When our daughter started ballet as a grade-school girl, the annual spring dance recitals were held in the Pierre City Auditorium, a rather drab place with a scarred wooden floor, plenty of metal folding chairs and no air conditioning. I played basketball in the place as a high-school senior back in 1962. Even then, the lighting at one end of the court seemed a bit dim. That wasn't a problem for the dance recitals. The Forney-Cronin recitals had stage lights, great music and many, many young dancers.
I've been walking to work in recent days, and the journeys along the sidewalk instead of out in the street with the vehicles remind me why walking now and then is such a good idea. This morning, for example, as I rounded the curve and crossed the bridge at the south end of Capitol Lake, a middle-school student scurried past. She was slender and not too tall, and when she passed, she smiled and said "Good Morning" so sweetly I had a smile of my own as I watched her hurry along the sidewalk, a backpack the size of Harding County bouncing against her thin shoulders.
The first year we were married, I bought a Christmas tree for something like $2 at Lewis Drug in Sioux Falls. We were renting the main floor of a small house a block off Cliff Avenue. The east-west street that ran past our place went past the front door of McKennan Hospital. These days the whole area is pretty much swallowed up by the medical campus, but when Nancy and I lived there, our place was about three blocks from the hospital's front door. We had three rooms and an alcove just big enough for a baby crib.
You are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts, the saying attributed to Daniel Patrick Moynihan goes -- or something pretty close to that. I Googled a bit to see when he actually said it. I failed to hit the answer right away, and I wasn't committed enough to stick with the search very long, what with the latest weekly episode of "Hawaii Five-O" about to start. (Yes, I know. I said I wasn't going to watch the remake if Jack Lord wasn't Steve McGarrett. I meant it, too, but I got caught up in the characters. First thing I knew, I was planning my Mondays at 9 p.m.
When I looked east through the passenger-side front window of our Chevy van and saw the snow-covered eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 stretching ahead of me toward the Salem exit, I knew I was in big trouble. I was driving the van at the time, so being able to see the road ahead through the passenger side window wasn't a good thing. We were sliding sideways down the road, and I didn't seem to have much control over the situation.
It's hard to believe in this mobile society, but when my wife went off to college in the fall of 1963, she didn't expect to be home until Christmas break. Nancy earned her nursing degree at the College of St. Catherine's in St. Paul, Minn. St. Kate's was an all-female college at the time, and St. Paul was an all-day drive from Chamberlain in the days before interstate highways. St.
I can't tell you how many times as a kid I dreamed of the old Highway 16 bridge in Chamberlain and clawed my way out of a fitful sleep believing I was falling from the deck into the Missouri River. Truth is, some of us never really get over our childhood fears. We become more adept at controlling them. We recognize how silly they are. That doesn't mean they go away. When I was a little guy, I had a whole range of fears, most of them irrational. I always figured my folks were fearless. I figured that's how I would become when I grew up -- a fearless, confident adult.
When I think of upheavals in the South Dakota Legislature caused by elections, I usually think first of the 1972 vote that put Democrats in charge (sort of) of both houses and the 1976 vote that put Republicans firmly back in command of both chambers. As I looked through old legislative history to compare some past elections to this month's GOP victories in legislative races, I was reminded that the Democrats' surge really started in the 1970 election and the first hints of the Republican resurgence came in 1974. I began my career covering state government in the fall of 1969, so the
It's transition time in South Dakota. I'm not talking about transition from one governor to the next, although that is under way in Pierre. I'm talking about the transition from fall to winter high-school sports. Sure, a few teams are still playing some football game or are still going at it on the volleyball court. For most schools, though, the season ended with a disappointing loss either in the final game or match of the regular season or as some point along the trail to the playoff summit.
Way back when Harding Hall was a men's dormitory at South Dakota State, my roommate and I subscribed to a daily newspaper and a weekly newsmagazine. Guys in at least two other rooms on our floor had newspapers delivered, and at least one other room got a newsmagazine. We used to trade issues around, and during some of the bull sessions in the evenings we'd talk about current events.