A New View

Posted by on Jun 9, 2015 in Blog, Double Cousins |

A New View

Today I experienced a long-time tradition with a new-found awareness.


 This evening I accompanied some of my nieces and nephews to Storybook Island in Rapid City, SD. I have been coming to this wonderland since the late 70’s when I watched my little sister delight in the discovery of this incredible storybook world.

Ever since, I’ve taken every opportunity to experience the park with the children in my life! Today was no different. But, yet—it was.


After our visit to the park we gathered around a table along one of the Rapid Creek tributaries and enjoyed a picnic with my brother and his family. We sat just a few hundred yards from Rapid Creek and the former site of Storybook Island; the site that was completely destroyed by the Flood of 72.

We are very aware of the flood, especially this year. As you may have noticed in the news the Great Plains have experienced a LOT of rain this year. Rapid Creek is really high and is over its banks in several places throughout Rapid. As it flows into the waterways placed there to hold   the excess and spreads out across the flood plain we are reminded of the reason for the beautiful park system that winds through Rapid City.

 It is there to prevent another disaster the size of the one that happened June 9, 1972.


In the third Double Cousins Mystery, the cousins learned about the devastation and loss of that night. As I researched for that book I learned many things I didn’t know.  Though I lived in Rapid City for ten years, I still didn’t “get” how terrible that day was. Every year I would hear the reports; 238 people died, thousands of vehicles destroyed, entire neighborhoods devastated.

Yet, I didn’t understand. Not until I read first person accounts.

Some Through The Flood

Now, I will never look at the creek the same way again. I will never enjoy Storybook Island without a hint of sadness for the loss of the original park mixed with gratitude for those who rebuilt. I think of those lost in the flood every time I walk on the bike path. And, when I re-read one particular scene in The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure, I cry. Every time.

Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure

Researching the history of my town changed my life. I bet if you went to your library or local museum you would find information that would bring your town’s biggest historic events to life. Then, like me you will gain a more complete appreciation of your hometown!