A lone tree that was struck by lightening in Cherry Creek, a remote community named for the abundance of wild cherries, plums, gooseberries and currants that run along the banks of the nearby river. Quiet, with grassy rolling hills, this place has a deep history. Considered one of the oldest townships in South Dakota, it’s also here where a band of Lakota Indians joined forces before fighting in the infamous 1890 Battle of Wounded Knee, where so many of the Lakota were massacred by US soldiers. This area is also where some of the survivors returned and where some of their descendents now live. It’s a poverty-striken area of about 70 familes, where unemployment and alcoholism run rampant. The Mennonites, a group of Christian evangelicals, moved to Cherry Creek and operate a school, a tire shop, and a used furniture store. But there are no medical facilites, nowhere to buy groceries or gas or get mail. The post office closed down when the post master died.

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“In 1978, it might have been economically feasible and perfectly legal for an executive to award himself a multimillion-dollar bonus while shedding 40 percent of his work force and requiring the survivors to take annual furloughs without pay. But no executive would have wanted the shame and outrage that would have followed any more than an executive today would want to be quoted using a racial slur or photographed with a paid escort.”

- The Broken Contract: Inequality and American Decline by George Packe