On the north wall of my stairway, a modest enough location not to appear boastful but public enough for an occasional visitor to notice, is a picture of me addressing the South Dakota House of Representatives. It's a black-and-white photo and a bit grainy, but by the looks of it, I'm wearing that red polyester blazer and the red tie with white dragons. Even if I didn't recognize the nameplates of several legislators whose desks are in the foreground (the legislators have their backs to me, obviously because they're listening intently?
Some years back, a politician running for office talked to me about transitions and "changes of season.'' He was talking about stations in life, career paths, things like that. I followed his thinking. Even as I did, I entertained mental images that were essentially pictures of this time of year -- September into October. In my experience, this is the most gradual change of seasons in South Dakota and the easiest to appreciate. Leaving aside last fall (Oct.
Tomorrow, the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., a fitting way to remember that terrible day might be to go back and read the speech the late Gov.
Random thoughts at the end of summer: As Nancy and I cruised the Missouri River on Saturday, it struck me that our decision in 1969 to leave Sioux Falls for...
Twenty years ago this summer, South Dakota legislative leaders and then-Gov. Walt Miller were still wondering how they'd make up more than $60 million the state treasury faced losing because video lottery had been ruled unconstitutional. This is the month in 1994 when the bubbly music of video gambling terminals went silent for a time. The ruling that brought the machines to a halt was a 4-1 decision by the South Dakota Supreme Court on June 22 of 1994, five years after the Legislature created the system of video gambling with electronic poker and blackjack terminals.
It was hot, stiflingly so, that late-summer evening 46 years ago when our dad died. It would have been this week -- Aug. 19, 1968 -- when he gave up and stopped breathing in a hospital room in Chamberlain. Cancer claimed our dad, Henry Woster, at the age of 56. He was a big, strong, good-natured farmer. Cancer was strong, too, and meaner than anything our dad had faced ever before. I used to say he lost his battle with cancer on that day so many years ago. It wasn't really a battle. The disease ate him apart. He tried to escape, more than he tried to fight. He didn't want to fight.
If you were born while World War II raged, and if all these years later you are still going to a full-time job every weekday, you should consider retiring. I...
Long ago, when I served as editor of a Pierre newspaper, the cover photograph on the back-to-school edition featured my son riding a skateboard. No, I wasn't playing favorites. It wasn't even my idea, although it turned out to be a good one. The advertising guy came up with it.
When the grain harvest hits in South Dakota, a good supply of rail cars at the right time can make all the difference. I suppose I knew that when I was a kid hauling wheat to Shanard's Elevator in Reliance. I used to see the cars lined up on the siding, waiting for the grain, for sure. I didn't pay much attention to the financial end of the rail/grain business as a youngster. The cars were always there when the wheat hit the elevator. Why wouldn't they be? That's how the crop went to market. That's how the world worked. I loved railroads as a kid, don't get me wrong.
Years ago, I used to talk sometimes with a wonderful woman named Alice Kundert about the wonder each of us found in the night sky when we were growing up in our parts of rural South Dakota. Alice was from the Mound City area in Campbell County. She served as state auditor, secretary of state and a member of the South Dakota House of Representatives, but she never forgot her roots.