Wisdom always remains bargain

Some here's some hard won wisdom: Local news is valuable

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Life just never stops throwing you lessons out of nowhere. Sometimes a half-beat too late.

I say this because I got engaged last weekend. And I solicited and received a lot of advice in the leadup to popping the question. I thought I had all my bases covered. 

You know what nobody tells you? Don’t put the ring box in your back pocket. No, not even the “small” ring box. It really isn’t that small.

If you DO make that fateful mistake, you’ll wind up like me, saying, “Just keep looking out the window,” because you had told your soon-to-be-fiancee to look out said window to buy time to grab said ring. But when it’s not coming out on the third or fourth pull, you’re going to be nervously fumbling and muttering, “Just keep looking out the damn window!”

But I got the box out eventually. Got down on a knee. And to her undying credit, she said yes with nary a glance at the actual ring.

And I got an unexpected lesson that does me no good at all, but might come in handy to someone reading: Take the ring completely out of the box for the big moment. And maybe have a way to turn your beloved around that is smoother than the old “Hey, look over there.”

Today’s edition of The Register is also arriving unexpectedly — in the mailboxes of non-subscribers in Brookings, Volga, Aurora, Bruce, Elkton and Arlington. We’re once again taking advantage of a program known as sampling made available by the U.S. Postal Service.

We hope you look this sample edition over closely. There’s plenty to see, including a story about The Pheasant winning a coveted James Beard award, a local business profile of Threads of Memories and the final gear up for the busiest sports weekend in recent memory — with state girls basketball, both Summit League hoops tournaments and the boys hockey state tournament all crammed together. 

I’ve been in the newspaper business all of my life and I’m still amazed at the amount of information we offer readers every day — news and advertising, legal notices and comics, classifieds and court news, police reports, columnists and plenty of local sports coverage. 

Maybe I’m being intentionally vague, but I can’t think of another business that produces so much, so often.

Lately politicians like to talk about “transparency.” Heck, everything a newspaper does is transparent. It’s all there for readers to see—the good news and the bad, our best work and — right there on the front page, sadly, sometimes — our mistakes — five days a week.

If we’re doing our jobs right, somewhere in this edition you’ll find a big advertisement offering a special deal on subscriptions, just $189.76 for a year’s worth of Registers.

I got into journalism because I’m better with words than I am with numbers, but I’ll take a shot at doing the math. We publish five days a week, 52 weeks a year. Subtract 10 federal holidays when there’s no mail delivery and that comes to 250 days of newspapers. Divide $189.76 by 250 and that comes to 76 cents an issue. 

News, ads, sports and more for less than the price of a can of soda. No wonder newspapers are going out of business. 

The edition you’re holding in your hands right now is not our only means of communicating with readers. We also offer an electronic subscription, a digital version of The Register that you can read on your computer, tablet or phone. 

(This thinly veiled sales job wouldn’t be complete without me mentioning that a digital subscription to The Register gives you a chance to look at our BRAND NEW website which we are pretty darn proud of!)

All of us at the Register hope you look this sample edition over closely. We think you’ll find that this newspaper is the best, most complete source of local news, sports and advertising. And it isn’t just what we generate. I am always proud to offer space to the community — Bob Burns’ Speak Outs always draw fan mail, and I hope you didn’t miss Dave Walder’s remembrance of his friend, Bob Bartling.

We hope the next time you get The Register in the mail it won’t be unexpected but rather the start of a new, informative reading habit.

We live in a time where we’re awash in information but maybe short on wisdom. And one of my favorite definitions of wisdom is truly simple — the ability to learn from OTHER people’s mistakes.

Take the ring out of the box. Fill out the subscription form. Pick the woman who’ll say yes without so much as a peek at the shiny stone — which she now loves, by the way.

I don’t have any better advice for you.

Josh Linehan is the editor of The Brookings Register. Contact him at jlinehan@brookingsregister.com