Like thousands of Central Minnesotans, my first introduction to the city of St. Joseph was its Fourth of July festivities. As a boy growing up near Pearl Lake, my parents would bring me and my siblings to watch the parade and partake in the festivities.
That was almost 50 years ago.
Today, I live in St. Joseph and recently began working with the St. Joseph Newsleader.
I have never lived far from St. Joseph, but it’s only been recently that I have begun to appreciate all the city has to offer.
After graduating from Kimball High School, I attended St. Cloud State University, where I worked at the student newspaper and studied journalism. My first newspaper job was in southwestern Minnesota in the town of Luverne almost 35 years ago. I wasn’t really crazy about Luverne, which was more like South Dakota than Minnesota. Did you know the county of Luverne is in Rock County, which is the only county in Minnesota without a natural lake?
The job in Luverne was followed by newspaper jobs in New Ulm and St. Peter before I started working for the St. Cloud Times in 1983.
Often my job at the Times would bring me to St. Joseph to cover an event, including doing a story or two on the Fourth of July festival.
I left the Times after 17 years to begin a freelance writing career and eventually began publishing Minnesota Moments magazine 10 years ago. Even during those years I did several stories on St. Joseph folks who had unique hobbies. Many of the readers to the magazine live in the St. Joseph area so to them, my name may be familiar.
At first, the magazine was published six times a year, but when the economy began to falter, I decided to publish quarterly. That left me extra time for more freelance writing and here I am, now covering St. Joseph full-time.
Like I said, I moved to St. Joseph almost two years ago and have gotten to know the community better. I am a frequent visitor to the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail. In fact, Minnesota Moments recently ran a year-long series of stories and pictures highlighting the birds that can be seen along the trail during the four seasons. It was a wonderful collaboration between Bill Boles and Russ Ergen, two St. Cloud men who have spent hundreds of hours on the trail. If you visit the trail, chances are you’ve seen them with their binoculars, note pads and cameras.
A few other of my favorite places are the Local Blend, Bello Cucina, Millstream Park, Heim-Kins, Kay’s Kitchen and, of course, my own backyard.
I look forward to meeting many of you who live in St. Joseph and who work here and make it a great place!