We got a lot of rain this week - a total of an inch and 70 hundredths in two separate rains Saturday night and Monday here at the ranch, and Buffalo got even more than we did.
The Tipperary arena was in good shape for the rodeo events on Saturday, but after it rained the arena was a soupy mess all day Sunday and Monday. Thankfully all that mud made for some soft, soggy landings and we didn’t have to haul anyone off in the ambulance.
The weather has really cooled off. It was 34 degrees here Friday morning and we heard from some of our neighbors that it was cold enough to leave frost on their windshields and nip the tomatoes.
The Labor Day celebrations last weekend were very entertaining, even if they were awfully damp. I was on ambulance duty at the rodeos in Buffalo on Saturday and Sunday. There was an all school reunion in Harding County so the various classes held class reunions all over Buffalo over the weekend.
Sunday evening there was a fundraiser for the Harding County Museum at the Lions Club Civic center and they showed the movie that Tex Fletcher filmed at the Mackey ranch back in the 1950s.
Speakers for the evening were Nick Mackey and his sister, Susie Ostenson, Don Hett, Delbert Blume, Bill Vroman, Dave Junek, and yours truly.
Nick, Susie, Don, and Delbert all had family members involved in the horse roundup in the movie and Reub’s cousin Sam Olson, who was 18 at the time, was the featured saddle bronc rider in the movie.
Tom Johnson sang four songs that Tex had written about Harding County, Bill Vroman told us about his harrowing drive home to the ranch from Belle Fourche in a terrible snowstorm when he was a young man, Dave Junek told some hilarious stories about his country school experiences down at Redig, and I told about Archie Gilfillan, author of the book “Sheep,” and the experiences of this east coast educated “Phi Beta Kappa gone wrong” who herded sheep back in the 1920s for Al Dean in Harding County.
Al Dean was the father of Mary Jewel Ledbetter and Hoadly Dean and they ranched where Derek Lermeny and his family live now.
Frank Goodell sent me a copy of “Sheep” for the museum that had been autographed by Gilfillan and I handed the book over to Sammi Ginsbach that evening. Frank is the son of Harry Goodell, a friend of Archie Gilfillan’s, who taught school in the Slim Buttes and later was editor of the Western Call newspaper in Reeder.
The Labor Day parade in Eagle Butte was Monday morning so I got up early and drove over there to participate.
I was a little early so I got to have a long visit with Al Aberle and we solved a lot of the world’s problems.
Al knows a lot of people from this area and was interested in the fact that Father Dan Juelfs and Father Kerry Prendiville grew up just north of our ranch.
I also got to help Charles Wallowing Bull and his daughters, Raven and Cheyenne, decorate their float for the parade. They’re from Madison and participate in a lot of pow wows and parades. The week before they attended the pow wow at Rosebud.
While Charles drives the float through the parade, Raven and Cheyenne put on their jingle dresses and dance beside the float through the whole parade route. Pretty talented girls!
Janie Millett is doing better. She has been released from the hospital and moved to the new house she and Mark bought in Belle Fourche.
Iver Heier is in Atlanta, Ga., taking radiation treatments. His address is: Hope Lodge American Cancer Society, 1552 Shoup Court room 216, Decatur, GA 30033. He’s feeling pretty good, but is getting bored and he’d love to hear from you.
Please keep Janie and Iver in your prayers.
We heard that our old friend Jack McCulloh passed away early Saturday morning. Jack was the executive secretary of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association for 35 years, retiring in 1993.
Jack was a great asset to the beef industry. He was also a very knowledgeable historian and enjoyed coming on some of our Harding County Historical Society tours. I was privileged to join Jack and the late Bob Lee on a history tour of Gen Custer’s route through the Black Hills several years ago. Jack’s funeral was this Monday in Rapid City. Our sympathy goes out to his family.
The Harding County football team had another good game Friday. Since the football field in Buffalo still needs some work, we hosted Hill City at the football field in Newell. I think the score was Harding County 36 to 18 over Hill City.
A second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, was beheaded by ISIS this week. The terrorist group has taken over most of Iraq and formed an Islamic State. ISIS still has more Americans in its blood-stained hands and is willing to butcher more innocents in the name of its perverted cause. The world can no longer turn a blind eye. Whether or not the Commander-in-Chief leaves these terrorists alone, it is high time that a strategy is formed to defeat them.
On a lighter note, Dave Kurth sent me a copy of the threat the Islamic terrorists released before they started beheading Americans:
This morning ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood warned the United States that if the United States continued meddling in Iraq, Libya, and other potential hot spots in the Middle East, they intend to cut off America's supply of 7-11 and Motel 6 managers.
If this action does not yield sufficient results, cab drivers will be next, followed by Dell, AT&T and AOL customer service reps.
Finally, if all else fails, they have threatened not to send us any more presidents either.
It's gonna get ugly, people.