Tag Archives: Sioux Falls

Mother’s Day Recollections at 100


Marge would have been 100 years old this year, in August. We were never sure whether she was born on August 1 or 2, but after a century it really doesn’t matter.

I loved my Mom and each passing Mother’s Day, I learn just how much.

Marguerite Ellen Brown was reared and went to school in Sioux Falls, SD, born there in 1921 to Earl and Veronica Adams-Brown. Earl and Veronica brought her up in a strict Catholic household during the depression with four younger brothers. It was a tough male-dominated environment.

All of the siblings served in World War II, except the youngest, Uncle Jack. Howard was a Navy pilot in the Pacific theater. Earl joined the Army and served in General Douglas MacArthur’s elite honor guard. My sister’s granddaughter Isabella found in her research that brother Richard Leo (Dick) lied about his age and joined the Army in 1942 at the age of 16. Continue reading

From Raging Waters

Reprinted from Loose Change (TCBMag.com)

I hadn’t taken a shower or put on clean clothes for several days, but I was alive. Fifteen inches of rain had fallen on the Black Hills of South Dakota in less than six hours. Four inches fell in 30 minutes. Imagine.

The first week of June 1972: I had just taken a job as a handyman, a laughable oxymoron for someone who not only didn’t know how to fix anything but had just turned 23. My first job out of college—on a dude ranch, the Ox Yoke outside of Nemo, operated by the former sheriff of Custer, his wife, their two sons, a ranch foreman with a cast, ankle-to-thigh, and his long-in-the-tooth pregnant wife. There were no guests at the “ranch.” There were, however, 10-plus WWII rehabilitated veterans, likely supported by a considerable government subsidy. Most sported lobotomy marks and outsized personalities. They worked cleaning out cesspools, digging drainage ditches, and running up to the garbage dump every day. I hung with them and the owner’s sons—let’s call them Spin and Marty, whose signature look consisted of toothpicks jammed into their cowboy hat bands. The youngest, usually shirtless, had a hankering for beer, tough talk, and mirrors. For all I know, he could have ended up in some western Dakota bar swinging from a pole in mesh stockings and falsies. Continue reading