Patrick Hicks is one of the two people (Jon Lauck being the other) behind a new anthology about Sioux Falls history. The book is called "City of Hustle," and it released earlier this week. Sioux Falls Simplified sat down with Hicks to talk about the book, history and where he'd go if he found a time machine.
How did you ‘get smart’ about writing books – i.e. what in your background or in your own research/activities prepared you for work on “City of Hustle”?
I really love essays that teach me something new, and I admire writing that is well-informed and inviting. That’s the tone we wanted to strike in City of Hustle.
We wanted readers to feel like a friend was telling them something new about Sioux Falls—something maybe they’d never heard before.
- There are many excellent writers in Sioux Falls, so it was just a matter of reaching out and asking if they’d like to join us. Happily, many of them did.
We’re all about simplicity here. Can you describe the book in 10 words or less?
An un-put-downable collection of essays about Sioux Falls.
What’s something people often misunderstand about Sioux Falls’ history? (And, if you could politely correct them, what would you say?)
There is a richness to our history that, I think, isn’t well known. There are so many fascinating stories and lives that have called this place home.
- Did you know Theodore Roosevelt loved Sioux Falls? I sure didn’t. He loved coming here.
- And did you know that—at one point in time—only Milwaukee brewed more beer than Sioux Falls?
There are so many things about our city that aren’t known. This anthology will delight and surprise readers.
If you could teleport/take a time machine to one moment in Sioux Falls history, what would you like to see and experience (or re-experience)?
I’m going to cheat and say two things.
First, being at what would become our airport during World War II and watching all of this farm boys learn how to operate radios on B-17 bombers.
- Our city is where these young men learned those skills and, every day, scores of bombers lifted up so these men could communicate with each other.
- Once they were fully trained, they were sent over to England where they went on bombing raids against Nazi Germany. Sioux Falls was an integral part to victory in Europe, but most people don’t realize this.
Secondly, I’d love to have been in the bar at the Holiday Inn on the night George McGovern lost his presidential bid in 1972. Hunter S Thompson was there too.
If in five years you were going to add another chapter to the City of Hustle, what do you think it would be about?
We’re already thinking about a second volume and we’ve got a list of ideas that keeps on growing.
What’s your advice for someone who wants to learn more about Sioux Falls history?
We’ve got the book launch at Zandbroz on Thursday, November 10, at 5.00.
- Many of the contributors will be there to answer questions about their essays. It’s going to be fun to throw a literary party that celebrates Sioux Falls—past, present, and future.