I didn’t vote in the Sioux Falls school board election on Tuesday.
Now before you begin wagging your finger at me and making tsk tsk sounds questioning my citizenship qualifications, hear me out. I chose not to make a trip down to the polls because I didn’t give a rip about which of the two school board candidates got elected. Nothing personal, but both Doug Morrison, who defeated incumbent, Debbie Hoffman, have plenty of school board experience and seem equally qualified to me so it made absolutely no sense to stand over a ballot, go eeny-meeny-miney-mo, and make an X in a box negating the vote of someone who actually gave a hoot.
I feel the same way about all elections and wish everyone else did too. If you don’t have a clue about a candidate or an issue, leave that part of the ballot blank. It is no sin. Of course the best way to approach the polls is to have done your homework first and know exactly who or what you’re going to vote for so you don’t skew the results with guesses. Plus the people standing in line behind you will appreciate your patriotic promptness.
For several years now, I’ve been going to write a blog about all the changes that have transpired on the east side of Sioux Falls since I first moved here in 1969. Most all of the fun places I remember are long gone. Places like Ricky’s Drive-In, East Park Drive-in Theater, Gene Grace’s little gas station at East 10th and Sycamore which was pretty much the last east side outpost before Rowena and the source of a hundred varieties of candy for sale to kids in the fast growing neighborhood. There was Taco Villa, Frosty Treat, The Hot Fish Shop, Pizza Inn (one of the few to still survive and thrive) and, of course Lollypop Park. It was a tiny amusement park located where 10th and 12th streets come together. Cherry Tree Apartments and Shop ‘N Cart are located there now. My two little girls absolutely loved going there..not only for the six kiddie rides but to see the sweet old couple that ran the place, Burdette and Orpha Melloon. They were like substitute grandparents for hundreds..perhaps thousands of little ones. Orpha tried to run Lollypop Park for a time after Burdette died but our personal little version of Disneyland eventually disappeared.
Lollypop Park actually had it’s beginnings as “Joyland Park” in the 1950’s located at 33rd and Duluth and owned by Gene and Sylvia Scribner.
I discover all this because of a young man who I’ve mentioned here before; Eric Renshaw. Although not a native of Sioux Falls, Eric has become one of its most dedicated historians. His website, www.greetingsfromsiouxfalls.com is filled with images from the city’s past; including movie theaters and hotels, famous buildings, landmarks and cityscapes .His latest addition is the section on Joyland. He’s also made it possible to enlarge most of the photos with a couple clicks of your mouse allowing amazing close-ups in exquisite detail. It’s just a wonderful website that I know you’ll find fascinating. A perfect way to spend a few memorable Memorial Day moments between the rain showers.