Grand River Roundup

The weather got a little better this week. We actually had some temperatures above zero and also had a couple days with no wind! Do you suppose ‘global warming’ has finally arrived?

The weather got a little better this week. We actually had some temperatures above zero and also had a couple days with no wind! Do you suppose ‘global warming’ has finally arrived?

They got the roads open again on Monday so Casey was able to haul a load of calves to the sale barn in Faith before driving to Buffalo to have Janie Hett start physical therapy on his shoulder and to pick up a garage door from Buffalo Hardware for Sage.

While Casey was at the sale barn, Julie Foster sent me some pictures and a story Patti Storm wrote about the historical mansion that Louie Mack built for John Barthold south of Meadow in Perkins County. Mack also built the famous Veal house at Chance. The Barthold mansion was completed in 1919 at a cost of $50,000.00, a cost equivalent to almost $700,000 in 2005 when the story was written.

In 1894 Ernest Barthold, in partnership with his sons, John and Fred, moved their ranch headquarters to Thunder Butte Creek and built up the Barthhold ranch. They worked with Ed Lemmon and John Barthold was one of the few ranchers to bring yellow blossom alfalfa to Perkins County in the early 1900s. Rusty and Julie Foster now own the Barthold ranch and the mansion is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This is a fascinating piece of local history. Thanks Julie!

Tuesday was the first day of the 2017 legislative session. I watched Gov. Daugaard give his State of the State address that morning from the comfort of my recliner. The wind had blown the road shut again so I was glad I could stay home instead of fighting the nasty roads to Pierre like I did for the last 10 years. I had planned to attend the Tuesday morning Bible study that Kathy Fabris was having, but I chickened out on that too.

It snowed and the wind blew Tuesday night, so they had to open the road again Wednesday morning so Casey could haul a load of old cows to Lemmon. Fighting the snow and wind is really getting tiresome. Have you had your fill of winter yet?

Brad Abelseth called Thursday night to let us know that our old friend Bob Hanson is in the hospital at Fort Meade. I drove down Friday morning to visit Bob. Bob’s niece and her husband, Ginger and Kerry Dangerud, were already there and Rod Woodruff from the Buffalo Chip had just left. Bob is one of my heroes. He is a decorated WWII veteran and was a POW after he was wounded in France and captured by the Germans. This old cowboy was the deputy sheriff for several years while he lived in Bison, but he’s been living in Gillette with his granddaughter the last couple years. He’s 98 years old and still sharp as a tack. Please keep this wonderful man in your prayers.

We lost some more old friends and neighbors. Pearl (Evjen) Gerbracht, 97, formerly of the Prairie City area, passed away last Monday at Rapid City Regional Hospital.  Her funeral will be Tuesday in Sturgis with burial at the Black Hills National Cemetery.

Janie (Stang) Millett, age 54 of Belle Fourche and formerly from Reva, lost her long battle with Muscular Dystrophy Saturday evening at Rapid City Regional Hospital. Janie’s services are tentatively planned for Thursday afternoon.

June Hotchkiss’ sister, Mozelle (Johnson) Hotchkiss, age 87 of Mud Butte, passed away Sunday at the Belle Estate in Belle Fourche. Her funeral service will be Friday at the Opal Community Church in Opal with burial in the Opal Cemetery.

The families of these wonderful ladies have our sympathy.

The Harding County high school athletes were busy this weekend and thankfully the weather was better. The wrestlers spent Friday and Saturday at the tournament in Philip and both the girls and boys basketball teams played in Timber Lake on Saturday.

Slim Buttes Lutheran church held their annual meeting Sunday afternoon after a potluck dinner. Bill Johnson and Tom Holt were termed out on the church council and Brock Besler and Daren Tenold were elected to replace them. Reub caught Casey’s nasty cold, so he stayed home after he was done with chores and Bill Holt and Bill Johnson were in the coyote calling contest so they didn’t make it either. We haven’t heard how many coyotes were eliminated, but we hope it was a large number.

A while back Clark Blake sent me this global warming story from the Washington Post I’ll share with you:

The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulate, at Bergen, Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.

Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf-stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well-known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelt which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.

I apologize, I neglected to mention that this report was from Nov. 2, 1922, as reported by the Associated Press and published in The Washington Post – 95 years ago.

Dang that pesky global warming!

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