Tag Archives: university of south dakota

Doorway in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

16 Oct

I am always attracted to doorways when I am out and about. Some seem inviting, others have a nice shape or form. Definitely there is something always on the other side and so there is also a bit of mystery as to what lies beyond. Some questions may never be answered, but I guess that is part of the appeal and wondering and imagination.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A shed door in Vermillion, SD Tuesday, Oct. 2 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)


The Day the Music Went Quiet in Siouxland, National Music Museum, Vermillion, SD

10 Oct

I found out recently that the National Music Museum located on the campus of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD will be closing for two years for an expansion project of the museum that will add 16,000 square feet of additional space, which includes two floors and an underground level.

The National Music Museum ot the campus of the University of South Dakota, will be closing for a couple of years for expansion and renovation, seen at Vermillion, SD Tuesday, Oct. 2 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)


From reading a press release and a current newsletter I found out that the 1910 former Carnegie Library expansion will include extra display area and a new performing space. The museum currently houses 15,000 instruments plus other material associated with them. It will be expanding its restoration area and be adding a dedicated research area.

I have visited the museum a few times taking advantage of free lunch time concerts that are presented there. A real treat to hear accomplished musicians perform their stuff. I especially like the Christmas concerts which gets a person into the mood for the season.



I will be sad not to hear a Christmas concert this year or next in the museum’s current performance space. It is small and intimate like a group of friends arriving at someone’s parlor to hear a performance. Performances will continue though at other venues on campus with a scheduled Christmas performance on the books. The expansion will benefit the museum though, and its continued service to the world of music and make a living art a little easier to ensure its future and enjoyment of music lovers.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Trying new Visual Undertakings in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

28 Apr

One trip I took in early April to Vermillion, SD found me walking around the campus of the University of South Dakota on a grey, cool day. There really wasn’t much in the way of color appearing and lights and shadows were really nonexistent. Because I didn’t like what I saw in color I decided to photograph in B&W. The writing on a sundial was easier to read in B&W and I thought I would see if I could create a little story about a garden area on the campus by continuing to shoot in B&W. There is a little garden called Shakespeare Garden and dedicated I believe to the bard. A snippet I found online says the gardens contains flowers, shrubs and herbs mentioned in Shakespeare’s works.

Shooting in B&W helps me isolate items in a couple of the photos but overall are not stellar images. But without trying, and maybe failing, one never knows if an attempt succeeds or not. But for the gloomy kind of spring day it was, I had a nice cup of coffee and snack in a student center later that hit the spot. Sometimes trips are hard to capture via image through the camera, but can leave an indelible impression or image in one’s mind.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying Spring Colors in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

15 Apr

I as many am waiting for the flowers to bloom and the grass to turn greener in Siouxland. On a recent trip to hear a speaker at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, it was a grey and overcast day. The ground still looking like winter, just without the snow. So I was happy to see a little “artificial” color introduced to the campus by students I am guessing. Their brand new bikes ready for adventures minus the snow and slush to drive through. The bubble gum colors made me smile. And the school’s one color is red, which all the bike stands and other items like benches are painted on campus.

And I only wondered how the individuals were dressed that were riding these bikes. Hopefully not in chic black.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Learning Tolerance in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

9 Apr

This past week I visited the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD. I wanted to hear a child Holocaust survivor speaking there about her experience in a centration camp and get an impression of what life must have been like in the 1930’s and ’40’s for Jews. It was overwhelming. Inge Auerbacher survived the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia where she and her immediate family were sent. Other members of her family, like her grandparents were not so lucky, or other people the family met at the camp. It’s hard to understand the meanness in people’s hearts that force other people into terrible situations or cause them to suffer. And recent world events bring those horrors into focus in current history.

Auerbacher was involved in a short film of her return to where she lived as a young child from birth to maybe 6 years old before being forced into hiding and then to a concentration camp. This piece is only an introduction to the 25 minute one she showed the university students and others who attended. As she stated, she is 82 this year, and soon those affected by the Nazis who killed them and did such harm will soon be dead, and that immediate telling of history will be lost.

The sad thing is the hate that supports such behavior appears to still be alive and well and will probably continue to exist in the current history and foreseeable history until somehow it and the souls who insist on being haters are both eradicated from the world.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland’s agricultural roots, Vermillion, SD

7 Jan

This week there is a 3-day agricultural event at the University of South Dakota’s DakotaDome in Vermillion, South Dakota, The Dakota Farm Show. The show packs in a few hundred exhibitors featuring all sorts of ag-related businesses and equipment, both large and small that farmers and ag producers in the Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota areas can attend and learn what is new and might be helpful in their production.

Like any event, I find it a fascinating place to people watch. Nothing slick, high brow or over the top, such your down to earth kind of folk who do the hard work that feeds this country and others.

One group of guys I met all live within 30 miles of one another in Nebraska and were hanging out and having a good time at the show as they wandered the aisles of stuff.

Dakota Farm Show


Most all farmers and others in ag production wear caps. My dad as a farmer always wore a cap, and sometimes was admonished by my mom to take it off at the dinner table. But given the recent cold temps, a couple of the guys were possibly showing off.

Dakota Farm Show Dakota Farm Show

The DakotaDome at USD is an arena where the school’s sports, football, volleyball, basketball, track, etc., are played. It is large, and there were booths set up everywhere imaginable for those attending to see what is currently available. In talking to one ag support business I told him that my dad would never let me drive the tractor doing certain things like plowing or planting because I could not drive a straight line. The straighter the lines the more crop seeds that can be squeezed into the area to produce more crops and the potential to make more money. This gentleman told me that now there are systems that can even run at night with satellite imagery overlayed onto a farmer’s field so once the computer program is started the farmer never touches the tractor wheel and is guided through the field by the satellite image and the computer program.

When I was leaving I briefly talked to another vendor and said in passing it was a nicer day, not as cold or below zero for the moment. He responded that being able to stay inside is what made it a nicer day, which gave me pause to reflect that there are very few days that farmers and other people involved in the day-to-day ag business actually stay inside. And with the current brutal polar vortex that has descended on the Siouxland area, I only wished these guys had a five-day event rather than just three.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa


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