Your Turn with ... Jerry Alexander

Jerry Alexander
Posted: Feb. 1, 2013 4:56 pm Updated: Feb. 22, 2013 6:15 pm


When I was a kid, I wanted to be ... anything but a farmer ... well, almost anything but a farmer. I wanted to roam around and see things, have different experiences. I did that and found life on the farm was pretty nice, now. Should have farmed.

What would you rather be doing right now? I would love to be on a golf course in central Florida with my wife. I have an intolerance to cold weather. My idea of a perfect Christmas does not include snow but does include palm trees, sand and warm temperatures.

Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone that ... why would I admit to it now and in this forum? Ain't happening.

Other than your wedding day and the birth of your children, what was your proudest moment? Pulling off a surprise 75th birthday celebration for my father. That's followed closely by the graduation of my wife as she earned her doctorate degree, and much later as our son earned his doctorate degree.

It really stinks when ... people disrespect one another. All the shouting that goes on in trying to make our governments work. The intolerance of people who are quick to point fingers but less inclined to pitch in and help solve problems.

What word in the dictionary would your face be next to? Reliable. It might take awhile, but I will get the job done.

I always laugh when ... I think of our trips to Canada fishing with our son.

Invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner. Who are they? Sen. George McGovern (deceased), Sen. Tom Daschle and Gov. William Janklow (deceased). Each of these men truly and faithfully represented their constituencies. They were in different political parties, but they knew how to work together to resolve problems. Each of these men were elected to high office in the state of South Dakota. They were statesmen, and each enjoyed a great debate. I would just set back listen and learn if those three were to have a fruitful discussion. We need more people like them in places of importance.

At the end of a really long day at work, I like to ... relax by working on the Metz or putting something on the grill. In cold weather, it's the TV.

People who knew me in high school thought I was ... a nice guy to be around. Not a leader nor a follower, but someone who liked to just enjoy the day and have others join in.

My most unforgettable brush with greatness was with ... Sen. Tom Daschle at our home in Howard, S.D. He was on a campaign swing and had made a speech in Howard. Our home was down the street from where he spoke at. He had some time and stopped in before he flew his plane out to the next stop.

I would drop all my plans tonight if I had the chance to ... go on a long trip to someplace I have never been but wanted to go, such as South Africa, Ireland, Hawaii.

If someone gave me a million dollars, there is still no way I would ... learn to like broccoli, cauliflowers and brussel sprouts.

America should be more concerned about ... learning to work together to solve problems rather than point fingers of blame. They need to tackle the problems and not push them to the back.We have serious problems -- the economy and gun control, to name a couple. Both are highly emotional and neither an easy solve, but our leadership needs to buckle down work diligently to mutually resolve these problems and let the political dust fall where it does.

I'm OK if there's ever a national shortage of ... asparagus. We planted 50 plants of this vegetable at the farm when we considered vegetable gardening. We quickly determined we were not cut out for that, but we already had planted the asparagus. This spring will be the first year we can harvest them. Looking for a lot of asparagus recipes.

When I'm on the Internet, I always go to ... the Sioux Falls Argus Leader and Keloland websites, keeping in touch with what is happening in South Dakota. We spent 21 years there and have a lot of friends living there.

What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever received? From Dad: There is always a silver lining, sometime you just have to look harder for it.

When I'm cruising down the road, I'm likely listening to ... XM radio's 60s on 6. Never grew out of that music. Never intend to, either.

The older I get, the more I realize ... I am getting older and do not have all the answers. In fact, I have more questions. Life is interesting, so enjoy it.

If I had one "do-over," I would ... rethink my major. The class I had the most fun in and learned a lot in was a farm management class at SIU. I wonder sometimes if I had switched from agronomy to farm management what would have/ could have happened, but I did not and am enjoying a great life.

My favorite item of clothing is ... shorts, T-shirt and sandals, warm weather gear and really comfortable. I even wear those items when I am driving my tractor at the farm. That attire symbolizes my favorite season of the year -- the warm season.

If I've learned anything at all ... life is short, true friends are a wealth, family is something special and troubles will find you, but it is up to you to make them less of an impact. It's up to you to enjoy your surroundings.


Jerald (Jerry) l. Alexander, 65, is married with two grown children who have children of their own. He enjoys golfing with his wife, Diane, working outside on the family farm near LaPrairie and tinkering around with a 1915 Metz automobile. He is retired from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where he worked as a park ranger and park manager at Lake Oahe near Pierre, S.D., and later as a biologist with the Omaha District.


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