Kevin recalls at a young age carrying his toy truck into his dad's Hoven Co-op truck early in the morning. His dad, Pauly, would be on his route delivering fuel to Hoven's rural area farms to fill up their tanks for farming. Pauly, Janice, and Kevin's siblings lived at the end of main street in Hoven, SD.
Even though the football and softball fields were literally in Kevin's front yard, the Herick's place was still considered a farm with animals roaming and chores to do. Janice worked outside the home and Hoven didn't have a preschool program so Kevin was off with his dad. In a small town this was how parenting was done.
Westward 14 miles down that same road from Kevin's farm, tucked away between two long grassy hillsides called Long Valley Ranch was, Melissa. At one end of the valley the eye could see the ole country schoolhouse and at the other end, the sun would set on their dirt road dividing the hay yard and wheat fields. Melissa was probably playing in a crib or put in a stroller while mom was tending the garden. She is 3 years younger than the boy who was playing with his truck outside her house by the fuel tanks.
As the years went by Kevin grew up playing sports and hunting the backroads around Hoven's farming community and woudn't change a thing. Melissa? Enjoyed riding the 90 3-wheeler and her horse Sunshine, but couldn't wait to leave those long, winding gravel roads to see what was all out in the world other than farming and working cattle. Kevin often states Melissa ``had it better back then`` and Melissa thinks Kevin certainly ``had it all``.
Years later, many things have changed but Kevin and Melissa still enjoy God's country and all the adventures the backroads has to offer. Melissa will always be a farmgirl at heart and Kevin still likes his trucks. They invite you to take the backroads because you never know who's yard you may end up in.