Thunder Butte, in South Dakota, has featured prominently in my family's history since 1913. Also known as "Wakinyan Paha" to the Lakota, its religious and cultural significance to the Lakota goes back much further in time, still. Rising from the dry, rolling prairie grasslands in Ziebach County, in northwestern South Dakota, the butte is located on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.
From the top of the butte, you can see for miles in every direction. There are not many people here, although the land is alive with the memory of those who walked here before us. Taking in the quiet of the plains as they reach to the horizon, you can well imagine the way the world was before we were here, and what it may look like long after we have moved on.
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Cheyenne River Lakota Nation
Who links to me?
Ziebach County History (USGenWeb)
Ziebach County Historical Society
South Dakota Office of Tourism
State of South Dakota
South Dakota Magazine
Faith, South Dakota
Faith Chamber of Commerce
Dupree, South Dakota
Town of Isabel
Timber Lake, South Dakota
Timber Lake Historical Society
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Defenders of the Black Hills
Owl Tipi Art
February 04, 2006
Gene Crowley and his Rhythm Rascals
The tall tale was a staple of people who used to live on the prairie. Telling whoppers may have been a way to entertain on those dark and cold nights far from the nearest town and well before the invention or popularization of television, VCRs, DVD players, Tivo, and the internet. In any case, I will admit that I have had some doubts about certain dramatic details of some of the stories passed down to me, or which my father has told through this site. And, I did wonder about some of my father's musical adventures and his band, "Crowley's Rhythm Rascals."- - -
Sure enough, though, I have put my hands on an old clipping from a newspaper called The Lemmon Squeezer, which may have been the student newspaper of Lemmon High School, which my Dad, John--then known as Gene--attended in South Dakota. Its October 13, 1939 issue contains the following notice:
J.C.C.'s To Sponsor Homecoming Dance
As a fitting climax for the Homecoming celebration, students will dance to the symphonic synchronization of the jazzin' jumpin' jives, Gene Crowley and his Rhythm Rascals, tonight at the American Legion Hall.
- - -
The same issue of The Lemmon Squeezer contains another article about a "Cotton Club Cafe" show to be held the very same night by the Lemmon High School juniors and seniors. According to the article, my father also played the drums for that performance.
Mike Crowley Saturday, February 04, 2006