Reading beyond the cigar box doll bed that Thursday night in 1940, a Govert family might have been comforted by their decision to choose a home on the Harding County prairie, 1800 miles from the east coast, far away from the bright lights and the crowding in the cities, and far, far away from the political wrangling.
That Thursday night in Govert, farmers and ranchers shook the creases out of the Govert Advance and read that New Yorkers were now being warned to be alert for suspicious packages. The abandoned box, bag, valise, or satchel might be a bomb positioned by “subversive and destructive elements” in America. "Thank goodness we don't have to worry about THAT," Goverites echoed across the prairie. Why in the world would any subversive, or any foreign spy, waste their time traveling to a place where the two-legged population was far outnumbered by the four-legged variety?
Continuing through the newspaper, they read about the destruction left by Nazi bombs in England. And then the Govert Advance reported a survey conducted by the United States Employment Service revealing 215,000 people registered with employment offices throughout the United States for jobs in defense industries ... should they be needed.
In December 1940 the folks in Govert are less worried about an abandoned valise or satchel left in a place where a bomb might be calculated to cause maximum damage to resources or morale, and they are more worried about Christmas. So what happened in Govert, South Dakota, the first week in December in 1940? You saw it first in the Govert Advance:
- "Herman West and Archie Cornella are hauling hay from the Primm place to the JX Ranch for Howard Sheridan. Howard will winter a band of sheep at the ranch."
- "Chester Phillips has been quite ill with pneumonia and was taken to the Buffalo hospital."
- "Mr. and Mrs. F.F. West, of the West General Store at Govert, were shopping in Belle Fourche, Friday."
- "Ann, Anton and John Kulisich were in Newell Friday, visiting the dentist."
- "Guests at the Bert Ellis home Thanksgiving were Mr. and Mrs. Paul Ellis, daughter, Nona, and son, Harold, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Class, Mr. and Mrs. Mitch Kulisich, daughters, Ann and Marie, sons, Anton and John, and Leonard West."
- "Wesley Horton and wife spent several days with relatives at Whitewood."
- "Nick and Pete Lale took their dressed turkeys to Lead and received very satisfactory prices."
- "Alice Mae West spent the weekend with Marie Kulisich."
- "Mrs. Westley Horton is visiting her daughter, Evelyn, at Custer. Evelyn is taking a Beauty course at Custer and making her home with Mrs. Horton’s sister."
- "Mr. and Mrs. Nick Lale entertained friends Thanksgiving Day."
- "Mr. and Mrs. Louie Frandsen were in Belle Fourche Wednesday to get his pick up repaired. Mr. Frandsen slipped off the grade and turned over causing some little damage."
Listening to the wind blowing through the prairie grass. Kate
[Based on the news reported in the 5 December 1940 edition of the Govert Advance]