I had a dream

I am not merely borrowing from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when I say I had a dream, though I must say first and foremost that my dream was heavily influenced by his.

I had just turned 10 when he delivered his moving speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 26, 1963.

Like so many others, I was deeply moved.

Sometime after that, I had my own dream, a dream that has stuck with me all these years. Those of you who know me well know that my memory is highly selective, to put it nicely. There are a great many things that seem to have been flushed from my brain.

But not this dream.

In it, I am standing on the hood of a car in Fort Dodge, talking to the people gathered to listen.

I am talking about peace.

And I am talking about community.

That was my dream and, though it sounds a bit preachy, that remains my dream for humanity as a whole and for Fort Dodge, Iowa. I commit to you now, on this page, to use my position of influence to that end.

I believe it is destiny that has, along a winding path of career choices, brought me to the editor’s role at this newspaper. It certainly feels like it when filtered through the context of my dream. You see, that dream has never left me, never left that waiting room in my mind that is reserved for the things I really need to do in my lifetime. I say destiny because this is not something I planned. In my mind, I had retired from the newspaper business a long time ago to pursue writing books and plays.

Also, I am not from Fort Dodge. I grew up on a farm northeast of Webster City.

But here I am, as it was foretold to me, talking to an audience in Fort Dodge.

Now, how does that translate to news coverage at a time when our world feels fractious and newspapers themselves are reforming to better fit the challenges of our technologically driven world?

My answer is this: We will continue to do our best to bring you the local news.

There will be times when that will be good news.

And there will be times when it will be bad news.

There will be times when you will be pleased with us.

And there will be times when you won’t be.

Throughout it all, though, I hope you will remember this: I had a dream that has stayed with me for more than 50 years, and it is as alive now as it was when I was a child. I may not be coming to you from the hood of a car, but the message, and the sentiment behind it, is still the same.

Jane Curtis is the editor of The Messenger.