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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Jul 18, 2008

If you look back upon the accomplishments of some of our local residents recently, it sounds like a short list for National Geographic explorers.

In today’s issue of the Daily News alone, we’re featuring stories on a former Orleans resident and Spirit Lake High School graduate who owns a diving school and photo studio in Australia. Kristin Anderson, who describes herself as having always been a “water baby”, thinks nothing of strapping on scuba gear and diving in and taking pictures of whale sharks and manta rays. And we have photos in today’s newspaper to prove it.

Anderson, who has given underwater tours to magazine photographers from around the world, is herself serving as the photopro on an Antarctic cruise in January.

Mark Shadle, Estherville High School graduate, is going to serve as resident educator on an around-the-world cruise himself next January through May. Shadle, who holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa and who is an accomplished poet, teaches writing at Eastern Oregon University at LaGrande. He’s also the author of the textbook, “Teaching Multiwriting.”

Shadle made a very interesting observation in an e-mail he sent to us, and we believe it deserves deep reflection:

“People often think that those of us who grew up, and live in, small towns are ‘provincial.’ But we often travel more than people trapped in urban suburbs. I know as a boy in Estherville that I grew my curiosity by listening to others in town talk about their travels far and wide.”

Just recently, we also ran a story on Jordan Jensen, formerly of Estherville and now a teacher in Utah and herself an accomplished world traveler who is now exhibiting her photography in an international art show in New York City and has plans for a similar international exhibition of her work in Florida.

And of course there’s Roger Swanson from Dunnell, Minn., whom we wrote about a year ago. Swanson, at age 76, broke four world records when he sailed the northwest passage.

So who says we’re provincial?