Aim high and cast far – you never know what you might get

Fifteen years ago Rob Drieslein became the Editor in Chief of
the Outdoor News, beating out many other qualified candidates.
There were a few not-so-qualified candidates in that pool and I was
among them. 

I was a first-year senior in college coming off my second year
of being Editor in Chief of my college newspaper. I had experience,
I had qualifications, but not to manage a publication like Outdoor
News. Still, I threw my application in the ring even though I was
very near the completion of my degree in teaching social
studies.

I’d been freshly hired to be a news intern at a large suburban
newspaper that summer and thought why not apply. The worst that can
happen is they tell you no. Well, the phone call I received from
Outdoor News publisher Glenn Meyer took care of that within a few
days of receiving my application.

It wasn’t a solid no, however. I distinctly remember him telling me
that he was impressed with my writing samples and was going to have
his newly hired editor contact me about doing some writing for
them. “We’ll have you do an article and see how it goes, if we like
it then we’ll have you do another one and take it from there,” is
what I’m pretty sure Glenn said to me.

I figured this was the friendly heave-ho and didn’t expect the
phone to ring. I wrote a note in my planner to give this new editor
a call once summer arrived just to confirm my suspicions.

To my surprise, a few weeks later I was called by Rob Drieslein
with an actual assignment. It was definitely not a front page story
but it was something, which was more than I expected. That first
assignment was to do a story about bugs-the biting variety-ticks,
mosquitoes, no-see-ums and the like.

I worked my butt off for that story and churned it out. Then
edited. And edited. And edited. I was so nervous when I turned it
in but Rob liked it and gave me another assignment. This time, it
was a breaking news assignment. I had to cover a press conference
announcing the first FLW Tournament on Minnetonka. I met Irwin
Jacobs, Governor Arne Carlson and a host of other big names in
fishing.

I covered the tournament a few weeks later and the subsequent
public outcry that came afterwards. It was one of the big stories
of the summer and proved my mettle as a reporter to both Rob and
Glenn (not to mention myself).

It’s been a wonderful 15 years and to this day I am eternally
grateful to Glenn for recommending me to Rob and I’m grateful to
Rob for taking a chance on me. I’m also grateful for all the
tutelage they’ve provided over the years and understanding of my
schedule as a full-time teacher.

I’ve managed to make myself into an “outdoor personality” of sorts
with television, radio, print, photography, videography, marketing
and public relations as my specialities. Everything I’ve been able
to do can be attributed to two things: the first being Glenn, Rob
and everything that is the Outdoor News.

The second thing is what made me do it from the start: a
realization that nothing ventured is nothing gained and that if you
want something you have to go out and seek it. I don’t know if I
would have given up on a dream of being an outdoors writer had Rob
or Glenn never called for that first article 15 years ago…but
that doesn’t matter anymore, does it? Thank you to all the people
who have enjoyed reading my writing over the past 15 years
(especially my editor!).

 

Categories: Ron Hustvedt

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