What is a year?
A message from Editor-in-chief Emily C. Skaftun
I know I’m not the only one thinking that, in the case of 2018, it was both the blink of an eye and an eternity. Can you believe the Winter Olympics were less than a year ago? I can’t. I think it was in an entirely separate lifetime that I watched all that skiing and hockey.
But on the other hand, another year as editor of The Norwegian American (my fifth, somehow!) has flown by so fast that I missed most of it. It was a(nother) year characterized by struggle—that hardly needs saying at this point, does it?
Yet it absolutely does need saying. I begin each year writing the same vague platitudes and gentle warnings about the state of this business, and I suspect some of you have come to believe that because our situation doesn’t really change it can go on forever. It can’t. More so than any other year I enter this one with trepidation and the belief that literally anything could happen. Is this the year America’s oldest and onliest Norwegian paper finally stops publishing? It might be.
But since we cannot know the future, at the turning of the year, let’s look back. Here are some highlights from The Norwegian American’s 2018:
• Our Winter Olympics special issue (Feb. 9), with a heroic breadth of coverage pulled together by our then-brand-new Sports Editor, Michael Kleiner.
• The return of the Norsk 101 column, now written by the intrepid Christie Ericson.
• Four-part coverage of the life of Quisling, by Alianna Boszhardt (start here: www.norwegianamerican.com/heritage/the-making-of-a-norwegian-traitor)
• A look at Nordmenn of baseball and football, with Kleiner’s profiles of Knute Rockne, “Honest John” Anderson, John Olerud, Dale Sveum, Brandon Inge, Silas (Si) Johnson, Jimmy Wiggs, Art Hauger, Ole Olsen, Jay Kleven, and the Jorgens brothers.
• Elizabeth Bourne’s insider looks at life in Svalbard, from food (www.norwegianamerican.com/food/staying-alive-in-the-frozen-north) to holidays (www.norwegianamerican.com/features/christmas-near-north-pole).
• Victoria Hofmo’s interview with the mad artist Fred Lammers: www.norwegianamerican.com/arts/take-wild-ride-fred-lammers.
• Our second Fashion Issue (Oct. 19), spearheaded by 2018’s (unofficial) Employee of the Year, Lori Ann Reinhall, with great coverage of Oleana and other designers.
• Probably my favorite Christmas issue, with definitely my favorite Christmas article by Judith Vinje about hallucinogenic mushrooms: www.norwegianamerican.com/features/we-wish-you-a-trippy-christmas.
• More fiction than ever before, including some of my favorites:
“Nattraven,” by Alex Creece: www.norwegianamerican.com/featured/nattraven;
“Mr. Nilsson’s Kjempehytte,” by Michael Dolan: www.norwegianamerican.com/featured/mr-nilssons-kjempehytte;
“Death Claims His Prize,” by Glynis Scrivens: www.norwegianamerican.com/fiction/death-claims-his-prize;
“Halfway House,” by John Smistad: www.norwegianamerican.com/fiction/halfway-house;
and a bigger-than-ever issue on påske/krim, with original crime fiction, bespoke cover art by the fabulous Inkshark, and Glenn Folkvord’s article exposing the true origin of Norway’s obsession with crime fiction at Easter time (www.norwegianamerican.com/featured/the-origins-of-norways-bloody-easter).
It looks like a pretty good year when I lay it all out like that! Let’s hope the uncertain future allows us to top it in 2019.
This article originally appeared in the January 11, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.