Magazine features Karolevitz After 36 books, Mission Hill's Bob Karolevitz still has a sense of humor. That, and an abiding interest in state and local history, are two of the reasons "Why Bob Writes Books," the title of Lisa Papenhausen's story in the March/April issue of South Dakota Magazine.
A Yankton native, Karolevitz was living with his wife Phyllis in Seattle in the early '60s when Phyllis suggested they move back to South Dakota. "Wild horses couldn't bring me back to South Dakota!" Bob scoffed. Three years later, the Karolevitz family was unpacking at the farmhouse near Mission Hill which for 34 years has been the home of one of the most prolific and versatile writers and publishers on the Northern Plains.
Most of Karolevitz's three dozen books are historical works on myriad subjects, including South Dakota, the territorial capital of Yankton, artist Harvey Dunn, and pioneer newspapers. But other books, like the newspaper column he's written every week for as long as many people can remember, are sheer fun. Papenhausen's story captures both sides of Karolevitz, and includes photographs and excerpts from his funniest books.
Papenhausen also reveals the secret behind Karolevitz's success: "I was never good at a job. I don't like to get up in the morning, but I needed to produce revenue for my family. So many have tried full-time writing and can't do it. You need to hook the seat of your pants to the chair and work at it."
South Dakota Magazine is a state wide magazine, published bimonthly in Yankton. It is available on newsstands throughout the state and by subscription at 800-456-5117.