Faces in the Crowd: Randy Christensen

You may recognize him as a Deadwood gunslinger or perhaps as the bass player in the Fabulous Flipper Band or maybe his work as a local historian at the Saloon Number 10, but his work with children may be the most important role he has played.

DEADWOOD, S.D. — Randy started his professional career as a children’s counselor and would moonlight as a history teacher at local colleges. He was fascinated with Deadwood history and became immersed in educating himself on the captivating characters of the Old West.

Randy Christensen

Randy Christensen

Randy Christensen

Christensen says, “That’s kind of like a requirement that you read and spend a lot of time with the history of Deadwood and I just kind of went overboard with that, read everything I could possibly read.”

He also became an essential part of the Deadwood Alive Troupe and his research and time playing Colorado Charlie Utter at Saloon Number 10 inspired him to write a book for children where he has plenty of insight with his 24 years working with children.

Randy Christensen

“And that is who I dedicated that book to is all the different kids from the different schools and the different places – they quickened my step. It was just wonderful to have the kids around,” adds Christensen.

The book is based off a true Deadwood tale when cats where in high demand to rid Deadwood of the mice.

Randy Christensen

Christensen says, “It’s a little mouse, Charlie Klinker, the little stinker, he came to Deadwood in ’76 before that wagon train showed up with all those cats on it. And everything went lovely until one day the stray cats showed up, turned out to be Fluffy Johnson the nasty cat in the West.”

Christensen has a series of “Klinker’ books in the works.

Randy Christensen

Catch Randy for a book signing at the Journey museum on Saturday, March 20 at 11 a.m.

Places you can find ‘Charlie Klinker’:

+ Berg Jewelry & Gifts
+ Deadwood Dick’s
+ Deadwood History (Adams & /76 Museums)
+ First Deadwood Souvenirs
+ Miss Kitty’s Mercantile
+ Old Style Saloon #10

Journey Museum and Learning Center

+ Deadwood/Lead Arts Council

The Journey Museum and Learning Center is hosting a virtual performance, “Colorado Charlie” on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 6 p.m. MT.


Categories: Faces in the Crowd, Local News