Bill Dunbar


“These Are the Days”
Words and music by Marianne Fridell
with Mrs. Merchen’s 4th Grade Class
©2014 Marianne Fridell

 

      Bill Dunbar

I was such an angel. Never did anything wrong
But when you have 5 brothers, peace doesn’t last very long
I had a lot of fun outside with my friends and brothers
Now, I golf and ride my bike– enjoy my time with others.
Those were the days. These are the days.

Always led an active life, played football and basketball
And when I ran the Trading Post, we built the Beulah Fire Hall
Came from Winnebago, just a muddy crick where we played.
Landed in Beulah at the Sand Creek, met Jane there one day.
Those were the days. These are the days.
Bye, bye Wyoming nights. Drove my Chevy, I was ready for Dakota skies.
Bye, bye Wyoming nights. Drove my Chevy, I was ready for Dakota skies.

I walked through rain and sleet and snow, even through the heat.
When I got to work inside, I thanked my lucky feet.
I’m amazed by everything that’s happened in my lifetime.
And the good times I recall are a choice of mine. Those were the days. These are the days.
Don’t keep track of the worst things. Keep track of the happy things.
Always remember the good times. As much as you can
Bad times are good. So you don’t do them again.
Bad times are good. So you don’t do them again.

We flew in helicopters in Vietnam we fought.
It feels strange to get an award just for being shot
It’s called a Purple Heart but what you can’t forget,
Those who didn’t make it. The friend who never left.
Those were the days. These are the days.
Don’t keep track of the worst things, keep track of the happy things.
Always remember the good times, as much as you can
Bad times are good. So you don’t do them again
Bad times are good. So you don’t do them again
Bad times are good. So you don’t do them again


Bill Dunbar was born August 15, 1943, in Forest City, Iowa. Forest City is about half the size of Spearfish. He lived on a farm that had cows and pigs. He was the 5th boy out of 6. They didn’t have TV, but he loved playing outdoors. Winnebago Creek was one of Bill’s favorite spots. He also liked biking, basketball, football, sledding, and making go-carts. There was never a lack of things to do with 6 boys in the family. They got TV sometime in the 60’s. Bill’s parents would not let him listen to the Beatles, so he had to go over to the neighbor’s house to listen to them there.

Bill did like to study; his favorite subject in school was social studies. He played a lot of sports in school; track, basketball, and football. Bill’s favorite year in school was his Senior year. That’s because he was finally done with school.

He also liked to hunt. Bill and his best friend went hunting many times. They liked to come to the Beulah area. After he was out of High School he decided to come to Black Hills State University because he loved the area so much. He studied history at BH and his favorite teacher was Mike Jackley.

After college Bill volunteered for the army. He was in the army from 1967 to 1969. Bill lost a very good friend in Vietnam. He also received a Purple Heart for wounds received during the war. After the war he came back and was offered his old job at the Sand Creek Trading Post. There he met his future wife, Jane. They were married in 1971. Jane and Bill have 2 children, Jennifer and Jim, and 6 grandchildren.

His favorite job was when he and Jane ran the Beulah Trading Post. While in Beulah, they started the Beulah Volunteer Fire Department. They did a lot of fundraisers to bring a Fire Department to the town. He volunteered for 40 years. Other jobs Bill had were running a bulldozer at Fisher Sand and Gravel, and the Belle Fourche Post Office. When they built the new post office in Spearfish Bill was offered a position there. He took it because it sounded like a good idea to work indoors!

Today Bill and Jane like spending time with their grandchildren. Two of their grandchildren are here, and 4 of them are on the East Coast. They enjoy traveling to see them. Bill used to love running, but now he stays active by working out at BH every morning, (listening to his 60’s music!) golfing and riding bike. In the colder months he goes to the indoor pool and sometimes he bowls. Aside from staying active, he loves socializing with friends, new and old. Bill is a member of the Knights of Columbus and is involved with the VFW, The Military Order of the Purple Heart, Disabled American Veterans and Vietnam Veterans of America.

When asked what he would tell his 10 year old self today, he said he would tell him to be amazed by all the amazing things that have happened and always enjoy the good times.
Bill left the 4th graders with the advice: Remember the good things, forget the bad times, but they’re a good experience.


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