Department: Water Resources
Position: Project Manager
Location: Brookings, SD
Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?
I had a short trip to Berlin, Germany a few years after re-unification. I stayed in a nice hotel in what used to be East Berlin –most of the buildings in the east were grey. They did a very good job of marking the location of the wall and preserved some of the old guard towers and “no man’s land”. An office we visited was about two blocks from Check Point Charlie. They now had windows where they had earlier blocked them up and the wall used to go down the center of the narrow street below. You could see the building across the street where some of the windows were still blocked in. Everywhere you went in the city you could feel the history – some good, some horrific.
What do you do when you hear something fall in the middle of the night while you are in bed? Funny you should ask, that just happened last summer. I was replacing flooring in the downstairs and was just putting wood flooring on the stairs (a time-consuming task). In the middle of the night we heard a screech and then a crash. Then the slow-motion sound of thousands of shards of glass falling. The wire on a large picture in the stair well pulled out of the frame – the picture and frame dropped several feet and the shock caused the glass to break – the picture and frame never hit the stairs. I groggily pulled myself out of bed, without any clue of what was going on, and found the mess. My mistake was walking down the stairs in bare feet. I found the broken glass. Some glass shards were embedded vertically in the new wood stair treads, some in the floor and some in the wall. A year later I’m still finding glass!
What was one of the most interesting/best concerts you’ve been to? I went to a two-day jazz concert at Red Rocks amphitheater west of Denver. I went with my good friend and co-worker Sig. The venue was amazing and there were a number of good groups over the two days. I can’t recall who the headliner groups were, but I vividly remember King Sonny Ade & HIs African Beats. The group consisted of about 20 members playing traditional African instruments plus electronic jazz instruments. The one and only time I’d ever heard or seen them.
What bit of trivia do you know that is very interesting but also very useless? During our annual ice fishing trips to Lake of the Woods, Troy Larson and I connect to the Pandora music app and challenge each other to name the group or artist (much to the chagrin of our fishing buddies Red and Z). I keep waiting for the 1966 song “96 Tears” to come on so I can nail Troy with the obscure group “Question Mark & the Mysterians.” I know many bits of trivia that are truly useless, but this one tops the list.
What movie always makes you laugh no matter how often you watch it? I’m an old Star Trek fan, so one of my favorite comedies is “Galaxy Quest” with Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver. Another old favorite that will surprise most people is “Moonstruck” with Cher and Nicholas Cage – the cast has the best character actors ever.