Going forward, things are going to be different without Joel

When Lindsey and I purchased the Kansas Publishing Ventures, which publishes the Free Press, over five years ago, we had no idea what we were in store for.

Joel had approached us to buy him out after I asked his advice about our paper, The Clarion, and we felt like we would be fools to say no. Joel sold us on it.

Things haven’t been as easy as I had hoped. Businesses are gone, the county has had struggles, but we have managed to keep things moving forward, and that is always a fun challenge.

This week, instead of looking forward as I stared at this page, I was thinking about the past. The opinion page has always had Joel Klaassen on its right side. He asked that someone write in his space while he recovers and moves to a monthly column, but as I looked at his blank spot, it didn’t feel right.

So, I decided that spot is for him.

When he writes, he gets it, and when he isn’t writing, no one will fill his spot. The page will have to just look different than before.

One of the biggest things I have learned in this venture is that replacing Joel Klaassen isn’t ever going to happen.

I can keep the ship sailing, manage our staff, and keep putting out a free paper to the county, but no one is going to replace that guy, and there isn’t much sense in trying. He always prefers nonsense anyway.