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Everybody makes mistakes, right?

June 25, 2017
Chuck Hunt - Register Editor ( , Faribault County Register

"To err is human, to forgive, divine."

Last week was a rough one here at the Faribault County Register. We made a few mistakes in the paper.

And, I hate that.

But with the production of several thousand words each and every week, there are bound to be some boo-boos along the way.

I would certainly like to never have a mistake in any issue of the newspaper. We work hard on being accurate. We proof read, do it again, then again, until we have at least four or five pairs of eyes that have looked over every page before we give it the final send off to the press.

And yet, mistakes will creep in. On Saturday morning when I look at the printed version of the Register (as many of you do, too) a mistake I never saw when proof reading suddenly leaps off the page at me. Why, oh why, did I not see that before it went to press?

Then there are those Monday morning phone calls (and emails) when someone lets me know that we goofed up something in the story about them.

Some are mad. Others just want to point it out to me. Some laugh it off. Others question our abilities to put out a decent newspaper.

It happens.

While other business people may make many mistakes, only a relatively few customers may know about it. When we make a mistake in the newspaper, we have mailed it out to a few thousand of our customers for all of them to see.

So last week, I made a slight mistake. And I did it by making an assumption.

You probably remember the column written by Beaumont "Ace" Hagebak about his hometown of Blue Earth. And also my column, which was all about Ace Hagebak himself.

Ace had told me about his father being a dentist in town and said his dental office was behind a drug store at the corner of Seventh and Main.

I assumed that it was behind the southern most of the Three Sisters building, right on the corner of Seventh and Main. I knew it had been home to two different drug stores, and that it had housed some doctor and dentist offices in the rear.

So, I wrote that in my column. But you all know what happens when you assume something.

Turns out I may have been wrong. Ok, I am pretty certain I was wrong.

Several people have pointed out they remember Dr. Hagebak's dentist office as having been behind what was Zitnak's Pharmacy when I came here 10 years ago, but now is the home to UHD Home Health and Hospice offices.

Most of that building opens up on Main Street, but the back part wraps around south and faces Seventh Street. That, apparently, is where the Hagebak dentist office was.

Turns out there was indeed another dentist office behind the Three Sisters building, but it was not Dr. Hagebak.

According to A. B. Russ (and he should know), the offices behind the Three Sisters housed Dr. Chambers MD, Dr. Wilson MD, and A.B.'s dad, Dr. H.H. Russ MD and Dr. Baker, DDS.

A.B. says he went to Dr. Baker once and never went back he wasn't good with kids and didn't use anesthesia.

When A.B. was wrestling at Mankato State, he got hit in the mouth and broke off part of a tooth.

He called Dr. Hagebak, who said to come on down on Saturday and he and his wife, Gerty, would fix him up.

Turns out A.B. had not been to a dentist in four years, after refusing to go back to Dr. Baker. Dr. Hagebak took one look in his mouth and told him he had a rotten wisdom tooth that needed to be pulled out, plus he needed his teeth cleaned, and, of course, the broken one repaired.

At the end A.B. asked for the bill and Dr. Hagebak said it would be $18. (This was 1963, after all).

A.B. handed him a $20 bill and said to keep it, but Dr. Hagebak said no, the bill is $18, and gave him $2 back.

Times have changed a bit since then.

You might be wondering about the other errors in last week's edition of the Register.

Well, the story about the Winnebago EDA may have indicated there was an $8 million remodeling project at the former Winnebago Elementary School, now housing Southern Plains Educational Cooperative.

Actually a past study showed the building would need $8 million in upgrades at some time in the future. No project is in the works, however.

Another story about the Swehla family and their businesses in Delavan indicated that the Swehlas sold the excavating, pumping, septic and porta-potty business to their nephew.

Actually they are keeping the excavating and septic business and it was not part of the sale. Only the porta-potty and pumping business was.

Another erroneous item was a headline on the front page about a Wells resident, Mike Weber, having his request at a council meeting denied.

Weber pointed out that as his home on the edge of the city of Wells was recently annexed out of the city limits, he no longer considers himself a Wells resident.

True, a case could be made that people who live in the rural area just outside of Wells may not be residents of the city itself, but they get mail addressed to their address, Wells, Minnesota.

But, so be it. Technically we were wrong.

We do make mistakes. And, we apologize when we do. And, we promise to try and do better in the future.

But, I know it just isn't possible to do. Because to err is human. And while we may have ink in our veins, journalists are still human.

Well, most of us, anyway.



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