It was a lousy night of weather for the second year in a row but that didn’t stop more than 200 folks from showing up to watch over 50 actors, musicians and crew members from performing  Granite Falls Saturday Nights! It was a fun and creative look at the past and the future of Granite Falls’ main street and, symbolically, main streets all around Minnesota and the rest of the country.
    The play is set in the 1940s and 1950s in a time that might be called the heyday of downtowns in many small towns. With a nod toward nostalgia, it also leans on us to envision what might be in the future and more importantly, the fact that we can play a role in shaping that future. It is a great message for all of us. It is sweet and nostalgic and yet thought provoking .         
    I had a very small part in  the play (as a pool hall owner named Ed Johnson, with  just one spoken line,  exactly half the number that John Ladner had as he portrayed his dad, Al) My part was simple but it was a chance to be involved and to get a close up look at the creativity of the play writers and the lead actors. They were all amazing. My very small part was enough of a commitment to fill up my schedule but many folks spent many hours making it all come together. Now if we could just land some nice sunny warm weather like the early Octobers that we all remember.
    Maybe next year, we will have a mild October Friday evening for the Meander Kick-off and when, hopefully, the long-awaited work on the foot bridge in downtown Granite will be completed and we can officially cut the ribbon completion of the project. That sounds like something to build a celebration around.

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    We might have had less than ideal weather on Friday but it wasn’t to be mistaken with the early dose of winter that showed up in Western South Dakota and Eastern Wyoming last week. Friday evening’s rain, while bothersome, was also welcome and was a whole lot better than the piles of snow that fell in and around the Black Hills.
    Tom Cherveny showed me photos of 36 inches of new snow in Sundance, Wyoming that his son Ryan had sent.
    While their kids had their first snow day of the year Ryan was at his job as a sheriff’s dispatcher in Sundance and had to cover extra shifts on Friday because others couldn’t get in to work. His reward for a double shift was getting stuck in the snow on the four mile drive home.
     Interstate 90 was closed for more than 150 miles in each direction from Sundance and the Deadwood and Lead area had more than 40 inches of new snow and lots of trees and power lines down.
    Dave Thom told me that they got by easy in Custer in the southern Black Hills where he and Jan live. They had only 20 inches of heavy, wet snow and none of the big power outages that affected Rapid City. He said their 20 inch snowfall contained 4 inches of water.  
    The melting snow had water was running the next day when it warmed up enough for him to go running in shorts and a T-shirt. When it got cold at night the streets and sidewalks of Custer turned into an ice skating rink.
    I think it’s a bit too early for all of that. We deserve some warm October weather.