Today, we say farewell to 2017. So, it’s only natural to take a look back at the previous 12 months.
Such retrospectives are a healthy way to reset for the coming New Year, with all of its clean-slate possibilities.
Last year, I decided to have my own awards presentation, called the Bizzy Awards, as a fun way to sum up the previous year, and, admittedly, fill up some space on a traditionally slow news week.
As with last year’s inaugural Bizzy’s, I apologize in advance for having no little award statuettes for the — um — winners (maybe next year), but, then again, there are no long-winded acceptance speeches to endure either.
With that, here are the 2nd Annual Bizzy’s.
Leonard Vandermate said the industrial hemp products sold at his new Hemporium Boutique, which opened in November at 544 Century Road, Suite 103, make great clothing and other supplements, but if you’re looking to get a psychoactive buzz as someone might with smoking hemp’s cousin marijuana, you’re in the wrong place, he told me.
“You can roll up your t-shirt and smoke it all you want to, you’re not going to get high,” he said, bringing up an interesting mental image.
Reader Interest Award
Phone messages and emails came in high numbers wondering about all the dirt work going on next to Cambell Street and north of Arnie’s Pressure Wash and Truck Wash.
City building permit records indicate the buildings, each valued at $1.22 million, are listed as warehouses, owned by JLZ Cambell LLC, registered, according to state records, to Jon Ziegler of Rapid City.
And elsewhere in the curiosity department, a close second would be inquiries about the new Hardee's being built near the intersection of East North Street and Cambell St.
Best reader comment
An email sent by Butch Fenton of Rapid City had me about drowning in my own saliva, with his mouth-watering description of a favorite restaurant style.
Fenton wrote to voice his displeasure with any news concerning restaurants closing down.
“Every time I hear about a local restaurant going belly up … I want to scream 'No, don't quit, try something new,'” he wrote.
Fenton is originally from the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country and is certain a Pennsylvania Dutch restaurant or buffet would thrive here.
“The place would have people lined up around the block waiting to get in,” he wrote. “Pennsylvania Dutch buffets are legendary.”
Pennsylvania Dutch is actually German (Deutsch) and that influence is well represented on menu items, based on chicken, ham, cabbage and potatoes.
There are corn fritters, red beet pickled eggs, stuffed pork chops, shoofly pie (a molasses pie or cake), scrapple, (pork scraps, corn meal and spices pressed into a loaf, sliced and fried), along with hard and soft sourdough pretzels, sticky buns and gobs (also called whoopie pies), and, of course, cheesesteak sandwiches.
Beverages include iced tea, homemade root beer, birch beer and sarsaparilla.
And for dessert? “Its teaberry ice cream or nothing,” Fenton said.
Best new business name
That has to be a tie between The Mudhole, a combination eatery and thrift store at 7 Main St., and the Wired Woodsman Coffee Shop at 7211 Black Hawk Road in Black Hawk.
Most persistent rumor
Rumors were rampant last spring of another Rapid City area Walmart coming to northwest Rapid City, Black Hawk or Summerset.
Summerset officials in particular would have loved to have announced such a coup for their community, but alas, no one from any of the three communities, who surely would have known if such a big project was coming, had any such knowledge of it.
The rumors even included a voicemail caller insisting the first footings for the new Stagebarn Middle School, between Sturgis Road and I-90 Exit 48, were actually the beginnings of a new Walmart.
Walmart senior director of communications Delia Garcia finally put the speculation to rest in an email.
“We don’t have any new stores to announce,” Garcia wrote.
“We are proud to have served the community for over 26 years and look forward to continuing to serve area customers at the two existing Rapid City Walmart Supercenters,” she added.
Lesson Learned Award
Mistakes in print are never pleasant, but they do happen in spite of a reporter’s and editor’s best efforts to avoid them.
Over the years, I’ve learned that mistakes involving the animal kingdom are especially egregious to many readers.
Years ago, I heard no end of outcry after I included a quote from a fellow from Sturgis who had built his own sports car and named it the Ferret, a really fast rodent, he said.
Turns out ferrets are not rodents at all, but mammals from the same family as weasels.
Back in January, I misspelled the name of a popular exotic bird in writing about Mt. Rushmore Birds and Paws Pet Bakery & Gifts’ move from downtown Rapid City to the Haines Station Shopping Center.
Store owners Barb and Patrick Paur sell and care for all kinds of birds, “ranging from finches to macau’s”, I wrote.
Unfortunately, “Macau” is a place, referring to a region of the People's Republic of China.
“Macaw” is the correct spelling for the colorfully plumed bird, as I heard in no uncertain terms from former Journal executive editor Bart Pfankuch, himself a devoted exotic bird owner.
And with that, I wish everyone, along with noble ferrets and colorful macaws, a happy and prosperous 2018.