Marilyn Hagerty shows us a snapshot of the real world

This isn’t going to be the day I stop gushing about my love for Marilyn Hagerty, the reporter/columnist for North Dakota’s Grand Forks Herald who knows how to tell the story of the soul of the communities she covers.

I like my local newspaper just fine, although I wonder what the point of the “public safety” section is, which reveals the depths to which humans can sink on a daily basis.

It’s not that it’s not “news”, it’s just that it’s an unbalanced snapshot of who we are.

It’s acceptable in our business to consider such stories “real news,” but the way people go about their day — sometimes in an inspiring way, sometimes not — isn’t. Why is that?

Think about that as you do yourself a favor and read today’s Hagerty story, which is contained in her weekly “letter” to her sister in Tucson, Ariz.

There were a couple of hot, salty tears rolling down my cheeks on Wednesday when son Bob and the grandkids James, 15, and Carmen, 12, left. They went back home to Pittsburgh after spending a week here in Grand Forks with me. We managed to get up to Forest River and visit with the people at the cafe where Elaine McDonald bakes the best bread in the world. We went to Karlstad, Minn., to help judge the pie baking contest during the Moosefest.

Those people at Karlstad know how to have a good time. There were all sorts of contests and events going on. Elwyn Ruud came in first with her peanut butter pie. Avis Sele wowed the three of us judges with her moose tracks pie. And a peanut butter pie from Emily Dufault was third.

There were 21 entries in the pie contest. I was judging along with Del Swanson and Dan Nordine. Following the judging, they cut up the pies and served them for freewill offerings during the supper in the fire hall. It was a beautiful summer evening in Karlstad.

They don’t make newspaper people like Marilyn Hagerty anymore.