And if I had been born in Deadwood, South Dakota?


Owing to travels last week there was no letter written and plunked in the mail. So the best I’ve got is this page from the prior week. Poor you.

But this one was a bit out of the norm. Although I’m not entirely sure why (perhaps it was the specter of another birthday for me and my twin brother), the subject of my early years popped into my head at the moment of creation, and this came out. I suppose Ellen and Reid need to know of our family’s checkered past. It gives them context to our collective experience. Ellen can stow this historical record in the box that holds more than a decade worth of letters sent her way.


February 1, 2016

Ellen/Reid: 66. I told myself this morning that it’s just a number but all it’s good for is to move me that much closer to another birthday that ends with a -0-. Geez. Some thought was given to waking your uncle up with an early morning wake up call but decided to let the old boy stay in the sack undisturbed.

I’m not sure you guys ever really knew of the circumstances behind how your uncle and I and your grandparents got from Wyoming to Omaha. According to the early plan, we were to be born in Deadwood, South Dakota. That’s where the nearest doctor and hospital could be found. But at some point, the doctor there told our mom and dad that the delivery looked like it would be early and that the hospital wasn’t the best spot to care for premie twins and that either Denver or Salt Lake City were better options for the birth.

I’m not sure of all the details, but mom was sent packing to Omaha where her parents lived. I think she took the train out of Rapid City, South Dakota across the northern tier of Nebraska counties. Your grandfather had to stay behind in Sundance where he was the associate editor of the Sundance Times and Crook County News. Sure enough, we were born early and it was a good thing it was in Omaha. We stayed there for a few weeks then made our way back to Sundance. We lived in a small one bedroom home just a block or so from the newspaper office. I always paid visits to the paper and the tiny little framed wood home when I rode my varied Harleys out to Sturgis.

IMG_4259

If it’s not sold, this Road King will be the fifth Harley to make the pilgrimage to Sundance. In May or June we’ll head up Hwy. 2 into the Nebraska Sand Hills then hang a right at Broken Bow and enter South Dakota just south of Rapid City. From there it’s a hop, skip and a jump into Wyoming.

Sundance was about 50 miles from the rally. Included in the saddlebag cargo on the long ride home was a copy of the paper for your grandfather. He loved that town and that job. To me, there was kind of a dual citizenship thing going on between NE/WY. As a side note, that background had me wanting to attend the University of Wyoming in Laramie on a cross country and track scholarship but your (grand)parents (sic) made me turn it down. How my life, and yours, would have changed if I’d headed West. But that’s conjecture for another story altogether.

The redfish party was great on Saturday night. Ended up serving 12 since some folks weren’t doing anything and there was plenty of fish to go around. Basically all you do, and you can do this with any fish, is to mix Old Bay in melted butter and dredge the fish in the mixture and plop it into a hot pan for a couple of minutes a side. The flesh of those fish is impressive. Very firm. Actually, we had two kinds of fish, redfish and it’s kindred, black drum. The black drum has a grayer meat which was fabulous, almost swordfish in texture and flavor. I wish Jody could’ve been there since the black drum were part of his catch. We went through about 10 lbs. of fish plus roasted brussels sprouts, potatoes, a salad and fresh bread. After the clean up, we headed to The Comet Grill for the live music of a country band where we (i.e. your old man) tried, without success, to learn the two step. A pretty young girl tried to help me but my dance ability is beyond hope. Still, we all had a good laugh at our collective expense. Really a fun evening. Now the process starts all over again; catch more fish, have more people over, serve more wine. There’s about 5 lbs. of reds swimming in ice in the freezer right now.

Didn’t catch much of nothing at Charleston last week. It was just plain cold and the water temperature had dropped. Reid, there were no reds and no specks massed at the barge but three non-slot black drum were boated so it wasn’t a total bust. The GoPro didn’t work out. The audio was very weak. I contacted them and they advised to buy a new microphone-friendly back. Something else to buy. Of course.

Love, Dad

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1 Comment

Filed under Writing to adult children

One response to “And if I had been born in Deadwood, South Dakota?

  1. Pingback: And if I had been born in Deadwood, South Dakota? | The Weight of a Single Page

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