Waseca County Pioneer 111 W. Elm Ave.

Waseca, MN (507) 837-6767


A story worth experiencing

I watched the new movie “Weight of the Crown” on YouTube earlier this week.
Probably because I don’t spend time on Facebook, I was likely among the last people in the county to learn about it.
Some surprises, however, can be wondrous.
Of course I knew of Arik Matson. Of course I understood he had made a tremendous sacrifice in the line of duty.
If you are among those who does not know about “The Weight of the Crown,” have a look at the front page. All the details are there, all the connections to Waseca and Waseca County.
But what’s only alluded to in the news story is the human-to-human connection the movie would have, I believe, no matter who was watching.
Daily life, the tragedies that happen around us, are a constant reminder that none of us know what the future holds for us. Our lives could be drastically changed, even ended, within the next few hours.
The “Weight of the Crown” not only reminds us that all humans are joined by this frailty, this mortality, but also that we possess remarkable resilience. That others–and by extension, each of us–can find strength, determination, and perseverance beyond what we believe possible.
In order to write the “Weight of the Crown” story in this edition, I spoke with county sheriff Jay Dulas, Hometown Heroes Outdoors co-founder and worker Christ Tetrault, and Megan Matson. Each of these folks shared elements of their perspective.
Sheriff Dulas told of the role he played on the night of January 6, 2020, how he was assigned to “scene control” to keep the many curiosity seekers from disturbing the evidence marked out on site. He mentioned that many, many people came by, “just to see.” He described the mood as “somber,” as Wasecans contemplated what had happened to one of their own and worried about the outcome of his injuries.
The sheriff also spoke of being at the movie’s big-screen premiere on January 6, 2024, and how heartwarming it was to learn the details of Arik’s determination–and gratitude.
Chris Tetrault was excited about the movie’s premiere, and shared the depth of the determination he and others at Hometown Heroes Outdoors felt that Arik should be given a truly exceptional opportunity. He told how he had joined the group traveling to Alaska “only to help Arik,” not having even taken along a gun to participate in the hunt.
In the end, though, he said the guide had “shoved a rifle into my hands and told me I was going to do this.”
And then there was my conversation with Megan. It is her work which brought about the Waseca showing in the performing arts center.  Her sincerity was unmistakable as she said she wanted a chance to share Arik’s triumphant experience with all those who remember and grieve his earlier  tragedy. Her determination to continue her connection with the community is made clear by the Matson family’s decision to all be present at Sunday’s showing.
I hope you are able to attend this Sunday at the Performing Arts Center. It is one of those places and times that you brag about having experienced.  But even if you can’t be present on Sunday, I urge you to watch the movie. It will teach you things you maybe didn’t know about waterfowl, about Arik, and about yourself.


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