Les and Cheryl didn't get home from a Dr's. appointment until 2pm. That gave me plenty of time to explore the fabulous Veteran's Memorial and Museum. Luverne was one of four towns picked by Ken Burns to be featured in his documentary for PBS called "The War." Why Luverne? In 1939, 20 of the 21 male high school grads went on to serve in the military leaving behind a great void on the family farms in the area. Of the 10,683 residents in Rock County, 1,065 served- 32 killed. The war left a deep impression on this town and it is felt until today.
After an early dinner followed by a church service, Les and Cheryl drove me around town and stopped at Blue Mound State Park. Although the Sioux quartzite cliffs are pink it looked bluish from a distance to the settlers. The cliffs are one and a half miles long and are set in such a way as to mark where the sun rises and sets on the spring and fall equinoxes. At one end there is a steep drop which was once a buffalo jump. Nowadays, a herd of bison roam peacefully on top.
I am a guest of the Mahaffey's tonight and tomorrow night. It is such a pleasure to be able to spend so much time with them because, honestly, I have no idea when are paths will cross again. Cheryl's post stroke progress is not without its ups and downs. We speak often of our time in the hospital in Sioux Falls and what a comfort it was to have someone to share those anxious days with. Out of that ordeal came a wonderful friendship.
Speaking of wonderful friends, I lost one last night. Rick Hayes, a helpful neighbor in Sandusky Ohio and a treasured friend years after that, lost his 4 month battle of dealing with so many serious medical issues. My heart sank when Kate called and gave me the news. I remember so vividly the support and encouragement Rick gave Tom during his rehab. I will miss this salty submariner and will always remember his special ways of letting you know you were special to him. Rest in peace, dear friend.