Please forgive me for my tardiness in writing this letter. Last August 4 my 11-year-old granddaughter and I were traveling through your area in our ancient motor home when the water pump gave up the ghost. What could have been a disastrous occurrence so far from home turned out to be an unexpected pleasure because of the wonderful people in your town.
The owner of Leslie’s Sinclair took time to help us even though he was backed up with work. He had a new pump over-nighted from Montana (?) and had us on our way by noon the next day. The people at the Bear Lodge gave us a fine room at a reasonable price (we were not so lucky in the next few days because of some motorcycle event.) The waitress at the café (near Leslie’s on the corner) took care not only of us, but also of a family that had their car totaled earlier that morning. The owner of an antique shop up the street from the café told us about the town museum and library where we spend several hours in the air-conditioning. The curator of the museum (quite a nice display by the way) spent time with us politely and knowledgeably answering our questions. The children’s librarian found several books which she allowed me to purchase for my granddaughter even though there was not a book sale at the time. When we went to the market to find something for supper, we were even invited to use the town pool for a free swim that night.
I am sorry I don’t know everyone’s name to write to them personally, but please do your best to let them all know how much we appreciated their hospitality. I don’t know if I will ever get back to your lovely town, but it will remain a favorite memory from a very special cross-country trip.
Thank you for restoring my faith in human nature. I wish you and your town all the best in the future.
Susan Gehris and Jocelyn
Editor’s note: This letter was originally sent to the City of Sundance and was forwarded to the TIMES to share with members of the community.
The attention your paper focused on the pine beetle epidemic is of great public interest and importance, I appreciate the information. This devastation of the beautiful forest of the Black Hills is a tragedy. I wonder though why it’s taken so long for the obvious to be discovered. Has no one in our government been to South Dakota? It’s encouraging that courses of action are being discussed; all of us should support the goal to save the forest. Those environmental groups, who have for years been against forest management, harvesting of some of the trees, should ask themselves some hard questions about what their goals where and are. Junk science, political agenda’s and a lack of action have brought us to this mess.
Our leadership, both local and state, should be asked why only now they are concerned? They have the data from 2009 showing only 33.8 acres infested, jumping to 335.7 acres in 2010. Wasn’t that enough to alert them? How many acres where infested in 2011? Three years and suddenly they notice? Now we have to wait for the last 11% of landowners to be contacted: What has taken so long to get started: The country has no problem getting in contact with landowners to collect the property taxes. It’s the middle of February, from information I have read the beetles will be active soon, spreading. Why where these actions, conversations not done last year: Why does our County Commissioners have to send a letter to the Governor, Weren’t several of the governor’s people there to report back to him?
The beetle problem is very serious, more than just the loss of the beauty of the forest, losses of the jobs the forest industry, hunting, tourism provides, fires that can kill people, destroy homes.
I hope those that are in the positions of responsibility “think creatively” as Mr. Rieman from the state suggested. Let us also hope all involved not only “think creatively” but also think quickly and then act faster than they have so far.
I would like to invite all interested parties that want to progressively promote Sundance to join the team of Progressive Business Leaders of Sundance. We are a group of mainly business owners banding together to directly impact revenue at our businesses. By donating on Bill Board you are automatically a member. Helping the entire town as a whole through increased sales and lodging tax revenue. Further I feel that it time to put past our petty issues behind and all band together. Group Hug! Lol
Our first project is the Sundance Community Bill Board 8 Miles East of Sundance on I-90. If all 20 or so businesses directly referred to on the Community Bill Board will pay $1/day or price of regular size candy bar, this Bill Board can be reality. (Bill Board Installed 1/4/2012) This project was designed to keep price a non factor. If owners won’t spend the price of regular candy bar per day, do they really believe in Sundance economically? Cost $3900/year lease, $1000 illumination, total $4900, 12’x48’, left hand reader. Numbers will be adjusted when we find out how many members we have.
Potentially another bill board is available just on the other side of Moorcroft, currently taken by Best Western and Sundance Travel Center. It is strategically located just west of the only east-bound route to Devils Tower, allowing us to market I-90 traffic, but also Devils Tower traffic, that will most likely, according to traffic counts, exit the Tower in the Sundance direction. Currently we are pitching business, entities and others on helping with a grant or donation. Cost, $7200/year, illumination included, 14’x60’, right hand reader.
Remember that as a small community we need everybody including, entities like, Sundance City Council, Chamber of Commerce, Crook County Promotion Board, Crook County Museum District, Crook Country Museum and Art Gallery Foundation to have successful long term outdoor advertising campaign.
Thanks for helping you, me and our community!
President-Progressive Business Leaders of Sundance
Best Western and Rodeway Inn Sundance