Jason Schulte

Anyone who loves 1980’s rock and roll music had to shake their head at the news last week on the passing of guitarist Eddie Van Halen at 65 due to cancer. 

Van Halen was one of the founders of the band Van Halen, which spanned decades. As a result of that longevity, the band had multiple lead singers, the two most well known were David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar. 

When Van Halen’s death became public, my Facebook feed was littered with tributes and thanks for his career and the music he gave to us. The second thing, I saw or read the most was who was the better front man between the pair.

The universal acknowledgement among the debate was Roth was the better performer, while Hagar was the better singer. So, like everything else in this world, it all comes down to which one you prefer. 

After listening to a fair amount of songs from both of them since Van Halen’s passing, can we maybe agree on this: Van Halen was a great band, and there will never be a band like it again.

I’m a hypocrite

Growing up, one of the reasons I became a sports fan/follower was besides reading the sports section in the newspaper was seeing a Sports Illustrated appear in our home weekly. 

Talk about reading something from front to back and in record time. I think there were plenty of times I kept old ones just so I could reread them again. 

Sports Illustrated, like a lot of media outlets, lately has seen more valleys than peaks. I never thought they would abandon the weekly model, then, a couple of years ago, it went bi-weekly (to save on costs) and now it’s monthly with more of a focus on feature stories than covering the “big game” from the week before. 

During those changes, writers whose byline you saw in the magazines for years and years, left because of their own volition or were forced to. 

It just wasn’t the same issue as what you were used to.   

Yet, I was becoming one of those “people” – subscribers who were thinking of leaving a newspaper of magazine for the benefits of having the information in my fingertips. I didn’t want to become one of them. 

My renewal notice came in the mail a couple of weeks ago. Shockingly, the price has gone up. Yet, when I said the latest Sports Illustrated is here, my 13-year-old daughter hooted and hollered and read the issue like I did when I was that age. She became a sports fan before she starting reading Sports Illustrated, reading those stories just influenced it even more. 

I can’t get rid of that, can I?

Surprise, surprise 

I was staring to get more phone calls and emails over the last couple of weeks about if The Country Messenger was going to do anything on the Stillwater School Board race. 

It was explained to me by our publisher it’s a beat the Messenger hardly covers in the past as what we focus/highlight (Marine on St. Croix) represents a small portion of the District. 

Yet, it was my call, I was told.

After doing some research (14 candidates applied) and the background, I took the bait and threw out a questionnaire to see if any of them would respond. 

What’s the saying, plan for the worst, hope for the best? Strangely enough, over half responded and those who haven’t yet, said they would. A majority of them were thankful to us for letting them get their word out. 

What do you know? Those responses will run in next week’s Messenger.

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