I grew up in Mission, South Dakota, which is located on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in Todd County. That county’s population as of the 2017 was 10,065 with 49 percent of the people living in on or below the poverty line. At one point, Todd County made national news as the third poorest county in the United States, with a median income listed at $25,196.
The irony is not lost on me that I now live in Pacific Palisades, with a population of 36,393 and an average household income of $222,193.
Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of South Dakota, it meant I held a lot of different dead-end jobs.
I moved to New York City with $100, I had no job, no apartment and didn’t know anyone.
My first job was a Scribner’s Book Store, I also worked for E.F. Hutton on Wall Street, the Manhattan Theatre Club, waitressed at the English Pub (across from Carnegie Hall), a defunct French school, and performed stand-up comedy around the country.
I’ve been told that one of my character flaws is asking too many questions—but surprisingly when I was hired by the Palisadian-Post in 2005, that seemed to be a necessary requirement for a journalist. After a “100” jobs, I finally found something I loved to do.
In 2013, when new ownership took over the paper, I was out of a job.
I started writing almost immediately for the American Legion Post 283 News. That paper took top prizes, until it was banished by legion members in 2017. Once again, no place to put stories.
I started writing for the Palisades News in 2014—and that paper for the past two years has also received awards.
On June 15, 2018, I stopped working for the Palisades News because I was still owed payment for part of February, for March, April, May and the first issue in June.
My daughter, I have three grown children, suggested I blog, as a way of continuing to write, and I decided to accept her challenge.