Hills & Valleys

Hills & Valleys
February 22, 2023

 

 

 

 

Many of my days start the same way: with a recap of what Theodore Cleaver, a.k.a. “JERRY MATHERS AS THE BEAVER,” is destroying as the eponymous character on his television program. In the last few weeks, he’s severely upcharged a girl on a rat, forged a grade on his report card, mismanaged five of Ward’s hard-earned American dollars (now valued at $3,500), adopted a feral cat and probably done something to worsen the Cold War. 
 
With all the trouble he gets into at school – and I know this will be an unpopular opinion – I think it’s time to pull “JERRY MATHERS AS THE BEAVER” out of his classes and put him to work in the fields. 
 
Does Leave It to Beaver not represent some deep craving within each of us? To be an absolute moron but still have our havoc resolved in 23 minutes plus commercials? 
 
I’m eagerly looking forward to the newest winter storm system, when the television will tune away from the Cleavers and over to Jay Trobec predicting carnage for our area. There is simply nothing like a blizzard. Winter weather is something that I missed when living anywhere but here. In southwest Missouri, where I spent the longest chunk of my non-northern life, the meteorologist once wore shorts with his dress shirt, tie and blazer to report on some emergency weather event. (You too can find this story if you Google “ky3 weather guy shorts” like I just did.) It was objectively funny. But even so, I remember feeling removed from the situation. This man had not been part of my entire life like the whole local news gang up here. 
 
As a child, I was gently obsessed with WCCO 4 News from the Twin Cities. I considered it fun and exotic because it was from 1) a different state and 2) a major metropolitan area. And bonus, 3) the co-anchors were married! What even! (Do you remember when Amelia Santaniello had a baby and the news team visited her in the hospital? You bet I do.) I never understood why we watched the South Dakota news. Like, we’re here all the time. We know what’s happening: NOT MUCH! Turn it to the channel with the city skyline, please and thanks. 
 
Now, though, I get it. News for the local area is useful, which I don’t need to tell you because here you are, having Reached for The Review. But it’s more than useful – it’s communal. We wait for the latest weather forecast and scoff about how right it probably isn’t. We send each other links to an article about something we were talking about the other day. My grandma Thelma clipped stories about people she knew out of the paper, and I’ll bet some of you do that too. It’s better to live life together, and local stories help us do that.  
 
Erstwhile on an adventure through the TV channels, my dad, Jeffie, fixed his eyes on a polka party clip show. “It’s good these people keep up the tradition,” he mused, “but some of them look like they won’t be keeping it up for very much longer.” 
 

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Grant County Review

Grant County Review
P.O. Box 390
Milbank, SD 57252
(605) 432-4516

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