-2/03/2017 (2488)

Dakota Drifters With Dick (’68) and Brenda Johnson.

Folks, I received this beautiful Album in the mail yesterday from Dick and Brenda Johnson.

Thank you Dick and Brenda for this wonderful Album. Dick, you have a wonderful voice. Very well done.

Beautiful Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Buck Owens and other recordings that I truly like.

From the music to the packaging, this is very professionally done. Wonderful wonderful wonderful.

Dick and Brenda, I know in the past you have forbid me posting your music telling me this is not the place to be doing that. For all that you have contributed to this blog to keep it going all these years and for all the community services you guys do for absolutely nothing entertaining at various places,  this is the least I can do.

Folks can get in touch with you directly, email address above, for a copy of this album of which I strongly suggest they do. With the price label on the back, I am assuming this album may be available in the local stores too?
Johnson Drifters 2488-1 Johnson Drifters 2488-2 Johnson Drifters 2488-3 Johnson Drifters 2488-4


Reply from LeaRae Parrill Espe (’67):  Bottineau, ND

It is so interesting to read the old entries from the past.  Today my uncle John Nelson’s obituary was listed as well as the picture at the Art Seim farm which included my aunt Jennie Nelson Metcalfe and my father in law Elmer Espe.  I wish more would write like they did before. Thanks, Vickie for your recent posts.

Thanks Gary for helping us out with the reunion and also for all you do to keep us connected, LeaRae


Beargrease Marathon Race
Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND


It is snowy  here and growing colder again moving to the below zero’s
Buie needed a coat to go out.

That  got me thinking about dogs  who don’t need coats, just foot protection.

My last year working in MT, I learned  things from a 6th grader who just  had moved  from MN. We had  a class discussion on  family ‘roots’. He told the class, “He was  100% Scandinavian….Norwegian.” The next day,  proudly  he came in  and  happily  shared with the 6th grade class. A  family discussion the night before, he discovered, some American Indian descent.

“He proudly said, I am  descendent of John Beargrease!”

No one else had heard  of Beargrease.

He shared about  a  famous dogsled  marathon in MN.

My curiosity  in HISTORY  once again ran amok.

Now, I perk up reading about dogsled races because of one boy a  slight build, tow headed 6th grade kid.

I  follow the Beargrease Race every now and again, when there is snow.

A couple of years ago  it was cancelled due to lack of snow.

I’ve also learned, a well-known MN historical  personality ,

John Beargrease made significant contributions in Minnesota.

I am profoundly appreciative of  knowledge I have received from students over the years.

The Beargrease Race is mushing along this week, because this year there is snow in MN!



Later, Vickie


Art Seim Farm: Lazy JS photo
Posting from Vickie Metcalfe (’70): Bottineau, ND

I  remember hearing  that  whoever worked  at the Seim farm through  the years,  carved their name into the wood  in the milk house room in the barn. Dad said,  “Autographs  were  numerous in  the milk room and he enjoyed reading the names.”

Dad also told of helping Grandma Seim whenever she made homemade cheese. He though she started with cottage cheese then….? She wrapped it tightly with cheesecloth, told him  to  help her take it to a north hay field. Dad brought the buggy around and they drove to the hay field. She picked the haystack. Where she instructed dad to lift up a pile of musty  hay. There she tucked the round cheese  under to cure. I think it ended up being a big round of homemade cheddar, It was  brought back to the farm house later in the fall.

Dad  fondly remembered eating Grandma’s homemade cheese. He would mention that memory whenever mom made her  homemade cottage cheese. I wish I would have thought to ask;

How critters like field mice, skunks and raccoon …or  ‘BLECH! … snakes  were prevented  from stealing under the  haystack and/or eating the cheese?

Thanks LeaRae.



Posting from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Gary & Friends of Dunseith,

Treasures of the LAZY JS 

Upon retirement,  family friends, Art and Eva  spent months wintering close to Margaret and Edwin.

When Eva passed away, Art decided to make the CA  home more permanent.

I was working in MT at he time when I heard the news.

Art had sold the Dunseith home to Mr. and Mrs. Kuhn.

It was at that home close to St Louis Catholic Church,  he and Eva lived in the summer months.

On a  hot fall day, Art had his last Auction sale.

I arrived at the tail end of the sale.

Disappointed I missed out!

Art was sitting in a chair overlooking a trailer.

As I stepped over to greet Art noticing  three items left on the auction trailer.


Blog (549) posted on September 14, 2009

Posted on September 14, 2009

Symathy to the Grimme & Lindberg families from

Richard (67) & Ele Dietrich (69) Slyter: Dunseith, ND.

Richard and I wish to express our most sincerely sympathy to the Grimme and Lindberg families. We both knew Greg in school and thought very highly of him. It’s just not right that people his age should pass so quickly through our lives. Our prayers are with you during this trying time.


Condolences to the Grimme family from the Lester Havorson Family:

Lynn Halvorson Otto (75): Seoul, Korea

Dear Grimme family, our condolences from the Lester Halvorson family, Gail, Lynette, Donna, Lori and Mike. We pray for God’s guidance during this difficult time.

Lynn Halvorson Otto, (75).

Condolences to Bill & Gwen Grimm from Bev Morinville Azure (70): Dunseith, ND

I am so sorry to hear the news about Greg …Bill and Gwen may the Lord hold u close in this time of sorrow. I hope I will be up to going to the service but still recovering from surgery.


Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

Thanks to Vickie for the correct story on the partnership–Big Three
not Big Four. I should have paid closer attention to Carroll Carlson
when he told me.

I think Art Seim said his dad had the materials and the carpenters
brought to Dunseith by rail from Iowa. The big house took nearly two
years to build. I believe it was 1919 and 1920. It was probably the most
majestic house in the hills!

The Mountain Home Telephone Company was taken over by Souris River
Telephone in the early 60s and replaced by underground lines and new
phones. We had a very nice Western Electric crank phone on the wall in
the old farm house.Grandma use to polish the oak case with furniture
polish. The guys from SRT said they owned all the equipment so they
were taking all the phones. I couldn’t stand to think of Grandma’s nice
phone getting tossed in a truck and hauled away so I replaced it with an
old phone that was in the attic and we kept the nice one and still have
it. It looks like new! Ingolf Medlang was probably the last
secretary-treasurer of the Mountain Home Telephone Company and he used
to bring notes to church council written on the stationary from the old
phone company. I wish I would have asked him for a few sheets of it for
the museum. There are still a very few of the old phone line poles
around the hills but most have fallen prey to nature since their
abandonment some 46 years ago. Anton Julseth had the ‘central’ office at
Berdella. Berdella, ND–a store and post office– was located just
inside the gates here on our place. This is how my grandparents met
while my grandma was the operator for the phone company. If I remember
right, I think they still called the ‘central’ office ‘Berdella’ after
it was moved to Kelvin. I mostly remember Kathy Gregory being the
operator in the 50s and early 60s. Our ring was 2 longs and 2 shorts.
Three cranks for a long and one for a short! Of course it didn’t matter
who called who—I think everybody listened!! Thanks Gary!


Dick, I remember the central office being called Berdella. I had no idea where the name came from. Now I do. I remember well when SRT replaced that old phone system too. A lot of the underground wire is buried in the middle of the county roads. For a very short time SRT had several parties on one line. That was short lived though. I remember Fauske’s and us sharing the same line. Our rings were different. I don’t remember for sure, but Pritchard’s may have been on our same line too. Gary

Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO

Reply to Dick Johnson:

It has been a long time since I have had any thoughts about Albert Peterson. My dad used to talk about the Albert Peterson place. Dad and my brother, Jimmy, came back from Seattle in about 1945 and bached on what I thought was the Lude Peterson place, also where Carl Nelson lived near Lyde Lake. But, Dad referred to it as the Albert Peterson place.

When school was out and my mother arrived from Seattle with three more kids, Dad was very happy to have a cook. Just talked to my brother Jim in Arizona and he and Dad came back and lived in Albert Peterson’s house, along with little Martin Evans.. LeRoy and Hilda Strong were living in our house on the farm and had no where else to go. There had to be an addition built on before the rest of our family came from Seattle. Jimmy was not sure that Albert was related to Lude or Max Peterson. But he remembered him being a quiet, skinny old man that must have been living in Dunseith at that time.

That brings to mind another character that spent some time on the Sime farm. His name was Louie DuBois.. My mother would laugh until the tears ran every time they talked about Louie DuBois. Here was a Native American who could talk Norweigan better and with more humor than most Scandinavians. I remember Louie and Jack Hecla in Seattle when they went up in a tree and cut off some big limbs for my dad. Jack was a Finlander from Rolla, one of Lucky’s “colorful” pals. I remember my dad and Art Sime talking and laughing over fun memories of Louie and what a character he really was.

Reply from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND.

Hi Gary,
Wow, Jeff Gottbreht from our home town.
That morning of 9-1-1 was a clear blue sky day. I was at Bottineau
Elementary School, in Mr.Larry Haugens 6th grade class room watching
T.V…..a history in the making….a teachable moment. My gut
clenched, horrified as those planes. 1—–, 2,—- 3—-,
4…..????,….Helpless. Chilling. Numb.

Later that day, after school, I, driving… through the motions, to
Lloyd’s grocery store. I now know I was out to stuff my dismal
feelings….. A beautiful clear September day. As I got out of my
car, an older neat, clean cut guy approached me… he started and
continued in a preaching voice, saying,”the end of the
world…shoved a piece of paper at me. Taking his pamphlet, I
politely thanked him. ( Yep, Even when I’m gut clenched and numb, I
can still smile and be polite.)

I walked on to the front door of the store…finally feeling angry.
STOPPED. WHOA. I threw that pamphlet in the trash. And thought,”Why
didn’t I say, Today is not the end of the world. We are not a
passive people! ” “We have elected good leaders. And, I know in my
heart, there are Americans….everyday common folks who will not be
sitting by idle. In the face of difficult trials. We are people of
action.” I felt very strong reinforced by personal knowledge; Our
country thanks to patriotic Americans like my dad,uncles, my friend
Carroll, and countless service men…and my Aunt Leona….a true
Rosie the Riveter,and folks back home, rose together fighting back
after Pearl Harbor. I believed and just knew…Americans whatever
their differences would stand shoulder to shoulder with our president
in the days ahead.

Thanks to your blog and Jeff Gottbreht’s aunt, today years later,
I smile and think, ” YES. One of our own would have been there making
a difference.”

Earlier today, I went to the Family Bakery to have a bite before
making my 6 wk. run to Minot.
As I sat down to read the Minot paper, I looked back and noticed a
young man look intently at me. A few minutes later he came to speak
with me. He was Jaylyn Hiatt all grown up! Jaylyn is the son of
Harvey and Tonya Hiatt. What a nice conversation we had catching up
on the last 10 years. Then, Harvey came in said they’d come up from
Arizona to visit Harvey’s mom and Ackworth Cemetery.

On the way home from Minot I listened to Garrison Keiller make
comments about how beautiful every place in the U.S.A. is in
September. He said he once packed up and moved to New York after
visiting there in September. Ah. Folks making split decisions to
move to various places whilst in the throes of Septembers golden
beauty. Well through the raining and zipping down the road, its
more like soggy time here in Bottineau and Minot, North Dakota .
But, it’s indeed a golden September Day compared to 9-1-1.
Thanks Gary and THANK YOU, Jeff Gottbreht!

Reply from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

To Margaret Seim Lawston—

The Anton Julseth you mention—Was he the same man who I believe became Rolette County Register of Deeds and served for several decades? If so I have a story to relate about him. He was a truly wonderful man that my dad referred to as “Mr. Julseth” all his life.

Allen Richard

Pictures/message from Sandra Zeiler Vandal (62): Elk River, MN

Connie and Sandra before and after.

Minnie Mary and me, my first grade teacher.

Hi Gary, just got some pictures scaned with the help of my daughter!!! Was great seeing everyone before and during the cruise.

the picture of Connie and I at graduation—crying. Laughing is so much better! It was wonderful seeing my first grade teacher, and she reallly looks wonderful!!!

Wanted to add, our 19yr. old granddaughter, Vanessa Zachman, has joined the army, and with tears, fear, and pride will be seeing her off on Monday. Our granddaughter ,Kayla is getting married this month also. Different roads, equally challenging and rewarding. Gosh, really feeling old right now!!! more later, Sandy

Sandra Zeiler & Connie Fauske 1962

Connie Fauske Monte & Sandra Zeiler Vandal – July 24, 2009

Sandra Zeiler Vandal (62) & Minnie Mary Mckay Merrill (48) – July 24, 2009

Sandra Zeiler Vandal, Vanessa Zachman & Mike Vandal