12/11/2012 (1667)

No Blog yesterday
For the record, I did not get a blog posted yesterday.
Happy Birthday Martin Peterson: St John, ND
Condolences to the Mongeon family
From Rob Olson (’79):  Walla Walla, WA
Gary please pass along my prayers to the Mongeon family. Armand was a very kind person and his family clearly reflects that. 

Rob Olson
From Dick Johnson (’68):  Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

       My sincere condolences to all the families who have lost someone
in the past short while.  The passing of Armand Mongeon, Donna Leonard,
Jess Hosmer, Willard Lamb, Alice Hoffman and others will leave the community with a
void that will be impossible to fill.  They were part of the central
make up of Dunseith for as long as I can remember and will be missed by
all of us.  To all of us, this is a sad part of this forward movement of
time.  Again my sincere condolences to all.


Reply from Bonnie Awalt Houle (’56): Becker, MN
Dear Gary,
    You have at your fingertips the greatest group of “Prayer Warriors” I am certain they will gather together all their prayers to help Bernadette and your family as you face her health struggles.  You have my Prayers.
Bonnie Awalt Houle (56)
Thank you Bonnie,
I have been answering most everyone with a personal message about Bernadette, but decide to post yours with an update on her.
Bernadette is doing much better today. They say this disease has it’s good days and bad. How true I have found that to be. She kind of came to life later in the day yesterday. We decided to do our monthly grocery shopping yesterday too. To be on the safe side we took our two helpers with us. Bernadette was very much in control with what went in the cart too. This disease often times affects its victims making them look like and walking like they are dizzy. The same is true for Bernadette. I thought she was going to fall over, several times, when we first got in the Grocery store. She said she was alright and wanted to continue shopping. We insisted that she hang onto the cart for support. For the next hour and half that we were in the store, she made it just fine. She is currently having her nails done.
Thank you everyone for the messages you have sent with concerns about Bernadette.
The Olinger Auction
Reply from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Gary and friends  This Christmas Season, I offer my tale, “The Olinger Auction”

Ole was a social fellow,his wife was the more reclusive.

The first and only time I met Mrs. Olinger was at their auction sale in Dunseith.

Auction sales for some, are places for $ minded pickers to gather up bargains to resell at exorbitant prices at antique shops.  For most in a small community it’s a time to buy used but needed things while folks gather and visit with neighbors.

As I recall, that auction had a very small handful of bidders, disappointing for Ole. For me, that estate auction was very difficult.   In a short time I got flashing glimpses of Ole and Mrs. Olinger’s years together while belongings they treasured were bid on. (Yup, I was a sap and I still am a sap.)

Dad sat with Ole and frail Mrs. Olinger in their house while I with my young nephew, at my side got my bidding number.

No one would take a bid.   It worried me that the old couple’s stuff was being given away.  So I, foolishly bid.  This was my very first bid. My first time bidding at any auction sale. I bid? You betcha! 

My first purchase was a rusty two person saw.  I fancied it because it reminded me of my Uncle Bill and his childhood experiences with his cousin a logger in the big woods of Minnesota and his tales of logging, in Tillimook, Oregon as a young single man.

My nephew ran back and forth reporting to his grandpa, horrified, saying, “Grandpa, “She’s bidding on all kinds of crazy stuff, like an old saw!”

 Then, reporting to Grandpa, “Now she’s buying pennies for a dollar each!

Finally, totally bewildered he told grandpa, Ole, and Mrs. Oinger “She just bought an old cracked,red clay pipe”.   To that, Mrs. Olinger exclaimed, “Oh, that old thing!”

All these years later, I believe, the saw still resides at the family farm.  The Indian head pennies are stashed safely away somewhere.  My treasure cupboard contains sentimental stuff valued only by me, absolutely of no monetary value to others.  

Among my sentimental treasures are remembrances given to me by my special people. There’s a dime store fuzzy koala bear that was sent by mail, to me in Montana from Uncle Bill who had wrapped it with care.  The book, “Years of Protest” from Uncle Jim who put it in my hands with grave words.  Another book, of Dads, Charlie Russell, “Trails Plowed Under.”A  glass elephant  talcum dish of mom’s.  Her wedding day cake plate given to me by Annie Anthony, on her 75th birthday.  A cracked mallard duck from Mrs. Carlson  the summer she moved away.  A fabric swatska from Carroll who wouldn’t not tell me where he got it but said I needed to place it in my cupboard with his mothers’ mallard.

This stuff, junk to others could tell a tale or two. And, the clay pipe?

 The pipe is there in my treasure cupboard reminding me of  the social, verbal, oft cantankerous but always kind, WWII Vet and his sweetheart, a  calm,quiet, skilled lady, a Turtle Mountain Metis nurse.

 Thanks Gary.


Rose and Art Hagen are in Australia
Rose and Art Hagen are in Australia attending Rose’s son, Kevin’s, College Graduation.  They will be returning to Cebu on December 30th. Tomorrow, Rose’s daughter, Kathleen, arrives from Switzerland to be with them too.
Joke of the day
Posted by Don Malaterre (’72): Sioux Falls, SD 
An old nun who was living in a convent next to a construction site noticed the coarse language of the workers and decided to spend some time with them to correct their ways. She decided she would take her lunch; sit with the workers; She put her sandwich in a brown bag and walked over to the spot where the men were eating. Sporting a big smile, she walked up to the group and asked: “And do you men know Jesus Christ?” They shook their heads and looked at each other. very confused.. One of the workers looked up into the steelworks and yelled out, “Anybody up there know Jesus Christ?” One of the steelworkers yelled down , “Why?” The worker yelled back, ” Cause his mom’s here with his lunch.”