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Radke Report: I get by with the help of good people

Amanda Radke
The Radke Report
Radke

Last week, I wrapped up my 2022 speaking tour at the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association’s Annual Convention and Trade Show in Altoona, IA.

While I was very excited to go speak about beef industry issues that are near and dear to my heart, the timing of it was not great.

A huge blizzard swept across the region, and of course, it landed on the same day I was slated to speak. Thankfully, I made it to my event in time and in one piece, but the trip home is where it got interesting.

With many roads closed throughout the state of South Dakota, I knew it would be dicey making it back in the storm. However, I put the pickup in four-wheel drive, ordered two piping hot coffees to go, and hit the road with a hope and a prayer to make it back to the ranch without incident.

Well, it only took me 14 hours to drive 360 miles, but I finally made it home safe and sound to my babies, thanks to the good Lord watching over me and some really good people along the way.

Let me tell you how it went.

In the middle of this crazy blizzard, I found myself stranded in Beresford with a broken-down pickup. My pickup started to rattle on the interstate, and in the ice and whiteout conditions, I knew the side of the road was nowhere for me to be.

As soon as I saw an exit I could get off on, I went looking for help. I googled mechanics in town and randomly picked D.A.D.’s Auto Repair.

I thought to myself, “What a great name for a shop!”

By my logic, I figured since my dad was back at home taking care of cattle in the bitter cold and snow, I needed a DAD to help me out on the road! And by golly, I found one!

Thankfully, the guys at D.A.D.’s Auto Repair were available to take a look at my pickup, and they discovered that my wheel bearing was going out. The mechanic told me if I had driven even another five miles, I would have been toast on the interstate with three wheels.

Well, I think everything happens for a reason, and even though I was frazzled and stressed about the unexpected stop while desperately trying to get home to my kids in this storm, I feel so blessed that I had the chance to meet Don Dahlin, the owner of D.A.D.S Auto Repair.

He’s a Vietnam War veteran, and I learned that he was part of creating a book titled, “Vietnam Vets: Still Coming Home.” I felt like I was experiencing history come to life as he told stories of the brave men he served alongside with.

Before I left the shop, he autographed a copy of the book for me, and I left a stack of my children’s book, “Faith, Family, Freedom”for him, too. He even called me on my drive home to say, “Hi, it’s Dad. Just checking in to see how the roads are.”

I know the media tries to convince us that the world is full of awful people doing terrible things, but during this holiday season, I’m filled with such joy and gratitude to know that goodness, kindness, integrity, morality, charity and a spirit of faith is still alive and well in this country.

I’m so thankful for special people like Don who are willing to come to the rescue for someone in need, and I’m extra grateful for all of the people along the way in my travels, who would immediately give me a place to land and a hot meal to eat if I needed it.

The world is full of goodness if we seek it out! May we never lose sight of that goodness.

Amanda Radke is a fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State University with a degree in agricultural communications, education and leadership, Radke is a blogger for BEEF Daily blog.