books written by Hot Springs author Peggy Sanders
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2007 Will Rogers Writing Award
Will Rogers picture

Peggy Sanders, a farm-ranch wife and writer from Oral, S.D., won first place in the 2007 Will Rogers Writing Contest.

Sanders was chosen top prize winner in the competition sponsored by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists with her essay, "Run Amuck Ranching," which relates the 'trials' of city folk moving to the country.

Her entry was judged the best of all submissions received in the nationwide contest to find the best example of Will Rogers' style of writing. Read Peggy's entry.

The Civilian Conservation Corps In and Around the Black Hills
CCC plaque in Custer State Park

The Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park hosted a book signing for Peggy's Civilian Conservation Corps book. The Playhouse is located on the site of CCC Camp Lodge and one of the original buildings is shown here. The commemorative sign was one of several put up across the state by the CCC Alumni Association, SD Historical Society and SD Department of Transportation in 1991.

CCC cake for celebration

A CCC reunion for the debut of Peggy's book The Civilian Conservation Corps In and Around the Black Hills was held at the Journey Museum in Rapid City, SD. More than 100 people, from grade school age to many CCC alumni, attended the open house and program. The Rapid City Journal, the daily newspaper of Rapid City, South Dakota, had this cake created for the reunion, showing the cover of her book.

KOTA radio personalities and Peggy
KOTA, a local Rapid City, South Dakota radio station invited Peggy for an in-studio interview with Bob Laskoswki (left) and Don Grant on the occasion of the release of her book, The Civilian Conservation Corps In and Around the Black Hills . What fun!

Fall River County and Hot Springs: 125 Years
Jim Mueller and Peggy Sanders

Jim Mueller and Peggy Sanders, classmates from Hot Springs High School , class of 1970 share a bit of nostalgia at Peggy's book event on the veranda of the Evans Hotel, June 20, 2008.  Her book, Fall River County and Hot Springs: 125 Years is the signature book for the celebration. Her book signing coincided with the re-dedication of Hot Springs old, and now refurbished, band shell, which was originally designed and constructed by Jim's great-grandfather, John Mueller. The band shell's renovation was sponsored by the Hot Springs High School Alumni Board.

Woven on the Wind: Women Write About Frendship in the Sagebrush West
Woven on the Wind: Women write about friendship A celebration of the Houghton Mifflin published anthology Woven on the Wind: Women Write About Friendship In the Sagebrush West  in Hot Springs was attended by five of the 148 authors selected for publication. From left to right: Louise Engelstad, Peggy Sanders, Donna Parks, Candi Red Cloud, and Tina Cook. These women, and many more contributors, including the editors Linda Hasselstrom, Nancy Curtis, and Gaydell Collier, were featured authors at the Tattered Cover in Denver for an earlier book party.

This was Peggy's contribution to the anthology:

© Peggy Sanders

Published in the anthology
Woven on the Wind:
Women Write About Friendship in the Sagebrush West


She killed herself. May 26, 1962, the day after being diagnosed with lupus erythematosus, she took a .410 shotgun, and shot herself to death. This followed two years of severe drought on the irrigation project where she lived, where the Angostura Dam was, that May, too low for farmers to get any water for their crops.  The "experts" even went so far as to say the dam would never again be full.  Most people called her Oleta; I called her Mom. I was ten years old.
If, if, if, she only hadn't died...she would have seen the rain that started to fall two days after her death, and it rained, and rained, and rained.  It more than filled Angostura Dam by the end of June. 
If, if, if, she had held on, the lives of my brother, my dad, and I would have been much different. If, if, if, she were alive, we would do the mother-daughter activities that I see my aunt and cousin do, my neighbor and her daughter do. I will forevermore be lonely for her.