Before the political conventions, I saw one public-opinion poll that said Hillary Clinton had a double-digit lead over Donald Trump in the race for president and another that said the two candidates were neck and neck. After the conventions, I saw a poll that said Clinton was back in the lead. If I looked again, I might find a poll showing Obama leading the race, or maybe even Adlai Stevenson or Richard Nixon. Who knows?
Mary McClure Bibby spent the first two years of her legislative career as a member of the minority party in the South Dakota Senate. That's pretty rare for a Republican in this state, but she told me years later it wasn't a bad thing. It taught her, she said, a few things about cooperation and persuasion. If so, she learned well, because she developed a remarkable skill at moving others to her point of view.
Several recent days have been "stinkers,'' as my dad used to say back on the farm when the temperature on the thermometer outside the back porch door topped 100 degrees and the air felt as if a damp sheet hung over the county. And our home thermometer was on the north side of the house and always in the shade. "It's 105 in the shade, and there isn't much shade,'' was another of my dad's back-on-the-farm expressions, one he used often later in the summer when we lived without air conditioning and those still, stifling days of late July and early August smothered the land.
I saw in the news the other day that some mother in Pennsylvania blames Pokemon Go for the injuries her 15-year-old daughter suffered when struck by a car.
Some years back, a law-enforcement friend told me of the time he worked security at the South Dakota State Fair and received several reports of a man walking through the fairgrounds with a big handgun strapped to his hip.
In 1974, Dick Van Dyke played the lead role in a television movie called "The Morning After,'' the story of a high-powered public relations guy with a huge drinking problem.
I pride myself on keeping up with current events, but it's a struggle. Not because I lack time to read and watch but because so much of what I read and watch is so terribly discouraging, angry and without supporting sources. I can make my own judgments, decide what I think. I just want some relatively objective, dispassionate sources to give me Joe Friday-like facts. That can't be asking too much, can it? Newspapers still do it, but how many can a guy subscribe to at once?
When I was maybe a high school freshman, I took my acoustic guitar to the grand opening of a grocery store in Chamberlain and accompanied and sang harmony with Mary Kay on a couple of popular folk songs of the day.
The first time I visited New York City, I covered the national convention at which the Democrats nominated Jimmy Carter as their candidate for president. Who am I kidding? It was the only time I visited New York. The year was 1976, the nation's bicentennial. Jerry Brown was governor of California. Forty years later, he's governor again, but in 1976 they called him Governor Moonbeam.
It's the Fourth of July weekend. For my family that means, weather permitting, a trip down to the bend in the Missouri River after sunset on Monday to watch the fireworks display on the Fort Pierre shore.