Thursday, August 16, 2012

1965 South Dakota Vacation Revisited Part 4

My father poses with my siblings and me; I don't think I've worn red socks since.
Like I said at the beginning of this special "vacation" blog series, my family's trip to South Dakota in August 1965 was my favorite of all of the family vacations. Seeing Mt. Rushmore left such an impact on us that when we made another trip West a few years later, we made a slight detour to stop and see it again.

I hope to see it again myself one of these years.

In addition to the four giant heads of the Presidents up on the mountain, there was the "fifth face" of Mt. Rushmore – namely a Sioux Indian named Ben Black Elk. He was sort of an unofficical ambassador for his Lakota people. According to this story, for more than 27 years until his death in 1973, he posed for photos in front of the monument. It was a way of providing for his family, and the tourists loved having their picture taken with him.

Here's our shot with Ben Black Elk. I really do remember that day!

He was such a celebrity that you could even get a postcard with his face on it.

I remember feeling bad when it was announced in the Lorain Journal that he had died.

Another attraction on our South Dakota trip included our trip through Badlands National Park. And for a change, my mother managed to get in front of the camera instead of always being behind it!

Incidentally, I asked my mother recently why she tended to dress us in like colors on these trips. She told me it was so she could pick us out in the crowd easier if we got separated.

But next to Mt. Rushmore, the best thing about the South Dakota trip was Deadwood – home to Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. Now in 1965, there were no casinos, modern motels, etc like there is now. Deadwood was still kind of a rough place and a really authentic Western town.

There were a lot of touristy things to see, including the Ghosts of Deadwood Gulch Historic Wax Museum (below).

I remember that we saw the Trial of Jack McCall live stage show (below).

And we even went up to Mount Moriah Cemetery to see where Wild Bill and Calamity Jane were buried (below).
My siblings and I in front of Wild Bill's grave. Calamity Jane's is right behind it.
By the way, I still have that bolo tie. I'll probably be buried in it someday!

And for the climax of the trip, we saw an authentic rodeo: the Days of '76, held in Deadwood on August 6, 7 and 8 in 1965.

Here's the program to prove it (below)!

1 comment:

Bob Kovach said...

The good old days!