Andy Fassett (38): North Liberty, IN
Pictures Provided by Bill Grimme (65): Birmingham, AL
I had a great visit with Uncle Andy Fassett, Aunt Betty Jane, and three of my cousins and their families last weekend. I thought I would send along a few pictures for the folks who know them.
Uncle Andy and Aunt Betty Jane live in a great area; very reminiscent of some parts of North Dakota. They live on three acres and are surrounded by fields, wetland, and wooded areas. Lots of wildlife makes visits to their yard, including white tail deer (big ones – I saw one on the way out) and wild turkeys). Their children live around them in the general vicinity; the furthest is probably an hour away. We had a great time talking about the last few North Dakota reunions and the interesting stories on your blog.

Keith Fassett, Andy Fassett, Bill Grimme, Wayne Fassett, Greg Fassett
Aunt Betty Jane Fassett, Bill Grimme, Uncle Andy Fassett
Bible Camp
Reply from Art Rude (71): artrude@hotmail Bismarck, ND
Hi Gary,

Although Larry Hackman writes a great story, his response today has an error in it that may give some people fits. The camp that is located on the Aasness place is not a Catholic Camp, it is the current location of the Metigoshe Lutheran Bible Camp which today is called Camp Metigoshe. Although there are few tensions today between Catholics and Protestants like there used to be, in fact that may be the source of the confusion, as they do many cooperative programs with area Catholic Churches, but the camp there is definitely Lutheran.

I am very familiar with that transition, as I graduated in 1971, that’s the year the Bible Camp bought the Aasness property, and that was my first summer on camp staff. I was the first staff member from the camp assigned out there, and stayed there by myself for a few weeks, I think Pastor Mark Ronning, the director of the camp, put me out there because I was from the local area, (Jimbo Pladson, son of Duane and Jean Pladson also came and stayed with me out there) and he thought I would probably know anyone who stopped by, thinking that I was from the immediate area. One of Mark’s chief concerns that first summer was shutting off the beer drinking that had been going on there, so the Bible camp could start sending overnight campers there.

Larry mentioned the barn at the Aasness place, which reminds me of an episode I often chuckle about. Mark had sent some staff members out to “clean barn”, and as the kids were city kids, they showed up with brooms. To a kid who grew up on a farm, that was amazingly funny. I sent them back, and they showed up later that afternoon with manure forks, and we began to clean the barn, a process that was beyond the imagination of these city kids. They couldn’t believe that rural people actually did this on a regular basis. They were mostly grossed out . . . grossly.

Mark Ronning was a leader in ecumenical cooperation in the area, getting four rural Lutheran congregations that had trouble even talking to each other to combine and form Metigoshe Ministries at Lake Metigoshe. The construction of the Lakeside Chapel with REA electric poles (from North Central Electric) and cooperation between the Lutherans of Metigoshe and the Catholics from Bottineau, was basically unprecedented in the area. Mark used to talk about the wonderful experience of working with the Catholic priest from Bottineau (I don’t recall the name) setting up the REA pole rafters for the Lakeside Chapel.
During the years I worked at the camp, Pastor Mark became quite concerned about the water quality in the south lake (that’s another story) and decided to move the entire bible camp to the Pelican Lake site, which of course was the former Aasness farm. So, ironically, Camp Metigoshe is now located at Pelican Lake, and has been for 30 years, Mark Ronning passed away 27 years ago.

Anyway, Larry, keep those stories coming, but I just thought I would clarify a little for anyone who might be confused or upset about any religious denomination label confusion.
Peace and Power,


Thanks for checking out Art Rude Productions,
webpage address: www.artrude.com
and Art Rude TV at: artrudetv on Utube
Art, you are so right about the Catholic’s and the Lutheran’s sharing the same facility. I wasn’t aware that they shared the bible camp until receiving Larry’s message, but I remember well, my dad talking about parking cars for the folks attending Catholic mass that was held following the Sunday Lutheran services at the Metigoshe Lutheran chapel. Pastor Ronning did wonders with his abilities bringing the Lutheran’s and the Catholic’s together respecting each others beliefs. I know that there are many of you out there, Catholic and Lutheran, that attend or have attended services at the Metigoshe Lutheran Chapel in the summer months. I’m not sure if the Catholic’s are still holding Sunday mass there or not? Gary
Military Service
Reply From Don Aird (Carroll Carlson’s nephew): St Louis, MO
I went through Fort Lewis August 1969. Half my training platoon came from North Dakota. I was one of 4 teachers in that group.
Don, All but several us in my training platoon were recent graduates from NDSU & UND. Kenny Nerpel (65) and Larry Lawrence from the local Dunseith/Bottineau area were in my Basic Training Platoon. Larry is married to Barbara Landsverk (67). They live on a farm several miles NE of Bottineau. How well I remember our senior drill instructor giving us speeches telling us we were the dumbest bunch of B’s he had ever trained. I’m sure he told that to each of his training units. Gary
Military Service & Careers
Reply from Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA
Nice picture of yourself. You entered the service about 10 months before I did, as I entered on April 3rd, 1969.

What I found interesting about your story is how a single (and as you called it, “knee jerk”) decision you made when you were young had such a profound life changing effect on you. It’s not only that you ended up later joining (and retiring from) the Army Reserves, but if you hadn’t extended your enlistment, you may have ended up in the Infantry {they were really in need of new blood for the grinder (Infantry)} at that time and who knows how that may have went. But it was more than just that, as everything about your future life changed from that day forward; settling in and working your whole career in the Northwest, meeting your wife, working for the Government, retiring in the Philippines, kids, grand kids and even what you do now with your blog — all came about because of that one “knee jerk” decision.

I made a similar decision when I entered the Army that had a similar profound impact on my future life.

As it was, I had went for my physical over a year earlier (in 1968 and was classified One-A) and I knew it was only a matter of time before I was drafted so decided to pick my own time for entering the service. (Back then they called what I did volunteering for the draft.) In any case at the recruiting office, they tried to encourage me to enlist for 3 years as I would then supposedly have more say over where I went and what I would do, but I was hung up on the 2 versus 3 years and decided (my “knee jerk” decision) on doing just 2 years. So, out of Basic Training I got assigned to the Infantry (wow, what a surprise, huh!). And I must say at that point I was certainly thinking I had made a bad choice.

But as my life went forward, it turned out that that decision would indeed have a profound effect on the rest of my life. Out of my Advanced Infantry Training (at Ft. Lewis, WA) I qualified for a relatively new program that the Army had started a couple of years earlier called Non-Commissioned Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning, GA. Following the three months of intensive class room and field training at Ft. Benning, GA we were then assigned to various Basic Training bases to complete two more months of on-the-job- training in leading troops. In this phase we were to served as platoon and squad leaders in actual Basic Training classes in order to get the badly needed experience in actually leading troops before our eventual deployment to Viet Nam. In my case, I was assigned to Ft. Lewis, WA and reported there around the first of December, 1969. But while in this training capacity at Ft. Lewis, the Army decided to close down all training operations at the base for two weeks for Christmas and New Years. So with nothing to do for two weeks, I decided to take some leave and go back to ND. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), while on leave in ND, I was in a pretty serious car accident, and spent the next five months in the hospital (first in the Veterans Hospital in Minot, ND and then at Madigan General Hospital at Ft. Lewis, WA).

To make a long story short, I ended up with a permanent medical profile (restriction) that basically said I couldn’t run, crawl, stoop, walk for long distances, etc.. And, when I finally got out of the hospital, they changed my MOS from Infantry to Transportation and sent me to the Washington DC area where I finished out my “two year” enlistment working in an Army transportation office. So, though there was absolutely no way of knowing what impact it would ultimately have on my future, my “knee jerk” decision to go for two years only (in a very convoluted and round about way) kept me out of Viet Nam, got me into and back out of the Infantry and got my civilian Government career started. It also introduced me to the fields of transportation and logistics – where I spent all of my career. Finally, I met my wife out here and we have now both retired and since all of our kids and grand kids live in this area, it is very likely we will stay on the East Coast of the U.S. the rest of our lives. (Though I do try to visit ND often.)

I’ll bet there are others out there who have similar stories about the impact single decisions they made (and often they may have seemed like “simple” decisions at the time) had on their lives.

Is anyone willing to share one?

Thanks Gary.
Keith Pladson (66)

Keith, You and your wife have done so well in life. I believe along the way you got your Bachelors Degree in Business too, that contributed to your career successes. It’s all about how we’ve played the cards that have been dealt to us. Gary