July 12, 2007

I Never Liked Belle Fourche

It’s a warm summer afternoon. Soft breezes move gently through the trees. And the sun arches toward the western horizon as day nears end.

We’re at Herrmann Park in Belle Fourche, enjoying yet another pleasant surprise about our adopted home state. Barry Pitt, one of the regions top entertainers, is treating hometown folks to some down home music. Good friend Bill Kunerth had tipped me off about the free show, sponsored by the Belle Fourche Arts Council, the F. L. Clarkson Family Foundation, and the First Western Greater Belle Fourche Foundation.

A transplant from Kentucky, Pitt can do it all. He sings. He plays a mean guitar. And he knows how to pull together all the elements necessary for a good performance, making it look easy. And he does that not only in Belle, where is presides over the Center of the Nation Concert Association, but in Deadwood casinos, on the radio, and in other venues throughout the Black Hills.

His versatility is put to good use in his local recording studio, turning out projects for a range of musicians and cowboy poets. He also serves as theatre manager for the Belle Fourche Area Community Center.

But it’s not just Barry Pitt that catches our fancy. Herrmann Park is a real treasure. A splendid spot to kick back, have a picnic, enjoy the great outdoors, and appreciate what life can be all about in God’s country.

For reasons I’ll not divulge here, I never much liked Belle Fourche. That is, until we moved to Spearfish from back east two years ago. First we took our granddaughters swimming at Belle’s impressive community center. Then we found the rodeo. Soon we were munching lunch at Mish Mash, followed occasionally by an ice cream cone at one of the neatest Dairy Queens anywhere. Then last fall, Karen and I started joining old timers for golf at the Belle Fourche Country Club. And now – as of Wednesday, July 11th – we’ve discovered Herrmann Park!

All of a sudden, Belle Fourche has become a “destination” spot for the Millers. If you’ve not been there lately, you’re missing a treat!

Oh, did I mention the neat coffee shops?

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