By Paul Heaton
Dale MacIver’s “temporary” assignment in the summer of 1978 ended up being anything but temporary.
MacIver at the time was working on Capitol Hill for Minnesota Congressman Don Fraser, whose daughter was editing The Southwester. When Fraser’s daughter wanted to go away for the summer, Fraser asked MacIver to fill in.
MacIver never left, and ended up leading the paper for most of the next 33 years – even after moving from Southwest a few years ago. He is now Editor Emeritus, having helped guide the paper for more than two-thirds of its history.
Newspapers weren’t new to MacIver, who got his first taste of journalism in junior high school. In college he became editor of the Duluth Collegian in 1941.
A business and law degree took his career path away from newspapers, but he kept dabbling in various forms of publications throughout his career.
A point of pride for his time with the Southwester was the involvement of youth in the newspaper.
He saw the newspaper through the transition from production on typewriter to computers, but little about the content has changed, he says. He always focused on the people of Southwest, with an emphasis on covering youth sports.
Why devote so much time – unpaid – to producing a neighborhood newspaper? He tells a story about one of the young men who he got involved in The Southwester, and how the student later expressed his appreciation. “I don’t do anything that I didn’t learn in Sunday school,” he says. “Obviously, the kids give a lot back to you, and the parents are very appreciative.”
MacIver, who recently turned 89, remains in the publishing business, producing the “Twitter at Ingleside at Rock Creek,” where he now lives.
Despite recent redevelopment, he sees little change in what makes Southwest special. “Everybody rubs elbows at the Safeway and aren’t scared of each other,” he says. “Parents support the programs the kids are in at the rec center and the schools. The area is very stable.”
He concludes, with a polite request to keep the story about him short, “The people, qualities and character of the area haven’t changed.”