Clementine visiting Garretson
October 24. 2007 6:00AM
By Alan Van Ormer
Clementine is making it a point to stop in Garretson on its Squeaky Wheel Tour today.
Janelle Rap, who plays guitar and is a vocalist, said it was important to stop by what the band is calling, the “Little Town That Could.”
“I sort of feel a kin to Garretson,” she said in a phone interview. “If a few of us get together, we can make a difference. Garretson is the epitomy of that kind of thinking.”
A supper is planned at 5 p.m., today at the American Legion building in Garretson. Residents will be able to step inside the tour bus and the group will sing a couple of numbers. Clementine will then perform at Augustana College at 8:45 p.m.
“We are fortunate to have this opportunity for Clementine to stop here on their national tour,” said Kris Frerk, a member of the Garretson Commercial Club. “I am proud of the Garretson people for the warm welcoming they gave them during the summer.”
Clementine performed in Garretson during the Jesse James Days celebration during the summer. At that time, Rap said that she and the group would not forget what Garretson had done for the band and said they would come back during the Squeaky Wheel Tour.
On Oct. 17, 2000, Rap, along with other members of her family that includes Tammy Smith, a Garretson resident, who is traveling with the band on this tour, lost their sister, Gina Bos. According to Rap, Gina left a pub in Lincoln, Neb., where she was playing guitar. Gina’s car was found with the guitar inside, but there was no Gina. The families’ desperate search for Gina hit a dead end with the national news media, so Rap created ‘GINA for Missing Person,’ a non-profit group that utilizes entertainment to gain attention for missing people. This is the second year for the Squeaky Wheel Tour that runs 19 days from Oct. 17 (Gina’s disappearance date) to Nov. 4 (Gina’s birthday.) It includes 300 events in 12 countries, all 50 states utilizing the talents of 100s of artists and profiling more than 300 missing people.
This year, Clementine is traveling all 19 days around the United States and is web casting each possible event, as well as filming the reality of travel, meeting the press, radio interviews, profiling the missing, meeting the missing, and meeting the families of the missing, said Rap.
Clementine started the tour in Napa, Calif. After the performance in Sioux Falls, the band will head to Mason City, Iowa and then on to Chicago.
The band, consisting of members who were all doing different projects, got together because of the Squeaky Wheel Tour. Garretson was the first performance together the group had.
“The Little Town That Could,” launched Clementine,” said Rap. “We wanted to come to Garretson, visit and thank the people in some way. I think it is an incredible idea. We are really excited and will continue to build a relationship with Garretson.”
Rap said it was important to the band to have that kind of support at its start. “It is a huge perk to have that loyalty so early in the game for such a new band,” she said. “We are very grateful.”
Smith said Garretson has taken the band on as a part of its family.
“It has just been amazing how the town opened up it arms and supports this band and its effort to find the missing,” she said.
“We have seen at events non-profit groups come together and help us, but a whole town following us. I don’t know if it has been to that degree.”
At the concerts, Rap said that people are moved by what Clementine is doing.
“They’re amazed that this band would make this mission, when it is not their sister missing,” she said. “They are amazed they would sacrifice this much.”
Rap has been doing concerts to find her sister since 2001 and during that period an estimated 150 people have been found that have been profiled.
“It has been a group effort,” she said. “It is almost surreal, you can’t really believe it. It certainly makes me feel like my sister’s disappearance has some gold attached to it.”
Rap is still leading the crusade to find her sister.
“It is doubtful that she just walked off to leave her children that she dearly loved,” she said.
“She’s probably not alive. Our hope is that we find out what happened to her or who did this to her. Eventually guilt will get them to tell their story. We want them to know that we are not giving up.”