This was a busy week. The guys started it off working the cows on Monday. Jace Jenson came down to help Taz AI the cows. Lanie and her kids came down from Dickinson so they could go to the Hackamore branding the next day. Amanda fed the whole crew at her house at noon. We missed the Hotchkiss branding because of all the work here, but mostly I missed June’s doughnuts!
Tuesday was the beginning of the summer social season around here with Doug and Clint Doll’s branding at the Hackamore ranch, which is always a big event. The big boss man, Doug Doll, won the fashion contest this year wearing a shiny, bright red tuxedo that his sister Blink Byers had bought for him to wear to the branding. Most all of the guys sported colorful neckties with very colorful shirts and jackets, except for Neil Whitmer. This was Neil’s first branding at the Hackamore and he hadn’t gotten the message about the dress code. Connie and Lynn Weishaar weren’t there because they were down south visiting their daughter Jodi and her family. The school board election was also on Tuesday and this year we had to drive clear to Ludlow to vote instead of voting in Ralph like we usually do.
Our community suffered a heartbreaking tragedy this Wednesday when 17 year old Jaxon Klempel was killed in a vehicle rollover on his way home from a branding. Jaxon is the son of Erin and Josh Klempel from Reva and was an absolutely wonderful kid. Our hearts are broken for the Klempel and Lermeny families.
We just recently heard that Muriel (Madsen) Sabo, 88, had passed away May 6 in Olympia, Washington. She was the wife of Clair Sabo who grew up south of Reva. Clair met her when Muriel, who was born in Timber Lake, was teaching the Jefferson School near Reva. Our sympathy goes out to the Sabo family.
Coyotes killed a lamb for us this week over at our east place. Our state trapper Bruce Bethea and the predator plane killed two coyotes over there and the guys moved the sheep home on Wednesday after they helped Bill Holt work his cows that morning.
Reub was planting alfalfa and millet at Glendo earlier this week and had me help him move to the fields near the highway on Friday to plant alfalfa and millet there. Trig Clark came Friday morning to shoe horses for Taz to get them ready for the big Matched Bull Dogging rodeo in Killdeer over the weekend. Missy and Amanda went up to watch Taz at Killdeer and Grandma Starla kept the little people. Sterling Lee, Trig and Casey went to rodeos in Elgin and Wing, ND this weekend.
The Pioneer Trails Museum in Bowman hosted an Open House and History Day on Saturday. The afternoon speakers were Clay Landry, an avid researcher of the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade history, who designed the costumes for the actors in the Hugh Glass movie “Revenant”.
Francie Berg from Hettinger gave a very interesting presentation about her book “Buffalo Trails in the Dakota Buttes” that provides a self-guided tour of 10 historic and contemporary buffalo sites in western North and South Dakota.
Doug Wurtz is the President of the North Dakota Archaeological Association and he spoke on the “Galvanized Yankees at Fort Rice, Dakota Territory”.
The last speaker was Dean Pearson, who spoke on the Historic Area Trails 1743 – 1891, which I found fascinating. Dean is an amateur historian and paleontologist who has spent the last 36 years researching local history, 28 of them with the Pioneer Trails Regional Museum. He has published many scientific papers on paleontology and has written a book about Fort Dilts.
I brought maps of the cattle trails from Mexico to Canada that went through this area to give to the museum. Ron Palczewski is working on the cattle trails through the area and he took pictures of the maps to use.
Jim Petik gave tremendous Gideon address at Slim Buttes Lutheran this Sunday about his trip to the country of Malawi in southern Africa. The Gideons pay for their own trips and share thousands of Gideon Bibles with school kids.
Thursday June 6th was the 75th anniversary of D-Day when the Americans landed on Normandy to liberate France with over 9,000 of our soldiers dying in the battle. Bev Heier’s father, Tony Kooiman, was one of the soldiers who survived that vicious battle, but so many did not. Buck Olson’s best friend, Reuben Negaard died in France in July and is buried over there. My father, Bryce White, who had spent three months “vacationing on the sunny beaches of Anzio” as he called it, was busy helping to liberate Rome in June with the 3rd Division. The 3rd Division was ordered to execute an amphibious landing in southern France in August of 1944 where they liberated Paris. Dad was one a small group of 3rd Division soldiers to be awarded the French Croix de Guerre medal for the liberation of Paris.
I’ll leave you with this:
Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 97, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.
“You have been to France before, monsieur?” the customs officer asked sarcastically.
Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.
“Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.”
The American said, “The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.”
“Impossible. Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France!”
The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, “Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn’t find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to.”
You could have heard a pin drop.