Tailgating, a very long distance call, and a golden age of newspapers

FILLERS

BY JOHN CULLEN

Tailgating is back at BVU after absence of several years. On Saturday afternoons there’s room for about 40 cars to park and enjoy grilling and drinks on the east side of J. Leslie Rollins Stadium. It’s kind of like tailgating at an Iowa or Iowa State football game — on a much smaller scale — but it still builds camaraderie.

Rollins Stadium (old-timers still call it Bradford Field) is the prettiest place to play football in Iowa. In between plays you can watch sailboats and water skiers go past on a nice day. In Decorah, Luther College’s Carlson Stadium — where the new artificial turf this year is blue —  is second prettiest, by most estimations.

Can any Beaver fan top this? Times sports editor Jamie Knapp has attended every Buena Vista home football game for the past 26 years.

And is there a Tornado fan who can top this? Jamie has attended every Storm Lake High School football game in that span too!

GROWING UP, receiving a long distance phone call was a big deal. And a transatlantic call was nearly unheard of. You had to make an appointment with the phone company to send or receive a crackly call from across the pond. Now with FaceTime on our iPhones our daughter Bridget called us from the Eiffel Tower in Paris Saturday night complete with video. The picture and voice quality were good, especially considering they were traveling more than 4,300 miles. And it didn’t cost a penny.

THIS IS National Newspaper Week. Remember newspapers? As the old newspaperman himself, Mark Twain, once said, “Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

In fact, newspapers are doing better work than ever. The New York Times and Washington Post, along with the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, are doing great work trying to keep the politicians in Washington honest.

We’re giving it our best shot here in Storm Lake too. We’re still basking in the afterglow of Art’s Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Journalism’s highest honor shows you don’t have to be in a big city to do great work.

Without The Storm Lake Times and other community newspapers, no one would give a darn about small town Iowa. Facebook doesn’t go to all the school board and city council meetings. Twitter can’t cover the board of supervisors in 140 characters.

Recent events have proven you cannot trust social media to deliver accurate news, not when the Russians are filling it full of propaganda in their attempts to destroy democracy. As the Washington Post’s slogan aptly says, “Democracy dies in darkness.”

We appreciate all the readers and advertisers who make it possible for us to shine a light upon our great community.