Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Who Should Read "Man Stuff"?

I recently published my book Man Stuff: Things a Young Man Needs to Know. I have often been asked who should read the book.

Man Stuff includes advice on interpersonal relationships, manners, body care, leaderships, digital etiquette, dressing for success and other critical skills that are essential for a young man.

I have discussed all of these topics with sixth through eighth grade young men at weekly meetings of the Explorers Club during the Man Stuff segment of the meetings. It would not be an overstatement to say that they truly enjoy these segments.

I do not believe, however, that the audience is limited to adolescent young men. Former Explorers club members have expressed an interest in these topics. That group includes high school age young men.

I think the book could be very helpful to single mothers during a time when their boys are developing into young men. Single moms have a huge job and this book can serve as a guide or a discussion starter for many life topics with their sons.

Grandparents can use the book as a guide for reinforcement of topics their grandsons need to know. Often those "pearls" of wisdom from grandparents are more readily accepted than they are from parents at that critical age. It can be a great gift from grandparents to their grandson.

Man Stuff would be a great gift for any young man age 10-18. The topics are traditional, timely and current. I plan to update as needed.

For example, the first two chapters in the book were going to be about the handshake and the bro-hug.  I chose to move them because of the 2020 outbreak of COVID-19 virus.

I believe there is a very really possibility that the handshake’s place in American culture may be changing. People will be much more sensitive to touching each other in a world of “social distancing” and it will be important to respect those sensitivities. The same applies to the “Bro Hug”.

I’ve chosen to leave these chapters in the book, because, at the very least, it is important to understand the role of the handshake and “Bro Hug” in our recent culture. You need to understand some of the subtle things one could convey and learn by these interactions.

If they go away, some type of formal greeting will replace them and you will want to understand how this changes the greeting and exchange. 

I encourage you to give Man Stuff: Things a Young Man Needs to Know a read. I think you will find that there is something there for almost everyone!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Man Stuff

I have written in this space about the Explorers before. That organization is the inspiration for my new
book Man Stuff: Things a Young Man Needs to Know.

Here is the forward from my book:

When my son was in seventh grade, I saw a need for some kind of youth organization that ALL young men could belong to – even those who were not athletic. I started the Explorers Club, a boys service club for 6-8th grade Chamberlain Public School and St. Joseph’s Indian School students, in the fall of 2001. Since then, over 350 young men have worked to raise over $125,000 for their school and community which has help fund over $650,000 in projects for the area.

This money has helped construct a new baseball field (with scoreboard) and new soccer field; purchase new playground equipment at two parks, new slides and equipment for the municipal swimming pool and A/V equipment and an AED device for the school; construct a fishing pier in the municipal campground, a new picnic shelter, and a community Frisbee golf course; and purchase trees, 60 new flag poles for community flag park, and equipment at Veterans Park. They have given financial support to the local “Meals on Wheels” and “Relay for Life” programs in addition to many other things.
They volunteer for an impressive list of service projects including cleaning school grounds, assisting with Veterans Day programs, assisting with sports tournaments, serving meals at high school athletic banquet, hosting Halloween parties for mentally handicapped, and performing various chores for elderly community members. They raise money for numerous people fighting health issues. They truly are the “go-to” organization for service and help in the community.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

March Sadness and The List


I have documented in this space my love of college basketball and my annual trip to the Final Four with a great group of friends. Over the past thirty-eight years, I have been fortunate to attend 115 Final Four basketball games (semifinals and finals) since my first one in 1982. Needless to say, some of those games have been blowouts, some have been very competitive and some have been classics

Since there aren't any games this year, a lot of lists are being created. Twitter is full of them.  This is MY list. A list of the best games I've seen. 

When I think about what makes a classic college basketball game, I think of story lines, buzzer beaters, stakes and upsets. The stakes for all of these games couldn't be higher. All of these games are for a berth in the National Championship game or for the title so that almost eliminates that factor. But I have broken these down into semifinal games and championship tilts. While there have been some great semifinal games, there is a special place for games played with a title on the line.

A few years ago, I wrote a post about some of the great title games that we have been able to witness. That was an "off the top of my head" ranking and there have been a few great games since then. The list below includes a bit deeper look with the above considerations factored in.

Here is the pool of games that I have witnessed and from which these lists are compiled. The games in red were one possession games. Click on year and date for full tournament bracket.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

“Can We Talk About Communication?”

Welcome to the new SDADA Update!

Every trade association I know of struggles with communication. That means both sending information to and receiving information from their members.

Our SDADA Bulletin, in its current printed form, is not an efficient mode of communication with our dealer members. Certainly a quarterly publication no longer qualifies as “news”.

So we are taking a page from the playbook of many other associations, inside and outside the auto industry, and going to an electronic newsletter. We don’t want to jam up your email box up so we will start with a semi-monthly (1st & 15th of each month) publication and adjust from there.


Friday, September 20, 2019

The SenTree

sentry noun sen·​try | \ ˈsen-trē  \plural sentries
Definition of sentry: GUARD, WATCH  especially : a soldier standing guard at a point of passage (such as a gate)


A recent South Dakota Magazine article about trees and the stories they hold reminded me of a tree that has overseen so many of my late fall sunrises. The tree doesn’t even sit on my property. It does, however, sit as the backdrop for virtually every deer that has been harvested on our property for the past 25 years.

I think the tree is some kind of elm but I don’t know for certain. I’ve never touched it. I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten within 20-25 yards of it. By the time it factors into our deer hunts, the leaves have long ago fallen and it would be difficult for me to even determine what kind of tree it actually is - not that it matters. When you look at the tree during the day, it is extremely unremarkable.

During deer season, however, the sun rises directly behind this tree when you sit in our deer stand. It transforms from “just another tree” to “the tree”.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Bird Droppings

In November of 1978, I attended the Oregon State at Creighton game as a Creighton student. It was much different than that game I watched from the upper reaches of Civic Auditorium six years earlier. As a student, I felt much closer to the game.

Tom Apke’s Bluejays opened the 1978-79 season with six straight victories, including a 78-61 drubbing of in-state rival Nebraska. Things changed when they went on the road and by the time Larry Bird’s #5 Indiana State Sycamores came to town in late January of 1979, the Bluejays were stumbling along at 9-6.


The Sycamores were undefeated (15-0) and on cruise control headed toward their March championship game against “Magic” Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans. The Bluejays and Omaha were nothing more than a bump in their road coming in. But the sellout crowd of just under 9,000 fans in the old Omaha Civic Arena had different ideas.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Bluejay Baptism

The first “big-time” basketball game I ever remember seeing was a game between Ohio State University and Creighton University at Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha on December 30, 1972. Our family was visiting my grandparents during the holiday season.


My Uncle Mel came over and said he had some tickets for the Creighton basketball game and asked who wanted to go. I was 12 years old and had never been to a college basketball game so I was in immediately!

Even though it was a mid-major Creighton team, the visiting Big 10 Ohio State raised the profile of the game considerably. Ohio State dominated the Big 10 in the 1960's. Under Fred Taylor, they won three outright conference titles, shared three others, won the the 1960 National Championship, and finished national runner-up in 1961 and 1962.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Beating Around the Bushes

The recent passing of former President George H.W. Bush reminded me of my "experience" with him and his wife Barbara. While it was not a personal experience, I was close enough to them that it felt personal.

As I have documented, I am a college basketball fan and I annually attend the game's season finale. Houston hosted the 2011 Final Four. Butler beat VCU and Connecticut beat Kentucky on Saturday's semifinal games setting up a "canine" championship match up between the Butler Bulldogs and the UConn Huskies.

Despite the seventh row listed on the tickets, we were pleasantly surprised to see our seats had no seats in front of us when we got to them about a half hour before the tip off.

After we got settled, an extended golf cart pulled up just in front of us. Sitting on the back seat of the cart were former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara.

Houston was their adopted hometown and they were not going to miss one of the city's biggest sporting events. They were helped to their seats a couple rows in front of us and right in our line to the court.

The cart rolls up and unloads President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Opening Day

I have lifelong friend who is a talented writer. He wrote this essay and shared it with me. He has permitted me to post it here. I've added a few photos. 

He's capture the spirit of this annual event perfectly. I am fortunate to have a friend with whom I've been able to share it. Enjoy "Opening Day" by Craig Kirsch.



Opening Day

In this small central South Dakota town, it’s the biggest day of the year.  Bigger than the high school’s homecoming, bigger than the Fourth of July, and even eclipsing Christmas in terms of visitors and traffic.  It’s the opening day of pheasant season, in the heart of the best county of what is regarded as the number one state for ringneck hunting.  The city of Winner, located in Tripp County, a normally quiet community of 3000 residents, can boast of a proud tradition of excellence on the high school football field, as well as being the childhood home of Notre Dame legend Frank Leahy, but it's the area’s consistent abundance of the colorful game birds that it is most famous for.

The second or third Saturday of each October will find the small burg transformed into a thriving metropolis for hunters.  The normally tranquil town thoroughfare is packed bumper to bumper with four-wheel-drive pickups toting dog kennels, and drivers and passengers clad in blaze orange caps and vests.  Every motel room in town is occupied, and seats in restaurants are tough to find for that morning’s breakfast.  Come noon, however, the streets are silent and eateries unoccupied, for everyone is in the field awaiting the noon whistle, signaling the start of the hunting season.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Shot at the Alamo

I've written about my Final Four adventures before. This year brought another interview. This time by Blair Kerkoff, long time Kansas City Star sportswriter, U.S. Basketball Writers Hall of Famer and author of several books.

He and Kansas City Star photojournalist, Allison Long, came to our hotel, The Crockett Hotel,, which is across the street from the Alamo, to interview our group on the Saturday of Final Four weekend.

Despite the rather awkward setting, sitting on the beds in our hotel room, we had a lot of laughs as well recalled some of our memories from the last four decades. The six of us had over 160 Final Fours attended all together.

I was reminded how lucky I am to have a wife and family that are tolerant and understanding of my love for college basketball, to have employees and businesses that allow me to be away each year. and health, despite a scare, that has allowed me to attend.

I am also lucky to have some great friends, who are as fortunate as I am, to be able to share this weekend with each year.

So here is this year's version of the gang that keeps showing up:

Thirty-seven consecutive Final Fours and counting, hoops are this group's bond

Christopher Korth of Kansas City and Doug Knust of Chamberlain, S.D., are attending their 37th consecutive Final Four. They and friends who have been going to the NCAA Tournament semifinals and finals for 15-30 years plan their trips long in advance.