When you hear the term "misspent youth", what comes to mind? I think almost every adult can travel back in their mind to at least a couple of experiences that fit that definition.
For me, it was one entire summer, in my 20s, (during a brief hiatus from radio) during which, I spent performing, in what I've since come to refer to as, a "fly-by-night" touring dinner theatre. Our little company was based out of a small, unremarkable, deli in downtown Sioux Falls at that time.
This was long before Sioux Falls began its metamorphosis into the destination area it is now. The show we performed was Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, a classic murder mystery.
This experience was an all-in sort of undertaking, which meant, we spent as much time acting, as we did building sets, finding our own costumes and makeup, and helping to prepare food. The menu, no matter where we went, was prime rib, baked potato, and salad, with some sort of dessert, which I don't remember.
We spent a lot of time wrapping potatoes in foil and cleaning up after the shows. If we were lucky, we'd occasionally get leftover prime rib. But that didn't happen often. We traveled to remote areas of South Dakota and quite often stayed in places with inadequate or no air conditioning.
I remember that as a long, hot, and mostly unpleasant summer, with two exceptions, I loved acting in the show and I loved playing Ms. Pac-Man almost every night. No matter how remote the location, we found ourselves in, there was inevitably a Ms. Pac-Man game somewhere.
I played the game so much that summer, that I developed "tennis elbow" and had to give it up for a while. Regardless, it was one of the best and only memories I have from that "lost" summer. I don't remember the name of the deli, the names or faces of the other cast members, (except one very animated guy), or even the towns we went to, but I remember Ms. Pac-Man.
This was all brought back to mind by an article in Sioux Falls Business with Jodi Schwan, about EightyOne, a new arcade bar that will soon be opening in Downtown Sioux Falls. And yes, before you ask, they're going to be very mindful of the current social distancing and sanitizing requirements.
This former Harrisburg business has moved into the Carpenter Building space (221 S. Phillips Avenue) downtown. There will be beverages and a small menu created by Chef Dan Myers from Myers Deli.
But what hooked me, was the 50 arcade games from the last 4 decades that will be available to play--including Pac-Man and hopefully Ms. Pac-Man!