Remembering Kenny Anderson

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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Well, here it is..Monday. The city election is tomorrow and I still haven’t decided who I’m going to vote for. Or is it whom?
Ah, whom gives a darn?
 
Linda and I live in the Northeast district which has had a real growth spurt in recent years..more of a growth gusher, actually.
Unlike the rest of the country, Sioux Falls’ housing market shows no serious signs of slowing down so whoever..or whomever is elected to represent us on the council will likely have a much larger constituency at the end of their term than the beginning.
I hope that they keep in mind that growth may be good..but it should not come at the expense of those of us already here. I can still hear Kenny Anderson saying that..or words to that effect.
 
We cast our ballots at the Kenny Anderson Community Center near Washington High School.
The center..along with an outdoor sports complex..is named after one of the most beloved people ever to come from Sioux Falls. 
The fact that Kenny was a black man in a city made up mostly of pasty white Scandinavians, Germans and Irish never seemed to be an issue..at least not for us. He used to love saying, "I’m not black, I’m not green..I’m Sioux Falls."Indeed he was.
Kenny grew up in the North End and eventually operated a successful dry cleaning business. He was also a standout ball player who was elected to the South Dakota fast pitch softball hall of fame. He not only loved to play sports..he was a loyal fan and a familiar face along the sidelines of most any local sporting event.When Kenny decided to run for a seat on the city commission in 1988, he won with ease and served with distinction until he died..way too soon..in 1990 after suffering a stroke.
I don’t know of any real life changing decisions he made during his time on the commission. I just remember that he greeted everybody with a smile, was always approachable, a great interview who had a genuine passion to help the people of his hometown. Accordingly, folks just thought the world of Kenny..enough to name a couple "people places" in his honor.
Now, his son, Kenny Junior, is on the city council ballot this year hoping to follow in his famous father’s footsteps.
Most who knew his old man would have to say they’re some pretty big shoes to fill.

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