Alone, Together

Late night, car wreck, alcohol….children have lost a 27 & 28 year old father. A shiver crosses my heart and a sick feeling enters my gut. My father was 28, my father was out late, my father had been drinking, my father left three kids at home and my father was not driving. It stops me in my tracks and I fight back tears. I don’t know the individuals and am far from an expert on the subject. I only know that it is not 1963 and this time, I will not be the kid growing up fatherless. Deeply saddened, …

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Look Them In The Eye

August is the beginning of the end of summer but the start of one of the great seasons of the year. While weather is certainly involved, it is not any of those 4 seasons that I am writing about. The one season that involves all the temperature extremes of the traditional 4 is the high school football season. Players, coaches, parents and whole communities will be gathering, cheering, debating and counting off each week one opponent at a time. For me, it is also a time to once again dust off the memories of the past. Those memories of Timber …

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Early 70’s Summer Fun

Each May school would end and everything Timber Lake was at your beck and call all day every day. Too old now to remember exactly when it all started, the best I can do is wrap some tales of summer fun into a 3 year window that covers the summers of my 8, 9 and 10 year old years. Golden summers at an innocent age, I can’t remember ever being bored. I was too young to realize that there could possibly be something beyond Timber Lake other than the Ben Franklin in Mobridge. Each day, it was simply a matter …

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Smiles From Home

The older I get the more I appreciate what I had while growing up in Timber Lake. In the 70s, there were no worries about where kids went and what they were doing. Parents knew by a quick glance at the clock where kids could be and often trusted that others would be watching if the commotion wasn’t in their back yard at the moment. Back then the village truly did raise the child. Having been born in 1962 and graduated from TLHS in 1980, those innocent days of roaming the neighborhood took place throughout the 70s. One thing that …

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No School, No Problem

Since the advent of high school, teenagers all over the USA have walked out of school with one thought on their mind: “What can I do tonight?” In a little western South Dakota town like Timber Lake, it has been no different. If a teenager didn’t have chores at home, a part-time job or a sports activity of some kind, there were hours to be filled. At no time in our lives have we craved social interaction with boys and girls our age than those years spent in high school. Girls looked at boys with a different shine in their …

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16 Seconds Forever

I have watched the Days of 1910 rodeo many times over my lifetime. It is a long lasting tradition that is likely a chore for the locals but a treat to those of us who simply drop in every few years or so. Local volunteers, local talent, local bucking stock all combine for a western South Dakota event as American to me as the seventh inning stretch, apple pie and Friday night high school football. There is just something special about the Days of 1910 rodeo that still remains. As kids, we used to pick up the pop and beer …

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Christmas Past

When I hear the word “Christmas”, the years and memories flash back inside my head through a fire hydrant rush of memories to Timber Lake, South Dakota where they all began. Like yesterday, the winter prairie wind is outside my bedroom window, the cold December snow is squeaking under my feet and the little town is glowing like a western hallmark card. I am “home” for Christmas one more time. Today, black Friday and internet specials mark the start of the Christmas season. In 1970s Timber Lake, the beginning of the season was the day mom brought home the first …

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