Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: The blizzard, contact information for help, motherly advice
I think this is the hardest column I’ve written in a very long time. The devastation from the blizzard that swept through our region is still becoming real to all of us. Personally, I have been totally overwhelmed by the grief of the losses of livestock by the thousands and I’m sure others are as well. Also, personally, we didn’t lose anything in the storm, praise God, but know so many who did that I feel kind of guilty for even mentioning it. We’re not better managers or stockmen, we just happened to have everything survive.
The feeling of helplessness and needing to help someone, somewhere is so strong, yet at this point, it’s still nearly impossible to get anywhere to be of help. The heartache of the people who lost livestock, whether cattle, sheep or horses, is palpable. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you, and you have my deepest sympathy.
I have some big, stout saddle horses that I would be willing to bring to help folks do whatever they think I can. I’d need to borrow a trailer to haul them as I parked ours over on a bend of the creek to make a windbreak for some horses and it’s still in a drift and standing in about a foot and a half of water as I write this mid-week. But, if I can find a trailer, I will come. You can find me in the Newell phone book or through the office at this paper.
Betty Olson, state representative and rancher from the Prairie City country, is wanting to get documented information, names, and numbers compiled to take before the governor and the state secretary of ag and her number is 605-855-2824. This could expedite assistance, so it’s in your best interest to do so as soon as possible.
There are some good organizations trying to get things lined out to help and the South Dakota Stockgrowers is one of them. By now they will have information and numbers to call and they can be reached at 605-342-0429.
I have some early info on some fundraisers that are being organized but not enough yet to share here. I will let you know what those are and all the where/when/who as soon as I can.
One young ranch woman said that after days of trying to locate their cattle and finding so many dead, she believed that if adversity makes us stronger, they ought to be able to bench press a tractor by the time they’re done.
Another woman decided to skip going to a big barrel race finals she’d waited all season for and took her barrel horses out to the ranches and went to work helping get cattle moved and sorted. None of those cattle are hers, but, she just saw a need and stepped up.
So many are doing so much to help others and I am so proud to live in this area and know so many of these people personally.
I’m also impressed and proud of KBHB radio for their efforts and our local FOX News station, KEVN, for coverage of the storm and the livestock disaster. KOTA TV should be ashamed of themselves for their lack of coverage of the same. Also, thank you to Kristi Noem and John Thune for their good communication and efforts. If Mr. Johnson is doing anything, I haven’t heard about it. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
I don’t have a lot of news to share with you today, just seems that nothing is happening out there in light of the recent events. But, here’s a neat event coming up. The 14th Annual Girls Only Breakaway Roping at Double S Indoor Arena, Halliday, N.D., will be on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 10 a.m., MDT. There are age divisions for high school and under, open and for ladies 45 and over. Entries close on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. Call Lyle Gjermundson at 701-938-3382 or 701-333-9466.
The 7th Annual Cowboy Reunion will be held at Deadwood, SD on October 19. It will be at the First Gold Hotel with happy hour at 5 and a great meal at 6 pm. There’s a special room rate for attendees at the First Gold. Call Johnny and Sharon Holloway at 605-964-3088.
On the lighter side, there’s a bill before the House in Wisconsin that would legalize duck races. I’m sure in favor of that as all of those tiny jockeys have been needing to ride to make a living.
So, that’s my circle for the week. It’s been a long, sad ride and my horse is sure tired from all the snow and mud. Remember folks, you really need to talk about what’s happened and get it off your chest. Bottling up the hurt and anger isn’t good for your health or your mind, so talk to someone. Your spouse, kids, pastor, neighbor, whoever, but talk to someone. A good dog or saddle horse is a pretty good listener too. I’ll also listen if you want to just unload on someone.
Also, take care of yourselves and be careful. Don’t add another tragedy to the one you’ve already endured.
God bless all of you.