The Badlands, South Dakota State Fair, Sherwin Linton and the Gatlins
Friday, August 30
“We’re gonna see an eagle today, Handsome,” Marty announces as I enter the lounge from the bunk area.
This morning we’re traveling through the southwest corner of South Dakota on our way to Huron SD. I feel the spirit of George Armstrong Custer and the Sioux all over the landscape that flows past our bus window. Gently rolling grasslands and cottonwood trees, interrupted by the occasional farm. There’s nothing that looks like this in any other part of the county. You’ll only find it here.
I’m especially taken with the giant fields of sunflowers that appear from time to time. I’d like to meet at least one farmer who is responsible for them and shake his hand. They lift my spirits.
Before long we suddenly enter the outer edge of theBadlands.
In the space of 45 minutes Marty spots twelve eagles. His prophecy is fulfilled. As we meander through the little town of Martin, we know that Pine Ridge, Wounded Knee and our friends on the Oglala Sioux reservation are just a short distance to our left. No time to stop on this trip, we’re headed east.
Today’s destination is the South Dakota State Fair, where we’ll play a grandstand show with The Gatlin Brothers.
I take a stroll around the midway. I’m intrigued by the sideshow exhibit façade but decline to go inside.
The midway is in full swing.
I get up close and personal with the remains of the last monster truck rally.
Just before the show, Marty gets a visit from Sherwin Linton, a South Dakota legend.
Billed as “Mid-America’s Country Music Legend ” Serwin performs out of Minneapolis all over the Midwest. He came on the scene back in late ‘50’s. He shows off his ’59 Jaguar guitar equipped with what he claims to be the worlds first string bender guitar. Marty doesn’t doubt him, as many toyed with the idea before Clarence White and Gene Parsons. Notice the long piece of steel he pushes with his thumb.
Sherwin sports some serious bling….
Just before we go on, Marty takes his picture, and we get ready to play.
When the show’s over, a few Johnny Cash stories are swapped, then the after show pose between Marty and the Gatlins.
It’s just another day at the fair.
Good night all,
Next stop, Iowa City……