Ben Roose’s father was one of the 238 people who died in the 1972 Rapid City flood.
“My dad was 52-years-old. He was washed away and we found him in the garage under the car,” Roose said.
But he remembers what his father always said about the unpredictable Rapid Creek.
“There were floods in 52, 62, and 72 and so my dad said the creek always cried wolf,” Roose said.
And, he’ll never forget this father’s story because it was featured in Life Magazine.
“The magazine even sent me two pictures of myself that they didn’t use,” Roose said.
Roose’s collection of personal memorabilia from the 1972 flood fills a table at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. From everything to his Life Magazine story to current newspaper articles, Roose has kept the memory of the flood alive. But, that comes with this job.
“I’m a regional author and historian in the area,” Roose said.
So, it comes to no surprise that he’s kept so much stuff.
“I even have a picture of Jackson Boulevard in the teens,” he said. “There was a flood in the teens, too.”
Looking back, Roose describes the 1972 flood, just like a headline from a newspaper did.
“It’s rather like war, isn’t it?” Roose said. “I think that’s rather fitting.”