Section D: Lives & Times
Press & Dakotan

Section D: Lives & Times


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PRESS & DAKOTAN SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011 YANKTON 150: PAGE 17D Tom Brokaw, circa 1970s. Brokaw: People Always Greatest Attraction For Yankton BY TOM BROKAW For the Press & Dakotan Although Meredith and I ve been gone from Yankton for almost a half century our friends in New York and other worldly places never let us forget our roots. When the floods hit this spring my email lit up with messages. Is everything OK in Yankton? they wanted to know. I assured them Yankton has been through worse and will survive this as well. On those occasions and many others I am reminded of how much the Mother City has meant as a kind of cornerstone in our lives. Brokaw Well before the Brokaws moved to Yankton in 1955 we had an attachment to it as our shopping, medical and sports destination. We were living in Pickstown, where the Ft. Randall Dam was under construction and Yankton, some 60 miles away, was an oasis in our corner of the prairie. My dad, Red, bought my first bicycle at a hardware store on Third street. We thought the annual appearance of the Shrine Circus at Nash Gym was the local equivalent of opening night at the Metropolitan Opera. The Junior High Relays were rites of spring and Riverside Park was the first baseball field I saw with a grass infield. Red drove the school bus to Yankton so the Pickstown team could see the B regionals at Nash Gym, which I remember as a loud, smoky space with a much larger floor than the postage stamp gyms in Avon, Armour or Platte where we played so many games. When we settled in Yankton for the beginning of my sophomore year there were more students in study hall than had been enrolled in all of Pickstown High School and I was momentarily anxious I may get lost in the crowd. But the community was so welcoming and helpful all the Brokaws quickly knew this would be home after many moves around the state. When I return now and drive down Third I can see in my mind s eye the bustle of Saturday, shopping days, when everyone came to down to buy something or just look. I clerked at Hanny s Men s Wear and we were well aware that if we didn t make the sale the customer had three other men s stores to choose from. I started summer mornings with a freshly baked Danish from Logsdon s Bakery and finished many a summer night with a cold one at O Malley s after my stint as a KYNT disc jockey. Kip s Blue Moon, the Tastee Freeze corn dogs, K s Potato Chips, a late cup of coffee and a burger at the Presto, save up for a steak at Happy Jack s or the Black Steer. I ve had five star meals all over the world and my palate can still recall the Yankton offerings. Mother and Dad never had a better time than a Saturday night at the Elk s with other couples from the white collar and blue collar community, a highball or two, dancing and a late supper. As I remind my friends, Yankton has a rich western history as an important stop for Lewis and Clark, the establishment of the territorial capital, the founding of Yankton College and Sacred Heart as a school, convent and hospital. However, the great attraction of Yankton has always been the people who chose to make it their home and to call it that even after they left. There are too many of singular accomplishment to list them all but I am sure they agree that it was the community s commitment to education, a common pride in accomplishment and an investment in the future that gave them the confidence to take their place in a wider world. St. John s Lutheran Preschool Openings for 2011/2012 We are excited to announce our new Head Teacher Mrs. Jami Stevens. She comes to us with 12 years of teaching experience, 9 of those in Christian education. I am very excited to be part of the St. John s Preschool Team and look forward to meeting students and parents soon, says Jami. Mon-Fri Pre-K 12:30-3pm Tues/Thurs 3 year olds Mon/Wed/Fri 4 & 5 year olds Morning class 8:45-11:15am Afternoon class 12:30-3:00pm Classes begin Monday, August 22nd. Call to reserve your class! (605) 665-7337 Applications available at St. John s Lutheran 1009 Jackson St. Yankton, SD Church & Preschool
Brokaw: People Always Greatest Attraction For Yankton
1009 Jackson St.
Phone: 665-7337