Saturday, February 8, 2014

In Which I Pass The Heart of RAGBRAI

Des Moines Register Publisher Rick Green gives a bunch of college kids and a biker a tour of the Register, a spot holy to Iowans because it once was the newspaper Iowa depended upon and is still the newspaper that puts on RAGBRAI.

I was too flustered to take a photo, and I regret that a little. And I didn’t catch the gentleman’s name, and I should have. I wasn’t being much of a journalist at that second, just a gawky, awed tourist.

During the annual Iowa College Media Association Convention, Thursday and Friday in Des Moines, specifically late Thursday afternoon, I attended a tour of the new Des Moines Register headquarters.

I had been ready to be disappointed. The Register had moved out of its historic building, and it felt like it’s part of the retraction of the world of journalism. Enough of that here, though—I’ll write my overall impressions of the tour for my other blog.

Anyway, to make it short, I was actually very impressed. I would like to work at the new Register HQ. So, Register, for the record I’m not allergic to photo or video or blogging or social media. I’m one of the hip new kids, so I could fit right in, right?

Well, along the way, as we were shuttling from one part of the newsroom to another, we passed RAGBRAI. The actual seat, home, heart, planning area, of RAGBRAI. And Mr. RAGBRAI himself, whoever he is (flustered tourist, remember?) shook my hand and accepted my babbled, positive comments and thanks for putting on the ride. Hey, Mr. RAGBRAI, I can sometimes make more sense then when you saw me Thursday, just so you know.

I was at the tail end and worried about losing the tour, so I shook hands, chatted briefly and moved on. Wish I had snapped a photo and gotten a name, but it was cool just to be there.

And I met two members of Team Joe as they sipped hot chocolate during a session break Friday afternoon. The moment was not quite as awe-filled, but was even more pleasant anyway. Nice to see you again, Brigid and Eldon, and it feels like we’re already getting excited for the long summer ride.


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