It's the first weekend of April, and that means outdoor track season has reached South Dakota. I'm writing this just ahead of the weekend, but I checked the weekend forecast for Mitchell. It looks mostly sunny, 50s one day and maybe 70 the next. That's track weather in this state. Some significant wind is in the forecast. That's track weather, too, in South Dakota.
Some years back, when the term "global warming'' was just beginning to be thrown about, I reported on a meeting about climate change and the Missouri River Basin. The climatologist there stressed "climate change'' rather than "global warming.'' He soft-pedaled the extent to which any climate change may be due to man-made factors. I think he believed in the connection. He just didn't push it at the meeting.
Later today our family will gather, as we do on the Saturday before Easter every year, to color eggs.
When we decided to sell our big house and downsize last fall, I thought about many things I'd have trouble throwing away or giving away to fit our old stuff into our new space.
I began paying a small measure of attention to presidential politics in the summer of 1956, occasionally reading Daily Republic stories about the nominating conventions and the campaigns of incumbent Republican President Dwight Eisenhower and Democrat Adlai Stevenson.
I've heard folks say the math they studied in school has no relevance in real life. I'd probably say that about bookkeeping, even though I enjoyed the course.
When I began covering the South Dakota Legislature, each session ended with a short message from the governor. The Legislature would inform the governor they were ready to leave, and the governor would make an appearance in each chamber to tell them they'd done a good job — or not, sometimes.
You read a lot these days about mindfulness and meditation to calm the spirit, but an old-fashioned, home-made grandfather clock works, too. Nancy and I acquired just such a stress reliever last summer from her mother. It looks pretty good in the corner of our dining room. When the outside world grows quiet in the evening, the tick-tock of the old clock is a reassuring, soothing sound, and the steady back-and-forth swing of the pendulum is mesmerizing.
As the South Dakota Legislature ends and our attention turns to baseball's spring training, it should be noted that last Monday was the 44th anniversary of the day Henry Aaron signed a contract that made him the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball at $200,000 a year. Fans of one of the best natural hitters ever born will remark at the 44th anniversary. Aaron wore that number on his uniform with the Milwaukee (later Atlanta) Braves. The number also symbolized one of his nicknames — "Mr. Four-For-Four," a recognition of ability to hit a baseball consistently.
Every citizen has the constitutional right to petition government for redress of grievances, but not every citizen exercises that right the same way. I thought about that recently after supporters of a teacher-pay bill left the Capitol disappointed and angry when the House delayed the measure. Some days later, the bill passed and is in the Senate now.