Ralph Chase: Medora magic 30 years later
By Lee Coleman
Hazen native Ralph Chase stepped on the stage of the Medora Musical in 1983 as the youngest member of the Burning Hills singers during the 100th birthday celebration of the musical.
Now, 30 years later, Delanie Wiedrich of Hazen is the youngest member of the 2014 Burning Hills singers. She is the first Hazen performer chosen for the elite cast since Chase got the nod in 1983.
After two years in the musical, Chase decided to go in a different career direction while Wiedrich has her sights firmly on New York and Broadway.
“I didn’t pursue performing as a career,” Chase recalled. “It was never what I wanted to do I guess. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. Performing was a passion of mine, but it wasn’t something I wanted to do as a career.”
Now Chase, 49, lives in Redding, Calif., with his wife, Carol, and is a 17-year veteran locomotive engineer for Union Pacific Railroad.
As the youngest member of the 1983 cast, Chase understands the adventures Wiedrich may be going through.
“The cast was supportive,” he said. “I certainly had to earn my stripes. The good thing then was we had only one returning singer.That was good but I caught more flack being the baby.”