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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Tuesday, July 17

The Klein Museum

A week in South Dakota, although a nice annual trip we make, a necessary trip, can be a tad too long . . . like three or four days too long. Time certainly is relative because the year between last year's visit and this year's seemed like only six months. But this week seemed like an eternity. One of the highlights was our annual visit to the Klein Museum.

Every year when we go back to our South Dakota hometown to visit relatives or engage in one class reunion or another, we make it a point to go to the Klein Museum, and every year we see more and more exhibits, more and more artifacts and memorabilia donated by Mobridge residents. This time we explored the Arikara Earth Lodge and teepee that had been recently added. Remarkable, especially the lodge. It didn’t look as large from the outside as it was after we entered it. Cool in the heat of the summer day and probably quite warm even on the coldest of South Dakota winter days. Three Sioux men built it in eleven days. It was constructed of timber from Montana, vertical logs set in the earth, then brought together without the use of nails. The sides were then made of timber slats placed side by side at a 45° angles, leaning on the interior logs. Then willow branches covered all before laying sod on sides and top. Inside, there were log seats, packed earth floor, a central fire pit beneath an open smoke hole in the ceiling. It looked like it could easily house a family of four or five. We’re assuming that a buffalo skin could be used as a door to keep out heat or cold and any pesky flies that might be around.

This museum is quite remarkable for the amount and diversity of the exhibits, all of which are devoted to the history of the town and surrounding area from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Included are a complete dentist office, doctor’s office, telephone office, beauty shop, grocery, millinery shop, barber shop, law office, optometrist office, a trapper’s shack, a large section devoted to saddles and horse gear, a central room with photos and information about Sitting Bull and other Sioux leaders, Sioux artifacts like head dresses, beaded jackets and shoes, peace pipes and tomahawks. Outside the main building visitors can find a complete furnished house dating back to 1919, a tiny post office built around 1920, a schoolhouse complete with desks, books, maps, pot bellied stove—all the furnishings of a country one-room school, a building devoted to early machinery and tools, a log cabin housing farm toys and scale models of farm machinery. For a town the size of Mobridge, this is a place of which they can be especially proud.

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