Saturday, August 4, 2012

An Open Letter

It's Rally Week here in the Hills (okay, so I'm almost in the Hills at the moment -- close enough to count) and as the state's population swells by several hundred thousand (no joke), the Facebooks and Twitters are going nuts.

As I am not one to pass up such a chance -- and as I have a medium here that allows a few more than 140 characters -- I thought I'd draft my own letter to the various rallygoers, even though none of them are likely to see it. (Hey, I can hope.)

And so ....

An Open Letter to Sturgis Rallygoers

Welcome! We're glad you're here. No, really -- we are. This is one of those events that South Dakotans have a (possibly grudging) appreciation for and we're happy you're here to enjoy it.

That being said, there are some things I'd love for you to keep in mind.

1. If you're not currently in Sturgis, please cover up. There are all sorts of other things going on besides the rally. You're surrounded by innocent vacationing families from Vermont. Families that may have a slide show to show friends back home. We'd like them to come visit, too. Please don't scare them.

2. Similarly, if you're not currently in Sturgis, odds are you're practically in someone's backyard. That person probably has to go to work this week. Please be nice, particularly after dark. (If you are in Sturgis ... Well, residents there have their coping mechanisms.)

3. If a local seems a bit impatient, please remember that a) we do this every year, and b) we all have a mix of good and bad stories to tell from this year and past ones. Be a good story.

4. Spend! Yes, our economy is just a bit dependent on this week. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes. With wild abandon, even.

5. Most importantly, please drive carefully. Locals are, for the most part, used to looking for bikes (and this week we're all a bit hyper aware because no one wants to collect a bike in the grille) but those big hulking RVs? They're not. And you will lose. We want you to be able to come back next year and bring all your friends. Stay smart & stay visible.

Have a great week!

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