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Editors can’t stop telling stories

By Staff | Oct 27, 2019

They say old newspaper editors may retire, but they never quit having the urge to tell stories.

I think that is pretty true.

It sure is for a former editor of the Faribault County Register.

Our readers may remember Rich Glennie, who was the editor here back in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Glennie is pretty famous in Blue Earth newspaper history. He worked for the Tuff family when the newspaper was named the Post Ambassador.

Next he worked for the Oordts when they bought the newspaper from the Tuffs and changed the name back to one of its original incarnations, the Faribault County Register.

It was Rich Glennie who wrote the front page story about the name change and explained why it was done.

I have known Rich for a lot of years. I got to know him 25 or so years ago when he was the editor of the McLeod County Chronicle in Glencoe, and I was in Tyler.

Our paths would cross several times, particular at the Minnesota Newspaper Association annual convention.

And, Rich’s boss, the publisher of the McLeod County Chronicle, Bill Ramige, had been a friend of mine for many years, as well.

Back 12 years ago or so, when I came to Blue Earth to become the editor of the Register, I was fairly surprised when Rich told me he had once been the editor here.

He shared several stories with me about his days in Blue Earth. Not all of them were remembering good times. But most of them were pretty entertaining.

We shared some common thoughts about what was going on in Blue Earth, and what had once been going on here.

Some were actually pretty hilarious.

But, I digress.

For the past few months, Rich has been making several trips from his home in Glencoe back to Blue Earth. It wasn’t just to visit old friends. He was on a mission.

It seems Rich was working on a book he wanted to publish. It was going to be a book composed mainly of stories that he, and members of his editorial staff, had written about World War II veterans over the years.

Rich was visiting the Blue Earth Community Library and doing research with all the bound books of old Blue Earth newspapers. Specifically the newspaper during the period of time he was the editor here.

He was searching for those stories of the World War II veterans.

Recently Rich stopped in at the Register office and dropped off a copy of his now completed book. It is a fascinating collection of stories of World War II veterans from around Minnesota. And, that includes some from the Faribault County area.

It starts off with several stories of survivors of Pearl Harbor, which is, of course, why the U. S. entered the war. Those stories were written by Rich when he was in Glencoe.

The next two stories are both about Dick Pfaffinger, of Blue Earth, written by Rich when he was at the Post Ambassador. Both were published in 1985.

The next one is by Kaydee Tuff, a writer at the Post Ambassador and is about Arvin Stenehjem. Then there is one about Louis Ignaszewski, of Easton, written by Todd H. Charles of the Post Ambassador.

Post Ambassador writer Mary Eckhardt’s story about Morris Hanson is next on the list.

From there it is stories by Rich from his Glencoe days, and stories by his reporters at both the McLeod County Chronicle and some of its sister publications.

The final story in the book is all about Rich’s father, Peter Glennie, who served in battle in World War II. He was from International Falls, where Rich was born and raised.

In the forward of the book, Rich writes that, sadly, his father died in 1976 at the age of 59 and had never told about his time in the war. So, Rich pieced together his father’s story from old military records.

From that time on, Rich has always wanted to ensure that veterans could tell their own stories in their own words.

It is much the same reason we publish the “Our Heroes” magazine each year. We are working on our 2019 edition of the magazine right now.

Rich’s book is titled “Old Warriors.” It is not his first book. The first one was titled “The Streak and the Guys Who Made It All Happen.” It is about the International Falls hockey team’s 59-game winning streak during the mid-1960s.

You just can’t stop an old editor from continuing to tell stories. And, oh, by the way, Rich also still writes an occasional column for the Chronicle.

It is hard to stop, he told me.

I get that.