot of young couples, we looked at the homes and dreamed that someday we, too, would own one. As time would pass on, we never did build a new home, we just

purchased others’ homes. But I still clearly remember those afternoons of dreaming.

I hope I have a chance to meet many of you in the coming days, however many that may be.

Our goal here at the Pioneer Journal is to produce a strong, newsy newspaper for this community. Wadena is important to Forum Communications so the folks there want to select a person who will be the right fit for the staff and the community. And I am fully confident they will do just that!

See you on the street! Don’t hesitate to stop and say hi or call or email me here at the paper just to say hi or for assistance with anything you need with the Pioneer Journal. If I can’t answer the question, I’ll connect you with someone who can.