Rundstrom story takes new turn


This past June, I wrote about the plane crash at the Hillsboro airport in June 1978 that took the lives of three businessmen from this area. Little did I know that it would lead to an ongoing conversation with Paul Rund­strom’s son, Eric, who was just a month old when Paul was killed.

Several months ago, I received an e-mail from Eric, who had found my column on the Internet. He was interested in meeting me or just having a conversation with someone who knew his dad at that time.

We have e-mailed and talked on the phone several times in the past few months, and I am eagerly looking forward to meeting Eric, now 31 years later.

He is coming to town with some of his relatives and his uncle Bernie to play in the 30th annual Paul Rundstrom Memorial Golf Tournament.

Eric actually just found out about the tournament at his wedding last year. We hope he strokes the ball well all day during the tournament.

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The Internet has become a powerful force when used for the right reasons. Without it I would never have made the connection with Eric.

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Five of our staffers and I just returned from the spring conference for free community papers in Des Moines on Friday and Saturday.

Since I had a board meeting Friday morning, we left after work Thursday. Something in my brain triggered the thought that we should eat barbecue at Guy and Mae’s Tavern in Williamsburg, which is just this side of Ottawa.

It had been 20 years since I had been there. So I looked it up on the Web, found a phone number and called to learn it was still going strong.

The menu didn’t disappoint and the prices were ridiculous—low, that is.

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Since everyone who went along with me was half my age, I wondered if I could keep up with them.

Cold reality: I couldn’t.

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The way the world works, we learned, is changing rapidly as far as what we are able to provide our advertisers and how we can help them reach their customers.

Print is still important, but now there are many other avenues, including Internet and mobile devices, that are looming on the horizon. Much of it is already here.

Stay tuned.

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At five minutes and six seconds after 4 a.m. July 8, the time and date will be 04:05:06 07/08/09. This will never happen again!

I think I’ll set my clock for it and see how it feels.

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Before the conference began Friday, I met with a publishing partner from India who has expertise in digital books that can be distributed as e-books on the Web.

We are just a heartbeat away from distributing the “Story and the Spelling of Low German and Plautdietsch” as a digital file that can be downloaded to a Kindle-type device.

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I got the chance to meet my friends from Windom, Minn., in Des Moines. They publish the Mountain Lake Observer and the Citizen in Windom.

They told me this is the 75th year for Mountain Lake’s Pow Wow celebration, and that I shouldn’t miss it.

Problem is, it’s on a Monday and Tuesday.


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