For a quarter of a century one KOTA Territory church donned lead painted windows as a cheaper alternative to stained glass. And after 25 years of very hot summers and very cold winters in Kadoka the windows were in pretty rough shape.
Now two church members have taken on the challenge of bringing some beauty back to Our Lady Victory Catholic Church. "Our process begins like this," said Janet Vander May as she scraped some lead paint from a window.
Paula Vogelgesang and Janet Vander May started scraping windows nearly seven months ago. "I had no idea what we were in for," said Vogelgesang with a laugh.
"It takes a long time to get it scraped, then I do a vinegar wash, and then I start in with the acrylic paint," said Vogelgesang. "It takes about 40 hours a window."
But it's a project that both women say just needed to be done. "They just looked dead, they looked dreary, they looked depressing," said Vander May.
After the first window was finished, church goers immediately noticed a difference. "Janet noticed this little girl going up and touching the window and then she'd go back and talk to daddy and she finally got daddy talked into going up and sitting by the pretty lady," said Vogelgesang.
Buying new stained glass windows would have cost the church thousands of dollars. Since Vander May and Vogelgesang are working for free, this new look has cost around $300 and that money was donated to the church by another parish member.
"Somebody asked me if we were getting paid to do this and I said no it was volunteer, and he said well look online and wee how much it cost to have somebody restore fo-stained glass, and so I did; $125 an hour," said Vogelgesang.
But even though it's not an easy job, and it's extremely time consuming, Vogelgesang and Vander May say every scrape and dab is worth the end result.
So far they have finished six out of 18 windows in the church, and Vogelgesang jokes that it'll take them a couple years to finish.