A “TO STAY” MUG “TO GO.” Why I appreciate small town South Dakota.


In late July I was back in South Dakota to finish up my research and interviews for the first two chapters of CLODDY. I have written these chapters, but had some holes to fill. One hole to fill was dad’s time at Southern Teacher’s College from 1936 to 1938 when he earned a two year teaching degree.

“Southern” is located in Springfield, SD (pop. 792). The college was converted into a medium security prison in 1984 by then Governor Bill Janklow – to the chagrin of most of the town’s people and former Southern alums. Since the college no longer exists, a “Southern Teacher’s College Museum” was established. The museum is located on Springfield’s main street.

Upon arriving, I stopped at the community center and was given the name of a gentleman who sat on the museum’s board and had a key to the place. I called him and he met me there, showed me around for a few minutes and then let me have free run of the place. I wanted a cup of coffee so I ventured across the street to Player’s Sports Grill & Casino.

Player's Sports Grill & Casino in Springfield SD

Player’s Sports Grill & Casino in Springfield SD

I asked the woman behind the counter if they had coffee.

“Yes,” she said and pointed me to the coffee pot.

I went over to pour my coffee and asked her, “Do you have any ‘To go’ cups?”

“No,” she responded.

I had wanted to bring my coffee back to the museum while I did my research.

I poured myself a cup of coffee and asked the lady if I could bring the mug of coffee over to the museum where I was doing some research.

She kindly said, “Yes – but make sure to bring it back!”

I assured her I would and that I’d be back for lunch.

This is one of the reasons why I appreciate small towns in the state I’m proud to call my native state – South Dakota.

Why do you appreciate South Dakota?

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