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Advice from South Dakota Dads

Jun 15, 2017

In honor of Father’s Day, we asked South Dakota Magazine staff members for their favorite bits of fatherly advice, pet phrases and the like. If you’re a South Dakota dad looking to make your mark, take notes — or follow contributing editor Paul Higbee’s lead. "As a dad, if you find yourself in a situation where you have no wisdom to offer, try to at least be witty," Paul says. "It's hard to imagine a really good dad who isn't funny on a regular basis."


Andrea (center) with mother Lorri and father Spud.

Leland “Spud” Clark

My dad’s words of wisdom were also his dad’s words of wisdom. "Always carry," "You can wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one you have more of"' and "I’m gonna get my belt!" were perennial favorites. I never got the belt, but Dad did. 
    — Andrea Clark Maibaum, production manager



Bernard Hunhoff, Sr.

"Oh, it'll be ok," was Dad’s reply when Mom worried about one of us, and his standard reply to most crises unless it involved troubled farm machinery. Then he wasn’t always as positive. 
    — Bernie Hunhoff, founder & editor at large


Heidi and her father Doyle riding Purgatory and Rachetta. Sadly, Cakes probably stayed home for this outing.


Doyle Stevens

Growing up, we had a fat, stubborn horse named Cakes. She was adored by kids because she never turned down fresh grass and she never moved faster than a trot. Her one vice was being led into a trailer. We’d pull and tug on her lead rope and she’d tug back even harder. It usually ended with my dad leaving her home. ‘We don’t need that fat cow anyway!’ he’d snort under his breath. We finally discovered that it was the tugging on the lead rope that made Cakes so mad. Once the lead rope fell to the ground and she walked into the trailer on her own. "Huh," said Dad, "Sometimes you have to let go and see what the other side does." Letting go. Who knew? Well, I'm pretty sure Dad knew.
    — Heidi Marsh, publisher


Frank, John and baby Joe.


Frank Andrews

Dad was never into gadgets and gizmos. All the extras — even power windows on vehicles — were just things that would eventually break and have to be replaced. He came along with us when we were shopping for our first house in Yankton, and I consulted him on major purchases after that. Every time he reminded me that the fancy add-ons were often just not necessary. You probably can’t find a decent car these days with crank windows, but I try to keep it simple as often as I can. 
    — John Andrews, managing editor



Bernie Hunhoff

My dad has always preached that ideas come easy and the real work (and fun) happens after you settle on an idea. 
    — Katie Hunhoff, publisher



Lewis Johnson

Father’s a bit of a free spirit. Me, not so much, but I’ve always admired his attitude. I’ve spent decades trying to process particular pearl of Dad wisdom: "As long as you’re having a good time, it doesn’t matter if anyone else is." Maybe in another 40 years, I’ll get there. 
    — Laura Johnson Andrews, circulation and marketing manager



Gary Pederson

My dad recently retired from a long, successful career in sales. He's given me a lot of good advice, but one thing that stands out is the importance of a good handshake. I had to practice it with him when I was a kid. First he showed me what he described as a dead fish or wussy handshake — gentle grasp or just grabbing hold of someone’s fingers. Then he taught me a good firm shake, palm to palm, not too short, not too long. I don’t find myself in a lot of hand-shaking situations, but I think I get some weak ones because I am a woman. Whenever I get a limp handshake, I think of my dad and how he would not be impressed. 
    — Rebecca Johnson, special projects coordinator


A self-portrait of Joe Holtzmann, Jr. as a young man in the 1940s, working in his photographic darkroom.

Joe Holtzmann, Jr.

Mom and Dad had a strict division of labor when I was growing up: Dad went to work and Mom took care of the house. Thus it was quite surprising to find Dad in front of the stove one day, spatula in hand, preparing to fry an egg. "Make sure the pan is hot before you put the egg in," he advised, taking advantage of the teaching moment. And so I have from that day to this. 
    — Roger Holtzmann, contributing editor



01:22 pm - Fri, June 16 2017
Roger Holtzmann said:
As a father myself, and one who doesn’t feel very wise sometimes, I often wondered what my girls would remember as my sage advice. I got one answer at my father-in-law’s funeral, after listening to the eldest of Richard’s grandchildren speak at the wake. I complimented him afterward on his talk, and he graciously gave credit to my youngest daughter, Sophie, who passed on advice I once gave her on the subject of speaking and writing: Adjectives and adverbs are like jalapeno sauce. A little goes a long way.

I had no idea I was so wise!

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