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A Friend Remembers Richard Benda

Nov 27, 2013


That line came at the end of a hard conversation I had last night. That conversation was a lot harder for the person on the other end of the line, the person who may have been the last to communicate with Richard Benda on the day he died.

Don't ask me who. Just understand: it's a friend of Benda's, someone who doesn't want to be news. To this friend, Richard's death isn't news. It isn't politics. It just hurts.

To protect this friend's identity, I slip into a paraphrased first person. I take liberties with the wording but not the facts. This is what Richard's friend told me.


Those are the facts as Richard's friend tells them. That is the counterpoint Richard's friend offers to the accusatory epitaph South Dakota state government appears inclined to write.



Would that we all could earn such remembrance when we are gone.


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 every other Monday 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.



11:52 am - Mon, December 2 2013
R.X. Johnson said:
You had me until "accusatory epitaph", and a link.

How juvenile, unnecessary, and mean.
07:44 am - Tue, December 3 2013
I agree with RX on this one.

Through this article, Cory asks us to put aside politics long enough to look at the man -- someone with good qualities that would be obvious to friends and family.

That was done very well, right up to the point where politics were tossed back in.

Without the one "political zinger" sentence, this would have been a great message and perspective to those of us who didn't know him. As it is now, it comes across as an unnecessary poke at the opposition.
09:34 am - Tue, December 24 2013
I stand by that phrase and link as relevant reflections from another journalist. The state issued exactly that: a last word accusing a former state official of improper activity. That single phrase reminds of the inescapable political dimension of this story, the echoes friends like the one speaking here must hear even as they remember their friend.

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