Nearly 30 years ago, when I worked at the daily newspaper in Pierre, a fellow South Dakota editor engaged me in a conversation about the way to keep people reading newspapers in a world of pictures and audio.
The editor, long since retired, was a big and hearty Irishman who loved his craft and the people who practiced it. From my first days with The Associated Press throughout my career as a reporter, he was a mentor in all things newspaper, and a friend in all things, period. He was one of a half a dozen or so newspaper people who always made me feel proud to be involved in the business of collecting and reporting the news.
A number of years ago, a work crew installed a pipeline through our neighborhood.
We live on a corner, with grass boulevards between our sidewalk and the street on each side. The trenching crew chose our side of each street to tear up. If I’d been doing the project, I might have only done one side of my property, say the north-south line, and used the opposite side of the east-west street for the other line. That’s dividing the misery. On the other hand, doubling up on me probably cut down the number of property owners who complained.
I just about had a nervous collapse the first time I asked Nancy for a date, and that was half a century before I knew we were going to still be hanging around together.RELATED CONTENT
Lyman Garden is a cozy place for a basketball game.
Located on the west edge of Presho, the Garden is home to the Lyman Raiders. It lacks the storied parquet floor of the old Boston Garden where the Celtics played, but a couple of generations of central South Dakota basketball players will swear the boards in the Lyman Garden add a couple of inches of spring to their leaps.
From the sidewalk near the garage, it didn’t look very far from the edge of my snowcovered roof to the vent near the peak.
The vent pipe appeared to be covered with snow, and it occurred to me last Saturday afternoon that as long as I was out shoveling, I might as well drag a ladder out of the garage, crawl up on the roof and make sure the vent was venting.
“What’s the worst that could happen?” I asked myself.
Not so long ago, when news reports carried stories about bonuses for people who work in the financial markets, a friend asked me if I didn’t think those people had way more than they needed already.
I told him it was funny he should ask that, because I used to ask the same thing about my folks back on the farm. His question, in fact, triggered memories of me as a kid, using those very same words. That isn’t to say we really had way more than we needed or that I thought we were rich or anything like that. I knew we bought used machinery and inexpensive clothing. I don’t remember ever going without something I truly needed, but I didn’t have a cell phone, either.
My personal experiment with Facebook is on hold.
I still have an account. I haven’t figured out how to de-activate it.
It wasn’t that long ago, you’ll recall, I became part of the social networking set. I created an account largely because my brothers-in-law had accounts. I didn’t want to seem less cool than those guys.
Way back when, my father-in-law’s family bought him a snow blower.
It was one of the first I’d ever seen, and Paul was more than a little pleased with the new-fangled piece of winter maintenance machinery. I can still picture him in a winter coat and porkpie hat, grinning like crazy as he putt-putted across the L-shaped sidewalk of his big corner lot. Snow sprayed in every direction, including all over his face and glasses, as he learned the tricks of directing the blowing snow harmlessly onto lawns and boulevards. Paul Gust was a working man, but moving snow with his new toy looked a lot like fun.
Being a political operative and being a fan of the Chicago Bears are a lot alike, when you think about it.
In each case, one of the keys is making sure expectations are low enough to cause people to be astounded when you achieve a bit of success.
Several years ago, another newspaper reporter remarked that then-Gov. George Mickelson liked to pound stakes into the ground to measure progress. The former governor didn’t really pound stakes into the ground, but when he was looking ahead and gauging how far he had to go, he did like to look back now and then to see how far he had come.RELATED CONTENT
Basketball contains lessons even for the non-superstars.RELATED CONTENT
I have another photograph I intend to keep a long time, too. I just received it last week. I’m not in it, and that isn’t a bad thing. It’s a photograph of the second-grade class at Plankinton School.RELATED CONTENT
Modern supermarkets still contain some trips down memory lane.RELATED CONTENT
Occupation began 40 years ago today.RELATED CONTENT
Much may be said about princesses, especially Disney princesses, and one of the constants is that they tend to wind up hitched to princes for a life of, you know, happily ever after.RELATED CONTENT
What a simple time it was to talk about presidents and associate them with cherry trees and stove-pipe hats.RELATED CONTENT
Tales of rifle drills and what it really meant to get an ‘A’.RELATED CONTENT
Different folks measure fairness in media in different ways, but one of the oddest in my career as a news reporter came when the campaign manager for a political candidate measured it with a yardstick.RELATED CONTENT
Until I read John Sears’ obituary the other day, I didn’t realize he and I were the same age. He seemed more mature back when he was serving in the South Dakota Legislature.RELATED CONTENT
They seemed to be friends, and they seemed to be together, but they weren’t talking to each other. Each seemed lost in a cell-phone world.RELATED CONTENT