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Danecdotes: Seven years have come and gone

On Aug. 4, 2014, I started covering a few city beats and taking on general assignments for the Echo Journal, not really able to cover sports like I wanted to. Now, I like to think I’m your go-to source for Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus sports.

Dan Determan - Danecdotes.jpg
Dan Determan, PineandLakes Echo Journal Writer
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On this day seven years ago, I worked my first day with the Echo Journal.

It was just my second job since getting my college degree. I was just a guy in my mid-20s who moved to the area from Fargo because my then-fiancee (now wife) got a job here.

So much has changed since then, obviously.

When I started, I was covering a few city beats and taking on general assignments, not really able to cover sports like I wanted to. Now, I like to think I’m your go-to source for Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus sports (fully understanding that many of you also subscribe to the Brainerd Dispatch).

I was five weeks away from getting married. Now, my wife and I are an "old married couple" with two cats and an incredibly quirky little tornado of a 3-year-old son.


We were shacked up in a small apartment in southern Baxter when I was hired. Now we recently passed five years as homeowners in the lakes area with a house in Nisswa.

Speaking of that home, that is now my main workspace. I started this job splitting time between the Echo Journal office in Pequot Lakes and the Brainerd Dispatch, then I went to work at the Echo Journal building full time. Now, that Echo Journal office is no more - being sold to the Pequot Lakes School District in the spring of 2020 - and a global health crisis forced my basement to become my new office.

Though things are slowly getting back to normal on the health front, it appears my home office will hang around.

I was still driving my old car from high school, for which I paid $1,000 in 2005. It had no air conditioning and was creeping ever closer to 220,000 miles. Now, my current car is only slightly better. But hey, at least there is air conditioning.

So yes, a great deal has changed for me since Aug. 4, 2014. I suppose that's just the natural passage of time, but it is an objective truth that these past seven years have been the most eventful of my life.

I was, in essence, just a kid when I took this job. I had just under two years of professional experience and I was just laying the foundations of my personal life.

Cut to today: I truly feel like a grown-up, professional adult - most of the time. I am writing about the things I want to write about. I am a husband and father.

On top of all of that, I am living in a wonderful area, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet and befriend many great people.


If you are one of the people who have played a part in making my job - or my life in general - a little bit better, all I can say is “thank you.” These past seven years have been great, and if I can help it, I’m not going anywhere.

Dan Determan may be reached at 218-855-5879 or Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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