Jim

Sioux City Journal

Jim Goff walked into the Sioux City Museum & Historical Association to research his family history and ended up finding a passion for processing artifacts. Jim now spends over 550 hours volunteering annually.  To find out how to make a difference in your community, jump to https://www.volunteersiouxland.org.

Remember Sacagawea

Apr 10, 2017

What happened to her when she was a kid wasn't all that unusual among nomadic, war-faring Great Plains tribes. When her people--the Shoshones--started into a bloody fight with another--the Hidatsas--she got herself kidnapped, lost her home, then got another she surely hadn’t asked for, and was eventually--sad but true--sold into slavery. At the time, she was only ten years old. 

James Schaap

The only means of getting man and woman, beast and wagon across the rain-swollen Niobrara was by rope, hand over hand. Dozens of oxen and as many as 500 horses had to get to the other side, as did 523 Ponca men, women, and children. 

And the rain wouldn't stop. All those wagons were disassembled and shouldered through and over the raging Niobrara. It took a day to recover, yet another rainy day.

Colin Samuels

  

Pianist Paavali Jumppanen will perform a challenging recital, which includes Pierre Boulez's Troisieme Sonate pour piano, this Friday night at 7:30p.m. in Eppley Auditorium.  

Wikimedia Commons

We’ve taken that razor-straight county road east and west often enough to have stopped, but never did. Last week, with time to kill, I pulled off where a bleached sign announced a historical marker with the headline Fort Brule.

When Sven Johnson, his wife and two children, left their native Norway, they spent the next eight weeks crossing the choleric Atlantic in a sailboat. Impossible to imagine.

A brother lived here in this new land, 100 miles from a place called Omaha, where that brother promised to meet Sven and his family, and did, although a couple days later than he'd said. If the Johnsons worried for a couple of homeless days, Sven doesn't mention it in his pioneer memoir.

The story goes that a man named John H. MacColl suffered mountain fever after coming west to Nebraska for, of all things, his health. Wasn't just a setback either; inside of a day or two MacColl was unable to move from the waist down.

Somehow, he made it to Fort McPherson, forty miles away, to visit the post surgeon, who, after a long visit and checkup, simply told Mr. MacColl that there was nothing he could do. 

When he was a kid, his father was killed when a rifle somehow discharged. A bloody fight for leadership ensued between him and his brother, and Little Crow was wounded in both wrists, scarring his arms so badly he kept them covered for his entire life. But he became the leader of the band of Dakota into which he was born. 

They were all wooden-shoe clad. I’m told klompen are wonderful insulators and they had to be because that morning the temperature was --22, if you can believe the stories, which is risky.

Snow quilted everything, and there was no road, nothing really but experience to guide those sleighs all from Orange City west to Calliope, 23 miles in insufferable cold. It was January 22, 1872.

Jeanne Reynal

  

A January thaw is what all of us look forward to right now, a breath of warmth that reopens our hope that someday soon April will return. Two cold-of-winter days, maybe three, of forty degrees. No wind.

Heaven comes to Siouxland.

That’s the relief people felt early on January 12, 1888, when most of those who’d put down homesteads had just arrived.

Here’s how David Laskin describes that morning:

You might have missed a Mormon monument not all that far from here, just down the road from Niobrara, Nebraska. It’s easy to pass by.

In the middle years of the 19th century, the Poncas were here, the Santees were here, even some Pawnees--and occasional Sioux bands never far away. That meant cavalry and agents and suppliers and draymen, not to mention swells of dreamers when anyone out west claimed to find gold in them thar’ hills. Simply said, there were more people coming and going.

What the sad young man saw was a path up the hill. He had no idea where it went. It seemed to go nowhere at all, but he’d been all over the country looking for his love.

A thousand stories and as many legends begin at the foot of a path that has no visible end, but not this story. This story ends with a lonely road that leads to a deadly somewhere. And it’s set here, not that far away, at the foot of a path now long gone, a path from the banks of the Missouri to the top of Blackbird Hill, a path that exists only in some folks’ imagination.

That Saturday morning what me and my camera wanted to get was a couple of fine shots of gravestones adorned in the long, early morning shadows. I headed out to the Doon cemetery, where the stones hug a rolling hill above the Rock River, a setting that offers a cemetery more wordless gravitas than graveyards ordinarily have.

Shot in the Dark Productions

SPM’s Gretchen Gondek speaks with Jim Sorvaag and Adam Gonshorowski from Shot in the Dark Productions about Crimes of the Heart, running through May 16th at the Evelyn Larson Theatre in  Sioux City. 

David Livingston

SPM’s Gretchen Gondek speaks with Jim Adamson about the celebrated bass-baritone Simon Estes, who will perform at Washington High School Auditorium in Cherokee on April 17th at 4 p.m.  Estes, a native of Iowa, has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in opera, performing at the Metropolitan Opera House and abroad in the world’s greatest opera houses.   

SPM’s Gretchen Gondek speaks with Dr. Michael Piplani CMO of the Sioux City Community Health Center and Jim Wharton, director of marketing and fund development, about “Walk with a Doc,” a program for folks interested in taking steps for a healthier lifestyle.  While walking folks have a chance to chat and ask questions answered by local physicians.

The 2015 Morningside Piano Recital Series opens with a performance by Yekwon Sunwoo, a young pianist who is lighting the world on fire. He has been winning major international piano competitions for the past few years, including the Vendome Prize at the Verbier Festival, and the top prize at the 2012 William Kapell International Piano competition. 

Iowa Piano Competition

Mar 19, 2015
iowapianocompetition.org

This year marks the 8th Iowa Piano Competition, a tremendous event that draws top pianists from around the world -- past winners include Wayne WengChaoyin Cai, and Denis Evstuhin, an elite group of artists, to say the least.

The Lit of Siouxland

Mar 16, 2015
orangecityarts.net

In talking with Dr. James Schaap about the books to be read in Siouxland 101, we cannot help but land upon the hardships of old times: grasshopper infestations, prairie fires, the unrelenting hand of nature. Walls of devastation that fell upon the early European settlers of Siouxland, that left families prostrated on the hard ground as their livelihood was lost, do not now, however, register in our list of daily fears.

Denis Evstuhin playing piano
http://www.denisevstuhin.net/gallery.html

  The Morningside Piano Recital Series continues this Thursday with a recital by acclaimed pianist Denis Evstuhin. The program includes Tchaikovsky's The Seasons, a set of twelve pieces that were commissioned by a magazine publisher in 1875 and published one at a time over the course of year. The work was steady and provided Tchaikovsky a dependable income as he contemporaneously composed Swan Lake

CJBF Poster
cherokeejazzbluesfestival.com

The Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival kindles our tundra-frozen senses each year, reminding us that there is more to life than layering. Jim Adamson, the mover and shaker behind the fest, joins FM90's Steve Smith to talk about this years bill and the history of the CJBF.