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Morgan Matzen

Morgan Matzen, Sioux City Journal newsroom reporter intern is shown Friday, June 29, 2018. Sioux City Journal photo by Tim Hynds

Hey y’all! I’m the summer intern at The Weekender. I’m honored to have the final say for this week; I figured it would be a good chance to let you meet me, and maybe for me to get to meet you. I’m new in town, so any story ideas you have -- all things related to local music, a delicious new ice cream spot in town or anything with cats, for example -- just send them my way! I’m happy to connect with you, and now you know what some of my favorite things are: music, ice cream, cats. That’s a start.

I hail from the shining streets of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Where I come from, we (lovingly) know Iowans as bad drivers, corn-eaters and “idiots out wandering around.” We also know Sioux City as “a smelly place that can’t figure out how to finish their construction that’s been around since my mom was younger than I am.”

Only some of these things are true.

I’m here to tell you what I’ve learned so far about Sioux City, and a few things you should know about me.

  1. Sioux Cityans are devoted to this place -- and it’s growing on me, too.

Anyone from this region knows that Sioux Falls and Sioux City have  a weird rivalry, similar to that of Eagleton and Pawnee in NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.” I’ve lived in Sioux Falls all of my life and understand this rivalry.

  1. I love a good local music scene.

It’s not unlikely for me to go out on a weeknight to see a band which might suck, or might amaze me into complete fandom, solely because they’re local.

Part of why Sioux City is growing on me is because the music scene is just the right size to slip into. DIY venues seem to be popping up all over town; bands like Close to Most, Ghostcat and Tapwater Shrimp, and artists like Her Grace are making genuinely good music here; and, there are so many friendly people to find at each show. It’s nice to see great bands like Salt Creek and Glacier Veins come through a place like this, too. Sioux City’s music scene is like a close neighbor of Sioux Falls’ music scene, so it’s been very welcoming so far.

  1. Young people are the future.

Is there any other way than that?

So far in Sioux City, I’ve written a lot of stories where I’ve been able to meet lots of people my age who are doing big things. I interviewed drag queens, volunteers and student researchers for Sioux City Pride; I met local musicians who are making a name for themselves; I heard the passion of young organizers from the March for Our Lives who are outspoken and not afraid to be so.

Not all young people are entitled, lazy and self-absorbed. Many are hustling with multiple jobs, staying passionate about their beliefs, getting involved in issues that matter and making a difference. Young people are the future, simply put. I’ve been blessed to meet so many inspiring people as I have.

  1. I attend the University of South Dakota and live in the bustling city of Vermillion.

Vermillion is the essence of a college town, and although it gets dreary and often boring, “Verm” has its moments. Whether it’s a cruise around town, a Dakota Days parade or a show on the patio of the Dakota Brick House, Vermillion ain’t so bad. The only bummer is the 40-mile commute from my house to the office every day -- but I don’t mind the drive.

  1. I have big shoes to fill -- and so does the next person to officially take over the Weekender.

When I was calling people for the Whatever Fest II story, people kept asking if I was taking over the Weekender as Chris’ replacement. Although I explained I was the intern and just filling in here and there, covering some of the stories I found interesting while the search for a permanent Weekender writer continues, many of the people I called expressed fond memories they had of Chris. They seemed sad he was gone but glad he was on to bigger things -- sadly elsewhere.

Chris made great connections with a good handful of bar owners, musicians, artists and creatives in Siouxland. He took a risk in reviewing local bands and people were mostly grateful for his higher standard. He was a skilled writer and is obviously missed in his former home turf. Hopefully the next person to take over the Weekender can bring his same charisma and passion to this town, but maybe inspire some new flavors of writing and represent a new voice unique to this newsroom.

That’s my final say. Thanks for reading, and don’t be shy with sending me those story ideas. I'm at until school starts.

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