Monday, February 25, 2008

Email Note and Important Comments

I am posting these items because they are important. It is very touching to have Verne Clark's daughter Vickie add comments to the dhsclassmates site. As more DHS Classmates send/share contributions and submit comments the site will be a richer effort. I agree with Vickie as to the wish that life was as simple and wonderful as back then. ~~DD

Email Note: Good bunch of Bears!

Photo 8 Sep 07-015 is: Morris Toppila (Class of '52) and his better half Jerry Clauser Toppila (Class of '56).

Good job you are doing.

Morris and Jerry Toppila 2/20/08

Comment on post "dhsclassmates Contributor Bob Heller" : ”Very nice and nostalgic to see this site that Bob put together. Brings back good memories of Deadwood and the Black Hills”. . . Vickie Clark Rafael 1/22/08

Comment on post "The Prince of Music ~ Laverne "Vern" Clark" : ”I am so touched by people's remembrances of my father over the years of his long career. Of course I remember him as a man who loved music above all else a person could pursue in life and his family and friends as well. At any rate, it's nice to hear so many fond memories. I remember him as the Dad who took me camping at Pactola Lake in those great summers in the 60's in the"vivace", the speedboat he won in Bob's Conoco contest back when I was just a little thing! He and my Mom were such good parents and that was a very good time. I wish life was as simple and wonderful as it was back then. But meanwhile ,thanks for the memories”. . . Vickie Clark Rafael 1/22/08

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Marcella Wells passes away at age 93

Thanks to contributors Dave Klein and Yvonne Hendrickson . . .

Marcella Wells

RAPID CITY - Marcella Wells, 93, Rapid City and formerly of Deadwood, died Thursday, Feb. 14, at Fountain Spring Health Care in Rapid City. She is survived by one son, Stanley T. Wells, Kasilor, Alaska; and three daughters, Nancy Roth, Rapid City, Darlyne Merkel, Grand Junction, Colo., and Linda Wells, Sturgis. Arrangements are pending with Aldinger Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Spearfish. Published in the Rapid City Journal on 2/15/2008.

~~~Marcella was receeded in death by her husband Cleo Wells in 1979. Cleo was a Mortician and they run the Wells Funeral Home in Deadwood. They bought my mother's pottery shop building next to the Forest Service Building on Sherman Street in the 1950s and built a new Funeral Home. They both were very active in the community. Following is a fuzzy enlargement of Cleo in 1951. I hope to have an update to this post in near future.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

"Freddy" Ferguson, Fergie's Son by Contributor Bob Heller

"Fergie" and son Freddy from DHS Bear Log 1954. Their faces are not visible in Bear Log either. It is a familiar sight and neat memory in any case. ~~DD

From Bob Heller




Thursday, February 7, 2008

Elain and Perry Casteel's Tri-Star Winery News

Elaine (Elaine Fish DHS55) and Perry Casteel (DHS53), seen here, of Tri-Star Vineyards & Winery have joined forces with Lynchburg Cake and Candies to introduce the latest unique treat from this region - Tennessee Wine Drops.(T-G Photo by Brian Mosely)

TIMES GAZETTE, Shelbyville, Tennessee ~ Thursday, February 7, 2008 ~by Brian Mosley

A Tennessee treat is now available to the public due to two local companies combining their efforts to spread the taste of the region nationwide.

Tri-Star Vineyards and Winery on Scales Road near Halls Mill has joined forces with Lynchburg Cakes and Candies to produce Tennessee Wine Drops, a candy that winery owners Perry and Elaine Casteel hope will catch on.

Lynchburg Cakes and Candies has already had great success with its Whiskey Cakes, which went into high demand after they were featured on the Food Network and "The View" on several occasions. Billy Thomas, who formed the cake company in his back yard, has been doing a booming business for the past two years.

Thomas already makes Whiskey Drops and Whiskey Ball. Elaine Casteel said she and her husband have wanted to do something like this ever since they started the winery 13 years ago, and with Thomas just in the next county, they finally found someone to put their wine into candy.

The wine goes in the center of the chocolate candy, which is also full of pecans. The candies come in two flavors, Cherry and Chancellor, based on two of Tri-Star's 18 wine varieties. Tri-Star raises is own grapes and muscadines and buys fruits for its other fruit wines.

Elaine Casteel said if the first two candy varieties are well-received other varieties of wine may be turned into candy as well.

Perry Casteel said there is a fine balance to make sure that the wine doesn't overpower the candy. "We're going to be experimenting with that over the coming months," he said.

The drops are available from both Lynchburg Cakes and Candies and from Tri-Star, although Elaine Casteel said that Thomas' fame will likely help introduce the product. Thomas will do most of the shipping and sales of the new candy, because just operating the winery takes much of the Casteels' time and effort.

In the rear of the building is the winery itself, which the Casteels say is one of the smallest in Tennessee. Picking starts in late July and continues until the freeze starts in November. They will pick about 300 to 400 pounds of grapes in the mornings out of the five acre vineyard and then crush and destem them.

Then they transfer the juice to barrels, add some sugar and yeast and let nature begin the fermenting process. After about five days, the get the color they want. The wine is then transferred to another barrel with an airlock that keeps oxygen out while letting carbon dioxide escape as the yeast turns the sugar into alcohol.

By the end of the year-long process, the wine is ready to bottle, which is done on site. The winery sells about 5,000 to 6,000 bottles a year.

"We're really hoping that the candies will take off and become an extension of our wines," Elaine said.

The wine drops can be ordered from either or . Until the web sites are updated email Casteel's at

~~See also news article