KELOLand news reported earlier today that former Governor Bill Janklow is dying of terminal brain cancer. It has been over a year since I’ve visited with Janklow, but he has certainly had an impact on many of us across the state. He served South Dakota well for many years. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his friends and family.
So many South Dakotans have strong personal stories about how Governor Janklow affected their lives for the better, and this story from Representative Charlie Hoffman is just one of many great reminders of the person Bill Janklow is.
November 4, 2011 at 9:07 pm
Nothing I?ve ever written or said needs to come out more correctly than this. At 18 years of age without any preparations other than listening to politics spoken round the dinner table every day, my father entered the race for Governor of SD against Bill Janklow and Clint Roberts. Ending my senior year of high school wrapped in a blanket of state wide political stories was at the time normal for me. Knowing now though that few kids get that kind of scrutiny kept me from running for public office until my youngest actually graduated from high school. For my father it was his first actual loss experienced which he had no control over; the second was his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer which ultimately ended his life in November of 1980.
The real story though is of Bill Janklow. Around 1990 or so he called a good friend of his and of mine and asked this person if Charlie Hoffman hated him. This mutual friend called me and positioned me with the question. My reply was of course I don?t hate BJ. Love maybe not, respect for sure, but hate absolutely not. The guy loves the little person, the poor, the weak, the non-powerful, and folks who need help the most! Honestly I told him I would love to be more like him.
To that end Bill Janklow will always be what we as South Dakotan?s strive to do in our daily walk through life. Take on all adversary?s with fierce competition, help all those less able than you to help themselves, and find a way around every problem presented with a clear and concientious solution.
One mistake does not tear the heart and soul out of any great person nor should it ever replace all the good that human has done. History will remember Governor Janklow as a person who cared greatly for the poor and the sick and the less advantaged; and a fighter of any and all who went up against his level of consternation for making things happen against all odds.
If you are reading this Bill Janklow know that today I do love you as a father. You are the closest person I associate with my own father I know. GodSpeed on your quest. We will meet again?????.