Paul, what is your favorite sport to broadcast? I get asked that question all the time. My answer is football. However, I have my favorite times of the year broadcasting high school sports. Nothing is more exciting than section boys’ and girls’ basketball finals at SMSU in Marshall. Some team will be going to state and that makes it really exciting. I have been blessed over the years broadcasting courtside from SMSU watching teams celebrate winning a section championship and making a trip to state.

I really do enjoy broadcasting each sport. Football is my favorite, but not by much. Basketball is fast paced and it is fun to be in the gym on a cold winter’s night. Broadcasting baseball is tough by yourself, so it is a big help to have someone broadcast with me. Baseball can be a slow moving game, so it’s good to have someone to banter with.

Another question I get often is, what is the most difficult sport to broadcast? I would have to say volleyball. Volleyball is so fast paced; it is hard to keep up with the play by play to give the listener a clear picture of what is happening. I do struggle to find the words to say or the terminology of volleyball. I feel I keep using the same words over and over again. Like kill, serve, assist, drive, hit. I try and use different words to describe the same play. I love the game of volleyball. Five set matches are so much fun to broadcast.

How do you remember all the names of all the players on both teams? People are amazed that I know all the kids playing and can remember names so fast while broadcasting. I chalk that up from experience. You get to know the kids pretty well. I visit with them often. I also do my homework before the game. I study names and numbers while they are warming up. I will talk to myself outloud…” number 24 Peyton Mortenson and so on.

Why do you get so excited and sometimes scream while broadcasting games? I get that question often and it’s an easy one to answer.  I have a passion for what I do and I want the kids and coaches to be successful. I consider the coaches and student athletes my friends. I know most of them pretty well and I want them to win and do well. I’m just a fan, like the rest of the fans in the stands. I just love what I do.

Sometimes I get questions about my personal life. Once, someone was concerned about my marriage because I am never home. People have asked me questions like, are you married? What’s your wife think of you being gone just about every night? I can assure you and happy to report that I have a very good marriage. We enjoy our life and do many things together. We love each other very much. I do appreciate peoples concern about my personal life.

Why do you cover dance team, or golf or cross country? Most radio stations for some reason don’t cover those sports. I think it’s a big mistake. Those are sports you might not do play by play, but you can do interviews and give recognition to those student/athletes. To me they are just as important as the football or basketball player. I have said this many times, have you been to a dance team practice? Dance team practice is the hardest practices I have ever seen, and I was a wrestler in high school. Dance team girls work very hard at their sport. Cross Country is no easy sport either. Golf is a very mental sport; you have to be strong mentally playing that game. To me these athletes need their names on the radio, they need to be recognized!

What is the biggest blooper you ever made on the radio? What is the most memorable game you have ever broadcast? Who is the best athlete you have ever seen in your broadcasting career? What school do you like to cover the most? How much school apparel do you have? What is your favorite concession food? Who has the best popcorn? Who has the best band? Who has the best concession stand? These are questions that are asked of me just about every year? I very much appreciate all of them. Keep the questions coming, because I enjoy answering them. If you see me in the gym ask me anything you want.

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Campfires. What is it about campfires? They can be so mesmerizing. Why do we like campfires? Why do we like staring at fire? Why do people like to build campfires? These are questions I asked myself as I sat around a campfire at a friend’s house one evening this past week. For me, campfires are very relaxing, unless you have family and friends that are pyromaniac’s and can’t leave the fire alone! Always throwing wood on the fire and messing with the campfire. I have a few of those people in my life.

Sitting around the campfire this past week was so much fun. Very relaxing and enjoyable just watching the flickering flame and hearing it crackle. My friend Harlow made an outstanding campfire. He had three different kinds of wood to put into the fire, apple, pine and oak. The wood was inside a ring, which was raised off the ground so air can circulate through it. Genius! I was watching all the people sitting around the campfire, and I noticed that everyone was staring at the fire. Why do we do that? What is it about staring at fire?  I don’t have an answer for that question.

I have some great memories of campfires. Boy Scout camps, at the lake cabin, in our backyard, camping on vacations, church retreats. Since I have been married, Roxie and I have never agreed on how to start and build a campfire. I have no patience, so I douse the wood with lots of gasoline to get it started! Poof! It starts right away and its going strong.  My wife on the other hand, takes time to find some kindling and maybe newspapers and arranges the wood just perfect to get the fire started. Takes forever to get it started. My way the fire is going right away, no waiting. I have singed myself pretty good while throwing a match on the wood soaked in gasoline.  But it gets the job done!

When our kids were young, we went tent camping at the Wisconsin Dells. The tents were up and as Roxie walked to the restrooms in the campground, the boys and I started the campfire, using my method. When Roxie came out of the restrooms and was walking down the dirt road she had no trouble spotting where our campsite was in the campground. It had the biggest campfire! Flames 10 feet high! Fun times.

I have heard that sitting around a campfire and watching the fire reduces blood pressure and is very good for your mental well being. I agree with that. I just love sitting in my favorite lawn chair and watching the fire. Last week, some of my friends thought it would be better if we started singing some songs around the campfire. Ok, first of all, singing around a campfire should be illegal and no it wouldn’t better!  How can you hear the crackling of the fire if people are singing? To top it off we sang Kumbaya! I pleaded with the Lord to make it stop, but then realized it is a song about him. I just had to laugh.

Campfires have been around since the beginning of time and still fascinate us humans today.

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I have a thing for county fairs, I love them. I enjoy the atmosphere that surrounds a county fair. The smells, the noise, the little kids, the laughter, it’s all good stuff. This past week at the Swift County Fair in Appleton has been a blast.  I am actually working at the fair and still having so much fun. The best part is meeting people! I am a people person and enjoy visiting with people and the county fair is the perfect place for that.

I set up the KLQP radio booth on Wednesday afternoon in the commercial building and took it down late Sunday afternoon. Very long hours every day from Thursday through Sunday. I will be honest, it is Sunday evening and I am very tired. I can’t imagine what the Swift County Fair board members are feeling. They work very hard and put in some ridiculous hours. Hats off to them for their hard work. The Swift County Fair, in my opinion, is one of the best fairs in Minnesota.

When you are working at the fair for five days, you get to know the other vendors pretty good that are set up by your booth. I have the best neighbors at the fair, we have so much fun visiting with each other and helping each other out. My neighbors across the aisle are friends of mine, Amanda Kells and Kristine Reszel. They sell Lula Roe women’s apparel. All three of us love social media and were coming up with creative things to post on our sites. Those two women are very good at what they do.  Jason Dehne of Edwards Jones was to my left and I enjoyed watching his son help him in the booth. Jason’s son is a very good salesman for his age. To the right of my Q92 booth was Acira, they were handing out yoyo’s that lit up! I loved that and did very well with my yoyo. Appleton Chamber was down from me. On Saturday, they had a beautiful quilt that Judy Hursch made. It told a story of the history of Appleton, with many old pictures on it.  Dale Lien and Jay Heinecke manned that booth and I enjoyed visiting with them. Close to me was my good friend Cheri Tuckett with Crazy About Purses and her son Isaiah. Isaiah shared his steak cubes with me one day! Cheri is very creative and I like watching her visit with her customers. She is such a positive person and people person.

I interviewed so many people on the radio during the fair. From 4H kids, pie baking winners, Miss Appleton candidates, fair board members, Chamber members, robotic students, vendors that advertise with Q92. My favorite interview had to be Sunday. Tim Welling had challenged Taniah Tosel in Knockerball one night at the Appleton VFW. You put this plastic bubble over your body and run into other people. The idea is to knock the other person over. It is very fun to watch. Posters were put up on the fairgrounds the day before announcing this event. Taniah vs Tim 2pm Sunday! I was busy broadcasting from our booth at the time of the event, so I did not see it. I guess a good number of people came to watch.

I had the chance to interview Taniah and Tim afterwards and it was a hoot. Lots of laughs and kidding around. Taniah claimed victory I guess, Tim said it was very exhausting but so much fun, but he got his licks in.  Afterwards Paige Lehne challenged me next year, so it looks like I will be involved in something that might kill me. I have posted the video of Taniah and Tim on my Facebook page.

My favorite events at the Swift County Fair were Ribfest on Saturday afternoon and The Grass Roots concert on Saturday night. Love the Grass Roots songs. The Chuck Brown building was packed for the Grass Roots. At Ribfest, Pat and Dick Krebs, along with Dale Lien and myself have taken a selfie together every year of Ribfest. We got together again for the third time since 2016. Friday night Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota, Shannon Boehnke, from Marietta sang the National Anthem at the Demo Derby. That was amazing, boy can she sing. My favorite food was the  steak cubes from the food vendor by the Chuck Brown Building. Swift County fair is in the books and one to remember! Lac qui Parle fair is next and can’t wait! Fair Fun!


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Sometimes I look down at my shirt to see if the Superman logo is attached. It has been a work hard, play hard kind of two weeks. Family golf outing weekend, county fairs to attend, state baseball weekend, watching grandchildren, board meetings, going on dates with my wife, Chamber of Commerce business to take care of, visit from a longtime friend, radio shows to host and the list continues. Life is fun and interesting, but at a fast pace it seems. How do I slow it down?

I really enjoy my job and spending time with friends and family. My day is always a full schedule, from sun up to sun down and into the late evening sometimes. My oldest son Josh has a saying he likes and uses it often. “Choices, choices, it’s all in the choices you make.”  I need to start making better choices when it comes to my time. So what does that exactly mean? I love my life, I’m happy and content. However lately it’s getting difficult for me to do what I had been doing twenty to thirty years ago without effort.

We had our Raymo Cup golf tournament in St. Cloud. It is a fantastic weekend with the guys. So much fun to be together golfing and just hanging out with family. The guys golfed 54 holes in three days. I golfed 45. We have always golfed that much in the past and it never really bothered me physically. I was a little sore Monday morning going to work. It was a struggle. I am the oldest Raymo golfing and am having a hard time keeping up with the twenty and thirty-year-old guys.

Montevideo hosted the state Jr. Legion baseball tournament this past weekend. My son Brandon was the director of the state tournament and did a fantastic job, along with 120 Montevideo volunteers that it took to run the state tournament. Roxie and I went over to Montevideo Friday and Saturday. Brandon received an award for his service to American Legion baseball. We are very proud of him. So many people were at the Montevideo baseball field, people from all over the state. They came from International Falls, and Cook County, which is Grand Maris on the north shore. Caledonia, Holy Family Catholic, Aitkin, Starbuck and Sacred Heart/Maccray, along with Montevideo. It was a bit warm out, but a very fun event. Best part is we spent some time watching our grandkids.

I spent some time at the Stevens County fair in Morris. I love that fair. The fairgrounds are narrow, but very long. So I did a lot of walking from one end of the fairgrounds to the other many times. I got my steps in that day. I was even pulled into the magic act, and was asked to come up on stage which was fun. What I like about the Stevens County fair is all the different kind of foods they have available. Just about every kind of food can be found at that fair. I did a number of broadcasts from the fair, which is always fun. I am really looking forward to the Swift County fair in Appleton this week and the LQP fair coming up.

It has been a whirlwind last few weeks. A good friend that lives in Chattanooga Tennessee stopped over to the house one night this week and we visited to the wee hours of the morning catching up. Work in the studio can get crazy at times, with so many things to do. I did find time to date my wife, we went out to Duffys in Montevideo which has some great food and someone paid for our meal, which made it all the better. Church and Chamber board meetings were attended. The last baseball Coaches Show was broadcast last Saturday morning. Work, work, work, play, play, play!

So back to the original question; how do I slow it down? I’m open to suggestions.  It’s all about choices, right?

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I just finished a week of volunteering at Vacation Bible School at Calvary Baptist Church. It is a highlight of my summer. I love working with my church family during VBS. Roxie and I have been helping out at VBS at Calvary since 1988, that is thirty years. VBS has an immeasurable impact on children in the community. The majority of children that attend VBS at Calvary are community children. Recently, a 30-year-old mother, who has two children, related to me her fond memories of attending VBS at Calvary when she was a little girl and how she always felt loved there. 

I didn’t attend VBS or Bible camp when I was young. I have two vivid memories of something like VBS, actually not when I was a child, it was when I was a teenager. I believe I was in 7th and 8th grade. I was a Catholic and went to St. Michael’s Catholic school in Madison. I loved that school! A group of boys from St. Michael’s, including my best friend Dan, always enjoyed going to Crosier Seminary in Onamia Minnesota during the summer.

We had so much fun during that week. Swimming in Lake Mille Lacs was a fond memory. I remember playing a lot of sports and having a rigid routine. Morning devotions and Mass was required. In fact, at the end of the week, you were brought into an office and asked if you might be interested in becoming a priest. I was very interested in going into the priesthood. As I went into high school, I actually seriously thought about going to seminary. But I had a problem. I liked girls too much, especially one girl named Roxie! So that was the end of that. 

The other memory was when I was a junior in high school. I got involved with FCA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes. School teacher Jolly Carlson was the leader and took us to FCA events around the upper Midwest. That was the first time I heard professional athletes profess their faith in Jesus, and how a Christian should live. The personal testimonies from athletes really had an impact on me. They continued to talk about having a personal relationship with Jesus. They were different.  In fact, that is when I really started reading the New Testament. Years later I would make that decision to follow Christ, and understood what those athletes had been talking about. 

I wonder if the kids that attended VBS this past week will remember what they learned when they are adults. Will they have fond memories? Will they have felt loved by Jesus and us, like the mom? Will they remember the Bible stories? Did it build their faith in Jesus? Maybe attending VBS will spur someone to be a missionary. VBS is a very important ministry that churches do. You never know how it might affect a child’s life. 

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