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SilverStormm

The Pioneers

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I'm surprised Diane tapped out so fast, but I don't think she was ever really on board with the whole thing.  She probably thought it would be a lot easier than it was.  Her husband Mike seemed really bummed out.  Though I imagine their teenage son at home was more bummed that mom & dad weren't actually going to be gone for 3 months!  *LOL*

 

When the neighbors roared up on their 4-wheelers to find out what was going on, I thought for sure somebody would make mention that the original pioneers often got surprised by their "neighbors", but those were usually non-English speaking Native Americans with bows & arrows, in addition to shotguns.  I imagine they experienced a lot more fear than this crew.  I'm amazed they didn't track down the owners of ALL the property they were crossing, to avoid a situation just like that. 

 

I'm liking this show.  The dating couple is still in the background a bit.  Adayla has a lovely singing voice, so I imagine she'll be doing a lot of that.  Andrew seemed a bit lazy with the fishing, but I imagine the other guys won't let him get away with slacking. 

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I wonder how their ancestors would cope with the weather that their ancestors would have encountered in the time of their ancestors, as they deal with work that their ancestors would have surmounted before reaching rock bottom, ancestorly-speaking.

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Wow, that was a seriously devastating storm.  Good for them all, refusing to give up. 

 

I must say that prairie is a magnificent backdrop.  I've never even visited one of those states, so it's pretty awesome to see. That storm was pretty fearsome, out in the middle of nowhere.  They did well in getting to high ground and keeping their wits about them.  Also smart to let the animal go to make their own way.  It had to be pretty damn scary.  Too bad so much of their stuff was submerged, but fortunate that a lot was salvageable.

 

Using the stumps to jack up the wagon was cool.  No AAA on the prairie!   And as a Southern woman, I loved seeing their can of lard survived and helped out!

 

Marshall & Mary have been the alphas up til now, but Paul really stepped up in this episode.  And Heidi, Adayla & Andrew showed a lot of character in pitching in and keeping positive attitudes.

 

These folks should really be proud of themselves in how they rallied & made the best of a bad situation.  I'm impressed by all of them, and they have seriously heroic horses!

 

But what happened to the goat?

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My husband and I couldn't figure it out either. Marshall said it was a slave ranch, so I thought maybe he was one of the slaves, especially with how he was saying they picked him up on the road after his bike broke down. It seems like they would have taken him back to the ranch to be a slave, not someone in charge. He said something about a law enforcement raid and implied that is what saved him. But then why was he so burdened with telling everyone else about it, if he wasn't guilty? Maybe just because it was something so horrible that shaped him and he wanted everyone to understand him better.

 

The whole thing was just bizarre though, we couldn't figure out if there was a lot edited out or what.

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This guy is absolutely full of crap.  I don't believe a word of his bizarre story.  Listening to him talk about guns, about the outdoors and watching him skin a rabbit (which I've done hundreds of times) tells me he's got a bunch of novices totally hoodwinked.  

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I mean, the FBI did raid a ranch in the 80's that took people off a nearby interstate and forced them into slavery, so there's a chance he's telling the truth. And, well, if he is I imagine it's tramatic to talk about, plus I'm sure there's a degree of dramatization the producers pushed for. 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Slave_Ranch

 

Plus there's apparently a few books? I wasn't able find any information about Marshall specifically, however. 

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A google for "Ellebracht ranch Marshall" turns up this of July 15, 1986, which mentions Marshall Van Scoyk, who was "charged under the organized crime indictment". The National Geographic site mentions them as Mary and Marshall, of Viborg, South Dakota and a man of that name lives in Viborg, SD.

 

See also:

http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1986/Final-Arguments-Set-In-Organized-Crime-Trial/id-6fb3ee183bdce25586635b8105bc61c3

http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1986/Prosecutor-Apologizes-for-Playing-Torture-Tapes/id-929973ba5ab148519a43aba048c4bf77

 

There's a lot more on Newspapers.com but you have to access it through Google's cache, for example: "Joyce, Van Scoyk said, "started handing him a bunch of guns." Then the younger Ellebracht chained the three men together with a logging chain as the senior Ellebracht fired a rifle over their heads. "Junior gave me a handgun and made the men get in the back of the black pickup truck," Van Scoyk said. "Junior told me if those three guys run to stop 'em, shoot 'em," he said. Van Scoyk said the junior Ellebracht told the three men they were going to dig their own graves. The three men then were taken to another part of the ranch where they were forced to dig ditches. Van Scoyk said he was one of several men who held guns on the three. "Junior had a cattle prod. He was shocking those guys with it — all over. He made them take their shirts off," Van Scoyk said. The witness said he was shocked once with a cattle prod at the ranch. "It felt real bad. It freezes all your muscles up in your hand. It makes 'em lock up, "he said. But he later admitted under cross examination that he asked another ranch worker to shock him with the cattle prod so he could find out how it felt. Van Scoyk said he later watched as the Ellebrachts threw a rope over a tree limb, tied it around the neck of one of the workers and threatened to hang him. The man's life, he said, was spared on a coin toss. At one point, he said, he saw Mrs. Ellebracht carrying a plastic bag full of red gelatin and a piece of meat. "She told senior she was going to take it back to the barn and tell that guy (one of the chain gang workers) that senior had cut (another worker)," Van Scoyk said. Senior, he said, "Just started laughing." Van Scoyk has been granted use immunity, meaning his testimony cannot be used in his own trial."

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These two were my favorite couple. I liked their relationship and that, though they were not very experienced in pionerr-type things, they were willing to learn and pitch in wherever they could. The fact that Paul didn't even want to go and he ended up enjoying himself says a lot about him and their marriage.

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