Grand River Roundup

How much snow did you get?

Betty Olson COLUMN BOX 2How much snow did you get? That’s the first question you hear from anyone around this neighborhood. It started snowing here on Thursday and a few flakes were still falling Friday afternoon, but no one knows for sure how much we got because it was warm enough Thursday afternoon to melt a lot of it down, which was a good thing because we really appreciate any moisture we can get.

This was a very busy week. Our son Thad and Jesse Jensen came up on Monday to start work on repairing the hail damage at the Bar H. They stay with us while they’re working at the Thybo ranch. I drove to Sturgis for Marty Jackley’s gubernatorial fund raiser at the Loud American Monday evening and spent the night at Thad’s with Angie and Brinley.

So many people attended Marty’s fundraiser that we were glad that the floor in the Loft was really strong. There were lots of current and former legislators attending, including Rep. Sam Marty and his sister Rep. Elizabeth May. Sen. Ryan Maher wanted to be there but was on his way to a Stockgrowers meeting in Mobridge when I talked to him just before the fundraiser.

There were two funerals in the Hills on Tuesday and I left Thad and Angie’s early that morning for David Ramberg’s funeral in Spearfish. Dave was a volunteer at the High Plains Heritage Center and he was always available to answer any questions I had about the interesting rocks and fossils I’d bring him. He was a Navy veteran and Keith and Pete Larson were part of his Military Honor Guard, so there were lots of folks to visit with over lunch at the American Legion after Dave’s funeral.

Maxine (Wells) Marty’s funeral was Tuesday afternoon at Grace Lutheran in Sturgis. All the neighbors were there, including some we hadn’t seen since the last Marty funeral. I grew up with the Marty kids, my father grew up with John and Bill Marty in the Slim Buttes, and our grandfathers were good friends. They’ve always been family, even though there is no blood relation.

Thad and Jesse worked at the Bar H on Wednesday and went home that evening because of the snow moving in the next day. They were headed down to the Midland area on Thursday to finish up some projects for Frank Halligan and Raymond Tibbs. They will come back to work up here this week.

We’ve been keeping busy curing and slicing the bacon from the hogs they butchered last week. The hams are about ready to be taken out of the brine and hung in the smoker. Just so we stay busy, the guys butchered a really fat cow Thursday and have the beef aging in the cooler ready to turn into hamburger and roasts soon.

Friday afternoon Reub and I took a bucket of leaf lard from the hogs up to Tony and Dorothy Holt, along with some old pictures of Dorothy’s side of the Olson family that Louise Jenson had rescued from Mary Park’s basement. We stopped to visit Louise on our way to Holt’s to see some more treasures she found. Along with some more old pictures, she gave Reub an old Bible that was given to his grandmother, Hattie (Williams) Olson, by her mother-in-law Marrit Olson in 1897! At that time, the Olson’s were all living at Red Fern, a ghost town near Hill City where a few of the oldest Olson kids were born.

Saturday was an exciting day in this neighborhood. Most of the neighbors headed to Spearfish Saturday afternoon for the wedding of Stacy Doll and Del Ray Kraupie. It was an absolutely wonderful wedding, but there were a few folks that planned to be there that couldn’t make it.

Stacy’s brother Clint Doll and his wife had to leave for the hospital right before the wedding, because Kelli had gone into labor! The new Doll baby made his appearance just after midnight on November 20th. Beau Richard Doll was born at the Spearfish hospital, weighing in at an even seven pounds and 19 inches long. Congratulations to the new parents and grandparents!

Sadly, Del Ray’s grandfather also missed the wedding when he was taken to the Spearfish hospital before the ceremony. Dan Neu, 93, was a WWII veteran stationed on the frontlines because he could speak German and the military needed a translator.

We lost some more great people this week. A longtime friend, Bill Hibner, age 69 of Faith, passed away Saturday evening at the Rapid City Hospice House.

Former Senator Bill Johnson, 86, passed away early Monday morning in Spearfish. Billy Joe did a great job of representing this district in Pierre for 10 years, serving from 1989 to 1998.

We haven’t heard about funeral arrangements for any of these wonderful men, but we extend our sympathy to their families. They will be missed.

The Harding County Ministerial Association hosted the annual Thanksgiving service in Buffalo Sunday evening. The speakers were Vicar Kris Garlick, Pastor Dotty Parfrey, Pastor Henry Mohagen, Father Ed Vanorny, and Pastor Jerry Densmore were the speakers and Gary and Jody Johnson, Pastor Jerry Densmore, and the Slim Buttes choir provided the music. The Ministerial Association provides fuel assistance, food assistance, and travel assistance to folks in need and they do a great job.

With Thanksgiving coming on Thursday, I’ll leave you with this turkey joke:

An industrious turkey farmer was always experimenting with breeding to perfect a better turkey.

His family was fond of the leg portion for dinner and there were never enough legs for everyone. After many frustrating attempts, the farmer was relating the results of his efforts to his friends at the general store get-together. “Well I finally did it! I bred a turkey that has 6 legs!”

They all asked the farmer how it tasted.

“I don’t know” said the farmer. “I never could catch the darn thing!”

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