Up until my late teens, I spent at least a week a year in a town that I affectionately referred to as the “armpit of civilization”–Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
At the time, it was a medium-sized town, trying desperately to become something much bigger and better, while still maintaining some of that small-town feel. Plus, being the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s, it felt more like a suburb, as all of the action in town was out on the strip by the shopping mall, leaving downtown dead and decaying.
But now, looking back, I realize a few things: it never was that bad. My grandparents lived there. My father grew up there. The town was boring to a point, but could be interesting if you let it. And being a kid, I wouldn’t let it be more than a place I had to go to see my grandparents a couple of times per year.
I’ve been there a couple of times since my grandparents died. It is getting bigger and a little more cosmopolitan. And when a place is locked in your mind, you always notice the changes–the things that aren’t there or are now there that weren’t before. And it’s the changes that hit you.
So somehow, (and trust me, you don’t want to know what I was actually looking for when I found this) I stumbled across this site: Greetings From Sioux Falls, a kind of paean to the town that Sioux Falls was back when it wasn’t what it is today.
It’s filled with commentary, old photos, postcards, and the like of some of the key sites and buildings in Sioux Falls’ early days. And as an aside, the guy who runs it has a book (that he’s happily advertising on the site) of old Sioux Falls photos and the like. And he’s got at least one companion Facebook page dedicated to the same with links to at least a couple of other Facebook pages focusing on at least one current theatre restoration project in town.
So drop by and check it out. And maybe later, I’ll share the TV sign-off and test pattern information I was actually looking for…
See you tomorrow.