Soon the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas will fill the air bringing with it flashbacks of memories from holidays long ago. What is it about these sensory experiences that can instantly take us back in time…
I’m interested in winter memories from the Gary, South Dakota area. These memories give us a personal insight to our regional history and how events locally and throughout the world may have affected a particular era. What was Christmas and winter like for families during the Great Depression? War time? Blizzards? Commerce in Gary, SD?
Please leave a comment and share this post if you have any interesting memories from years gone by. I would like to share some of these memories during the Gary Community Club Christmas event on December 4, 2016 at the Gary American Legion starting at 12 noon.
Thank you for helping us walk down memory lane.
An example from the late Bernice Jensen, Gary, SD: …In the 40’s I was cleaning up stairs. I opened Mothers trunk and there were gifts for everyone, mixed nuts, and candy. I went downstairs and told Mother I found all the good stuff. What do you mean? We came up stairs and she looked with in the trunk with a worried look on her face. That looks like Jackie’s work. When he came in he was put on the hot seat. He was about ten years old, and he had purchased a defense stamp and when you filled a book it was worth 27.50, I believe. Jackie looked so pitiful with tears in his eyes. He looked at Mother and said, what would you rather have, 27 dollars or good memories. The next Christmas brother Henry was not with us. He passed away the October before. When we opened our gifts, it was quiet. Mother turned to Jackie and said, Jack, you were right, memories are better than money. Remember how pleased Henry was over his gift. You gave him a new billfold. That’s enough of digging up old bones. Cherish your beautiful memories and forget the bad ones. ~ excerpt from “Down Memory Lane” by Bernice Jensen
Excitement punctuates the air this time of year as optimistic young adults go separate ways to pursue their ambitions in life. One thing this particular group will always have in common is the ability to reflect upon their past together as students and members of this small rural community in northeastern South Dakota. Each has experienced their own kind of history which will affect how they react to the world ahead of them. Good, bad or indifferent… to each their own. Always know that your time spent together has been time well spent.
Best wishes to the Grant-Deuel class of 2015 and may your lives be blessed.
It was a warm, summer day as my mother accompanied me on a trip to a little South Dakota town just across the border from Minnesota. A job interview was scheduled for a teaching position and the day resulted in a job with a new life living in a small, farming community.
Yeah, I can see myself doing this a couple of years… which stretched out to 26 years plus additional substitute teaching years.
It was an emotional ending for the last Grant-Deuel High School sporting event held in the Revillo, South Dakota gymnasium. I listen for that memorable roar of Go, Big, Blue!, smell the fragrant concession stand popcorn and gaze at the sea of blue and white filling the stands… now merely memories of days gone by.
Last Friday, during a substitute teaching gig, I was recruited to do a yearbook photo shoot with the seniors at the football field as the field sees its final days.
Typical for South Dakota, it was windy which allowed me to catch a nice breezy flag shot just before the sixth grade took the flag down, ceremoniously folding it following proper flag etiquette.
All of this leads up to the featured blended image. Flag waving in front of the school, seniors enjoying a warm, autumn afternoon and a football field that will never feel cleats digging into the turf or hear the roar of the crowds again.
Change is never easy. You fight to hold on, you fight to let go…
The band rehearsed all together for the first time in 30 years. Can they pull this off?
The crowd begins to trickle in early to get a seat or requested reserved seating like they did back in the day. Many walk in, stop, gaze across the old Legion dance floor, smile and say, “Wow, it looks the same.” I begin to see other types of reunions unfolding before my eyes as the hugs, handshakes and slaps on the backs commence. Back together again.
The Buffalo Rose Band takes the stage, the crowd cheers, and the music starts to more cheers and applause. Ahhhh…they sound wonderful… just like in our youth. Yes, everything is clicking into place and the night is playing out to be an event to remember.
The Legion dance floor is packed with dancers and smiles radiating throughout the darkened room. For one night we are young again.
A gentleman comes up to me and says, “You know, Buffalo Rose played for my wedding dance 34 years ago. This is a great thing here tonight.” I could tell by the sentiment in his voice that he is just as in love with his bride after 34 years as he was the day they married. And the music was a memorable part of that day.
Music is an interesting phenomenon. We connect with it emotionally to such a deep level that it seems to touch our soul. It can tug at the heart, whether happy or sad, bringing us up or helping us work through the down periods of our lives.
Close your eyes and listen to the music. Yes, music is just what the doctor ordered to get us through life.
Click on image for a larger view.
In May we did some photography in the small, NE South Dakota town of South Shore and stumbled upon Meyer’s Rec…a small town bar on a typical Friday night. Looks like my kind of “down to earth” establishment and we were fortunate to find some friendly models to brighten up the exterior. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to investigate the interior or get to know our new friends.
I am intrigued by “off the beaten path” types of places with their interesting characters and have often wondered if this could lead to a photographic project with written commentary and/or poetry. Hmmm…?
I think my crystal ball shows a motorcycle ride to Meyer’s Rec to check out the inside. The name is kind of catchy, too, don’t you think?