Jim Whitlock

“There’s Nothing Stopping You”
Words and music by Hank Fridell
with Mrs. Merchen’s 4th Grade Class
©1999 Hank Fridell



      Jim Whitlock

Follow your heart, it will tell you what to do
You can make a difference, there is nothing stopping you

I grew up her in Spearfish, it’s where my children grew up, too
I was blessed with a curiosity and a desire to follow my muse
From baseball, animals, the man in the moon and caring for my family, too
I believed what my father said, “There’s nothing stopping you”


In school I liked Science, and I remembered about cyanide
It seems that the little things can sometimes be our guide
From there we discoved a bacteria that made the water clean
I we give mother nature a chance we can keep this earth green


Homestake wanted the water clean and a solution they did seek
Pseudomonas was the bacteria found to clean up Whitewood Creek
Waht I learned I took to Russia and jungles African
We have to clean up our Earth, we can do it, yes we can!


You have to plan for success, and when you have a choice
Follow your heart, reach out your hand, and you can have a voice
From the creeks of Deadwood to jungles African
Working for a balance between nature and the wants of man


Jim Whitlock was born in the middle of World War 11, before the baby boom. He attended high school classes here at East Elem. and even in our classroom. He has two brothers, David and Chuck. He said, “I was the poor one and I was caught in the middle.”

He loved to play baseball. His team, the Hurley CJ’s, ended up going to, but not winning, a national tournament in Washington, DC. Jim said his team always planned for success to get to the competition in Washington, DC, but they forgot to plan to win it. Jim played 3rd base. He said he either had to catch the ball or wear it, and he got stuck wearing it many times. He had his nose broken more than once.

After high school he went to Black Hills State College for four years. He had a scholarship at The School of Mines, but since there weren’t any girls there, he decided he didn’t want to go there. After graduate school and teaching he decided he wanted to go back to school to be a veterinarian with horses and larger animals. Before he followed this plan, he was called home to help take care of a family member who was stricken with cancer.

While he was back in Spearfish, Homestake asked if he would help clean up a river that was polluted due to mining chemicals. This was an exciting project for him and he worked there for about ten years. Jim said he remembers learning about bacteria in high school and thinking, “I’ll never use this information, why do I have to know this?” It was that information that was the basis for cleaning up the river at Homestake.

Jim is now a consultant for other mines facing the same problems Homestake had. He says a consultant is a person who might know a little more about a subject in a certain area. He said he’s not sure if he chose his career or it chose him.

Jim told us to never under estimate the power of our voices as children. When kids get involved in a unified voice, adults get involved.

Jim has a ranch in Wyoming and raises horses. He says at his ranch wild turkeys will come up to him and eat corn off the top of his boot. His wife, Carson, is also a consultant and works with him. He has two grown daughters and two grandsons, Josh and Jesse. He loves the outdoors, wildlife, Christmas, and he’s a meat and potatoes kind of guy. He says of all the places he’s lived, that Spearfish is still his favorite place.

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