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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Started running again today. I’ve had an on again, off again, love affair with running – mostly off again.

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I haven’t run in several months. So today I decided to go to a nearby soccer field and run sprints. To call it sprinting might be an exaggeration – it was more like plodding.

The soccer field was freshly mowed with soft, cushiony grass – good for the joints of a 59 year old. Soccer fields are good running venues. Flat. I don’t like hills. Hills aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

I decided on sprints of about 100 yards. Not 100 meters. Meters are longer than yards. Not everyone knows about this.

I set might sights on running about 10 sprints.

“That shouldn’t be too hard,” I thought.

It wasn’t – for the first 50 yards. Then I started gasping for breath. I crossed the finish line like a last place marathoner.

I did, however, successfully complete 5 sprints. Then the chest pains set in. I thought it might be a good idea to stop then. Drove home in a frenzy and chugged a couple of aspirin. It’s all good now…

I’m wanting to lose about 30 pounds. I don’t want to look like Rush Limbauigh when I start my book signing tour.

One can hope.

A Strange Thing or Two Has Happened While Writing “CLODDY.”

I have conducted about 45 interviews so far in my research of “CLODDY.” These have been taped and are from one to three and a half hours long. I hope to conduct another 50-100 interviews by the time this book is finished. I plan to assemble this collection which may be a part of the book either by a CD or on an e-book. There have been some good interviews which I will share from time to time on my blog.

One interview that was very special was with former SDSU coach Jim Iverson. Bob Winter, former legendary coach at Yankton High School (both boys and girls basketball), gave me the name of an individual in Sioux Falls who would know how to reach coach Iverson. By the way, Bob has been a great help to me in pointing me to potential interviews. He seems to know everyone in the state.

I called Bob’s referral in Sioux Falls, but could not reach him. So I went to the phone book and located a phone number for a “Jim Iverson” – not knowing if this was the right Jim Iverson. I then called the number.

“Hello,” A woman answered.

“Is Jim Iverson available?” I asked.

“No, there is no Jim Iverson here,” she informed me.

As she was about to hang up, I frantically said, “I’m looking for Jim Iverson – former men’s basketball coach at SDSU.”

“There’s no one by that name here,” she said. “I’m from the Vermilion area originally.”

My ears perked up. “Well, did you know my father, Dwane Clodfelter?” I asked.

“Well, yes, I went to Southern State’s Teachers College with your dad back in 1937. Who is this I’m talking to?” She asked.

Now she’s really got my attention. I’m needing to research that time in dad’s life as well. So I take advantage of this unexpected conversation. And I’m just realizing I’m talking to a woman who is about 94 years old. It turns out I had dialed the wrong phone number.

“I’m Kim Clodfelter, Dwane’s son, and I’m researching for a biography I’m writing on his life. Do you recall anything about my dad during your college days at Southern Teachers?”

“Oh yes. He was a very good looking man,” she recalled. “Who is this I’m talking to?”

“Kim Clodfelter.”

“I don’t recall much else, but he was an awfully nice looking man.”

I said, “Thank you very much for your time. I may be calling you again one day…”

What are the odds? Of the 150,000 residents of Sioux Falls, I accidentally call the wrong number and end up talking to one of dad’s former classmates at Southern from 1937.

I did end up tracking down Jim Iverson and interviewing him. I’ll share that story soon.