Every time I see the big wheels of Downtown Sioux Falls talk about their investment, I only think of one person, Carole. A little rough around the edges I still remember meeting her in 1993 with a cig hanging out of her mouth and a passion for Downtown Sioux Falls.
When I moved to Sioux Falls in 1991 I would stroll downtown, it was basically a handful of businesses and a ghost town. Zandbroz, Tina’s, Minervas, Ed Salears and the Hat. You could literally walk downtown on a weeknight and see nobody. I was reminded of this in 2019 on a First Friday where the sidewalks were so packed you could barely walk, it was like Times Square.
I worked for Pat Pilcher, a former legislator who owned a print shop in the old Lewis building (I think it is that fancy dessert shop now) and Carole would come in and ‘throw the bull’ with the ladies there. She said it like it was.
So how did Carole make downtown successful? I often joke she stuck her boot up Mayor Munson’s butt to do something, and if I can credit Dave for one thing, he listened, and move forward. He actually dared to remove the rail road tracks from Downtown, but former Mayor Bucktooth and Bowlcut f’d that up.
Make no mistake, downtown is what it is because of Carole and a willing partner in Mayor Munson. And in celebrating her life, I don’t want anyone to forget it, because I think if Carole was still alive today, she would look at the Bunker Ramp and go, ‘Look at the Monster I created.’ then let out a big laugh. We will miss you, rest in peace.