Grand River Roundup

We got just under a quarter of an inch of rain from two little showers on Thursday and Friday, but hey, we’ll take anything we can get!

Betty Olson COLUMN BOX 2We got just under a quarter of an inch of rain from two little showers on Thursday and Friday, but hey, we’ll take anything we can get! Olson Creek and Middle Creek have dried up and the Big Nasty and South Grand are getting pretty low. Trees are starting to change color and fall arrives this week. Thankfully we haven’t had any snow like they’ve had in Montana and Wyoming.

With fall in the air, it’s shipping time. Sterling and Sierra Lee came home with Trig Monday night to help these guys gather and sort sheep Tuesday morning. After the crew got the lambs sorted Harry Ehlers hauled a bunch of them to Missy’s brother Brian Dreiske’s place near Keldron where he feeds lambs every year. The kids went to school after they got the sheep worked and Casey, Missy and Taz followed the truck up to help Brian.

Taz and Amanda went coon hunting Tuesday night and killed two of the chicken eaters. Wednesday morning I had a big coon in the live trap and Casey shot another one in the tree patch that afternoon. It’s too bad that isn’t all of them though, because it was probably another coon that ate all the bait out of the live trap the next night and escaped without tripping the trap.

Wednesday morning the guys sorted off more lambs and some old ewes to take to Newell to the sheep sale on Thursday. While they were sorting sheep, Louise Jenson and I went to Scranton for Curt Reitz’s funeral.

A large crowd of folks from the Ralph community gathered to say goodbye to our old friend and to spend time with Curt’s family. It’s sad that the only thing that gets all the folks from Ralph together is when we gather to bury another one of us.

I had Louise figure out what the highest number of Ralph residents were that she could remember. At one time there were approximately thirty people living in the little town that had a grocery store, a post office and an elementary school. Now the store, the school, and the post office have all been closed and the population was reduced to down to only Louise after her husband Gene Jenson died. Reub’s father, Ralph “Buck” Olson was named after the town of Ralph and losing our little community makes me sad.

Casey took the sheep to Newell Thursday morning while Reub and I went to Hettinger for his appointment with Mary Eggebo. We took the pickup because he needed to haul the riding lawnmower to NAPA to get repaired. We made a run to Laufer’s north of Hettinger to pick a part for the baler, so we stopped at Sage’s new house on the way to see how Sage and Taz were doing on the project. The new concrete floor looked good and they were setting the floor joints for the first floor.

There is a lot of carpenter work going on around the area. Our son Thad and Jesse Jenson were repairing some hail damage at Dean and Myrna Wagner’s and they spent the night here Thursday so they could finish up the project on Friday before heading back to the Hills.

Several Harding County kids got married this week. Kayla Nelson married Miles Spickelmier in Bowman Friday. On Saturday Deidra Tenold married Lynndon Prang in Custer State Park and Alex Giannonatti married Reece Jensen at the Jensen ranch south of the Slim Buttes. Missy went to Nebraska with Janet and Kelli Doll Saturday for the bridal shower for Stacy Doll, who will be getting hitched to Del Ray Kraupie soon.

Congratulations to the happy couples!

Taz had a PRCA rodeo in Sioux Falls on Saturday and Reub and Casey spent the day in the hayfield baling some late second cutting alfalfa. We didn’t get much hay this year so every little bit helps!

Sunday was one of my favorite days – the annual chicken dinner at St. Isidore’s north of Ralph! I had a political meeting last year and had to miss it then, so I ate twice as much this year to make up for it. Casey and Trig, Taz and Amanda, and Reub and I sat at the table with Leroy and Donna Olson – no relation to our Olson clan. After Leroy and Reub added up all the other Olsons in attendance who weren’t related to either Leroy or Reub, they decided Olsons outnumbered everybody at the dinner. You’d think this was a Scandinavian community!

I’ll leave you with a Norwegian joke:

An Arab Sheik was admitted to Abbott-Northwestern Hospital for heart surgery, but prior to the surgery the doctors needed to store his blood in case the need arose. As the gentleman had a rare type of blood, it couldn’t be found locally, so the call went out to all the states. Finally a South Dakota Norwegian was located who had the right blood type. The Norwegian, whose name was Ole, willingly donated his blood for the Arab.

After the surgery, the Arab sent Ole, as appreciation for giving his blood, a new BMW, a pile of diamonds and several million U.S. Dollars.

A couple of weeks later, once again the Arab had to go through some corrective surgery. His doctor telephoned Ole who was more than happy to donate his blood again.

After the second surgery, the Arab sent Ole a thank you card and five pounds of lutefisk.

Ole was shocked that this time the Arab did not reciprocate with a new car, diamonds, and money.

He phoned the Arab and said, ‘I thought dat you vould be yenerous again, and dat you vould give me a nudder BMW, diamonds and money. But you only gave me a tank you card and some lutefisk!’

To this the Arab replied, ‘Ya, but now I haf Norvegian blood in my veins so I gotta tink tvice before I spend my money.’

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