Articles By: Joel Klaassen

Cancer was unexpected challenge

I never expected to hear the words, ?you have cancer.? Not in a million years. But I heard them on Sept. 11?and that it was prostate cancer in the early stages and would be curable with surgery.

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We don’t know all things?

Lately we?ve become the house of information at the Free Press. I?m not complaining, as we take it as a compliment that folks think we know what is going on everywhere and where to find almost anything in these parts.

It?s also a welcome switch from people telling me where to go.

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Is delaying a game a new thing?

When the Marion vs. Hillsboro football game was delayed this past Friday night, I was trying to remember if games were ever delayed in the old days. And I couldn?t remember it ever happening.

Then it also happened in Lawrence prior to and during the KU-Baylor game Saturday. I can?t remember it ever happening while I was living there back in the ?60s and ?70s.

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Local paper deliverers work hard

I was reminded last week of something that I already knew. Our home-delivery carriers are special people. Most of them are middle-school age boys and girls. Delivering the paper is one of their first jobs.

When one of our carriers came in last Tuesday with her bundles of papers (about 100 in all) and told me she was ill and couldn?t make the route, I decided to do it myself rather than find someone else to do it.

I soon found out it isn?t the easiest thing and takes a bit of perseverance. And it wasn?t even raining or cold outside, plus each paper is heavy.

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All-School reunion is still annual

Mark Twain?s observation, ?The reports of my demise are grossly exaggerated,? can also be applied to the HHS All-School Reunion.

Contrary to what might have been said recently, the all-school reunion will not be held less frequently. It will be held each year on the Saturday night before Mem?orial Day, as it has since 2000. An All School Reunion committee will be taking over the event, so stay tuned.

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A tale of two parallel journeys

A few months ago I read an interesting profile in my Kansas Alumni magazine about a man named Waldo Dick

He was born in the Ukraine almost 90 years ago but ended up in Newton, where he worked for a Mennonite paper. I?m guessing it was the Mennonite Weekly Review. The article stated he attended Bethel College and then transferred to KU.

He still goes to work each day at the East Allen Courier, a
free-circulation weekly newspaper in Grabill, Ind., which he has owned
since 1955.

My path has been similar. I worked at the Mennonite
Weekly Review, went to Bethel one year, transferred to KU and have
ownership in a free weekly newspaper. I just have 30 more years to go
to catch up with this guy. I wonder if we are related, since my mom?s
maiden name was also Dick.


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Economies are huge in this nation

It?s hard to put into perspective how big the U.S. economy really is. I found a Boomtown USA blog recently that compares the economies of our 50 states with those of other countries. The piece was written by Mike Harvey of Winfield, who does a weekly newsletter titled ?Flourishing.?

For example, Texas generates as much annual revenue as the entire country of Canada. The Kansas economy is as big as Romania?s. California?s equals Italy?s. If you are interested in seeing a U.S. map showing the relative economies of each state in compared to other countries you can check it out at:

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Early birds make good shoppers

It happens every year, I am told. Someone from near or far shows up a week early for the Arts & Crafts Fair. That?s a good thing, because they usually do a little shopping while they?re here. Haven?t heard of anyone being a week late, though.

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Wranglers a big hit at Florence

A touch of Ameri?cana was on display Sunday night during the Florence Labor Day celebration. We had never heard the Prairie (no longer Rose) Wranglers before, and after talking with others we were apparently the only ones who hadn?t.

It was a genius move on the part of the committee to bring them to town. These cowboy musicians are very talented and put out a great sound. And they are funny to boot. It was my kind of humor.

The crowd was huge with many familiar faces from all over the county and beyond.

And the weather cooperated 100 percent.

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This one’s ‘bigger than the Eagle’

It?s the end of August, which means we have the opportunity to feature area athletes from six high schools and Tabor College in our annual fall sports ?Extra Point? special section in the Free Press this week. Each high school has a minimum of two sports but others have three or four with Tabor having six different competitive teams.

It takes a tremendous amount of effort on the part of our news and sports team as well as our advertising and production crew to make it all come together.

And we couldn?t do it without the cooperation of each of the coaching staffs and the advertisers who make it possible to cover the costs of bringing this information to you. As publisher I thank all who helped make it happen.

The timing of it coincides with the monthly Buyer?s Edge, so this is the one week during the year that we are, as I like to say, ?bigger than the Eagle.?

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