It was chilly down by the Missouri River last Saturday afternoon. Windy, too. The bridesmaids shivered in their sleeveless green dresses, and the groomsmen in shirtsleeves squinted into the sharp breeze that blew in from the water. Wedding attire for the invited guests ranged from suits and ties to heavy sweaters, light parkas and wool blankets. I didn't see any of the guests actually pull hoods or blankets over their heads during the ceremony, but I wouldn't call you a liar if you said it happened. It was a blustery day.
Photographs of early-fall snow in the Black Hills remind me of the 1970 general-election campaign when I nearly couldn't make it from Rapid City to Lead to cover a candidate for Congress on the second or third day of October. Recently I've seen a couple of images of snowfall in the Hills. One was from a highway camera at Hardy Station along Highway 85 near the Wyoming border. Well, there's always snow up there. Television meteorologists like to grab that camera shot when they want to scare viewers.
Except for the fact that it brings us 30 days closer to winter, October in South Dakota is the perfect month. And even with winter not far behind, October, most years, anyway, is about as close to perfect as a month can get. What's winter, anyway, besides an opportunity to test ourselves against cold, snow, wind and ice so we'll be in the mood for the generally milder if whimsical nature of the spring to follow. And we'd have neither the test nor the whimsy without October.
As a young reporter for The Associated Press half a century ago, I had the good fortune of interviewing Congressman Ben Reifel several times before he left the U.S. House of Representatives at the end of 1970.
Several years ago when my mother-in-law awoke in the night and feared she was having a heart attack, she got out of bed, dressed, packed a small overnight case and sat at her kitchen table in Chamberlain, patiently waiting until morning to call the hospital.
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.