Happy Birthday Jerry Williams (DHS ’54): Watertown SD
Wood cutting and heating memories
From Dick Johnson (’68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,
We’re having a good old ND winter back here in the hills. It’s
going to drop below zero for several days and the snow is starting to
pile up so it’s winter from now on. Today reminded me of the old days
when my dad and I would come up and help my grandpa cut and haul wood
for the old wood furnace in the farm house. We had a wooden box trailer
built from a front axle of an old Graham-Paige truck mounted on some
kind of old frame. We would hook the trailer behind the old B John
Deere tractor which had a big ‘buzz’ circle saw mounted on the front of
it. We would drag logs out of the trees and then run them through the
buzz saw to cut them to firewood length. Dad and Grandpa took turns
being the guy nearest the saw blade or on the far end of the log. My
job was picking up the blocks from below the saw and tossing them into
the trailer box. The local name for that job was ‘pitching cobs’. Dad
really drummed it into me that you NEVER leave a block on the ground
where the sawyer might step on it or stumble over it and maybe fall
against the spinning saw blade. It was a dangerous job for sure because
that big blade would spin until it whistled and could easily saw off an
arm or even your head without effort. I remember the concentration had
to be on exactly what we were doing every second. I’m sure we wouldn’t
have passed any OSHA safety requirements if there had been any around at
the time. It was dangerous as hell but if you paid attention to what
you were doing, it worked well and we could cut a big load in a couple
hours. The old clothing we had was also a reason to work harder in
order to stay warm. When we did get a big load on the trailer, we were
only half done because we had to take it home and then unload it all
into the basement. Those who have done this type of thing can really
appreciate modern homes with modern conventional heat. If it gets a
little chilly, we just turn up the thermostat a bit. I remember in the
winter at the farm my grandparents would put a blanket over the upstairs
stairway to conserve heat on the main floor. When I would stay there in
the winter, I slept upstairs and it was like going outside to go to
bed! It was tough to get the bed warmed up but once it was, the heavy
quilts and flannel sheets kept me fine all night. The old house would
get cold at night and I would stay in bed in the early morning until I
heard my grandpa building a fire in the kitchen stove and then down to
the basement to build a big fire in the old furnace. Then it was time
to jump out of bed and head for the kitchen and finish getting dressed
by the stove. It never seemed like anything out of the ordinary to me
because that was the way it had always been as far as I knew. Just
another memory from days gone by. Thanks Gary!
How well I remember those days. I envied the folks that used coal, at least they didn’t have the wood cutting labor involved.
Every fall dad would go out and haul in one load per day of dozed trees from brushing that Elwood Fauske had done with the soil conservation D-8 cat. On Saturdays, we boys would help him. He generally hauled in 15 trailer loads. All the neighbors did the same. Then they’d get a crew of at least 6 neighbors to saw these trees up into stove length blocks. They would go from neighbor to neighbor cutting all their wood. The ones I remember that used to pool their labor was Norman Hiatt, Clarence Hagen, Herman Hagen, Clifford Hagen, Albert Hiatt and my dad, Bob Stokes. They used my dad’s saw that he had mounted on the back of his Ford tractor. That was a large round open saw with no protection that spun super fast with a whistling noise. Remarkable that there were never any arms or limbs cut with that one. The last year that I was home, dad got an oil stove. What a life saver that was.
Those were the days,
Stanford Medical aid to the Philippines: Message from Kim Wooley
Posted by Trish Larson Clayburgh (’73): Portola Valley, CA
Six months ago I visited Southern Leyte to visit my friend Israel’s family and celebrate Fiesta. He told me that I would fit right in because I’m a “Province girl” being from Lenox, Iowa. There were many similarities between our hometowns, and I had a ball. After preparing the SEMPER team and myself in Disaster Mental Health for the past few years, I knew that I had to respond if my Leyte friends needed help.
– The area of destruction has no epicenter and is not isolated to Tacloban and the seaside communities, the 200 mph winds destroyed homes and took lives for many miles. The best way for me to describe it . . . It is as if the entire southern half of the State of Iowa, from west to east, was destroyed by a 60 mile wide tornado with 200 mph winds. Every tree is snapped or uprooted, every roof is missing, and many slabs of cement are standing where a home once was.
– There are many medical needs with our team outside of Tacloban seeing 250+ patients a day. It is not so much acute medical problems or trauma, but conditions that quickly turn acute or life threatening after 3 weeks without treatment. A blood pressure of 240/120 for a few weeks needs treatment just as a leg may need to be amputated in the first 48 hours. Who is to say what is most important in preventing loss of life? We are also seeing compound leg fractures with homemade bamboo splints, infected wounds from wood and metal falling on people, untreated asthma, and our miracle baby Joas who was brought in with a parietal skull fracture from the roof falling on his head but he survived the previous weeks because the fracture gave his brain room to swell. He was laughing and smiling, while his Mom was crying tears of joy when Dr. Barbie & Dr. Julieta both agreed he looked to be okay.
– The mental health needs are starting to present and are critical at this time. How people are attended to 3-4 weeks in will determine their overall recovery. It is far enough in that people are no longer talking as much about their emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental devastation but wondering if they should buck up and ignore their tremendous loss. A group of women including the clinic midwife who was helping me with some translation said, “The first week was a blur, the second week we got to work and worked nonstop with sleeping when possible, but now in the third week it is all becoming real and sinking in.” Trouble sleeping, high anxiety, elderly very worried and crying, are the signs that people are having difficulty coping. We encourage that people continue talking about their anxiety with family, not isolating, using simple relaxation deep breathing techniques, attending church and praying. People are deeply touched and feel loved by our caring presence.
– The typhoon lasted seven hours. How did I not realize this fully coming in? Seven hours of terror, mothers huddled over their children ready to sacrifice their own life as long as their babies could crawl out of the rubble. Seven hours is incomparable to other natural disasters where a minute feels like forever.
– Almost every town had 1-14 residents die, and almost every person in town knew that person, yet they feel lucky that they didn’t have a greater loss of life.
Disaster response is vital in weeks three and four, just as medical teams are critical in week one. Lives are saved a month in and it would seem even more unfathomable to hear of people dying at this stage, but most importantly we have seen hope begin. Filipinos are incredibly warm, resilient, gracious, strong, peaceful, and optimistic; I’m honored and humbled to help in any way that I can.
As we have heard and seen painted on what’s left of homes, “We may be homeless but we are not hopeless.” Salamat po to our friends and family at home supporting us in our mission.
Blog Posted on January 1, 2008
Phone call from Dwight Lang (61):
Folks, This afternoon, for me here in the PI New Years Day, I had a pleasant surprise with a phone call from Dwight Lang wishing me “Happy New Year”. We had a nice long chat. Dwight’s mother was Charlotte Lang who was a teacher in Dunseith for years and went on to become the “County Superintendent of schools” for Rolette & Bottineau counties. She was also my first grade teacher at Ackworth. Charlotte was a Hiatt, born and raised in the Ackworth community with my dad. She was a sister to Howard Hiatt and Elenore Fauske. Dwight and I have lots of commonality to talk about. Dwight has a home in Tucson and a cabin at Lake Metigoshe where he spends his summer months.
Thank you Dwight for that wonderful phone call. Sorry I had to cut it short, after an hour, to go eat my Dinner.
Paula Fassett’s (71) reply to Trish Larson (73):
I would guess the dancing couple that Trish (Larson) is referring to is more than likely Duane and Lorraine Peterson. I tended bar at Kelvin when John & Neva Rainey owned it and remember seeing the Peterson’s and was always fascinated by their dancing abilities! My parents were excellent dancers, too, but no once could hold a candle to Duane and Lorraine Peterson. What used to fascinate me most was the fact that Lorraine usually danced wearing tennis shoes!
Happy New Year…………..I don’t think we’ll be doing any outside partying in Minnesota!!!
Dave Slyter’s (70) reply to Trish Larson (73):
The couple that you are talking about that were such good dancers were Duane and Lorraine Peterson. They are Connie Peterson Lagerquists parents. I could never get enough of watching those two dancing around the dance floors. If there was a dance those two would be at it. I bet to this day they probably are still dancing. ha
I also remember the dances up at the metal building at Lake Metgoshe. Matter of fact that is where I got my first traffic ticket. I wanted to go left and everyone else in the car wanted to go right. Ooops blinker was going left and I listen to the gang in the car. Cops were sitting right there. Dang!!! It was called back then “driving without due care” ha Oh well, it was only 20 dollars.
Thanks for the memories.
Dave Slyter (70)
Bev Morinville’s (72) request: Note, I have provided Bev with Morris Gouin’s (67) contact info. Through his sister Cecile (61), we’ve recently located him.
Gary, Maurie Gouin is my cousin his grandpa was my grandma’s brother I have not heard from him in years and would love to touch base with him. Could u ask him if u can give me his personal e mail addy. I would love to know about his mom and dad. They were Duane’s godparents. thanks Gary…. also would love to e mail Randy Flynn also Bev
Deb Morinville’s (70) request: Note, I’ve given Bev & Deb contact info for Morris & Cecile.
I know you must be so busy with the “monster” list now but could you do me a favor? Maurice and Cecile Gouin are cousins to us Morinville kids. Their mother was a Dion as was my Dad’s mother. Eva Dion Morinville Peat. We spent many hours with them as kids and I’m sure that Cecile babysat us, too. Maurice was a big kid and during one of our many wrestling times (usually all 5 or more) he knocked out my loose front tooth. I would love to reconnect with them Their dad ran the Standard gas station for a while located behind the Dakota hotel on Main street across from the lumber yard. Give them my email address OK? When you have time!!
Happy New Year to you and your wife there in the Phillipines!! I know a little about there because I have some good friends who were missionary’s there for years.
Deb Morinville Marmon (70)
Message from Evon Lagerquist:
Happy New Year and Thank you for all the news!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR – 2008
DON & COLLEEN (Conroy) Martel
Copy of Tim Martinson’s (69) letter to Colette Hosmer (64)
Hi Colette,I’ve always wondered what happened to that gal that all the older guys drooled over. Funny how life deals out its cards, sometimes you win and other times you lose, it’s just one breath at a time, one step after another on the path to the next assignment. From the sound of your web site, endless opportunities await you and I am very impressed with your accomplishments to date.
In response to the letter you wrote about visiting a pig slaughter house in China. My first exposure to the killing of a pig was at my dad’s parents farm. I was probably four years old and full of questions. The pig had already been killed that morning, it was big and hanging upside down over a barrel of boiling water. What was that liquid in the old galvanized wash tub? Blood from the pig that was going to be made into blood sausage and so the day went on with the tasks of both men and women in cooking, cutting, packaging and freezing of the pig. I wonder how many farmers still make blood sausage? The next time I saw a pig processed was at the Evans farm, same procedure but no blood sausage. Loved those days of play with the Evans boys and the cinnamon rolls Alice would make in the old wood stove. The endless games of basketball we played in the dimly lit hay mow of the barn. Skiing on theside hills of Willow Creek, or being towed behind a horse, skiing or riding in a toboggan on the streets of Dunseith. The games of workup in Evans front yard and the building of tree houses in the big cottonwood trees. Always looked forward to spring and the cattle drive to the pasture that surrounded Mineral Springs. The winter days of play in the haystacks and spring calving. Bringing in the cows for milking and chokecherry picking in the foothills. As your cousin Bill Hosmer had written of his exploits with Myron and others I was of the next generation to enjoy the Willow Creek swimming hole. The flour mill was gone and I have always wondered if there were photos of this business and what happened to the mill since while playing along the creek we could always see the concrete footing in the creek bed below the elevator.
I lived on the south side of town and when I was young we would go and pick Crocuses in the pasture where the High School was built. It was undisturbed prairie land with trails of wagons wheel tracks that led to the Flour Mill and probably the old store that sat by Willow Creek on the south side of Kester’s house. You spoke of the tee pee rings north of Lake Shute and I have this memory of stopping along side the road a little north of the San Haven turn off and watching a pow wow in the early evening. Then also the juneberry picking in the hills. They were so good with cream and sugar. Always some sort of sport to play such as the touch football games, that involved girls too, played on the lot east of the Catholic church. or the basketball games at the old tennis court on the old school grounds and yes the basketball games played in the old gym built into the ground. The old city hall was a great place to play Basketball and I remember the time our independent team played a touring group. I was really impressed with Chuck Johnson, he could make hook shots from the corners and half court. I’m not sure who won that game. John and Stella Johnson had a order of two dozen date filled cookies each time the bakery made them and of course I delivered and I was lucky if I got back within an hour. They were the nicest couple and loved to talk. I finally figured out years later why everyone was busy when we made date filled cookies. Oh well it was their loss and my gain.
Do you ever think about some of the firsts in your life. The first oreo cookie I had was given to me by Grandma Hill who lived two houses north of our house, Again making a bread delivery I could not say no and was asked to get a bucket of coal for her cooking stove and ended up passing time with a nice older lady and that first oreo with the white frosting filling sandwiched between deep chocolate cookies. To the south lived Grandpa and Grandma Nerple, who showed me how they made yarn on their spinning wheel and gave me the chance to comb out the wool and peddle the wheel. Logan and Alice Buchanan lived to the west and I think lived a very organic life style raising chickens and rabbits. They always had very good gardens. And yes it took me a while to figure out where the rabbits went to.
My memory of the fly over by Bill Hosmer and friends. I was watching the birds through the bakery screen windows flying and singing in the trees. All of asudden the first plane came down main street and the birds fell out of thetrees. Of course I headed out the front door and onto main street and watched the show. Wow was the only word to explain it. I did go to the show at Minot and that day was cloudy. So thanks Bill for making a detour and giving the city of Dunseith another first. I have always wondered how far the turn around was for the planes you were flying at that time?Take Care, Tim
I am John Awalt’s (65) sister Bonnie (56). Here are a couple of Dunseith memories as I recall them.
Bonnie, I am so gald to hear from you. Now we can get you in the system. I know John has been forwarding this stuff to you. Folks, Bonnie is married to Keith Houle. Gary
The daylight filled the room and the cold nipped the tip of my nose. I could see my breath in the air. I waited, listening for my Mother to call us for school. It was so cozy and warm under the thick layer of quilts. I dreaded the thought of having to put my feet on the cold floor. I rose up to peek out the window but Jack Frost had painted a layer of white winter patterns over the panes of glass. I snuggled down into the cozy tunnel of quilts, knowing that my time there was limited. The time stretched out and still no one called me to get up. Curiosity soon got the better of me and I jumped out of bed, grabbed my clothes and raced downstairs to the heat of the furnace.
Mother was in the kitchen mixing bread dough, Dad sat at the kitchen table stirring sugar into his coffee. A glance outside let me know why Dad hadn’t gone to work and why we hadn’t been called to get ready for school. It was a good old North Dakota blizzard! The wind whirling the snow around, drifts piled high, and it was impossible to see the neighboring buildings.
As the rest of the family came downstairs, we ate breakfast and the job of having a free day bubbled forth. After breakfast we cleaned the house and then gathered around the dining room table where Dad had set up a jigsaw puzzle. The home was filled with the aroma of fresh baked bread, the laughter of friendly teasing and the love that only a family can share on a winter day when you are snowed in.
Once upon a time, a long time ago, when time didn’t seem to move so fast.
Days were not so busy and children were safe when running free.
The children did run free. They ran free in the pastures, free in the woods and creek and freely through the small town.
In the winter it was not unusual to see the children, loaded with cardboard boxes headed to the City Park to slide the slippery slopes.
They build snow forts and tunneled caves through the winter drifts.
After a major snowstorm it was possible to see children climb from the snowdrifts to the roofs of stores.
The skating rink became a gathering place where red rover and crack the whip were played over and over again. Those children scrambled into the jailhouse/firehall to warm their freezing feet, tell their goofy stories and giggle at nonsense. It was a childhood of innocence and wonderful memories.
by Bonnie Awalt Houle