From my Desk

Bob Williams

Taking over editor duties at the Frazee-Vergas Forum continues somewhat of a family legacy in this area. 

I might be a familiar face to some from covering sports for newspapers in both Perham and Detroit Lakes the past decade. If that does not ring a bell, countless area graduates knew my father Parker Williams, who coached and taught at FHS for more than three decades.

My dad was a beloved teacher and coach here and in his retirement years at Lake Park-Audubon. 

Parker had an innate ability to see the value in people, especially those who were suffering, needed a kind word, or were short someone to believe in them. I regularly run into people around the area who were touched by his kindness and understanding.

While that level of empathy does not come as easy to me, it has been ingrained and I believe can be seen in my past work in this field. I hope to bring my own value to coverage of the area.

How I got here is a direct correlation to my dad passing away last summer. Going through that grieving process brought about many changes in my life. 

The short version is I needed something new, despite having a sincere affinity to covering athletics.

Sports are just like life in that they produce a wide range of emotions. Tapping into those emotions from players, coaches and fans was always what made stories great.

My dad battled cancer for a long time and, in the end, his passing was as much a relief as it was tragic. It caused me to reevaluate my priorities.

What seemed to float to the surface quickest was solace and quiet time. Last August, I quit writing and working.

The first thing I did was nothing and I continued to plan my days around nothing for the following eight months.

I settled in at home with my beagle Jasper and enjoyed late mornings, a lot of coffee, and quiet nights not traversing the icy road conditions of Minnesota winter chasing down the next big story.

It was glorious. 

Having Friday nights off was something I had forgotten even existed.

Six months flew by until the dread of deep winter here. Returning to work, of some kind, began to creep into my mindset.

I again had no plan and no idea what I was going to do but had an ease of mind that something would turn up at the right time.

The job opening for the editor position here found me on March 15. It caught me by surprise as I had pondered anything, but a return to journalism.

I have a varied background having worked many different jobs in fields large and small from Florida to Texas and back. There were definitely other options.

Small town journalism is not an easy job.

Having a byline at any newspaper is first and foremost a responsibility.

It is also a privilege and not an ambition to take on lightly.

When that newspaper is based in small towns that one has ties to, all of those aspects are magnified.

I hope to continue to highlight the good in the communities of Frazee and Vergas and all points in between. Both towns are lucky they have a small newspaper run by people from the area and kept going by people who care about the community and share its history.

In fact, what we do here is record that history.

I look forward to recording the good and the bad that make up the legacy of this newspaper, now more than a half-century old, and add a bit to my own family history.

Excelling at this job in this community is something I know my dad would be proud of and that’s a great reason to get up and go to work.