It's already going too fast

Because “summer” never really begins until school is out, it feels like we’ve missed a whole two weeks now that it’s officially shifting into gear. I’ve already checked two summer festivals off of my annual list, and I haven’t written a column in forever—perhaps because I’m just not in the mood for scolding or political debate.

 

Between weddings, t-ball and the rest of it, 2019 promises to be one of my busiest and shortest summers yet. My main focuses will be reading a few of the books in my ever-growing stack, trying to start jogging again and watching with amazement as the presidential candidates avoid Grundy County like the plague. We’re pretty nice here, people!

 

At the office, you’ve probably noticed GCHS grad and general ray of sunshine Jill Itzen if you’ve stopped by, and I can’t say enough good things about the work she’s already done. She’s only been here a few weeks, and she’s already a better photographer than me by a mile! She took incredible photos and Black Dirt Days and will have even more to show from Wellsburg Daze in next week’s paper.

 

And when I’m not talking to my compulsive cable TV watching and candidate following dad (Happy Father’s Day!), I’ve managed to disconnect from the news (national, at least) as much as a journalist can and take a solid break from it between my exhaustive analysis of the 2020 Democrats (a few people told me they laughed about it) and the deluge of caucus insanity to come. Although, I have to admit, I did chuckle (and grimace) at the recent revelation that Iowa produces more poop than any other state.

 

I’ve made more mistakes on stories than I’d like to admit in the last few months—mostly small ones, but mistakes nonetheless—and am always reminded when I do, but I’ve learned not to take it as personally as I used to. It’s something I’ll never be perfect at, but all we can do is keep trying.

 

So, this summer, if you’d like to argue with me about books and movies (I owe our spring intern Zach Delfs a debt of gratitude for being my sounding board on these important topics) or the merits of push lawnmowers versus riders, I’m all ears. I’ll get back on a political kick someday, but as it stands today, I can never work myself into the frothing rage of #Resistance tweet repliers and MAGA guys on a consistent basis. For those of you who can, more power to you. It must be exhausting.

 

Even as newspapers continue to face new challenges from every direction, working here still makes me feel lucky to get to do it. We’ve had tough times and great times, and we’re in a period of transition now. But something tells me that we’ll be okay. As Supervisor Heidi Nederhoff put it the other week, a tiny detail in a story about the difference between overall taxation increases and assessed valuation increases reminded her that a lot of people still read The Grundy Register, even if that number is never as high as we’d like it to be.

 

So look for Jill’s photos, Michaela’s stories, Clint out on the streets meeting with local businesspeople and Jake’s excellent sports coverage all summer long: it isn’t going anywhere, and I may be biased, but I still believe we’re one of the best and most thorough small-town papers out there. If you agree, keep on reading. If not, I guess I’ll have to break my pledge and argue with you.