My mom, just like every other farm-family mom in the neighborhood, cooked up a storm, day after hard-work day. She didn't seem to think she was a particularly gifted cook even as she filled the kitchen table, three or four times a day, with enough food to make the legs wobble — both the table's and mine. That was just what she did. My dad went to the field. My mom cooked, cleaned, canned and so many other things. A hard existence, maybe, but I don't remember either of them saying, "I'm bored. There's nothing to do.''
Back in the Dark Ages of open government, when transparency meant opaqueness, I once testified on the open meetings law. It was a favor for the South Dakota Newspaper Association. A legislative committee, as I recall, was considering changes in the law. The association had a statement for the record, but the guy who was to have read it had to cancel. Since I lived in Pierre, he asked if I'd stand in.
The second half of one of a dynamic, friendly leadership rivalry in the South Dakota Senate is gone. Roger McKellips, long-time Alcester banker, 16-year Senate veteran and unsuccessful 1978 candidate for governor, died last weekend. The silver-haired senator carried himself as a gentleman, always well-groomed, well-spoken and well-dressed. In my dealings with him as a reporter, I found him to be courteous and thoughtful, and his barking laugh carried across the room when something tickled him.
This time of August back on the farm, we had pretty much polished off the major work of summer and my dad cast about for ways to keep me out of mischief.
One of the simple, if slightly guilty, pleasures in my life is wandering through the vendors at a powwow or fair, deciding what to eat.
From the Interstate 90 rest area on the bluffs above Chamberlain, a person can almost see around the Missouri River bend to the flats where old Fort Hale sat in about 1870. The rest area offers a broad view of the river valley Lewis and Clark passed through in 1804 as they explored the vast expanse of land President Thomas Jefferson purchased from France. The stop is called the Lewis and Clark interpretive center.
During a sophomore psychology class in college, I sat next to a giant, a football lineman named Dave. He stood about 6-foot-4 and weighed something like 220 pounds. When he walked in and took his seat, the floor of the classroom trembled. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating that part, but I'm pretty sure the floorboards groaned. He had to turn sideways to get his shoulders through the door, too.
One of my best days as a reporter covering the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally happened when a photographer and I crossed the border into Wyoming for the “Ham N Jam’’ at Hulett.
I spent a solid hour the other afternoon watching a television program in which a young couple tried to decide which island to buy. Seriously, I zoned out in front of the television, and when I regained an awareness of my surroundings, I realized I'd just been watching a show about two people shopping for an island. An island, for Pete's sake. Who goes out and buys an island?
Back in 2010, I read about a guy named Steve McCurry who got the last roll of color film Eastman Kodak ever produced. Kodak, like other companies in the photo business, had determined that digital photography was the future and that rolls of film — the kind old folks like me remember buying and winding into our Brownie Hawkeye cameras — were like dinosaurs. So McCurry received the final roll of Kodachrome film. He had 36 frames, 36 chances to capture meaningful images — no deleting files and starting over, no bad exposures, for sure no selfies.