Learn about the history of Sioux Falls with Patrick Hicks

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Patrick Hicks is one of two people (Jon Lauck being the other) behind a new anthology on the history of Sioux Falls. The book is called “City of Hustle” and it came out earlier this week. Sioux Falls Simplified sat down with Hicks to talk about the book, the story, and where he would go if he found a time machine.

How did you become smart about writing books – ie what in your background or your own research/activities prepared you to work on “City of Hustle”?

I really enjoy essays that teach me something new, and I admire writing that is knowledgeable and inviting. That’s the tone we wanted City of Hustle to have.

We wanted readers to feel like a friend was telling them something new about Sioux Falls – something they may have never heard before.

  • There are a lot of great writers in Sioux Falls, so it was just a matter of reaching out and asking them if they’d like to join us. Fortunately, many of them did.

We’re all about simplicity here. Can you describe the book in 10 words or less?

A Collection of Essays on Sioux Falls.

What do people often misunderstand about the history of Sioux Falls? (And, if you could politely correct them, what would you say?)

There is a richness of our history this, I think, is not well known. There are so many fascinating stories and lives that call this place home.

  • Did you know Theodore Roosevelt loved Sioux Falls? I certainly didn’t. He loved coming here.
  • And did you know that—at some point—only Milwaukee brewed more beer than Sioux Falls?

There are so many things about our city that are not known. This anthology will delight and surprise readers.

If you could teleport/bring a time machine to a point in Sioux Falls history, what would you like to see and experience (or relive)?

I’m going to cheat and say two things.

First, being at what would become our airport during World War II and watch all those farm boys learn how to operate the radios on the B-17 bombers.

  • Our city is where these young men learned these skills, and every day dozens of bombers were lifted for these men to communicate with each other.
  • Once they were fully trained, they were sent to England where they took part in bombing raids against Nazi Germany. Sioux Falls was integral to victory in Europe, but most people don’t realize that.

Secondly, I wish I had been at the Holiday Inn bar on the night George McGovern lost his presidential bid in 1972. Hunter S Thompson was there too.

If in five years you were to add another chapter to City of Hustle, what do you think it would be?

Were already thinking about a second volume and we have a growing list of ideas.

What is your advice for someone who wants to learn more about the history of Sioux Falls?

We have the book launch at Zandbroz Thursday, November 10 at 5:00 p.m.

  • Many contributors will be there to answer questions about their essays. It will be fun to throw a literary party that celebrates Sioux Falls – past, present and future.
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