The earth, relatively speaking, is round, not flat. Had I written that sentence back in my days of news reporting with The Associated Press, I might have been tempted to say, "The earth, relatively speaking, is round, not flat, authorities said."
While some people say their world shrinks as they grow older, I'm finding the world is the same and I'm shrinking. Back in high school in Chamberlain, I played center for the basketball team. The coaches listed me at 6 feet 1 inch. I thought I was just a hair taller than that, but then, former professional basketball great Wilt Chamberlain used to sometimes say he was 7 feet and 1 and 1/16 inches. At CHS, the coaches didn't mess around with fractions.
It's still summer, but football season is underway for high schools and colleges and that means marching band season. No, I won't relive my humiliations as drum major for the Chamberlain High School marching band, although could I ever tell you stories. The point is, if you have a football game, you simply must have a marching band. Maybe it's a law, although I could never find such a citation in the code books.
I've never cared much for anonymous, confidential or unnamed sources in the news. I write this in the wake of a news week that included a furor over an anonymous opinion-editorial piece in the New York Times, purportedly written by an insider in the Trump administration. After reading that piece, I still don't much care for unnamed sources.
On Labor Day I like to be with family, but when I still worked full time, I often spent at least some of the holiday weekend at the State Fair. I have a great family, but the fair was a decent second choice for a place to spend the last weekend of summer. Crowds, kids, brand-new farm machinery, carnival rides, fancy fried food, loud music and long walks along dusty fairground streets. What's not to like about that? And if you're lucky, you just might see an old friend or two. For sure, you'll meet some new ones.
At my age, I'm one of those senior citizens who always seem to be the target of scams and consumer-protection warnings about scams. Even so, one of few times I fell for a scam of sorts, I was a young man, recently married, living in a rented house off East 10th Street in Sioux Falls and looking for a nice turntable to play some albums.
During a trip to the grocery store the other day, I bumped into a school-teacher friend and walked away with a renewed appreciation for what a positive attitude can do. It was the day before classes began here in Pierre. Like many other of the teacher's friends, I suppose, I made a comment something to the effect that it was time to go back to work, back to the old grind in the classroom. He shook his head and laughed.
Mixed with the intense grief that enveloped me when my dad died was a shameful feeling that only several years after his passing I was able to identify as disappointment.
If you think about it, the breathless flashes and updates available online these days aren't so different in concept from the extra editions put out by newspapers 100 or 150 years ago. I have always found the idea of an extra edition of a print newspaper romantic. I felt — still feel, I suppose — the same way about the BULLETIN we sometimes sent when I worked for The Associated Press. Like the extra edition, a bulletin meant something pretty out-of-the-ordinary was happening in the world.
Meanwhile, in an abandoned gold mile nearly a mile under the ground below the city of Lead in South Dakota's Black Hills, scientists continue their relentless search for the darkest and (so far) most elusive of forces on the dark side.