Encountering McGovern

By Paul Higbee '90MCA

I encountered George McGovern by chance on New York’s Seventh Avenue in 1972, while searching for late breakfast. He was seeking the U.S. presidency. I didn’t know the Garment Center Rally, a traditional campaign stop for Democratic presidential nominees in those years, would play out on Seventh Avenue that day. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, according to police estimates, crammed into the street to cheer McGovern.

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Spearfish, South Dakota

By Paul Higbee '90MCA

I just liked the idea of a place that put its kids aboard bucking livestock

Just about the sharpest disagreement my parents and I ever had revolved around bucking calves and silver dollars. It happened the year I turned 8, when my family drove west from Minnesota for vacation. We dropped by a little jackpot rodeo at the foot of the Black Hills, near the South Dakota-Wyoming state line, and the rodeo announcer invited kids to try their luck riding lively calves at intermission. Contestants who hung on for eight seconds would pocket a silver dollar, and those who failed, the announcer predicted, would still win appreciative applause.…

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The Gold Diggers

By Paul Higbee '90MCA

Chomping a big wad of gum so my ears wouldn’t pop, I stepped into the Ross Shaft cage and dropped almost a mile beneath Lead, South Dakota, into Homestake Gold Mine’s depths. The open elevator rattled along at 20 miles an hour and time warped. Our descent began in early evening, yet instantly we had morning, because that’s what the start of every Homestake shift was called. When thousands of feet of solid rock separate you from sunshine or moonlight, a guy in the cage told me, you can declare your own clock. Time, weather, and bill collectors never followed a miner down the Ross.…

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