Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mountain lion crashes Deadwood woman's hot tub soak

Morning hot tub session turns into close encounter with mountain lion similar to image.

By Tim Velder, Lawrence County Journal Saturday, December 08, 2007

DEADWOOD -- Despite sitting in a hot, bubbling Jacuzzi on her deck Thursday morning, Marlene Todd froze. She had just eased into in the hot tub a little after 7 a.m. on the deck of her Spring Street home when she heard some rustling beside her. There was a mountain lion, crouching less than a foot away.

The lion must have been equally surprised. It was cornered somewhat because the deck stairs blocked its retreat. It would have to go up and over the hot tub."It just took a leap. It jumped on the side of the hot tub," Todd said. "We locked eyes, and it kicked off of the hot tub and ran away.

When it jumped, it flipped my robe into the hot tub."Todd immediately cut short her soak and wrapped herself in her wet robe, slipped on her shoes, secured the lid on the hot tub and went inside her house.

She summoned Deadwood police, who surmised that the lion was stalking some deer that were in the neighborhood. Police also speculated that the mountain lion was staying near the warmth of the hot tub on the frosty morning. "I didn't need caffeine this morning, I know that," Todd said.

This was Todd's third brush with a mountain lion in the past two years. The first time, she saw a one near her neighbor's car early one morning. One night in April, her husband awoke to the sound of their dog barking and looked outside to see something dash away -- something that left big cat prints in the snow on the front steps. Todd was shaken by the intimate encounter and the possibility she could have been hurt. "I'm freaked," Todd said later. "Now that it's said and done,

I've gotten a close personal look at a lion. It could have been way bad, if it would have slipped and fell in the tub with me. Todd said her husband was not home at the time, and she doesn't plan to go near the hot tub without a companion."I'm not going to go out there for a while," she said.

Todd said she left her office in the Lawrence County Courthouse early Thursday, wanting to go home before dark. Another reason Todd was so shaken by the close call is that she lives in one of the older neighborhoods of Deadwood. "We live in the city limits. We're in town, and this is the third time," she said. "I now know what a goldfish feels like in a bowl when the cat is looking at it."

You can contact Tim Velder at 642-8822, ext. 17.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

From Bob Heller another Vern Clark Picture



Bob included his own picture on roller skates too. The lady with Vern is unidentified.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Now you know . . .

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Vintage Theater Seats

The first picture is the Deadwood Theater around the early 1900's. This theater was across the steet from the Franklin Hotel and burned down in 1952. Do you remember the name of the James Cagney movie that was playing?

In the second picture, Martha and Ernestine (stage names) try out the antique theater seats that are in active use on the top floor of the Deadwood Masonic Temple Building. These seats were salvaged from another old theater (Bella Union?) on lower Main Street and are available for public viewing. The old stage backdrop from the DHS Auditorium was also salvaged, restored and installed on the stage that these seats face.

Picture Credits: The Deadwood Theater is from John Korneman. The seats are from Bill Beshara.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New - Black Hills Live from Rapid City Journal

See Deadwood news: .

Select "Home" and view many venues of the Black Hills Area.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Remember the "Good Old Days" of DHS Football watching??

You had to go early to stand next to the field or get a place to sit. Looks like Kay Roberts Neuhauf and Elsie Daniels Slack on front right. Rev. 1/14/08: The image scan is from the 1952 DHS Bear Log and is undated.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Al Neuharth interviews DHS Coach Burgess in 1954

Al Neuharth interviews DHS Coach Burgess for Radio Station KSOO after the 1954 Deadwood Bears won the heart stopping Class A State Basketball Championship. At this time, Al was publishing the SoDak Sports newspaper and trying his hand at sports casting on the radio. SoDak Sports went bankrupt and Al also gave up sports casting. Neuharth went on to build the most successful national newspaper the USA Today. Read Al Neuharth's story as a member of the South Dakota Hall of Fame .

Coach Glenn Burgess passed away a few years ago. He will be featured in a dhsclassmates posting in the near future. Glen and his wife Tiny attended the 50 Year Reunion for 1954 DHS Team and proudly held the State Trophy that is on display in the Lead/Deadwood High School at Lead.

The picture is a scan from the The Bear Log 1954.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

DHS seats as seen from a porch in Spearfish SD

Thank goodness some one salvaged these and others from the old Deadwood Dump at the Slag Pile next the Whitewood Creek.

Dr. Howe would wonder what happened to the DHS Auditorium he helped build over 70 years ago.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Proceeds from 2007 DHS Reunion - Great Job Reunion Committee!!

The final proceeds from the 2007 DHS Reunion were distributed to create four $600 Deadwood/Lead School District scholarships to be awarded over four years. Shown is the letter of acceptance.

Also $1140 was given to The Lord's Cupboard in Lead who administers the Backpack Program for the school district. Shown is the note of appreciation for the donation.

There are children in America that rely on resources such as free or reduced-priced school lunch, during the school year.

The BackPack™ Program is designed to meet the needs of hungry children at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations.

Backpacks are filled with food that children take home on weekends. Food is child-friendly, nonperishable, easily consumed and vitamin fortified. Backpacks are discreetly distributed to children on the last day before the weekend or holiday vacation.

The BackPack Program concept was developed at the Arkansas Rice Depot in Little Rock after a school nurse asked for help because hungry students were coming to her with stomach aches and dizziness. The local food bank began to provide the school children with groceries in non-descript backpacks to carry home.

In addition to providing nutritious food to school children in need, some BackPack programs provide extra food for younger siblings at home and others operate during the summer months when children are out of school and have limited access to free or reduced-priced meals.

There are more than 110 America's Second Harvest network members operating BackPack Programs in 39 states and Washington, D.C.

Nationally, members distribute as many as 35,000 backpacks each week. This program is the fastest growing National Program within our network. Within the last year, the program has experienced close to 100 percent growth. For more information about the BackPack Program, please contact David Blair at 312.641.6829 or at

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Don Clowser and the Days of '76

Don Clowser was a "self-made man." During his 89 years he held many jobs but is best known as historian, owner of the Deadwood Trading Post and a collector of art and artifacts of the American West.

Don's life-long connection with Deadwood, as well as with the Days of '76 , began when he first came to Deadwood at the age of 12, in the summer of 1926. While traveling through the South Dakota Badlands in 1926 he observed American Indians traveling in covered wagons on their way to participate in the Days of '76 Celebration. Don cemented his connection with Deadwood through his 35 year membership in the Days of '76 Committee, the organization he requested house and care for his extensive historical collection. See .

The Days of 76 Museum began as functional storage in the old rodeo grounds buildings of the Days of '76 wagons, artifacts, and costumes. See

It upgraded to longer term buildings in the 1970's and is now in the process of building a new formal museum facility. See

Monday, October 29, 2007

Searching for more DHS Cannon history ~ Rev. 10/31/07

The first image (courtesy of the Deadwood Magazine and the Deadwood City Archives) is a 1899 letter from the Commander USN Inspector of Ordnance to Deadwood Mayor Sol Star. It describes the pedigree of what we call the DHS Cannon.

The second is an obscure web source picture of captured cannons in 1898. The picture is an Spanish American War image in the Cavite Amory on Manila Bay, Philippines. I believe that one of the two cannons in foreground is the DHS Cannon. In a frustrating search on the web I think that the second of the cannon twins went to Fort Wayne Indiana and installed in a park around 1900 which is the same time frame as the DHS Cannon.

The general DHS Cannon history is well researched by Laura Floyd and documented in the Deadwood Magazine

Andy Gomez DHS47 is looking in the SD State Archives but has no leads yet. If anyone has anything to offer in this information and history search please let me know.

~~~ Carole Rypkema Hillard DHS54 always found time to stay connected to friends. Her Memorial Service this Thursday will demonstrate those she touched directly and indirectly. She found my cannon information "fascinating" but did not have time for research.

A classmate and close friend observed of Carole, "At this point about all I keep thinking is that she is on the biggest "adventure" of all. Just too soon!!! "

Revised 10/31 In her own words posted on her refrigerator Carole states "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely at Heaven's gate in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways... with a wine glass in one hand and a tennis racket in the other, body thoroughly used up, and proclaiming, "WOO HOO, THANKS GOD, WHAT A RIDE""

Friday, October 26, 2007

Report of 2007 DHS Reunion final meeting

The first Reunion Committee picture shows L-R, Karen Shackey Balderson, Sandy Gravelle Beshara, Jim Veitl, Hank Frawley, Roz's friend, Roz Stalder Purchase, Chairman Bill Beshara, Janet Chyba Thoresen, Marcia Moore Darland, and Carolyn Johnson Dirksen.

The second picture is L-R, Darlene Lester Thacker, Roz Stalder Purchase, Hank Frawley, Jim Veitl, Jan Chyba Thoresen, John Fillmore, Sandy Gravelle Beshara, Marcia Moore Darland, Larry Ryan, and Carolyn Johnson Dirksen. In this picture they are all stuffing reunion notice envelopes and putting on stamps. It took a full day for Bill to hand feed the envelopes through the address printer process. All the committe members put in allot of hours doing all the tasks to deliver a successful reunion.

The committee met yesterday afternoon in the Deadwood City Hall to finalize the business of the Reunion.

The major item addressed is the proceeds left over from the final accounting. It was decided to establish 3 or 4 scholarships to a worthy Deadwood high school student to attend vocational/technical school. One scholarship will be given yearly for the total number. The remaining amount will be donated to a school administered fund and process to provide food to needy children on week ends. It is known as the "Backpack" program and kids are given a backpack of food to take home for the week end.

It was also decided to pass along the DHS Roster to someone to maintain. There are some prospects so watch for update information in the future.

The Reunion Committee has done an excellent job and certainly have a Noble plan for the reunion proceeds that shows the DHS Spirit. If you have compliments or observations about the reunion to share please send them to me. Carole Hillard complimented the reunion committee in an email to me. She too recognized organized effort and "people power" (see post of her death that follows).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Carole Hillard DHS54 dies of accident complications ~ Updated 10/26/07.

Carol died peacefully today (10/25/07) at the University Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, said her son, Todd Hillard. After her accident and surgery she suffered pneumonia, a bacterial blood infection and a series of strokes, which claimed her life.

I will greatly miss Carole for the personal information and support she has provided to me and the DHS54 Class in recent years. She gave a "state-of-the-world" presentation at our DHS54 50th Class Reunion, September 2004. It was very thought provoking and timely. Notice of Carole's induction into the South Dakota Hall of Fame was the very first posted item on dhsclassmates in June of this year. Our DHS54 classmates are in shock and are sharing email of our loss of Carole. I took the candid picture of Carole as she pondered a question at the 2004 DHS54 Reunion.


She understood the risks of traveling to some remote regions, Todd Hillard said."She was not afraid of dying," he said. "She was afraid of not living."

In her last e-mail to her family, written after her surgery in Zagreb, Carole Hillard talked about her luck being able to walk out of the hospital despite nearly severing her spinal cord. And she noted the irony of her boat accident. "Ponder this -- I go hang gliding over Rio, sky diving with the Blue Angels, did a 300-foot bungee jump over Victoria Falls and I walked away with just a huge smile on my face. Last week however, I was thrown off a 3 foot step into the galley. I broke my neck (literally), broke 3 ribs, cut my face and totally blackened one arm. "So the question is -- are we not safer living the daring life?" she wrote. "Is it better to be bird than a turtle as we sojourn thru life?"

Hillard's body will be cremated and returned to Rapid City, where a memorial service will be held on Thursday, Nov. 1.

Memorial services for Carole Hillard in Rapid City will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center theater. A reception will follow.

Condolences, memories and thoughts may be sent to her family at .

In lieu of flowers, Hillard's family asks for contributions to:

The Hillard Mozambique Endowment
c/o Heifer Foundation
P.O. Box 727
Little Rock, Ark. 72208


Black Hills Children's Home Hillard Memorial
24100 Rockerville Road
Rapid City, S.D. 57702

There are so many comments and observations in addition to her last written words and life thought. The one that strikes me is that in the dictionary under "class" they should have a picture of Carole.

Here are the last emails I received from Carole:

~~Date: Fri. 27April2007 13:01:26 EDT

Subject: Re: 2007 DHS Reunion Committee

Hi Dick,

What great organization and "people power." You all are appreciated.

I h
ad originally responded that I would attend. Since then some good news-bad news events. I won't be in attendance, the reason being that I was inducted into the SD Hall of Fame and the ceremony is that weekend. Bummer conflict.

Carry on.


~~Date: Thu. 3May2007 19:51:40 EDT

Subject: Re: The DHS Cannon

Hi Dick,

I am back in Nigeria and will go from there to Azerbaijan for a State Department assignment. No time to research right now, but keep me posted. VERY fascinating!


For more reporting details see the following. The Wikipedia information is a fitting free world encyclopedia tribute to Carole's importance and passing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Remember the Exquisite Aroma and Taste of a Pasty?

Thanks to Janet Thoresen for pointing out this reference. She made some as directed with suet and she said they were great!

King the pasty queen
By: Jomay Steen, Rapid City Journal staff, 10/17/07
Contact Jomay Steen at

LEAD -- Bonnie King is the queen of the pasty. The Lead woman mixed, prepared and baked her first million pasties a decade ago and is now close to the 2-million mark.

It’s no surprise, then, that the Food Network recently sent a camera crew to film her and her husband, Wayne, as she made the culinary favorite of former gold miners and new fans.

Last summer, the “Emeril Live” film crew followed King as she went through the steps of preparing the pastry, peeling and dicing the onions and potatoes and cutting up the meat for a half-dozen pasties.

The camera crew stood outside of her pasty workshop, filming through her storefront window as she rolled out the dough at her worktable and added filling before sealing the pasty’s edges. “They had asked that I have a pan of pasties ready to come out of the oven as I put the other ones in to bake,” she said.

The switch was flawless, displaying the golden pasty with hot steam drifting from the vents made at its top. The tender pastry parted to reveal the hearty meat and potatoes lunchtime fare for viewers of chef Emeril Lagasse’s cooking show.

Although the Kings haven’t had any contact with Lagasse, they filled out release forms and were told that the episode would run sometime in November. The Kings are still somewhat bewildered how they became a feature for the New York City-based cable network.

“We don’t watch the Food Network, so we really didn’t know who Emeril Lagasse was,” Bonnie King admitted.But sample one of her fresh, handmade pasties, and it isn’t a surprise that the food show producers would come calling.

Over the years, the store at 622 E. Main St. has evolved from a food market to Kings Pasties, which supplies 150 to 300 pasties daily to area grocery and convenience stores in South Dakota and Wyoming. Opened in 1959, Wayne and Bonnie King’s grocery store, Kings Grocery, served the community.

More than 23 years ago, a newly widowed matron, Bessie Harrison, walked into the store offering to make pasties to supplement her income.

The Kings hired Harrison, a first-generation American with English roots, to come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays to make pasties at the grocery.

Harrison’s relatives came from the mining communities of England, where pasty-making was a traditional meal. “It was a mining traditional food for hard-working people. When her family moved to America, they brought their traditions with them,” King said of Harrison’s signature dish.

Usually, a pasty was made with a barley crust, steak, potatoes and onions. Along with a bit of salt and pepper, a pat of suet was used to add taste. For the most part, she follows that recipe except for the beef fat. For that, she substitutes margarine. Sometimes, carrots, rutabagas, other vegetables and even fish were added for a change of pace in other mining communities.

King said if people request gravy with their pasty, they’re probably from Butte, Mont., where copper mining was once its biggest industry. “Bessie used to serve hers with a chili sauce. I’ve seen people use ketchup, too,” King said.

But requests from a few regular customers inspired King to invent recipes for two breakfast pasties that include ham and cheese — a personal favorite — and link sausage and eggs. She also has incorporated Polish sausage and sauerkraut in another hometown favorite.

In 2000, the Kings closed their grocery store. At that time, they decided to go into business making pasties fulltime. State and federally inspected, they run a pristine workplace where they use the freshest ingredients which limit the shelf life in stores.

But the demand for their pasties keeps the couple busy. Arriving at their workshop at 6 a.m. weekdays, they begin mixing dough in a huge Hobart mixer that makes enough dough for 75 pasties at a time.

Wayne King does the meat cutting for the day’s orders. By noon, they’ve completed their work and shut down for the day. The long hours at their modest store helped them raise their four children, buy their business and keep plenty of gold miners happily fed. A good life, she said. Yet her children aren’t interested in making pasties for a living. “We need to pass the tradition on to someone else,” King said.

Miners fed on pasty folklore. According to Bonnie King, miners created plenty of folklore to feed on while enjoying their pasty. One superstition miners adhered to was a practice of breaking a portion of the crust from the pasty and leaving it at the mouth of the mine to appease the evil spirits. “The spirits ate first,” she said. As miners had big appetites and were apt to eat anything, it kept the devil away because he was afraid he might be cut up and baked into a pasty.

The miners also knew that they had a good pasty if they could drop it down a mine stope (an excavation made in a mine) and it landed in one piece. “If the crust didn’t break apart, it was a good pasty,” King said. ~~Want to prepare and taste this memory dish then see the following:

Pasty Recipes:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Interesting Story of Deadwood School by Dr. Howe

Dr. Howe's photo and the politics extract are from the book "Deadwood Doctor" by Dr. F. S. Howe MD (1876 - 1960). These are his words and a true story from a doctor who practiced in 1901 Deadwood, one of the last gold rush towns. He also gave to the community in many ways other than medical. We can thank him for being a part of 1922 vision to build a new school building that became our DHS home and was dedicated in 1924. The book is available from the Adams Museum .

Chapter VII of the book reads in part:


I got into Deadwood politics accidentally and stayed in for 19 years because I’ve never believed in backing away from a good fight.

In 1917 I was appointed on the city council as an alderman from the third ward to take the place of a member of the council who had left Deadwood. I was a member of the council for 7 years. During much of that time I was president of the council and chairman of the finance committee.

About 1922 the Board of Education of the Deadwood School District decided that our old out-dated building must be replaced by a new and modern building. In order to get the necessary public support to pass a bond issue, they called public meetings. For a time these public meetings were a regular love feast. It seemed the unanimous opinion that Deadwood must have more modern school buildings. George V. Ayres proposed that we ask for a $250,000 bond issue. That almost took my breath away, but I thought if a man of Mr. Ayres’ experience believed that was what we needed, who was I to oppose it? At a later and I believe the last meeting, W. E. Adams, who was then mayor, got up and said, $50,000 and not one cent more.” Being mayor and the leading citizen of Deadwood at that time, that certainly threw a monkey wrench in the machinery.

This meeting really became hot. The late Charlie Keene who was enthusiastically for the new school facilities immediately got up and shook his finger in Mr. Adams’ face and said, “What this here town needs is some first class funerals.” Then the fight was on.

Mr. Adams lined up the Homestake Mining Company, both the C.B.&Q and C.&N.W.R.R. companies, and Horace Clark, the heaviest individual tax payer and property owner in Deadwood. Needless to say, this fight really became bitter. When election day finally came around, both sides were getting out every vote that could be found. Late in the afternoon, I found that the then Methodist minister and his wife had not voted. I made a trip to the house and the minister himself came to the door. I said, “Reverend K_________, you have not voted yet. We need your vote.” Much to my disgust, the Reverend said, “This is nothing but a down and out mining camp. You don’t need any new school.” I told him that he should go and vote against it if that was the way he felt.

We finally won out by a substantial majority in spite of all the opposition. However, our troubles were not over. Chambers Kellar, the Chief Attorney for the Homestake Mining Company, decided to go to court. A committee of which, as I remember, was headed by me, had a conference with Mr. Kellar and he finally agreed on a $175,000 issue instead of the $250,000 issue. We had the architects draw up new plans and sold the bonds. The best bid which we could get was $3,000 under par. Mr. Kellar stuck to his guns and said we had to get par for the bonds or make up the amount. In short order we raised the extra $3,000 and the contract was let.

Our present school was dedicated in 1924 and it now seems strange that we should have had such a bitter fight to get modern school buildings with gymnasium and auditorium. Chambers Kellar afterwards became one of my very best friends and up until the time of his death I admired and respected him . . .

Dr. Howe continuted his fight and became Deadwood Mayor for 6 terms. I wonder what that deleted $75,000 would have provided in those days?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Carole Hillard Former SD Lt. Governor breaks neck in accident ~ SEE UPDATES

10/25/07 See notice of Carole's death above.

10/21/07 update:

Both Janet Thoresen DHS55 and Dave Klein DHS54 sent this information on Carole Hillard's DHS54 tragic accident. Since her term of office Carole has traveled the world extensively for the US State Department and is considered an representative expert on Democracy, voting and women's rights. You can contact her by email or snail mail at PO Box 9088, Rapid City, SD 97709.

News Post: Oct 15, 2007 10:03 AM

Former Lt. Governor Carole Hillard had a close-call, but it appears she will have a full recovery. The 71 year old broke her neck last week and is now recovering in a Croatia hospital. Hillard had been attending a conference in Turkmanistan. She had a bad fall on a sailboat and there was concern about paralysis. She was flown to a trauma center in the capitol city in Croatia.

Her sister, Joan Uhre, tells KOTA Territory News, "it's not close to the standard of care we have in the united states, but Carole had a good surgeon and the family is optimistic about a return of movement. "Right now Hillard is scheduled to begin the long flight home to Rapid City this weekend, to begin her long recovery.

We're told Hillard is in a lot of pain, feels isolated and bored and would love to hear from friends.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Martin & Mason Hotel ~ Deadwood's Newest Old Hotel Resoration

See the rooms:

Deadwood's Newest Old Hotel Restoration - The Martin& Mason Hotel

See the rooms:
See the restoration information:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Deadwood High School Song from Jerry Pontius

Pictured with Jerry Pontius DHS57 on right is Dick and Yvonne discussing the above historical item that Jerry put together. Jerry captured the original DHS Song score view and recording on a CD. It is a limited edition and is shown here to share the views with interested classmates.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bad Day Deadwood School Fire Sequence

The Deadwood Fire Department shared these images a few years ago. Here is a slide show, at the end back arrow to return to dhsclassmates site:

Monday, October 1, 2007

Look who the shoes belonged to!

"Tell me again, why it is you are in my office."

The schools today should have a cloned Mr. Krug. But then our whole DHS taught ethic went hand-in-hand with his "guidance." Mrs. Elsie Krug had a long term effect too and she lived almost 100 years. What do you think? Mr. Krug's photograph is from the DHS54 Bear Log. The captions says he is reading the stats from DHS winning the State Class "A" Basketball Championship but looks like him in his office.

The first photograph is from the DHS51 Bear Log showing the Krugs and the Mintons at the Junior/Senior Prom and Banquet.

Friday, September 28, 2007

DHS52 - 55 Year Reunion held September 6, 2007 at the Deadwood Social Club

Top Image: Most of the women who attended the Class of 1952 and friends dinner at the Deadwood Social Club Sep 6. It was a great to see so many of our classmates again.

Second Image: These are the men who attended the Deadwood Social Club dinner on the 6th.

Bottom two Images: Our Class Queen Sherry Snapp Blair (center), Attendants Gay Kent Bossart (left) and Doris Dunn Olmstead (right). Included are their photos from the 1952 Bear Log

Posted for Top Toppila Class of 1952

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dale Kirchenbauer Obituary

David Klein DHS54 reported today that Dale Kirchenbauer DHS46 of Santa Paula passed away on Sept. 14, 2007 see for details.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

NEW!! Reunion Images are Now Available for Web Viewing

View over 200 captioned images of the Reunion happenings and attendees. You do not need to download, just scroll and view. Many of the attendees are unidentified and some may be misspelled. Send comments to I will update the captions as I receive them

Viewing of images is available at . You can also play them as slide show on black screen. You can also view a thumbnails and select to enlarge. "detail" is suggested for the image sets with labels.

Photo Credits to: Don Gross, Bill Beshara, Flossie Wictor, Vince Gravelle, and a few of mine. More images are expected from Karl Moser and Morris Toppila.

Friday, September 21, 2007

DickD Editorial overview of the 2007 DHS All School Reunion held in Historic Deadwood SD

Chairman Bill Beshara and his committee and helpers of Janet Chyba Thoresen, Carolyn Johnson Dirkson, Marcia Moore Darlin, Don Gross, Jim Veitl, Karen Shockey Balderson, Roselle Stalder, Larry Ryan, Hank Frawley, John Fillmore, Dick Schlax, Yvonne Spaulding Hendrickson, Merno Stalder, Sherill Person Dunwiddie, Vince Gravelle, Dick Dunwiddie, Barbara Shedd Allen and many others helped to provide a best ever DHS All School Reunion.

Deadwood High School Classmates from the years 1935 through 1972 attended the Reunion events with well over 200 registered. Jim Sherman DHS39 announced he was the oldest in age but no specific ages were revealed.

Karen Shockey Balderson DHS58 also accomplished a DHS Roster update in a propietary database format that now includes 895 classmates that are still living. Classmate supplied information is still far from complete and for some is only a Zip code. There are no known plans for someone to make the roster into a publishing or web view format. The general Reunion Committee function ceased at the end of the banquet.

DHS47 had a 60th celebration/open house, DHS52 a 55th reunion dinner, and the DHS57 had their 50th reunion banquet concurrently with the All School Reunion. Celebrity entertainer and Deadwood native Gary Mule Deer attended with his Mother (see separate post).

The picnic and banquet dinner food was excellent with lots of buffet choices. The weather was sunny and warm for the picnic in the Deadwood City Park. The Gulches Banquet Facility was nicely presented and well staffed. The decorations committee headed by Janet Chyba Thoresen DHS55 provided a wonderful homecoming setting in the school colors Orange/Black and many thoughtful touches.

The Reunion badge names were familiar but many of the current faces are not. At both the picnic and banquet it was nearly impossible to get around and meet everyone as the time seemed too short and the discussions too lively.

I did not have a working camera so have to depend on others for digital photos. A large problem remains unsolved. I cannot identify many of the people in the pictures as the name tags are not readable on the image. I will try to provide a picture display link when I work out a process for the large number of images in hand and anticipated. Watch for future posting on this matter.

In summary, Bill Beshara DHS55 said it best in his email words to his committee and extends, in part, to all that attended:

“ To my esteemed reunion committee:

I believe that we had a very successful 2007 All School Reunion. It is very heartwarming to watch old friends meet and talk about old times like it was yesterday. I couldn't have been more pleased with the turnout at both the picnic and the dinner. As you might suspect, I personally had a great time, especially at the dinner. Put a mike in my hand and I am dangerous. It was difficult at times, but very rewarding and I will have memories to last me a lifetime. I sincerely hope you also had a wonderful experience.I want to thank each of you for all your hard work and participation. I know that it took time from your daily routine, but I hope you agree it was worth it.

As always

Bill “

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Celebrity Attends DHS Reunion

Celebrity entertainer and Deadwood native Gary Mule Deer attended the DHS Reunion. He is shown with his mother Lola Miller DHS?? and relative Ruth Miller. Gary also attended Black Hills State College for most of the 60's as a Freshman. One wonders why he didn't play the legendary Johnny Cash in the recent hit movie.

See website for his interesting career and funny film clips. He was raised in the Black Hills and got his first start in the Deadwood Buffalo Bar but spent most of his earnings in a pin ball machine. At the end of his first night Ruby took him to her establishment to entertain the girls and their guests. Funny first start story and history, too bad we only saw a regular person at the Reunion.

Inferno update

Dave Klein DHS54 just submitted this picture of the entrance to the Inferno he took on a recent trip to the Black Hills. He said it was difficult to find.

Looks like the passing years and surroundings have not been too kind.

Submitted by Bob Chyba

Bob Chyba DHS53 commented on book signing: Congratulations Yvonne.....your pics look good. I'd never recognize Dick. He grew up on the street in back of us and I was at his house almost daily in summer. His mom was our Cub Scout Leader. I started building a soap box derby racer and when school was out for the summer, I went to stay with my grandma and uncle by Yankton. Dick took what I had done and finished it. Won the derby in Lead with it and went on to the Nationals. In Akron OH I think. The town merchants bought the wheels and material for us kids and we built them in the basement of some bldg on Main St. The guy that was the overseer was Lyle Elwood. I remember he was the Postmaster and a nice guy. Funny I even remembered that.

~~~Dick D comment: Bob first meontioned Lyle Collins who is a nice guy too and is related to the Lee Street "Pop" Collins - Grab it and Growl. "Pop" hated Democrats so every Roosevelt dime he got went into the Slime Creek. Well at least some of them. A few years before "Pop" died he shared his recipe for Chili with me. It was in ingredient amounts to make a large "brick" of chili to store in refrigerator so that he never run out of chili. The first ingredient is lard which would really ring the trans-fat bell of today.~~~

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Yvonne's Book Signing

Yvonne Spaulding Hendrickson's DHS53 book signing at the Deadwood SD Adams Museum on September 8, 2007. She added personal notes to the books and the proceeds went to the Museum.

Dick Dunwiddie DHS54 arrived to purchase his signed hard back copy and enjoy the museum setting.

Friday, August 31, 2007

And the rest of a neat story . . .

Evelyn Hendrickson Bear Log 1952

A few days ago Jim Hennen DHS56 contacted me to see if dhsclassmates could help him find Evelyn Hendrickson who was a Junior in DHS52. Jim had just opened a old box of personal items from his brother Gene Hennen DHS49 who passed away a few years ago. In the box were a number of old DHS Bear Logs and one from DHS52 that appeared to belong to Evelyn and was full of notes from fellow classmates. To help Jim, I contacted Yvonne Hendrickson DHS53 who only knew that Evelyn was not related but left DHS in 1952. We looked thru the current class roster and found Chuck Hendrickson DHS56. Chuck verified that Evelyn was his sister and gave Jim her address. Jim just contacted me with the rest of this neat story:

“I just hung up from talking to Evelyn Hendrickson Reller. Chuck Hendrickson returned my call and gave me her address. He visited for a long time considering I haven't seen or visited with him since 1956. Evelyn is his sister. I called her and she was ecstatic to find out I had her year book from 1952. I will be sending it to her after the long holiday weekend.

She has been a widow for a few years and lives in Minnesota. She said that she and her husband were in Montana and lost their belongings first in a fire and later in a flood and all that they had in the way of personal memories were hauled to the dump as a result.

I apologized for having read so many of the cherished notes that classmates had written in her book but I told her of notes from Carlyle and a few others and she asked, "Was there one from a "Sharon"? I said, yes, and by comparing signatures I assumed it was Sharon Moore. That nearly left her speechless for a second or so. It seems Sharon was her close friend at DHS (a sister of Marcia Moore). Sharon passed away sometime ago but was one who Evelyn had kept in contact with for all the years.

Small world. Is this a neat ending to the search for Evelyn Hendrickson Reller or what!

Thanks for your help,”
Jim Hennen

Comanche at the Custer Battle Field - Revised 9/18/2007

Picture from the Kansas State Historical Society

Revised to add:

According to our exhibits director, a taxidermy mount is primarily of the hide on the animal stitched over a carefully formed manikin to resemble a life like pose. In this case (as with many mounts of the period) the Comanche mount also contains the skull, hip and shoulder bones and the long leg bones and hooves of the horse incorporated into the manikin form upon which the hide was stretched and sewn on.

The burial then must have been of the rest of the remains.

Hope that helps, -Jen

Jen Humphrey
Communications DirectorKU Biodiversity Institute
KU Natural History Museum

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


A large framed orginial print of this picture hung in the Franklin Hotel lobby for years. This is "Comanche" the horse which was the only living thing found on Custer Hill after the June 25th 1876 Battle of the Little Big Horn or whatever it is called today.

From Wikipedia 8/31/07:

Comanche was a mixed
Mustang Morgan horse who survived General George Armstrong Custer's detachment of the US 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
He was bought by the
U.S. Army in 1868 in St. Louis, Missouri and sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Captain Myles Keogh of the 7th Cavalry liked the 15 hand bay gelding and bought him for his own personal mount, to be ridden only in battle. In 1868, while fighting the Comanche in Kansas, the horse was wounded in the hindquarters by an arrow, but continued to let Keogh fight from his back. Thus the horse was named “Comanche” to honor his bravery. Comanche was wounded many more times, always exhibiting the same toughness.

On June 25, 1876, Captain Keogh rode Comanche at the
Battle of the Little Bighorn, led by Lt Col. George Armstrong Custer. The battle became famous when their entire detachment was killed. Comanche was found two days after the battle, badly wounded. After being transported by steamboat to Fort Lincoln, he was slowly nursed back to health.

After a lengthy convalescence, Comanche was retired and orders were given that he should never be ridden again. As an honor, he was made “Second Commanding Officer” of the 7th Cavalry. At
Fort Riley, he became something of a pet, occasionally leading parades and indulging in a fondness for beer.

Comanche died in
1890. He is one of only two horses in United States history to be buried with Full Military Honors, the other being Black Jack

His remains were sent to the University of Kansas and preserved, where they can still be seen.
Comanche is often described as the sole survivor of Custer's detachment, but like so many other legends surrounding the Little Bighorn battle, this one is false. As historian
Evan S. Connell writes in Son of the Morning Star: "Comanche was reputed to be the only survivor of the Little Bighorn, but quite a few Seventh Cavalry mounts survived, probably more than one hundred, and there was even a yellow bulldog.

Comanche lived on another fifteen years, and when he died, he was stuffed and to this day remains in a glass case at the University of Kansas. So, protected from moths and souvenir hunters by his humidity-controlled glass case, Comanche stands patiently, enduring generation after generation of undergraduate jokes. The other horses are gone, and the mysterious yellow bulldog is gone, which means that in a sense the legend is true. Comanche alone survived."

Email from University of Kansas 8/31/07:

Hello and thank you for your inquiry. Yes, we have the preserved (taxidermied) remains of Comanche housed in an exhibit on the fourth floor of our museum in Lawrence, Kan. He was preserved by naturalist Lewis Lindsay Dyche. You can read about our efforts to move Comanche from one exhibit into a modern one and see several photographs at

Jen Humphrey
Communications Director
KU Biodiversity Institute
KU Natural History Museum