Grand River Roundup

Temperatures were on a roller coaster this week, ranging from 9 below zero last Tuesday morning to a high of 52 degrees on Friday and then plummeting to -15 below zero again this Monday.

BETTY OLSON
Guest Columnist

When the polar vortex rolled across the country in the middle of the week record low temperatures were set all over the northern US making it colder here than it was in the Arctic Circle. So much for global warming.

  Taz and Reub went to Hettinger on Tuesday to get tractor parts and take Sage’s chop saw back they’d borrowed. They visited Sage and little Ellarie out at their new house Sage is building west of town. Sage has got lot done on it, but it will still be a while before Sage, Alaina, and the kids move in.

  Reub had physical therapy with Jacy Buffington in Buffalo on Monday and again on Wednesday. I had to take some Republican papers to the courthouse Wednesday afternoon and had some good visits with the courthouse folks. No mail was delivered on Wednesday because of the polar vortex, although it was colder here the day before.

  Taz and Amanda went to Rapid City for the Stock Show rodeo on Thursday and Reub and I went to Hettinger that afternoon for his appointment with Mary Eggebo. With all the medical appointments we’ve had the last two weeks, I’ve had to miss quilting at the church. Several of the ladies get together on Wednesdays and Thursdays to quilt and sooner or later, I plan to join them.   

  Friday was an absolutely beautiful day. So much snow and ice melted with the 52 degree temperature that Olson Creek in front of our house was bank full and running over. My laundry got dry on the clothesline and the chickens enjoyed the warmth so much that I got five eggs! Taz went up to look at how Bill Holt built his chute the other day and to see the new table Bill is making. Taz spent all day Friday working on the chute he’s building in the shop while Casey and Missy took the wrestlers to Pierre Friday afternoon for the Stanley County tournament on Saturday.

  We consigned our heifers to the Faith sale barn this Monday, but after hearing the nasty weather report for Sunday, Reub called Roger Gunderson to send us a truck on Saturday so we could get them hauled to Faith before the weather got bad. It was 50 degrees here that day and mud was everywhere. I don’t know who the trucker was that came to haul them, but he certainly understood how to handle a semi in the mud! He could have really gotten stuck with the loaded truck, but he was really handy and managed to get on the road without getting stuck. They couldn’t get all the heifers on the semi, so they loaded the rest in the horse trailer and Taz followed the truck to Faith with his load. Besides the semi not getting stuck in the mud, the other good news was that it was Groundhog Day and the groundhog predicted an early spring. After the freezing cold on Sunday and this coming week, that is really good news.

  Amanda took Taz to Rapid City early Sunday morning to fly to the rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas, while Grandma Missy kept the kids. It snowed here, but Amanda said it was raining in the Hills and was a lot warmer. She made it back home in time for church and the roads were good all the way home.   

  I just finished reading Jerome A. Greene’s book “Slim Buttes, 1876” for the second time about the Battle of the Slim Buttes that took place south of Highway 20 just west of Reva. The first time I read the book was when it first came out in 1982, but my book disappeared and I kind of forgot about it. Last year Kent Bergstrand called from Iowa to ask if I could show him the battlefield. I called Mark Lermeny and Mark agreed to take us on a very interesting tour of the battlefield that lays entirely on Lermeny land. Kent, who is a historian, asked if I had read Greene’s book. When he found out that I no longer had a copy, he mailed this one to me when he went home to Iowa.

  It’s a fascinating history of the 1876 Battle of the Slim Buttes and for locals, the most interesting part is Appendix D at the end of the book where Walter M. Camp wrote about the discovery of the lost site of the Slim Buttes battle for the South Dakota Historical Society in 1918. Old neighbors mentioned from this area were E.W. Laisy and Louis Jones who helped him search around Gill for the site. They didn’t find it in there, so on June 19, 1917, he enlisted the help of W.W. Mitchell and his son Irl Mitchell, Ephraim Gray, and Edgar Coffield. After two and a half hours, their search was successful when they found unmistakable evidence of the destroyed Indian village on what was W.W. Mitchell’s land at that time. I suggest that any descendants of the folks mentioned in Camp’s article who haven’t already read Greene’s book that you find a copy. You’ll certainly enjoy it!   

  This so fits our weather right now:

  It’s winter in South Dakota,

And the gentle breezes blow,

Seventy miles an hour

At twenty-nine below.

  Oh, how I love South Dakota,

When the snow’s up to your butt,

You take a breath of winter air

And your nose gets frozen shut.

  Yes, the weather here is wonderful

So I guess I’ll hang around.

I could never leave South Dakota

‘Cause I’m frozen to the ground!!