Vol. 22, No. 2; Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021

Sep 9, 2021 | Parker's Midweek Update | 0 comments


“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”
— Nathaniel Hawthorne


Thursday: almond.
Friday-Sunday: cherry cheesecake.
Monday-Tuesday: cinnamon red.
Wednesday-Thursday: pineapple.


(From Parker’s column in the Capital Journal 20 years ago this week in September 2001)

We all know there are days when we wonder why we live here. The foot of snow in March when the car is stuck. The 113-degree afternoon in July when the forecast is for more of the same. The eternal wind—sometimes a hot wind, sometimes a cold wind, but always a wind.

Then comes along Labor Day morning.

It was still shy of 8 a.m. when one of Bud’s paws on the side of the bed jarred me back to consciousness. The first twitch of my body prompted him to leap from beyond the foot of the bed to the middle of it where I happened to be lying. The weight of a 100-pound black Lab landing without warning on one’s stomach and a slurpy, sloppy lick from a dog across one’s face are a wakeup all like no other.

My first utterance, “Go away, Bud,” did no good. He only began licking me through the sheet I had pulled over my head. Bud understands “Want to go for a ride, Bud?” That prompted him to leap from the bed, slide on the newly waxed wood floor, crash into the clothes hamper and race for the front door. With his weight removed from my chest, I was able to resume breathing normally.

A few minutes later, Bud and I did the usual circle tour of the Capitol complex, the force of the breeze pasting his floppy ears back against his head as he leaned far out of the passenger window. Blue skies, sunshine, 67 degrees on the bank temperature clock. A heavenly morning! Walkers were already out and about. A couple passed us on Highland, he biking, she jogging. Pickups towing boats gave the early promise of one final holiday on the water.

At Griffin Park campers were milling outside their tents along the river. Bud and I found a vacant area of the park, and he got out to run. The grass was still wet from overnight sprinklers, and the sun was still low enough in the eastern sky to cast long shadows across the cool freshness of the park.

Bud slipped on a sharp turn in the wet Capitol Creek sidewalk and ended up in the water. He climbed back out but realized that had been a refreshing spill, so he plunged back in, deliberately this time.

Across the walking bridge to the west side of the creek, Bud paused to ponder three boys already using the skate park before resuming chasing butterflies and birds and a chattering squirrel.

At Chekkers Bud, through no choice of his own, remained in the car while I warmed in the sun at a picnic table with a cup of coffee and one of my buddy Colin’s bacon and egg biscuits. Bud seemed annoyed that a prim and proper pup in a nearby car refused to acknowledge his presence with so much as a single bark.

We checked out the causeway next to which the water on the downstream side showed not a single ripple. Mother Nature’s wind machine had not turned itself on this morning. In the distance far downriver a water skier created waves and sent spray into the air. A pair of fishermen were at play from one of the piers. On another a reader in sunglasses simultaneously soaked up the sun and a good book.

Bud seemed to have had enough riding for awhile, so we stopped this time at the west end of Steamboat Park. There were plenty of new trees to be sniffed there, and he tore around the area with glee, all the time keeping an eye on the direction in which I was headed.

We went beneath the highway bridge and on to the railroad bridge, pausing to watch three fishing boats and their occupants bobbing gently in the river’s current. On one of them a chocolate Lab perked up when she caught sight of Bud on shore.

In the shade of the trees and the bridges, it was still a cool morning, and as we emerged into open territory near the Ramkota parking lot, the rays of the sun again were welcome.

A discarded red plastic picnic plate caught Bud’s attention, and for a few minutes, until Bud’s teeth had shredded it, it served as our Frisbee. Bud still hasn’t grasped the concept that I can’t throw the Frisbee again till he brings it back to me, but he delighted in my feeble attempts to catch him.

After a brief pause at the office to see what had been dropped on my desk since Friday and a scamper into Dakotamart to pick up milk and orange juice, Bud and I stopped at home to give him a chance to gulp down some water from his dish and drip half of it through the kitchen and into the other rooms, all of those same floors I had spent Saturday night washing and waxing.

Back in the car, we headed for one of our new running places, the soccer fields at the north end of Hilger’s Gulch. There’s no river view from there, but there definitely is a view—the hills to the north and the east, the forest of trees on the west side of the gulch, the dome of the Capitol at the far end, standing out against the Stanley County river bluffs in the distance.

Bud found an empty water bottle near one of the soccer goals, and it became our latest makeshift toy. It didn’t take him long to learn a new trick—retrieving the bottle I threw, then immediately taking it into the deep water in the low areas around each of the new fields, a place where he knew I wouldn’t follow for risk of getting my feet wet.

While Bud raced merrily around the fields, keeping just out of my reach with the water bottle in his mouth, I found pieces of tape and paper to deposit into the trash barrels.

So Bud comes when I call, you think? Of course not. But leaving his long leash attached to his collar while he runs around permits me to have something more than slippery wet black Lab to attempt to grab. My sprinter’s speed and agility enable me to usually catch up with Bud’s chain if not the dog himself.

I’m not sure Bud was ready to go home, but we did, the lure of Andre Agassi’s and Pete Sampras’ tennis matches as well as a day of baseball on the tube too much for me to ignore. Once back in the house, Bud slurped down the contents of his water dish, followed me from room to room as I organized my afternoon, then collapsed on the floor beside my computer and me, no doubt a bit pooped after all his running.

We had shared two hours or so of an absolutely perfect morning, amid the parks, between the hills, along the river and creek that make this town a literal oasis in the prairie.

I know we all love our changes of seasons and all the extremes, but if weather could be bottled for future re-use, the morning of Labor Day 2001 would be the standard. To share it in a beautiful setting with a good dog was frosting on the cake.


This week’s schedules:
Cross country: at Aberdeen Central invitational, 4 p.m.
Girls soccer: home vs. Harrisburg, 4 p.m.
Boys soccer: home vs. Harrisburg, 6 p.m.
Boys golf: at Yankton invitational, 10 a.m.
Volleyball: home vs. Sturgis, 7 p.m.
Girls tennis: at Huron quadrangular (with Brookings and Watertown), 9 a.m.
Boys soccer: at Brandon Valley noon
Girls soccer: at Brandon Valley, 2 p.m.
Volleyball: home vs. Spearfish, 1:30 p.m.
Football: home vs. Sturgis, 7 p.m.
Boys golf: at Brookings invitational, 10 a.m.

Boys soccer: The Governors disposed of Mitchell, 4-1. Cole Peterson accomplished a hat trick with Rylan Derry assisting on all three goals. Derry scored the other Pierre goal with Peterson getting the assist. The Govs are now 4-2-1.

Girls soccer: The Pierre girls defeated Mitchell, 3-1, with Avery Davis, Elli Hughes and Brianna Sargent scoring goals. Pierre is now 6-1.

Football: A big-play offense led the Governors over Mitchell, 35-20, after a tight first quarter. Lincoln Kienholz hit Matt Hanson with a 39-yard TD pass to put Pierre on the board, but the Kernels tied it at 7-7 on Josh Grosdidier’s one-yard plunge. In the second period Kienholz connected with Cade Kaiser to complete a 27-yard touchdown aerial, then threw to Jack Merkwan, who finished a 46-yard TD play that gave Pierre a 21-7 intermission advantage. Kienholz passed to Merkwan on a 52-yard touchdown play for a 28-7 lead. It became 35-7 when Austin Foley returned a fumble recovery for a score. Mitchell made the final score a bit less daunting on an 8-yard touchdown run by Tucker Vilhauer and a touchdown pass reception by Jagger Tyler. Kienholz finished with 241 passing yards, completing 15 of 24 and throwing for four touchdowns. Mitchell outgained Pierre by 297-226.

Cheer/dance: At the Pierre invitational the cheer team placed fifth of 12 schools with a score of 183.50. The dance team placed third overall at 237.25, placing sixth in hip hop and second in pom.

Volleyball: Pierre remained unbeaten with a 5-0 record after wins over Aberdeen and Mitchell this week. The Governors beat Aberdeen, 3-0, on game scores of 25-21, 25-13, 25-21. Remi Price had five service aces, Ayvrie Kaiser seven kills, Reese Terwilliger six kills and Makenna Schlekeway six kills. On Tuesday the 3-2 win over Mitchell was a close call, but Pierre prevailed on game scores of 25-14, 25-17, 18-25, 25-27, 15-8. Kaiser had 28 kills and two aces and Price 10 kills.

Girls tennis: Pierre lost to Mitchell, 9-0, and lost to Yankton, 6-3, in Mitchell’s triangular Friday. In the Yankton match the Pierre points came from Jocelyn Corrales and Carissa Ott in singles and from Marlee Shorter/Gracie Zeeb in doubles. On Saturday Pierre swept Madison in a dual, 9-0.

Season records: Tea Area 2-0, Aberdeen Central 2-0, Pierre 1-1, Yankton 1-1, Brookings 1-1, Watertown 1-1, Huron 1-1, Mitchell 1-1, Douglas 0-2, Sturgis 0-2, Spearfish 0-2.
Last week’s scores:
Pierre 35, Mitchell 20
Aberdeen Central 40, Yankton 28
Brookings 42, Douglas 0
Tea Area 52, Sturgis 0
Huron 34, Spearfish 9
Sioux Falls Lincoln 31, Watertown 26
This week’s games:
Brookings at Watertown
Douglas at Rapid City Central
Spearfish at Yankton
Aberdeen Central at Mitchell (Saturday)
Tea Area at Huron (Saturday)
Sturgis at Pierre (Saturday)


This week’s schedules:
Volleyball: home vs. Philip.
Football: at Sully Buttes, 7 p.m.
Cross country: at Ipswich invitational, 10 a.m.
Volleyball: at Mobridge-Pollock tournament, 10 a.m.

Volleyball: In a home triangular the Buffaloes lost to Timber Lake, 3-1, and lost to White River, 3-2. SCHS is now 3-2 for the season.

Football: The Buffaloes led at one point by 12-0, but they lost by 21-18 to Bon Homme in an afternoon game in Tyndall. SCHS stands at 0-3.


This week’s schedules:
Football: home vs. Stanley County, 7 p.m.
Volleyball: at Philip tournament.

Football: The game was close for a half, but Lyman pounded its way to a 44-6 win over the Chargers in Onida. Sully Buttes gained 103 yards of offense compared to Lyman’s 396. Jordan Schall carried for 56 yards for the Chargers, who are now 2-1.

Volleyball: The Chargers lost to Mitchell, 3-0, and to Ipswich, 3-1. The game scores against Ipswich were 17-25, 25-20, 16-25, 17-25. Lydia Hill had nine kills and Allyson Wittler seven kills as the SBHS record dipped to 2-5.


Sept. 10: Kyle Kurth/Amanda Hossle.
Sept. 25: Nick Jung/Natalie Nagle.
Oct. 2: Jordan Lamb/Abbey Fjeldheim.


Minnesota Twins schedule:
* Thursday: at Cleveland, 5:10 p.m.
* Friday: Kansas City, 7:10 p.m.
* Saturday: Kansas City, 6:10 p.m.
* Sunday: Kansas City, 1:10 p.m.
* Monday: at New York Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network).
* Tuesday: Cleveland, 2:10 (MLB Network) and 6:40 p.m.
* Wednesday: Cleveland, 6:40 p.m.


Being kind is about treating people with kindness and respect, not about being a human equivalent of a doormat.
— Rantings of a Beautiful Mind


PGA Champions Tour (Tom Byrum): The tour schedule had a break last weekend but resumes in St. Louis today through Sunday at the Ascension Charity Classic.


Minnesota United FC: The Loons were idle last weekend but resume play at Seattle at 4 p.m. Saturday.


Midco Sports Network live games this weekend:
* Friday, 4 p.m.: Rapid City Stevens vs. Sioux Falls Jefferson.
* Friday, 8 p.m.: Harrisburg vs. Sioux Falls Lincoln.
* Saturday, 1 p.m.: USD vs. Northern Arizona.
* Saturday, 6 p.m.: SDSU vs. Lindenwood.

NFL live games this weekend (subject to change by networks):
* Thursday, 7:20 p.m.: Dallas at Tampa Bay, NBC.
* Sunday, noon: Minnesota at Cincinnati, Fox.
* Sunday, noon: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, CBS.
* Sunday, 3:25 p.m.: Cleveland at Kansas City, CBS.
* Sunday, 3:25 p.m.: Green Bay vs. New Orleans, Fox.
* Sunday, 7:20 p.m.: Chicago at Los Angeles Rams, NBC.
* Monday, 7:15 p.m.: Baltimore at Las Vegas, ESPN.

Minnesota Vikings: The NFL regular season begins this weekend, and the Vikings play at Cincinnati at noon Sunday on Fox.

Rapid City Marshals: Rapid City’s new team in Champions Indoor Football (CIF) will be known as the Marshals with a Western theme and will play home games in the new Summit Arena at The Monument. The Marshals are the eighth team in the CIF with other clubs in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Texas. Each team will play a 12-game schedule from March to June.


Badlands Sabres: Rapid City’s new team in the NA3HL begins play this week. The Sabres go to Gillette Friday, then play at home Saturday vs. Gillette. Home games will be at the Roosevelt Ice Arena.


1 day: S.D. Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, Chamberlain (Sept. 10-11).
3 days: Minnesota Vikings season opener at Cincinnati (Sept. 12).
8 days: Sanford International golf tournament, Sioux Falls (Sept. 17-19).
9 days: Homecoming at Northwestern (Iowa) (Sept. 18).
10 days: Emmy awards, CBS-TV (Sept. 19).
14 days: Custer State Park buffalo roundup/arts festival (Sept. 23-25).
15 days: Custer State Park buffalo roundup (Sept. 24).
16 days: “M” Day at School of Mines (Sept. 25).
16 days: Blue & White Day at DWU (Sept. 25).
16 days: Swarm Day at BHSU (Sept. 25).
16 days: Homecoming at U. of Minnesota (Sept. 25).
16 days: Trojan Day at DSU (Sept. 25).
17 days: Tony awards, CBS-TV (Sept. 26).
17 days: Crazy Horse Memorial volksmarch (Sept. 26).
18 days: Riggs High homecoming coronation (Sept. 27).
21 days: Riggs High homecoming parade (Sept. 30).
22 days: S.D. Festival of Books, Deadwood (Oct. 1-3).
22 days: Riggs High homecoming day (Oct. 1).
23 days: Cougar Day at USF (Oct. 2).
23 days: Dakota Day at USD (Oct. 2).
23 days: Homecoming at U. of Nebraska (Oct. 2).
23 days: Gypsy Day at NSU (Oct. 2).


Without freedom of speech we wouldn’t know who the idiots are.


Augustana football (Jett Lamb, Colton Hartford): The Vikings dominated Minot State, 49-0, in their season and NSIC opener. Jett saw action on the defensive line, and Colton had two solo tackles from his defensive back position. Now 1-0, Augie plays Mary in Bismarck at 2 p.m. Saturday.

North Dakota State football (Grey Zabel): The Bison opened their season with a 28-6 home win over Albany. Unable to play in the two NDSU playoff games last spring due to injury, Grey was back in action at his offensive guard position. Now 1-0, NDSU continues non-conference play at home vs. Valparaiso at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Dakota Wesleyan men’s soccer (Cam Ahartz): The Tigers lost to Viterbo (Wis.), 2-0. Now 1-4, DWU played at Mount Marty last night and goes to Waldorf Saturday.

Dakota State football (Collin Brueggeman, Nathan Cook): The Trojans lost to Wisconsin-LaCrosse, 42-21. Now 1-1, DSU is off until a Sept. 18 home game against Presentation.

Northern football (Joe King, Jacob Howard): The Wolves led at #2-ranked Minnesota State, 27-17, starting the fourth quarter but lost to the Mavericks in Mankato, 40-34, in overtime. Joe saw action as a tight end. Now 0-1, Northern christens its new Dacotah Bank Stadium with a 6 p.m. Saturday game vs. Southwest Minnesota State.

South Dakota State football (Regan Bollweg): The nation may consider it an upset, but it was no surprise that SDSU whipped Colorado State, 42-23, in its home stadium in Fort Collins. Now 1-0, SDSU is home against Lindenwood (Mo.) at 6 p.m. Saturday on Midco Sports Network.

Dakota Wesleyan football (Josh Rowse): The Tigers defeated Mount Marty, 20-3, in the Lancers’ first-ever football game. Now 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the GPAC, DWU is off until playing Sept. 18 at Midland in Fremont, Neb.

South Dakota volleyball (Brooklyn Bollweg): The Coyotes lost all three matches in Louisville, Ky., falling by 3-0 to #2 Louisville and by 3-1 scores to Missouri and Northern Kentucky. Now 0-3, USD is home against Bradley Thursday and Central Arkansas and Wisconsin-Milwaukee Friday.

University of Sioux Falls cross country (Jessica Lutmer): In her first college meet Jessica placed 87th at the Augustana twilight meet in a time of 20:06.58. She and the Cougars run Friday at the SDSU Classic in Brookings.

Morningside bowling (Alex Badger): The Mustangs are still a month away from their opener at Wauwatosa, Wis., Oct. 3-4.

Dakota State volleyball (Nicole Sarringar): After earlier matches were canceled, the Trojans finally opened their season in Nebraska. DSU defeated Hastings, 3-2, beat Lincoln College 3-0, lost to Life University 3-0 and lost to Park University 3-1. Against Lincoln Nicole had 11 assists and two digs, and she had 18 assists and 14 digs in the Park match. Now 2-2, DSU goes to Peru, Neb., this weekend to take on Peru State, Mount Marty, York and Bethel.

South Dakota football: The Coyotes led at Kansas, 14-10, with under two minutes to play, but a targeting penalty call set up KU for their winning touchdown in a 17-14 escape over USD. Jayhawk fans, unaccustomed to seeing a win, stormed the field. Now 0-1, USD is home vs. Northern Arizona Saturday at 1 p.m. on Midco Sports Network.

South Dakota women’s soccer (Joana Zanin, Janaina Zanin): USD tied Creighton, 1-0, and won at Northern Iowa, 1-0. Now 2-1-2, the Coyotes play at home vs. Drake Thursday and against UNI Sunday.

Black Hills State football (Josh Breske): Josh got his first win as a head coach when BHSU held off Dickinson State, 30-24, after leading by 30-10. After Dickinson closed the deficit, BHSU recovered their onsides kick to save the game. Now 1-0, BHSU plays at William Jewell in Liberty, Mo., this Saturday.

Northwestern (Iowa) football (Morris Hofer): The Red Raiders soared to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the GPAC with a 45-13 win over Hastings. Northwestern plays at Midland in Fremont, Neb., at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Dakota Wesleyan volleyball (Gracie Olivier): The Tigers finally lost their first match of the season, 3-2 to Central Methodist, but won by 3-1 scores over Hope International and Rocky Mountain to improve to 7-1 for the season so far. DWU goes to Peru, Neb., to play York and Mayville State Friday, then plays a GPAC match at Briar Cliff Saturday.

Dakota Wesleyan cross country (Morgan Oedekoven): Morgan was DWU’s best finisher when she placed 213th at the Augustana twilight meet’s 5K race in 22:26.06. Next on the DWU schedule is the Morningside invitational Sept. 17.

St. Joseph’s (Pa.) men’s soccer (John Axtman): The Hawks lost at Campbell (N.C.), 4-1, but scored their first win at UNC-Greensboro, 2-1. Now 1-3, St. Joseph’s goes up to Cornell Friday and over to Rutgers Monday.

Overall records: SDSU 1-0, NDSU 1-0, UND 1-0, Indiana State 1-0, SIU 1-0, Youngstown State 1-0, Illinois State 1-0, USD 0-1, WIU 0-1, UNI 0-1, Missouri State 0-1.
This week’s games: UND at Utah State (Friday), Youngstown State at Michigan State, Indiana State at Northwestern, Northern Arizona at USD, Valparaiso at NDSU, Illinois State at Western Michigan, Lindenwood at SDSU, Southern Illinois at Kansas State, Central Arkansas at Missouri State, WIU at Montana, UNI at Sacramento State.
Last week’s scores:
SDSU 42, Colorado State 23
Kansas 17, USD 14
NDSU 28, Albany 6
UND 35, Idaho State 14
Youngstown State 44, Incarnate Word 41 (OT)
SIU 47, Southeast Missouri State 21
Ball State 31, WIU 21
Iowa State 16, UNI 10
Oklahoma State 23, Missouri State 16
Illinois State 49, Butler 7


  • I am determined to remind you regularly to vote “No” on Amendment C in the primary elections next June. The problem is that, if you are a registered Democrat or Independent, you will have few or no contests on which to vote, so the Amendment C issue may be the only reason for you to go to the polls. But you must plan to do it anyway! The Republican legislature’s ploy is to have this issue on primary ballots, figuring that Republicans at their primary will follow the party’s and the Legislature’s lead and vote in favor of the amendment. Don’t let them get away with this. Passage of Amendment C will change the state constitution probably forever and give even more power to the one-party Legislature by requiring initiated measures to have a 60% approval rate by the voters, something that would hardly ever happen in this state.
  • Just a year ago this week the temperature at the Rapid City airport was 104 degrees on Saturday. On Tuesday, three days later, we had measurable snow here.
  • I did not know the McKeever children personally when they were in school in Pierre. They were older than my kids, so I was never as much in touch with Riggs High people and activities until the first of my kids got there in the fall of 1989. But since Facebook arrived, I have been “friends” with them and their dear mother, Juanita, so I feel as if I know them. The unexpected death of Devin last week stunned literally hundreds of people. To see in what high regard he and his McKeever family are held by people, you should go to Cris Knoblauch’s Facebook page and scroll down to read her touching tribute to her brother. It’s also on Devin’s Facebook page along with dozens of messages from present and former Pierre folks who knew him. Devin loved Chicago as I do, and he regularly posted glorious photos of the skyscrapers in the Loop, the Chicago River and the lake. He had a great vantage point, the balcony of his apartment about 50 floors up in a building just south of the river and only a couple blocks from the lakefront. And he had many photos of his nephews and niece to whom he must have been a marvelous uncle. Without really knowing Devin, I will miss him. Our sympathy to all the McKeevers.
  • One of the most memorable weekends of my life concluded exactly 20 years today. A few months before then, Brent Sogaard and J.J. Iverson had stopped by my house on Church Street to inform me that they had secured for me a ticket to the Nebraska-Notre Dame game! So I went down to Lincoln, of course, and stayed in the house where Brent, J.J., Matt Jahraus and a Watertown guy named Mike Olsen were living. Brent had arranged for many of the Pierre kids who were attending UNL at the time—and there were quite a few!—to gather to see me at a spot outside the stadium that Saturday morning. What fun! There were Brent, J.J., Jahr, Steph Tveidt, Mike Tweit, Chad Harris, Kasey Anderson, Allyson Friez, Brittany Bailey, Katie Heyd and James Lee. Then we went inside the stadium to be in the stands for ESPN’s “College Gameday” telecast taking place down there on the field. That Saturday night, which was 20 years ago last night, the Huskers beat Notre Dame, 27-10. For this Husker fan of at least 40 years up to that point it was heaven on Earth to be in Memorial Stadium. I still owe Brent, J.J. and Matt for making it all possible. Then three days later it was September 11, 2001, and you know what happened that day.
  • The 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks reminds me, of course, of that Tuesday morning. As we went to work, the radio news flash came that “a plane” had crashed into the World Trade Center. I remember remarking to all the young ones in the Capital Journal newsroom that I could recall the day back in the ’40s when a light plane crashed accidentally, of course, into the Empire State Building. That was, we assumed, what had happened in this case. Later that same hour I was talking from my desk on the phone with Tom Harmon. He at the time had a TV set on in his office, and at that moment the second airliner crashed into the south tower. “Boy, that’s going to hurt!” he exclaimed, and I didn’t know what he was talking about. That was the first we knew that there was a second plane and that all of this was no accident. My fellow reporter, Dorinda Daniel, and I spent much of that day communicating as best we could with anybody and everybody who might be in New York who had Pierre connections, and we compiled a story for the next day’s paper that later won an award from the South Dakota Newspaper Association. I wish I had a copy of that article to reprint here. My aging memory can’t recall with whom we made contact to learn of their experiences of that awful day for our story, but I have found some pieces of my column, and you can find them at the bottom of this Update.
  • Is the U.S. Men’s National Team going to blow it and not even qualify for next year’s World Cup in soccer? It’s early in the qualifying process yet, but the first two matches don’t give us a lot of hope. The U.S. team tied El Salvador, 0-0, last week, then tied Canada, 2-2. Last night we played in Honduras, and there will be 11 more matches. When it’s done this winter the top three teams in the North America/Central America/Caribbean standings qualify for the World Cup, and the fourth has a chance to play in a play-in, loser-out game. Right now the USA is a shaky fourth.
  • Most decent people surely shake their heads at some of the people who get elected to Republican offices in this state. Take for example state Sen. Phil Jensen from District 33, considered to be one of the most far-right of the volume of conservatives in the Legislature. At Tuesday’s Rapid City school board meeting a lady, speaking during public comment, told of her worries that her son will bring home from high school the COVID virus, threatening her vulnerable family members. In response to this, Jensen said, “I am not responsible for your vulnerable family members.” District 33 includes part of western and northern Rapid City.


Some of this week’s developments:

  • Last Thursday South Dakota had 536 new COVID cases in one day, 152 of them in Pennington County. On Tuesday of this week the number of active cases in the state surpassed 6,000 for the first time since Jan. 7. Two newly reported deaths raised the state’s COVID toll to 2,074. Yesterday the DOH report, which included data over the holiday weekend up to 1 p.m. Tuesday, showed the death toll up to 2,077 and new positive cases amounting to 1,230. The number of hospitalized patients stood at 210. Of the 1,230 new cases reported, 380 are in Pennington County. The active number of cases statewide is the highest since last December.
  • The state Department of Health said on Thursday that, despite social media reports, a death listed as being caused by the vaccine was not. That patient was over 90 years old and had a heart attack.
  • Joining Sanford Health, which made such a decision earlier, Avera Health said this week it will require full vaccinations for all doctors, employees, volunteers, students on rotations, contractors and vendors as of Dec. 1. Almost immediately a “Rally for Medical Freedom” was organized to be held at Terrace Park this Saturday morning. There will be “freedom speakers,” and Governor Noem and “vaccine-injured victims” have been invited.
  • The USD campus reported 16 active cases yesterday, up nine from one day earlier. Also in Vermillion, the school district has imposed a two-week mask mandate for its Austin Elementary School and for all bus riders in the district no matter to which school they are headed.
  • Huron High School resumed a mask mandate for students.
  • Monument Health hospitals in the Black Hills limited visitors to only one person at a time per patient. COVID-19 positive patients are not allowed any visitors at this time.
  • Despite pleas from the medical community in Rapid City and other speakers, the Rapid City school board predictably by a vote of 5-2 refused to pass a two-week mask mandate proposed by the two minority board members as a way to slow the increase in COVID cases.
  • Florida intends to apply a $5,000 fine to businesses and governments that require proof of vaccinations from customers or the public Whether the state gets away with the plan remains to be seen. Yesterday a judge said Governor DeSantis and the state cannot enforce his ban on school mask mandates and cannot fine school board members who apply mask mandates in their districts.
  • While a mask mandate began in the Mitchell schools, a firm called Mitchell Roofing and Siding provided lunches for Mitchell students refusing to abide by the mask mandate while they protested outside the high school.
  • Not every super-spreader event in the Black Hill’s is going on as scheduled. The annual Black Hills PowWow, which brings hundreds of people into Rapid City, has been canceled for this fall due to the upsurge in COVID cases in Black Hill’s counties.
  • The National Hockey League has established a no-nonsense policy regarding COVID as their new season approaches. Unvaccinated players on the road cannot go anywhere except their hotel, the team’s practice facility and the arena. Off-limits are the hotel bar, restaurant, gym and pool, and no teammates or visitors can visit their hotel rooms. Unvaccinated players will lose a day’s pay for each day they miss.
  • In Pennsylvania a group called Back to School PA is giving thousands of dollars as bribes to school board candidates in the amount of $10,000 each if they will pledge to keep schools open for in-person learning.
  • Idaho hospitals began rationing health care amid the COVID surge. They can thus allot scarce resources like ICU rooms to patients most likely to survive.


Last week far too many of our 13 contestants picked Clemson, Washington and Wisconsin. Bad decisions! The best score anyone could muster was 7-3, but that is good for 10 points each for Dawn Magee, Nathan Vetter, David Ludwig, Thomas Voeltz and Jon Boer. At 6-4 for nine points apiece were Jeff Adel, Kyle Richards, Greg Dean, Levi Neuharth, Eric James, Randy Pool and Jason Noyes. At 5-5 for eight points was Mikal Kern.

Feel free to join us in picking 10 games per week. Send your 10 winners to parkerhome16@hotmail.com by Saturday morning. (The list of each week’s contest games also is posted on my Facebook page (Parker Knox) on Sunday evenings, and you can “comment” there with your 10 winners.)

This week’s games:
(1) Oregon at Ohio State
(2) Iowa at Iowa State
(3) Washington at Michigan
(4) Pittsburgh at Tennessee
(5) Texas A&M at Colorado
(6) NFL: Seattle at Indianapolis
(7) NFL: Minnesota at Cincinnati
(8) NFL: Pittsburgh at Buffalo
(9) NFL: Cleveland at Kansas City
‘(10) NFL: Green Bay vs. New Orleans


Thursday, Sept. 9:
Chase Hight, Lilian Cruse, MIchael Ahlers, Bobbi (Martin) Drewes, Heather (Juhala) Maxwell, John Moisan, James Moisan, Chandler Bartholomew, Taylor Flannery, Katie Hiemstra, Megan Johnson, Linda (Fjelstad) Schumachder, Samantha (Merrill) Pietz, Aubree Withers.
— 4th anniversary, Charlie/Carrie (Erickson) Kaufman.
— 4th anniversary, Mic/Nicole (Madden) Stulken.
— 15th anniversary, Matt/Sara (Schneider) Odden.
— 16th anniversary, Chad/Jenny (Riis) Babcock.
— 15th anniversary, Dustin/Joanne (Berg) Hight.

Friday, Sept. 10:
Jessica Simons, Laurie Feiler, Morgan Hanson, Carrie (Rounds) Larson, Shelbi (Hostler) Schimpf, Deb Bumann, Tom Ellefson, Dan Brummer, Chris Eich, Kathy (Goc) Hoisington.
— 10th anniversary, Ron/Nerissa (Gallagher) Strait.
— 10th anniversary, Daris/Kelsey (Dunwoody) Kampfe.
— 10th anniversary, Mikal/Myriah Kern.
— 10th anniversary, Travis/June (Stewart) Kelly.

Saturday, Sept. 11:
Bob Gill, Jason Young, Gail Lyngstad, Joan Likness, Nancy Gonsor, Dawn Marso, Bennett Eisenbeisz, Jason Nowak, Tim Marshall, Jamie Van Winsen.
— 56th anniversary, Dick/Joy Christoffer.

Sunday, Sept. 12:
Brittney Kirkpatrick, Brittany (Guindon) Meiners, Noah Sprenkle, John Keyes, Lois Fuller, Erin Harmon, William Maurice, Randy McKee, Samantha Harris, Jen de Hueck.
— 6th anniversary, Nick/Ally (Kraemer) Formanek.
— 23rd anniversary, Ryan/Lisa (Ries) Kramer.
— 13th anniversary, Guy/Mikayla (Mikkelsen) Frick.
— 12th anniversary, Jason/Sarah Sass.
— 6th anniversary, Aaron/Kelsey (Wilson) Trimble.
— 12th anniversary, Drew/Catherine Sweetman.
— 24th anniversary, Tom/Molly Valentine.

Monday, Sept. 13:
Joe Tetzlaff, Jonalyn Beastrom, Katie Ludemann, Kevin Tveidt, Andrew Smith, Emma Wylie, Jean Lakner, Cody Richter, Denise (Lamb) Wilkins, Ryan Grandpre, Laura (Joachim) Hansen, Nancy (Pottratz) Kennedy.
— 7th anniversary, Ryan/Dani Tobin.
— 58th anniversary, Dick/Mary Carter.

Tuesday, Sept. 14:
Sam Ellefson, Cora Stahl, Kaitlyn Bruns, Levi Neuharth, Ella Marie Smith, Luke Deal, Lisa Forest, Finn Mancuso, Barry Massey, Mark Mancuso.
— 14th anniversary, Jeff/Brianne (Barnett) Roby.
— 19th anniversary, Matt/Kim Brakke.
— 8th anniversary, Jordan/Shelby (Badger) Heckenlaible.
— 8th anniversary, Mitch/Stephanie (Dvorak) Delvo.
— 8th anniversary, Torey/Christina (Ahrendt) Garrett.
We fondly remember Robert Disburg on his birthday.

Wednesday, Sept. 15:
Emily Coolidge, Austin Munyon, Brie Mikkelsen, Dan Swenson, Rondell LeBeau, Steven Long, Louisa Corbin, Amber Gloe, Heather Stoeser.
— 14th anniversary, Jimmy/Sandy (Krom) Bauer.
— 9th anniversary, Allan/Krista (Wilson) Rounds.
— 9th anniversary, Dustin/Justine (Berven) Drew.
We fondly remember Donna Fjelstad on her birthday.

Thursday, Sept. 16:
Aron Nevin, Bobbi Ice, Justin Sivage, Anne Schmidt, Robyn (Clausen) Bauer, Anissa Grambihler, Guy Kaafka, Gordon Goosen, Georganne Sorenson, Jonah Hopper.
— 4th anniversary, Nathaniel/Brea (Paul) Louwagie.
— 21st anniversary, Jason/Amy Irion.
— 4th anniversary, Jamie/Megan (Gordon) Ramirez.
— 4th anniversary, Derrick/Kelbie (Frederick) Miller.


Pierre Players announced its cast for the fall show, “A Little Piece of Heaven,” which will be performed in October. In the cast are Mark Hiatt, Katie Williamson, Helen Squyer, Keri Muntefering, Phil Sheffield, Dan Bohman, Rachael Person, Andrew Yeager, LaTrisha Schindler, Chloe Bowers, Abigail Stanley, Acacia Kahler, LeeAnn Smith, Earl Turner, Janet Martin, Thomas Vetsch, A.J. Holland.

Aidan Unterbrunner, who intercepted a pass and returned it 88 yards for a Rapid City Stevens touchdown against Sioux Falls Roosevelt last week, is the son of Todd and Polly Unterbrunner of Rapid City and grandson of Susan and Brad Urbach.

John “Jack” Ellenbecker, 75, passed away at home Sept. 1. Visitation took place Sunday, and Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church. Jack grew up in Sioux Falls and graduated from O’Gorman High School in 1964. He earned a business administration degree from Northern. He moved to Pierre in 1968 to work for the state as a computer programmer, then shifted into accounting for the Board of Regents. He spent three decades as budget and finance officer for the South Dakota Supreme Court, retiring in 2004 after 37 years with the state. Jack married Teri D’Amour in 1967, and they spent 53 years together. Jack is survived by his wife, Teri; his four children, Dave (Sheli) Ellenbecker of Sturgis, Jim (Laura) Ellenbecker of Pierre, Dr. Jon (Jenny) Ellenbecker of Sioux Falls and Stephanie (George) Vandel of Sioux Falls; 10 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; three brothers, Bill (Cindy) Ellenbecker, Richard (Kathy) Ellenbecker, and Jim (Kathy) Ellenbecker, all of Sioux Falls, and three sisters, Julie (Jack) Rothe of Mahtomedi, Minn., Mary (Rick) Althoff of Sioux Falls, and Margaret (Steve) Jergenson of Omaha.

Cash Anderson, who graduated earlier this year from the law school at USD, passed his bar exam and last week was sworn into the legal profession by Chief Justice Steven Jensen.

PAWS Animal Rescue will serve its annual turkey dinner drive-through at First United Methodist Church from 5 to 7 p.m. next Monday, Sept. 13. The menu includes turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn, dinner rolls, pie and beverage. The cost is a free-will donation.

Former Riggs High teacher and football coach Bob Bozied died of a heart attack at home in Westminster, Colo., Aug. 25. Services were held Sept. 5 at the Public Schools Stadium in Aurora. A graduate of SDSU, Bob married Kathy Wheeler in 1970. They lived in Nebraska, Wyoming, Oklahoma and South Dakota where he was a coach, teacher and active member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In 1993 the Bozieds moved to Colorado where Bob was head football coach at Adams City, Arvada and Aurora Hinkley high schools. He is survived by his wife; his children, Tanya Idela and Tagg Bozied of Denver and Jennifer (Todd) Edgell in Ohio; a sister, Donna Burns, and a brother, Tom Bozied of Brookings.

Elise Titze, who lives in Livingston, Mont., became engaged last week to Adam Boehler of Livingston.

Dorinda Daniel of Pierre received the South Dakota Humanities Distinguished Achievement Award in the individual award category. The South Dakota Historical Society Foundation launched the History and Heritage Book Club in 2009. As club coordinator, Dorinda has hosted authors, tour events, book discussions and re-enactors at the Cultural Heritage Center and around Pierre. People across the country have been able to “attend” the programs via Zoom. Dorinda was a long-time reporter at the Capital Journal before going to work for the society at the Cultural Heritage Center.

Pierre native Devin McKeever of Chicago died unexpectedly Aug. 31. He was the son of Juanita McKeever of Anoka, Minn., and the late Judge Patrick McKeever. Funeral services, which are still pending, will be held at the Church of St. Stephen in Anoka. Friends of the McKeever family can check on funeral details on the website of the Chicago funeral home that is handling arrangements. The site is www.dalcamofuneralhome.com.

I noticed Kris Dozark’s name listed among the officials in the box score of Dakota State’s football game last weekend. Kris, who is still living in Pierre, works college games in the GPAC and North Star conferences with a crew based in North Dakota. But he is also officiating high school games, too, with a hometown crew that also includes Louis Young, Jeremy Mikkelsen, Terry Keller, Tate Gabriel, Pat Snyder and Mark Smith.

Myrtle (McChristy) Jackson, 84, passed away Sept. 2 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. Visitation will be from 10 to 10:30 a.m. next Monday, Sept. 13, at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, followed by the funeral service at 10:30. Myrtle graduated from Irene High School in 1955, then worked for a year as a nurse’s aide at Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton. In 1956 she enrolled at the Pierre School of Practical Nursing. After two years of work in the surgery department at St. Mary’s Hospital, she began a 43-year career in nursing working with Dr. .B. O. Lindbloom at Medical Associates Clinic. She and Dr. Lindbloom retired simultaneously in 2003. Myrtle married Duane Johnson in 1962. She was an avid bowler for more than 40 years. Survivors include her three children, Joan Rogotzke of Pierre, Kent Jackson of Pierre, and Dawn (Shane) Bonham of Sioux Falls; eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Brandon Cruse, who moved with his wife Melanie and their children to Scottsdale, Ariz., from Rapid City earlier this summer, has resumed his college football officiating work. Last weekend he worked with his Big 12 crew at the West Virginia-Maryland game. This weekend he will work the Texas-Arkansas game.

Ray Hartman, 91, who owned The Donut Shop for many years, died Sept. 3. A celebration of his life will be held this afternoon (Thursday) at 2 p.m. at Feigum Funeral Home. Ray grew up in Gettysburg and graduated from high school at Brookings in 1946. He earned a two-year degree from South Dakota State College, then graduated from the Dunwoody Baking Institute in 1951. He married Maxine Glenna in Minneapolis in 1951. They owned bakeries in Dassel, Minn., Gettysburg and Pierre until 1968. They then owned The Donut Shop until 2000. Ray was also a Pierre city commissioner between 1988 and 1992. He is survived by his wife, Maxine Hartman; his son, Adam Hartman; his grandson, Alex Hartman, and his granddaughter, Mykaila (Trent) Vogelsong.

Eric Axtman, youngest of the three sons of Greg and Sarah (Adam) Axtman of Harrisburg, Pa., is still in high school where he is an outstanding soccer goalkeeper. He has committed to attend Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., where he will play soccer.

A funeral service for Dave Lindekugel, who passed away in June at the age of 74, will be held at the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 11.

Clyde Colson, 89, passed away at home in Blunt Sept. 4. His funeral service will be held outdoors in his back yard at 10 a.m. today (Thursday). Visitation began at 9 a.m. Clyde grew up in Texas and graduated from Amherst High School. He came to South Dakota on wheat harvests in 1951 and 1952 before serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War in 1953-54. In 1955 he came to Blunt to work for A.J. Williams. Clyde married the former Nita Strickland in 1958, and their first home was in a trailer home in the Williams family’s yard. The Colsons moved up to Sully County in 1961 and began farming on their own. They came to a home in Blunt in 1965. Clyde is survived by his three children, Colleen (Randy) Pool, Carl (Joy) Colson and Clayton (Polly) Colson; six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren with another great-grandchild expected next month. Among those preceding him in death were his wife of 63 years, Nita Colson, and his sister, Gwen.


“I’ll never forget 9/11. That would be impossible. I’ll never lose the outrage and the despair and the fear of that day. But I’ll also never forget the way this nation solidified in the wake of it. I’ll never forget the way that tragedy drew us to one another.

“That has not happened after Jan. 6, and it cannot because the perpetrators of that horrible day are still here. We see them when we get the mail or travel to holiday gatherings or go to church or scroll our timeline. These same people who like us were sick to their stomachs in 2001 rejoiced in 2021. They are still hoping for another chance to fully celebrate.

“That is something we may never be able to get past as a nation.”
— John Pavlovitz


The following excerpts from Parker’s Capital Journal columns were first printed in the newspaper in the days immediately following the events of Sept. 11, 2001:

SEPT. 12

Pierre native Nathan Welsh lives on 87th Street on New York’s Upper West Side, far away from the southern tip of Manhattan where the World Trade Center was located. The 1991 alumnus of Riggs High heard of the first plane crashing into one of the towers on his way to work and assumed it had been an accident. But just as he arrived by subway at Penn Station, the subway system was shut down, and he realized something much more serious was taking place. He called his mother, Sally Christenson, in Pierre immediately to assure her of his well-being. His office building was evacuated even though it is located more than 15 blocks from the World Trade Center.

With the subway system closed, Welsh tried to catch a bus home, but traffic was gridlocked. He eventually decided to proceed on foot. He said the whole scene in New York was just as television depicted it—a sort of war-zone atmosphere. An incredible sense of sadness had gripped the city, he said.

There’s something to be said about growing up in a place like Pierre. When I called to inquire about the status of her son, Nathan, Sally said she had been getting calls all day Tuesday from her son’s high school friends from all across the country or their parents. Guys like Stuart Martin and Ben Van Camp and Josh Ley among others, who have been gone from Pierre for more than a decade, needed reassurance that Nate was safe from all the tragedy at the southern tip of Manhattan.

SEPT. 12

One of the people with the best view of Tuesday’s traumatic events, if only for a couple of minutes, was Dallas Cronin (Riggs ’99). Stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, he was in his dorm room when he and some friends heard the squeal of approaching F-16s, which proved to be the planes escorting Air Force One. President Bush had started the day in Florida, had been shuttled off to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, then moved up to Offutt. Dallas said the time it took for the President to leave his plane and disappear from sight was maybe one minute. Television news clips showed the President and his party being escorted quickly to what seemed like nothing more than a shack of some kind. What it was was the ground-level entrance into the underground rooms where the President—any President—can direct the operations of the country safely out of harm’s way. He did have teleconferences from that site with the Vice President and other advisers in Washington. Later he and Air Force One, escorted by the fighter jets at its wingtips, left for Washington. Dallas didn’t see much for very long, but for an instant he was close to the action.

SEPT. 13

“There was probably more traffic in Pierre today than there was in New York,” Ryan Murphy said Wednesday night at the end of the day after the terrorist attacks in the big city. “It was really weird today in the city,” said Murphy, who lives with his wife Trisha in Queens. He is a 1996 graduate of Riggs High.
“There was no traffic, no noise, and hardly anybody walking around.”

Murf said he had to work at a theater in upper Manhattan. On the subway ride in, he could see the smoke still in the air. One of the most stunning visual images was the gap in the skyline where the World Trade Center’s two towers once stood.

After work he and Trisha walked down to Houston Street, an east-west street that crosses Manhattan just below Greenwich Village, about 15 blocks north of the World Trade Center. “That was the farthest they would let people go,” Murphy said. “You could really smell the smoke, and it started to hurt your throat after awhile. It was weird to see the rows and rows of dump trucks and front-end loaders and bulldozers, everything lined up ready to go in and help. There are police absolutely everywhere.”

Just last week Ryan and Trisha had attended a free concert in the plaza between the twin towers. “We were looking up at those two buildings, commenting on how impressive they were,” he said. “I can’t believe that they are totally gone now.”

On Tuesday morning, who knows what could have happened had the terrorists’ acts taken place an hour later. The Murphys had planned to take their timesheets to the temporary employment agency through whom they work. Its office is a half-block from the World Trade Center. They had planned to then deposit their paychecks at a bank located in the Trade Center itself.

“Although we were out of harm’s way,” he said, “it was still very scary out here.”

The Murphys live in the Jackson Heights area of Queens in a neighborhood where they are the only English-speaking people. “In our neighborhood there is a Jewish center, and there have been five policemen outside there 24 hours a day,” Ryan said.

The Murphys, both SDSU theater and communications graduates, have been in New York since their wedding in June. He currently has a job with a company that works on setting up lights for off-Broadway theaters, and she is busy working temporary jobs while trying out for different kinds of theater. They plan to stay in the city “for as long as we can,” he said, but Tuesday night after that horrendous day in New York, Trisha’s parents’ farm in Brookings County suddenly seemed very appealing indeed. “I really miss lawns and grass and trees,” Ryan commented. “All we have here are cement and stink.”

SEPT. 17

The sweetest sound in the ears of local resident Jeannette Beemer last Tuesday morning was the voice of her daughter, Suzy, on the other end of the telephone line, saying, “Hi, Mom.” Suzy and her husband, Steven, both work in Manhattan and live in Brooklyn. His office is in lower Manhattan, but he hadn’t gone in that day because he was going to go vote. Suzy’s office is farther uptown. When she left the subway, she smelled smoke, but the passengers didn’t know at that time what was burning. Because the transportation systems were later shut down, Suzy couldn’t get across the East River and home to Brooklyn that night.

Rick Knudson, former PILC teacher and Post 8 baseball coach until he moved to Virginia last month, and Lisa, his fiancée, were lounging on the deck of their apartment in Woodbridge, Va., 18 miles southwest of Washington. “We heard a tremendous rumble from the air,” Knudson said. “As we ventured into the back yard, we realized from CNN reports that Air Force One and three escorting fighter jets were directly above us. Believe me, it was quite a sight!”

He said their school district was under Code Red status as a result of Tuesday’s events, and they didn’t have school Wednesday. When he wrote me on Friday, a teaching colleague of his had not yet heard from her husband, who worked at the Pentagon. Rick and Lisa went up to as close as they could get to the Pentagon and saw the smoldering, gaping hole first-hand. “Words cannot describe the stunned silence of the onlookers there on Columbia Pike,” he said.

Scott Kennedy, 1994 Riggs graduate who is an optometrist at a VA hospital in northeastern Maryland, is 90 minutes from Washington. When he wrote me Friday, he said apparently no one he knows had lost relatives or friends in Tuesday’s attacks. “Since this is federal property, there is now a guard stationed at the gate where there never was anyone before,” he said. “The state of his booth is pretty poor, but there he sits, checking IDs and waving us through, one at a time. Very sobering.” Scott said he and his girlfriend were planning a trip up to New York in October. Now they’re not sure they will go.

In Chemnitz, Germany, Anja Reichelt, who attended Riggs High as an exchange student two years ago and who was back here this past summer, was at work when her best friend told her to turn on the television set. “I just stood there and watched,” Anja told Gaytha ten Eyck, mother of Kris Buchholz. Anja lived with Kris and husband Mike during her school year in Pierre. “It seemed unreal, impossible. I couldn’t say anything for a long time. Pure shock, all nonsense.” Anja said the first thought that came to mind was war.

“The day after, there was a strange atmosphere in school,” Anja said. “You could feel that it affected all of us. There were discussions all day. I just sit in school, but only my body is there. I just can’t get thoughts of this incident off my mind.” She said her school observed five minutes of silence as did major businesses and corporations. Airports were secured, and radio stations stopped playing music.

Matt Blumer, Riggs High’s homecoming governor in the fall of 1989, is stationed in the Army in Germany. His wife Erika, who taught at PILC for a couple of years, and their daughter, Zoe, are with him.

“I just wanted to let you know we are OK, and I hope all of you are making it through this, too,” he wrote to Hyrma Zakahi, his former drama coach and teacher at Riggs. Matt and Erika have been working directly opposite shifts, so one sleeps while the other is at work. But on Wednesday Matt went instead to the day care center and spent the day with Zoe in his sight, sleeping occasionally in a rocking chair.

“We are on alert and have to be ready to go within four hours,” Matt said. “I want more than anything for peace so that my family, friends and especially Zoe can grow up feeling safe. If something goes down, I’d want to be there for that reason.”


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