The Free Press, Mankato, MN


March 8, 2014

Murray: Giving thanks for good stories


About a month ago, I sat at the dining room table of a family who has been through a lot regarding the premature birth of one of the daughters. That struggle, though, has turned into something positive. The mom has turned the challenges and all the lessons she’s learned through the ordeal into a book she hopes will serve as a guide for other parents going through the same thing.

And more than a year ago I met a woman who needed a kidney transplant to survive. After documenting her struggle, another woman who read about it stepped forward to give her one. I got to write that story, too, just a few weeks ago. Like so many other stories I’ve gotten to tell, it reminded me of the power of human kindness and how it can turn strangers into soul mates.

There have been dozens of others. So many compelling stories. And not just stories told to me. Our entire staff, most of whom have been here a long time, are gifted storytellers.

I guess my point with all this is to just say that, especially lately, I feel really lucky that so many of you have shared your stories with me. Journalists don’t always have the best reputation. (And we at The Free Press newsroom are aware that there are too many typos. We’re trying, folks. I’m glad that hasn’t prevented people from being willing to share with us.)

Our publisher invited me to come speak to his media class the other day. Whenever I talk to a class of some kind, there’s usually someone who asks what the best part of my job is. What I usually say is that, despite the poor pay, I have one of the best jobs out there. I get to meet someone new just about every day. And because I’m holding a notebook and pencil, they tell me their stories.

So keep sharing them, folks. I — and the rest of the staff — will keep listening.

Staff writer Robb Murray can be reached at or 344-6386.

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