As the final buzzer sounded during one regular season basketball game my senior year at Chamberlain High, a teammate lobbed the ball high into the air to celebrate the victory. I'm pretty sure forward Roger Miller was the teammate. We'd just beaten Burke in their gym and he was happy. That celebratory lob of the basketball was remarkable for a couple of reasons.
When the latest winter storm on Monday closed down the university campus in Vermillion, it reminded me that I enjoyed just one snow day during my entire higher-education career in Brookings.
I'm a Chicago Bears fan, and I have to tell you, I feel lonely these days. Newspapers, TV and social media sites are full of stories about the upstart Minnesota Vikings. Seems like everyone I meet is a Vikings fan. I call them upstarts because they weren't in the league when I started rooting for the Bears back in Chamberlain in the 1950s. The Vikings didn't start playing professional football until 1961.
One of the more bizarre images from the weekend's false alarm about a missile attack on Hawaii was the news clip of a guy popping a manhole cover to find shelter in the sewer. After it became clear the alert was a mistake, I was struck by how many island residents flat-out hadn't had a clue what to do. I saw the clip of a guy lowering a kid into a manhole. Other people ran madly down the streets as if the bulls were behind them in the annual running at Pamplona. Well, what do you do for 40 minutes before an all-clear message?
Anyone who knows me at all well will tell you I'm not a picky eater. If it's food, I'll eat. You won't hear me saying things like, "Ooh, that has onions.'' "Oh, no, I don't eat mushrooms.'' "I hate peas.'' "Wait. Is that iceberg lettuce?" That isn't me, especially not if someone else has prepared the food. Go to the trouble of making a meal so I don't go hungry, and I'll eat what's on my plate. That's how I was raised.
Time was, South Dakota asked its citizens to wander through their homes and garages once a year and make a list of their personal property.
For Christmas, we received a little saucer-shaped robot that vacuums the floors all by itself, and I find I'm having adjustment issues. We, Nancy and I, aren't people who surround ourselves with "smart'' devices. The vacuum cleaner is an unusual addition to the home in that regard. I know some folks load up on smart devices. A year ago, I wrote a package of stories about the future of smart homes for the rural electric associations, and I was amazed at how many devices can be controlled over the internet, remotely, from a phone.
I'd be remiss to leave 2017 without a mention of the passing of two men who helped me learn more about South Dakota and the Native American people who live here.
When I worked with The Associated Press, we took pride both in getting the news first and in being correct in the stories we sent to our member newspapers and broadcast outlets. The bosses used to tell us, "Get it first, but get it right first." Good advice then, good advice now. The AP still seems to take it to heart, as shown by a correction I found on Twitter. The correction said, "The AP has deleted a tweet about a giraffe being born because it included a photo of the wrong giraffe. A new tweet is upcoming."
Just before the last of the kids and their families left for home after a hectic Christmas weekend, Nancy and I took a moment to carry on what has become a family tradition.