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After moving to Washington, D.C., I took advantage of the hundreds of miles of bicycle trails and started riding on short and long trips of up to 60 miles or more. I have also bicycled from Berlin to Prague and in the Dolomite Mountains of Northern Italy. When I saw a painting of three bicycles, titled “Dancing Close”, and found out it was by RCHS classmate and artist Gregg Rochester who won artist of the year, I knew I wanted to own the original. I contacted him about purchasing it, and now it hangs proudly in my dining room overlooking the Potomac River, Washington, D.C., and the bicycle trails on which we ride. That painting has now been joined by another original and fabulous Rochester painting titled “Pucci Bike.” These painting have provided my husband and me with so much pleasure and we enjoy the many compliments we receive on them from guests. I am honored to be the proud owner of two of our classmate, Gregg Rochester’s originals. Double the pleasure with the artist being a classmate and my pleasure of bicycle riding with my husband. Riding close with my husband forever and our trips to Italy are what I see when I look at these paintings.
I’ve talked to one classmate who met Buddy in the 80’s and her cousin played in a band with him. I do not recall meeting/seeing him in high school but with a class of nearly 800 students there are a lot of classmates I never met. A shame really, but as an adolescent awaiting frontal lobe development who knows what would have happened had we all met each other. But I digress, when people discover I grew up in South Dakota they first consult the map in their head and say something like, Fargo? Inevitably I orient them to the Dakotas and then they ask if Native Americans attended our schools. Were we an integrated school district? I say something stupid and we move on to other topics. Now I have an answer. We had Buddy Red Bow in our midst. I am including a tribute to him from the RC Journal 2012 written by Ruth Moon. I listened to the songs Listed in this piece, all available on utube, including a live interview with Red Bow. I want to suggest South Dakota Lady as another sone of his I liked. So here is the RC Journal pieceMarch 25, 2012 A crowd gathered Sunday night at the Ramkota Hotel to watch a presentation honoring Buddy Red Bow, an Oglala Lakota country singer who produced several records in the 1980s and 1990s and died in 1993. “I always thought of Buddy as a correspondent from this world, the way Hank Williams was a correspondent from Alabama or Johnny Cash was a correspondent from Arkansas,” said Marty Stuart, a country singer who is part Choctaw and married his wife on the Pine Ridge reservation. “He simply told our stories from our culture, and if you lived down in Mississippi and you wanted to know what was going on in this world, the best thing to do was get a Buddy Red Bow record.” Stuart presented a commemorative plaque honoring Red Bow to Stardust and Becky Red Bow, Buddy Red Bow’s daughters. After presenting the plaque, Stuart played several songs he had written about South Dakota, including one about the Badlands and one about areas on the Pine Ridge reservation. About 75 people gathered at the event. Stuart told how he first came to the Pine Ridge reservation as part of Johnny Cash’s band in the early 1980s. He loved the area so much that he and his wife, Connie Smith, later married on the reservation. “There was an entirely different feeling up here than there was in my home in Mississippi,” Stuart said. “That night I fell in love with the Lakota people and I never quit coming back.” Red Bow, who was born Warfield Richards, was adopted at an early age by the Red Bow family, his daughters said in a tribute video. He grew up on the Pine Ridge reservation at Red Shirt Table and went to middle and high school in Rapid City, according to the video. He dropped out of high school to be an actor and later went to Vietnam as a Marine, his daughters said. Red Bow, who died in 1993, produced three albums and his most popular songs included “Indian Love Song,” “Journey to the Spirit World” and “Run Indian Run.” The tribute was part of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium student conference, which kicked off in Rapid City Sunday. Tom Shortbull, president of Oglala Lakota College, said one of his favorite Red Bow songs is “Indian Love Song.” “Buddy Red Bow was a great contemporary Lakota music artist,” Shortbull said. Red Bow was inducted into the Native American Music Awards Hall of Fame in 1998, the second inductee after Jimi Hendrix.
I Graduated i 1967 from a small all-girls school in Bristol, England, before my fantastic Senior Year at RCHS through AFS. The differences could not have been more marked! RCHS was a lot more fun! Out of 60 in our Class of 1967, 9 have died. This is a picture of us 33 "Old Girls" and I am in the front row to the far right wearing orange. Not bad for 50 years! I have written to AFS Chile to request news of our other RCHS Exchange Student, Alejndro "Alex" Amenabar-Tirado. Did anyone stay in touch with him? He lived with Mr.and Mrs. Kooiker. Marie Obrentz (Forte)
Reflecting on the nature of my hobbies in the fifty years since my high school graduation, in fairness I must set-aside transitory enthusiasms and those only lately acquired, e.g. classical music, running, and bicycling to count only the four things that persist: Cribbage, rock-and-roll, reading, and acting. My father taught me how to play Cribbage at age 11 in anticipation of a visit by his sister all the way from Elmira, New York. I got good enough to best him from time to time, but when the time came to play Aunt Polly, she beat me—every time. Confessing my frustration to my father, he asked if I was counting what she claimed in her hand and how many holes she pegged. I confessed to doing neither. “Son,” he replied, “your Aunt Polly cheats.” I love the game. No other has supplanted it, though many have tried. I acquired my enthusiasm for rock-and-roll as most of us did in Rapid City in the 1960s, via local radio as supplemented by visits to Ray’s Records and enhanced by the transient sounds of the fifty-thousand, clear-channel watts of KOMA fading in and out on our car radios as we cruised 8th Street. I had the good fortune to be invited by the late Dana Chace to join him as a member of Roland & the Music Arsenal, thereby sealing my affection for soul and R&B. Rob Mechaley asked that I read news for him at KBRK radio in Brookings where he was blazing the trail for commercial rock-and-roll on the FM-side of the operation (after nightfall) with his program “Four Hours of Rock.” I spent four years at SDSU supplementing my income as one of the DJs for that show. My most painful moment in rock-and-roll came within days of my marriage when Deb and I loaded-up a U-Haul trailer with our meager possessions to leave Huron for Washington, DC. Only 25% of my 1200-LP collection could make the trek. Therefore I count as a profound blessing the invention of digital music as sold through the iTunes store. For all intents and purposes, the worthy portions of my collection have been restored along with a deep sampling of classic jazz. My commute by foot, bus, and subway to work in DC was for me quality listening time using a set of high-quality earbuds jacked into an iPod. My brother Derek plays a drive-time, Friday night radio show in Bozeman, MT, and his access to KGLT-FM’s library has schooled me in current groups and tunes. My 27-year old son and I can attend concerts at the 9:30 Club and (of late) The Anthem, DC’s newest venue. In the last few months we’ve seen/heard LCD Soundsystem, Bon Iver, Spoon, The National, case/lang/viers, and Sturgill Simpson. Hobby #3: Reading, voraciously and omnivorously (with the exception of romance novels). Living in the area in which the Civil War (War Between the States, War of Northern Aggression) was fought and having gleaned little sense of what actually transpired in the brief description accorded in our high school American History books, I’ve been able to explore battlefields between Gettysburg, Antietam (Sharpsburg), Richmond, and Appomattox Court House. While I’ve read various histories, and focused on particular battles and leaders on both sides, Ulysses Grant increasingly intrigues me. When Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church celebrated our 150th anniversary, I knew he and his wife Julia served on its various governing boards. I received the pastor’s permission to fuse my interest in acting and Grant by writing and performing a 10-minute monologue, in costume and character. Which brings me (and you, if you’ve slogged this far) to my final hobby: acting. I did none in high school other than in an effort to best depict and characterize my sense of self. My final summer at SDSU, I successfully auditioned for the Prairie Village Repertory Company and, the next year, enjoyed a brief stint in Rapid City’s Group Theatre. Some years later, the director invited me to join the Metropolitan Players. Since then, I’ve gotten to portray “Sir Thomas More” in A Man for All Seasons and play “Jay Follett” in All The Way Home, “Tom Garrison” in I Never Sang for My Father, “J.B.” in J.B., and “Nils Krogstad” in A Doll’s House. Last year was my first comedy role as “Dr. William Chumley” in Harvey and, this spring, I’ll test my limitations as “Willy Loman” in A Death of A Salesman. It’s amateur theater. I don’t carry an Equity card. That said, I love the discipline imposed by mastering a script and a production’s mechanics paired with the exuberance of leaving stage emotionally spent to the sound of more-than-polite applause. What a satisfying hobby!
Gary Auch, is a classmate who has retired and moved to my area of the Black Hills. I saw on the site that he was living in Hill City. I emailed him and told him he should have is wife join our line dancing class at the Senior Center. They also live on Mary Beth Court, of which I am of no relation. The following week he brought his wife to my class and he watched us dance. After class Gary showed me this picture, I could not believe my eyes. I have a similar picture only we were fishing in a mud puddle. We were 4 years old then, and Gary told me they had rented that house for about 6 months before moving. We reconnected that day after 64 years.
After selling my business in 2001, I did the retirement thing. Didn't take long to get bored out of my mind. Thought I'd try something a little different from the norm. Never knowing what would happen next, I went to work with the Kansas Dept of Corrections. I was at the mental health facility so I saw things not even Stephen King could dream up. Here I was over 60 and one day tackling an inmate that was attacking another inmate and the next day doing the heimlich maneuver or CPR on another inmate. We had days that we would have to suit up for cell extractions 2 or 3 times on just our shift. Retirement was no longer boring.
This picture is of me finishing the Hopkins Royal Triathion in August 2017, where I set a new age group record. I usually do 5-6 triathons in the summer. Minnesota has a lot of triathions. I am a 7 time USA Triathion Age-Group All-American. Finished 2nd in my age group at USA Tri Nationals back in 2015. I was a marathoner and turned to triathions when I turned 50. Easier on the Body!
Like most of us, I've had to struggle through many phases of life (heart break, loss of loved ones, hard life lessons...) and came to realize there are no mistakes, only learning experiences. It's been one heck of a ride! I've learned it's ok not to be first, or at the top, or even the bottom but to never give up...and to smile no matter the journey. My favorite example, never having been athletic in any sense of the word. But I "finished" 19 half marathons....most dead last in the pack. I was still first with me, myself and I...besides! Besides, my name on the list of finishers was easy to find! 😂 But, what was most rewarding, meeting people on those paths who were just like me!! We gave each other encouragement to keep moving forward even though we had come to that brick wall and were ready to drop! We did it, we finished! And so it is with life, so many trails to walk/run, so many mountains to climb, so many oceans to sail and swim. Until I no longer have life may I be blessed to continue this work in progress...and to do it smiling!! I love seeing everyone come together. It is important, because we ARE great, we are the class of 68!!! Love you guys and really praying we can see each other in September with minimal sacrifice.
Gregg Rochester's art show entitled "Le Tour d'Art" was at the Dahl Art Center in mid-October 2017. I sped off to college after high school in Mitchell (Dakota Wesleyan University) followed by a brief three year stint teaching high school English. Mary Ann Goode and I were married and began raising a family during this time. I launched a new career after attending graduate school in Indiana, as a clinical psychologist, working in a clinic setting and finally in my own practice for several years. At age 40, I entered a new career as an artist, weaning myself from psychology to a direction as a painter. Beginning with wearable art, the direction moved to landscapes. Some years later, during a long bike ride, I decided it would be fun to paint my bicycle. That singular event inspired another direction, where I painted a number of high-end racing bicyles with accompanhying bike-related paintings. Thus, "Le Tour d'Art" was born. It has been traveling to various show locations throughout the U.S. for 12 years. One of my painted bikes even made it into a well-known art museum in Minneapolis. My wife, Zoe' and I are avid riders, and garner much attention as we ride our "art bikes". Yes, they are all rideable! So, if you have some time, please stop and see this show, I guarantee that you will see something like you've never seen before, and I also guarantee that you'll have fun! You can visit my bicycle art website at www.bikeartartbike.com. My landscape website is www.greggrochesterart.homestead.com. By the way, there is a "mystery classmember" who owns two of my bike paintings…perhaps this person will make themself known!
On the day we graduated I was uprooted to Minnesota. I lived there for 47 years. I had a career that was satisfying but as time passed I longed for the Hills. In 2004 my wife and I began searching for land to build our retirement home on. Utlimately we found a few acres just south of Custer. In 2015 we packed everything and moved west. Plans in hand we began construction of that home. During construction we lived on site in our fifth wheel camper. We were in it through most of the winter of 15/16, finally moving into a partially finished house at the end of February. Other than erecting the shell we've done most of the work ourselves, acting as general contractor and contractor. Today we're about 95% complete having just finished the garage/workshop. We chose a unique style of home that provides us with a panaromic view from the great room. From this room we can see Mt Coolidge and the Needles in the distance.