Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Home Town Happenings

I left Yankton, South Dakota in September 1965 and moved to Los Angeles, CA, where I met my wife, raised our children and enjoyed an interesting career.  I didn’t return to Yankton much over the first 30 years, but my visits have increased over the past few years.  I have two brothers, a sister-in-law, and a niece and a nephew who still live here.  My mom passed away two years ago, so that reason for returning has gone away.  Over that last 4 or 5 years, we have made a practice of stopping here on the way to, or way from, the Amick family reunion in Colome, only about 135 miles away.  Rosie and I also both enjoy the campground we stay at; Chief White Crane Campground, which is part of the South Dakota State Parks system.  The sites are spacious with long, level parking pads.  This year, like last year, we invited all of my local kin to the campground Monday evening for a BBQ and evening of family visiting.  This time, my sister, Marla Sathe, drove all the way from Omaha, Nebraska to join us.  

Here are some pictures from the evening.
IMG_4376  IMG_4377
  Family visiting                                                                                 Niece Jill and Sister Marla
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Nephew Chad, me, Brothers Larry and Danny                           Group photo

Tuesday afternoon I picked up Larry and we went out checking potential fishing holes for our planned Wednesday fishing outing.  We drove out near the farm where we grew up and went to Lake Marindahl.  The lake was much larger than I remembered it, but it has been at least 50 years since I was last there.  Then Larry tells me that an old high school friend, Jim Starr, has been bugging him to bring me by to see him the next time I was in town.  Now Jim works Mondays and Tuesdays at The Ice House, an institution in Yankton going back to my childhood and perhaps before that.  It is a Drive In Beer Bar.  Yes, that’s right; a Drive In Beer Bar.  You drive up to the loading dock in front of the building and someone comes out and takes your order and brings you the brew of your choice.  As a kid, I remember seeing on duty Yankton Police Officers sitting a in squad car taking a beer break.  So Jim Starr comes out to ask our choice of beverage and recognizes Larry and says hello to him.  He looks at me and I say “I hear you been looking for me”.  He reaches out to shake my hand and says “My God!  I would not have recognized you walking down the street”.  Of course, the last time we saw each other was 1962.  So he waves us into the building (I have never been inside the building before) and he gives me a Bud Lite on the house.  We yakked for an hour and a half about the old days and the current whereabouts of friends from High School.  It was an interesting afternoon.

That evening Rosie and I attended the Yankton chapter of Drinking Liberally’s weekly meeting.  We are full time attendees of the Idaho Falls Chapter of this national organization and it was great to meet people of like political  persuasion in my home town.  It was a small group, but we had a great time.

Wednesday morning we awoke to a new phenomena, a May Fly hatch.  The camper was covered with May Flies.
Fortunately, they were almost all on the outside and only one or two on the inside. 

I drove up to the local convenience store to get some fishing bait (worms) and a couple of newspapers.  After breakfast I drove about a 1/4 mile to the Missouri River and settled in for a day of fishing.  The River is at near flood levels.  The spot I was at is about a mile from the dam where the Corp of Engineers is letting out record amounts of water.  The water level is easily 10 to 12 feet higher than it was last year when we were here.  In the first 30 minutes I had a good hook up with something really big.  After about 10 minutes I could see that it was a good size catfish, about 24 inches long.  To make a long story short, I managed to lose it trying to land it.  So I chalked it up to my notoriously bad luck with fishing.  My brother, Larry, came out about noon and joined me for the afternoon.  He caught several fish and I caught one more, none worth writing home about.  Then about 3:30 I had another good hook up.  Whaddya know, it turned out to be the twin of the catfish I had lost in the morning.  This time Larry was going to make sure I didn’t lose this one, so he goes out into the water a bit and scoops it up onto the shore.  What a guy.  So my day was not a complete loss.  

Here is me with my 5 and 1/2 lb., 26 inch channel catfish.

Rosie and I are not fans of catfish for eating, but a friend of hers in Colorado loves catfish.  So I have two nice catfish filets for her.  The only other noteworthy event for the day was that I sunburned the heck out of my feet and ankles.  I normally wear socks and sneakers.  Today I was wearing sandals and my lily white feet and ankles got really red.  It will be a few days before that pain and itch subsides. 

Tomorrow we hitch up and head for Lake Maloney  near North Platte, Nebraska and on Friday we will arrive at my brother, Bill Sathe’s home in Eaton, Colorado.  We will catch up with more on our travels early next week.

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