Across the state this month, high school seniors will walk in measured steps to the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance,'' cross a stage to receive a diploma and, as they'll be told countless times between now and then, go out into the real world. Many colleges already have held commencements. We traveled to Brookings last weekend to watch our second-oldest granddaughter, Jordan Jo, make the walk. Her smile as she clutched her diploma was worth the miles and the crowds.
I learned from my father-in-law much of what I know about being a grandfather, including the notion that a grandpa is exempt from restrictions on giving young boys and girls...
Today is my mother's birthday. She died in 2004 without, as far as I know, ever being aware that she shared a birthday with George Harrison, the "quiet Beatle.'' My mom would understand that I'm including George on her birthday. She loved music, all kinds of music. Were she alive today, she would be able to sit down at an upright piano and play "While My Guitar Gently Weeps,'' perhaps Harrison's best-known song, certainly his best-known with the Beatles.
During the 1970 session of the South Dakota Legislature, one of the important figures was a congressman from Pennsylvania who became, you might say, a champion of duck hunters. That...
I wrote recently about citizens' right to petition their government (in the context of approaching the state Legislature), and I indicated that those with resources to hire a lobbyist or to spend the session in Pierre had an advantage. Well, yeah, they do, Captain Obvious. However, technology, for all that I detest about it, has improved access to government for nearly every citizen. In the decades since I began covering state government, Internet-enabled access to the Legislature, executive branch and judicial proceedings has been one of the better developments in technology.
When the South Dakota Legislature convenes on Tuesday for its 2015 session, I will have no official connection to its proceedings for the first time in 46 years. From the first session I covered as a reporter for The Associated Press in 1970 to last year when I was part of a state department's legislative team, I have watched legislators, lobbyists and citizens gather each January to make laws and repeal laws and decide how much money state government can expect and how it should spend that money. That's a crazy way to spend the winter, but it can be addicting.
The holiday season is a success if the weather allows your family members to travel home for a visit and then travel back to their own homes without too much...
An assassin's bullet took the life of President John F. Kennedy during a Dallas motorcade on this date in 1963. I was a sophomore in college. I've told before of leaving the ROTC classroom to join a group of students clustered around the Associated Press teletype machine on the north end of the Journalism building's second floor. We watched bulletins and urgents, ledes and adds, inserts and updates appear behind the hammering keys of the printer.
I connected with a couple of former South Dakota news reporters the other day through the magic of social media, Facebook, to be specific. And by connected, I mean each of us posted something and one or another of us "liked'' the post or made a snarky comment. It was great, if brief, fun, being in the same electronic world with Jim Carrier and Sandy Johnson, and it made me smile the rest of the evening. Young folks who grew up on social media, the folks who spend every waking hour (and probably several non-waking ones, too) connected to others are probably thinking, "Ooh.
I had every opportunity in the world to be a great auto mechanic, but my poor hearing held me back. Not the sort of hearing problems I have today, which are about this simple: I've lost a good share of my natural hearing. I've worn hearing aids for 20 years now. The higher ranges are harder for me. When my granddaughters talk with me, they make sure to face me, speak up and helpfully repeat for me what other granddaughters are saying.