Goodbye, but not gone

Posted: 15th May 2014 by Aaron Hagen in Uncategorized

June 4 has been an important date in my life.

It was June 4, 2007 when I first began at the Daily Globe as a sports reporter.

It was exactly one year later I became the sports editor.

And for the first time in seven years, I won’t be employed at the Globe when the calendar turns to June 4.

I have accepted a position with Mike Woll Investment here in Worthington, where I will begin on June 2.

Maybe I should have waited two more days to keep with my theme.

It was a decision I did not make lightly, but it’s one in which I am excited.

As my time at the Globe comes to an end — my last day will be May 23 — I have done a lot of reminiscing.

A few years ago, as a senior at Wartburg College, I remember deciding it was time to start looking for jobs. Online, I found a sports reporter job in Worthington. I found the town’s motto, “You’ll come to love us.” It turns out, they were right.

I applied to that town in Minnesota (but still close enough to my beloved Iowa), and had an interview with Managing Editor Ryan McGaughey. I still remember my interview with Ryan at what is now the Longbranch. I believe I had a fish sandwich.

After lunch, I met with then Sports Editor Kevin Kyle. Now, Kevin is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet, but is rather intimidating when you first meet him. This was no exception. I wasn’t going to be done with school until the end of May. On this day, in late April, he asked, “You want me to wait for you?”

I don’t know what I said in response, but I was hoping he would. Luckily, he did.

I still remember my first week. I met with Kevin, who I might add was a great mentor during and after his employment at the Globe. My first day, I went to Windom to cover an Adrian and Murray County Central baseball game. Adrian won 23-4 and I was off and running.

It was during one of my first few days when Kevin told me I would be heading to Mankato to cover Pipestone Area at the state softball tournament. I thought he was crazy. Who sends a reporter to something that big the first week? Well, Kevin did. Not sure if he knew what he was going to get, but I’d like to think I did a pretty decent job. Of course, the Arrows won the state title in an epic 17-inning championship game.

The rest, as they say, is history.

A year later Kevin told me he was leaving for the Pipestone paper and I would move up as the sports editor. Not knowing what I was getting myself into, I took the position.

Turns out it was the best decision I ever made.

I loved covering sports in this area. Southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa is a hotbed for athletes. Nearly every year, we had a team challenging for a state tournament berth.

During my tenure as the editor, I feel like we did some great work. But for that, I have to thank those I worked with: Matt Huss, Michael Brauer, Daniel Kerwin and the Knutsons. They were the backbone of the sports section during those three-plus years.

After moving to the Community Content Coordinator position, I began covering city council. Without the help of Craig Clark, Brad Chapulis, Alan Oberloh, Mindy Eggers and Janice Oberloh, I don’t know what I would have done. They have answered my sometimes silly questions and made a reporter who had no idea how to cover the city beat feel comfortable. They don’t often get enough credit for what they do at city hall.

Co-worker Beth Rickers has taught me more about journalism, editing — and cooking — than I ever thought possible. She has been someone to bounce ideas off of and guide me through conundrums. Thanks to Julie Buntjer, I have a much broader knowledge of farming. And while farming stories were ones I was most often utterly lost going into an interview, I always learned the most from them. Ryan was and always will be “Chief” to me. He has guided me when I was lost, covered my backside when needed and gave me the freedom to try new things — not all of which turned out to be successes I might add.

Then there is Brian Korthals, someone who taught me the ropes on photography. He and I have had some great times together — including trips to MMA fights and state tournaments — both inside and outside of work. They are memories I will never forget.

There are so many more who have had an impact on my Globe experience, including current newsroom employees Doug, Zach, Roberta and Erin and those who have come and gone, including Chris, Joe, Veasey, Ashley, Ana, Justine, Laura, Aaron and Alyson, to name a few.

All these people have been like my family for the past seven years. For nearly one quarter of my life, we have laughed together, had late nights and early mornings and through it all, did some pretty great work together.

And there’s you, the faithful readers and subscribers. To you, I say thank you. You made it all worthwhile. You pushed me to work harder and to be better.

To all my current and former co-workers, thank you isn’t enough. I have grown up during the past seven years, both personally and professionally. You have witnessed the good and the bad. There will always be a special place in my heart for the Globe and all those people within those walls. They saw me through two different position changes. They helped me through my quarter-life crisis when I turned 25. They maybe haven’t always agreed with me on certain things, but they have been there for me through it all.

This certainly is a new beginning for me and one that I am excited to undertake. But this isn’t goodbye, not by any stretch of the imagination. My name may no longer appear in print on a regular basis, but that doesn’t mean you won’t still see me around.

After all, I have come to love Worthington.

  1. Well written. Good luck, sir!

  2. Ryan Weber says:

    Best of luck on the career change! You were a great asset of the Daily Globe. More importantly, you are a great asset to the city of Worthington!

  3. Dale Moerke says:

    Good luck Aaron. I will miss seeing you around. Now who will I tweet to at the Globe?

    • Aaron Hagen says:

      Thanks Dale. I will still be around, don’t worry. I’m hoping they will find someone new to take over the Globe’s Twitter account.

  4. Matt Huss says:

    Thank YOU, Aaron. Congratulations on a helluva run! Best of luck with your new gig!

  5. Kevin Kyle says:

    Best of luck in your new position! Mike Woll Investment will greatly benefit from having you on the team :)

    • Aaron Hagen says:

      Thanks Kevin. It was a great seven years — full of ups and downs. But I always appreciated you being a mentor, and friend, to me.

  6. Jay Scheidt says:

    Hagen, good to see you’re still going to be in Worthington. You’re a great guy to have around! I hope your new opportunity treats you well.

  7. You can always keep blogging!!

  8. Mikey Brauer says:

    The Globe is losing one hell of a reporter — all-around great guy. Thanks for giving me my shot — I came to love Worthington too, partly because of the great editor I had (although his NCAA skills may have needed some work :) ) Best of luck at the new job!

    Hoping this means we’ll see you down around Sioux City more often! 2K8, perhaps?

    • Aaron Hagen says:

      Thanks Mikey! You were one of the good ones. I have certainly missed our NCAA battles. And yes, we will certainly have to get together soon. I still need to meet the little one!