I grew up on 80 acres of rented farmland a mile south of Leota, in southwest Minnesota. This was back in the days of smaller farms, with fewer animals. I'm talking about the days a farmer might milk 15 or 20 cows, have "some" hogs, a few chickens. It wasn't quite "Little House On The Prairie", but it wasn't that far off from that either.

We had that assortment of animals. In fact, from time to time we might have a goat or two (and yes, it's true, they will eat just about anything), a few sheep now and then. My brother and I tried raising rabbits (that didn't work real well) and we even tried raising a baby fox one time.

And we had a horse. A horse named Stormy.

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Now, truth be known, that horse was way more my brother's horse than mine. I was just a little fella when we had Stormy, and my brother being five-and-a-half years older, Stormy was pretty much his. I can remember sittin' on him alright and walking around the yard, but it was Larry who really rode him.

We were talking not long ago and I asked him where dad had gotten Stormy. "North of Woodstock", he said, "Some guy up north of Woodstock". OK, good enough. What kind of horse was Stormy? I'm not 100% sure, but I think a quarter horse. I do know for sure he was a whole lot bigger than I was.

Anyway, the time came for Larry to get a car. And money was not what you'd call plentiful in those days. Now, my brother Larry had some money of course, from baling hay, trapping gophers, working here and there, but I guess it wasn't enough. So...

Dad did a little horse-trading. I mean, literally.

He drove over to DeBoer Chevrolet in Edgerton, did a little dickering, a little back-and-forth. It's the way deals were done back there in those "old days". What do you have that I want and what do I have that you want. Was there money exchanged in this horse-trading? Could be, but I'll bet it wasn't much.

And by the time the day was done, Mr. DeBoer had himself a really fine horse and my brother Larry had himself a used 1958 Chevy, his first car. And I'd bet if you asked him, he tells you he loved that car.

So Stormy got a fine new home, and so did that used Chevy. A good deal for everyone involved.

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.

120 Year Old Minnesota Bridge Still In Use And Freaking Amazing

Minnesota known as the land of 10,000 lakes has one of the most unique old bridges still in use today. The Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth Minnesota is what they call a span-drive configuration movable lift bridge.