So long, Tom and Jerry

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Goodbye, tom and Jerry — Larry Harvey said goodbye to his team of Clydesdales last week when he sold them to a family from Gary. He hated to see them go, but felt good that they were going to a family that will take good care of them. [PN Photo/CAROL WALKER]

Hill City rancher sells team of Clydesdales


By Carol Walker

Larry Harvey could relate to the endearing antics of the Budweiser Clydesdales on commercials aired during the Super Bowl earlier in the month because he owned a pair of Clydesdales and enjoyed their pleasant disposition until last week when he said goodbye to his gentle giants.

In 2010, Harvey got a call from Kathy O’Donnell telling him that the Budweiser Ranch in Pennsylvania had too many Clydesdales and it needed to get rid of some of the horses. Harvey worked with teams of horses all of his life, but he never had Clydesdales and he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with a team of the big boys.

“When we got them, they were really skinny,” said Harvey. “We decided to name them Tom and Jerry. In Pennsylvania, they had started training the horses, but I had to work with them quite a bit before they could be used to pull a wagon. They were used on a hitch and another team was always in front of them. They were used to following and not being the leaders.”

“They loved to be played with, brushed, petted,” said Shari Harvey, Larry’s wife. “But you had to watch them because they would step on you and their feet are big.”

It was their feet that sent them away from the Pennsylvania Ranch because, though they are beautiful horses, one of them had a black stocking. All the other feet were white and because of that, they were not a matching pair.

Over time as the horses gained weight, they also gained skill in pulling a wagon and performing tasks around the ranch like hauling wood, dragging logs and putting up hay. Larry has taken the horses to parades and to the Experience the Outdoors Day sponsored by Forest Recreation Management Inc. — the concessionaire for the U.S. Forest Service, and used them to give wagon rides to many individuals with special needs.

Growing up in Hawarden, Iowa, Larry was around horses from the time he was a little boy. In fact, he took his siblings to school in a cart led by a horse. Later in life, Larry had a team of Belgians named Daisy and Lilly and another team of Belgians crossed with quarter horses, Poppy and Hoppy. That team enabled him to bring home a Teamster first place trophy at the Edgemont Fall Festival in 2005 and the next year at Edgemont he and the horses won first in all the categories except one.

He had a pony team with the names Chester and Black Beauty that he used to give wagon rides in Keystone at the Rushmore Borglum Story. Other teams had such names as Pete and Repete, Ino and Uno (a mule team), Musty and Dusty, Buttercup and Rosebud and Millie Sue and Willie Jasper.
For a few years, Larry and Shari Harvey and Donley Hewett had their own cowboy show and dinner at High Country Guest Ranch near Hill City. They used Poppy and Hoppy to provide wagon rides to individuals and families that came to the ranch.

For the past seven summers, Larry has used Casey and Cole, a team owned by Husted’s Dakota Badlands Outfitters that are kept at Palmer Gulch Resort and KOA near Mount Rushmore. Larry and Hewett use the horses and wagons to take guests on Western chuckwagon rides and suppers.

Working with horses can be dangerous business, no matter how experienced a person may be. In the winter of 1984, Larry was using a horse to skid logs on the hillside in Keystone, walking behind the logs as he went down the hill and riding the horse up the hill. For some reason on one of the rides up the hill, Larry was bucked off and landed on a rock.

Fortunately, the horse went home, alerting the family to the fact that something must be wrong. Larry broke his pelvis in three places and was out of the horse business for a while until he could recuperate.
As he looks back over his years of working with teams of horses, the South Dakota Centennial Ride in 1989 — a 10-day ride that celebrated South Dakota’s 100th birthday — really stands out to him.
“There were 100 wagons in the wagon train and we went from Humboldt to Huron,” said Larry. “I had Daisy and Lilly then and we traveled most of the time on asphalt, and by the time we ended the ride, the shoes had worn very thin on the toes.”

His wife remembers a few highlights from that ride. They had to go several days without a shower and they were told to lie flat in the field because of a passing tornado near Howard.

“It was pretty amazing to see a barn being whipped around in the tornado, as if it were a cardboard box,” said Larry. “But the tornado passed by us and no one in the wagon train was hurt.”

A baby was born in one of the wagons along the way. The couple had cleaned a section of the horse trailer for the express purpose of delivering a baby there nd that was where the little pioneer was born. At the next stop, the couple was able to see a doctor to make sure everything was all right.

“We went about 15-20 miles each day, but on the last day, we had to go about 30 miles to finish the Centennial Ride. It was quite a sight to see 100 wagons and 100 horses with riders come into Huron,” said Larry.

Now that Tom and Jerry are gone, Harvey is without the team that allowed him to work and play with horses and wagons. Though he is a little sad to see the horses go, he knows he will still have contact with teams of horses.

“Donley has horses that I can use and I’m going on my eighth summer at Palmer Gulch,” said Larry.
To sell Tom and Jerry, Larry put up a notice at the Black Hills Stock Show and was inundated with telephone inquiries about the Clydesdales. He is happy that the duo went to a family in Gary.

“I could just tell that they were going to a good home,” said Larry. “There are kids in the family and I know they will spend time brushing and playing with the horses.”

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Crackerbarrel planned in Hill City Feb. 28


By Carol Walker

South Dakota Reps. Mike Verchio and Lance Russell, as well as Sen. Bruce Rampelberg are scheduled to be in Hill City on Saturday, Feb. 28, from 9-11 a.m. at the third floor meeting room of the Super 8 Motel.

Hill City area residents who have questions for the legislators or are just interested in hearing what is going on in Pierre during the legislative session are invited to attend the meeting. For Custer area residents, the legislators will also be in Custer at the Custer Senior Center on Mt. Rushmore Rd. from 1-3 p.m. that day.

This event is sponsored by the Custer County Chronicle, Hill City Prevailer and Super 8 Motel.

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Governor uncorks SD wine shipping


By Kacie Svoboda

House Bill 1001 (HB 1001), which will allow South Dakotans to purchase up to 12 cases of wine per year directly from in-state wineries and around the country, was signed into law by Gov. Daugaard last Thursday, Feb. 19.

“Allowing adults to order a limited amount of wine from a winery and have it shipped directly to their home is a common-sense measure that many other states have adopted. The governor supports allowing South Dakotans that choice,” said Nathan Sanderson, Daugaard’s director of policy and operations.
South Dakota was one of nine states that had outlawed the practice.

This legislative action is expected to have a positive impact on Hill City’s four local wineries. Both Prairie Berry and Naked Winery in Hill City supported HB 1001. Both feel they will see an increase in sales due to the passage of the bill.

“We’re excited for this change. Owners Sandi (Vojta) and Matt (Keck) have been working for 10 years to make it happen,” said Prairie Berry’s senior brand and marketing associate Michele Slott.
Vojta testified in 2001 when the idea of this bill was first discussed.

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

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Slow down asked south of town


By Carol Walker

As we head into March, a fast-paced tourist season is just around the corner, but some local folks are hoping we will slow down, particularly south of Hill City on Highway 16/385.

The city council discussed a request at its regular meeting last Monday from RJ Inskeep, general manager of Trailside Park Resort, for petitioning the South Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) to extend the 35 mph speed limit to the corporate city limit south of town.

Brett McMacken, city administrator, used a computer program to show the council members exactly where the current 35 mph  sign is and scan the roadside to determine a possible new location.
In his letter to the city, Inskeep said, “Last year (at Trailside Park) we were three times busier than the year before and this year we anticipate about twice as much business than last year. The speed limit does not change from 55 mph to 35 mph until a vehicle comes over a blind hill approximately one-fourth mile into the city corporate limits. This is a very dangerous situation. It is just a matter of time before a major accident occurs if no action is taken.”

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

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The Oscar goes to... equality



By Kacie Svoboda


On Sunday night, the 87th annual Oscars were presented in Hollywood. Each year, the acceptance speeches present a mixed bag of raw emotion, shocked ramblings or calls for support of political or social causes. Patricia Arquette delivered one of the most enthusiastically received speeches when she ended her acceptance for Best Supporting Actress in “Boyhood” with a message that got the rousing approval of the audience and an emphatic “Yes” from Meryl Streep.

“To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America,” said Arquette.

The pay discrepancy in Hollywood was recently put under a spotlight by the hacking of Sony Studios and the release of confidential studio documents and emails. The publicized information revealed that several actresses were paid considerably less than their male co-stars and even Sony’s Columbia Pictures co-president of production Hannah Minghella earns close to $1 million less than a male executive with the same title.

But the gender pay gap isn’t just a Tinsel Town issue. According to a 2012 Census Bureau survey, American women were still paid only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men holding full-time, year-round jobs. In a year, this would add up to an $11,500 difference between men and women who held identical positions.

And I agree with Arquette that it’s time for this to change — since as of 2012, the gender pay gap had remained relatively the same for 11 years.

Now excepting the fact that I’m a woman, this issue is not necessarily a personal one. I believe I’ve been paid fairly at the other jobs I’ve held and really have no anecdotal evidence of a gender pay gap at any of them. However, I’m well aware that this is not the norm and am concerned about my financial future if this does not change, as the pay gap typically increases the further up the career ladder you go.
In a survey conducted by BuzzFeed, the entry-level positions in journalism were fairly comparable for women and men.  However, the median pay for senior non-managers was $77,500 per year for women, while men made $92,500. This leaves women behind by approximately $15,000 per year.

And it’s not just the pay gap that I have to worry about. According to New Republic magazine, women wrote only six of Newsweek’s 49 cover stories in 2009 and its masthead was still 61 percent male in 2010, down only 14 percent since 1970. In addition, New Republic reported that men got 63 percent of the stories among the 10 most widely circulated newspapers in the U.S.

So while there is much talk and legislation proposed to try to ensure that women have equal opportunities and pay, these statistics prove we have a long way to go. In order for true equality in the workplace to exist, one of the first issues that must be tackled is the underlying prejudices that classify women who haggle for advancement or equivalent pay as pushy, as exemplified in the case of Jill Abramson at the New York Times.

Perhaps the focus brought to this disparity by Hollywood will give it the attention needed to finally rectify it.  So for the sake of my future as a working woman, I will join Merle Streep in giving my ardent agreement to Patricia Arquette's call to arms for equal pay for women.


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Crane honored for creative achievement

Thursday, February 19, 2015


GOVERNOR’S AWARD  —  From left, Gail and Jon Crane pose with Gov. Dennis Daugaard at the 22nd Annual Governor's Awards in the Arts on Feb. 10. [Submitted Photo] 

By Kacie Svoboda

On Tuesday, Feb. 10, Hill City artist Jon Crane was honored at a ceremony in Pierre for Distinction in Creative Achievement at the 22nd Governor’s Awards in the Arts hosted by the South Dakotans for the Arts group. Crane, who returned from his winter residence in Baja in order to accept the award, expressed his gratitude for being selected.

“Although this award comes from the governor, it was chosen by the art community of South Dakota, so I will cherish it all the more,” Crane said.

The Distinction in Creative Achievement award is given to an individual artist who has made “significant contributions in an art discipline.” For Crane, who has been painting for over 38 years, those contributions have been the vivid detail he brings to his watercolors as well as a feeling of sentimentality. Crane attributes this facet of his art to the evocative buildings and landscapes he bases his paintings around.

“For those who value my work, I think the appeal has much to do with the nostalgic subjects I choose and the connection people feel to that subject matter,” he said.

The Hill City Arts Council nominated Crane for this prestigious award.

“His art gives us good feelings of home, of our past, of South Dakota and of our heritage here,” said Janna Emmel, executive director of the Hill City Arts Council.

Crane is an accomplished artist and is also exemplary in his contributions to arts and community programs. He is involved in causes like the Black Hills Historic Preservation Trust and the Children’s Home Society — for which he and his wife, Gail, host a yearly benefit auction.

“He’s a great artist and he's using his artwork for good,” said Emmel.

Crane has received several awards during his career. Two of the most prominent were an Achievement Award from the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce and a Distinguished Alumni award from the University of Northern Colorado.

But this award holds special significance for Crane.

“I am extremely pleased to receive this award,” he said. “In my 39 years as a professional artist, the people of South Dakota have been very kind to me, but the Governor’s Award in the Arts for Distinction in Creative Achievement is the greatest honor I have received. There are few things that would draw me home from Baja in the middle of winter, but I wouldn't miss being in Pierre for this honor.”

The governor’s awards in the arts were first held in 1973 with only two awards, The Distinction in Creative Achievement and Outstanding Support of the Arts. The awards are now a bi-annual event with several additional honors presented. These awards are sponsored by South Dakotans for the Arts and the South Dakota Arts Council and honor the achievements of South Dakota’s artists and arts leaders. Award winners are selected from nominations submitted in the five categories reflecting the work of professional artists and art educators and the support of individuals, businesses and organizations that encompass South Dakota’s arts community.

This year’s other award recipients are Jeannette Beemer of Pierre for Outstanding Support of the Arts by an Individual, Milo Winter of Rapid City for Outstanding Service to Arts Education and Dacotah Prairie Museum of Aberdeen for Outstanding Support of the Arts by an Organization. The 2015 South Dakota Living Indian Treasure Award will be presented to Lydia Whirlwind Soldier, Sicangu Lakota of Rosebud.

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Keystone Trustee testifies on taxation bill in Pierre


By Kacie Svoboda

Keystone trustee Kwinn Neff attended a legislative meeting in Pierre about Senate Bill 135 and gave testimony to the Senate State Affairs Committee, supporting the bill on the behalf of Keystone. If this bill is made into law, it would allow Keystone to collect an extra penny of sales tax to help fund special projects after a vote by the public. The board would also have to specify the use of the tax and its end date.

According to Neff, this could raise $150,000 over the course of the summer season — based on last year’s sales tax. Neff plans to return to Pierre on Thursday, Feb. 19, to testify before the House Taxation Committee.

 The second and final reading of Sign Permit section 150.11 of chapter 150 was unanimously approved. According to this amended ordinance, separate permits for specific commercial signage are required prior to any commercial sign to be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, moved or converted on or off premises. This permit must be filed with the Town of Keystone finance office and approved by the board. This revised ordinance excluded the need for a permit for removing, demolishing, improving, repairing or maintaining signage or its moveable parts.

Another change required that all seasonal businesses remove any “lightweight advertising material” at the end of the season. In addition, commercial identification signs were defined and it was decided that a banner cannot be used as the primary advertisement for a business. It should be used only temporarily to promote special deals, sales or events and removed after such promotion ends or the end of the season. Banners that remain after 48 hours of the end of the promotion or season will accrue a $5 per day fine.

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

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