This a little bit of homage to my roots…many of you may not know that I’m originally from South Dakota by way of Wyoming by way of Denver. And Jack-a-lopes do NOT exist my friends, sorry to burst your bubble.

As a kid, I never took the time to really understand the history that my grandparents shared, not only individually, but together as a couple. As a little girl, I remember making the two hour trek to my grandparents house in the heartland of South Dakota – Sturgis to be exact.

(at their home….beautiful Black Hills behind them)

My parents would pile my sister and I in their car and head into SD from Wyoming. Trust me – the trek was not worthy of any pictures unless you like that wide-open space, friendly drivers and a lot of antelope. Nothing fancy here. But it was my reality and I miss the simplistic life that area has to offer.

My grandparent’s house has always been Grand Central Station. Everybody knew Red & Andrae’s house was always open – day or night. Friends would pop in, sometimes with liquor in tow and plenty of food to feed a village. And my grandmother, whom I called the original Martha Stewart, would always prepare a full meal and would not let you leave without sending food or goodies with you.

Even if you just wanted to borrow a cup of sugar. You were not leaving without something in your belly or in your hands.

You see, my grandparents supported themselves by playing in a country-western band most of their young adult lives – they would work their “regular” jobs during the day and play at night – until 2:00 AM.

My grandmother played the piano and my grandfather played the guitar. They still play to this day. In fact, my grandfather was playing his guitar recently and trying to hum a tune and my grandmother, who was about 6 feet away from him says “Don, that’s not the right key”. And she used her voice to get him to the right tune. And she went back to what she was doing. Just like that.

I was amazed. After all these years…they still have it.

As I’m getting older (well, I’m not dead yet) I realize how important my family is to me. We always spend New Year’s Eve with them and we make it a point to get to Sturgis as much as possible.

And I treasure every moment with them.


G&G – I love ya…thanks for showing us how it’s done.

Hug your families, appreciate your history, and your future.