Grand River Roundup

Summer is over and school has started. Bryce came home Monday to pack up her stuff and head down to Chadron for college.

Betty Olson COLUMN BOX 2Summer is over and school has started. Bryce came home Monday to pack up her stuff and head down to Chadron for college. Trig and the Harding County boys have football practice every day and school starts in Harding County on Wednesday.

Monday was Lanie and Matt’s first wedding anniversary. It doesn’t seem possible it could have been a whole year since this sweet couple were married in our yard! They celebrated by getting a pizza and watching a Hobbit movie. Sounds good to me.

We went down to Sturgis Tuesday evening to help our granddaughter Kanon celebrate an early birthday. Her actual birthday is in September but she is flying to Hawaii to take a college class this semester and won’t be back home until Christmas.

We had a really fun day on Wednesday. Lance and Marilyn Olson, Doug and Fern Olson, and Louise Jenson came to spend the day with us. Lance is Reub and Doug’s cousin from Great Falls, Mont., and he and Marilyn are visiting relatives and old friends here in Harding County where Lance grew up. Louise brought down a couple boxes of Aunt Mary (Olson) Parks’ old pictures and we spent most of the afternoon reminiscing about days gone by and trying to identify people in the pictures. Casey joined us for lunch and seemed to get a kick out of all the old folks.

We had more predator problems this week and I don’t think it was a coyote. Something has got off with four of our young Silver Lace Wyandotte hens and one of the old hens. Don’t know if it’s a fox or a coon, but all we’ve been able to catch in the live trap are a couple of our cats. The young hens have started to lay, but none of them want to be in the chicken coup, so we have to pen them every night and try to find where they are hiding their eggs during the day.

Casey went up to Hettinger Thursday to help Sage pour the footings for their new house they are building northwest of town. Nathan Stadheim and Lee Hofland were also there to help and Alaina and the girls brought them lunch. Reub and I were in Hettinger that afternoon for his appointment with Mary Eggebo, but we didn’t go up to check on the project.

Merle Kopren’s memorial service was in Sturgis Friday and I don’t remember ever seeing that many people at a funeral before. There were lots of friends and relatives that came that we hadn’t seen for quite a while. It’s too bad that the only time we seem to get together is to mourn the passing of someone dear to us.

It was raining when I left for the funeral and it rained all the way to Sturgis. It was still raining off and on all the way home. There was .62 hundredths in the rain gauge when I got home and I couldn’t help but think Merle was really smiling about all the moisture we were getting.

Dorothy Bowers, 86, died Saturday and her funeral will be Thursday at the Lions Civic Center with burial at the Black Hills National Cemetery that afternoon.

These families have our sympathy.

Lanie, Matt and baby Trace came down from Dickinson to spend the weekend at the ranch and at the Harding County fair and rodeo. The rain made the arena muddy for the Invitational Match Bronc Riding Friday evening, but a big crowd came to enjoy the competition.

Ashley Thybo came to visit Lanie Saturday morning while Matt spent the day helping the guys build steel fence over east. Sunday afternoon Casey’s family went to the rodeo in Camp Crook. Matt and Lanie stayed to watch Casey win the bull dogging before they went home.

The Darwin Awards are awarded because of news accounts depicting people who aren’t “the fittest” in mind and body! This Darwin Award winner was in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette:

Two local men were injured when their pickup truck left the road and struck a tree near Cotton Patch on State Highway 38 early Monday. Woodruff County deputy Dovey Snyder reported the accident shortly after midnight Monday. Thurston Poole, 33, of Des Arc, and Billy Ray Wallis, 38, of Little Rock, were returning to Des Arc after a frog-catching trip. On an overcast Sunday night, Poole’s pickup truck headlights malfunctioned.

The two men concluded that the headlight fuse on the older-model truck had burned out. As a replacement fuse was not available, Wallis noticed that the .22 caliber bullets from his pistol fit perfectly into the fuse box next to the steering-wheel column. Upon inserting the bullet the headlights again began to operate properly, and the two men proceeded on eastbound toward the White River Bridge.

After traveling approximately 20 miles, and just before crossing the river, the bullet apparently overheated, discharged and struck Poole in the testicles. The vehicle swerved sharply right, exited the pavement, and struck a tree. Poole suffered only minor cuts and abrasions from the accident but will require extensive surgery to repair the damage to his testicles, which will never operate as intended.

Wallis sustained a broken clavicle and was treated and released. “Thank God we weren’t on that bridge when Thurston shot his balls off, or we might be dead,” stated Wallis.

“I’ve been a trooper for 10 years in this part of the world, but this is a first for me. I can’t believe that those two would admit how this accident happened,” said Snyder.

Upon being notified of the wreck, Lavinia (Poole’s wife) asked how many frogs the boys had caught and did anyone get them from the truck?

Though Poole and Wallis did not die as a result of their misadventure as normally required by Darwin Award Official Rules, it can be argued that Poole did in fact effectively remove himself from the gene pool.

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