Beautiful story From Lyle OLson (75):
Gary:I would like to relay a story of a random act of kindness by Dick Johnson. My mother, Lorraine (Metcalfe) Somers, worked as a secretary in the Dunseith School system for 32 years. She passed away a year ago come 4/10. As many know she enjoyed playing guitar and singing. Although she stopped playing in bands in the mid-1980’s she continued to play at home and on other special occasions (two of which occasions she truly remembered with great pleasure: the wedding dance and then the 50th anniversary of Duane and Lorraine Peterson). In any event, one day she was in the local second hand store looking at a mandolin. Dick Johnson happened to be in the store at the same time. Having a fondness for all things Bluegrass, my mother always wanted to learn how to play the mandolin, and she thought it might also keep her 69-year-old fingers nimble. Well, she offered a price to the store owner but he would not come down on the price. She left the store, went grocery shopping and went home. About an hour after she arrived at home, the door bell rang and here was Dick Johnson with that very same mandolin. Dick told my mother that he had always appreciated her playing and singing and that he wanted her to have the mandolin!! I have to say that my mother was never one to cry (many of you know this given her stern lectures and looks when you did something wrong in school), but she cried a good long time after Dick left, and she cried each time she told the story to others. When she passed away, the mandolin and my mother’s beloved Martin guitar passed on to my brother Rob Olson, the only one of the Olson boys who can play an instrument. I want Dick to know how much we appreciated his random act of kindness and to know that the mandolin and the story that goes with it is one of our greatest treasures of a life filled with music.
Class of 1975
From Diane Wenstad Weibe (60):
I was talking with my brother Laurel on the Easter weekend in Michigan, N.D. I was telling him of all the emails and history from Dunseith. He was so interested and asked if he could be put on the emailing list. Laurel is my oldest brother and started Dunseith High School but did not finish high school.
Laurel know allot of these people that lived in “The Hills” and Dunseith as well as he does go back now and again to see friends and family that still live in the area. Laurel lives in Minn. around the same areas as John, Lynnette and Kermit.
John is the second oldest brother and he also takes a drive to “The Hills” once and awhile.
Melvin (Pete) the third brother lives in Michigan now and he did the drive to the hills last summer and how things have changed.
We all have very fond memories and always talking about the “The Hills”, the Butte, etc.
The rest of us kids don’t seem to get back as much. I live about 180 miles from Dunseith, north to Brandon and east on #1 towards Winnipeg. I like to drive down and see the areas, stop to see my parents, Alvin and Arn’s graves. Thanks for the information on the caretakers of the graveyard and the email address. I wondered who took care of the graves and doing a good job at that.
Thanks again Garry for the emails, great reading, history and memories.
When us kids get together we always have so many laughs and memories. We laugh until we cry and hurt. We had a hard time growing up but the neighbors, family and friends made it so much easier that we did not even notice it at the time we were going up. We just talk about how great Don Boppre was in helping our dad in so many ways but dad was always there for everyone else who needed a hand or what ever he had he could share to help out others.
Where are those days today?Well, you can take the people out of the “The Hills” and Dunseith but can’t take “The Hills” and Dunseith out the people (like us Wenstad kids).
From Erling Landsverk (44):
Subject: Looking for contacts
PLEASE DON’T LET THE SUBJECT MATTER MISLEAD YOU, BUT AT MY AGE I AM SURE EVERYONE UNDERSTAND THAT MANY OF MY OLD FRIENDS, CLASSMATES, NEIGHBORS ETC HAVE POSSIBLY PASSED AWAY, MOVED TO WARM CLIMES OR COULD BE VERY ILL, (WE HOPE NOT). FURTHER I AM CERTAIN THAT MOST OF THE YOUNGER SET THAT PARTICIPATE IN YOUR PROGRAM, PROBABLY DON’T HAVE A CLUE AS TO WHO I MIGHT BE. SO LET ME EXPLAIN A LITTLE.
HAD I REMAINED AT DEAR OLD DHS ONE MORE YEAR, I WOULD HAVE GRADUATED IN “44” ALTHOUGH OUR CLASS AT DUNSEITH WAS SMALL I KNOW MANY OF THEM ARE NOT AROUND ANY MORE BUT FOR YOU YOUNGER E MAILERS, NELS LANDSVERK WAS MY FATHERS BROTHER, SO ALL OF HIS CHILDREN ARE MY FIRST COUSINS. I KNEW THE HALVORSON FAMILY WELL, THEY WERE NEIGHBORS, THE BYE FAMILY WAS ALSO A NEIGHBOR AS WERE THE HAGENS, AND I WENT TO SCHOOL WITH OSCAR AND RAYMOND. I KNEW MANY OF THE HIATTS, AND ATTENDED SCHOOL WITH MANY OF THEM. THEY WERE A GREAT BUNCH, HOWARD LANDSVERK IS ALSO MY FIRST COUSIN, HIS FATHERS NAME WAS KNUTE, AND HIS KID SISTER MARJORIE LIVES IN WISCONSIN ABOUT 40 MILES TO THE EAST OF PORTAGE, AND WE SEE ONE ANOTHER EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE. I WAS DISAPPOINTED THAT YODOLA PIGEON DIDN’T COME TO THE SCHOOL REUNION, HE AND I TOOK PART IN THE JUNIOR CLASS PLAY, I AM SURE HE WOULD REMEMBER, IF HE SEES THIS MESSAGE. URBAIN COTE WAS ALSO A CLASS MATE, A GREAT MUSICIAN, BUT I UNDERSTAND HE RECENTLY PASSED AWAY IN ARIZONA, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO DELEPHINE WENTLAND? HOW ABOUT URSELLA CARLSON, ABE NELSON’S TWO BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS, THELMA HAGEN
I COULD GO ON BUT IF SOME OF YOU YOUNGER DECENDANTS RECOGNIZE ANY NAMES, WOULD YOU LET ME KNOW.
GARY, YOU ARE DOING A GREAT SERVICE FOR MANY OF US, I REALLY MISS THE NORTH DAKOTA PEOPLE A GREAT DEAL, THEY ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH, AND I LOVE THEM ALL.
Gary Metcalfe’s (57) reply to Shirley OLson (49):
The Ford tractor and I got tangled with the community mailboxes and did considerable damage. Harry Zieler knew I did it and unknowingly mentioned it to my dad. Dad said “What?” So, I got a card in the mail and a jack knife from Harry, then at a basket social rural school event two very young teachers, Faye Brennan and Lenore Williams had a double basket, best looking one there. Harry bought it and cut me in and he only took the cigar and I had to eat with the two teachers. Someone needs to talk about those many rural school teachers, one year of college, out in the snow banks, no roads, eight grades, What they went through, use your imagination. Eleanor Awalt was one of them. Dennis Espe did you do one year or no?? I was thinking of more of your relatives Shirley, Eldon Hiatt and Clarence Schultz had Joe Morinville’s store before him. Clarence was married to a Berg, Amanda if I am not mistaken. Might as well include Glen Johnson. I am sure I
have never met a person to match Glen’s personality. Gary Metcalfe
Gary and FriendsGreat to hear from Trish! The demo derby you are refering to
was in 1971, if I remember correctly. John Bogus had a 1959
Chrysler station wagon and yes, it was grey and looked like a
shark! When he was working on it, he called me to come over as
he had a problem. When the engine warmed up it had a knock; a
very BAD knock! It was only one day from the derby and no time
to rebuild it. I suggested that he use heavy oil and not rev it
more than he had to. I then went back home and worked on my own
demo car. Lowell Leonard gave me a 1961 Ford four door to run
as long as I would advertize for the Garden Tap, no problem!
When we got to the park the next day, John came over and
said, “I bet you can’t hear the knock anymore”. I asked him
what he did. He said, ” I cut the exhaust pipes off and it’s so
loud you can’t hear anything”. He made it all the way through
the derby without blowing it up! I remember it being the first
derby we ever had and not knowing the track needed to be
watered down. When the flag was dropped and everyone kicked it,
you would swear we were in a sand storm. You couldn’t see a
thing!! Other drivers were, Ernie Gottbreht in a 1951 Ford,
Keith Coleman in a 60 Buick, Dennis Dion in a 55 Plymouth, and
some others. I can’t remember who won but it wasn’t me!
We lost our friend John Boguslawski in 1981. He drowned while
canoeing in Minnesota, where he lived. He did leave us with a
lot of good memories of the times we were together.
Thanks to all for the deep appreciation you have for my dad. He
was a good guy. Thanks again Gary for this great thing!!
Thank you Neola Kofoid Garbe for providing this.
Midred Crum – DHS class of 1955