Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Betty Smeenk, John Teigen update, Newell Labor Day weekend events
I went to a funeral today for a lifelong friend. I don’t ever remember not knowing Betty Smeenk. She and Jack were friends of my folks and everyone I knew at the time. I grew up knowing her kids and they’ve all been lifelong friends as well. Betty was such a lovely woman. As a child I thought she was maybe the most beautiful lady I had ever seen and was awed by her. Even working on the ranch or at a rodeo, Betty always looks classy and purely a lady. She always had time to visit with a little girl and called me Janny, as many do who have known me longer than I’ve known them. Though I saw her ride many good horses over the years, when I think of her I see her on the gorgeous palomino “Bar” and I suppose I always will. Last fall I had occasion to give her daughter Elaine a ride out to the ranch and I had such a nice visit with Betty. I thought for sure I’d get or make the time to go back so we could spend more time looking at her albums and pictures. We always think there’s more time. There isn’t now. I’m sure glad I had that day though. I think it was a gift that I’ll always treasure. I got to hug and visit with her kids and many of her grandkids after the service. I again offer my condolences. We celebrated a life well and fully lived today.
John Teigan, Belle Fourche, S.D. roper and good feller, has had a rough summer. He has one of those every so many years, though I don’t know why he’d want to. In June he had a horse wreck at a roping in Nevada and ended up with six broken ribs and a compound fracture of his lower leg. They did surgery then and put plates and pins in to hold the bone together so it could heal. Recently, though, it was found to not be healing and there was an infection in the bone. He and Sharlet went to University of Colorado Health at Aurora to see doctors there and they removed the hardware and tested the infection to determine what antibiotics to use. He’s had two surgeries so far and is now in an X-fixator that holds his leg stable. He will be there for quite a while yet and will have more surgeries to remove any other bone that is a problem. He’ll eventually have a bone graft and then a skin graft surgery. He isn’t facing an amputation though, so that is good news. John is tougher than a boot, but this is wearing on him from the boredom factor. If you have his number, call or text him. If you want to send a card or note, his address is: John Teigen, c/o UCHealth Anschutz Pavilion, Room 862, 12605 E. 16th Ave, Aurora, CO 80045. Sharlet thanks for your prayers too. They are much needed for both of them.
Newell, S.D. is having quite a long Labor Day weekend celebration with some new events. On Friday, Aug. 31, there will be the popular Newell Ranch Rodeo. Calcutta at 3 p.m., rodeo at 4. Each team will have one woman, one kid under 14, one senior over 50, one hand of any description, and one mutton buster under 60 pounds. They’re taking the first 10 entries and it’s $100/team. Aug. 24 is the deadline to enter and you need to call Denna Lindsay at 432-208-4261 to do so.
Sept. 1 is the date for the 1st Annual Newell Bucking Horse Futurity at 2 p.m. It’s sanctioned with the World Futurity Association so top contractors can be expected. There’s $1,500 added for the contractors and the same for the contestants. Stock contractors can register on-line at http://www.worldfuturity.com Contestants can enter by calling Matt Mangis at 605-415-3462 or Cleve Schmidt at 605-430-7319. If you haven’t been to a bucking horse futurity, you’ve been missing out on a great event. This one should be a dandy!
Continuing the big weekend, on Sunday, Sept. 2, there’s the Coy Price Memorial Roping. You can enter at 9 a.m., breakaway is at 10, high school team roping at 11 and the open to follow. For info call J.D. Mutchler at 605-490-0343.
The big rodeo is on Monday of course! The day starts with a parade downtown, plus many activities all over town and at the park. The rodeo starts at 1 p.m. and will have all the classic rodeo events, including peewee barrels, calf and sheep riding, and of course, the World Championship Sheep Teepeeing. There’s no other rodeo quite like Newell Labor Day! I’ll probably see you there!
Well, that wraps up my circle for this week. I hope your haying is going well and that you’re enjoying this fast passing summer.
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Earl cartoon by Big Dry Syndicate for the Oct. 23, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News