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I met an 84-year-old man this week who came into the office looking for the editor.

He brought with him a small notebook filled with honey-do items from his wife, notes about how his mutual fund investments were faring, and several newspapers, because he wanted to talk about some things he thought were missing from his Globe Gazette, most notably the stocks.

I told him we weren't bringing the stocks back in print because the vast majority of our print readership finds that information online and that instead we were investing that space in more state and national sports coverage. I encouraged him to go online, especially since, as a member, he has access to both the print edition and all of the content on our website.

That earned me an endearingly crabby old-man grunt and the retort, "I don't do anything on the internet. But my wife has a cell phone."

I told him to send his wife in and I would help her set up her phone so that he could get daily reports on the markets ("... and the gold and silver. I'm into that, too."), and see the Globe every day right on the phone.

I spent 45 minutes with him, and believe it or not, I loved it. Really.

He reminded me that I am a member of a community.

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Become a Member

Being a member of a community has its perks. My family community is huge – I have six brothers and sisters – and I know that at any given moment if I need them, they'll be there. They've got my back and I have theirs.

I'm also married with two grown sons and that's another community that I can go to for support, guidance and even some tough love when I've earned it.

When I lived and worked in Southern Minnesota, I had a faith community that reminded me that service to others is how we best build a relationship with God. Several of the members of that community are among my best friends.

And so it was in my visit with the 84-year-old man. He reminded me of my responsibility to him as the editor of this newspaper, and I challenged him to explore what a membership to the Globe Gazette community holds for him.

  • A deeper examination of local issues than you'll find anywhere else.
  • Two products in one – not everything that's in the print edition of the Globe Gazette is on our website, and not everything on our website is in the print edition.
  • Access to newspapers.com archives dating back two years.
  • The ability to carry your local news with you and receive alerts instantly as news unfolds.
  • Advertising that frequently gets you deals you won't find anywhere else.

Most importantly, as a member of my community – the Globe Gazette community – you can stop in any time and talk with me, and I promise I'll listen. You can join here (https://bit.ly/2IFKZSF) for as little as $5 a month.

 I'll even help you get the stocks on your cell phone if you want.

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Jaci Smith is the editor of the Globe Gazette. Follow her on Twitter at @IowaJaci.

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