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Notes from a Western Life
Ranging Far and Wide on the High Plains and Beyond
Linda M. Hasselstrom's Blog

Ken Steinken’s MyTown Blogand Remembering Carl Sanson

Field trip on the old Sanson Ranch, 2012
The Sanson family owned this property from 1882 to 1987. It then passed to the Casey family, and now is part of Wind Cave National Park.
Photo by Ken Steinken
. . .
Ken Steinken, who has worked on his writing at Windbreak House Retreat, has been getting paid to write (and take pictures) for KOTA's MyTown website. He chooses his topics and is able to, as he says "drive around the Hills looking for ideas." The site is set up so that all Ken’s articles are archived by author and readers can subscribe to his posts– almost like having his own blog.

Ken Steinken's KOTA TV MyTown blog

Ken says:
Anybody can write for the MyTown website as long as it has connections to the Black Hills area or to Gillette and Sheridan, Wyoming. And writers who contribute regularly may even become eligible to receive concert tickets and occasional cash incentives in appreciation for their participation. Potential new writers should send an email expressing their interest to Kandi@RobertSharpAssociates.com

The editors are open to any kind of writing including poetry and would consider starting a specific section for poetry if they got enough people submitting. The site may eventually expand into the Nebraska Panhandle as well.


A few years ago I encouraged Ken to join the Great Plains Native Plant Society. He admits he should have heeded my advice sooner (!) But now that he’s a member, he enjoys field trips. The most recent was participating as an inventory volunteer on the Sanson Ranch property which has just become part of Wind Cave National Park. I am delighted to present this link:

Ken's blog “Up-close Look at Wind Cave's Sanson Ranch”

I’m especially happy to know about this land acquisition since Carl Sanson was a great influence on my life as a horsewoman. He helped advise a horse club that a friend, Mikkey Murphy, and I organized when we were teenagers. Patiently, Carl worked with a dozen horse-crazy kids, teaching us how to respect our horses as well as to get the best performance from them. He also hauled our horses around when we were short of qualified drivers and stock trailers. We devised a number of intricate maneuvers to execute at a gallop in the arena. When we had horse wrecks, Carl was there to pick us up, dust us off and tell us to get back on those horses. I recall that he sat up several nights nursing his own horse when it was gored by a buffalo during the annual roundup in Custer State Park.

I find it fitting that the ranch on which he lived a bachelor life has become part of our national and state heritage.

Take a look at some of Ken’s other pieces while you’re exploring. Steinken: The Next Generation, is about becoming a grandfather. Follow the Shootingstars resulted from a gathering of the Prairie Winds writing group (for which I also once taught workshops) in June of this year.

After you've read Ken's great pieces, consider writing your own.

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