For any of those who follow musical acts such as the Oakridge Boys, Blood Sweat and Tears and Weird Al Yanovic, you may have heard of the famous Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. Despite the corny name, the Corn Palace is sort of a cultural destination for folks in the Southeast part of South Dakota. In this brief video, we look at this icon of the Midwest and dispel a myth or, at least for me, a perception that some people may have of this well-known landmark.
As a bit of background, the thought to create the Myth of the Corn Palace video was hatched on the San Jose to Denver airplane flight on Monday, 8/27. By the time I got to Denver, the draft script was completed and sent to my contacts in Mitchell, S.D. We started filming B-Roll and taking photos almost from the time we left the airport. Late Monday night, I found the email for the Director of the Corn Palace in the in-room, hotel magazine.
By the next morning, we had a meeting set-up with Mark Schilling, the Corn Palace Director. He and his staff graciously took time out of their schedule and accommodated our strange requests for things like popcorn. Their easy-going, helpful and friendly manner reflected what we have found with all of the people we have come across in Mitchell.
Interestingly, as I corresponded with friends from California over the past few days, I would occasionally make the point that I was in Mitchell, S.D., home of the famous Corn Palace. My Pastor relayed how he once played basketball there and that it was a big deal. It was like playing in the HP Pavilion in San Jose. Another friend remembered how we had been there 41 years before as a 9 year old, while another drove through with his young family a few years ago.
Hopefully, the video is a nice remembrance for those who have been to the Corn Palace. For those of us from California, whose only exposure to the Corn Palace was seeing it occasionally mentioned on MTV when a band was touring, perhaps this video will dispell the myth that at least one somewhat parochial Californian (OK, it’s me) had about this famous landmark.