Reliance High School
Classes of 1921 - 1971
Welcome sign on the grounds of RHS
Hello, and welcome to our website.
This is a free site, and a very interesting & good walk down memory lane. We would like each graduate to participate. We have the graduates listed for each year, and ask that you implement your profile, so old friends and classmates can 'catch up' with you, and know what is going on with you today. Go to the index on the left & click on classmate PROFILES then click on the year you graduated. Click on your name & your profile page will appear
23,775 VISITORS AS OF November 2nd, 2013
I just spent a couple hours on the YEARBOOKS & ECHO'S page........revisiting many happy memories.
Never have I heard a more haunting funeral song than the muttering of Red’s old Allis-Chalmers tractor as it idled by itself a hundred yards from his grave.
Unless, of course, it was the soul-fetching Gregorian melody of In Paradisum, sung in Latin by an Indonesian Catholic priest from the Sacred Heart Order as he knelt before Red’s casket in St. Mary’s Church in Reliance.
And then there was the graveside shotgun salute that came last, with a mix of laughter and tears, by 15 or 20 of Red’s family and friends there in St. Mary’s Cemetery north of town, with the always-magical Medicine Butte looming in the distance.
Red McManus went out with a bang and an antiphon, not just a whimper, although there was some soft whimpering, too.
He deserved all three, my cousin Red did. And we gave them to him on Tuesday, five days after his sudden death from a heart attack at 68.
When I learned of his passing the previous Thursday evening as I stepped into my brother’s living room in Sioux Falls, I staggered slightly, as if the floor had suddenly shifted short of level.
Then I sat on my brother’s couch and wept.
Sixty eight is always too young in today’s medical age. But it seemed ridiculously early for that fun-loving Irishman and his surprisingly tender ways.
The youngest of five children - just barely the youngest, since he was edged out by two sisters in a triplet birth - of a smooth-dancing, fiddle-playing farmer named Bill, my mother’s brother, and a stately beauty named Bertha, Ronald John “Red” McManus inherited his father’s ability to make all who knew him feel a bit better about their world.
Married young to a sweet local girl named Ruth Ann, Red went about the business of living a simple life in a profoundly honest and meaningful way.
He worked construction. He ran the Reliance co-op for many, many years. He sold vehicle parts at NAPA in Chamberlain.
He also worked with his siblings to preserve the family farm just west of Reliance as a tribute to their parents and as an autumn - as in pheasant-hunting season - chapel of outdoor worship for family and friends.
Along the way he and Ruth Ann raised four kids and fell madly in love with one grandchild after another. They also worked at the church. They helped people in need. They promoted their town and their county, and worked to preserve the history of each. They tended the cemetery.
And Red was serving his 43rd year as mayor of Reliance when the end came.
If the people around town seemed a bit bewildered at the funeral, they had cause. I had never known Reliance without Red. Neither had most of them. What would their town be now? Who would step in where Red’s willing feet had always stood?
Coming into the church, people glanced up at the Reliance Fire Department truck parked nearby, with a firefighter’s coat marked “Red” hanging on the side. They paused, They spoke softly. They shook their heads and walked slowly on.
Out at the cemetery, they saw his beloved Allis-Chalmers. It was left to idle out there alone in the grass, with Red’s blaze-orange McManus Family Farms cap on its left fender, facing an open grave not far from where his folks and mine lie buried.
Those who knew Red understood that that there were two kinds of tractors in his world: Allis-Chalmers and those that should be.
They smiled at that, as I did.
After the graveside service, I walked over and stood by that tractor, put out my hand and felt its warm, shivering side, inhaled its oily breath and finally climbed up into Red’s seat.
That’s where I sat with my hands on the wheel and said goodbye to my cousin, as his tractor sang its farewell song.
My comment (barbara stallman speck)
I, too, have known Red all of my life; being from Reliance and Catholic. What a wonderful tribute to this man. The older he got, the more he reminded us of his father, Bill. Always laughing, smiling and full of P&V. What a legacy this man has left. If everyone could leave a mark on this world just half the size as Red's, what a better world this would be. Thanks, Kevin, for your article. Frances and I will share it on the RHS web.site.
IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE, HERE.....PLEASE CLICK ON THE 'CLASS REUNIONS' SITE. WHAT AN ABSOLUTE TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE THAT WILL BE FOR EVERYONE! LOVE IT, LOVE IT!
GOOD OLD DAYS - From time to time, we will post printed articles and/or links we hopewill be interesting to our classmates. Printed articles will be found on the GOOD OLD DAYS link.
http://oldfortyfives.com/TakeMeBackToTheFifties.htm Jan. 4, 2012
This is one of the best 50's video's I've seen. You will enjoy this. But only if you were in our generation or very close. . . . And if you were not in this generation -- listen and eat your hearts out. It was one of the best of times ... barbara
|Alan Jackson sings How Great Thou Art|
Thanks for the memories .. Bob Hope and James Cagney
Sorry about the ads ... Couldn't get it to work without them. barbara
|Remembering the Diamonds' "Little Darlin' " 1957 and 2004|
|http://oldiestelevision.com/ Something for everyone! The biggest collection I have ever seen. I bookmarked mine to check out at my leisure. barbara|
|Remember Burma Shave signs? See Good Old Days Link on left|
|Old Barns and People|
|Classic cars of our youth|
|Karen Erickson's project in Africa|
|Genealogy of Lyman County|
|Restoration of Historic double bridges at Chamberlain. Link on left.|
RELIANCE SOUTH DAKOTA