I spent some time recently reflecting on the backboard and hoop I made and fastened to the REA pole at the edge of our farmyard, an uneven, rutted patch of rock-hard earth that sloped away from the pole and made the hoop an official 10 feet above the ground only in a tiny area directly below the basket. It wasn't a standard basket, and the ground kicked the ball at crazy angles when I tried to dribble. Still, I spent a ton of time out there after the day's work was finished, trying to develop a jump shot, some ball-handling skills and general basketball fundamentals.
I live in a small city, but I'm a Lyman County farm boy. I listen to the weather reports. (Now, farm boy I may be, but I wouldn't trade the static of old radio for the marvels of The Weather Channel for keeping abreast of cold fronts and storm warnings, high-wind advisories and heat waves.) The forecast the other evening called for a drop in temperatures, maybe lows in the 20s, quite possibly a freeze warning. Well, who'd have thought it? It's been a while since the temperature fell below freezing here in the Pierre area. I gather it's the same for much of South Dakota.
If Easter is a time of renewal, then my home community and its sister city across the Missouri River are deep into the season. Pierre and Fort Pierre, like Dakota Dunes and other communities downstream to the sharply pointed southeast corner of South Dakota, are slowly recovering from record flooding that started late in May and lasted through the summer and beyond. The signs of renewal abound.
We took in a Riders in the Sky concert the other day and, quite naturally, I got to thinking about cable television. I got to thinking that direction because one of the cowboy quartet members made a joke about the old days of three television channels and all kinds of programs to watch and the modern situation with a couple of hundred channels and nothing to watch. The line drew a huge laugh from the audience, which trended toward the more mature side of the greater Pierre demographic and whose members probably can actually remember back to three channels and all the great programming those
So, now it can be told. I had a total shoulder replacement earlier this month. The date of surgery was March 12, a Monday. I didn't say anything about it right away for a couple of reasons. First, at my age, I wanted to make sure I came out of it before I started yakking about the procedure. Second? Well, duh. I've had my right arm in a sling for a couple of weeks. I wasn't supposed to be working a keyboard. Since I'm out of the sling and back at the job full time, I figure it's safe to talk a little about this miracle of medicine.
Today, in my ongoing mission to bring to the less technologically adept segment of society (or folks like me) warnings about the latest changes in social media, I bring you a thing called ambient social networking. Actually, to give credit where it is due, Time magazine brings news of this phenomenon.
All right, the basketball tournaments are over, the champions have been crowned, and we can turn to what's really important in high school activities. That's track and field, for all you non-believers out there. I know it doesn't always get the attention of the general public the way basketball and football do, but it gives a lot of school kids a chance to compete and the usually good feeling that goes with representing their school in that competition. It's an individual sport, but it's the ultimate team sport.
When my dad was just a young man, he and his big brother, George, hopped a freight and rode to Chicago for the World's Fair. The year was 1933. I used to love to hear the stories about that trip.
One of the things I really enjoyed as a daily newspaper reporter was digging into history and writing about events from the past, especially South Dakota's past. In his unorthodox history book, "South Dakota: A Bicentennial History," the late John Milton, of Vermillion, remarked on how "new" is the history of this state. We became a state in 1889, and Milton's book was published in 1976 or perhaps 1977.
Not many times does a kid -- an old, gray-haired kid, to be sure, but a kid, nonetheless -- not want his mother to still be around, but the other day might have been one of those rare times. I was reading the Rapid City newspaper (hey, my little brother works there.