The old boy's had a lot of 'sayings' back in the days on the farm.

Now, when I say 'old boys', I'm talking about my dad and his farm friends and neighbors. When you're 10, someone 40 is an 'old boy'. (Now of course, I can't even see 40 in the rear view mirror of my memory!).

I can remember looking up at one of those fella's with eye's as big as saucer's when they said 'Yep, it's true, after a good rain, if that hot sun comes out you can actually hear the corn grow'. I'd rather not say if it's true I'd walk out to the field and put my ear up close to that corn stalk. Hey, I got kids and grandkids that laugh at me enough already.

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I can remember being on that farm yard and my dad would look up and say 'Uh oh, there's hail comin'. How did he know?

'Well, just look, the air's turning green'.

And I'd look and well, the 'ol boy was right! The air seemed to have a greenish tint to it. The sky had a kind of greenish look to it, too. And sometimes he was right. At least, the way I remember it all these decades later.

So were those oldster's on to something? When things turned a green shade, was there really hail on the horizon?

I decided to spend hours and hours and do some exhaustive research. OK, actually I googled it and ended up on the Weather Channel.

Turns out Pop was right...well, sort of.

According to their sources:

there simply needs to be a strong thunderstorm with a large volume of precipitation and the right alignment of the sun and thunderstorm to turn the sky green. Researchers calculated hail's contribution to the green color was actually small.

So while it's not exclusively attributed to hail on the way, there is a little something to what Pop said. He was on the right track, or at least going in the right direction.

The story goes on to say:

If this thunderstorm occurs around sunrise or sunset, when the sun takes on a more red/orange/yellow look thanks to a longer trip of the sun's rays through the atmosphere, that thunderstorm could instead look more green.

So there you have it. Technically it all has to do with atmosphere and time of day and how long the sun's rays trip is and...on and on.

But for me, it was the old farm boys that had it (kind of) right. If the air turns green, move the car into the garage.

Oh and by the way...I never did hear that corn grow.

Dives Worth a Drive in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota

Almost every small South Dakota town has a watering hole. It’s where the locals go to kick back a few brews and engage in conversation.

Some of these establishments are located in buildings almost as old as the town itself. There might be a fresh coat of paint on the walls or new vinyl on the booth seats, but the ambiance is still reminiscent of a good ol’ dive.

If you think a "dive" is all about the sketchy clientele, the smell of the Devil’s lettuce, and stale Grain Belt, you’d be wrong. Not every dive has a bad reputation.

What makes a dive, a dive?

A dive has character. Neon beer signs and local memorabilia adorn the walls.

You might find a pool table, dart board, and a few video lottery machines.

The bartender knows the regulars by name and they know what you drink.

Some dives don't even serve food except for bags of chips and pickled eggs that sit in a jar of brine on the bar.

Dives aren't fancy. You might see 70's-style wood panels on the walls and wobbly tables leveled with a folded napkin.

Finally, the bathrooms. The bathrooms in dives are in a class by themselves and could be a whole topic on its own. 

There are several small-town dives in our area with friendly faces, cheap booze with a burn, and even really good food! We use the term "dive" in the most affectionate way.

Here are some of the best and why you should go there.

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