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.
A little more than three years ago, just after I retired from a reporting job with the Sioux Falls newspaper, I got such stiffness and pain in most of the joints in my body that I thought I might end up unable to walk. The condition, which eventually was diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, developed more quickly than I'd have imagined possible. I'm no rheumatologist, not even a little bit of a medical expert. My layperson's awareness -- more properly described as unawareness, I suppose -- was that arthritis developed slowly, over decades and mostly in old people.
In a forum elsewhere, I mentioned the possibility of South Dakota university campuses allowing alcohol in the dormitories. My take on it: Booze? They wouldn't even let us stay up late when I was in school. Students drank alcohol back in my day. I suppose it has always been so, for a number of the young men and women who attend college. Those of us who chose to drink generally went downtown, to one of the taverns that served low-point beer. In my day, if you were 18, you were old enough for 3.2 beer, but not for high-point beer, wine or hard liquor.
When I was a kid, I had a classmate who was born on Feb. 29. That made him a Leap Year baby. He celebrated a birthday every year, but he celebrated his birth date just once every four years. One year, a Leap Year during which his actual number came up at the end of February, I was invited to a party for the kid. Grade school parties were mostly ice cream and layer cake from the birthday boy's mom and home-made cards from the invitees, along with maybe a $1 gift. (Come on, now. Let's not be laughing at the idea of a $1 gift.
If you had seen my granddaughter Frankie play her first varsity basketball game four years ago, you wouldn't have thought she'd stick around long enough to walk off the floor of the gym in Stephan last Tuesday after the final game of her senior season. You probably wouldn't have bet a quarter that she'd survive her freshman season of basketball. She was so tiny out there that first start. I hope that doesn't offend her, because perhaps it is just the faulty memory of an old grandpa.
One Christmas break back in Chamberlain, a bunch of high-school kids went on a skating party in the sheltered cove across the Missouri River from town. No, this wasn't the Christmas break when Coach Vance warned his basketball players not to go ice skating during the holiday because he didn't want anyone coming back with a sprained ankle. That was my junior year, and I wasn't getting much playing time, anyway.