Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Frawley Ranch Development - Elkhorn Ridge Golf Estates

Click on image for larger view

This impressive new development called Elkhorn Ridge Golf Estates is situated on the historic Frawley Ranch. The Ranch is approximately 4,500 acres with 2,800 set aside as a conservation easement. It is near I-90, Exit 17 and close to Deadwood and Spearfish.

The Elkhorn Ridge development is approximately 1,000 acres - 400 is dedicated to open space and the golf course, the remaining 600 acres is master planned for housing, commercial and office uses.

Every feature of the property has been designed with the greatest attention to detail with their objective being to consider the needs of the entire regional community as well as respect their stewardship of this magnificent natural landscape in the Centennial Valley.

For more details click => Elkhorn Ridge Golf Estates

Hank and Molly are still living on their portion of the Frawley Ranch. They are very active and are now proud new grandparents!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Gail Williamson and Pat Biggs pose with Hickok at 2009 DHS Dinner

Photo courtesy Larry and Shirley Rounsevell

Wild Bill Hickok greeted many during the DHS Dinner, Sepember 12, 2009 held at the Deadwood Social Club, Saloon #10. In this picture Hickok poses with sisters Gail Williamson and Pat Williamson Biggs. Afterwards he joined their table for a longer conversation.

There will be more pictures in the future . . .

"Amazing Grace" by R. Carlos Nakai

The music featured on web site "J'ellen in the Black Hills" is world famous flute player R.Carlos Hakai. He is of Navajo-Ute heritage, Nakai is the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute. He began his musical studies on the trumpet, but a car accident ruined his embouchure. His musical interests took a turn when he was given a traditional cedar flute as a gift and challenged to master it. As an artist, he is an adventurer and risk taker, always giving his musical imagination free rein. Nakai is also an iconoclastic traditionalist who views his cultural heritage not only as a source and inspiration, but also a dynamic continuum of natural change, growth, and adaptation subject to the artist’s expressive needs.

Native Americans can be innovative and talented artists. I recently heard an amazingly beautiful hand flute of Jessie Lucas (WA Snoqualmie Indian Tribe). In the picture, Jessie is teaching my grandson's teacher Mrs. Williams how to do a hand flute. It is very difficult to do but with practice and ability the sound is similar to Nakai's sound. The Snoqualmie Tribe regards Snoqualmie Falls as its birthplace. The spirits of various resources of the Snoqualmie River valley and the spirits of the prairie upstream meet at the falls, forming a sacred site for seeking spirit power. The Snoqualmie Indians are few in numbers but are close knit and expressive people that have great pride in their heritage and beliefs.

I hope to do a future article that shares insight into Lakota Indian culture and beliefs. The Lakota, Indians are members of the family of the Great Sioux Nation of North America. They have a very rich spirituality and a deep respect for all life, visible and invisible. The word Lakota means "considered friends", or "alliance of friends". They understand and celebrate diversity.

~~~ On a sad note, J'ellen's web site today is dedicated to a young moose that was killed by poachers in the Black Hills. The moose was found shortly before he died. There is a $4,415 reward to find the poacher. This Black Hills Moose was amazing creature, please listen to

YouTube comment: I love this song, my name is Phenice Nakai and this was played by my uncle R. Carlos Nakai at my grandfathers funeral (Raymond Nakai). So thank you for doing this. The song brought back some great memories of my grandpa. Thank you and god bless you."


Thank you for the article about Nakai and another plug for my blog. :O) I find his flute music so relaxing and spiritually uplifting. Alice Gomez's too. And thank you for observing the loss of our poor little moose visitor.

As you know, hubby and I recently ate breakfast at
Colonial House; his 2nd visit, my first...they have superior breakfasts, to be sure!

Jann October 20, 2009

Georgia and Pat Lubisher (Hungerford) Report Quality Award for Beshara Family Business

Georgia and Pat Lubisher (Hungerford), both DHS classmates, report that the Beshara family has won a state wide quality award for the Colonial House Restaurant, Bakery, and Bar (non-smoking). Pat and Georgia's dhsclassmates' guest report article and pictures follows..

" Bill's Grandson, Max was most charming, he told us more about the award and the royal treatment they received. Georgia and I caught it on TV a couple of nights before we went down to Rapid--Besharas missed it but hope they have a copy of it by now. It talked about the Beshara family and also the fact that everyone who works for them is considered "family", it was nicely done."

Award history and description . . . the South Dakota award of Excellence in Family Business recognizes the successes of exemplary family businesses from their rich heritage and strong values to their community involvement. Each year for the past 16 years, the Prairie Family Business Association presents the regional award to families whose businesses have successfully transitioned from one generation to the next.

DHS classmates Bill and Sandy Beshara and Family, transitional owners and operators of the Colonial House Restaurant and Bar in Rapid City, have won the 2009 statewide award. The award is named for the late owner of the Hotel Alex Johnson in Rapid City.

The Beshara family has operated the Colonial House on Mount Rushmore Road since 1981. They have created a new menu cover, see => Colonial House Menu ~~~~ Be sure to listen to the Bob and Kevin's sound clips!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

News items on dhsclassmates web site articles in work

~~~Last Friday, I submitted the nomination of Mattie Hill to the 2010 Deadwood Wall of Fame for Inductee consideration. Kevin Kuchenberger, the Historic Preservation Officer for Deadwood, has a copy of our Mattie Nomination. The final copy has been signed by Clifford & Georgia Melrose (Mattie's Grandson), Dr. Lilah M. Pengra (Author & Historian) and myself. Kevin is submitting the nomination to the review committee today October 13, 2009. Wall of Fame Inductees will be picked next June for an Inductee Ceremony in October 2010.

The nomination requirements are: "The Wall of Fame Awards represents a step forward in recognizing Deadwood's diverse historical figures. Each year the Historic Preservation Office along with the City of Deadwood will honor a number of citizens from the colored past that help shape the landscape of Deadwood. These citizens will include businessmen, historic characters and people that just made life in the town more colorful"..

Hartshorn College early campus on the Bowe Plantation in Virginia. Mattie Hill attended this college.

~~~ When I first wrote the article about Coach Stewart Ferguson on June 10, 2007, I made reference to the Ferguson history booklet. The booklet was actually the nomination information for Coach Ferguson into the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame. The nomination also made references to memoirs that Coach Ferguson had written. For over two years, I have been trying to find these memoirs and talking with Edna Ferguson Robinson. She said I could get a copy but she would have to find them in her Deadwood house. Edna recently died so I took my quest to family members. I have located the original with a nephew and he is willing to share information. It is 400 type written pages.

I hope to be able to write something of Coach Ferguson's personal view of our years at Deadwood High School.

Also see article about son Freddy Ferguson.

J’Ellen of the Black Hills visits Hank Frawley Ranch and Buster’s Herd

Hank Frawley with Buster on the right
Photo Credit to J'Ellen of the Black Hills - Special Thanks . . . Jann!!

Fellow Blogger, Jann Gam took Hank Frawley's invitation to tour his ranch in the Centennial Valley next to the Deadwood Exit 17 on I-90. Hank also has a herd of buffalo headed up by Buster. Jann got some great photos even with Buster nosing around :)

One of Jann's many photo interests are critters, especially buffalo. Jann provided some unique educational photos for a buffalo segment of a Elderhostel Education Program presentation by Dr. Lilah Pengra recently.

See Jann's ranch article, click =>Frawley Ranch & Buffalo. Also see her full web site, click => J'Ellen of the Black Hills. Keep paging back through "older posts" to see and enjoy an amazing range of quality photos.


Thanks Dick, very nice write up! I had a lot of fun hanging out for a little while with Hank and Buster's herd, despite the cold weather. I didn't meet Hank's wife, but maybe next time. Thanks again so very much for helping make my visit to the Frawley Ranch happen!

Jann October 11, 2009


Hi Dick and Jann

You were not kidding when you said "up close"!! When I first saw Buster's face sticking into the truck,, I really wasn't sure if he was ....real...... until I read on and realized that Hank really does have an "up close and personal" relationship with his herd. What a wonderful opportunity of a lifetime for Jann to be able to get so close to them and to even touch them!!

It would be interesting to hear some of the experiences Hank has had with his buffalo herd. I wonder what that feels like to have a herd of buffalo running towards you! As I remember seeing buffalo from a distance years ago.......they are "pretty big guys"!!

Thanks to Hank and to Jann for braving the cold SD weather to take these great photographs and to Jann for sharing all of her beautiful work, and also to you Dick for helping to make it happen.

Peggy October 13. 2009


Great pics. Love the buffalo.

KayN October 13, 2009


Dick, Loved the photo of Hank and “B u ster”. Did he raise this big g u y from a calf and is that why he is so friendly? I notice hank is staying in the tr u ck however.

Yvonne, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Artists of the Black Hills

This is a truly pleasant site that presents the fine artists of the Black Hills of today. There are many Signature Artists, Galleries, and Associated links . . . take your time!

Click and enjoy => Artists of the Black Hills

Friday, October 2, 2009

Gary Mule Deer tells how he launched his career in the Deadwood Buffalo Bar

Select images for larger view
~~also see music selection in right column~~

Gary Mule Deer attended the 2007 All DHS Class Reunion in Deadwood September 2007.

Shown here with his Mother Lola Miller on left and Pat Lubisher Hungerford on right.

Gary Mule Deer is an American comedian and country musician. During a career spanning five decades, he has performed on every major concert stage in the country, and made over 350 television appearances, including many on both The Tonight Show and The Late Show With David Letterman. He was one of six comedians, along with Jay Leno, to star on the first HBO comedy special "Freddie Prinze and Friends", was the co-host of Don Kirshner's Rock Concert for four years on NBC, a regular on Make Me Laugh, and a frequent judge on the Gong Show. He had over 100 appearances on The Nashville Network, including the last two years as a cast member on Hee Haw. He appeared in films such as Annie Hall', Up In Smoke and Tilt." He is currently featured on the DVDs "Jeff Foxworthy's Comedy Classics and "The World's Greatest Stand-up Comedy Collection" hosted by Norm Crosby. He also has a "Gary Mule Deer Live" CD of his comedy and music. Gary is currently one of the most played comedians on the Clean Comedy Channels of both Sirius and XM Satellite Radio.

Gary Miller was born in Deadwood and raised on a cattle ranch in Spearfish, in the Black Hills of South Dakota. After high school, along with bow hunting (one of his comedy acts) and fishing, Gary attempted to further his education at local Black Hills State University, and also worked as a painter, bartender, bellman, bakers assistant, fishing guide, vacuum cleaner salesman, plumbers assistant, and owner and operator of the local movie theater before deciding that show business appeared to be the ideal job to get into because he could sleep late. Besides, after six years he was still a freshman. He changed his surname to Mule Deer in 1970.

After one guitar lesson, Gary learned about 30 Johnny Cash and Buddy Holly songs in 10 days and in the Key of E. He then combined them with some deadpan humor, influenced by his comedy hero Jack Benny. Within a few weeks he was entertaining in the local bars around the Black Hills.

After a short stint with partner Dennis Writer in The Black Hills Two, Gary, along with four other musicians then formed a rock and roll band called "Gary Miller and the Vaqueros". The band suddenly found themselves opening for some famous rock and roll bands like The Crickets, Jerry Lee Lewis, and The Everly Brothers. Gary and the Vaqueros also found themselves making one night stop-overs at The Spearfish Park Pavilion!!

The Vaqueros got together in 1961 behind Gary Miller from Spearfish where he was a student at Black Hills Teachers College. The rock band was put together and named themselves from the hit song "Vaquero" by the Fireballs. The earliest members came out of the group were Larry Bell and the Continentals. They were Doug Erickson, Jimmy Anshutz and Jackie Robinson. Jimmy and Jackie were soon replaced with Duane Stroller, a Nashville steel guitar and bass player who, just out of the Air Force, came to Spearfish to attend Black Hills State Teacher's College. Denny Fredrickson from Lead, SD joined the group along with Laurie Zapf of Spearfish.

The Vaqueros played at the Franklin Hotel Gold Bar and the Old Style in Deadwood, the Lead Pavilion, Docs Place in Newcastle, WY, community halls in western SD and eastern WY, dances in Rapid City and the Rapid City Auditorium. They opened for The Champs, The Ventures, Buddy Holly's Crickets, and Gary U.S Bonds at the Spearfish Pavilion.

The Vaqueros had an original song, "Whitewash" that was a hit at their concerts but unfortunately never made it to vinyl. Some of Gary Mule Deer's best memories are getting up and singing "Summertime Blues" and "Mule Skinner Blues" with The Ventures, The Crickets, and Jerry Lee Lewis when they were in town. He also sang "Mule Skinner Blues" with Myron Lee and the Caddies whenever they played the Spearfish Pavilion.

Later on in his career Gary and his roommate, Steve Martin, began to write what would be the basis of their comedy acts for years to come, making them two of the most avant-garde comics around, with their off-the-wall prop humor, combined with Gary's guitar and Steve's banjo music.

Gary's career is still going strong. The Spearfish landmark Miller Barn is bright red and still stands on the family property east of the entrance to the Spearfish Canyon. His bio says he lives in Spearfish SD. His latest music release with the Duck and Cover Band is shown below and how to access his web site.