Two Vermillions


Today is spring commencement at the university–a chilly, drizzly day for it, but it’ll be in the Dome anyhow.  All the local eateries have been prepping for the hoards of grads-plus-families–last night’s dinner and this afternoon’s brunches and lunches.  There will be toasts, there will be triumphs.

And then, it will be summer in Vermillion.

When I came here in 1993, I had no idea what I was in for.  I had purposefully come to South Dakota because I didn’t know anything about it.  At the end of that school year, while the rest of the gownies fled for the summer, I decided at the last minute, to nix my plans of heading back to Vermont, and try to settle in a little.

Since then, I’ve come to treasure summers in our small town.  There’s not quite as unpopulated as they used to be, but there is a definite difference in flavor between the school year and the break.  A little like the difference between dried basil and fresh.

And while I know that the university has a lot more to do with the survival of this town and many of the people who live here than some would like to admit, I can’t help but see the summer as the “True Vermillion.”

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Matt on May 10, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Amen to that. When I dream of Vermillion, I don’t dream in red but of summer, late night to early morn walks upon streets uninhabited by engine noise, random, last-minute gatherings for barbecues or escapes down to the river, no one around but our friends and the good sun watching over our shoulders.

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