Opinion

When you think about giving back to the soldiers who serve our country, what do you think of?  Many think about donating items for care packages. One soldier told me before he was deployed to support him and the others by being there for their families who are left behind. I recently experienced this type of amazing support by being blessed with this random act of kindness.
In November 2016, my significant other, Mike, and more than 160 soldiers from the South Dakota Army National Guard 153rd Engineer Battalion and its Forward Support Company, deployed to Kuwait for a nine-month deployment. At this time, the family members and loved ones took over to keep things going in the absence of their loved ones. Military families prepare for deployment, like going over emergency contacts, discussing household finances and routines. Even when you think you are fully prepared, the unexpected can still happen.
In December of this last year, a winter storm destroyed our garage roof. Shingles had blown off the roof and were scattered all over the yard.  Panic set in, and it was time to think things through and get the job done. I called the insurance company and reached out to people on our emergency contact list. We were able to at least get some patchwork done to hold us over until the spring.
When spring came, I called around to get various quotes on the roof to get it repaired.  With the limited time, I strived to find ways to make the calls. I was losing hope that it would not get fixed before Mike would come home.
A couple of weeks ago, my prayers were answered. A neighbor stopped by and saw the damaged roof.  He said, “Let me see what I can do to take care of this for your soldier.” Next thing I knew, he had arranged for Mitchell Roofing & Siding to repair the roof for no charge! What a great act of kindness of neighbors helping neighbors and an act of kindness and generosity from Cory at Mitchell Roofing & Siding that helped repair the roof. I was overwhelmed and taken aback by the kindness, and a huge burden has been lifted off of my soldier!
What Cory from Mitchell Roofing & Siding did for our family is a true spirit and support for our soldier and the community in which they serve. Thank you!
Coleen Smith

To the Editor,
My cousin, Raeburn Grassel Moore, sent me a copy of the Sanborn Weekly Journal  of March 30 with the article and pictures of the quilts made in Sanborn County in 1913.  Raeburn pointed out that both our grandmothers and mother and aunts had signatures on the blocks in the quilts.
I took the paper to our families’ Easter dinner and showed the article to the families of four of our children who live in Minnesota. They were interested in the amazing article and the pictures of the quilts.  One of our sons took an enlarged picture of our relatives’ signatures and emailed them to our other four children and their families in Vermont, Montana, North Carolina and D.C.
I lived in Woonsocket with my parents, Matt and Lorinda Roache, until I was 12 years old and attended St. Joseph’s School.
Kathleen Krumholz

I read with interest and agreement on Noel Hamiel’s recent article about poetry and its current versions in publications. Some poems have become popular songs—for example, Badger Clark’s “Round up Lullaby”.
I am including a poem I wrote after watching a meteor shower with three little granddaughters. The sonnet was written by my daughter when she was in school. The location is by the stagecoach trail along the James River from Huron to Mitchell and on to Yankton.
This is the route Laura and Almonzo Wilder went on their way to Missouri. It wasn’t noted in her journal she wrote along the way because the building was no longer there. Some of the sandstones were used to build the house across the river.
Respectively submitted by
Evelyn Walters,
Letcher

A Celestial Phenomenon
We got up in the middle of the night
To see a phenomenal shower from a meteorite.
The moon was just a sliver and gave no light,
The sky was perfect to view the sight.
They came in singles, pairs and groups
And left light in streaks and loop-to-loops.
We watched a while through the glass doors.
It was way to early to do chores.
Someone got dressed and went outside in the dark,
To get a getter look at every firecracker like spark.
Comets flew across the sky in every direction,
Too far from earth to make a connection.
Some fluttered and fell like a leaf in the breeze
Or left big, long tails over the trees.
One streak was wide and exceptionally long,
You’d think to a jet, it did belong.
Also visible were all of the stars.
The Big Dipper, Orion and even Mars.
Then in the still and silence way above the ground,
Came a faint squawking, honking wild goose sound.
The closer they came the louder it got,
All of those meteors would delay them not.
Then they passed and the silent night returned.
And one by one each and every meteor burned,
The little lights like candles went out.
Before going back to bed, we all gave a shout!
What took place in the sky that mild cool November night,
Really was an awesome sight!
By Evelyn Walters
Nov. 18, 2001

Memories of Old
Where a stage once rode,
Today only indentations remain
Of many a man in the train—
Fighting Indians along the road.

Fertile farmland soon sowed
Of fine crops of milo, corn and cane.
Grass rippling as a horse’s mane,
As the wind blows over the hills of old.

Around a cross designating God,
O! How beautiful a sight to behold
As the cross stands in water—golden rod!
The cross, sculpt of granite, now old.

Many a year has passed,
Memories of a trail long last.

Marlene Walters,
1973
Letcher
(The cross in the poem is located six miles north of Mitchell along the James River.)