Publisher’s Perspective

Chad Koenen

One of my favorite shows growing up was Seinfeld. I would almost set my alarm, one an actual clock since we didn’t have cell phones back then, to make sure I didn’t forget to watch each episode on NBC.

One of the most memorable episodes, other than the Festivus and Soup Nazi episodes that is, was one in which Kramer test drove a car, and in the process, tried to see how far he could actually drive on a tank of gas. The episode follows Kramer and the used car salesman as they drive the car throughout town to see how far they could make it on fumes, before the car eventually would come to a stop.

That’s about how I felt on May 7 as I made my way back from Bismarck, N.D. after speaking at the North Dakota Newspaper Association Annual meeting. After pulling into Bismarck around midnight the night before, after watching a JO volleyball tournament on Friday night, I spoke at the NDNA annual convention as part of a sports reporting panel. 

Since I didn’t attend the Minnesota Newspaper Association meeting in January due to getting COVID-19 just days before the start of the convention, speaking at the convention was a nice way to interact with people in the industry that I don’t get to see on a regular basis. After wrapping up the panel I was on in the morning, I made the four hour trek across North Dakota to home. 

I like to compare driving across North Dakota to a bad nightmare in which the same dream plays over and over in your head. There are a few hills, some pasture and farm land and every 90 miles or so there is a town in which you can stop to get gas.

On my way home I took for granted that there weren’t towns every 20-30 miles like we are accustomed to along the interstate in Minnesota and didn’t pay close enough attention to the amount of gas left in my tank. About 40 miles from Fargo my gas light came on and I watched in horror as it quickly counted down the miles I had left in my tank. Now I didn’t quite pull into town on fumes, the dashboard on my car said I had about 8 miles left in my tank when I got to Fargo, I did get a little nervous for a while as I debated whether I should start to get in touch with my NASCAR racing self and start drafting cars in front of mine.

That being said, you really appreciate how nice it is to be home and we take for granted some of the nice amenities in central Minnesota—like gas stations every few dozen miles.

Fishing opener

Other than a strong wind, I don’t know if we have had a nicer fishing opener for a number of years. The joke had always been that fishing opener weekend was one of the crummiest ones of the entire year. 

The weather was usually raining or snowing, cold and just miserable overall. And while it was windy last weekend, at least it was remotely warm outside.

Even with the warmth of the weekend I didn’t even put a line in the water as we were out of town for the weekend. Judging by the reports I received, the bite was pretty good for most people in the area.