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All I Want for Christmas
Dec 24, 2013
My exile continues. Work keeps my family away from the lake, the prairie, the river, the Hills, all those singular South Dakota places where we find our friends and relatives and neighbors living in just two degrees of separation.
As I hear from home of the temps dropping to two degrees, I still say I'd rather be in South Dakota on a cold winter day than anywhere else on a warm day.
In response to that statement, a couple of correspondents have questioned my veracity and sanity. But I mean it.
I like traveling. I like driving new roads, biking new trails, hiking new hills. But I'd still rather be in South Dakota.
I'd rather be attending a campaign debate in Rapid City to see which Mike Rounds shows up: the flesh-and-blood former governor or the cardboard cut-out that Annette Bosworth made. I'd also enjoy seeing if the audience could tell the difference.
I'd rather be judging a real high school debate at tournaments in Brookings and Watertown, where, among hundreds of smart South Dakota kids, I'd likely get to see the Senate candidates for 2044 sharpening their logic and speaking skills.
I'd rather be in Sioux Falls, asking Steve Hickey how his change of heart on the death penalty is going over with his conservative friends and what other political surprises he may spring on us.
I'd rather be in Mitchell, interviewing a young Sudanese boy who was brought to America because he's strong and tall and can play basketball, and ask him how he feels about being in South Dakota, far away from home, at Christmastime.
I'd rather be in Lake Andes, talking face to face with friends who knew and now miss Richard Benda.
I'd rather be in Pierre watching politicians and in the Black Hills watching pine beetles (insert your clever analogies here).
I'd rather be in Butte County, listening to ranchers talk about rebuilding their herds and wondering if it would just be easier to trade their quiet ranches for the restless man camps of the Bakken and make their fortunes in oil.
My columns sometimes cast a cold critique of South Dakota. But really, I'd rather be in South Dakota on a cold Christmas day— or any other day — than anywhere else. Merry Christmas, neighbors!
Editor's Note: Cory Heidelberger is our political columnist from the left. For a right-wing perspective on politics, please look for columns by Dr. Ken Blanchard on this site.
Cory Allen Heidelberger writes the Madville Times political blog. He grew up on the shores of Lake Herman. He studied math and history at SDSU and information systems at DSU, and has taught math, English, speech, and French at high schools East and West River.