User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


73° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

KELOLAND.com | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Battleship Memorial Makeover

January 1, 2013, 9:55 PM by Perry Groten

Battleship Memorial Makeover
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

The New Year is all about fresh starts, including one for a longtime military landmark in Sioux Falls.  The Battleship Memorial at 12th Street and Kiwanis Avenue is undergoing a one-man makeover in an effort to restore the World War Two-era naval vessel to its former glory.  A local artist is sounding battle stations for the USS South Dakota.

The USS South Dakota withstood hostile fire in both the Pacific and Atlantic theaters of World War Two.  But time and the harsh elements of the prairie are mounting an attack upon this old warship, dry-docked in Sherman Park.

"When I came out here and checked on it this summer, there was paint falling off in sheets," artist Robert Ruf said.

It's been more than a decade since the battleship last had a fresh coat of paint, back when Robert Ruf served as the Chief of Command of the Sioux Falls Naval Reserve.

"This is a nice town; it's got some nice things like this and you got to take care of them," Ruf said.

So Ruf has taken it upon himself to repaint the battleship.  The prep work is already underway.

"So what I'm doing is taking it all the way down to the metal, all the way down to the concrete with a pressure washer and then doing a thorough scraping and priming it and then I'm going to put the finishing coat of paint on it when it warms up," Ruf said.

Ruf estimates the paint project will cost up to $20,000.

"I'm not a wealthy guy, but I do projects around town and I use the proceeds from my artwork to get them done," Ruf said.

So Ruf, the artist, is selling his oil paintings to raise money for the Battleship Memorial Makeover.

"I have a whole house full, so I got plenty to go around," Ruf said.

Ruf hopes to generate even more interest in funding the battleship project by posting a YouTube video explaining what it takes to keep the USS South Dakota ship-shape.

"I've already gotten a little response.  I've sold some paintings to folks out of town.  So I'm hoping the more people that see it, they'll pass it around and help me out with the project," Ruf said.

Ruf, who served 15 years in the Navy, knows what it's like to have all hands on deck.

"On the ship, people are constantly prepping and painting.  So I'm used to that kind of work, done it a lot; you gotta keep the ship looking pretty," Ruf said.

But Ruf will have to keep his artistic instincts in check and stay true to the original color scheme when he's painting the ship.

"It's all haze gray and underway, but my usual paintings are a little more colorful than that.  But I don't think they'd like it if they came out here and saw a psychedelic ship.  So I got to stick with the haze gray," Ruf said.

Weather permitting, Ruf hopes to finish his restoration work in mid-May, just in time for a reunion of the USS South Dakota crew members this summer.

"And these guys are late 80s, early 90s.  So this might be one of the last ones to get the crew together.  So, I want it to look good for them," Ruf said.

The Battleship Memorial is an enduring symbol of our military's might and the brave sailors who served on board.  Ruf hopes by a applying a brush to this sprawling canvas, he'll preserve that high-seas heritage that no one in a land-locked state like South Dakota should miss.

"Every time I pass by her, I always take a look at it because I have a personal connection to it.  So I'll feel a lot better when it's looking good,"  Ruf said.

Nyberg's Ace Hardware is supplying Ruf with the paint for his project.

Click here to see Ruf's YouTube video.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







Sponsored

 


View featured stories

You may also like

Mom Shares Her Story Of Overcoming Struggles With Breastfeeding

8/30/2015 10:07 PM

Life can be kind of hectic with a newborn.  Anne Burgdorf has two times the trouble with twins Hannah and John.  These four-month-old babies...

Full Story | Watch
Abandoned Puppies Adjust To Adoption

9/1/2015 10:10 PM

The 8-month-old siblings are from the litter found tossed in a trash bin in freezing January temperatures.

Full Story | Watch
Paying The Price

9/2/2015 10:10 PM

Those who sign up, some as young as kindergarten, pay $145 for six 90 minute intense workout sessions.  But for players like Cowan, it's wort...

Full Story | Watch
Inside KELOLAND: Teacher Shortage, March Into The Light

8/30/2015 6:19 PM

Next month, hundreds of people will gather in downtown Sioux Falls to erase the stigma and shame that are often associated with addiction.

Full Story | Watch
Former TV Model's Fashion Flashback

8/31/2015 10:12 PM

In the early days of KELOLAND TV, viewers didn't tune-in just for the latest in news and weather. 

Full Story | Watch


Events