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Glad to Be Back: Heidelberger Blogging from Aberdeen

Representative Dan Kaiser, Representative Al Novstrup, Senator David Novstrup, permit me to introduce your newest District 3 constituent:

Cory Allen Heidelberger, editor-in-chief of the Madville Times, in front of the Brown County Courthouse, in his new home city of Aberdeen, South Dakota. 2015.02.03
Cory Allen Heidelberger, editor-in-chief of the Madville Times, in front of the Brown County Courthouse, in his new home city of Aberdeen, South Dakota. 2015.02.03

As of this morning, I am the 24,752nd registered voter in Brown County and the 17,293rd registered voter in Aberdeen. Under current law, I could gather enough signatures to refer any bad bills my new legislators may propose without leaving my home county. Yum! (David Novstrup, why are you co-sponsoring Senate Bill 166? Here, read this, David, and then let's talk at the next crackerbarrel.)

Regular readers know that I have spent the last eighteen months in a sort of exile as I accompanied my wife during her pastoral internship and the completion of her seminary studies out of state. But my wife is now a master of divinity (on top of so much else!) and will soon be ordained as a full-bird pastor. We are thus back in South Dakota, as we intended all along.

Readers, I know you may have shared the worries I had that a South Dakotan abroad might lose touch with South Dakota and would not be able to sustain a serious South Dakota blog. But your faith, your support, your comments, your questions, your news tips and your cash tips (I am still amazed, not to mention immensely grateful, that some people think what I do here is worth real money) have all helped me stick with writing about South Dakota.

And now I'm fully back, with my body and bikes back where my heart and soul have always been, in South Dakota.

Aberdeen's new slogan is a pen, and its new slogan is, "Write Your Story." How very appropriate for my new home. I'm glad to be here, Aberdeen! And I'm glad to be back to continue serving South Dakota.


  1. David Newquist 2015.02.03

    Welcome. I think. To the land of a bankrupt beef plant and leader in dysfunctional justice systems. There is much to write about and expose.

  2. mike from iowa 2015.02.03

    You woke me up to tell me this? Sheesh. Just kidding. Congratulations to the three of you. Now that you have roots again,Earl May Garden Center can best tell you how to keep those roots healthy and strong.

  3. Tim 2015.02.03

    My job brings me to Abby from time to time, I'll let you know the next time and we can have coffee.

  4. advocate 2015.02.03

    Congrats to your wife, Corey! But'd think you'd wait until spring for the move! :)

  5. Roger Cornelius 2015.02.03

    Yeah! Cory is now a South Dakota legal immigrant.

  6. Charlie 2015.02.03

    Glad you are "home" Cory!

  7. Phil Schreck 2015.02.03

    Welcome back my friend! Congrats and welcome to your wife as well.

  8. Nick Nemec 2015.02.03

    Invite Joop Bollen for a bike ride together.

  9. Hello, neighbor! I'd actually heard rumors that this move was in the works a couple weeks ago. Now that's the small world of South Dakota for you. :) Glad to hear all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed on the deal.

    Welcome to all three of you! We should meet up for coffee sometime. NE SD Writers Day Out. :)

  10. Disgusted Dakotan 2015.02.03

    bienvenue à la maison!

  11. Tasiyagnunpa Livermont 2015.02.03

    Welcome back!

  12. Jenny 2015.02.03

    SD Dems need you, Cory. I don't think I would be able to live in such a 'pub state.

  13. Jenny 2015.02.03

    Be checking the mail the next day or two, Cory. I sent it Monday.

  14. David Newquist 2015.02.03

    As for David Novstrup's sponsorship of SB 166, recall that two years ago he voted against a non-partisan citizens redistricting commission because the thought of citizens involved in how government operates made him "nervous."

  15. mhs 2015.02.03

    Happy for you! Hopefully, my short term exile from the Sunshine State will be over this year as well.

  16. Roger Elgersma 2015.02.03

    You write well enough that I did not miss you. Welcome back anyways.

  17. joelie hicks 2015.02.03

    Glad you are here.

  18. Maria Birch 2015.02.03

    Welcome back!

  19. Jennifer Slaight-Hansen 2015.02.03

    Welcome to Aberdeen, Cory! I think you are going to love it here!

  20. Steve Hickey 2015.02.03

    Honestly, it was hard to tell you even left. And it's great to hear about your wife graduating and being ordained!!

  21. grudznick 2015.02.03

    Mr. H, it is good you are going to have that Aberdeenian experience for I am told it is a fine one. Will you be teaching French at Roncalli and if so will the let you go to Pierre to lobby things like PP gets to do?

    Welcome back to South Dakota. Where good teachers move into!

  22. larry kurtz 2015.02.03

    Could have been worse: Faith, Eureka and Lemmon come to mind.

  23. Bill Fleming 2015.02.03

    Great vibe in Aberdeen Cory.
    Tom Daschle's home town.
    Soak it up, then roll it out. :-)

  24. happy camper 2015.02.03

    You always have Larry to look on the bright side. It's cold up there.

  25. Jaka 2015.02.03

    Praise to your wife for 'putting up' with you! Congrats to her and her future! We are fortunate, all of us, to have this blog to peruse as the main media and dominant party of this state keep the 'good news' spun to suit them. John T, David Newquist and so many others of you enlighten us all and it is just great. Thanks to all for partaking- and let's keep on keepin' on. Thanks, Cory, for what you do... Word of advice tho--DON'T bike ride with Joop, someone went pheasant hunting in the past and didn't come back. The three foot minimum passing might be violated. Enjoy the new location!!

  26. grudznick 2015.02.03

    Mr. H is going to keep those young legislatures in his district a-hoppin' the brothers Novstrup are sometimes misguided and that other fellow is insaner than most.

  27. larry kurtz 2015.02.03

    Pierre would have sucked pretty bad, too.

  28. mike from iowa 2015.02.03

    Now that I have had time to consider this move,maybe not such a good idea. Wingnuts can use you as propaganda about having teachers move in regardless of low pay. Watch your backside. Run,Cory,run for your life!

  29. Gail 2015.02.03

    Happy day!

  30. larry kurtz 2015.02.03

    Sisseton and Milbank would blow, so would Watertown or Castlewood.

  31. larry kurtz 2015.02.03

    Mitchell would be pretty awful, come to think of it.

  32. Les 2015.02.03

    I should know better than to correct Grud. Is it not the father son Novstrups? Best to you and yours, Cory.

  33. larry kurtz 2015.02.03

    Winner: eesh.

  34. larry kurtz 2015.02.03

    So, yeah: Aberdeen, woohoo.

  35. grudznick 2015.02.03

    Doesn't mean they're not brothers, Mr. Les. I thought they were, but perhaps they're not.

  36. leslie 2015.02.03

    reporter going deep!

  37. Sabrina 2015.02.03

    Wahoo! Welcome back!

  38. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.03

    Happy—cold? Snow today, 12°F tomorrow with sunshine... it's the kind of weather that reminds you you're alive!

  39. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.03

    ...and hey, that's why they call it A-BRRR-deen. (That's in the city's marketing materials, right, Jennifer? ;-) )

  40. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.03

    Steve, that's the same thing a reader told me last summer, which I mentioned in the TEDx talk I linked above. Combine that with what Roger said, and that's a profound compliment. Thank you, gentlemen. I'll have to use that in the classroom, tell students that the aim of good writing should be to express your voice so directly that the readers feel as if you are right there with them.

  41. grudznick 2015.02.03

    Mr. Les, that is just silly because everybody knows my papa died following the Siege of Santiago.

  42. Happy Aberdonian 2015.02.03

    Corey, this is wonderful news. I think you will like our fair city...speaking of fairs...make sure you make time for the Brown County Fair. It's what we do in Brown County. Feel free to ask Senator Novstrup about SB 166. I am sure he will give his standard "I will have to do some research on that bill before I make a decision" answer. Perhaps you can live tweet their cracker barrels. It would be great Saturday morning entertainment for the rest of us.

  43. Nick Nemec 2015.02.03

    grudznick, I thought your old man died laying a siege on Stalingrad?

  44. Moses 2015.02.03

    Welcome back, hey at least your close to the eastern part.

  45. Char 2015.02.03

    Welcome to Aberdeen.

  46. Mick 44 2015.02.03

    Cory, you will have your pen hands full in good 'ole Aberdaber. You will learn its many names, such as Quint City, the Hub City, etc. You will discover how neat Storybook Land is, and that it is free. You will learn to call Moccasin Creek "the Mog", (it is one of the few creeks maintaining its original Indian name), you will learn of the many famous folks from there; perhaps reading some of the historic "blogs" of L. Frank Baum, and why he was writing about Aberdeen folks, not Kansas folks, in the Wizard of Oz. You will learn how the city turned down WEB pipeline water, even though Aberdeen has a major water source problem. You will watch the annual flooding, as the town was built on a marsh that was the remains of the giant glacial lake Lake Dakota. You will discover the wonders of Sand Lake, one of the premier National Wildlife Refuges. You will enjoy reading the Aberdeen American News. You will discover the importance of Northern State Univ. to the town, and why they have one of the highest fan turnouts in the country. You will find that the town is divided into the North Side and South Side by the RR tracks, with the North having been inhabited by thousands of Germans from Russia, and the south by thousands of Irish immigrants, both groups supplying labor to the main line of the Milwaukee Road, where speeding Hiawatha passenger and freight trains did over 100 mph in the glorious days of railroading. You will enjoy the Capitol Theater, but not the summer mosquitoes. You will shop for groceries at Kesslers'. You can take a ten minute drive to watch a beautiful sunset at Richmond or Mina Lake. Fortunately, you will not smell the stink of a giant beef plant.

  47. Paladn 2015.02.03

    Welcome back. Our best to you and the family. I am not sure as the choice of towns; however, your decision. Good health and prosper.

  48. Jana 2015.02.03

    If home is where the heart is, you never left. Thrilled for you and your family and praying your wife is as much of a blessing to her new congregation as you are to the blogosphere and all of your friends here.

    Maybe the Governor will declare this a success for Dakota Roots and his efforts to recruit teachers back to South Dakota. You didn't happen to run into him at the Mall of America did you?

  49. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.04

    Jana, we went to the Mall of America once during our stay, and we didn't manage to get to the Governor's kiosk. Location, location, location?

    Paladn, there's a funny thing about choice of towns: as the religiously inclined in our audience would say, pastors don't pick; the Lord does. In secular terms, for the last five years, we haven't picked our town; we've gone where work or grad school takes us. And we won't pick our town, really, for the rest of my wife's career, not unless for some crazy reason she decides to quit being a pastor.

    Even South Dakota wasn't entirely in our hands. New pastors get to rank the three synods they'd prefer to be assigned to. My wife listed South Dakota, SW Minnesota, and NW Iowa, in that order, but in the ELCA, the bishops pick the new seminary graduates they want. There was no guarantee my wife was going to be assigned to South Dakota... and that waiting period was a very nervous time for me. When my wife's new senior pastor graduated seminary, she wasn't assigned to any of her top three synods. Crazy stuff happens.

    But for us, the right stuff has happened, and we are back in South Dakota for the duration.

  50. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.04

    Mick, you should write Visitor Bureau flyers. :-)

    Everyone, thank you for the welcome and well-wishes. All three of us are pleased to finally be back and to call Aberdeen our new home.

  51. happy camper 2015.02.04

    Mick gave you some good history but you should check out their museum. Nice building.

  52. Dana P 2015.02.04

    Welcome back, Cory. Congrats to your wife for her hard work and accomplishment. Hope y'all are going to stick around for a long, long time.

  53. Ben Cerwinske 2015.02.04

    Well it's not as good as coming back to Spearfish, but we'll take what we can get. Welcome back Heidelbergers!

  54. sampeil 2015.02.04

    Welcome back! Thanks for sticking with us while you were away!

  55. bearcreekbat 2015.02.04

    Congrats to the Mrs! And I hope to see you traveling in the West River when it warms up a bit. Thanks for all you do to help others Cory! I am extremely pleased to have been referred to your writing by Doc W.

  56. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.02.04

    Cory, which church is Erin serving? And who is the lead rev? I'm curious, but if this is not my business, that's fine.

    Pastoring is great fun. It's also life changing. I wish the best for the new rev.

  57. David Bergan 2015.02.05

    Sneaky, Sneaky. Playing the long game by basing in Aberdeen where you can annually bombard our aspiring politicians at Boys' and Girls' States with your Democratic agitprop. In 20 years, we'll all wonder how the legislature became 100% liberal.

    Welcome home.

  58. leslie 2015.02.05

    cory, weren't you suggesting we teach civics, writing and passing bills for real? boys and girls state would surely get behind that excellent idea.

  59. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.05

    Boys' State—whoo-hoo! Let the corruption of the youth begin! Maybe the American Legion will have me on as a guest speaker.

    But wait: doesn't Girls' State meet in Vermillion?

  60. David Bergan 2015.02.05

    Huh. Yeah I guess GS is in Vermillion. So the legislature will only become 78.1% liberal.

    PS Were you a Boys' Nation nominee back in the day?

  61. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.02.05

    Thanks Heidi. I've heard good things about Marcia. Back in the day when I was in that neighborhood, Zion really had a pair of (speak no evil). Best of luck, blessings, etc, etc, for Marcia and Erin!

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