12/7/2013 (1907)

No Blog yesterday

 For the record I did not get a blog posted yesterday.
Vance Bailey Postings
The question was asked if we have copies of Vance Bailey’s postings that he posted in November/December 2007, prior to the official start of the blog. I check all my files and I no longer have those postings. If any of you saved them, please share.
Reply from Esther Murray Fleming (’65):  Flint, MI
Hi Gary    My prayers are with Bernadette.  She will be healthy, God willing.  Oh by the way. My husband and I have you beat in Marriage years/  In June  2014  we will have been marriage for 46 years.  LOL  Love ya   Esther
Congratulations Esther with 46 years of marriage.  Gary
Dancers – Ray and Mary Christenson
Reply from Ron Peltier (’70):  Dunseith, ND
I just read Paula’s response to Trish’s memory of the dancing couple.  I too remember Duane and Lorraine dancing and they were great dancers, but I was thinking of Ray and Mary Christenson, I think that’s the last name, who were always showing up at every party I ever went to and they too were excellent dancers, I don’t think they missed dancing to one song.  I know they were at my parent’s 45th anniversary back in 1995 in Belcourt and they had a great time dancing to every song.  Ray passed a few years ago and I do believe Mary is living in Rolla at the Assisted Living facility they have there.
Ron Peltier
Another Wood cutting story
From Dick Johnson (’68):  Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

Another wood cutting story—Once a few years ago I asked my late
good friend Bill Peterson if he knew what he was doing on like February
12 or 14, 1944?  He looked at me with a puzzled look and asked, “How the
hell would I know that?”  I said,  “You were helping Steve Cook saw wood
at Kelvin that day.”  He thought for a while and then said,  “You’re
right, but how did you know that?”  I told him I read it in an old
Kelvin News article from a 1944 paper I have.  He looked at me for a few
seconds and just shook his head.  The actual article said ‘Billy
Peterson helped S.R. Cook saw wood at Kelvin on Thursday’  or whatever
day it was.  I love reading those old ‘Local News’ stories.  Thanks Gary!


Towel story and Spit wad story
From Larry Hackman (’66):  Bismarck, ND
Hello Gary;
Happy Anniversary. 
Sent a little story, that brother Henry (class of 65) told me about after
reading the recent, spit wad stories and replies.
By the way Gary, several of the early stories that you recently posted, reference previous stories,
especially them written by Vance Bailey.  Were any of them stories saved?
Vance had submitted some great stories about his growing up days in Dunseith.
Gary, It’s looking a lot like Christmas around here.  Real pretty!  Which is the good news.  But, before you get too homesick and buy your ticket back to God’s country, I better tell you about the the bad and the ugly news.  We first had some rain that turned to ice when hit the ground, then we had about six inches of snow on top of the ice.  Now someone went broke off the bottom of the thermometer, and all the mercury is draining out of it. 
Then, if that hasn’t been bad enough, the wind has decided to kick up and blow the snow around and drop the wind chill down to a minus 30 to 40 degrees below zero .  Now that’s when it gets ugly!  So, if you have decided to still fly home and get a taste of a good old North Dakota winter like it was in your growing up days, bring your coveralls, your wool cap with the earlaps, and your long johns (flap in the back with the button optional). Now, doesn’t that make you homesick?  It could be worse, back in the day, you had to make your early morning run to the outhouse.  Remember, The Ode to the Little Brown Shack Out Back?
The weatherman from here in Bismarck last night, said he gets more calls with people complaining about the weather, when the temperature and humidity starts getting over 80 then when the weather is like this.  He said he hasn’t received one complaint about this weather system.  Go figure!
There you have it Gary.   
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. 
Hope you enjoy the story.
Keep on laughing; 

Towel Snaps & Spit Wad Story


After the recent spit wad story, Dick related the story of suffering the snap of the towel snapper.  Upon reading Dick’s account of the incident and then adding three to his class year, and then subtracting five, I purity much figured out who had marked him. 

I then inquired of Dick as to who it was, that would subject an underclassman to such abuse?  I found out that I was right on the money.   I too remember going several rounds with that towel snapper.  I also remember it being more fun to be on his side then to be against him.  There was some real towel snapping competitions that took place back in them days.  A person could have lost an eye?  You were lucky Dick!


Another spit wad story was remembered by my brother Henry (class of 65) that took place in the assembly room in the old school, when he was a freshman.  He said Mr. Grossman was the instructor in charge of the room and was sitting at his desk, when he was hit by a spit wad.  Now, as a student and getting hit by a spit wad , you had to kind of grin and bear the pain, while saying a few cuss words to yourselves under your breath, and all the time trying to figure who the hell did this to me, and how was I going to get revenge. 

But shooting an instructor with a spit wad was looking for trouble, so I’m thinking this fellow wasn’t up on adjusting for windage and elevation, and this was just an errant round.  After all none of us had been drafted yet, and I don’t think any of us knew what a rifle range was yet, and never had to adjust or sight in a weapon. 

Mr. Grossman upon being hit, stood up and said no one was leaving that room, until the culprit comes forward and takes responsibility for this cruel deed.  Not a person moved, or glanced around, everyone looked straight ahead. They did not want to give any indication that they could be held responsible for what had just happened, or any indication that they knew who had performed this action, that had resulted in them all being held in detention.  Most students in that room did not have a clue as to what had taken place.  They just knew that they were all in trouble. 

Mr. Grossman after five minutes and doing some trigonometry, calculus, and three pushups, decided where that spit wad, had originated.  He released the rest of the students, except a small group of which he had calculated, performed the dastardly deed and said that they would all have to stay until the offender stood and took responsibility for his actions. 

It was amazing; Henry said it was so quiet that you could have heard a pin drop.  After a short period of absolute quiet, one student, the biggest student of them all, he thinks, of the junior class (1963) stood alongside of his desk and took responsibility for the deed. 

Mr. Grossman dismissed the remaining students from the assembly room.  Was this fellow responsible or did he just decide to take the rap?  Henry didn’t know!  It’s a mystery?


Posting of the day
From Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Gary and friends,

I do believe many of our parents and grandparents lived the

Cowboy Code.  It’s one which was modeled to me by my dad, uncles and

their friends of that ilk.  Now I see it penned,share it with you.

Thank You.

as ever, Vickie


Cowboy Code promoted by the late Gene Autry:

1. Don’t shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.

2. Don’t go back on your word or a trust confided in you.

3. Tell the truth.

4. Be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
5. Don’t advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
6. Help people in distress.
7. Be a good worker.
8. Keep yourself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
9. Respect women, parents, and the law.10. Be patriotic.



Blog posted on January 2, 2008



Posted on 
Bev Morinville’s (72) reply to Tim Martinson (69) & Bonnie Awalt (56)
Tim and Bonnie, after reading your memories of growing up in Dunseith I really feel you two could write a book. You had me glued from the first sentence. Bev Azure (Morinville)
Mel Kuhn’s (70) reply to Dave Slyter (70), Tim Martinson (69), Bonnie Awalt (56) and comments:
A Howdy to Dave Slyter if he remembers me. Isn’t it a blast to remember the dancing of Duane and Lorraine Peterson. I believe they are still going around and dancing as they still have some oldtime dances yet at the hall here in St. John. My uncle Jimmy & aunt Ruby Birkland still attend and dance up a storm, but back in the day when Duane and Lorraine were dancing uncle Jimmy was more than likely one of the guys playing the fiddle. Him and the likes of Jack & Lorraine Metcalfe, Ole Bursinger and many more great old players and singers whose names elude me now. I grew up with it as a child and kind of moved away from it in the teens, instead listening to the likes of the Beatles & CCR and others but secretly loving the old fiddle. I’m getting back with it now with the likes of Dick Johnson who is playing with some friends of his and keeping that good old music alive. I love getting together with him and crew when they come and play in St. John. They even allow me to help haul the equipment and run the sound system for them. Ha.
A thanks to Tim & Bonnie for their wonderful memories and ways of writing them. I remember the big snow storm I believe in the winter of 68. I remember me and Russel Robert jumping off of their dad’s Mobil station and shoveling down to find the door to get in.
Mel Kuhn [70]
Bonnie Awalt Houle’s (56) letter:
Good Morning Gary,
Keith didn’t go to Dunseith, he went to the Academy at Willow City. He graduated in 1954.
The class of 1956 consisted of: Bonnie Awalt, Gayl Bedard, Elmer Boucher, Gary Cota, Don Conroy, Dennis Espe, Neva Haagenson, Kenneth Hill, Lois Hiatt, Janice Leonard, Curtis Pigeon, Kenneth Pigeon, Bruce Poeppel, Caroleen Williams.
Bobby Hosmer had been in our class until his Sophomore year and then he went to Fargo to school. (Hope that is correct)
I remember going up to Butte St. Paul with Neva and Bobby in Bobby’s Dads Jeep. Bobby kept telling us there was nothing to fear because you couldn’t get a jeep stuck. What he didn’t tell us is that you could get a jeep “hung up” on some of those big rocks out there in the fields. I don’t remember who rescued us but we had to do some walking first.
Does anyone remember when we first started the marching band in Dunseith? Seems the director was from Rolla. One memory from it was practicing marching down the street doing our routine. I threw my baton up in the air and it came down in a hole that Mr.Axel Johnson was working in fixing the city water. The baton hit Axel on the head. (Very embarrassing.) Spring 1955
Bonnie Houle
Colette Hosmer’s (64) reply to Tim Martinson (69) and Cecile Gouin (61)
Blood sausage and head cheese….our parents and grandparents didn’t waste much. Like they say in China today, everything is eaten but the oink. Processing pigs brings up a memory of when Evie Gottbreht and I went to St. Joseph’s Academy in Crookston, Minnesota (1963). It was a poor Catholic boarding school and it wasn’t unusual for a parent to pay tuition with a pig or two. We were all assigned jobs….I was taking my turn in the kitchen when one of these pigs came in. I remember the cook wielding her knife — a tall, agile nun — the sleeves of her black habit rolled up past her elbows, big white apron covering the full, floor-length skirt. When blood sausage showed up on our plates a few days later I took great pleasure in describing it’s source to the other girls at the table.
I like the added imagery of birds falling out of the trees when the Thunderbirds buzzed mainstreet. You’re a good writer…I hope you share more down the line. And, thanks for the kind words although I certainly can’t remember ever being drooled over (you must have me confused with your father’s bismarcks).
Nice to read your e-mail, Cecile. It would be great if you could find more photos of Deerheart Lodge!
My sister, Janet, was at the Air Force Academy for the first graduating class, but it was for another cousin, Brad Hosmer. His dad, Clark (my dad, Bob’s, younger brother) left for West Point after growing up in Dunseith so Brad never went to school with any of us. The family visited us often however, and Clark’s kids — Brad, Gay and Phil loved the town.
Brad was the top graduate of the first Air Force Academy class (1959). He returned to the academy as it’s Superintendent (1990 -94).
Randy Flynn’s (70) reply to Gary Stokes (65)
When you wrote about New Year’s Eve in the Philippines, I had to
wonder if you are having a pig roast. Excuse the indelicacy of
my words if that is not an appropriate description. I have
only been to one Filipino party but the food was great. I will
always remember the fine hospitality and great singing. My
host was a devote Catholic and entertained us with many
seasonal hymns. The feast was like a church supper in North
Dakota but liquor was served.Randy

Gary’s reply to Randy:
Bernadette ordered a Lechon and had it delivered for our New Years Eve Party. Lechon is a whole roasted pig, eye balls and all. The only thing missing are the guts. They run a pole length wise through the pig and then roast it over open coals. The one we ordered for our party was about 70 lbs. These Filipino’s go nuts for this stuff. They love the skin. For them that’s the best part. It’s nice and crisp. When the party was over the Lechon was gone.
A short time after we arrived here, we had a big party for all of Bernadette’s relatives and friends, which number many. We went out and bought two 6 month old pigs and brought them home the day before the party. Bernadette hired a butcher to come in and butcher these pigs the next morning. He arrived about 4:00 AM and proceeded to butcher these pigs. By 7:00 AM these pigs were in many pots, over open fires, in the yard, being cooked. We had lots of help. They prepared many different dishes using this pork. By 2:00 PM there was absolutely nothing left anywhere of these two pigs. It was like they evaporated. We have now developed our place, so we don’t really have an area to do this any more.
Bernadette is one of the finest cooks ever. She loves to cook and everything she cooks or bakes turns out absolutely wonderful. Most of these folks are good cooks too, but they can not hold a candle to Bernadette’s abilities in that department. It sure shows on me too. Here she has help, in the states it was just her.
Bev Morinville’s (72) correction to her relationship to the Gouin’s
I made a mistake their grandma was my grandma sister could u correct it for me. Thanks Gary. Not thinking to clear these days just found out I have cancer of the tongue. please keep me in your prayers. Thanks for all u are doing it is so important. Love Bev
Bev, So sorry to hear about your cancer. Please keep us posted. Our prayers are with you. Gary