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04/02/10 11:10 PM #1    


Dianne Marie Newlon (Roisum)

Welcome to the T F Riggs High School Class Of 1960 forums. Please press "Post Response" to participate in the discussion.

12/14/13 09:03 PM #2    

Kerry Dilley

TF Riggs Class of 1960

Hi to all my dear friends,

I want to share a tremendous experience I had yesterday (12/12/2013).  Steve Brynes petitioned the SD Historical Society to request the U.S. Department of Interior to have his Great Great Grandfather’s (Chief Iron Nation) grave site placed on the National Registry of Historic Places.  This is an arduous process.  The petition was approved and will now be submitted to the U. S. Department of Interior National Park Service for consideration and approval.  Their decision should be known by late February or early March of 2014.

I must tell you, learning of the attributes and accomplishments of Chief Iron Nation during the presentation of this petition was one of the most heart touching and enlightening experiences ever for me as it relates to someone I was a classmate of.  I won’t go into all the details of the presentation, but will mention a couple that were/are particularly significant.  Chief Iron Nation was the last CHIEF of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe.  The U.S. Government imposed a different form of governing on the Indian Tribes many years ago.  Now they elect Tribal Chairman in lieu of a Chief.  Chief Iron Nation was a signatory to three important treaties with the U.S. Government.  Most notably, the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868.  This treaty dealt with multiple issues.  One issue specified what land would become “Indian Reservations.”  The Lakota Reservation was to include all the land west from the Missouri River to…I am not sure were.  But it would’ve including the Black Hills.  In other words, after you cross the Missouri River Bridge leaving Pierre, was to be the Lakota’s land.  Finally, Chief Iron Nation was specifically mentioned by name by President Ulysses S. Grant in his (what we now call the State of the Union Address) speech to the 44th Congress.  President Grant alluded to Chief Iron Nation as being instrumental in government’s pursuit to come to peace with the Indian tribes.  What makes this tribute to Chief Iron Nation by President Grant particularly historically significant was he made this comment just six months after The Battle of the Little Bighorn in which General Armstrong Custer and his troops were killed.  Just imagine the President recognizing Chief Iron Nation by name and calling him a peacemaker after such a recent event.

Finally, I have to share some thoughts about Steve.  In the society we lived/live in, it would have been understandable and easy for Steve to disavow and turn his back on his Indian heritage.  We all know why.  But instead, Steve has embraced his heritage.  Not just because of the stature attained by his Great Great Grandfather, but because he identifies and truly cares about his people.  You could say he in walking in Chief Iron Nation footsteps.  Steve knows the struggles Native Americans face individually and as a society.  He is involved in assisting them to find answers.  I can tell you, Steve is very very proud of his Indian heritage! Finally, I don’t know one other person personally who has as significant past heritage as Steve Byrnes.  Steve whole family is involved with Steve’s interests and concerns and, I am sure, will continue in his footsteps as well.

Kerry Dilley

12/15/13 12:19 AM #3    


Dorothy M. Huckfeldt (Neddermeyer)

Hi Kerry: Thanks for your eloquent tribute to Steve Byrnes and the Lower Brule Lakota Nation. The Lower Brule Lakota Natives were our neighbors. My parents' cattle ranch (1000 acres) bordered Lower Brule on the western side. Subsequently, Lower Brule Nation has acquired all the surrounding ranch land except the 1000 acres my parents owned. The Lower Brule Nation covers 404 square miles in Lyman and Stanley counties bounded on the northeast and east by the Missouri River. The Lower Brule Nation population is 1,664 and tribal membership is 3,410. The Agency headquarters is located in the Lower Brule Tribal Administration building, newly constructed in 2001, staffed with 15 permanent employees. The Lower Brule Lakota Nation is the largest employer, operating many BIA and IHS programs, the Golden Buffalo Casino & Motel, Tribal Farm, propane plant, popcorn processing plant, a construction company, and hunting enterprise.

Kudos to the Lower Brule Nation for their astute entrepreneurial savvy, strength and courage.

12/15/13 10:15 AM #4    


Thomas M. Woods

A very good update about Lower Brule and their progress towards Self-Determination in " recent" times.

Steve did a great job in getting recognition for a great Lakota leader, and Wanda wrote a very supportive, informative piece.

Proud of my classmates for always doing more.

09/25/15 12:34 PM #5    


Wanda Jean O'Rielly (Dilley)

Steve Pinky Promised me five years ago he would be at the 55th and even though he never was a Brownie, he kept his word.  Everyone was so happy to see him and I know he was happy to be here.  I told him he had come full circle and now we wouldn't let him go.  Steve was asked to share with us a little of his life since graduating.  He did so and it was straight from the heart.  I thank him for that.  Steve has had a very good life.  He and Mary Pat obviously were meant for each other. They have had much success in their careers. They have grown children who are also successful, everyone is healthy and yet, sometimes even the most successful people had to overcome struggles to get there.  Sometimes the struggles start way back.  Struggles and obstacles, as young people, we don"t even know  exist.   When we are young, we are so wrapped up in just the business of being "Young" we fail to see our friend's lives as they really are,  We don't see them hurting.  Sometimes we add to their hurt.  It can come from teasing, bullying and sometimes even physical hurt.  Connie said one evening, sometimes it is just somethin you say to someone and while meaning no harm, you have unknowingly hurt your friend. These hurts we can carry our entire lives.  They can affect our lives even at our age.  I want to tell you all if I have ever hurt you with my words or in any way, I am sorry.  I luv all of u and want only the very best life can deliver to you. I am incredibly proud of my class.   


And by the way, "Go Gary".  Our shy Gary Fjelstad also got up and shared his life story.  Very interesting.  About time u came to one of our reunions Gary.  It was so good to c u and your wonderful daughter. 

09/26/15 02:18 AM #6    


Dorothy M. Huckfeldt (Neddermeyer)

Update to my 12/14/2013 comment.  Lower Brule recently acquired the 1000 acreas at Stony Point on the Missouri river which my parents owned from 1937 - 1992. It is heartwarming to know the property is in good hands and is back to its rightful owners. May it serve the Lower Brule Lakota well. And all though my family wasn't the first interlopers to occupy it; we cherished the opportunity to enjoy it's riches. The vortex at the first turn going west from the house was my favorite spot to contemplate life and listen to the Universe.  Mitakuye Oyasin... We are all related.  Siempre a pie en el campo de la Belleza.  May you always walk in Beauty.

09/26/15 12:58 PM #7    

Judy O'Connor (Hoel)

Hi, everybody! Gosh, I'm so sorry that things didn't work out for me to come to the reunion. I was thrilled to get the nice class picture, and amazed that I was still able to put names and faces together---many, many without even having to use the chart! How is it possible that 55 years can have passed?! I'm still residing in So. Cal,, and stil diggin the Beach Boys. My late husband, Don (98) and I moved to Dana Point/Laguna Niguel in 1989, after having lived in Seattle for 25 years. I love the West Coast and being near the ocean, but still often think of Pierre and my wonderful friends. I feel so blessed to have grown up in Pierre, raised with wonderful Midwest values, and still think of South Dakota as home. Would be nice to see you all in 20/20 at the 60/60!!!                    

                                                                                                    Best Regards,

                                                                                                                  Judy O'Connor Hoel

10/03/15 04:21 PM #8    

Kerry Dilley

As expected, we had a wonderful time at our 55th Reunion.  It is always disappointing that more can't or don't come, but we know there are always understandable reasons that make coming to the reunion too difficult.  To all those that came, thanks!  I attempted to visit with everyone, but know I wasn't successful.  My loss.


The class decided to discontiue the Class of 60 Scholarship program when the funds are depleted.  Since the reunion, classmates have contributed over $2,000 to continue the scholarships.  Each year we give a $500 scholarship to one boy and one girl.  On average we receive about 25 applications for each scholarship.  In others words, a total of around 50 applications.   Those that have contributed say it is because of their strong believe in and suppost of education.  If you believe as they do, you can also donate so our scholarships will continue for years to come.


Hope to see you all at our 60th!




10/04/15 05:35 PM #9    

Sharen Allbee (Guderjohn)

greetings I was so looking forward to seeing all of you. I just felt I needed to stay at home. my husband has health issues and I just did not feel comfortable being that distance away. I have some wonderful memories of Pierre.I was not happy about moving but I didn't have much choice.Hope to see all of you next time.May the years ahead be kind to you.    Sharen Allbee Guderjohn

10/05/15 01:06 PM #10    


Stephen Lee Byrnes, Sr

Wanda - Thanks for the kind words and for being the genuine catalyst behind my attendance at the 2015 PHS Class of '60 Reunion.   Mary Pat and I really enjoyed seeing everyone and catching up on times past.  In recent years I have had the opportunity to return to Pierre every year and with each sojourn I always reflect on my memories of the Pierre Indian Agency, working at the theater, Brady's men's wear, delivering the Pierre Capitol Journal, track practice, marching band, and daily walks between Pierre High School and 807 N. Huron.  I should also thank Kerry for his taking time to recognize the Iron Nation Restoration project.  You should all know that Kerry volunteered each year to help me with the physical labor attended to such a successful undertaking.  Without his help it never would have gotten to the point that it is today.  In reflecting back on my life, I wish that I had enjoyed my heritage in my youth as much as I do today.  Much thanks to the class reunion committee for giving us all a platform to become reacquainted and enjoy each others company.  Steve


10/05/15 06:07 PM #11    

Lewis Fred Moore

It was great seeing you again Steve, after so many years.  I truly enjoyed sharing our memories  from grade school thru High School. You were always an inspriation to me.  Proud of your success and family.  Hope to see you again.  Lewie

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