The Right To Not Vote

Posted: Friday, May 27, 2011 at 10:34 am
By: Doug Lund
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I didn’t vote in the Sioux Falls school board election on Tuesday.

electionballot_colorNow 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.

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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.  

Jerry Paar at the controls of Joyland Park little train

Jerry Paar at the controls of Joyland Park little train

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.

8 Comments

  1. joanie says:

    O how we remember taking our little girls to lollipop park~~o how we remember the “good old days”!!

  2. Christy says:

    I remember when you had all of us kids sending you our memories from all the changes we could think of. I can’t find that doucment to save my life but I know I have it hidden somewhere. I also remember M&H (green and white sign) where you could get a bag of burgers pretty cheap. Wonderful memories.

  3. Alona says:

    Ahhh Lolypop Park. The first time I met 2 little girls named Suzan and Patty Lund. My 2 girls the same age of Suzan and Patty became friends in the neighborhood on Walker Way. All 4 girls grew up together on the Eastside, playing at Linwood Park where they all made the Argus Leader playing on the slide in the winter. Don’t forget family swim at Frank Olson pool before the newscast each evening, my girls Lori and Kim were always invited along. Don’t forget the little Linwood school on Sycamore where the grades were Kindegarden through 2nd grade. What memories.

  4. Michael says:

    I grew up on the east side, just a few blocks from Frosty Treat. They had the best foot-long hot dogs and chili dogs I’ve ever eaten. Their BBQ’s were insanely good, too. Does anyone remember the giant slide and miniature golf place on the southwest corner of 41st Street & Minnesota Ave? That would have been there during the late 60s to early 70s.

  5. Paul says:

    I think the giant slide was on the northwest side of 41st & Minn near the Billion Lots. There was minature golf and batting cages near Kmart. That place was called Goofy Golf.

  6. Lisa says:

    So many great memories growing up in SF! I grew up in Hilltop and lived near you when you lived on 12th. Patty and Suzie may not remember this (or me/we were 3-6 years old), but I remember being in the basement at your house and looking upstairs to see their dad/you. I don’t know what we were doing down there, but whatever it was, you weren’t happy about it. I just remember you were super tall and that was the moment I decided it was time for me to go home. We also played with Shari and Tammi who were your neighbors. You moved soon afterward and I went to a birthday party at your new house and I remember playing “A tisket, a tasket, a green and yellow basket”.

    Other SF/Hilltop memories … East Park Drive In – we would go in our jammies and take along a paper bag of popcorn and kool-aid in tupperware cups. The train and mini ferris wheel at Lollypop Park, Goofy Golf and the “Big Slide” (at least that’s what we called it) with burlap gunny sacks, both on Minnesota Ave. Downtown JCPenney escalator and elevator, Woolworth’s lunch counter, Park Ridge drugstore, Shakey’s Pizza player piano, Saturday morning movies at the State Theater and then waiting for our parents to pick us up at the Children’s Library around the corner, K-Cinema, Walt & Mary’s on 10th, softball games and the treat shack next to St. Lambert’s, M&H, Frosty Treat, Hilltop Drug and Andy’s on Cleveland (not far from “recreation”/the summer rec program on the empty field east of Andy’s), VBS at many neighborhood churches, and of course, Frank Olson Pool. If you were a Hilltop kid that went to Cleveland Elementary in the 60′s or 70′s, one memory most of us share is the beautiful murals made every other year in art class with Miss (Carol) Hansen. She was an absolute genius when it came to gluing old jewelry, bits of tile and whatnot into masterpieces. I haven’t been to Cleveland in a long time, but I hope they are still there.

    Ahh, the good old days…

  7. J Ball says:

    Wow Lisa, thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    I too grew up in Hilltop, near 15th & Churchill. Your recollection is perfect. I can relate to all of the places you mentioned. Remember Cleveland principle, Howard Swenson, or the gym teacher Mr. Beyer? We would spend hours at Frank Olson pool and when we weren’t cooling off in the water we would walk or ride our bikes over to Eastway Bowl and cool off in the air conditioning. You could buy a chips & coke and spend less than a quarter. Across the street to the east was Shadco or something like that. A motorcycle place we would admire the Honda mini-bikes. East Park Drive Inn was a classic. Every day we would walk in the drive-in and turn up every car speaker full-blast so we could later that evening sit back in the weeds just outside of their fence and watch & hear the movies! Always on the lookout for the “white coats.” When we got up enough courage we would try to sneak in to the drive-in to get a treat at the snack shack. We were busted more than once and escorted out by the manager. When we were older and could driver our first cars, we would venture west to the Starlite Drive-Inn for “Buck Nite!” But that’s another story  Our grandparents would take us to Lollypop Park. Loved the train rides and the boat rides in the small tub of water. From our house we would take the short cut down to Gene’s Gas Station for candy. The short cut was called the “Monarch Trail.” Remember Gene’s dad, George who helped run the place? Also, just west of Gene’s every year there would be an old wooden fireworks stand. Bought many a bottle rocket and Black Cat there! (Smoked a punk too)

    I could go on & on!
    Jeff

  8. Mike Hines says:

    As a Linwood grade school graduate of 1963 I have most of the same memories you write about. Walking home every day past Gene’s gas station hoping I had at least 2 cents in my pocket for candy was a big part of the early years. Starring through the glass while George or Gene with their mechanic stained and calloused hands produced your selection comes to me as if it was yesterday. I also recall the volunteer fire station just west of Gene’s that each year had a fund raising festival with games with prizes and square dancing. I was about eight when I won the cake walk and won a cake that was of course provided by one of the neighborhood ladies. Life was good.

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