When the godfather of the weekly column calls you up during a pandemic and says he wants to meet with you, you take the meeting. Even though I tried to dissuade him—we should be able to just talk on the phone after all—Lynn Hummel insisted that we meet mask to mask.

His persistence set off all kinds of alarm bells for me. Was he OK? Was he upset with me for something? And, of course, I dreaded that he was going to tell me he was ready to hang up his writing gig.

While I am happy to report that Lynn is in good health and good spirits, it is with a heavy heart that I mourn with all of you, dear reader, that Lynn has decided to discontinue his weekly column.

It's the end of an era and a huge loss for the Detroit Lakes Tribune. A North Dakota kid who grew up to be a successful attorney and a much beloved newspaper columnist, Lynn has made us laugh, cry, and at times, roll our eyes.

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Lynn and I met in 2011 when I was the publisher of the Perham Focus. He had been so moved by the Zach Gabbard story—Lynn had been at that basketball game the night Gabbard collapsed—and it had profoundly affected him. He had to tell the story and get it down in writing. We would help him do so.

I won’t get into all the details about the meetings, the lunches, the hilarious ways he would address mail to me (I have every one of those envelopes saved, Lynn), etc., but what I will tell you is this. My time working with Lynn Hummel is a treasure trove of smiles, belly laughs and even a few tears. Through his writings and actions, I have come to know Lynn as a man of integrity who has a huge heart, and a mind filled with both wit and wisdom. Lynn has taught me a great deal about patience, perseverance and how to be a better person.

I look forward to the occasional columns that Lynn may decide to write for us down the road. I’ve told him, whenever the mood strikes, just let me know. We will always have room in the Tribune for Lynn.

Thank you, Lynn, sharing so much of yourself with all of us. Whether you personally know him or not, we have all been blessed to have a little Hummel in our life.