American Futures

The grand ol’ dame of Sioux Falls

Kai Ryssdal Sep 6, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Sylvia Henkin, 92, moved to Sioux Falls, S.D. in 1994, and watched the town multiply 10 times in size.  Ethan Lindsey/Marketplace
American Futures

The grand ol’ dame of Sioux Falls

Kai Ryssdal Sep 6, 2013
Sylvia Henkin, 92, moved to Sioux Falls, S.D. in 1994, and watched the town multiply 10 times in size.  Ethan Lindsey/Marketplace
HTML EMBED:
COPY

This final note today, a thought or two about how we’ve been spending the week. Because American Futures isn’t your ordinary series. It’s not a handful of stories on a single topic. It doesn’t have a narrative arc, the way editors like. It’s more a collection of experiences.

Jim and Deb Fallows — and I, from time to time — are gonna go out and look around, talk to people, and tell you what they tell us. And then, by the end of it, maybe a year or more from now, you’ll have a pretty good sense of what America and the American economy look like.

Some earlier reporting highlights:

  • Starting in the 1940s, and increasingly steadily since the Vietnam War,Sioux Falls has been a prime relocation center for Lutheran Social Services, an agency that provides social services for displaced populations and refugees. Sioux Falls is ideal because there are plenty of jobs – the city boasts a 3 percent unemployment rate.
  • Keith Alverson is a sixth-generation farmer who lives 45 minutes outside of Sioux Falls. The corn he grows looks for all the world like what you’d find at the super market but the stuff he grows, No. 2 Dent, isn’t the sweet corn you or I would eat. It’s been grown for decades as livestock feed. But now, “most of our corn goes to the local ethanol plant,” says Alverson.

And we’ll leave you with this — the best interview I did out in Sioux Falls.

Sylvia Henkin, 92, moved to Sioux Falls in 1944 and she and her husband helped build one of the city’s major radio stations. 

Henkin’s maybe the best interview of all time, really. Listen to the conversation by clicking the play button above — or hear the full song, by clicking below.

The Interactive:
Explore the Story Map:
Read regular updates from James Fallows during his travels across the country. And explore related interactive maps. More

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.

Raise a glass to Marketplace!

Just $7/month gets you a limited edition KaiPA pint glass. Plus bragging rights that you support independent journalism.
Donate today to get yours!