12/19/2013 (1919)

Reply from Kenny Nerpel (’65):  Rugby, ND
Thanks to Dennis Dubois and Gary for the birthday wishes.  I did have a great day.  Some great companionship followed by a trip to Harvey High School to watch the Panthers blitz the Hornets 80-33.  Rugby High School advanced to the class B State tournament last year and I think they have shot at winning it all this season and the next. They have some great players including a junior who I think deserves to be mentioned among the best players of all time from Rugby.  Dennis knows that is quite a statement.  Certainly an all state candidate.  This Friday I think I will head over to Bishop Ryan High School to watch Larry Hackman’s beloved, and state ranked, Hazen Bison compete against the Ryan Lions.  Or, Larry, can they only compete in football?  Dennis, I have to question your long term memory though as I’m fairly certain that I never had a red headed sister.
I’ve been avoiding social media lately because I think that maybe folks our age simply don’t have the necessary writing skills to say what we are trying to say without offending some that we think highly of.  Recently in another blog I said some things tongue in cheek that were taken seriously.  I asked the guy what the problem was and he suggested that I should become familiar with the use of emoticons.  But anyway, some memories.
I remember Don Prouty as being a guy with a quiet demeanor, but also a quick temper.  The only thing that I remember specifically about him had to do with basketball, him being the coach.  I first played the sport as an eighth grader and could take part in it because practice was during the noon hour.  Being a country boy I could not make it to practice my freshman year and was forced to give it up.  I did go to the first week of practice and tried to thumb rides home but with no success.  I would then walk down to my cousin John’s home and spend the night.  I decided to leave the team simply because I did not want to be a burden to my Aunt and Uncle.  When the A team was announced after the first week of practice my name along with fellow freshmen Don Egbert and Clifford Henry was on the list.  Anyway, it was a crushing blow to me at the age of 13 to know I had made the team but to also know that I had to quit.  About two weeks later Mr. Prouty approached me in a study hall and asked me why I quit the team.  When I explained it to him, he simply said that Abraham Lincoln had walked twenty miles to get a book he wanted to read.  Now I was a shy kid and said nothing, but, “did he do it everyday in below zero weather,” was on the tip of my tongue.
A little about country living in the late fifty’s.  I’m not sure of the time frame, but I think I was possibly in the fourth grade and my pitch-black haired sister Kathy was in the fifth grade.  We had a skunk hating dog that slept in a shed that was attached to our lake home.  One Friday evening a wayward skunk ventured into the shed and was immediately attacked by the startled dog.  As you all can imagine this left the entire house engulfed in the smell of skunk.  My mother had heard that washing clothes in tomato juice could eliminate the smell.  I’m not sure where all the tomato juice came from but she figured she had time to eliminate the smell by Monday when we would be back in school.  It seemed to us that after several washings, all of our clothes were free of the smell.  As we boarded the bus on Monday morning we began hearing the comments.  “Did we just run over a skunk?”  “Wow, we must have, do you smell that?”  One of the longest bus rides I’ve ever been on.  After arriving at the school I decided I would try to at least go my first period class, but as soon as I opened the door and entered the same type of comments began.  I excused myself and headed for the boys bathroom, opened the window and did a forward roll onto the ground.  I then did the half mile or so to Lucien and Hannah’s in what I thought was record time.  When I got there I opened the door ran up the stairs though the kitchen and there was my sister sitting on the couch.  Her only comment was “what took you so long.”  Those were the days my friends.
Reply from Paula Fassett (’71):  White Bear Lake, MN

Hi Gary and All:


Happy birthdays, December people…….today is my sister Crystal’s AND her son Aaron’s birthdays…….Aaron’s daughter Erika turned 10 yesterday – Susan’s grandson Evan turns 10 tomorrow……Brenda (Hill) Mueller is joined in celebrating a December birthday w/her son Matthew, her sister Joanne and I THINK Diane also…..and maybe a few more Hills……hard to keep track!


In reading Walter Decoteau’s obituary, I see his sister Caroline Deschamp listed as living here in Minnesota somewhere.  I’m wondering if anyone has any contact information for Caroline.  She was one of my classmates that I haven’t seen or heard of since we graduated in 1971.  She was quite a personality – happy and fun-loving.  I would like to get in touch with her if possible.


I mentioned to Dennis Dubois one time that it would be fun to have a gathering here in the Twin Cities of Dunseith people that live here and/or in the area…..as long as someone else organizes it – ha!


Happy Holidays to everyone.



Jokes of the day
Posted by Lee Stickland (’64):  Dickinson, ND
     A man spoke frantically into the phone; “My wife is 
     pregnant and her contractions are only 2 minutes apart.”
     “Is this her first child?” the doctor asked.  “No, You
      idiot”, the man shouted, “This is her husband!”
                           YOU MIGHT BE A REDNECK IF…
     * you need one more punch in your card to get a freebie at the House of Tatoos—
     *you move your refrigerator and the grass underneath it has turned yellow—
     *you mow your lawn and find a car—
     * going to the bathroom in the middle of the night involves putting on your shoes,
           grabbing a jacket and a flashlight—
     *you need an estimate from the barber to get your hair cut
I used to work in technical support for a 24/7 call center.  One day I got a call from an
individual who asked what hours the call center was open.  I told him, “The number you
dialed is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
He responded, “Is that Eastern or Pacific time?”
Wanting to end this call quickly, I said, “UH, Pacific.”
LEE   s
Blog posted on January 17, 2008


Posted on 
Message from Bev Morinville Azure (72):
hi Gary, Please pass on to all the great people that have sent me good wishes and prayers A GREAT BIG THANK U . I will be having surgery on the 25th. I will lose 75% of my tongue and will have to learn to speak and eat all over again. Sounds like it will be a long road bk but I have the greatest family and support system. I love reading all the memories ,,, I may not be able to answer for awhile but I am reading … my wonderful husband got me a laptop so I can play with my pogo friends and keep in touch with u all…. I will be able to talk with my kids on I’m and my sisters also. thank god for the net. love and prayers to u all… Randy thanks so much for the letter I enjoyed it A lot but Clarence wants to know how u cold forget him lol …… If any of u smoke please stop ….this is what caused my cancer . It is easy to give up when u want to live . Please don’t wait till u have to go through this before u see the light. love ya all Bev
Message from Deb Morinville (70):
Hi Gary,
I got the date of Bev’s surgery wrong. It’s on Friday the 25th . Sorry.
Margaret Metcalfe’s (65) Reply to a message Gary Stokes sent her:
Note: in reference to Margaret’s message, she is a teacher at the Belcourt HS.
Hi Gary, 

Sorry I haven’t had the time to respond although I have read with pleasure
every e-mail you send.

This is quite a service you are providing for all of us; hope
you realize how MUCH I appreciate all that you do.

We have moved into our new school and though it was tons of work to move
and get everything organized and put away, I am adjusting to my new room.
I am right across from the elevator which is nice since I am on second
floor with a beautiful view! I just got new students yesterday….second
semester. Only 2 more semesters to go until retirement and I’m thinking
that will be great!

Take care,

Marlene Schniender’s (58) reply to a message Gary Stokes sent her:
Hi Gary,
This is all very interesting and brings back many enjoyable memories of Dunseith. There are several of these people that I don’t remember and I bet I’m not the only one having trouble with names, etc.
Elaine, Karen and I had a wonderful time visiting Bill Grimme last spring. We had gone to the NASCAR race in Talladega, AL and met him in Atlanta. What a great evening!
My husband and I are leaving for Phoenix the 27th of Jan. and plan to be gone until the middle of March. Hopefully, we will see Colleen & Don Martel while there. Even though the temps. aren’t that great in AZ, it’s better than here! We have -20 tonight!
Thanks for all the interesting reading.
Marlene Haverland
Message from Diane Wenstad (69):
I just want to thank you for all the emails from Dunseith. It has been great as I am recovering from my surgery. Home care finally got the wound healed from the surgery; its been a long time. I finally I will get back to work part-time. Ready or not here I go!
I just read this email and notice Arn Wenstad and Darlene in the news clips. As you know, we are from the family of the 24 kids, “Cousins by the Dozens” as know by some of our cousins. We lived on the county line, Don Boppre to the south and Bob Bott was to the north. I have emailed Ann Marie and she is living on the home place now.
We went to Beaver Damn school and my dad transferred us out of there when I was in grade 4; 1/2 way though the year. That was very difficult for us kids as we did not have very good schooling at Beaver Damn. we were so far behind in every aspect of reading, writing. etc. I went back to retake my grade 4 because Mrs. Conroy took the time to help me catch up. It was a struggle but I was the only one of the 13 that completed high school.
I don’t know if you remembered that Arn was killed in a car accident in April 1977. What I remember so much and valued was how the whole community came together with places to stay, all the food and just the best friendship my family could of used in a time like that. That was true when my mother died quit suddenly in December 1981, just after Christmas. You look down the street there were people walking to the house with food, cards and a good visit and just there for the family. It was so nice to see people we hadn’t seen in years after most of us left Dunseith.
My dad lived in the housing for the elderly and the ladies all were so good to him as well. At first he was the only “rooster in the hen house”, as my dad put it. Darlene and I took our families down to Dad’s apartment and prepared a dinner for all the ladies in that unit he was living in. My dad was so proud and all the ladies enjoyed the dinner so much. When he passed on in October 1989 some of these ladies were so helpful in while we were there getting dad’s thing out and cleaning the apartment. Again the community was so helpful and thoughtful that words can not express.
Memories of Dunseith were few as we were bus kids but I can bring some others forward later but for now I should go. Thanks again for the great job of keeping this going and to all the other former students for there comments and memories. 


Dale Pritchard’s (63) reply to Gary Stokes:

Carl Melgaard put me work during the Winters of 63-64 and 64-65 also.
Really, I think he and his wife, Shirley (Knutson), just liked to have
someone around – there sure wasn’t that much work to do in the Winter
other than milking cows. They’re both exceptionally “good people.” I
remember dances at what I think was called Peterson’s Hall just South of
Kelvin but have no recollection of who played the music – probably Ole
Bersinger for one. I couldn’t have been more than 7 to 10 years old.
Somewhat later came the music and dancing at Kelvin – Gary Olson always
played there but again the memory is fading. Those were good times with
good ways to unwind at the end of a week!

Dale Pritchard

Susan Fassett’s (65) Reply to Cecile Gouin (61):
Cecile Gouin asked if the Morgans were still living. I assume she meant Kenny and Marjorie and they are both deceased. Also John Morgan passed away, I think with cancer. Dick Morgan and Gary Morgan were both at the reunion this summer. —–Susan
Message from Neola Kofoid Garbe (Gary Stokes’ Cousin) – Hills and Plains Country Gospel CD:
I’m quite sure you received this when I sent it out a year ago. It’s the information about the CD “Hills and Plains” (group Don Boardman performs with) is selling. It’s very good. I bought a copy for my brother and myself as soon as it was released right before Christmas last year.
Don, if there is anything you’d like to add/delete to this email, please tell me. Or tell Gary.
—– Original Message —–.


From: Neola
Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 3:18 AM
Subject: Hills and Plains Country Gospel CD for sale/Not a forward
Hi Everyone,
The performers on the Hills and Plains Country Gospel CD are/were Bottineau area people. I say are/were as Marge Johnson Pladson, vocalist/guitarist, passed away (She fought a very courageous fight with cancer, but lost the fight.) after the group made this CD and cassette.
Others in the group are Dan Pladson, Marge’s husband; Jerry Olson (Bottineau High School, Class of ’60); Don Boardman (grew up/lived on the “Boardman Place” just west of Dunseith and is now a Bottineau resident. Don was the District Conservationist for Bottineau County for 27 years.; Dave Mettler, area farmer. I feel a certain “kinship” to Dave, as my father (John Kofoid) worked for Dave’s grandfather (Oscar Vikan) in Oscar’s garage back in the early forties. Some of you who received this email, will remember Oscar’s garage–north end of Main Street. Arnold Haugerud later owned the business.
Dan’s sister, Tina Bullinger, now sings with the group. Sharon Hubbard, Canada, sometimes plays the “upright” bass with them now.
Hills and Plains Country Gospel performs at nursing homes/basic care facilities/churches/other events in the Bottineau area, outlying areas, and in Canada. Last year, they performed at the Frozen Fingers Festival in Minot. They are the “driving force” behind the two-day Gospel event, which is held at the Peace Garden in August.
If you love Gospel music, you’ll enjoy this CD/cassette. I particularly enjoy this/my CD because I’ve heard this group perform MANY times. Because of this, I’ve learned to know these people so well and consider them my friends.
The CD’s are $15.00; the cassette tapes are $10.00. If you would like more information about the CD’s/tape cassettes, contact:
Dave Mettler phone: 701-263-7749
Don Boardman phone: 701-228-2698
Message from Neola Kofoid Garbe (Gary Stokes’ Cousin) – Frozen Fingers Festival in Minot:
This is the email I sent out a year ago for the Frozen Fingers Festival in MInot. A couple of people have written about it. As was mentioned, the dates this year are Feb. 8/9/10. It is held at Sleep Inn, which is connected to Dakota Square. To me, Sleep Inn is “pricey”; that includes free swimming in their “fancy” pool. There are several less expensive motels near the mall/Sleep Inn, too.
I’m looking for a picture I took of Hills and Plains, the group Don Boardman mentioned in his email. It’s quite good. I have so many folders, I can never remember which one I save it in! Uff da!
Also, to the lady who printed the picture of Ernest Tennancour: I’m so glad you like the picture of Ernest and are related to him. I liked/enjoyed Ernest tremendously. He was such a neat fellow.
—- Original Message —–
From: Neola
Sent: Sunday, January 07, 2007 4:09 AM
Subject: Frozen Fingers Festival/Feb. 9-11, 2007
Hi Everyone–near and far, from Minot to Norway.
It’s Frozen Fingers Festival time again!!!
The Frozen Fingers Festival is a time for “old-time” music and bluegrass friends to get together for an enjoyable weekend of lots of good music/dancing/laughing/good feelings (No alcohol is allowed, so children are most welcome, too!) It is sponsored by BOTMAND (Blue-grass, Old Time Music Association, (of) North Dakota, a group of which I am, and have been, a member for many years.
The dances are fun. My friend, Phyllis Gordon, and I have a standing “date” to sell tickets at the Friday night dance. We have done this for many years, and thoroughly enjoy it. It is so great to see old friends who come for the weekend and to meet new friends. Frozen Fingers’ audiences are fun/friendly people. Curt and Denise Halvorson usually attend each year.
On Saturday, there is great music all day, with a dance in the evening.
I have to admit I really enjoy the gospel music on Sunday. All music is good, but there is something about gospel music that really “gets my attention”–most of it, anyway!!
I’m assuming there will be more information in the February newsletter, which I will send at that time.
We are always looking for new BOTMAND members. Membership was just raised to $15, which is not much for a year’s membership, which includes an interesting newsletter each month. If you are interested in becoming a member, notify me, and I send, via email, a membership form to you. If any of you are interested, we can always use volunteers during the weekend.
Please forward this to anyone you think might be interested in seeing it.
Blue-grass and Old-time music rocks!!!!!! Ha!!
P.S. CD’s (donated by the groups who perform), caramels (compliments of the Caramel Lady), and a LARGE door prize will be given away during the event.