Monday, July 30, 2012

2012 72nd Annual Sturgis Rally, August 6th - 12th

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mick B. Harrison Paintings & the Deadwood Days of 76 Rodeo Poster Series

Images courtesy of Mick B.Harrison, they are copyright and digital media protected

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Mick B. Harrison and wife Noreen
“My paintings are inspired by people and places of the region where I live. I put a certain hardiness into each painting while keeping a fair amount of spontaneity. 

My style is slightly impressionistic in the American Golden Age of Illustration (1920 - 1940) sense. While artists of that period were considered illustrators, time has proven them to be some of America's most prolific and defined fine artists. I'm inspired by two of my favorite artists of that period, Harvey Dunn and NC Wyeth, both of whom studied under master painter Howard Pyle. 

Nearly all of my paintings deal with moments of time, those personal moments that pass quickly but are particular to the subject. My personal favorites are simple portrayals that
evoke a multitude of stories and emotions.

Enjoying a career that has spanned over 37 years, Mick paints from his studio near Belle Fourche, SD.
The Deadwood Days of 76 Rodeo Poster Series

An interesting historical activity is now completed and becomes a permanent display of the June 2012 opening of the Days of 76 Museum. 

Mick B. Harrison, famous Belle Fourche Artist, has completed his eight commissioned Days of 76 Rodeo Events Series Posters.  They were issued yearly, starting in 2003 up to 2009, then the final one in 2011.  At the end of this article, Mick shares a rare image presentation of the complete events poster series.  He tells me that the Days of 76 Museum and the Days of 76 Campgrounds offer poster copies for sale. The Museum offers a trimmed-down poster version and the Campground offers the full poster. How neat would it be to have a complete set of posters to hold as a collection? 

Mick agreed to a dhsclassmates interview that includes some artist details of the poster process, it spans this website article.

He is also a founding member of Artists of the Black Hills. Mick observed, “It was something I had thought about for several years. I thought it would be nice to have a forum for artists of similar abilities in this region to get together plus promote quality art in the area to a larger audience.”  A more extensive article about this Black Hill Artist organization will be posted soon on my website.

How did the initial poster series process start?
They were actually the result of brainstorming between me and Jon Mattson, Days of '76 rodeo committee member and the driving force behind the new Days of '76 Museum. He suggested we do something along the lines of old-time posters/panorama rodeo photos. With photos I took of the grandstand, crow's nest, etc. from the center of the arena, I incorporated past & present participants (generalized) associated with the Days rodeo, to include the Deadwood Stage, Belle Fourche Cowboy Band, teepees, etc. in the background.”
dhsclassmates has access to 4 of the posters on Facebook, I can see much of each poster is a repeat but each is an original painting.  I notice the sky is different and the repeat objects may vary slightly.  The center objects are all different, right? 
“The main focus of each is one of the events that take place in the Days of '76 rodeo.  

These recent four are not the actual rodeo posters. We did a remake for sales in the new museum gift shop using only the artwork, logo and slogan on an 11" x 22" size. At this time, this is the only four like this with plans to eventually do the other four in the future. 

The actual rodeo posters include the schedule of events and other pertinent info and are 17" x 25". They can be purchased at the Days of 76 Campground office.

How do you match the posters to a year? 
We started these in 2003 with the Bareback event, which is the first event in each rodeo. Each year thereafter the event was changed according to it's occurrence in the rodeo.”

How many years and posters? 
“The Events Series runs from 2003-2009, 2011. I've been doing the Days of '76 rodeo posters since 2001. The 2012 poster is out and shows an exceptionally high-bucking Saddlebronc in front of the Days crow's nest.” The crow’s nest is the elevated announcer’s stand.
What special interest objects did you add to the poster scenes?
I tried to include some past Deadwood characters or well-known person in the series so I sometimes placed them next to the stagecoach. Annie Oakley on the Bullriding poster, Poker Alice & Deadwood Dick on the Tie Down Roping poster, myself (in a moment of self-promotion) on the Team Roping poster. Incidentally that was the first year the Days of '76 rodeo promoted the Tough Enough To Wear Pink cancer program, hence the horseman with a pink flag in the background.”

dhsclassmates vividly remembers Days of 76 Rodeo Clown Benny Bender and his two mules.  He was a classic and their routines are well remembered by all that saw Benny, JoJo, and Cupid perform.  As noted above, Benny did not get painted into the Days of 76 Rodeo Posters, but there are rodeo clowns shown.  Mick did paint a tribute to rodeo clowns in 2003 called “The Clown Jewels”.  The original painting was autographed by the five depicted living rodeo clowns and auctioned at the Stockman Auctions.  The first print was also autographed by the clowns.

Duane Reichert, Jerry Olsen, Butch Lehmkuhler, and Steve Mowry, Flint Rasmussen

Mick also observed, “Having grown up during the era of the rodeo clown Benny Bender, his larger than life image left a lasting impression on me,” recalls Harrison. “When I was six years old I was lucky enough to be involved in a Benny Bender “skit” at a local rodeo, an event that I would always remember. So when the offer came from the BHSS Foundation to do a painting of contemporary rodeo clowns for their annual Limited Edition Series, I felt honored.”

He adds, “The Clown Jewels,” representing five outstanding and best-loved clowns, is a tribute to their lifestyle and profession but more than that, a source of pride for me - and that six year old boy of long ago.”

What are your general thoughts for the poster series? 
I'm very proud to have been a part of this series and the fact that the original art is now hanging in the new Days of '76 Museum where more people can see them is a bonus. The rodeo committee in Deadwood is one of the best around and is always a pleasure to work with, many having become good friends.”

Do you have comment on the final display of all the posters at the opening of the Deadwood Days of 76 Museum? 
The museum had a 'soft' opening in June 2012 and is planning a much larger grand opening next year so there will be a good deal of promotion at that time.”
One of the many things that impress dhsclassmates about Mick Harrison is his outgoing artist relationship that he has with friends.  How rare for a famous artist to share his talented painting process for works in progress and completed.  Each of his paintings has an interesting story and basis of why he paints them.  dhsclassmates also has  the pleasure to follow Mick on his Facebook page.

How do you define your unique relationship to interested friends?
While I do a very limited number of shows where I am present, I take part in selected shows involving my work along with other artists' work, locally and nationally. Website and word of mouth also.”

What is your process for painting?

I do thumbnail sketches first to work out the idea and composition, followed by a color pencil sketch for refinement and color scheme of the proposed painting. I use the color pencil drawing as a guide to directly sketch onto the canvas with a brush and thinned oil paint, usually pthalo blue or burnt sienna.”

You too can join Mick’s interested following on Facebook and become a friend.

Digital Images of the Days of 76 Rodeo Poster Series

Friday, July 20, 2012

90th Annual Deadwood Days of 76 ~ July 24-28, 2012

Nation’s best to compete in Deadwood's PRCA Days of '76

Award-winning rodeo and parade is July 24-28

DEADWOOD, S.D. (07-12-2012) -- The nation's best cowboys and cowgirls will be among the PRCA competitors who will converge on Deadwood for the Days of '76 Rodeo July 24-28. The award-winning event, which boasts a $200,000 purse this year, atttracts the top Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association talent from across the country.

Now in its 90th year, the Days of '76 Rodeo remains a favorite stop on the PRCA circuit. favorite. The Deadwood event won the PRCASmall Rodeo of the Year Award from 1998-2001, and has taken home PRCA Medium Rodeo of the Year honors each year since 2004.The Days of '76 committee was inducted into the PRCA Hall of Fame last summer.  These awards, voted on by the cowboys and cowgirls who compete, help bring the nation's best to Deadwood.

This year, Trevor Brazile, PRCA's current top all-around cowboy in the world standings and the 2010 all-around, steer roping and team roping champion, will return to compete. Brazile, from Decatur, Texas, will compete in steer roping, and will be joined by a host of other top all-around cowboys, including current PRCA world standings leaders.

The Days of '76 Rodeo kicks-off at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 24, with PRCA steer roping, featuring all of the top 15 steer ropers in current standings. This will include current world standing leaders Brazile and past world champions Scott Snedecor, Buster Record, Bryce Davis and Guy Allen. Based in Santa Ana, Texas, Allen has won Deadwood's Days of '76 three times and will be joined this year by more than 80 other steer ropers, including tri-state area ropers J.R. Olson, Ora Taton, Coy Thompson, Jesse Tierney, Paul Tierney and many other top Badlands Circuit ropers.

Slack begins at 8 a.m. Wednesday, July 25 and will feature eight of the top 20 PRCA cowboys in steer wrestling, six of the top 20 cowboys in tie-down roping and 12 of the top 20 team roping teams. Steer wrestlers include Todd Suhn and Dean Gorsuch, both currently in the top five of the world standings. 

Team ropers will be led by the current No. 2 team in the world – Kaleb Driggers and Travis Graves. All of the timed-event cowboys will compete again either in the July 25, 8 a.m. slack or the July 26, 27 or 28 Days of '76 rodeo performances. World Champion Kaycee Field and Joe Gunderson of Agar, S.D.,  lead the list of bareback riding competitors. 

In saddle bronc riding -- Deadwood's Days of '76 premiere event -- nine of the top 20 cowboys are entered, including Camp Crook, S.D.'s Jesse Bail and Quinn, S.D.'s J.J. Elshere, who is a past NFR average winner. Joining them are fellow South Dakotans Cody Taton, from Newell, and Troy Crowser of Whitewood -- who are also in the top 20 for saddle bronc riders. Cole Elshere and past world champions Chad Ferley and Jeff Willert are also scheduled to compete.

The bull riding will be led by past world champion and currently 2nd-ranked J.W. Harris of Mullin, Texas. Ardie Maier from Timber Lake, S.D. joins Harris and a host of other top riders in bull riding.

In barrel racing, top racers will compete in Deadwood, including top-ranked Brittany Pozzi of Victoria, Texas, and fifth-ranked Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs, S.D.

Virtually all of the top Badlands Circuit cowboys and cowgirls are also signed on to compete in Deadwood in order to qualify for the Circuit Finals, which will be held in October in Minot, N.D. 

Riding event cowboys at this year's Days of '76 Rodeo will compete on Burch rodeo horses and bulls, well-known throughout the area for their rankness and ability to buck. Burch will be joined by Sutton Rodeos, Brookman-Highland Rodeo Company and Terry Walls Rodeo.

Visit or call 1-800-999-1876 for more information on Days events, or for information on Historic Deadwood. For rodeo tickets and lodging, call 1-800-838-BULL (2855) or (605)578-7702.

Annual Days of '76 Schedule of Events

Tuesday, July 24 
10 a.m. PRCA Steer Roping
Wednesday, July 25 
8 a.m. Timed Events Rodeo Slack 

Thursday, July 26 
8 a.m. Timed Events Rodeo Slack. WPRA Barrel Racing Slack following Timed Events Slack 
 7 p.m. PRCA Rodeo Performance 

Friday, July 27 
1:30 p.m. Deadwood Main Street - Historic Parade 
7 p.m. PRCA Rodeo Performance 

Saturday, July 28 
10 a.m. Deadwood Main Street - Historic Parade 
1:30 p.m. PRCA Rodeo Performance 
7 p.m. PRCA Rodeo Performance  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

National High School Rodeo Association & 2012 National Rodeo Finals

What is the National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA)? 

The National High School Rodeo Association is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to the development of sportsmanship, horsemanship and the character in the youth of our country through the sport of rodeo. Created by Texas educator and rodeo contestant Claude Mullins, the NHSRA held its first finals in Hallettsville, Texas, Aug. 25-27, 1949. The NHSRA membership consists of over 10,500 members from 41 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia.

The National High School Rodeo Association is governed by National Directors (one representative from each state/provincial association). These volunteer board members are dedicated to the success of the NHSRA and the youth of North America. They also take the responsibility for the planning of the National High School Finals Rodeo each year.

The NHSRA, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, has a full-time staff that conducts the day-to-day business of the association. This professional staff is available to assist with sponsorship programs, answer questions and provide for the needs of the association's membership.

 What are the membership requirements? 

Students must be in good standing; not ruled undesirable for misconduct at school. Students must be under 20 at the first of the National High School Rodeo year, and are or have been enrolled in the 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade the year just preceding the National Rodeo the contestant is entering as long as they (minimum requirements) have made passing grades in 4 subjects or if carrying less than 4 subjects student must have passing grades in all subjects, even if they have graduated in the middle of the year or have attended school on half-days, they will be eligible to compete in National High School Rodeo through the National High School Finals Rodeo if he/she has not participated for more than four (4) years. Each State/Province Association may adopt their state/province academic policy for grade or credit requirements. Any student attending schools which apply to high school credits is eligible if he/she meets all other requirements. A graduate of High School is not eligible for membership of NHSRA after the completion of the National High School Finals Rodeo immediately following their graduating from High School. Students must include a copy of their current high school grade and age certificate with their application for membership in a State/Provincial organization.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

DHS1907 Commencement Views by Jerry Bryant

Jerry Bryant continues to share his Deadwood School history and artifacts.  

With the power assumed by me and Bill Beshara, we declare Jerry Bryant an Honorary Deadwood High School Member.  

He like Molly Frawley (Honorary DHS Member) continues to provide more active support to the memory of DHS than many of it's graduates.  

Thank you Jerry!  

Molly too for keeping Hank Frawley straightened out!

Friday, July 6, 2012

New Interpretative Sign for the Deadwood School Cannon by Michael Runge, Deadwood City Archives

Select on image for larger view

Sign Image courtesy of Deadwood City Archives, Michael Runge

Thursday, July 5, 2012

2007 All Deadwood School Reunion Proceeds Report by Reunion Chairman Bill Beshara DHS1955

Bill Beshara, Deadwood School Plaque, & Dick Dunwiddie
DickD comment:

Chairman Bill Beshara and his committee/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.

This is Bill's final report.  His committee also brought the Deadwood High School roster information up to date.  There were over 900 graduates still living at that time.  The working roster for the reunion was done on MS Excel format.  No one had the time to publish the roster or keep it up to date.

I think this report represents the above-and-beyond efforts that Bill Beshara always provides in his DHS Activities.  I think we shoud grant him the title Deadwood High School Class President, Emeritus.

DHS All School Reunion Scholarship Award

July 1, 2012

Dear classmates of Deadwood High School,

After the All School Reunion in 2007 there was a balance in the bank account from our reunion and the previous all school reunion. Talking to people during and after the reunion there appeared to be no interest in having another all school reunion so the reunion committee was left with making a decision about what to do with the money.

We had several committee meetings and came up with two possible solutions that we hoped would please all those involved.

About the time of the Reunion, Deadwood/Lead schools were starting a Backpack Program. This program provides food and backpacks for needy kids in the community that don’t have food at home on the weekends. So, our committee decided what better way to use some of these funds than to help kids in need. We donated $1,139.94 to this program. They were very grateful that we could help them get this program off the ground. Thanks to Karen Balderson for this idea.

That left us with $2,400.00 in the bank. After discussing several options, our committee came up with the idea of having a scholarship in the name of the “DHS All School Reunion”. The intention was to provide a scholarship to a student who is pursuing a Vocational Program of continuing education following high school graduation. A student selected each year from the graduating class would receive a scholarship in the amount of $600.00 toward tuition costs. It was set up for scholarships of $600.00 each for four years. Preference would be given to students whose relatives had attended DHS in the past.

The scholarships were started in 2008 and the last one was awarded this year, 2012. The scholarship for 2011 was skipped because we could not find a suitable candidate.

2008 Recipient: Frank Derby. Welding.  Western Dakota VoTech. Rapid City, SD.

2009 Recipient: Eric Quaschnick: Lives in Lead. Course of study is Auto and Diesel Tech. at Western Dakota VoTech. Rapid City, SD.

2010 Recipient-----Chelsee Jacobs: Lives in Deadwood. Course of study is Veterinary Technician at Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Tech. Denver Co.

2012 Recipient: Lauren Hoffman. Lives in Lead. Course of Study is Phlebotomy. Draws blood for a blood tests. Attending Western Dakota VoTech. Rapid City, SD.

Thanks to all who attended the reunion and I hope this meets with your approval. We feel that we helped serve the needs of young people in the community and this completes the 2007 Reunion efforts.

Reading the commencement programs for the last few years I found 
there are several graduates of DHS and many others that give money towards scholarships and commencement awards. They are to be commended. Our young people today need all the support they can get.

Bill Beshara
Class of ‘55