Back in the fall of 1974, early November it was, I stood shoulder to shoulder with the Godfather, actor Marlon Brando, on the south steps of the South Dakota Capitol building.
I saw a thing on Facebook awhile back that asked people to name a development, discovery or invention from their early life that younger folks take for granted. It was something like that, anyway. It made me think, and I came up — no surprise to those who know me — with the Rural Electrification Administration and more specifically, the arrival of electricity on our farm when I was no more than 6 or 7.
A guy grows up and forgets what a great month February used to be for school kids.
Long before the Standbys, even before the Bearcats, I played in a musical group called the Untouchable Trio. I thought about that last weekend as I watched a "CBS Sunday Morning'' segment about a phenomenon called "Lip Sync Battle." If you aren't familiar with the phenomenon, don't feel alone, although CBS said 2 million people watch the show on cable.
If Arthur Fonzarelli, the Fonz from the TV sitcom "Happy Days," had been a cowboy, he might have been Clint Roberts.
A warm spell like the one predicted for the next seven or 10 days would have shut down the rabbit hunting for me and my cousin back on the farm.
During an evening session in the South Dakota House in one of my first years as a newspaper reporter, a fellow in the first row of the upstairs spectators' gallery shattered the decorum when he suddenly stood and shouted, "Filibuster. Come on, filibuster.'' You could have heard a bill drop as House members, pages, messengers, staff, reporters and spectators craned their necks to stare at the man. The shouter sat down, pretty pleased with himself.
It turns out the youngsters, the millennials, aren't the ones using their phones the most in this country, according to a summary of a Nielsen report I found while, uh, scrolling through online stuff with my phone. Me, age 73, finding the information on my phone might be considered ironic, I suppose. I've never quite figured out what irony really means. That in itself might be a bit of irony — or not.
It's a different world following the Legislature from the outside as an average citizen instead of from the press room of the Capitol building. For 40 sessions, from 1970 through 2009, I watched from the press box. For five sessions after that, with the Department of Public Safety, I followed the Legislature every day as part of my job. It wasn't the same as being a reporter, but it kept me on the inside.
Early one misty morning a couple of summers ago as I stood outside the operations center near the east end of Camp Rapid, I stretched, took a sip of coffee and looked up to where the fog had parted enough to show me a massive dinosaur above the clouds.