Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chief Crazy Horse

Although my body is physically down here in the deep south Texas Valley, my mind and heart are still up in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. I often think about Crazy Horse Mountain. When we first started going to the hills every summer about 15 years ago, Crazy Horse Mountain was just another Mountain. When you drove by it, you would not have known what it was going to be if it were not for the outline they had painted on the side. Many folks were wondering if it would ever come to be or if it was a joke. I remember going past it back in the 50's and thinking "NO WAY"!

Soon (50 years)Crazy Horse's head took shape and you could actually see it was for real. Maybe it wasn't just some sculptor's dream after all. Soon Ruth, the sculptor's wife started inviting people, especially dignitaries to ride in a van to the top and walk on Crazy Horses arm and under his face. This really got folks attention.  Plus it got them into the museum and brought attention to what was happening.

Part of the museum is a large movie theater where movies and pictures are shown of the progress made over the years and just how far they have come. It is very interesting. The project was officially started June 3rd 1948, over 60 years ago, and the private owner and sculptor,along with his wife Ruth, truly did have a vision and a dream. Things were real tough and it was rough going for many, many years in the beginning. They didn't have much equipment and what they did have was old and not in good shape. A lot of things were done by hand the old fashioned way. The famed sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski and his wife Ruth, devoted and dedicated their life to the project. The sculpture was their entire life.  They lived and raised a family of 12 children on the mountain. Mr Ziolkowski died on Oct 20, 1984 at the age of 74. His dedicated wife Ruth and the children are carrying on their plan and vision. Blasting continues on the mountain, just as Korczak would have wanted. Ruth, CEO and President of Crazy Horse Memorial, is quite well known and respected.

Our boss Rollie Noem, the superintendent at Custer State Park when we worked there, became close friends with Ruth and part of our job and experience was to take VIPs to Crazy Horse Mountain and drive them up to the top and walk with them out on the arm. The view up there is outstanding. Pat and I enjoyed it every time and Ruth was always there to go along.  We got to know her quite well. She appreciated what Custer State Park was doing and always welcomed us with open arms. What a lovely lady she is. Plain and pure with a wonderful personality. We took many Senators, Legislators, Governor's and other VIPs to her place and up on the "Arm". We also hiked up there several times when formal, well advertised hikes were held throughout the year.  I will always remember Ms Ruth and the kindness she showed to us. She would welcome us and tell us "Now you go to my Restaurant and eat while you are here".  She would insist that we go and tell us, "I will tell them you are coming, so be sure and stop". Sure enough when we walked in, the head cashier would greet us and tell us that we were guests of Ruth and we could have anything we wanted.

I won't go into much more of the history as you can read all of that you want on the different websites, or you can just google "Crazy Horse" and find out all the legends behind this young Indian Warrior and how he was respected by his people. Crazy Horse also has a page on Facebook and Twitter.  I do want to show you a few pictures of some of the dozens of Dynamite Blasts that we have witnessed at the Mountain.

Day Time Blast

From Crazy Horse Day Time Blast 2009
Night Blast

From Crazy Horse Night Blast 2009
Again click on the link at the right lower corner to go to the Albums. Use your back arrow to get back to my Blog.

This morning we are planning a nice long Motorcycle ride with out great friends and respected Bikers Gregg and Bonnie Gheyssens. We are riding over to South Padre Island, about 100 miles to our East. The weather is supposed to be the best we have had in weeks. It's been so cool and rainy that our Harley feels neglected. More about our trip on Wednesday. I smell Seafood on the menu!

Next week is going to be an extremely busy one. Monday morning at 10 am we are having a PressurePro Tire Monitoring Seminar at Bensten PalmVillage RV Resort right next door. Then in the afternoon, our old friends and "X" next door neighbors Chuck and Rhoda Roper  from Tallahassee, Florida, are arriving to spend a few days with us. We haven't seen them for over a year and it will be fun seeing them and getting caught up on the old home site.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!

Thanks for stopping by...

Mike

This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

3 comments:

Rick and Paulette said...

We visited the Crazy Horse Monument when we were in the area in 2007 and it is indeed an awesome sight. We watched the movie too and enjoyed seeing and hearing the history of the family. Thanks for bringing back some great memories.

THE BAYFIELD BUNCH said...

Am hoping maybe we can make our way west next fall through South Dakota. I have seen Mount Rushmore but not Crazy Horse. Kelly hasn't been in that area yet. What a great experience that was for you guys doing those tours & being a part of the historical Crazy Horse project............

Jerry and Suzy said...

We were at Crazy Horse a couple of years or so back. Neat place, amazing sculpting work. THanks for the revisit!