Grand River Roundup

We didn’t get a drop of rain this week so I had to water what’s left of my garden.

Betty Olson COLUMN BOX 2We didn’t get a drop of rain this week so I had to water what’s left of my garden. There are a few things bum lambs don’t eat – they didn’t touch the tomato and pepper plants or the cucumber vines. The marigolds and rose mallows are the only flowers they wouldn’t eat, but they devoured my strawberry bed and all the rest of the flowers. At least I know what not to plant next year.

Lynn Tjeerdsma and Ty Littau from Sen. Thune’s office met with locals at Over The Edge in Camp Crook Monday evening. Lynn is the senior policy advisor for Sen. Thune and Ty is on Thune’s ag staff. Ty is Dawn Littau’s son and she teaches RTI math at Harding County School. Dawn was a Halligan and is a cousin of Linda Gilbert and Laurie Olson, who were also Halligans. Here’s their family history – their great grandfather Bill Rousch was one of the cowboys who came up from Texas with the cattle herds back in the late 1880s and started ranching here. There are a lot of folks in this area who can trace their heritage back to the trail herds that came up from Texas.

Casey went to Bowman Tuesday to pick up a tractor Dakota Farm fixed for us and then he and Missy went to Buffalo to get their house ready for the school year that started on Wednesday.

I went to New Leipzig Tuesday to pick up an axle and cylinder for the old manure spreader that Stelter Repair fixed for us. Getting parts for the manure spreader reminded me of when I was in the House and Ryan Maher was in the Senate. One year we rode through the parade in Isabel in Ryan’s buggy and after the parade someone said that he had an old horse-drawn manure spreader we should use because it would be the perfect traveling vehicle for a couple of politicians. We had to agree.

Rep. Sam Marty and I went to Lemmon Wednesday to have lunch with US Rep. Kristi Noem at the Grand River Museum. Kristi and I were both elected to the SD House in 2006 and we became good friends in the four years she spent in Pierre before running for the US Congress. After telling us what was happening in Washington and taking questions from the audience, Kristi and her staff flew to another meeting in Eagle Butte. It’s a good thing they were flying because they also had a meeting in Mobridge that morning.

Thursday was a busy day. The funeral for Dorothy (Milner) Bowers was at the Lions Civic Center in Buffalo that morning and there was a substitute teachers meeting at the school house that afternoon.

Later that afternoon I drove to Spearfish for the retirement party for Peggy Ables at the Matthews Opera House. Peggy was the Executive Director of the High Plains Western Heritage Center for a long time and was the secretary of the South Dakota chapter of the Great Western Cattle Trail Association where she did a lot of work to get the organization sent up. Peggy and I attended the national GWCTA meeting at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Medora several years ago and after that meeting, we decided to start a chapter in South Dakota.

Thank you Peggy, for all you’ve done for the GWCTA. Happy trails to you!

Holly Costello teaches in Buffalo and coaches the cross country team in Harding County. The team had a track meet in Rapid City Thursday so I got to fill in for her classes at the school. The Harding County football team played Faith that evening in Buffalo, so I had plenty of time for coffee with Bill and Verona Vroman before the game. The football game went pretty well for Harding County when they beat Faith 46 to nothing.

John Paul gave the Gideon message at Slim Buttes Lutheran Sunday morning. Pastor Henry and Linda Mohagen went to North Dakota for a niece’s wedding.

There were several rodeos this weekend. Taz and some other local cowboys were up in Rapid City on Friday and I think their next stop was Hastings, Nebraska. Ryne Baier and Casey went to the rodeo in Wibaux, Montana Saturday and Sterling Lee and Trig joined them at the rodeo in Amidon, North Dakota on Sunday.

I saw something Saturday morning that I never, ever thought I’d see. When our son Casey, who absolutely HATES zucchini, drove into the ranch with the back of his pickup piled with zucchini, it created a real conundrum for me. Are you familiar with that word? The definition of the word conundrum is: something that is puzzling or confusing. An anonymous “friend” covered their lawn in town with scores of the hated vegetable and Casey was hauling them to our dump!

These three, short CONUNDRUMS tell you a lot about the direction of our current government and cultural environment:

1. We are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics. Funny how that works. A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and don’t have one, you’ll probably never need one again.

And here’s another one worth considering…

2. Seems we constantly hear about how Social Security is going to run out of money.  But we never hear about welfare or food stamps running out of money? What’s interesting is the first group worked for their money, but the second didn’t.

Think about it…..and last but not least,

3. Why are we cutting benefits for our veterans, no pay raises for our military and cutting our army to a level lower than before WWII, but we are not stopping the payments or benefits to illegal aliens.

Am I missing something here?

Ponder this: “Free people are not equal. Equal people are not free.”

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