Former NBC News anchor returns to boyhood home
PICKSTOWN (AP) — Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw says a part of him will always be in his South Dakota boyhood home.
Brokaw recently returned to the southeastern South Dakota community of Pickstown for a town reunion and the dedication of the Pickstown and Fort Randall Dam Museum, the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan reported.
Brokaw moved to Pickstown as a 7-year-old when his father helped construct the dam on the Missouri River. He spent eight years there before the family moved to Yankton, where his father worked on the Gavins Point Dam.
"A part of me will always be at 111 Lewis," he said, referring to his family's home address in Pickstown.
Pickstown was created by the government for the dam construction. The town was named for Brig. Gen. Lewis Pick, who submitted a plan to Congress for building a series of Missouri River dams. His grandson, Charles Pick, and his daughter-in-law, Francis Pick Dillard, also were on hand for the museum dedication.
The town's population reached nearly 4,000 residents at one time, making it one of the 10 largest South Dakota cities. It currently has about 200 residents.
As a boomtown, Pickstown offered a full range of services — including a general store, grocery store, drugstore and hospital — as well as paved streets and neatly trimmed public grounds.
Pickstown's rapid growth and amenities attracted visitors from neighboring towns who watched the dam and community's growth in wonderment, Brokaw said.
"We were living in a post-modern town," he said. "There were people who had never been in a town where the streets were curved. We had an air of superiority.
"This was small-town South Dakota," he said. "We were lucky to be in the right place at the right time."