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Many once-in-a-lifetimes this year

August 21, 2012
By ANDREW POTTER , Times-Republican

It's been quite a year in the news business this year in Marshalltown.

As I looked across the Miller Middle School gym and saw President Barack Obama last Tuesday, I thought about how unique it was to have this type of opportunity. And several others in the community did too.

Think about it. There are 311 million Americans and just a small percentage ever get to see a sitting president.

And there were hundreds of area residents that weren't in the gym that day but got to see his bus roll past them and he was waving out the front window. That is also a once-in-a-lifetime thing for these people as well.

Up in media row at the Miller gym I got to rub elbows with national media such as CNN and also right in front of me was Nancy O'Dell from Entertainment Tonight. That stuff just doesn't happen every day.

You would think seeing the president would have been the highlight of my year journalistically, but I think I would have to put it in second place.

You see I was given the pleasure to join dozens of area World War II veterans on the Honor Flight this past April. What a great time that was, as I heard the stories of these heroes, then got to experience the World War II Memorial with them. They are truly the greatest generation and it was an honor to be able to accompany them on their special day.

Another big event this year was RAGBRAI stopping in our town this year. Seeing our town double in size for one day was quite breathtaking. Cruising around Riverview Park I was in awe of the amount of people setting up their campsites and trying to cool off. Plus, I got to talk to people from all over the country - most of which spoke glowingly of Iowa.

A few other highlights this year was the chance to interview Rick Santorum, the recent interview with actor Toby Huss and the opportunity to go to the top of the Iowa Capitol and to the top of the Marshall County Courthouse - both had stunning views.

With still a few months until the election and Iowa being a battleground state, there most likely will be more special times as a journalist, because who knows who is going to show up next.

To think this big news year for me all started when my family was the news as we had the first baby of the new year at Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center.

I know it's going to be hard to top 2012 for a long time in my book.


Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or



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