Soda pop is frequently mentioned in conversations about the Sioux Falls Stockyards. For many youngsters who grew up with occasional visits to the Sioux Falls Stockyards in the mid-twentieth century, pop was a huge treat. The sugary drink had not yet achieved the ubiquitous status it now enjoys, where some folks enjoy a pop (or more) every day. In those days, pop was a rare indulgence, one sometimes enjoyed by kids accompanying their family’s grown-ups to the Sioux Falls Stockyards.
Earlier today I had a conversation with Darci Hustrulid, Executive Director of Arthritis Foundation, North and South Dakota. Darci has fond memories of traveling from her family’s Hartford, South Dakota farm with her dad. They would come to Sioux Falls and the yards to do business, and if things went well, Darci recalled she would be treated to an Orange Crush from a service station nearby the yards (likely along Cliff Avenue). As Darci’s younger siblings grew, they joined these special Saturday adventures with their father. Darci said it’s a fond memory.
Darci’s not alone; being treated to pop, ice cream, a hamburger or a restaurant meal was a highlight of a trip to market livestock at the Sioux Falls Stockyards. In one conversation in the past year, a man told me days when his family traveled to the yards were days when you were treated to not one but two pops – one he often savored while traveling down the Cliff Avenue hill in the family truck, with the breeze blowing in his hair and a pop bottle in his hand.
Working at the Stockyards Ag Experience gives me the incredible opportunity to hear and share your Stockyards stories. We hope you’ll stop and visit, and reminisce with us. And in the meantime, if you crack open an ice-cold pop with a loved one, remember you might be creating a cherished memory, just like Darci experienced. Cheers!
Jennifer Hoesing, Stockyards Ag Experience Executive Director