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White Bird Rodeo, Days on tap for this weekend


Dick and Susie Brust are the 2016 White Bird Days and Rodeo grand marshals.

Brusts serve as grand marshals

A movie house date and 51 years later, Dick and Susie Brust are still a team. The couple will serve as the White Bird Rodeo and Days grand marshals for 2016.

Dick was born in Bonners Ferry and at the age of 4 was adopted by Jack and Charlotte Brust, ranchers who raised cattle in the Joseph, Ore., and Doumecq plains.

“They asked me once if I thought I might want a sister from the St. Joseph Children’s Home where I came from, and I said, ‘nope!’” smiled Dick.

“Yes, he was spoiled – the apple of their eye,” added Susie.

Dick attended classes on Joseph then at Doumecq where his mother taught school through grade eight. When that school closed, he went on to Riggins where he graduated from Salmon River High School.

All his life he spent ranching and cowboying, riding horses through remote areas and rounding up cattle.

Susie Chadwick was born in Lewiston, later moved to Joseph, Ore., then to Grangeville where she graduated from high school. She grew up riding horse on her grandad’s place in Joseph.

It was when Susan was working at Blue Fox Theater downtown Grangeville that she met her Prince Charming.

“Dick came in with his cowboy hat, chaps and spurs – a real working cowboy,” she smiled. She was just 15 and a couple short years later they were married.

The couple carried on the Brust family tradition of cattle ranching, riding together into steep country gathering cows and making their living off the animals and the land. At the same time, Dick became a logger – now a job he has carried on for more than 40 years.

“I liked the solitude of being in the woods,” he said. “I learned a lot as I went on and purchased my own equipment.”

He worked for 21 years in the Blue Mountains and 13 in the Winchester area. Now, he mainly works around the Grangeville area. A few years back, he was even honored as Logger of the Year for the state of Idaho.

The couple raised one daughter, Delsie, who came into the world fast and furious.

“She was born on the Doumecq Grade,” Dick recalled. “I was pretty worried.”

“The phones were out and we got in the vehicle to head out but I was pretty sure we just weren’t going to make it to a hospital,” Susan said.

She gave birth right there – “We tell her she was born at Mile Marker 5,” the couple laughed.

The drove on to White Bird where they stopped by retired nurse Bernice Ruark’s home who cut the cord and checked the baby. They finally drove on to Syringa Hospital in Grangeville. The Brusts now have three grandchildren: two grandsons and one granddaughter. The family has lived in Endicott, Wash., but the grandkids have all taken turns spending time with the Brusts.

The couple enjoy four-wheeling, gardening and are active in the Pleasant View Baptist Church in White Bird. The cattle, which had become a job mainly for Susie while Dick logged, were sold in 1995 and she worked at Killgore’s Fruit Stand and later for Idaho Sewing Sports until her retirement in 2013.

Susie recently spent a month volunteering at Cache Creek on the Snake River as a camp host. She went with her sister and brother-in-law as “It’s not Dick’s bag for that gig,” she laughed.

No longer too excited about the prospect of mounting a horse, the couple plans to ride in their ATV in the parade and rodeo.

— The annual White Bird Rodeo and Days are set for Father’s Day weekend, Friday and Saturday, June 17 and 18. The rodeo takes place on Rodeo Drive, U.S. Highway 95 and Twin Bridges, six miles south of White Bird.

Friday, June 17, will begin with steer riding at 6:15 p.m. and the rodeo following at 6:30 p.m. Saturday’s stick horse race is on tap for 3 p.m., followed by mutton busting at 3:15 p.m., and steer riding at 4:45 p.m., with the rodeo at 5 p.m.

Tickets at the gate are $9 for adults, $6 for kids 6-12, 5 and younger get in free, and programs are $1 each.

The rodeo will include a WSRRA ranch bronc riding event with $1,600 in added money. A calf scramble will also take place each day of the rodeo with two age groups, 3 to 7, and 8 to 12.

This year’s rodeo clown is Tommy Charters and Superior Rodeos is providing the stock. This year’s rodeo announcer is Ray Aiken of Grangeville.

White Bird Days events will take place Saturday with the Cowboy Breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. at the IOOF Hall. Hot cakes, ham, eggs and a drink will be served.

With the theme of “No Place Like Home,” the parade will start at 11 a.m. Entries call 839-2457. Grand marshals this year are Dick and Susan Brust. The Queen’s Royalty Luncheon will be held at the IOOF Hall following the parade. Games and an art show sale will take place downtown and music will also be played Friday and Saturday nights downtown.

For details visit or see the White Bird Rodeo Facebook page.


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