Grand River Roundup

Talk about weird weather, we sure have had some interesting stuff this week.

Betty Olson COLUMN BOX 2Talk about weird weather, we sure have had some interesting stuff this week. The Nations Center News had a story about all the fires around the area caused by lightning on the terribly dry prairie. Also in the paper were stories about storms roaring across Harding County that contained damaging hail, high winds that demolished buildings and tore down power lines, and flash flooding from over five inches of rain in the Cave Hills and Table Mountain area on Sunday night. We didn’t get a drop of rain that night and most of the area got very little moisture out of the gully washer that had Bull Creek running so full that the bridge and culverts couldn’t handle it on the Continental road near Jim Clarkson’s!

Casey and Trig spent Monday through Thursday at the Rodeo Bible Camp at Kadoka where Casey has served as the steer wrestling instructor for several years. Sterling and Sierra Lee, Brianna Williams, Saddie Hurst, and Tayle Brink went with them, but Karli Verhulst and Kiley Schuchard had to cancel so they could compete in the last Buffalo Youth Rodeo Wednesday evening. Trig told me that Sterling Lee won the All-Around at camp, and Sierra, Brianna, and Tayle placed in various events.

The South Dakota chapter of the Great Western Cattle Trail Association met at the Heritage Center in Spearfish Monday night. Silvia Christen, Executive Director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers, came to the meeting from Rapid City. The Stockgrowers will be celebrating their 125th anniversary at their convention in Rapid City in September and they have invited the GWCTA and the Heritage Center to set up a booth sharing information we have about past Stockgrowers presidents and other historical information about the cattle business in this area. We also discussed the regional meeting that David Burell, the founder of the Great Western Cattle Trail Association, asked us to set up with folks from North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. South Dakota has an active chapter, but Burell would like to get chapters set up in the other three states.

Tuesday afternoon Dewey County States Attorney Steve Aberle put together a meeting of county officials and legislators at the Perkins County courthouse in Bison to try to figure out what to do to fix the problems caused by SB 70, Gov. Daugaard’s criminal justice bill that was passed into law by the legislature in 2013. The counties represented were Corson, Dewey, Harding, Perkins, and Ziebach. County commissioners, states attorneys, county officials, law enforcement officers, and District 28 legislators discussed how to deal with the law enforcement issues and the tremendous expense passed down to the counties from the state because of this law.

Taz came home to help Grandpa while Casey and his crew were at the Rodeo Bible Camp, but he left early Wednesday morning to get back on the PRCA rodeo circuit. Taz and his traveling partners competed in several rodeos in Kansas and Taz came home early Saturday morning for a couple days before he hits the trail again.

Reub’s side-by-side was fixed, so he went to Isabel Wednesday to bring it home. I stayed home to do laundry and water what’s left of my garden. Between the drought and the bum lambs, my garden hasn’t fared too well. After that big-horned buck smashed my thumb, I wasn’t able get anything planted until really late because I couldn’t hold a hoe or a shovel until it healed up after surgery. The bum lambs have ruined all my flower beds and potted plants, they’ve eaten the lower leaves off every tree and bush in the yard, and devoured everything they can find in the vegetable garden. If it wasn’t for the beautiful batch of Rose Mallow flowers that came up by themselves in my vegetable garden back of the house, I’d be inclined to just plow the whole thing up. Oh well, there’s always next year!

Our former neighbor, Arlene (Banning) Fink, age 79 of Belle Fourche, passed away Wednesday at the Garden Hills Assisted Living Center in Spearfish. Her funeral was Saturday in Belle Fourche with burial at the Evangelical Brethren Church Cemetery in Harding County.

Mary Lee (Sonn) Hathaway, 64, lost her long battle with cancer and passed away early Thursday morning. Mary Lee’s funeral will be Tuesday at Our Lady of the Black Hills in Piedmont followed by burial at St. Aloysius Cemetery in Sturgis, S.D.

Our sympathy goes out to their families.

We went to Hettinger Thursday for Reub’s appointment with Mary Eggebo. We visited with Kenny Messer at Runnings where he was picking up plumbing supplies for the sink in the addition that Sage is building on Messer’s house.

This week is the Perkins County Fair and we went down to Bison Friday evening to watch the talent show. What fun!

The Sturgis bike rally is going full blast this week, which should make the drive to our GWCTA meeting in Spearfish on Tuesday exciting. Motorcycles roar down the highway around the clock and there have been several bike wrecks already. This is a busy time for law enforcement and there are usually stories of fights like this one:

A man appeared before St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. “Have you ever done anything of particular merit?” St. Peter asked.

“Well, I can think of one thing,” the man offered. “Once, on a trip to the Black Hills out in South Dakota, I came upon a gang of bikers, who were threatening a young woman. I directed them to leave her alone, but they wouldn’t listen. So, I approached the largest and most heavily – tattooed biker, and smacked him in his face, kicked his bike over, ripped out his nose ring, and threw it on the ground.” I yelled, “Now, back off or I’ll beat the heck out of all of you!”

St. Peter was impressed, “When did this happen?”

“Just a couple minutes ago.”

Betty Olson is a South Dakota rancher and state legislator for District 28.