E.J. Rotert lives in Pacific, the city immediately southwest of Eureka. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. His news experience includes stints at the Southeast Missourian daily newspaper in Cape Girardeau, the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat daily newspaper and as a stringer (or freelance) reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A confirmed bachelor, trivia nut and intermittent dart player, he believes the most important things in life aren't things, but one's personal education, insights and experiences. "The Moon and Sixpence," by W. Somerset Maugham, is his favorite novel; his favorite non-fiction book is "Progress and Poverty," by Henry George.