Flower show blooms abounded

Thursday, July 30, 2015

GARDEN IN MINIATURE — Patsy Grossenburg was awarded Best of Show in container gardens, a fairy garden, at the Evergreen Garden Club Flower Show last Saturday at the Boys and Girls Club in Hill City. About 180 entries in the show made it a great event for the garden club as well as the community. [Submitted Photo/WINSTON BARCLAY]­

By Carol Walker

It had the appearance of a garden party when Evergreen Garden Club took over the main floor of the Boys and Girls Club last Saturday for its annual flower show. Plants in front of barnwood panels set the atmosphere as visitors entered the building and blossoms enveloped those who took time to walk through the big room.

Small Town, Big Flowers, was the focus of the day and it followed the theme with 180 entries, the garden club’s best year yet. Included in that number were 28 entries by 14 children and 152 adult entries.

Judges Cheryl Rudel of Rapid City and Linda Markegard of Custer had their work cut out for them as they carefully examined many displays before them.

Best of Show winners in the children’s division were Gavin Nonnast for his train tablescape, Annalise Winter for her fairy garden and Lydia Moore for her floral arrangement.

In the adult division, Best of Show awards went to Tammy Glover in the flower category for her perfectly-formed rose, to Patsy Grossenburg for her container garden, a fairy garden, and to Kathryn Cleveland for her elegant tablescape.

In the Fix it, Repair it, Create it category, Gail Crane won Best of Show for her “Gone Fishing” arrangement. Those who attended the show cast their votes for People’s Choice, and Jim Norskov came out on top with one of his enormous hanging baskets full of blooms.

“This was our best year ever. It tops our show in 2010 when we had 129 entries. I am so grateful to the community for getting involved and coming to the show. I am guessing we had about 150 to 200 people who visited the show,” said Merlene Broer, co-chairman for the event, along with Kathy Rost.
Broer credits Rost and Winston Barclay for beefing up the advertising this year. According to Broer, when people were asked how they knew about the show, they said either word-of-mouth or the newspapers.

“We tried to get the word out this year that we wanted community participation. This was not just for garden club members. It was sponsored by the club, but it was for the whole community to participate in. All through the year, I talked to club members too, maybe even using a little guilt, to get them all to put in entries,” said Rost.

Broer said they got calls from Sturgis, Hot Springs, Custer and Rapid City, people inquiring about the show. Some people from out of town even had entries in the flower show.

Lori Nonnast brought in barnwood panels and Rudel brought greenery to make the entrance to the show inviting. They also suggested that the displays be put on a variety of table shapes in random order instead of lining up long tables which could make it look like a grocery store aisle. In the back of the room was a gazebo out of which guests were served lemonade and cookies.

“It was so nice to have Cathy Draine (Master Gardener who writes a column for the Rapid City Journal) on hand to give gardening advice to people. She is a huge advocate for our garden club,” said Rost.

With all the rain in the area this year, the wildflowers have been in splendid array and that was reflected in an uptick in the number of wildflower displays at the show. But there were also many potted plants, cultured floral displays, container gardens and a first this year — a mannequin decked out with clothing and flowers from new Hill City store, Doc and Alice.

“When we first started coming to Hill City from Iowa back in 1993, there really wasn’t much here, but then over time we started seeing gardens springing up all over,” said Rost. She said Evergreen Garden Club has been part of the equation in making this small town into an amazing place. Last weekend it was “Small Town, Big Flowers.”


Rallying for 75th Anniversary Rally

By Kacie Svoboda

“I knew 350 days ago it was going to happen and I’m still not ready,” said local business owner Vic Alexander when describing his preparations for the 75th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Many business owners seem to share his sentiment during these final days of planning for this big event.

Businesses have been organizing, preparing and developing ideas to entice and accommodate the wants and needs of the estimated one million rally attendees this year. The Hill City businesses most affected by Rally traffic have been stocking up, adding staff or hours and inviting vendors to set up at their locations.

Amassing product is one of the main concerns that retailers address. Most have a long experience with the Sturgis Rally, although this year’s larger expected crowd has left some guesswork to preparations.
For the 75th anniversary Rally, Alexander has stocked one and a half times the merchandise he uses for a regular rally at his Conoco and Exxon convenience stores.

According to Country Store at the Forks manager, Matt Lich, their restaurant and convenience store has stocked 70 percent more merchandise than the business commonly carries during the summer. They are especially focused on having enough fuel and beverages — ranging from soft drinks to beer.

The Bumpin’ Buffalo back stocks five times its normal amount of beer, which is the maximum it can store, and then relies on vendors to resupply. The restaurant also looks to streamline its operations during this hectic time by minimizing the kitchen menu.

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Keystone ramps up for Rally

By Bev Pechan

At the July 15 Keystone Town Board meeting, Pennington County Deputy Chris Plawman informed those present that the S.D. Dept. of Transportation (DOT) has placed “No Left Turn” signs on Swanzey Street to help the flow of traffic expected for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Winter Street (Highway 16A) will also carry new temporary signage to aid in the anticipated crunch. Plawman also stated his concerns about the bottleneck at the foot of the entrance to Keystone and the loading and unloading of buses near the 1880 Train Depot: “It is a safety issue,” Plawman added.

Further discussion revealed that 1880 Train manager Holli Edwards and owner Meg Warder have been in touch with Rich Zacher of the DOT to work on the long-standing problem. Warder noted that so far this year, over 5,000 people riding the train have spent time in Keystone on their stopover.

Plawman said he would like to see a current ordinance on the matter. Public works director Jerry Przybylski proposed erecting a loading platform at the Old Hill City Road and Winter Street junction on the south side of the road.

The board suggested talking to city engineer David Holland regarding the drawing of a preliminary plan for consideration. It was also noted that the city had not yet received payment for recent hail damage to city property.

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What will 2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally be like?

By Bev Pechan

Everyone I talk to seems to have a different take on what may or may not occur during the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which these days takes place not only in Sturgis, but also in towns stretching out for miles from the original location of J.C. “Pappy” and Pearl Hoel’s back yard. See, it started back in 1938, when Pappy and Pearl decided to have a few motorcycling friends over for a picnic and a scenic ride through the Hills.

Pappy grew up in the family’s ice business in Sturgis, but with the advent of the new-fangled refrigerator in the 1930s and a decline in the need for block ice, Hoel decided to look for a new line of work and, being a fan of the motorcycle, opened an Indian Motorcycle (Yes, Indian — not Harley Davidson) dealership on Junction Avenue in 1936.

A year later, he and his wife, Pearl, founded the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club and in 1938, the Hoels put up a tent in their back yard adjacent to the shop and served free hot dogs, sloppy joes, potato salad and watermelon to about 200 friends and customers and the first ever Sturgis Rally was born. They drank coffee and iced tea, not beer, and families were welcome.

Free camping was also allowed at the “Black Hills Motor Classic.” For entertainment, there were races on a flat track starring top national racer Johnny Spiegelhoff of Milwaukee. Jackpine Gypsy Tours took in the scenic beauty of the Black Hills with a stop at Mount Rushmore. The get-together was so popular that 800 people showed up in 1939.

It was said that Pappy had a magnetic and charismatic personality and people were instantly drawn to him. Numerous disciples listened to him talk about his passion and they became not only customers, but friends. Later, events expanded to include what is now known as motocross and also the rugged sport of hill climbing.

During World War II, no rallies were held for two years, but in 1944, nearby Fort Meade converted the cavalry from horses to Harley Davidsons. Pappy kept busy in the motorcycle repair business as soldiers tried to ride the bikes in places horses could only go. Sprained and broken bones replaced saddle sores. In 1947, Hoel was credited with selling more Indian motorcycles in America than any other dealer. The Indian brand became extinct in the late 1950s and shop inventory then included other brands, headlined by Yamaha – again not Harley Davidson.

During and after the Vietnam War, the biker image was changing from that of a wind-in-your-hair sport to angry and aggressive bikers who needed to blow off some steam and found companionship in the process. Gangs formed and rode into towns, intimidating residents and erupting into gang fights and sometimes worse. In Sturgis, a knifing near the city campground in the 1980s caused city fathers to consider banning the bikers. It was a standoff for a time, as bikers left a lot of money in town. Others worried about safety. Bikes were banned from Deadwood. Gangs retaliated by spending their dollars elsewhere. Finally, a decision was made. The Black Hills was a favorite destination – they would police their own and for the most part, it worked.

Also in the 1980s, it became evident that the sheer numbers attending the rally could no longer be handled by clubs or the city. Professional managers were hired from other areas around the nation, some of whom wanted to control every aspect of the money-making opportunities – including who had the legal right to use the name “Sturgis” for monetary gain. Sanity returned after a fashion, but the later rallies continued to dip heavily into right-to-use and property naming rights.

Once more the biker image has changed, going from motor oil grunge to high fashion and trailered-in vehicles. Posing with a bike for a fashion shoot drives the market in clothing and it appears that the long-distance rider is fading into the sunset with those now eligible to draw Social Security and he or she may be riding a trike or using a sidecar.

Who will power this 75th observance? Will it be a million people as predicted and hyped earlier and will they have money to spend or room to ride? Or will those coming because they want to say they’ve been here do so on tight finances which makes travel and lodging a priority? Will they still be greeted with “Welcome Biker” beer banners if their wallets are running on empty? The history of the Sturgis Motorcycle Classic or Sturgis Rally or whatever it is called, has come full circle in this three-quarters of a century. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here.


DENR advises on water problems

Thursday, July 23, 2015

By Bev Pechan

At the Keystone Town Board meeting of July 15, DENR drinking water spokesman Mark Mayer was in attendance, informing the city about the recent water events occurring in town. Mayer said he “would encourage the city to chlorinate to minimize risks.”

At a previous meeting, public works director Jerry Przybylski told the board of trustees that as a result of positive water testing for coliform bacteria in June, chlorine treatment was undertaken.

According to the published minutes of the July 15 meeting, “They (DENR) inspect every three years and have recommended each time that the city disinfect.” Keystone encountered three official violations in June at the community center, the fire department and city well #4. Pryzybylski told those in attendance at recent public meetings that Keystone’s sewer and water systems had been overwhelmed due to the amounts of heavy rain during spring and summer months. Przybylski also stated last week that part of the problem was a low spot at well #4 and that well caps needed to be tighter, which he has since addressed.

Discussion took place at the July 1 town board meeting regarding a complaint from long-time resident Barbara King, who resided in an area near the Etta Mine and Cemetery Road. Przybylski stated that he did not think her concern about possibly having giardia was correct and part of her illness. According to the July 15 meeting minutes, King’s water was tested for giardia, but that “there was no surface water influence in the filter of Mrs. King’s giardia test.” Barbara King died on July 4.

Mayer fielded questions from the floor regarding water taste and related concerns. Regarding the shocking  of Keystone’s wells, blasting with large doses of chlorine, Mayer said he was not in favor of the practice but that ongoing measures should be taken to keep Keystone’s water safe.

Trustee Cathy Madison asked if the city needed to create a sanitary system rule or overflow ordinance. She was told that this may not work for Keystone since they had separate sanitary and storm sewer systems. Discussion continued regarding whether or not to shock wells in the interim and whether or not to work on obtaining a chlorination system. No decision was made.

It was also announced that the DENR has revised the total coliform rule — which will go into effect April 1, 2016. The board was told there would be a training session on the new ruling held in Rapid City on Aug. 26. Keystone trustees voted to send the three public works employees to the workshop.
During the city official’s report, engineer David Holland provided a Water and Sewer Upgrades Memorandum to the board, stating “AE2S has toured the city’s system and have identified a number of deficiencies at the waste water treatment plant, infiltration and inflow.” It went on to say “the plan (theirs) identifies urgency of projects and includes estimated costs and available funding to include low interest loans, grants and loan forgiveness.” Board president Nikki Ball related that cost of the recommended projects would be about $600,000. Trustee Madison requested AE2S give a breakdown of their estimate listing line items and costs. No action taken at this time.


Bring your blooms

By Kacie Svoboda

On Saturday, July 25, the public is invited to a blossoming event months in the making. The Hill City Flower Show — “Small Town, Big Flowers” — will be held in the Boys & Girls Club of the Black Hills off of Railroad Avenue in Hill City from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This show is sponsored by the Hill City Evergreen Garden Club, which will provide free refreshments throughout the day.

The Hill City Flower Show was created to bring local gardeners together during the summer to share their successes and failures and to showcase their favorite blooms.

This event has been held off and on for as long as Evergreen Garden Club president Merlene Broer can remember, but has been held annually since the mid-’80s.

Each year since then, a committee of five to seven garden club members volunteer and begin planning for the show in early February. This year, their planning should pay off with lavish greenery and decorations planned for the show’s entrance and refreshment area by Lori Nonnast and Cheryl Rudel, a mannequin decorating display with several downtown businesses working on a flower theme and several gardening presentations.

Jeff Schlukebier will share information about Hill City’s community garden, Todd Gregson of Gregson’s Gardens will present on hydroponic herb gardening and the Pennington County Master Gardeners will provide information on insect hotels and bugs beneficial to gardens. The event will also offer a “share a plant” area, with plants available for attendees to take home free of charge — though a small donation may be offered.

“It’s a big production this year,” Broer said. “It’s going to be very lovely.”

For Broer, the biggest challenge with the flower show is not the months of planning, but getting the public to participate in the event by either attending the event or submitting entries.

Right now, only 10 garden club members are resolutely planning to present their plants. But everyone is welcome to submit to any category from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the morning of July 25.

Entries are judged against standards, rather than against each other, so the show is non-competitive and every entry in a category could earn a blue ribbon.

In addition to Best of Show and People’s Choice ribbons, judging will take place in a variety of categories. Over the years, the flower show has expanded from its national categories — such as annuals, perennials and container gardens — adding wildflowers, arrangements, a table setting category and children’s entries.

“It would be fun to see many of you come and view our garden atmosphere while gaining knowledge from Master Gardeners, picking up one of our ‘share a plants’ and gathering information about the community garden, garden crafts and hydroponic herb gardening,” said Broer. “If you have guests during this time, don’t let that keep you from attending. Bring them along! See you Saturday, July 25.”


Matkins plans for assisted living facility in Hill City

By Kacie Svoboda

Just off of Top O’ Hill Avenue in Hill City lies the six-acre plot that could be the location for the town’s first assisted living apartments. This piece of land behind Chute Roosters Restaurant is owned by Kip Matkins, cousin of Marv Matkins of Matkins Realty of Hill City, and would provide a beautiful view for residents to enjoy their golden years. At least that is Marv’s perspective as the driving force behind the assisted living project.

To develop the proposed design, Marv researched several local facilities — including Aspen Grove Assisted Living facility in Sturgis and Pine Hills Retirement Community in Hot Springs — to settle on a one-story, 16-unit building with a communal kitchen and living space. Marv chose a single story plan because it did not require additional structural features, such as elevators, in addition to considering it easier to evaluate the financial investment that will be required.

The Hill City design would closely follow Aspen Grove’s layout with three wings of apartments branching off from the communal areas. The facility would also include picnic areas, patios and eventually a courtyard.

Available only in the print version of the Hill City Prevailer News. To subscribe, call (605) 574-2538.