Deadwood South Dakota



Saloon #10
1975

Deadwood was a one of a kind old west town. At 4280 feet above sea
level it was also a mountain town. Back before the days of gold rush
(about a hundred years previous) the place was known as Deadwood
gulch. After the gold rush, it became known as the town where Wild
Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane hung out. From our window in the
Syndicate Hotel, we used to watch the “Killing of Wild Bill” skit as
it got played out on the street below us. At 6 p.m. every evening,
Jack McCall would shoot Wild Bill in the back of the head in Saloon
#10 and then run out into the street where a rip-roaring gun battle
would take place, ending with Jack being escorted down to the
courthouse. I didn’t stop there, either, the “Deadwood Players” would
reenact Jack’s day in court once they arrived at the courthouse. The
tourists loved it. Actually, so did I. It was done really well.

As it turned out, moving to Deadwood was the right decision. The
people there were good people. There was Gary, co-owner of his
father’s bar, and before that he was a schoolteacher who quit teaching
in order to do commercial fishing in Alaska. There was longhaired,
burly Mike, Gary’s buddy and co-worker. He tended bar at the Old Style
and worked with Gary on remodeling jobs. Mike was especially nice to
me. There were lots of people from Houghton Lake, too. Kandie, C.S.’s
girlfriend, lived there. Sandy, another friend from Houghton Lake
moved there. C.S.’s brother, Jerry, lived there, and Vicky and Javier
moved up from Arizona just after we settled in. Javier went to work in
the gold mine and he and Vicky got married. Their baby was due soon.

C.S. and I eventually moved into the house at 5 Cliff. You had to
climb three flights of stairs to reach the front door. C.S.’s other
brother, Denny (the same Denny that I had bicycled out west with),
lived with his girlfriend in the only other house built on the cliff.
The three of us (C.S. sent for her son, Rodney) lived as one big happy
family. I was going to go to work in the mine, but Gary from the Old
Style took a liking to me, and in no time I was working for him. I was
the helper while the rest of the guys remodeled the building adjacent
to the Saloon #10. When I wasn’t helping with the remodeling, I was
working in the bar. Beer breaks were mandatory. Not bad work if you
could get it!

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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6 Responses to Deadwood South Dakota

  1. Thanks for visiting my blog! You tell some great stories and have had some fascinating adventures 🙂
    cheers
    Lorraine

  2. jgavinallan says:

    Are these stories or real life adventures?
    Jaye

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      The events are history. The people are real. The dialogue is, more often than not, added to the real story in order to tell the story of when, how, and why I developed the philosophy/religion that for me, in my old age, is extremely satisfying. Thanks for the comment!

  3. mavimet says:

    Wow – now you’re getting close to home for me. I went through the Badlands area and stayed in Deadwood in and around the same time period – in the early to mid 70’s. I also remember seeing that show from across the street. 🙂

  4. Deadwood–the town that time forgot. 🙂

    It’s a great little town and a fun stop for day of tourist activities. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live there, especially in the winter. It’s a bit isolated.

  5. ElizOF says:

    Fascinating report and the pictures are quite good. TY! 🙂

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