Having lived in the great state of South Dakota some 43 years now, I was pretty doggone sure I knew every city, every town, every village...every 'wide spot in the road' this state had to offer.

In fact, I've lived in just about every part of the state...down in the south central (Winner), up in the northeast (Aberdeen), over there in the middle eastern part of the state (Brookings/Volga), out west (Rapid City) and right here in Sioux Falls.

Yep, I've traveled just about every paved road in the state, and a good many of those gravel roads kickin' up some summer dust. Mention places like Mud Butte, Faulkton, Woonsocket, Edgemont and Irene, I've been to them all. I've met friendly folks in Belle Fourche, Faith, Brentford and Platte, not to speak of Athol, Bridgewater, Salem and Faith. Why, there isn't a community in our state I haven't been to, or at least heard of....

Except Ortley.

Just the other day I was on the phone with a Gentleman, and when I asked where he was from he said 'Ortley'.

A pause....'What's that?'

'Ortley'.

Another pause...'I'm sorry, my hearing's getting bad in my old age, where are you from?'

'Ortley...O-R-T-L-E-Y'

Wow. I missed one. I had to confess, I had NO idea where Ortley was...so I asked.

The Gentleman said 'You know where Summit is?'

Yes!! I blurted out relieved, 'Yes I know where Summit is, way up there in the northeast corner, I've driven right by Summit!'

He chuckled. 'Well, my kids go to Summit to school'.

Ahhh...the Summit area.

So I did some extensive and time consuming research (Ok, ok, I googled it) on Ortley, South Dakota. Found out it's 65 residents strong as of the 2010 census. And yep, it's right up there in Roberts County. Oh, and its over a hundred years old, laid out in 1906. Geez, I should have known.

But thankfully my knowledge of every city, town, village, and township in South Dakota is 100% complete.

Ahem...it is complete, right?


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