We've reached the weekend before the nation's general election, but I expect the campaigning and shouting and social media cacophony and crush of TV political spots to remain in high gear right on into Tuesday.
The best part of Halloween this year came an hour or so after the last costumed kid rang our doorbell. That last kid was one of seven visitors we had the entire night. Big change from the days when we lived across from the governor's residence and entertained anywhere from 600 to more than 700 boys and girls every single Halloween, snow, wind, cold, rain or whatever else. We moved to a place in the north part of Fort Pierre a year ago, you know. While the mail carrier and the UPS and FedEx trucks still find us with commendable regularity, the
Before I covered the Jasper Fire west of Custer 16 years ago, I used the word "firestorm'' far too casually. I know I used it a fair amount when I worked for The Associated Press, even though we prided ourselves on not using trite, hackneyed phrases in our dispatches. But it was such an easy word to give phony importance to anything the least bit controversial.
The first time I tried to interview rock and roll superstar Bobby Vee, I got a galloping case of hero worship and had to turn and walk away. Seriously. I knew that if I tried to introduce myself, my tongue would get tied when I tried to speak. My hands already were shaky, and my knees were weak, to quote from "All Shook Up,'' a popular tune by another 1950s rock hero named Elvis Presley.
As I drove past the governor’s residence in my old Pierre neighborhood the other afternoon, I saw at the corner of Washington and Capitol a sculpture of former Gov. Mike...
Back in the campaign season in 1972, Jim Abdnor from Kennebec told me excitedly about a new billboard he had just authorized in his run for Congress. Billboard? Yup. I said "back in 1972.'' Billboards were a pretty big deal for some campaigns in those days. You still see them, but I don't know if people really "see'' them these days. They don't move or talk.
Every fall when pheasant hunting season comes around, I feel a tug of nostalgia about those good old days as a kid on the farm. Folks might think it unusual for me to have a sentimental feeling for the days when I used to hunt pheasants, since I've not done it for half a century or so. The tug of the past may seem odd, too, because I have no desire to go out and tromp the fields again, not even on a Saturday as weather-perfect as the forecasters say this one should turn out to be. Been there, done that. Got the memories.
I couldn't bring myself to watch any of the national political debates, not the first one, not the one last Sunday, not even the one between the candidates for vice president.
When they asked me at a program on news reporting last weekend about the legacy of the Wounded Knee takeover in 1973, I should have gotten personal.
I thought about Joyce Hazeltine last Friday evening during a program in Rapid City where my younger brother and I swapped stories from our news reporting years. We were talking of the plane crash that killed Gov. George Mickelson. For some reason, as my brother told a story from that time, I remembered meeting Joyce on the Capitol stairway either very late the night of the crash or very early the next morning. Timing is a bit blurred from those days. Anyway, we stopped, hugged and she sobbed for a moment.