Kickass, the doorstop dog, reports that the keeper’s faith in newspapers was restored recently when he and Phyllis stopped for lunch at “The Neighbors” in Wonewoc, and he read the Vernon County sheriff’s report in the Hillsboro Sentry-Enterprise where the first six items had to do with calves, horses and cows loose on various highways. The animal related items reminded the keeper of one of the first stories he wrote as a rookie at the Stevens Point Daily Journal, about a dog killing chickens in Sheriff Herb Wanserski’s back yard. Some of the chickens had been owned by one of the sheriff’s deputies, and the sheriff claimed that, oddly, most of the deputy’s chickens had been killed but few of his own.
The Sentry-Enterprise carried news of a local student on the University of Minnesota dean’s list, collapse of a construction hole at the sewage treatment plant and delay of dam reconstruction due to Covid-19. There were, of course, local obituaries, minutes of the Common Council meeting, and two fascinating personal columns, one by a naturalist and another by an outdoor writer.
Then in Myrna Fauska’s “Southeast Monroe County News” column there was the following: “Jim and Mary Parkhurst had a quiet week but did have company early Wednesday afternoon as Leslie Reeck came over the hill from the south for a visit.”
When major media outlets, including the big fact-dealing newspapers, make it seem as if all is lost, the keeper suggests reading one of the surviving community newspapers to get a real feel for life. It is still out there, in all its down-home travail and glory. It is what the keeper sorted through in his 35 years of newspapering, and, lord, lord, how he wishes he could do it all over again!
(Kickass has never killed a chicken.)