While pulling into the Dances With Wolves set. Fort Hays, South Dakota.
County courthouse. Rapid City, South Dakota
“Daisy never left my side. We took long, long walks into the fields surrounding our farm… That is my happy place in my mind, my home, refuge when the shadows catch up and it is time to run again, when, like now, I am homesick for a home that no longer exists, when I have time-traveled too much alone for too many years on too many planets, when the world spins too fast, when I am lost in a great sea of darkness. Then I walk into the field. With Daisy.” – To Be a Kid Again: Luke and Chewie Flemming relives an old memory, with Ben. It may just be particular affinity, but there is great comfort to be had, with a dog.
On September 21, the sun sank right in the dividing line of the intersecting highways that pass through Britton.
This handsome fella is Ben. It turns out that Ben is a cousin of Mason, the collie who played Lassie in the 2005 movie.
If you forget where you are, the water tower in town will remind you. Britton, South Dakota
Going to the movies in Britton is a weekend-only affair. There’s a tiny, old school cinema on the main drag, called The Strand. It’s open Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and shows one movie per weekend. Show titles are changed by hand. Movies are sponsored by local businesses, and new releases are only possibilities (until they’re sponsored, I assume). To someone whose understanding of cinema showings are entirely that of profit-driven commercial cinemas in big cities, the Strand is whimsical and entirely surprising. I wanted to watch a movie, any movie, in the Strand so badly. Had Flemming and I arrived in Britton an hour earlier, we would have been in time to catch Sunday’s showing of that weekend’s flavour: Guardians of the Galaxy. But I suppose there’s a reason the TARDIS is so named. We’ll have to make sure …
Britton is a small farming town in South Dakota. If the vast tracts of crop fields leading you into town didn’t already give it away, the grain elevator presiding over its center, just might. Large swathes of the Dakotas and surrounding states in both USA and Canada were settled by Scandinavians during the late 19th century. It is a history revealed in the names, success of farms, hyggelig tidiness of properties, and the rural architecture.
Rapid City, South Dakota.