Like the mythical “Field of Dreams,” a mystical moment happened 10 years ago as I walked out of the cornfield and into a little spot that made me ask, “Is this heaven?”
The writers of the famous movie didn’t know there was a real “Field of Dreams,” and they certainly did not know that it was called “Minneota.”
It’s a place where real dreams happen. Mine did. I’ve long said it’s been a great marriage. I helped keep the newspaper alive — but this community has done far more for me than I ever have done for it.
Minneota has responded by giving me state championships in football, wrestling, volleyball and girls basketball. It’s been a ride that’s hard to believe. Never have I been a part of a community with so much drive and desire.
Some of the best athletes I’ve ever covered and many of the best people I’ve ever known live in Minneota.
Someone once told me, “If you shake a tree in Minneota, a Hennen will fall out. If not, it will be a Buysse.” Thank goodness for that, because many of great people in Minneota are Hennens and Buysses.
And there are so many others. It’s filled with some of the best coaches I’ve ever met and some wonderful business people who have kept this community going — even in tough times.
But now the time has come to an end. I’m announcing my retirement; I will be living in Grantsburg, WI and spending some time traveling. With children and grandchildren in Arizona, Florida and North Carolina, it’s time to see more of them.
It’s not easy to retire and leave a lifetime of work behind. But it’s even tougher to leave the best people in the world. I’m leaving the newspaper in great hands, with Cherri Schmig in the office, Brittany Moorse in the back shop, Scott Thoma doing the writing, and Brian Jeremiason and others taking photos.
My goal all along was to make sure Minneota continued to have a community newspaper. It is alive and well and in very capable hands. Minneota and area, you’ve filled my Field of Dreams and given me memories to last a lifetime. And, oh, if you turn around at a ball game and see me there, don’t be surprised.
Minneota will always be No. 1 in my heart, and I’m so grateful for the time when you took me in and gave me, ‘A Wonderful Life.’ There, I included two of my favorite movies in this column.
Maybe that’s because Minneota and the people here are my two favorites.
Until we meet again, Thank You for the best memories of my life.