Wednesday, March 25, 2020

2020 Summer Shows at Post Playhouse cancelled

Editor's Note:  Sad news arrived today that the Post Playhouse at Fort Robinson State Park has cancelled performances for the entire 2020 summer season.  Below is the message received today from the Producing Artistic Director at Post Playhouse, Tom Ossowski:

After deep consideration, the Board of Directors and I have decided to cancel the Post Playhouse’s 2020 Summer Season due to the Coronavirus Global Pandemic. Our primary concern is for the health and safety of our production team, our local audiences, and our visitors to the area. 

We plan to pick up next year with our 2021 season and be stronger than ever. Post Playhouse is not the only theatre cancelling performances through the summer of 2020. Sadly, nearly all professional theatres across the country have had to take similar measures. 

The government recommendations for cancellations of public events have very extreme consequences for theatres and theatre artists across the country. Just like with all industries nationwide, thousands of theatre professionals’ jobs are at stake not only this year, but for years to come as many theatres will close permanently. We are not planning on closing forever. We are taking every step possible to ensure that we deliver a vibrant and exciting 2021 season next year. Now more than ever, we need you, our faithful supporters, to help make sure that we can open our doors again next season. 

You can make an incredible impact by transferring your ticket purchases to next year’s season or donating your tickets back to the Post Playhouse. During this unprecedented time, these ticket transfers and donations can help ensure that we have funds to continue operating in the future. 

Without a summer season this year, we will not have as many production expenses, but we also will not be able to count on any further ticket revenue to cover our non-production related expenses (utilities, internet, box office, etc.) that we pay every month of the year, regardless of when shows are being produced. 

 For those who have already purchased tickets for our cancelled 2020 Summer Season, we are offering the following options: You may make a fully tax-deductible donation of the value of your ticket back to the Post Playhouse. The Post Playhouse is a 501 ©(3) nonprofit organization. Please consider this option if you can. You may transfer your ticket value to a gift certificate in your name. You will then be able to use this gift certificate on any new ticket purchases made for our 2021 Summer Season. This option will also help us keep the lights on in preparation for 2021. 2020 Season Subscriptions can also be transferred to our 2021 Season. If you prefer to receive a refund for your tickets for our 2020 Season, we will honor that request. 

Whichever choice you make regarding your 2020 ticket purchases, we thank you for being a supporter of the Post Playhouse. We will be personally reaching out to everyone who bought tickets for this season and discussing the options available. This will take time, so we thank you in advance for your graciousness. 

 We are also asking our annual donors, show sponsors, and program advertisers to allow us to transfer contributions to our 2021 Summer Season. We hope that you will consider helping us to keep our doors open so that we can continue to bring joy to our community members, visitors, and audiences through live theatrical experiences for years to come.

For further information visit the Post Playhouse website  at

Chadron State football standout from 1950s dies

Guido Santero - Circa 1990
An all-star football player at Chadron State College during the late 1950s, Guido Santero, died Sunday, March 22 at his home in Kansas City.  He was 84.

A native of Lewellen, Santero was the leading rusher on the Eagles’ undefeated team coached by Bill Baker in 1958. As the tailback on the single wing formation, he usually took a direct snap from center. He carried the ball 117 times for 807 yards, an average of 6.9 yards, and scored 13 touchdowns in eight games.

It was 1980 before another Chadron State player scored that many touchdowns and 1990 before a CSC back scored 14. His rushing average also was unmatched until 1989.   

At the end of the 1958 season, Santero was named to the Nebraska College Conference first-team as well as to the all-state college teams selected by both the Lincoln Journal and the Omaha World-Herald.

Chadron State had another excellent team in 1959, going 6-2. Santero was again the team’s leading rusher with 485 yards and also completed 20 of 40 passes for 360 yards and seven touchdowns.  He was a co-captain of that team and lettered in basketball in 1958-59He also was a Student Senate officer, a member of Blue Key National Honorary Fraternity, was selected to Who’s Who Among American College and University Students and graduated with honors in 1961.  

He was inducted into the Chadron State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984.

After teaching and coaching for a year at Sioux County High School, Santero became a successful insurance agent and financial planner, ultimately in the Kansas City area. His health reportedly had been failing after he had a stroke about two years ago.

The youngest of 12 children, he is survived by his wife Janice, two daughters, two sisters and numerous nephews and nieces. 


Editor's note:  Thanks to Con Marshall for sending us this photo and story. 

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Golden Age Courier Produced 'On the Farm"

(Editor's NoteWe only recently came across this story written last June by Cindy Peters for the Northwest Public Power District newsletter.  We've been reading the Dawes County Historical Society's "Golden Age Courier" for years and always look forward to receiving it.  Thanks to Cindy Peters for allowing us to reprint her story!) 

By Cindy Peters

It’s pretty common to find a copy of the Golden Age Courier lying around in waiting rooms, restaurants and at various businesses every month.  This popular free tabloid began nearly 33 years ago on Sept. 30, 1987.

Ginger Campbell of rural Chadron has returned
 to desktop publishing and laying out the
Golden Age Courier in the comfort of her home.
“The Courier is a product of the Dawes County Historical Society,” noted current editor Ginger Campbell.  Campbell, of rural Chadron, has compiled the Courier for nearly 15 years.

“I worked at The Chadron Record three different times for a total of 14 and a half years altogether and always did the Courier layout,” explained Campbell. “I first worked on the Courier with my aunt, Lucille Redfern, then Belle Lecher and then Ron Wineteer.  I retired from the Record in 2015.”

“My first job in printing was at B&B Printing working for Warren Brooks,” said Campbell.  The couple relocated to Colorado, where the Chadron native’s experience in newspaper production began in Brighton, where she typeset and worked on the legals.  Campbell returned back to the family farm, where she has lived her entire life, with the exception of a few years in Colorado, a year in Montana and a year in Washington.

“I graduated from Chadron High in 1968, then graduated from the National College of Business in Rapid City, which no longer exists. Then went to work at the CNW railroad as a clerk in the Supt's office until I got married,” she explained.  Late last Summer, she was approached by her cousin, Sharon Rickenbach, President of the Board for Dawes County Historical Society, asking her about taking over the Courier, when the late Ron Wineteer stepped down.

“My first issue was in September 2018. I started doing the layout myself at home in October,” said Campbell. This required her to get set up with a graphic design program, called QuarkExpress. It didn’t take her long to get it set up and since then she is happy to report the Courier’s first color issue was in April. “I was familiar with it so it was easy to take on. I sometimes had to find filler for Ron. I just wish I was a journalist so I could write stories, but I'm clueless when it comes to that,” said Campbell.

The Courier has several contributors. She receives articles from several people. “I'm always looking for ideas. Anyone can send me something they'd like to see in it. I don't want to put in too much silly stuff, but that's the most fun. If I see something I think is interesting, either in an email or on facebook or anywhere else, I put it in. I try to stay away from politics. I search through old issues and reprint some things from years ago,” explained Campbell. Campbell said she doesn’t keep track of the time she spends on it.

“It doesn't seem like very much, but it's probably more than I think. It's all volunteer so I guess I don't worry about keeping track,” she explained.  “Ron always had things lined up for three months in advance.  I end up getting it done at the last minute,” she chuckled. Once the pages are complete, she sends them to The Chadron Record and it is forwarded to the Rapid City Journal where it is printed. They have recently increased their circulation.  “We have gone up to 1200 copies and it is distributed around Chadron, Crawford and Hay Springs,” noted Campbell.

The first edition of the Golden Age Courier - September 1987
“There are a few subscribers that I send it out to.  People who have moved away and still want to see it. It is a free publication thanks to the advertisers.  Subscribers pay for the postage to send it,” said Campbell. The original editorial board included Don Huls, retired publisher of The Chadron Record, Lucille Redfern, Ed Davenport, Woody and Audrey Woodward, Mary Kuhnel, Alice Faulk, Jo Fox, and Herb Place. “In looking through old issues I see that Goldie Dawkins and Lloy Chamberlain were editors for a while,” said Campbell.

Pam Littrel currently sells the advertising. Campbell gets some of them sent to her and she sets up part of them. Campbell’s favorite part of her volunteer project is finding fun things to put in it. Although she does most of it herself, her daughter, Jenifer Tidman, and husband Stan helps her with it when he is not working.

“He is a veteran and enjoys talking to veterans for those articles and he helps me distribute it, but Pam does most of the delivery. My grandkids help when they can,” said Campbell.”

She enjoys the fact she can work on it when she gets the chance while staying in her home. She and Stan have been married 46 years. He works at Bomgaars part-time and is in the process of trying to retire. They no longer raise crops or livestock, they rent out their pasture. The couple have two children, and 10 grandchildren, ranging in age from 3 to 20.

“Our daughter, Jenifer and her husband Tim Tidyman moved here four years ago from Hayes Center. They have five children, two in college and three in Chadron Public Schools. Our son, Russ and his wife Gina and their 5 children live in Scottsbluff.” In Campbell’s spare time she enjoys a lot of sewing and crafts. The Campbells live east of Chadron on Redfern Road.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Sandoz Society museum exhibit to feature WWII

(Editor's Note:  Thanks to NBC affiliate KNEP for sharing this video report!)

Monday, February 10, 2020

Another Dawes County Pioneer: William McGannon

(Editor's Note:  The following story is among the many chronicled in "A Compendium of History, Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska," an illustrated book published in 1909 by the Alden Publishing Company of Chicago.

William McGannon, who has made an enviable record as a farmer and stock raiser, the result of his own toil and economy, and a man who enjoys the respect and confidence of a host of warm friends in the community in which his useful life is passing, was born in the city of Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1858. His father, David McGannon, was a butcher. Both of his parents were natives of Ireland. When our subject was but a boy the family came to Minnesota, settling in Olmstead county, near Winona. His father opened the first butcher shop in Rochester, Minnesota, and also conducted a dray line. Here our subject spent his boyhood days on the frontier.

When Mr. McGannon was seventeen years of age he left his home in Minnesota, and returning to West Virginia, attending school at St. Vincent's College. Some time later he conducted a butcher shop at Lanesborough, and after a time opened a shop of his own at Fountain, Minnesota, where he bought and shipped stock. He also conducted a butcher shop at Canton, Minnesota, for about seven years.

In 1891 Mr. McGannon came to Dawes county, Nebraska, took a homestead and bought some land, and engaged in the raising of cattle and sheep. In 1898 he came to his present ranch in the Pine Ridge, where he has erected a substantial and comfortable house in section 19, township 31, range 49. He secured adjoining land, and now has six thousand five hundred acres of deeded land, all of which is fenced and cross fenced. He has six miles along the Trunk Butte creek and two miles on the Indian creek. There is a small stream three quarters of a mile in length which rises on his ranch. Mr. McGannon has one thousand acres of land under cultivation, and has five hundred acres of the finest timber to be found in Dawes county. He has erected substantial and commodious buildings, and engages extensively in the raising of horses and hogs. Since acquiring this land, he has greatly improved it, and has purchased modern agricultural implements to assist him in making his place one of the most modern and productive in western Nebraska. He has a gasoline engine on his farm and also a steam engine and plow.

Mr. McGannon and Miss Jane Davis were married at Fountain, Minnesota, January 19, 1880. She is a daughter of Patrick and Bridget Davis, native of Ireland. Two children came to bless this union, George Arthur and David Edward.

In politics Mr. McGannon is a Democrat. A more enthusiastic or public spirited citizen of Dawes county could not be found, for from his start in this locality Mr. McGannon has taken an active part in all matters of local interest, and is a firm believer in the future of Dawes county. His efforts to get a railroad to the table-land of the county have been untiring. From the crops raised on his cultivated land he has demonstrated that there are places in Dawes county where the land is as fertile and valuable, and can be made to produce as much as irrigated land.

As an entertainer and enthusiastic storyteller, Mr. McGannon has few equals. Upright and honorable in all his dealings, he has manifested on all occasions a high integrity and a strict adherence to principle. Mr. McGannon has recently become proprietor of the Pleasant View Sanitarium, an important hot springs health resort, at Thermopolis, Wyoming, whence he has removed, leaving his sons to operate his ranching interests in Dawes county, Nebraska.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Hendrickson to enter Nebraska Baseball Hall of Fame

By Con Marshall               
Young left-handed pitcher Dale Hendrickson
One of the Panhandle’s most prominent athletic personalities will be inducted into the Nebraska Baseball Hall of Fame in Beatrice on Sunday, February 9.  

He is Dale Hendrickson of Kimball, who was a standout baseball and basketball player, coached those sports after graduating from Chadron State College and spent 27 years as a high school activities/athletic director.
Hendrickson, now 83, is one of seven who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, which dates back to 1971. It has about 250 inductees, but Hendrickson will be one of just five with ties to the Panhandle.  At least 20 of Hendrickson’s family members and friends have made reservations for the induction dinner and program.

A hard-throwing left-hander, Hendrickson pitched Gering’s American Legion team to a state championship in 1953 when he turned 17.

The next summer he lived in Chadron part-time and pitched for the Elks town team that was perhaps the Panhandle’s best. In June, he also attended the first of 11 baseball tryout camps hosted by major league teams at Modisett Field in Rushville. His name became instantly well-known when he signed a contract with the Milwaukee Braves.
In the summer of 1955 while pitching for the Braves’ farm team in Lawton, Okla., Hendrickson became one of their rising stars. He compiled a 24-8 record, including three playoff victories, and hurled 39 consecutive scoreless innings and 75 innings without permitting an earned run.

He had an impressive 11-2 record the next year at Evansville, Ill., one of the Braves’ top minor league teams; then really drew attention during spring training in 1957 while pitching against the Yankees in an exhibition game.  He struck out Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Bill Skowran in the same inning and fanned Tony Kubek and Gil McDougald later in the game.

Also that spring, he allowed just one hit during three innings against the Dodgers, but after giving up two homers in an exhibition game at Chattanooga, he was sent to the minor league camp.

Each fall when the baseball seasons ended, Hendrickson returned to Chadron State to continue his studies and play basketball. One of these years while back on campus, he took a spin on the motorcycle Gary Tuggle had ridden from his home in Alabama so he could play football at Chadron State. Hendrickson upset the bike and injured his left shoulder.
Despite the mishap, which left a knot on his shoulder, he pitched for Braves’ minor league teams a few more years but maybe not as effectively as before. Altogether, he played seven years of pro baseball.

Chadron State had a baseball team during that era, but because Hendrickson had signed a pro contract, he was not allowed to play that sport in college.  However, he developed into an excellent guard for the Eagles’ basketball teams in the late 1950s. He scored 860 points during his career, even though a couple of the seasons were cut short because he had to report to spring training in February. Hendrickson averaged 12.5 points as a junior and 15.8 as a senior. Both ranked second on the team to his backcourt partner and close friend, Chadron native Jim Hampton.

Hendrickson, who was inducted into the CSC Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993, had another special link to Chadron.  His wife, the former Gayle Babue, was a 1955 graduate of Chadron High School. They had been married 61 years when she died June 24, 2018.
After earning his bachelor’s degree from CSC in 1960, Hendrickson spent nine years teaching and coaching at Morrill and then 27 years at Kimball, including 24 of them as the school’s activities director before retiring in 1996. Several summers he also coached American Legion baseball.  One of his teams at Morrill won a state championship and another Morrill team and two at Kimball qualified for the state tournament.

The baseball field in Kimball is named in his honor.

Other accolades Kimball conferred on him include Citizen of the Year, Outstanding Service to Youth and Outstanding Community Educator.  The Hendricksons also were the Grand Marshals of the Kimball-Banner County Farmer’s Day parade in 1994.

In addition, he was tabbed the Nebraska Athletic Director of the Year in 1995 and served as the organization’s president.

In 2014, Dale was a guest of honor when Modisett Field in Rushville was rededicated after undergoing a half million dollar renovation.  Apparently, he was the only player who attended any of the 11 camps to sign a pro contract.  Several of the camps drew at least 200 participants.
Hendrickson said he didn’t throw much at the camp, probably because he had pitched for the Chadron Elks the night before the camp started and Eddie Dancisak, the Braves’ chief Midwestern scout and the camp director, already knew about the promising young southpaw and had attended that game.

“About all they had me do (at the camp) was show them my pickoff move,” Hendrickson remembered.  “They offered me a contract and I signed it. I didn’t get much money, but it gave me a chance to play pro ball.”

Attending spring training with the Braves allowed him to mingle with all-stars such as Warren Spahn, Lew Burdette, Hank Aaron and Eddie Matthews and left him with many other great memories.

Just three players from the Panhandle have been inducted into the state’s Baseball Hall of Fame prior to this year.  They include Gene Leahy, who after being both a standout football and baseball player as a youth living in eastern Nebraska and played fullback on two undefeated football teams at Creighton University in 1918 and ’19,  lived in Rushville more than 50 years and was the primary ramrod of the baseball camps the community hosted. The others are Leo Newell, a Gering umpire, and Gary Neibauer, who grew up in Scottsbluff and pitched in the majors for the Braves four seasons and the Phillies one season from 1969 through 1973.

A member of the Hall of Fame’s board of directors, Larry Bornschlegl of Lincoln said more inductions from the West are welcomed, but few, if any, such nominations have been submitted.

Credit for Hendrickson’s nomination goes to Richard Arntz, an Albuquerque resident and a lifelong Braves fans.  About a year ago, while going through the wealth of information about Braves players he had collected, Arntz came across Hendrickson’s material and was impressed.  After discovering Hendrickson had graduated from Chadron State, he contacted the college. 

Much of the information in this story was made available and Arntz used his stash of material to prepare a nomination packet that immediately impressed the selection committee.

Arntz initially planned to keep the nomination a secret, but when it had become evident that Hendrickson would be inducted, the two met last summer in Omaha while Dale was visiting his daughter Tracy and her family there and Arntz was passing through en route to visit relatives in Wisconsin.

Among others who will be inducted Sunday in Beatrice is Johnny Hopp posthumously.  He played in nearly 1,400 games in the outfield and first base for six different major league teams over a 14-year span ending in 1952. A native of Hastings, Hopp spent his final years living in Scottsbluff and died there in 2003.

Also being inducted will be former college standouts Shawn Buchanan and Bobby Mancuso, both of Omaha, and Gene Faszholz of Seward, who spent eight years in the Cardinals’ organization.  The remaining inductees will be long-time coach and manager Bill Fagler of Lincoln and sports announcer Bryan Cook of Beatrice.
(Note:  Our thanks to Con Marshall for sharing yet another outstanding story!)

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Larman Wilson (1930-2019)

PHOENIX, Ariz. | Larman C. Wilson died on Dec. 28, 2019 at age 89.  He was born and raised in Nebraska and graduated from NE State Teachers College in Chadron. He was in the Military Sea Transportation Service during the Korean War.
In 1959, he married Olga Jurevitch who was born in Kosovo, Belarus. They lived in Washington, D.C. while he was completing his Ph.D. in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland in College Park. Larman was a professor and taught at the University of Maryland (both on campus and in the Atlantic Division of its Overseas Program), the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD and American University in Washington, D.C. He retired from the last in 1996 as a Professor of International Relations in the School of International Service where he was also an associate dean.
He was the author of 60-some professional articles and chapters, and co-author of five books. He also had been awarded fellowships by The Hague Academy of International Law in Holland to join a seminar and by the OAS to attend a course of the Inter-American Juridical Committee in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In 2000, he and his wife moved to Phoenix, AZ.
His survivors include his wife of 60 years; two daughters, Natalia Wilson of Phoenix, AZ and Katherine Wilson of West Hartford, CT; four grandchildren; and two brothers, Gilbert Wilson of Sundance, WY and Douglas Wilson of Lincoln, NE.
Memorial donations may be made in his name to The Chadron State Foundation,

Note:  To read more about Larman Wilson and the challenging years when he and his brothers were growing up in a single-parent home in Chadron, we invite you to read: