Friends Of The Little Bighorn Battlefield

The Next Generation In The Study Of Custer's Last Stand

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Summer 2006


| Warrior Markers | Fundraiser | Reno Warrior Marker Ceremony | Friends Feast | Friends Members & Volunteers | 130th Anniversary Events | Corbin van den Bergh

Friends Summer Events 2006 - 130th Anniversary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn


Photo courtesy of Lola Mauer


“I’ll always remember this weekend,” one Friends’ member stated. Another told me, “Of all the anniversary weekends I’ve seen, this one surpasses all of them.” I think they might be right. 

The entire weekend was full of surprises; Lt. Porter’s revolver made an appearance, Park Ranger Mike Donahue’s new theories regarding the Battle of the Little Bighorn found supportive evidence, the 10th Special Forces fell from the sky then met and shook hands with a direct descendent of Sitting Bull.

The planned events flowed like clockwork, pretty much on time, but with spontaneous fanfare. Imagine if you will, a Swede laying an offering at the base of a new warrior marker with a silent prayer. No wonder people are calling this the best anniversary weekend. 

Joanne and I arrived at the battlefield around 3 P.M., Thursday, June 22 where I met with Superintendent Darrell Cook. Our last face-to-face visit was the previous August. I found Cook comfortable and calm even under the soon-to-be grueling busy weekend. He remained that way for the entire weekend; I could only understand this was due to his Marine training background and combat in Vietnam. No way would this leader lose any sleep over a few thousand Custer Buffs.  He asked if we’d seen the new warrior markers yet and when I replied no, he said, “Let’s take a ride.” 

As we passed through the visitor center parking lot, Cook paused and pointed to the cemetery. He showed us how much thinner it looked with the dead spruce trees pulled out. One of our projects for this year was replacing some of the dead trees with new ones. Funny, but I didn’t notice all the missing trees; nor did many other visitors until I showed them.  

I commented to Cook that it seemed visitation was down. He stated it would get busier. He was right, but it is true that overall visitation is down and its effect is being felt throughout the NPS system, and tourist trades. This seemed to be the dominant conversation all weekend, except for battle talk, with the consensus of the cause being high gasoline prices. None of us could reach an agreement as to what the heck Custer was doing on June 25, 1876! 

New Warrior Markers

Just before reaching Last Stand Hill, Cook pointed to our right where I could just make out the top of the first of eight new warrior markers that would be unveiled over the weekend. The red granite marker is for Wasicu Sapa (Black White Man), and it rests near the head of the Deep Ravine Trail.  

Our first stop was at the Cheyenne wayside marker across the road from the head of the Keogh/Crazy Horse Trail. We piled out of the car and stood in front of the marker for fallen warrior, Mato He Kici (Bear With Horns). Both of these warriors were of the Minnikojou Lakota band. 

Mato He Kici (Bear With Horns) -- photo by Bob Reece

View more photos of the warrior markers

From this vantage point we had a panoramic view of the western half of the battlefield, a wide expanse of the Little Bighorn River valley, and the foothills of the Bighorns with their snowcapped peaks beyond. It’s a magnificent view that I’ve been fortunate to look upon for the last 25 summers, as well as other seasons. 

Cook also pointed to red pin flags in the ground. He said I’d be able to spot them throughout the area; they represent recent research for locations of fallen warriors. He warned me to be prepared for high numbers. I’ve always believed that number to be near 100. He said there were approximately 200 pin flags. If this turns out to be true (still more research is required by Chief Historian John Doerner), then it could be evidence that the 7th Cavalry fought hard (just as the Indian accounts have always stated). Most importantly, it would contradict recent theories that this battle was one of massive soldier disintegration and command structure breakdown. Is it possible that there may be as many dead warriors upon this field as there were soldiers, a result that is relatively impossible if soldiers are running and throwing their weapons away at the same time? (Note: As of June 25, 2007, the park service has definitely not concluded that the red pin flags are accurate. They are concerned that the majority are actually inaccurate. The park service still interprets the number of warriors killed in the battle and died later from wounds to be between 60-100)

As we continued the drive toward Reno-Benteen, we passed a lone tipi on the east side of the battlefield road -- the government easement is 60 feet on each side. This lone tipi was a fly-by-night trinket sales operation opened by the owner of the land. Cook predicted it would be gone within a few weeks after the anniversary weekend. Each time I drove past this business venture there were no buyers – I think Cook’s prediction will come to pass. 

We arrived at the Reno Benteen Battlefield parking lot where I discovered none of the new warrior markers could be seen from that area. All but one of the markers stands just beyond the soldier lines and in the region where Long Road fell. Some of these warriors died by the hands of the soldiers firing from Benteen’s line. These markers honor: Sans Arc Lakota, Cetan Wicasa (Hawk Man); Hunkpapa Lakota, Matao Luzahan (Swift Bear); Hunkpapa Lakota, Mato Numpa (Two Bear); Sans Arc Lakota, Hehaka Wankata Najin (Elk Stands On Top); Minnikojou Lakota, Wambli Ska (White Eagle). The last marker for Minnikojou Lakota, Chegnaka Satapa (Breech Cloth) is farther northeast between these lines and Dog’s Back Bone’s marker. 

June 23, 2006 Friends Fundraiser

Friday, June 23, was the first day of the official commemoration events for the 130th anniversary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, co-sponsored by the Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield and the National Park Service. That evening we held a fundraiser for Friends on the second floor of the battlefield administration building. “Little Bighorn: A Step Back in Time” turned out to be more successful than we could imagine. We even sold standing room only tickets.  

7th Cavalry Monument at sunset; fundraise concluded here with Doerner's presentation -- photo by Lola Mauer

View more photos of the fundraiser event

The NPS provided refreshments, and as people arrived they had time to eat and visit – many only see each other once during this time of year. Cook began the evening line-up of speakers and presentations by welcoming the guests. It was a melting pot of battle buffs from the west and east coast, Sweden, Canada, and Great Britain. Some of the dignitaries were Cricket Pohanka, widow of Brian Pohanka; John Pohanka (Brian’s cousin) and John’s son, Mac Pohanka. The British battle historian Francis Taunton was also in attendance.  

Friends’ board member, Chuck Merkel and his lovely wife, Diane (webmaster for the LBHA website) brought along a beautiful artist print of Ken Ferguson’s “Sitting Bull.” Ferguson is offering it for sale, with a large portion of proceeds to be donated to Friends. I think Chuck and Diane sold at least three prints that evening. Be sure to read about how you can purchase this print. A big thanks to Ferguson, Chuck, and Diane for working hard to help Friends.  

Dr. James Brust and Sandy Barnard, authors of the recently published book, “Where Custer Fell”, provided our first presentation. Their slide presentation was unique for our fundraiser; it focused on Last Stand Hill, and included many photos never before published or seen in their book. Needless to say, their exciting talk inspired a lot of questions. We very much appreciate Brust and Barnard giving their time to present. 

We next presented a 35 minute documentary titled, “Superintendent Edward Luce: Memories of Little Bighorn.” I edited this documentary from more than an hour of home movies filmed by Luce during his tenure as superintendent of the battlefield. The footage covered the period from the 1940s through the 1950s, and all of it silent. I could not have completed it without the help of Chief Historian John Doerner, Chief of Interpretation Ken Woody, Robert Utley, Neil Mangum, or Jerome Greene. 

Guests sat mesmerized as they viewed scenes of the Custer National Cemetery and Last Stand Hill before the visitor center was constructed or the trees were planted. There were scenes of Sadie Whiteman standing on Last Stand Hill with the 7th Cavalry Monument behind her; she was a young Cheyenne girl in the village during the battle. There was a segment showing Custer’s last surviving soldier, Charles Windolph, sitting in his chair on his porch with his dog lying beside him. Seeing these last survivors were magnificent and served as a reminder that this battle didn’t really happen too long ago. 

The audience also received a great surprise when they saw footage of a very young Robert Utley interpreting the battle on Last Stand Hill. The Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield plan to make this documentary available for sale at the visitor center bookstore and online, so stay tuned for news about that. 

For many, the highlight of the fundraiser was what occurred next. After guests had copies of “Where Custer Fell” signed by the authors, we all headed up to Last Stand Hill for a sunset tour and talk. It was the first time many of the guests had experienced the battlefield after the monument was closed to visitors.  

We reached Last Stand Hill about 15 minutes before sunset to find time to look upon the battlefield with no travelers in sight. As the lights of Crow Agency began to glimmer in the distance, Chief Historian John Doerner began what would be a two-hour battle talk. All I can say is it was a memorable experience; Doerner was at his peak. When I had asked Doerner if he’d be willing to lead this tour, his response was, “That is my favorite place to talk. I’d love to.” He didn’t let us down.  

As the dark enveloped us and a northerly wind kicked in, Doerner raised his voice to overcome it, and people pulled in close to each other to keep warm, but no one wanted to miss a word. The last time we took Friends’ members up to Last Stand Hill after dark was June 23, 2002. If you didn’t get a ticket to our fundraiser this year, please don’t miss such an opportunity in the future.  

Friends Volunteers Interpret On The Trails

Saturday June 24 was the first day Friends had volunteers interpreting for the NPS along the Deep Ravine and Keogh/Crazy Horse Trails for this year. We’ve been conducting such interpretation for the NPS for more than 10 years now. We had many new volunteers, plus our first British interpreter, Peter Hill of Great Britain. Friends’ board member Mike Semenock did an outstanding job managing the volunteers for us, as well as handling all the registration for the Friday night fundraiser. Thanks Mike! We really missed past managers Carol Near and Nancy Marteney who could not attend this year due to family reasons. We hope to see Carol and Nancy next year.

Ken Custer & Swede, Curt Wahrme -- photo by Mike Semenock

View more photos of Friends members and volunteers

NPS allowed Friends to maintain their command post in apartment C of the seasonal apartments just across the road from the Stone House (White Swan Memorial Library). Here volunteers registered, had a cool place to retreat from the sun (although we had comfortable weather all weekend), to mingle and visit, and fan out to the various trails to interpret the battle or witness the many ceremonies.

A big thanks to our volunteers for all their hard work and continued dedication.

Our Volunteers Included:

Joanne Blair

Larry & Gloria Bright

Jack Davis

Marsha Davis

Dave Depperman

Phil Dyer

Craig Fischer

Peter Hill

Kay Hunsaker

Dale Kosman

Sean McCue

Lola Mauer

Jim May

Hank Pangione

Austin Reece

Bob Reece

Megan Reece

Mike Semenock

Ron Thomas

Lt. Porter's Revolver

Saturday morning, one of our first guests was new Friends member, Ron Martin. Ron wasn’t volunteering, but was visiting, and wanted to meet some fellow Friends. The last time he visited was in the 90s when all the trails were closed. Being very interested in Keogh, he was anxious to see Keogh’s marker at the end of the Keogh/Crazy Horse Trail. Because he has problems with his knees, I offered to give him a ride out to the trailhead where I would drop him off, and then return to pick him up. He took me up on the offer, so we had time to visit as we drove to the trailhead. I showed him where to find Keogh’s marker and headed back to apartment C. 

As I parked at the Stone House parking lot, I spotted Hank Pangione stepping out of his car. We met for the first time last year, which was Hank’s first year to interpret. He was anxious to get started. After Hank registered, I asked him where he was headed. “Keogh Trail of course”, he said. By now it was time for me to return to pick up Ron, so Hank hitched a ride with me. On our way to the trailhead, Hank must have asked me three times if I was sure it was OK for him to be on the trails. Of course it was, but I don’t think I had him quite convinced when we parked at the trailhead! 

Ron was already at the trailhead, so I introduced him to Hank, and being two Keogh nuts, they hit it off real fast. I took some pictures and was just about to leave, when two vans pulled up and parked across the road. One was the NPS van. Getting out of the van were Rangers Jerry Jasmer, Marvin Dobbs, Mike Donahue, and Ken Woody. (I’ve known all of them for years, and Jasmer is a board member for Friends. Poor Hank didn’t know this). As they were about halfway across the road, Donahue pointed his finger at me and yells out, “Mister. Get Back On The Trails!!” You should have seen Hanks’ face! It was priceless. We all started laughing.

I noticed two civilians with them. I whispered to Donahue, “You must have some VIPs with you?” He said, “You don’t want to miss this.” I asked Ron if he didn’t mind waiting a bit longer so I could follow these men. By then, they were halfway down the trial. I saw Hank waving at me to get down there!!

When I got down, I thought Hank was going to have a heart attack. “They’ve got Porter’s gun,” he said. They had a revolver that most likely belonged to Porter. They placed the revolver on Porter’s marker and we all took photos.

Lt. Porter's Revolver -- photo by Bob Reece

Turns out the owner’s great grandfather was a Canadian Mountie who knew the Indian that sold him the revolver. The story is that the Indian got the gun during the battle. The Indian was part of Sitting Bull’s band. The serial number on the revolver is only digits off from the revolver Porter left behind. Jasmer and Donahue believe the revolver is legit, but no one believes there will be more evidence than what they already have.

When I reached the trailhead, the guns’ owner was ahead of me. Ron had no idea what was going on, but I wanted to do my best to make sure he saw the weapon. So, I reached the owner’s van just as he finished locking the gun back up. I asked him if he’d show it to Ron, and he agreed. Ron had been to the battlefield for less than an hour, and he was now staring at a battle relic. His reaction was priceless, “Can I touch it?” he asked the owner. “Sure,” he replied, and Ron’s fingers reached toward the revolver, slowly. They moved gracefully across the barrel, and you would have almost thought he was touching the Shroud of Turin.

Reno-Benteen Battlefield Warrior Markers Ceremony

Saturday afternoon at 4, the NPS unveiled the warrior markers at Reno-Benteen. It turned out to be a moving experience. The crowd was much larger than the one that attended the Dog’s Back Bone marker unveiling in 2003. Speaking for the warriors was Floyd Clown, descendent of Crazy Horse’s family. In attendance were Ernie LaPointe, great grandson of Sitting Bull, and members of the 10th Special Forces from Ft. Carson, Colorado. We had time to visit, which made for some fantastic photo ops of LaPointe and the 10th meeting for the first time. LaPointe served in the 101st Airborne during the Vietnam War. First thing LaPointe said to the officers was that he wasn't planning to jump with them the next day, even if they did ask! What a great spontaneous experience it was to see them shake hands and laugh together.  

By now, Cook, Doerner, Jasmer, and Donahue were there. We were waiting for the last of the special guests to arrive, who were running a little late. But that was to be expected; they were arriving on horse all the way from Medicine Tail Ford. It was Steve Alexander and some of his officers riding the distance. Alexander plays Custer on just about every History Channel production covering the Little Bighorn or Custer. 

Recently returned soldier from Iraq gives offering to Breech Cloth --

 photo by Mike Semenock

View more photos from the Reno Benteen Battlefield warrior marker ceremony

When Alexander arrived, his team parked their horses next to a couple of young Lakota riders who had traveled from Slim Buttes, South Dakota with a large group of members of the Crazy Horse family. What a picture this was: a descendent of Sitting Bull, current officers of our armed forces, families of Crazy Horse, and men who reenact the 7th Cavalry were all standing together to remember the soldiers and the warriors who fell here 130 years ago. At that moment, we were standing in front of five new warrior markers with magnificent views of the Wolf Mountains and Montana prairie. Looking over this view, I could see where Reno Creek empties into the Little Bighorn River. I could almost imagine Reno beginning his charge toward the Indian village while Custer and his five companies made their way right through where we stood. It was breathtaking! 

Cook spoke, followed by Doerner, and then Clown. Clown spoke eloquently about Hawk Man and why these markers were important. He gave a prayer in Lakota, and you could hear a pin drop. When he finished, he pulled off the buffalo calf robe covering from the marker to reveal its name: Hawk Man. Acting curator Sharon Small invited Sylvan Longbreak, the 14 year old relative of Hawk Man, to present the first offering of tied tobacco and place it at the base of Hawk Man’s marker. Floyd Clown accompanied Sylvan to the marker where Sylvan bent down and quietly placed the offering. Sharon Small then invited anyone who wished to present an offering. 

Visitors who traveled to the Little Bighorn from all points of the globe came together in a very quiet and sobering few minutes to remember the warriors. Friends board member Lola Mauer bent down to present the offering. I observed Swedish Friends member, Curt Wahrme place the offering, then stand up, press his hands together, and closed his eyes to say a quiet prayer. Some people placed similar offerings at the base of other markers. Mike Semenock placed his at the base of Breech Cloth’s, and observed William Carrington do the same. Ironically, Carrington is a direct descendent of Col Henry Carrington, commander of Ft. Phil Kearny, who, it is said, told Capt Fetterman to not pursue Indians beyond Lodge Trail Ridge. He so did anyway and got all of his 80 men rubbed out by Lakota and Cheyenne on December 21, 1866.  

Friends Feast & General Membership Meeting

Later that evening, we held a Friends Feast behind the administration building. The Friends provided all the food and drink for our members to enjoy. It was a picture perfect evening with stunning views of the Gibbon Flats, the mouth of Deep Ravine, and the Little Bighorn River valley.

Views from behind the administration building -- photo by Lola Mauer

View more photos from the Friends Feast

We held our general membership meeting during the Feast. Friends treasurer Chip Watts and his wife, Sandy, attended as well, even though this is the busiest time of the year for them. Watts reported we had another great fiscal year of few expenses but sustainable growth. Our membership continues to grow at higher rates than expected. I think the highlight of the Feast were the white chocolate macadamia nut cookies that Joanne Blair provided! 

We plan to hold more of these great dinners in the future; so don't forget to join Friends because one has to be a member to attend.

Sunday June 25, 2006 -- 130th Anniversary Of The Battle

Sunday, the 130th anniversary of the battle, started bright and early with the annual “Prayer for World Peace” ceremony led by Donlin Many Badhorses, Northern Cheyenne, on top of Last Stand Hill. Within an hour or so, the “Crazy Horse Riders” arrived on horseback. This was the third year in a row for them – they ride from Pine Ridge. Not long after that, Larry Gibson’s “7th Cavalry of the Yellowstone” (reenactors) approached the battlefield on horseback. These dedicated historians started their ride where Custer and the 7th did so many years before: Ft. Lincoln near present day Bismarck, ND. 

The Friends volunteers interpreting along the trails began their second and last day at 8 AM. The only time they’d break would be from 11 AM – 2 PM in order to attend the ceremonies at the amphitheater. 

U.S. Flag at half-mast to honor the fallen of June 25-26, 1876 - photo by Chuck Merkel

View more photos from the events of June 25, 2006

10th Special Forces Arrive

Close to 11 AM, the 10th Special Forces parachuted onto the battlefield. They landed in the Gibbon’s Flats area of the battlefield, and then they marched up to the Custer National Cemetery where they placed a wreath. Ernie LaPointe welcomed the 10th, and they smiled and shook hands. Doerner played Taps. 

NPS & Friends Official Anniversary Ceremony

At noon, the NPS held its official observence of the 130th anniversary at the amphitheater. Cook welcomed visitors to the battlefield, and he discussed the future of warrior markers and asked the Friends to lead the effort to raise funds for their placement. Speakers included: Douglas War Eagle from the Crazy Horse family; Enos Poor Bear, Jr., whose father led the effort to bring the Indian Memorial to the battlefield; Ernie LaPointe; Ken Custer from the Custer family; Larry Gibson; Steve Alexander; John Doerner, and myself. Behind the speakers, an Indian singing and drumming group sat. They performed two songs. 

War Eagle spoke about his relative Crazy Horse and why his warriors fought so hard in 1876. Enos Poor Bear, Jr. presented the new flag of the Oglala Lakota nation -- which his father designed, to Cook for the NPS. Enos spoke to the audience wonderfully about his father. Doerner shared remarkable stories about each warrior who was being honored this weekend.  LaPointe revealed the unique wreath he and his wonderful wife, Sonja, had made together to present later at Black White Man’s marker. The wreath was made of tobacco, sage, and sweetgrass and tied together with red, white, yellow, and back ribbon. Custer spoke about his relative who died within eyesight from where we all sat. Gibson spoke about his groups’ ride from Ft. Lincoln. His fellow reenactors stood at the sidelines along with the beautiful wreath they would lay at the 7th Cavalry Monument. Alexander spoke about the irony of how the soldiers and warriors were killing each other 130 years ago, but today they stand together. I spoke about Friends’ co-founder and first president, the late Rick Meyer, and how I wished he could be with us this special day. 

The last time I saw Rick was near this podium during the Indian Memorial dedication, June 23, 2003. It was his, Oglala/Lakota Joe Marshall, and my wish to do what we could to bring the whites and Indians together at this battlefield. That was one of the reasons why we formed The Friends in 1996 with the help of then Superintendent Gerard Baker. Now, for the 130th in 2006, we were all standing together at the podium honoring both sides that fought against each other. Looks like our plan is working today, Rick.  

I was the last speaker, so I kept it as short as possible. When I finished, all of us walked to the head of the Deep Ravine Trail where Douglas War Eagle and Ernie LaPointe unveiled one of the two newest warrior markers on the Custer Battlefield. Minnikojou Lakota, Wasicu Sapa (Black White Man’s) marker is easily seen from the trail where it rests at the base of Last Stand Hill. War Eagle and LaPointe placed the wreath at the base of the marker, and War Eagle followed with a prayer. The second marker is for Minnikojou Lakota, Mato He Kici (Bear With Horns) as already stated at the outset of this report. 

From there we followed behind Gibson’s group who marched in order up to Last Stand Hill. They stood at attention before the 7th Cavalry Monument. In silence, one soldier reenactor (yes, a real soldier; he recently returned from fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq), placed a wreath in front of the Monument. A fellow reenactor played Taps. Most of the crowd then marched toward the administration building for lunch, generously provided by the NPS and Western National Parks Association.  

The Northern Cheyenne Riders, who rode on horseback from their reservation east of the battlefield, arrived during the afternoon. They held speeches at the amphitheater with Donlin Many Badhorses as the lead speaker. Performing for the crowd were young Cheyenne dancers wearing beautifully colored beaded dresses. 

Superintendent Darrell Cook closed the 130th anniversary events with an open house for the public at the administration building from 5-7 PM. A copy of the Environmental Assessment Report regarding the expansion of the visitor center was provided, and Cook and NPS representatives Linda Clement answered questions. You can read a full copy of the report along with the photos on our website. The E. A. is a very large pdf so only download it if you have high-speed internet access.

For the thousands of visitors to this website who were not able to attend this great weekend of events, I believe you might now understand why Friends’ members have expressed this to be the very best of their experiences visiting the battlefield. It was for me. As far as Donahue’s new theories I mentioned at the outset, we’ll just have to wait for his new book to find those out. 

Big Thanks To Many Great Friends

If I may, I’d like to thank a few people and companies who helped the NPS and Friends make the 130th special.  

First, thank you to the Friends’ volunteers who worked so hard on the trails June 24-25, 2006. It might be difficult for some to stand in the sun for hours just to talk about the battle; however, until you try it, don’t knock it. Interpreting is an astonishing experience. I see the results in every single volunteer when they come back from their shift with wide smiles. One of our newest volunteers, Sean McCue, said it best after interpreting on Last Stand Hill very near the same spot Robert Utley interpreted 55 years before: “Aside from all the obvious joy kids and family bring and other selected big moments in my life, being a volunteer on Last Stand Hill was probably one of the best experiences of my life. It ranked right up there. No joke. It was overwhelming. Afterwards, I felt very grateful for having had the chance to touch peoples’ lives by simply answering their questions.” 

I’d also like to thank Superintendent Darrell Cook for his gracious hosting of our members, and for attending every single Friends’ event over the weekend. I would also like to share one more short story regarding Cook. Friday night during Doerner’s talk on Last Stand Hill, I asked Cook when we were supposed to leave the battlefield. He told me we could stay as long as Doerner held out. I know every person there would thank Cook for that, if they could. 

I can’t thank my children, Megan and Austin, enough, along with Megan’s boyfriend Ron Thomas. I’m very lucky that they like to revisit the battlefield every year, but they do more than just visit. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to get done with half of what I need to. Ron rescued the NPS last year by repairing the visitor center touch screen kiosk. He rescued us again this year at the fundraiser. Sandy Barnard had run late and arrived about 20 minutes before he was scheduled to speak. We had to figure out how to hook-up his laptop to a new fancy widescreen television. Instead of wasting precious time figuring it out for myself, I grabbed Ron. He had us up and running in minutes. 

A big thanks to my life partner and fellow historian, Joanne Blair, who persuaded many companies to donate food and water. She worked hard and it saved the Friends big bucks in not having to purchase the items. She was also the kitchen boss, grabbing several volunteers to help prepare the food for the Friends Feast.

The Friends would like to thank United Sales & Services and the following manufacturers for donating product for the Friends Feast and other activities during the 130th anniversary celebration:

Biota Spring Water
The Christy Cookie Company
Lightlife Foods
Mountain Green
Patrick Cudahy
Reser's Fine Foods 

Again, thank you Mike Semenock for making the weekend work. Lola Mauer kept the volunteers pumped up and laughing, and flipped burgers and brats for the Friends Feast: thanks Lola. 

Chief of Interpretation Ken Woody managed our events from the NPS side. Every single event, from getting the keys for apartment C, to making sure the gas grill worked for the Friends Feast, happened flawlessly thanks to Ken. When you finally get to see “Superintendent Edward Luce: Memories of Little Bighorn”, you’ll thank Ken for interpreting the scene where an Indian in a beautifully decorated headdress speaks to the camera in Plains Indian sign language. 

Thank you to Dave Depperman who provided transportation to and from Billings, Montana for our British Friends.

To Ernie and Sonja LaPointe, thanks for the special wreath you made for the warrior marker.  

Thanks, again, to Dr. James Brust and Sandy Barnard for excellent work in research and presenting for The Friends on June 23. 

I can’t say enough thanks to John Doerner. The battlefield is very lucky to have John as its chief historian. He truly loves the battlefield. I knew John back in the days when he was just like all of us; a visitor to the battlefield. It was his dream to work here; it happened and it is something for which we are all fortunate. 

I’ll see you on Last Stand Hill,

Bob Reece

July 7, 2006

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