It’s hard to believe in this mobile society, but when my wife went off to college in the fall of 1963, she didn’t expect to be home until Christmas break.
Nancy earned her nursing degree at the College of St. Catherine’s in St. Paul, Minn. St. Kate’s was an all-female college at the time, and St. Paul was an all-day drive from Chamberlain in the days before interstate highways. St. Kate’s was a long way from family and friends for a homesick freshman who used a black pen to mark off each day on the calendar between her and Christmas break.
When I think of upheavals in the South Dakota Legislature caused by elections, I usually think first of the 1972 vote that put Democrats in charge (sort of) of both houses and the 1976 vote that put Republicans firmly back in command of both chambers.
As I looked through old legislative history to compare some past elections to this month’s GOP victories in legislative races, I was reminded that the Democrats’ surge really started in the 1970 election and the first hints of the Republican resurgence came in 1974.
Way back when Harding Hall was a men’s dormitory at South Dakota State, my roommate and I subscribed to a daily newspaper and a weekly newsmagazine.
Guys in at least two other rooms on our floor had newspapers delivered, and at least one other room got a newsmagazine. We used to trade issues around, and during some of the bull sessions in the evenings we’d talk about current events. I lived in Harding my junior year, 1964-65, and more and more often as the year went by, the current events involved a growing United States military presence in Vietnam.
I wrote the other day about my aversion to scary movies, but after Sunday evening, I have a new definition of scary.
None of those movies that used to have me running down the dark streets for home as a kid in Chamberlain comes close to the terror that strikes when you sit on your front porch at 7:12 p.m. on Halloween evening holding a huge candy bowl and watch a 6-year-old dressed as a princess (or maybe a fairy or an angel) politely dip her small hand into the bowl and take the last miniature Snickers bar and drop it into her plastic jack-olantern.
This has not been an October for complaints.
I’m like every other South Dakotan, I suppose. I really enjoy fall weather, but I usually find myself thinking things turned way too quickly from summer to winter. This year, while I still cringe at the cold weather that’s starting to show itself, I really can’t gripe much about the first 23 or 24 days of October, or the last few days of September, for that matter.
My wife would tell you I’m a little crazy about distracted driving, whether the distraction is a text message, a phone to the ear, a newspaper open across the steering wheel or a driver fishing for something on the floor mat on the passenger side of the vehicle.
I’ll admit I pay attention to those things — maybe more attention than is good for my mental well-being.
I’ve read too many crash stories that involve distractions.
From our bedroom window, we have a decent view of the dome of the state Capitol building.
The view is better after the leaves drop in the fall, but it isn’t bad right now. It would be perfect if I could lop off one huge branch from an elm tree in the yard across the street. I’ve been tempted to sneak over some night and do that. So far, I haven’t given in to that foolish act of vandalism, and for the moment I accept the tree and its place in my view of the Capitol dome.
Had you offered me 30 points and the Jackrabbits against Nebraska before last Saturday’s kickoff in Lincoln, I probably would have turned you down.
I’m a loyal SDSU guy, sure enough, but I’m also old enough to have been in college with some of the fellows who played for State the last time the Jacks and the Cornhuskers collided.
Hey, I watched the season premiere of “Hawaii Five-O” the other night on the television.
I didn’t want to, but I had to. I was a huge fan of the original “Five-0” show back in the late 1960s and through most of the 1970s, and I needed to see what a remake might look like. It wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t so good, but it could have been worse. I don’t know that I’d watch another episode, but I sat through one.
When the Rapid City flood hit in June of 1972, I had been with The Associated Press for about two years, but I was completely unprepared to cover a news story of that magnitude.No one can really prepare for something like that. How do you imagine something that builds through a rainy Friday afternoon and evening, rages through the night and is gone by sunrise? Before the counting and confirming was finished, 238 people lost their lives in the flood that June weekend.Maybe disaster exercises these days contemplate such an event.
Well, that was a change of seasons.
Perhaps it was different where you live, but out along the Missouri River, summer turned to fall sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning. A sunny, 80-plus degree Sunday afternoon turned into a cloudy, 56-degree Monday morning, with showers to dampen streets and lawns.
I once stood in front of a booth at a carnival in Chamberlain for more than an hour listening to the patter from the guy running the place.
I can’t recall what he was trying to sell. I mean, I know he was asking people to buy something. That’s the point of a carnival booth, to get the folks strolling past to stop, listen and buy something, take a chance on something, try their skill at something, whether it is matching numbers, pitching pennies into dishes or knocking cleverly weighted dolls from a shelf with a baseball. I can’t remember hearing what the guy in the booth in the carnival in Chamberlain was trying to sell.
The enormity of the story grows on a person as time passes, this current-events tale of 33 miners trapped nearly half a mile under the earth in a copper mine in Chile.
When I first heard the news earlier this week that rescuers had made contact with the miners and that all of them were alive after 17 days, I listened to the story and then went about my business. After work that day, I had time to consider the event. If I’d been trapped in that mine with those workers, I’d have been underground now for two and onehalf weeks. That’s a lifetime.
I’ve become fairly adept at reading online newspapers and periodicals. That’s a significant statement for a guy who vowed they would pry the printed page from his cold, arthritic hands.
For a long while after “online” became a catch phrase in the news business, I tried to ignore it in my personal time. In my professional life, I accepted electronic news. If online was the way to attract and hold readers, online it would be.
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