Custer Battlefield Historical & Museum Association


CBHMA President’s Message Summer 2018

Ted Heath, President


Photo by Sue Heath    

               Another Year, Another


As usual, the annual CBHMA get-together at the Battlefield was a resounding success. Attendance was up and the only damper (pun intended) was the weather. We could have used a little more sun and a lot less rain.

On a positive note, the clouds couldn't wash out a dynamic talk by Sitting Bull's great-grandson Ernie LaPointe. Ok, the weather did have some effect" Ernie's talk took place "near" Deer Medicine Rock. A muddy road stood between the bus and the end location.

This year was a little bittersweet. Mike Sullivan and Jon Heitland attended for the last time as Board members. Both served two three-year terms and, frankly, epitomized what the CBHMA is all about: dedicated volunteers who make things run smoothly, not just at the get-together, but throughout the year. I don't know where this organization would be without hard-working volunteers such as the two of them and I frankly hope I never find out.

Before leaving the Board, Mike chaired an excellent auction at the Centre Cinema that brought in nearly $2,100. Our invaluable auctioneer Mike Koury received a plaque for his "lifetime" of auctioneering at our fundraising events as he, too, has decided to retire.

Even as we say goodbye to Mike and Jon, we say hello to Don Fisk who began his three-year term on the Board. As you may know, we had only one candidate for three openings. Ron Nichols was elected to a one-year term but we'd really like to have more you volunteer for this gratifying "job."

I'm happy to report that several members approached Board members during the weekend and asked what they needed to do to run for the Board. It's easy" you provide a brief biography and reaso9n why you're running (which will be printed in The Battlefield Dispatch) and you're set. The Board is operating with only six voting members this year and would like to ghet back to seven. Besides the unfilled spot, there will be three more spots where terms are up so there's plenty of opportunity to throw tour hats in the ring and get into the running - and winning. Be sure to look in future issues of the Dispatch for more information on running for the board.

Now to the business of the get-together. The first thing we do when we get to Montana is check in with the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument staff to ensure our permits are all in order. This time we got to sit down with new Superintendent Wayne Challoner, who graciously donated a lot of his valuable time to what, I believe, was a very productive one hour meeting covering multiple topics, including getting junior members involved and park infrastructure.

Apparently Wayne came away with a good impression of the CBHMA, telling Dispatch editor Jim Barthold, "Sometimes we all just need to work together. I really appreciated the group, just talking with everybody. I just sat and listened most of the time because the group has so much to share."

Douglas C. McChristian was the winner of our annual book award for Regular Army O! Soldering on the Western Frontier, 1865-1891. We mailed Doug his award as he was unable to attend for health reasons.

On a final note, the CBHMA Facebook account continues to grow, with more than 700 Facebook members. Our membership is still over 1,000. All members receive four quarterly issues of the Dispatch and, of course, the annual Greasy Grass. Members can also purchase books at a 15 percent discount plus shipping and handling. Over the years, our organization has donated over $1 million to the Battlefield thanks to our new memberships and renewals, donations, book sales, CDs, and our weekend pizza party, symposium, author's forum, field trip and Satu7rday dinner and auction. The organization's net assets for FY 2018 are $279,839.

Garry Owen,