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THE FEATHER by Steve Moreland, October 30, 2017

Things that come up in the daily operation of a ranch.
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THE FEATHER by Steve Moreland, October 30, 2017

Postby Soapweed » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:40 pm

By Steve Moreland, October 30, 2017


It was Saturday afternoon of Old West Days in Valentine, Nebraska September 30th, 2017. My wife Carol and I had just stepped out of the school building to go downtown for a little while. We needed to run a couple errands and were planning to have supper before attending the evening performance, which would feature Red Steagull. Kenny Krogman had just exited from a different door, and he called to me, “Steve, come here, I have something for you.” I walked over to where he was standing, and he started to unbutton his shirt. “Now don’t get too turned on,” he grinned, as he pulled a paper wrapped object out from under his shirt. He said, “I consider you a good friend and would like you to have this.” He unwrapped a long rib bone from a cow that had been artistically wood-burned to look like a feather. The moment rather caught me by surprise, and to say the least, I was delighted.

The feather is truly a work of art, and had been handcrafted by Glen L. Janis. Even though this rib bone measures 15 inches long, and two inches wide, Kenny had been carrying it around under his shirt to give to me. I felt truly honored.

Just this past Tuesday, October 24th, 2017 my son Brock and I were traveling down a one-lane oil road in a pickup. We were talking about one of our other ranch pickups that was experiencing mechanical troubles, so I pulled off the road to call Tehrani Motors to get some advice. I was put on “hold” momentarily to wait for a mechanic to come to the phone, and the Valentine radio station KVSH was playing in the background. While I waited, the daily funeral report came on the air. The announcer said, “Funeral services for Kenny Krogman, age 70, of Wood, South Dakota will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the White River Event Center.” You could have knocked me over with the same feather that Kenny had just given me a little over three weeks before. The news hit rather hard. We found out later that he died from a heart attack, but he died with his boots on. Kenny was a fun-loving good-story-telling sort of guy, always with a big smile on his face. He truly loved life, and he will be very much missed.

Kenny Krogman was a nephew of Louie Krogman. Louie was born January 18th, 1902 and died December 6th, 1991. He was an old-time cowboy and rancher with a colorful history. He bought, sold, and raised a lot of horses through the years. My first recollection of Louie Krogman was in about 1960 or 1961, when I was eight or nine years old. In early April of one of those years, Louie called my dad Bob Moreland on the phone. This was a long-distance call, which was not a real common occurrence in those days. Louie was calling from White River, South Dakota to our ranch northeast of Merriman, Nebraska. He visited with my dad for a while and then got to the reason for his call. He said, “Bob, you raise some nice Hereford cattle. I know you have registered stock and always sell some good registered bulls. You also have some real nice commercial Herefords. I would like to buy your 20 best commercial bull calves, and take delivery at weaning time in the fall. I wanted to call you soon enough that you will be looking for the good ones as you are calving, and we sure don’t want them to mistakenly get castrated on branding day. I will give you a premium for them at weaning time of a nickel per pound over what you get for your steer calves.”

Dad was quite excited with this arrangement. The deal all went through as planned. I remember Louie and two of his brothers brought a truck down that next fall to pick up the calves. Somewhere in my dad’s photograph collection is a picture of Louie, his two brothers, and little old me standing next to these icons of pioneer ranching. I wish I could find it now. My desire was to someday show this picture to Louie’s nephew, Kenny Krogman, but now it is too late.

Kenny Krogman video

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Re: THE FEATHER by Steve Moreland, October 30, 2017

Postby mrj » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:55 pm

Thanks for sharing about Kenny. We went to the funeral and it was a true celebration of life for a 'larger than life' character! The minister, who was a friend who worked cattle and fished and otherwise spent time with Kenny over years, the music by Paul Larson, the video, and comments by friends and family all were perfect....and comforting in the loss we all feel.

The 'Krogman Clan' is legendary in a big area of at least two states, and they deserve and handle it well, imo. We feel privileged to know several of them and wish them all the best as they learn how to go on with life without Kenny. Multi-generations of the family will surely be a blessing to all those babies Kenny held in the photo's as they keep on sharing memories of Kenny with them as they grow.

I sure hope his family and closest friends are at peace and recovering the energy spent putting the service together. It is going to take time to learn to live without him, as all who have been in that hard place know so well.

Friends will be praying for them and sharing the precious memories for a very long time!


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Re: THE FEATHER by Steve Moreland, October 30, 2017

Postby Silver » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:27 pm

Thanks for sharing Soapweed, sounds like you lost a heck of a good friend and your area lost a great member of the community.

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Re: THE FEATHER by Steve Moreland, October 30, 2017

Postby Faster horses » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:51 pm

The feather is beautiful, Soap, and so was your story.
Thanks for sharing. So sorry for the loss of a good friend.

mrj, thanks for sharing your thoughts too. That must have been quite a family.
A lady who raised horses that lived near us in SE Montana had some fine Krogman bred horses.
In fact, our daughter competed on one of hers that was aptly named, "The Winner".
There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.

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