Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Eagles dominated! The Cardinals....not so much.

Eagle Scouts, that is.  In the fall of 1953, the Chadron High Cardinal football squad was not exactly a powerhouse.  At least, not on the gridiron.  The Cardinals won four games, while losing six.  Off the field, however, nearly one-third of team chalked up a hefty achievement:  nine of them were Eagle Scouts!

In the early '50's, there were two scout troops in Chadron:  Troop 201 and its scoutmaster, Clyde Wiley; and Troop 202, whose scoutmaster was Frank Schell.

In both photographs above (left-to-right);  Back row:  Eric PokorneyBob CrawfordRex JonesLouis Riemenschneider, and Floyd Coleman, who was an All-State guard; 
Front row:  Larry SmithDennis Weaver,  Don Jones, and Ron Jones -- or simply "Twin" for either of them, which was a technique many of us used when we simply didn't know which was which. (And we may have it wrong here again!)

Larry Smith was one of these nine youngsters, and he remembers, "The total number of players on the team probably numbered around 30, so nearly a third were Eagle Scouts.  That didn't make the team successful...however, we could claim to be trustworthy, loyal, etc., and help little old ladies cross the street!"

"We also got some new football helmets, made of plastic, to replace the old '40's leather helmets.  Note, however, there were no face guards, so your teeth were still in jeopardy during a game.  During the last game, which was against Crawford, it was below zero.  Some of the new helmets cracked in the cold."

A tip of the hat to Larry Smith for providing this information -- and these great old photos!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

South Dakota museum has lots of C&NW artifacts

Rick Mills is the curotor of the South Dakota State Railroad Museum in Hill City, adjacent to the popular "1880 Train" depot.  Mills was the subject of a recent KEVN-TV feature, which we've posted below (Editor's Note: Alas, KEVN has withdrawn the link, and it is no longer available.  Sorry!)

After the Chicago & Northwestern Railway pulled out of Chadron in the 1980's, Mills obtained numerous documents and artifacts relating to its operation.

Over the years, a few Chadron area folks have had ties to the 1880 Train — originally called the Black Hills Central Railroad —  as well as the Railroad Museum.  The late John Miller, a long-time machinist at the C&NW roundhouse, helped repair and maintain old steam engines used by the line.

Road Foreman Jerry Drager served as an engineer on the line after retiring from C&NW until his death in 2007.  Another C&NW engineer, Kenny Kritenbrink, became well-aquainted Mills and donated various items to the museum.  He also provided Mills with a few train rides when the C&NW was operating in South Dakota.  Kritenbrink retired many years ago and still lives south of Chadron.  And while 1973 CSC grad Jim Alcorn worked several years for Burlington-Northern, he, too, worked for 1880 Train founder Bill Heckman back in the '70s. Alcorn now lives in Spearfish.

Keep your eyes open for a few C&NW artifacts in this KEVN report.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Seventeen alums gather for 65th CHS Reunion

The Class of 1956 at Chadron High School gathered last weekend (7/9/16) at the American Legion Club in Chadron for their 60-year class reunion.  For a larger version of this image, along with a collection of other school photos, follow this link to:  Chadron Schools Gallery.