Origins of the “Cloddy” Biography

Quite frankly, I thought I would be the last person to write a biography of my late father, Dwane Clodfelter.

Growing up the youngest of four siblings – the “caboose” of the family, I was told how great it was that the USD Coyotes won the 1958 national championship. I was three and a half years old in March of 1958 and have little recollection of those glory days.

I had limited understanding and little appreciation for the significance of the USD 1958 national championship achievement. It turns out, there were some other things about my father’s life that I did not know about or appreciate.

Courtesy of one of his special Coyote basketball players, Jack Theeler, who initiated the USD “Dwane Clodfelter Scholarship,” I began to think about my dad’s career – not only at USD, but also as a fledgling coach in the smallest of South Dakota high schools. (Forestburg, Fedora, Alpena, Centerville, Yankton, Huron)

As one of dad’s former players (both at Centerville High School and USD), Matt Alexander put it, “Cloddy was a legend” – before he came to the University of South Dakota. And he secured his reputation as being a “character” – long before taking up an office at USD’s “New Armory.”

In October of 2005, in Huron, SD, as he was inducted into the Huron High School Hall of Fame, I had occasion to ask him a question that I had never before thought of asking him. He was 87 years old at the time – and sharp as a tack.


After the induction ceremony, in a room where the attendees enjoyed food and drink, I sat next to my dad and I asked him:

“Dad, it’s 1954, it’s your first year in your dream job as a college basketball coach. You recruited two black brothers out of Brooklyn, NY to the University of South Dakota – which was virtually an all-white university. It could have blown up in your face a hundred different ways! Why did you do it?”

He didn’t hesitate. He said simply, “I wanted to win.”

I thought he might volunteer that he wanted to be a pioneer in the integration of college basketball and pave the way for Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights movement – but he spoke from his heart. He was very competitive. He was not a racist. And he read the newspapers and the news of Jackie Robinson and Wilt Chamberlain.

To his credit, he also recruited on the Indian Reservations of South Dakota and elsewhere on the Great Plains in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

I thought the biography of my father, Dwane Clodfelter, would be interesting and noteworthy. I’m hoping the end product will be worthy of the full and adventurous life that he lived.

This is the first journal entry of my journey writing “Cloddy.”

March 26, 2014 Madison, WI

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Mugshots, Gravatars, and JC Penney

Michael Hyatt, in his book “Platform,” strongly recommends getting a good headshot to use as your gravatar. A “gravatar” is a “globaly recognized avatar.” An avatar is the photo that shows up on your Facebook page, LinkedIn, and other social media sites.

In building my platform to promote the “Cloddy”book, I knew I needed to get a better photo than the one I was using. Hyatt thinks a good head shot is so important that you should hire the best photographer in town to do it. But I didn’t want to spend a lot. So I considered doing it myself. That would have been a mistake considering my limited photography skills.


Hyatt also strongly recommends not using a “portrait factory” as he calls it – like one at a JC Penney store. In contemplating what I should do, I thought, “At least JC Penney will have a better camera than I have and hopefully a better photographer than myself.” So I went to JC Penney and checked out pricing. I could get a headshot for $50.

Hyatt in “Platform” gives several tips on getting a good headshot:

1. Don’t take the photo in a studio at a portrait factory. Instead, take the photo at home or office or outdoors – somewhere on your natural turf. This will make the photo more natural and interesting. I ignored this advice. Trust me. There is nothing natural or interesting about the studio in a JC Penney store. But the photographer suggested a brownish background and it worked out.

2. Hyatt suggests smiling with your whole face – including smiling with your eyes and mouth – a natural smile. A likable smile.

3. Hyatt recommends taking a lot of photos. My photographer took ten, but would have taken more. We looked at the photos and selected the one we thought was best. Not all of them were good. But thankfully, it only takes one.

4. Then I had some ideas of my own. I asked the photographer if I could stand while she took the photos. That was ok with her. I don’t like sitting stiff on a stool. It just does not seem natural to me. Prior to going to my appointment, I also went to the mirror to find my better side if their is one – and then I smiled a few times to see what was goofy and what was not. I also told the photographer to not highlight the thinning hair section on the top of my head.

CAVEAT: I was fortunate to have an able and experienced JC Penney photographer take the photo. I might have just gotten lucky. Some photographers at portrait factories may not be the most skillful or experienced. I’d suggest asking some questions and making sure you get the photographer that you believe will do the best job.

Do you need to update your headshot?

Sometimes Ya Gotta Ask For Help

I’ve been slowly learning certain tasks needed to build a website. Most of the time, I can figure it out myself – or with the help of resources such as “WordPress For Dummies.” But sometimes either I can’t figure it out myself or it is taking way too much time to accomplish. So it’s then I turn to people smarter than me.

I have learned how to upload a photo to my Dashboard Media Library and insert the photo onto a page of the website. However, I wanted to insert links to some newspaper articles and a couple of radio interviews onto the “Cloddy Book” page of my website. And I could not figure it out!

While at the library, I saw my friend Neal and we started talking. I told him of my frustrations trying to accomplish this task. Turns out, he knew how to do it. He taught me how to perform the task in about three minutes. I then went to my dashboard and went to work. I could not believe it worked and I was capable of such advanced geek work. Ha! It was one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me.

The day before, I joined LinkedIn – as Michael Hyatt, the “Platform” author and blogger – highly recommends doing this in building a platform.

I know how to insert photos onto websites like this, but when I tried to upload my profile photo onto the LinkedIn site, the size of the photo was too big. LinkedIn limits the size to 4MB and my photo was 5.6MB. I don’t know much about photo shopping photos and manipulating size, etc. So I asked my friend, Mark, about it and he volunteered to help. I emailed the photo to him and he downsized it and I finally was able to upload it to LinkedIn. Whew!

I’m going to need to learn about photo shopping so I can do it myself – maybe “Photoshop for Dummies.”


Widgets, Plugins, and the Dashboard

I’m learning the website development lingo and getting more comfortable with it the more I use it. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

The dashboard is where you learn to do all kinds of tasks – like writing a new post. Like the one I’m doing right now.

On the dashboard is a link called “Plugins.” Plugins are actually pretty useful things. “WordPress for Dummies” recommends certain popular plugins.


Example: One plugin called Jetpack allows you to track the number of people that view your blog/website. It’s kind of fun seeing the numbers or “stats.”

Jetpack also allows you to put in a “Subscribe to My Blog” area on the website pages along with a “Comment” section for visitors to give their input.

For a non-IT guy like me, developing a website/blog is learning one new task at a time. And once you have done it – and you perform the task regularly, it becomes pretty fast and easy.

Another link on the dashboard is for “widgets.” Widgets are tools that help you put stuff on the sidebar of your website home page. (And maybe your other pages? I have yet to learn that task.)

Anyway, widgets are wonderful things which enable you to put your picture on the sidebar with biographical information. You can also put “Recent Posts” and “Recent Comments” and have an “Archives” section with categories.

Starting a blog/website is intimidating at first and can be very frustrating. I said a bad word out loud at a coffee shop recently. It startled me – and a young lady 10 feet away. I don’t ordinarily say bad words at coffee shops and startle young women.

However, starting a website can also be a lot of fun and it provides the blogger/creator with a creative outlet.

Have you considered starting a website or blog?

“PLATFORM” by Michael Hyatt

For those of you wanting to promote a book or your business or organization or anything else, consider reading Michael Hyatt’s book “PLATFORM: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.”


This has been another invaluable resource for me in building a blog/website. Hyatt is the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers and is one of the top bloggers in the country. He writes about how to use social media to build a platform for whatever you are trying to promote. He gives a lot of practical advice. I’ve already used some of his suggestions.

Buy it or check it out at your local library.

Do you have a good resource you’d like to share? A book? Website?

If you do, I’d invite you to share it below in the “Comments” section.

Google vs. WordPress for Dummies

In my last blog, I touted the virtues of “WordPress for Dummies” – and it has been a very good resource. However, in attempting to figure out how get the “Share”, “Facebook”, and other icons up and running on my blog, this book wasn’t helping me.

Then I thought of typing in a question in the Google search engine. And Voila! I got the icons up and running in 15 minutes. I had spent two hours reading the Dummie book to no avail.

Lessons learned:

1. The Google search engine is a powerful and versatile tool, and
2. An aspiring blogger needs more than one tool to get a blog up and running.

If you know of any other tools for dummies like me, feel free to comment!