‘The clock is still ticking’

The Hibbing Daily Tribune reports today on the passing of Hibbing community activist Bob Kitchen. I knew Bob when I was editor of the paper and everyone active in the Hibbing community has probably crossed paths with him at some point. He’s been involved with decades worth of public works, beautification projects, economic development, history and culture. Naturally, I offer condolences to his family and friends and suggest that his important contributions to Hibbing have been invaluable.

Every town should have someone like Bob Kitchen and many do, but who will take their place when they’re gone? As you read in the story, Bob often signed his letters with the closing “the clock is still ticking.” I like that. The clock is ticking for the Iron Range. Time is limited. Time is precious. Bob may be irreplaceable but his work can continue. The question is when will the next generation, or the one after it, step up in the small towns here on the Iron Range or everyone else? That, in a nutshell, is at the heart of our economic and cultural problems.

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