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Friday, Feb. 24, 2017

Out With The Old

Posted Wednesday, December 31, 2008, at 9:33 AM

What a great year it's been for us... for the most part. In some ways I feel like not a lot got accomplished, and in other ways I can hardly believe how much got done. Looking back on my resolutions for this departing year, I did pretty good, though my "biggie" didn't get started at all. I'd planned on building a new bathroom in the house and renovate the original, but I got started on neither of these projects. I did get a master plan together at least and know what should bet accomplished in the future... of course unless something else gets in the way.

The old barn kinda looks new, and though I first thought that project would carry into the new year, it got completed. We made big progress on cleaning up the place, but I underestimated the amount of work required, partly because I couldn't see much of the property because the weeds were so high, and there is plenty to do still. We met our neighbors, went to the stock car races, attended a couple county fairs, and I didn't start smoking again. My Internet business idea grew quite a bit with very little effort as more and more people visit my web site every month, and only watching local baseball got missed on my resolutions list of other things to do.

Goodies continue to find their way to our door. I've mentioned several times how our neighbors have stopped by with fresh produce, and now with the holiday season we've been blessed with sweet treats. Cookies, fudge, and other goodies have been made their way to our door thanks to the thoughtfulness of our neighbors, and I still have no idea how we'll ever repay the kindness we've been shown here.

I've been busy lately pulling old oak flooring out from the pile that was left in the barn when we bought the place and working it into new moulding around doors and windows in the house. I hadn't planned on this project getting so much attention, but once I started taking down the old stuff, I was beyond the point of no return. Right now I hope to have the living room finished with this part of the project by Valentines Day. At least we learned the original source of the wood was the old Minnick Hospital here in Cambridge.

I bought a combination hunting/fishing license, and could just as well sent a donation check to the state as I never pulled out my fishing rod or shotgun. For me, I think most of the enjoyment of fishing and hunting was getting away from the city and now that we live in the country, I seem content to just watch the pheasants run across the back yard instead of me chasing them through a field.

My Denver Broncos disappointed me this year as they have so often since John Elway hung up his cleats, but you can't be the Super Bowl champs every year either I guess. However, the owner of the Broncos decided that one playoff win in the last 10 years wasn't good enough either as they fired the old coach, and a new guy will be selected in the new year. Big surprise to me, but then I'm just a fan.

This has been quite a year politically, economically, and internationally. From modern day pirates to a modern day stock market crash, we've been exposed to some pretty horrific news. Living here seems to isolate us from many of negative things going on, and maybe that's part of why we love living here so much.

I'm happy to send old 2008 out the door and welcome 2009 in to replace it. With the new year comes the hope of millions that the world can become a safer place than it is today, that our nation can get back on track to peace and prosperity, and that we can keep our new year resolutions whatever they may be.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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Sitting here near the east coast, a half century from my time roaming 20 counties of three states out of McCook -- If you get tired of sitting on the farmstead all the time -- try this on for size.

Suggested it to the Gazette, but they apparently think it is too hard to pull off.

I would leave McCook at 5 a.m. Monday and do one loop-- Herndon, Oberlin, Atwood, Trenton, Stratton, Wauneta and all the country schools -- back into McCook about 10 p.m. or or midnight.

Devote Tuesday to darkroom and writing from my notes and collections of the day before. Hot, hard stuff went into that afternoon's edition, the rest saved for the third day's edition.

Third day -- Wed - Do another loop down to Wilsonville, toward Beaver City, back to Cambridge, always hitting a couple of country schools, and back in that night. Sometimes get photos of three high school basketball games or football games on Tuesday and Friday nights mostly. Also cover tournaments. Possibly develop film that night from the 4X5 camera. In the office at 5 a.m., on Thursday, get the hard news in, finish with the stuff for Friday.

Of course, several photos ran from the 20-county area every day. Somewhere in there I put together the farm tabloid.

Then Friday back out probably up Frenchman's creek to Wauneta,Imperial -- across country to Curtis and down the northeast side to Cambridge and back into McCook.

Of course, worked in high school sports, concerts, plays, etc. Did a lot of advance coverage, to give the kids' stuff publicity.

Saturdays, I would primarily work in the newsroom, handling Friday night sports, writing from my week's pickups, etc.

I think there was a front page photo feature every edition for about seven months without a break.

Today, with digital cameras, cell phone comput er linkage (Or Hughes Satellite service on a small RV and a computer for writing copy and temailing copy and photos -- an area reporter could go out two days--on a loop, send material back as it develops, possibly just scan some material and transmit for the crew in the McCook newsroom to process.

Two two-day swings with modern equipment would let the area reporter accomplish more in four days than I did in six.

A well organized regional news operation could ut ilized community correspondents -- probably mostly teachers with digital cameras and internet access to cover all the soft news.

But it requires someone to get into the courthouses and city halls -- and dig out the "hard" news. Some one to crawl into a Phillips Oil "tight hole" operation and find out what they are discovering with a total discovery drilling.

Yep, I had fun, grew to love the region.

The advantage a remote region stringer correspondent has now is that they can free lance in all directions.

Out there -- The Denver Post, Omaha World Herald, some of the Kansas dailies to the south and east of the border regions, Kansas City Star, Lincoln, Hastings, Lexington, etc.

With a decent video camera -- even do some footage for the TV stations. Or submit good still photos until you get the hang of it. By making a business of it, some city slicker trying to get to know that country could build something and get to know the region pretty well.

Any questions - bigsurmac@excite.com -Dan McGrew

-- Posted by bigsurmac on Wed, Dec 31, 2008, at 6:54 PM

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