You've heard the old adage and so have I. 'You can't go home again'.

Well, recently I challenged that old saying, and truth be told, I kind of think I won. I didn't exactly go home again to the days I lived there, but it was close.

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My daughter Jessie came up for a visit with her three kids (shown above with some old skinny bald guy...handsome though!). We decided to take a trip to my old stomping grounds, the place(s) I haunted as a-growin' up person.

So down the Interstate, we went, taking the Magnolia (I played basketball in this town) exit, then on through Kenneth (my folks banked here) and down a gravel road to a farmstead that didn't look too much like it did when I stood a lot smaller. But yes, this was it, the little farmyard where you're Great Grandpa and Great Grandma raised the little fella that grew up (kind of) to be your Grandpa. The barn is gone but it stood there, and the hog house is gone but it stood over there.

A trip into Leota and there's the little 2-room school (at least the building) I went through 6th grade, there's the cafe, and a lot of 'such and such (the barbershop) used to be here and such and such (the Gambles store) used to be there'.

We took a trip to the park where we snapped the picture above, and maybe that's where I realized it...maybe several things, several places, several people who were there a half-century or so ago aren't there, but...they are.

To me they still are, and always will be.

On to Edgerton, past this school and that school, down this street and that street, pointing out this, that and the other thing. I didn't tell them everything I did (maybe someday, maybe not) but thankfully I didn't hear a lot of boredom sighs'. I'm pretty sure it wasn't quite as exciting for them to hear as it was for me telling. But hopefully, they maybe got a little of the family history to stick.

When you meander back to the old places a lot of things are different but a lot of things are the same. I felt the very same warmth I did back when I was knee-high to a bug's butt and lived there. I don't think I appreciated it as much then as I do now. And I hope I passed along a little of that appreciation to my Grandkids.

Randy's Minnesota Memories

Randy McDaniel grew up on a small farm near Leota, Minnesota during the classic baby-boomer years of the 1960s and 1970s. These are his stories of growing up in the idyllic world of southwest Minnesota.

Here Are The 7 Remaining Drive-In Theaters In South Dakota

If you were born last century...you know, in the nineteen hundreds (ugh)...you may have spent a summer evening in the car watching movies. I don't mean on your phone, I mean at the drive-in movie theater!

If you were in Sioux Falls in the 1970s and '80's you may remember seeing Jaws and Indiana Jones at The East Park or the Starlite Drive-In. Both drive-ins opened just after World War 2. The East Park didn't make it out of the '70s, closing in 1978. The Starlite survived long enough to see the birth of home video, closing in 1985.


Drive-in movies had a bit of a resurgence during the pandemic. They were a way to go out and do something social without getting out of your car.

If you tried one during that time, or you remember the fun of a warm summer evening watching movies on that giant screen there are still places in South Dakota and around Sioux Falls you can do it.

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