Last week, I spent a couple of days at Huron’s daily newspaper the “PLAINSMAN.” Editor Sean Kelley and the kind staff of the PLAINSMAN allowed me access to the newspaper’s archives – affectionately referred to by the staff as the “MORGUE.”

This large binder of PLAINSMAN newspapers from the early 1950's holds three months of newspapers.

This large binder of PLAINSMAN newspapers from the early 1950’s holds three months of newspapers.

Dad coached and taught at Huron High School from 1950-53 after a successful one year stint at Yankton High School. I researched to answer questions such as why he left Yankton and how the position in Huron came open and his experiences and accomplishments in Huron.


I learned Kansas Coach Phog Allen spoke at the Huron High School/Huron College Athletic banquet in 1951 and that Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp spoke in the spring of 1952. About 700 people attended these two events honoring the athletic teams.

My time at the PLAINSMAN was very productive and I learned some useful information which will be important in writing the chapter about dad’s three years in Huron. I was just a “twinkle in my daddy’s eye” in 1953, but would arrive a year later in the fall of 1954.


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In researching for the biography “CLODDY,” I have conducted roughly 50 taped interviews. Early on in the process, it was suggested that I one day donate this collection of audio interviews to the USD Oral History Department. I attended a class at USD on how to conduct an oral interview. The instructor recommended taking photos of the person being interviewed along with several other pointers on how to conduct a good interview.


In order to donate the interviews to USD, I needed to get authorization forms signed by the interviewees. I started sending them out four weeks ago and have received about 25 of them back. I am still in the process of sending the remainder of the forms out.

Receiving these forms and encouraging notes from the interviewees was an exciting event for me. THE CLODFELTER COLLECTION is now becoming a reality and I believe it will be a very special collection. I have interviewed several of Cloddy’s former players, two former coaches who competed against him in the North Central Conference, a former basketball official, friends, neighbors, and several former students from his high school teaching/coaching stints in Forestburg, Fedora, Alpena, Centerville, Yankton and Huron. Many of these students are now in their eighties and nineties. These were interesting conversations!

I have another 50 or so interviews to conduct. It seems each interview provides some interesting anecdotes, information and insight which are of great help to me in putting together the life adventures of Dwane Clodfelter.

A special thanks to all who have taken the time to share their recollections and stories and experiences!

WRITER’S DIGEST MAGAZINE: A Good Resource for Writers

For those of you interested in writing, I would recommend taking a look at the magazine “Writer’s Digest.” The magazine covers all facets of writing and all genres: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Free-Lance Writing, Humor, Marketing, Getting Published, Agents and Editors, Tips on Writing, Etc.

The recent May/June edition has an article entitled “101 Best Websites for Writers.” This listing alone is a very helpful resource which will take a writer to websites which are further sources of help. My wife recently bought me a subscription which I am looking forward to receiving.

CAVEAT: If you subscribe to their email list, you will receive multiple emails daily trying to sell you something – a few of which may be of help, but mostly spam from my perspective.

Good writing!

Transcribing Interviews for “Cloddy”: It’s a Lot of Work

The journey writing continues…

As I am writing the first three chapters of “Cloddy,” I have also had to transcribe to text the interviews relevant to each of the chapters. I purchased “Dragon Naturally Speaking” software to accomplish this task.

However, in researching how to best use this software, I have learned Dragon Software is best suited for one particular person’s voice. Therefore, it is recommended that the transcriber (me) listen to the interview on a PC using head phones – with a microphone device – and repeat the words of the interview into the mic. A sort of “parroting” of the interview.

Photo Courtesy of Renee's IPhone

Photo Courtesy of Renee’s IPhone

Today, I attempted this new task and found success. I listened to my interview of Vernon Andersen, who I interviewed along with Sheree Schmidt in Centerville in Febrary of 2013, and simultaneously spoke into the head phone mic. (I don’t need to transcribe every word of the interview for the purpose of writing the book, so I transcribed selected portions of the interview.)

I was able to pause the interview at times and edit the transcribed text on the Word document (the DragonPad). The interview of Vernon lasted about an hour. It was useful, and interesting, and at times entertaining to listen to this interview – which took place 14 months ago. There were several moments during the interview when Vernon, Sheree, and I burst into laughter as Vernon shared his recollections of Cloddy coaching the boys in Centerville from 1943 to 1949.

I was exhausted after an hour of intense listening and transcribing. To date, I have about 50 interviews taped – totaling about 90 hours. I will need to listen to the other interviews as well – some lasting over 3 hours. On top of that, I hope to have 50-100 more interviews by the time I’m done. So I have my work cut out for me.

If Dad could read this blog, he’d ask, “Kim, are you bragging or complaining?!”

It’s all just a part of the process and will yield some good material for “Cloddy.”

“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!