Archive for April 2010

Rocking And Rolling Through Time

Posted: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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As most of you who read these scribblings know, it was my privilege to emcee the 2nd annual Rock and Roll Music Association Hall of Fame induction ceremony and concert this past weekend.
It was a magical night as the Ramkota Exhibit Hall was filled to capacity with fans of this special era of rock and  roll music. 
The Cavaliers set the stage..one of seven inductee bands to performThose of us who had bands of our own in the sixties also had regional bands that we idolized and dreamed of being like. For me, it was Myron Lee and the Caddies, The Talismen, the Red Dogs and the Fabulous Flippers. I made it a point to see and hear them whenever they were in the area. Their music and stage presence were thrilling.  But after all this time, I figured that would have to remain a treasured memory…until last Saturday night!
Somehow the stage at the Exhibit Hall became a time machine. One by one, icons of Rock and Roll sat down to the drums and keyboards, strapped on their guitars, grabbed their horns and stepped up to the microphone.  At the very first note after my introduction I turned around and every extra pound and gray hair from them and me had disappeared. I was back forty years and my memory of how great these entertainers were then was absolutely correct! 
Me introducing The Fabulous ApostlesMarlys Roe still looks and sings like an angel. I could understand why The Talismen, The Castaways, Larry Bell and the Continentals, The Cavaliers and The Fabulous Apostles were so popular because they were and still are so very good!.
It’s more than the music itself, these bands have always had a respect for..and connection to..the audience; a lost art. From the dance steps to the horn players swaying and raising their instruments in union..it was just was an honor to see and hear that again!
The Roarin’ Red Dogs commented later, "It was the most memorable show ever."As for the Red Dogs and Flippers..well, I hope they had fun..because they were certainly a JOY to all of us.
Sadly, when I looked into the mirror Sunday morning, my gray hair, and double chin had returned.
I was 64 again. 
The space/time continuum was back in alignment. But wow..sixteen hundred of us sure loved the all too brief journey Saturday night!  

Knock Knock, Who’s There?

Posted: Friday, April 23, 2010 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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When the doorbell rings at 7:30 in the morning at our house..followed by a rapid knock on the door..my first instinct is that something is very wrong; there’s been an accident or the house is on fire..something like that.
Usually, I’m just waking up at that hour but this morning I had to go out of town early so I was awake and dressed.
My stomach was in knots with worry over the horrible news that awaited me on the other side of the door. When I opened it, though, I didn’t recognize the tall man standing there. He explained that he was a cement contractor about to do a driveway in our neighborhood when he ran out of gas..pointing to his old pick-up truck with some signage on the door parked across the street. He explained his plight and wondered if I could spare a few dollars so he could get some fuel. He promised to pay it back.
I wanted to yell, “Do you have any idea how you scared the crap out of me..banging on my door at this hour?”
But I didn’t.
In fact, and I’m not sure if it was out of compassion or fear, but I handed him ten bucks to which he said, “Thank’s a lot for helping me out, I’ll get it back to you.”
I saw him pull a red gas can out of his pickup and head up the street to the station. Ten minutes later, as I was pulling out of the driveway, I noticed his pick-up was gone.
Will I ever see this guy or my ten dollars again or was I the latest victim (read that, “sucker”) in a unique door to door money scam?
Are my doubts complicated because the man happened to be African American? 
 
Just a minute, somebody’s at the door.
 
Well, I’ll be darned..it’s now 11 a.m. and  It was the same guy.
I’m sure I looked stunned as he smiled..handed me two fives and thanked me again for the early morning emergency loan.
 
It’s left me with a lot to think about today..like old prejudices and stereotypes that seem part of my genetic makeup no matter how hard I try to shake them off and move on.
 
But let’s face it. Nobody trusts anybody these days. We tend to expect the worst in people..especially if they’re different from us in religion, culture or race.
All I can tell you is that my expectations of being made a fool of by this man have, instead, made me feel foolish.
A bit of light on a dark and dreary day.   

Jesse James’ Flying Leap

Posted: Monday, April 19, 2010 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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Ah ha…I’ll bet you thought by the title that this was going to be about that heavily tattooed motorcycle building  TV Daredevil Jesse James who somehow wound up as the husband of beautiful superstar,  Sandra Bullock, only to cheat on her with a variety of shadowy tattooed babes..while she was off making Oscar award winning movies.
Nah, I’m talking about the REAL Jesse James, the outlaw who only robbed banks and killed people. Oh, and he just might have jumped his horse over a twenty foot chasm near Garretson South Dakota called Devil’s Gulch while on the run following a failed bank job in Northfield, Minnesota; that Jesse James.
 
The other day, Linda suggested I do something to get rid of all those pesky little yellow headed flowers that are popping up all over the yard.
So, I got into the car and left..having every intention of going to Campbell’s Supply to pick up some weed killer and an extra length of garden hose but it was such a nice day that I kept on driving. I ended up in one of my favorite little towns; Garretson. A lot of people are familiar with Palisades State Park just south of the community but I also like Split Rock Park where the spillway is located. There’s just something mesmerizing about watching water flowing and falling even if it’s over a man-made structure.
There’s nothing man-made about Devil’s Gulch Park, though, except..perhaps..the tale of Jesse James’ famous leap across one of the Split Rock Creek gorges.
Most everyone knows the story of how..in 1876.. Jesse James and his brother, Frank ended up in the Split Rock area with hundreds of Minnesota possemen hot on their heels.The brothers decided to split up and a short time later, Jesse found himself aboard his stolen horse screeched to a halt at the precipice of a canyon faced with the decision; try jump across to freedom at the risk of plunging to his death on the jagged rocks below or surrender and face the hangman’s noose.
He dug his spurs in to the horse’s ribs and over they went.
I have to return to Devil’s gulch every now and again just to walk over the steel bridge that now spans the site. I keep trying to imagine a horse and rider making that jump and while my head says no way..my heart says, well maybe. 
 
One of the early reports  I did for Keloland, was about the Jesse James legend. I even got to visit the cave along Split Rock Creek where he and Frank supposedly hid out from the Northfield posse.
I asked local historians about the famous leap; whether they figured it to be fact or fiction.
I got lots of  conflicting opinions but one thing they all agreed on is that Jesse and Frank were definitely in that area at that time and somehow DID manage to elude their persistent pursuers and make it home to Missouri.
Did Jesse get there because he was able to coax a farm horse into believing he (the horse)was Pegasus?  
Well, I guess if somebody would have told me that 144 years later another Jesse James would risk his marriage to one of the world most beautiful and talented women in order to shack up with skanks  I wouldn’t have believe that  either.

Taxes, Travel & Tunes

Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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“Hi, Doug, this is Marilyn from Doug Amen’s office. We have your taxes done.”
That annual phone call is usually like money in the bank because it means a refund will be coming our way.
Not this time, though.
For a variety of reasons, we have to pay in this year; only a couple hundred bucks but when you’re used to getting a thousand or more back, it stings just a bit.
That’s the bad news.
On the bright side, I also got a call this week from Chris at Holiday Vacations wondering if Linda and I would be interested in hosting another tour..this time the Great California Train Adventure leaving September 2nd for 11 days!
So, I’ll be heading back to the Keloland TV studio again soon to record the ads for this once in a lifetime 11 day trip aboard the historic California Zephyr train departing from Chicago traveling through the Rocky Mountains and the Sierras to the West Coast where we’ll board a motor coach that takes us from San Francisco down to Los Angeles along the magnificent Pacific Coast Highway with stops at Pebble Beach and Hearst Castle.
I can’t tell you how blessed we are that so many Keloland viewers enjoy taking these incredible journeys with us.
While I’m at it, the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and concert is less than two weeks away; Saturday, April 24th at the Ramkota Exhibit Hall.
Marlys Roe and the Talismen along with The Flippers, The Red Dogs, The Castaways, The Continentals, The Cavaliers and TheApostles will all be appearing and performing in person.
The Apostles began life as Sad Lad and the Mourners..one of the first and certainly most popular horn bands to come out of South Dakota.
The name change came about at the suggestion of their booking agent who had the boys traveling and performing all throughout the Midwest, promoted over the icon of rock and roll radio stations, KOMA Oklahoma City.
Several of the original Apostles, including Willie Bertsch and Sam Hasegawa continue to play as “Apostles Jazz Standards Band” for private parties and a regular gig at the Carnival Grill restaurant in Sioux Falls.
Lots of the members, past and present, will be back on stage making music at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.Also being recognized for their contributions to South Dakota rock and roll are The Trippers. This five.. and then six.. piece band originating in Sioux Falls was promoted by 2009 HOF inductee, Ken Mills who kept them busy working all over the upper Midwest in the late sixties. They were good enough to open for the “Lovin’ Spoonful in Sioux Falls and received some national attention with their recording of a song called “Have you Ever.”
A couple names you might recognize from The Trippers are guitarist Mark Henjum , drummer, Terry Park, whose dad owned Ron Park Drug and Organist Mark Griffin..whose family owned Lewis Drug..still does.
I’ll have more on the rest of this year’s inductees in the days ahead prior to the April 24th ceremony and concert..
Tickets are 20 dollars and available at any Sunshine Food Store or at Lewis Southgate. You can also get them on line at the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame web site just CLICK HERE.
The South Dakota Music Association, which puts on the show, is totally non profit. All proceeds go towards promotion of the events as well as support of the SD Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum located on the second floor of the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls.  The Red Dogs performing before a packed house in S.F. in late 60′s
Here’s hoping you all have big fat tax refunds coming this year!

Thanks Dave

Posted: Friday, April 9, 2010 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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I’m having a bit of a dilemma as I sit here thinking about writing a comment or two concerning the upcoming election in Sioux Falls; especially the mayor’s race.
Just by saying who I’d like to win will surely alienate and infuriate a lot of you who favor another candidate and think I must be nuts or uninformed or both to support anyone other than your guy.
I have tried to “inform” myself by reading about and listening to what they all have to say on what are perceived to be the big issues facing our town..jobs, streets and an events center; not necessarily in that order. (Maybe I should be spending time getting better informed on punctuation. I’m never quite sure where to put colons and semi colons so I just throw them in a sentence piecemeal from time to time hoping they fit. I know I’m often wrong but so far no English teachers have called me on it.)
Back to the election.
 
I realize, of course, that the issues mentioned above are important..but that’s not the only thing I look at in making a choice about who should lead Sioux Falls. Which brings me to Mayor Dave Munson.
Every candidate could learn a thing or two from the current hiz-honor about hard work and being a tireless ambassador for the city..gladly showing up at all sorts of functions plus being willing to answer any and all questions from reporters or the average Joe on the street about what he and the city were up to.
Believe me there have been others who’ve sat in that office who’ve not been so open to discussion and generous with their time..much less take criticism gracefully.
Those who say he lacks effective communication skills have never sat down with him for a discussion face to face. It may take him a while to get his point across but it’s not for a lack of knowledge on the subject.  
Mayor Munson has taken a lot of heat from a few people who felt he sometimes played a little too fast and loose with the city’s money in order to get projects done that he wanted done. I don’t believe he crossed any legal lines but I’m pretty doggone sure that there was never any intentional malfeasance on his part.
The mayor and I don’t agree on a lot of things..such as his insistence that a huge events center is vital to Sioux Falls even if it means another tax to pay for it.  But I also remember not being terribly excited about the Phillips to the Falls project..yet now I can’t wait to show that area off  to family and friends from out of town.
I also wondered about his plan to revitalize downtown.
A lot of people, me included, scoffed at the notion of trying to enforce a teen curfew, putting a stop to the loopers who were snarling up traffic and ticking off other motorists as well as dealing with vandals who took pleasure in leaving beer cans and body fluids in downtown business doorways..
Now, as Linda and I sit at a sidewalk table sipping a glass of wine and listening to music on a warm summer evening downtown, the answer is crystal clear; it worked out beautifully and we have Dave Munson to thank for most of it.
 
So, Doug..are you going to tell us who you’re going to vote for or not?
Well, the truth is, it comes down to the one candidate I actually know pretty well.. having sat next to him in the newsroom for a dozen years.
Vernon Brown and I also don’t agree on every issue but I do know that, like Dave Munson, Vernon loves our city with a passion and isn’t afraid to work long hours to make sure things get done to keep making it better. He’ll be sensitive to the people’s concerns and a terrific ambassador and spokesman for Sioux Falls.
I also suspect if Vernon Brown saw a drunk and disorderly customer in Minervas  he, like Mayor Munson, would do the chivalrous thing..only Vernon would probably call the cops on his cell rather than wrestle the offender to the floor.
You can take the Munson boy out of North Sioux Falls but you can’t take North Sioux Falls out of the boy.

Easter On The Farm

Posted: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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It’s early Tuesday morning and I’m sitting here in the dark with only the light of my computer screen offering up a soft blue glow to the room. Blue describes my feelings too because I can hear it raining outside and the wind is supposed to start howling again which means no golf with the guys today.
Had a fine Easter, though.
Most of our family..including all but one of the grandchildren were here to join in the celebration. 
Ella, Allison and Zoey in their Easter bonnetsSpringdale, our little country church, was filled to over capacity as many of the twice-a-year folks were in attendance for the single 8 AM service.
Pastor Haugrud talked about the miracle of the empty tomb and lots of songs with the words “alleluia and hallelujah”(aren’t they the same thing?) were sung with conviction and trumpet accompaniment.
After a final loud “He is risen indeed” response from the congregation, we all shuffled into the meeting hall where the youth group members served up the annual Easter morning breakfast of French toast and sausages.
After so many years of only showing up in church for weddings and funerals, it’s good to have found our way to this place for much needed forgiveness and hope.
After church and a change of clothes, we all piled into cars and headed off to Paul and Maria Hooyer’s farm near Sioux Center, Iowa..about an hour away.
Maria is Linda’s sister and, for some reason, enjoys hosting Easter and cooking for great hoards of relatives so long as we each bring a hot dish, salad or pie. The kids love it because there is always so much fun stuff for them to do on the farm.  Whether it’s tearing around the property on one of their three four-wheelers or scaling to the summit of Mount Hooyer which is a stack of round bales piled to nosebleed height. Zoey poses by one of the big bales. It doesn’t look too scary until….All those bales are necessary for the thousand or so head of cattle that Paul keeps in the immense feedlot south of the house. He buys them young, puts some meat on their bones and when they reach a certain weight, he trucks them off to market.
Once or twice a year, he’ll cut out a critter for us that goes in the back door of the Hudson  Locker and comes out the front door in the form of several packages of delicious red meat for our freezer.
On Easters past, I’ve wandered out by the barn to look at the cattle but never felt too comfortable making eye contact knowing what I know about what their future holds. I always figured Paul was the same way; not getting too attached to these brown eyed beasts who are his meal ticket in more ways than one..
So I was kind of surprised when I looked out the window of the house to see he had brought a young heifer on a leash up to the front yard for the kids to see…and pet..and even RIDE!
Paul gives Ella a ride while Allison admirers a strand of drool He said this little gal was pretty tame and seemed to enjoy contact with people. Zoey and Ella loved it.
I named her Cowbelle.
Paul then said once you name a farm animal, especially one with real long eye lashes, it can no longer be sent off to that place where they keep stun guns and knives.
Does that mean Cowbelle will be granted a pardon?
I’ll let you know after we go to the farm again next Easter.