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Thoughts From the Streets
Aug 6, 2014
My temporary visit to Spokane is almost done. To clear our heads of all this leftist agitation and right-wing rebuttal, permit me to share some of the sights that catch my eye and my thoughts as I ride around town.
I cross Hoffman almost every day. Every time I do, I think of crossing Charlie Hoffman, archconservative legislator from Eureka. I've got to go visit that guy.
No grizzlies in this urban forest. But Milton — that's my Grandpa's name. He vacillated between Minnesota and South Dakota but eventually settled on the Rushmore State. How fortunate for Charlie and his fellow Republicans!
No mall on this street, just Slurpees and tai chi.
Back in Madison, my friend and fellow cyclist Scott Parsley lives on Liberty. He also fights for liberty as a legislator. When I was little, I lived at the intersection of Division and Center. Metaphor alert: Division in Madison is pushed to the far edge of town.
I don't cross this street nearly as often as I'd like. Too bad Madison doesn't have a hill like that; Scott and I could build more bike muscle!
Nevada! I lived on that street in Spearfish! Follow it east, and you get to the tunnel under I-90 that leads to Lookout Mountain, the nicest little town mountain in South Dakota.
Normandie! I took 28 Spearfish kids there and saw the D-Day beaches and the graves of thousands of American soldiers. Shannon County men and other Oglala Lakota warriors fought alongside those soldiers, fighting for freedom and democracy for all. (How's that for a historical intersection?)
Big city all around, and all I think crossing this street is that I need to get home and read that Sioux Falls paper to find out what's going on.
But 98° outside? Uff da! I'd better get some water ...
No one handing out free ice water here ... and not nearly as many interesting billboards.
Stevens ... I judged a debate tournament there on a gloriously sunny February day, one of those great winter-defying days when warm breezes come down the Hills and kids can walk outside in the Stevens courtyard in their shirtsleeves, talking politics and philosophy. I hope Coach Vargo will invite me to judge again. Go Raider Debate!
Wait, what's that bare pole about? It's the intersection of Desmet and Dakota, currently consumed with construction.
Father Pierre-Jean De Smet gave his name to that nice little town on the prairie. He traveled the Rocky Mountains and the Columbia River, but he, too, came back to the Plains.
Much to Spokane's discredit, there is no South Dakota Street, only North. But an absence like that — or my own physical absence from the land I love — won't stop my mission to write about my home and maybe, with the right words, make it better. I look forward to seeing you again, South Dakota!
Editor's Note: Cory Heidelberger is our political columnist from the left. For a conservative 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.