Grand River Roundup

“Hot enough for you?” We heard that question a lot this week when the temperature reached 100 degrees a couple times.

Betty Olson COLUMN BOX 2“Hot enough for you?” We heard that question a lot this week when the temperature reached 100 degrees a couple times. It’s still really dry around here, but we got just over a half inch of rain from three days of showers, although some of our neighbors got quite a bit more.

Amanda Schuchard came to AI our heifers on Monday. Raymond Lee called to get Trig to come up and help brand at Swanke’s that afternoon and Bryce came home from Buffalo that evening to get ready to brand at the Hackamore on Tuesday.

Reub and I went to vote at Ralph early Tuesday morning and then I dropped him off at the ranch before I headed up to the Hackamore for opening of the summer social season at Doll’s branding. Lanie and little Trace came down from Dickinson for the branding and Mad Dog Anderson showed up to help brand for the first time in a long time. The cowboys and cowgirls were all decked out in their finest and I’d be remiss if I didn’t let you know who the fashion contest winners were.

Brothers Riley and Reese Jensen won first place with their blue and orange suits that reminded everyone of the movie “Dumb and Dumber”. Reese even had an orange top hat to match his orange suit! Second place went to Brad Johnson and third place to Taygen Schuelke, with Mad Dog receiving Honorable Mention. Bill Johnson was awarded Most Colorful Necktie and Big Boss Doug Doll was dapper in his black tuxedo and tooled leather wedding tie.

The ruggedly handsome Doug Doll is the second cowboy to show up in a tuxedo. Lynn Stadheim wore one to the Hackamore branding several years ago, but had to retire it after he got too close to the branding fire and set the tuxedo’s tails on fire. Lynn wasn’t the only one to set himself on fire – at another Hackamore branding our son Casey backed up to the fire in his Santa Claus suit and ruined it too!

Thursday was the 44th anniversary of the devastating Rapid City flood that killed 238 people, including some people from Harding County. Early in the morning of June 9, 1972, Reub went out to milk the cow and I turned on the radio in our old trailer house to hear the terrible news start rolling in of that tragic flood. Margaret Miller from Buffalo and Wilbur Smolnikar from Ralph both lost their lives and many Rapid City residents lost everything they owned in the roaring waters. I hope we never see anything like that again.

Linda (Stolt) Stuchal passed away Feb. 6 in Nebraska and her family and friends gathered at Ralph Saturday to bury her ashes on a high ridge southwest of Ralph on the ranch where she spent her childhood. Linda was the daughter of Reub’s cousin Shirley Stolt and she was raised by his aunt Mary (Olson) and Bob Parks at Ralph. Linda’s husband Gary Stuchal, her kids, Jodi Hendrickson, Robert Barnhart, Michael Barnhart, and Cody Stuchal, and most of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren came to bid a final goodbye to her. Linda grew up with Jan (Reitz) Faris and Jan shared some good stories about the adventures of these two country girls growing up on the ranch.

Louise Jenson had everyone back to her house for dinner after the memorial service. Bill Jenson brought out a big box of pictures that Mary Parks had and we sorted through them to try to identify who they all were. Most of them were pictures of Olson and Ridgway relatives and there was a picture of two of Reub’s uncles that died while his father, Buck Olson, was just a baby. It’s a picture of Lance and Tad Olson with some other cowboys standing on a boardwalk all dressed up like they were headed to a rodeo. It had to be taken before 1918, because Tad Olson died in 1918 while he was in the army breaking horses at Ft. Keogh near Miles City. Lance died in 1919 from complications of a broken back that he got in a horse wreck earlier. Louise gave us the picture and I’m going to make copies for other family members. Tim Olson, you won’t believe how much your son Sam looks like your great uncle Tad. I’ll get you a picture too.

Sunday afternoon we went down to Bev and Iver Heier’s to help their grandson Will Mickelson celebrate his 11th birthday. A big crowd gathered for the baseball games, water balloon fights, supper, and birthday cake.

TaTania Verhulst and her girls were there and we got to brag on her daughter Karli’s article that she wrote about Claude Olson and the Olson Livestock Foundation in the last issue of the “Working Ranch” magazine. If you get the magazine, Karli’s article is on page 12 in the Working Ranch Juniorsupplement and Karli and her younger sister Tessa are listed as part of the WR Junior Team 2016. Congratulations girls!

On that happy note, I’ll leave you with these words of wisdoms from Will Rogers:

•Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

•If you’re riding’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.

•Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier’n puttin’ it back.

•If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you’re old.

•After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut