Thursday, October 30, 2014

three things I know about your state

"South Dakota?!  I only know three things about South Dakota."

-------------------------- When I went to Boston University to begin freshman year, everyone you met, as a new student, would say where they were from.

On my floor in the dorm, we had -- Tracy from Chicago, Patti from Manhattan, Ellie from Shaker Heights, Liz from Vermont, Betty from Long Island, Pat from Long Island, Jamie from Philadelphia, Mindy from Forest Hills, Judy from St. Louis, Eileen from Brooklyn, Valerie from New Jersey, Martha from Lexington, Mass., Nathalie from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Monica from Houston....

At that time I was 18 years old, and I'd lived the first fourteen years of my life in northeastern Ohio and then the last four years in South Dakota.  When kids asked me where I was from I would say "South Dakota."  And I would think, well really I lived in Ohio longer than in So. Dak., so should I say I'm originally from Ohio but more recently from S.D.?  And then -- I would just keep it simple & say one state, the most recent one.

And people would say, "South Dakota??!"  It was unusual, to them.

"You're so far from home!" some of them said.

"Where is South Dakota?"

And this one guy, Andy from Rhode Island, decided he was floored and amazed to meet someone from



He said to me, thoughtfully, "I only know three things about South Dakota.  George McGovern, Cheryl Ladd, and that movie where Cary Grant gets chased by a crop-dusting plane."