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A Letter To... Bonesteel

Hello good people of Bonesteel,

My name is John and I subscribe to the Bonesteel Enterprise. You might wonder, being that I live in the heart of central California’s San Joaquin valley, in the town of Fresno, why I would want to read of the small town life of Bonesteel, South Dakota, a place I have never visited.

Let me explain:

Let’s go back to when I was a younger man, making my life in Fresno. Through work I did at the time, I met a man who is from Bonesteel. His name is Marlin Witt, (you may know him), and we became friends. We hung out occasionally, and we talked over our solutions to the worlds problems (looking at life today, I’d say we didn’t even come close to accomplishing our best made plans, but we tried).

It was on a hot summer day in Fresno when I found Marlin at lunch, reading a little rag of a paper that his mother forwarded every once in a while. I asked him if I could read it when he had finished, and if he would pass on any subsequent copies of the Enterprise that came his way. He did. Finally, I realized that I needed my own, and I sent in a check for my subscription to the Enterprise. That subscription ran for a year and every issue that came in I would read from front to back.

I was impressed with the less encumbered life, led by the good people of Bonesteel, South Dakota. Forty years ago, Fresno wasn’t the thriving metropolis it is today - but it was, and still is much larger than Bonesteel. I think our latest census puts us at about a half million folks. Things are faster here, more congested, turbulent at times and of course we have our good times too. However, I was drawn to the easier paced, lifestyle of Bonesteel and the small but significant events of the day, I yearned for, a more simplified life.

Bonesteel has always reminded me to take time to consider those around us, and to participate in community. Back then, some of my favorite stories from the Enterprise involved members of the community, bringing pies and cakes to a birthday or a Sunday afternoon gathering. The news of the Tigers in their accomplishments in track in sports, and the many other small town jewels that make your town shine.

Last year, a mention of Bonesteel surfaced on my Facebook page. I saw that, and remembered my friendship with Marlin, the Enterprise, and how much I enjoyed it. So, I contacted the editor, Kelly Wollman, and, I think to her surprise, I asked for a subscription.

It has been nearly a year now, and I have again enjoyed my time with Bonesteel; reading about this still vibrant town, a town committed to family and community. I am hoping that one day I will be able to visit, spend a few days wandering about have coffee and breakfast at the TeePee Café, dinner at The Supper Club and a beer at The Bone, and I hope to get to know some of you.

Visiting Bonesteel is now on my bucket list.

Last thing. I haven’t seen Marlin in over 30 years. If you know how to contact him, can you contact me? Marlin and I could stand to do some catching up. Use this email address:

Thank you.


John Alden

Fresno, CA


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