Gala Time!

We received a polite (and rather urgent) request for help from Cherryl’s niece, Crista. She and a few others were hoping to transform a somewhat ugly concrete room into a glamorous gala showpiece. So we left Texas a week earlier than planned, and headed to South Dakota.

But first I had to figure out why the lights on the Suburban weren’t working as they should when we were towing it. The tail lights, or running lights, quit working a while ago, but since we never run at night I kept putting off the diagnosis and repair. But then one of the directionals quit, and that means one brake light too, so I had to chase down the problem. After lots of study at the rear, where most of the complicated wiring is, I found the problem – up front! The installer ran the wires inside a frame channel, where they’d be nice and safe, but where they entered the channel up front they rubbed on the sharp edge and wore through. I spliced them back together and we were good to go! [NOTE: at time of publishing this, we were driving through a horrific storm, and noticed that the lights were failing again. I had wrapped the wires in a lot of tape where they rubbed before, and thought since it had lasted three years before, it would last a couple of weeks till we got to Lincoln. Apparently not. Will have to check it out once this storm passes!]

Some of the last pix of Texas before we zoomed north.

So we made no interesting stops on our way north, so no photos or comments on them. But We had a lot of wind when we arrived in Rapid City, and soon afterwards we got a bit of snow! Quite a change from West Texas!

The point of our visit wasn’t to see snow… so we were put to work decorating the gym. Crista and Josh, Steve and Jeanne, and new friends Kelli and her husband Steven and her father Tim were the main folks putting this whole thing together. We spent the better part of 4 days decorating. Jeanne sewed about 5 miles of ten foot high drapes we used to partition off part of the room. The gals spent an enormous amount of time cooking, also.

We hung lights across the ceiling, and completely covered all the walls with lights.

When all was finished, it really looked fantastic! The Chinese food was great, and the place settings, paper lanterns, and millions of lights added up to a very elegant setting. After dinner was an auction of artwork the school kids had made, and deserts that had been donated. Great fun, and made some money for the school too!


  1. What a magnificent job! You really did transform the “dining hall.” The kids didn’t have a clue to the amount of work.

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