Since July 4th is on Monday and we’re having family here for the holiday weekend, I’m writing this early.
Last Monday a lot of friends and neighbors gathered at the Immanuel Lutheran Church at Zeona to bid goodbye to Jennings Floden. When he died at nearly 93 years old, Jennings had been the longest living member of Immanuel Lutheran. Jennings and Shirley were active in the Northern Hills Archeology Society and one of the highlights for Shirley and Jennings was participating in an archeological dig on their ranch that unearthed a Tyrannosaurus Rex scull and partial skeleton, at that time only the sixth available specimen of that dinosaur in the world.
I was pleasantly surprised to see former Rep. John Teupel at Jennings’ memorial service. He is a good friend of Floden’s daughter, Anne and Jerry Fines and he had just got back from the South Dakota Republican convention in Aberdeen. I introduced him to Sam Marty and Mel Dutton, so we talked politics for quite a while.
Trig attended the wrestling camp in Buffalo Monday and Tuesday and Casey went in both afternoons to help out. Amanda took the Harding County girls to a basketball camp in Aberdeen Monday and Tuesday and with Taz gone on the rodeo trail, it was almost too quiet around here!
These guys have been adding more to the steel fence behind our house and around the little garden, putting in some more, much needed gates. Rain was forecast for every day this week, but not much of it came here. Wednesday afternoon it clouded up and started to thunder and lightning. Then it started to sprinkle and the wind came up hard, putting an end to welding on the fence. Pretty soon the wind went down and the sun came out before it was time for Trig to leave for the Youth Rodeo in Buffalo. Total moisture for the day? Just barely .05 hundredths!
The guys finished the steel fence on Thursday while I went to Spearfish for Rose E. Tetrault’s retirement luncheon at the Heritage Center. Rose E. has been volunteering at the High Plains Western Heritage Center for eighteen years and has been a real asset to the organization. After lunch the Heritage board chairman Mick Harrison gave Rose E. a framed copy of the Heritage logo that he had painted several years ago. We’re going to miss seeing Rose E’s smiling face at the Center, but she said she will probably still come in once in a while to help with the bus tours. I sure hope so!
As I was getting ready to leave, I overhead a gentleman visiting with one of the volunteers about the Hugh Glass movie. Come to find out, this guy is Hugh Glass’ great great grandson! His name is Walt Glass and he and his wife live in Rathdrum, Idaho. He hadn’t heard about the new Hugh Glass book that just came out and he was really interested in the Hugh Glass Rendezvous at Shadehill. He gave me all his contact information that I can’t wait to share with the folks in Lemmon!
Kim Hight-Ginsbach and Ray Berberich got married in Hill City Saturday. Amanda and several other members of the Hight family provided the music for her aunts wedding. Congratulations to Kim and Ray!
Guy and Megan and the boys came to the ranch to spent the 4th of July weekend with us. Casey, Trig, Jeremy Stadheim, and Sterling Lee went to the rodeos in Interior and Fort Pierre on Saturday while Taz and Amanda were at the rodeos in Belle Fourche and Mobridge. Lanie, Matt and Trace came down on Saturday to spend the day with Bryce and Missy. They went back to Dickinson that evening because they planned to go watch Taz rodeo in Killdeer on the 4th and I believe Casey and the crew were headed to the rodeo in Marmarth. Since this is the first year for a long time that I don’t have to join other politicians riding in parades, Reub and I and Guy’s family are going to spend the 4th of July in Hettinger with Sage and Alaina and their girls.
I’ll leave you with some thoughts about Independence Day:
Our Constitutional Republic is a government of the people, by the people, for the people. The 4th of July was not declared a national holiday until 1941. True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.
John Hancock was the only person to actually sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. The other signers did not sign it until August 2nd, 1776 or even later.
People have forgotten what 4th of July really is about. Today commemorates the freedom we use every day. It’s not fireworks and parties. That’s just what makes it fun. True independence and freedom can only exist in doing what’s right.
During the Revolutionary war, a Lieutenant asked a soldier why he was falling back during a really fierce battle. “Didn’t you hear me say that we’re outnumbered four to one?”
The soldier replied, “I got my four Sir.”
Let us also remember as we fall asleep this Independence Day those who fight and the many that have died to protect our freedom.
Do you remember what happened as a result of the Stamp Act? The Americans licked the British!
Hope you had a bang-up Independence Day.