Folks, Doyle was with the Class of 68, not 70. That was my errror yesterday. Gary
From: Ralph Christie
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 6:31 PM
To: All Merrick Employees
Subject: Doyle Abrahamson


Doyle Abrahamson, PLS/MS

Vice President, Surveying

1949 – 2010


It saddens me that Doyle Abrahamson, PLS/MS, Vice President of Surveying at Merrick & Company, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, August 28, 2010, while traveling on business in Florida. Doyle has been a mainstay at Merrick for over 30 years. He was instrumental in the development and success of our surveying department. Through his leadership, mentoring, and commitment to quality, Doyle developed long-term relationships with many repeat clients, such as Xcel Energy and the Regional Transportation District. He was also a noted and recognized expert in Colorado survey law. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, colleagues, his surveying team, and fellow Merrick



Doyle grew up in North Dakota on his family’s homestead located just south of the Canadian border. He often talked about walking three miles, uphill, to Hilltop School, a one-room schoolhouse serving the area’s educational needs. In 1970, he earned a degree in Civil Engineering Technology from Lake Region Junior College in Devils Lake, North Dakota. His later education included U.S. Army, land surveying #447; University of Arizona Advanced Cadastral Survey (instructor/student); and Metropolitan State College of Denver, Advanced Cadastral Survey (instructor/student). Doyle’s greatest education came from his daily involvement in the projects on which he worked and the clients with whom he worked.


In 1979, Bruce Walker, Merrick’s prior CEO, hired Doyle to head up Merrick’s survey department. I remember Doyle telling me that everyone was doing their own thing back then. There weren’t any developed systems. It wasn’t long before Doyle put systems in place to gradually make the survey department a well-functioning, profitable part of Merrick’s business.


Ed Lecuyer, Merrick’s Co-founder, recalls Doyle’s first assignment was to get registered in Texas to provide oversight on some projects there. Mr. Lecuyer said, “Doyle was always there to tackle the great surveying challenges, and he did it successfully and professionally.”


Doyle’s first co-workers were Grant Thomas and Ed Adams. Grant liked to remind Doyle that he was the junior boy on the block, because Grant had started at Merrick just one month before Doyle. At that time, Merrick was performing considerable land development and REA Company transmission line surveying and engineering, and Doyle had 15 survey crews along with office staff.


Roger Nelson distinctly remembers Doyle as the consummate mentor and professional. “A knowing grin would appear on Doyle’s face when an opportunity arose to teach a fellow surveyor. Too often I was on the receiving end of that knowing grin early on in my career at Merrick,” said Roger. Doyle would begin, “Mr. PLS, how would you handle the situation?” Then, Roger would eagerly respond as Doyle smiled and led him down the path to learning by asking probing questions regarding the foundation of his quick answer. According to Roger, this was Doyle’s way to develop sound decision making abilities. As Roger’s career advanced under Doyle’s tutelage, he witnessed this same instructional dance with younger surveyors and then realized what a blessing that he was given. Doyle quietly taught many lessons to surveyors over the years without expectation of anything in return but knowing that he had advanced another surveyor’s knowledge. Roger said, “Doyle also gave selflessly his time to others that sought his professional opinion and advice.”


I personally have received many complements from Merrick clients about Doyle’s professionalism and reliability. They knew when Doyle did something, it was done right.


Doyle took on some demanding personal challenges with the same passion as he took on projects at Merrick. On August 19, 2005, Doyle climbed Long’s Peak on August 19, 2005, in spite of his life-time of diabetes, earlier knee damage, and his fright of heights. He said, “In years to come when I have a hard time just getting into my recliner chair, I wanted to be able to tell my grandchildren that Grandpa climbed that mountain,” which is in view of his home in Estes Park.


In 2006, Doyle and his son Justin were part of a team who made multiple climbs in the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains to retrace and re-monument the original Base Line dividing the Kansas and Nebraska territories in what is now Colorado. They made preliminary climbs to locate monuments along the 40th parallel on both the east and west sides of the divide. Locating these monuments was an effort to find the “Summit of the Rockies” cross set in 1859, which was placed there by the original surveyors. In the article, “The Path to the Proper Summit of the Rockies,” John B. Guyton, LS, said of this venture in which Doyle participated: “Once in a lifetime an opportunity may present itself to retrace the footsteps of the original surveyors of a line so significant that it shaped the course of our country’s growth.”


Doyle is survived by his wife Cindy and their three sons: Justin, Paul (Skipper), and Matt.


Doyle touched the lives of so many at our company. He will be missed.


Services are still being developed by the family. Once details are available they will be shared via e-mail with all employees.




Condolences to the Abrahamson Family

From Dick Johnson (70): Dunseith, ND


Gary and Friends,

My sincerest condolences to the Abrahamson family on the loss of
Doyle. It was a terrible shock to learn of his untimely passing. We had
many good times together in school and throughout our adult lives when
he was home to visit. He will certainly be missed by all of us.




Condolences to the Abrahamson Family

From Gary and Bernadette Stokes:


Cindy and the rest of the Abrahamson family, What a shock to hear of Doyle’s passing. We so enjoyed Doyle and you on our Alaska Cruise. Doyle and I had several nice long in depth conversations. He was such a warm friendly compassionate guy. I truly enjoyed learning to know him. Jean Marie, with all of your health problems, you were at the top of his list of folks that he was concerned about. Our condolence are with all of you. Doyle was one of a kind and he will most certainly be missed but not forgotten. Gary


Doyle Abrahamson (70) passed away:
Folks, As I’m putting this blog together I received a phone call from Jean Marie Abrahamson (65) letting me know that her brother Doyle died. I just called Cindy, Doyle’s wife. She was just notified several hours ago about his death. She said the close relatives have been notified so it is OK to post. Cindy said that Doyle was on a continuing education course in Florida. She said they found him in his hotel room in the bath tub with the water running. What a shock. I will post more later. Gary

Abrahamson Doyle 1950 S Moline Way Aurora, CO 80014 (303) 751-5137 doylegabrahamson@comcast.net
To Bill Hosmer,
From Wayne & Lori Richard (46) Nelson: Mesa, AZ
To Bill Hosmer..We are so sad for you Bill and your wonderful family.. Just know that Pat was the kind of person one nevers forgets. She will always remind us of the “fun times” we shared with the both of you and our Dunseith friends, playing poker, bridge parties, songs together sung, all at wonderful Lake Metigoshe..Love You Bill, our friend….Wayne and Lori
Reply from Janet Hosmer Cobb (60): Wilsonville, OR
To Bill Grimme

I love the Beattles and I love you! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!
South American Horse journey update:
From Trish Larson Wild (73): FORT COLLINS, CO
Hi Gary and All.
I’m leaving Salida today – halfway on the Colorado Trail to Denver! I’ve had a wonderful week here resting and rejuevenating with friends in the Poncha Springs area – a beautiful place surrounded by 14,000 foot peaks.
I expect to be able to finish my 500 mile ride in about 2-3 weeks. This adventure has been full of wonderful experiences – way better than I ever anticipated. I have refined a lot of gear and systems, and we’re in the mode now with sort of a routine nailed down.
All my horses and my dog are doing very well, and I’m looking forward to the second half of my journey back to Denver. My friend Sue Applegate here in Poncha Springs bought me a “spot” device, which tracks my route so friends and family can log on and see exactly where I am along the trail, within 10 minutes. It’s got a safety button I can press if I get in trouble – anywhere in the world. Pretty cool technology. Eventually I will have a link to this info on my website.
Anyhow, thought I’d send you all an update before I head out again today. For anyone who’s interested in more info and photos – check out my website and blog at www.equinenomad.com.
Happy trails!
PS I just realized I could paste this link to the spot page if anyone wants to see where I am:
Memories of Alma (Dale) Gottbreht and folks gone by:
From Evie Gottbreht Pilkington (65): Irvine, CA

Hi Gary,

August is a month that is always filled with high emotion for me. My Mom passed five years ago on August 15th 2005 and my Dad passed 49 years ago today, August 29, 1961.

I would like to thank Gary Metcalfe for his kind words about my family …especially about my Dad and I so agree with him about the good, kind and very strong women who shaped so many lives in the Turtle Mountains…..I could mention dozens but I know that my Mom, my Auntie Cora Mongeon, my Godmother Janet Evans, Ella Metcalfe, Hanna Loeb, the Hosmer women (Lee, Inez and Jess), the women who cooked in our café Stella Schmietz, Charlotte Boguslawski, Eleanor Fauske (many more) shaped my life and I am sure countless more in our small community.

I think many of us would like to say “thank you” to these woman who made a great impact on our lives and dared us to be different. They brightened our lives, taught us about faith, prayer, compassion, loving each other and our neighbors – and especially for guiding our families with the help of our Lord.

I am going to share a part of my mother’s eulogy…the words were for my precious my mother who worked so hard for our family for so long by herself, she was a widow for 44 years, I think the words are simple but describe all the strong women in my life who either left a legacy of faithfulness for love of God, family and friends or will leave such a legacy.

Words written for part of Alma Gottbreht Eulogy – August 2005

Good example is a great gift you give others; it is the way she taught and the way she lived.

We all loved our mother in many different ways; but one thing was the same for all of us and that is we were proud to be a part of the sometimes hard, simple and devout life she lived. We thank God for the life of our mother and know that not even death can separate us, we have many wonderful memories and they will bless our days.

Mom’s proudest days were when she was working the hardest…raising eight children or being Daddy’s partner at Dales. Mom always said her talents were in simple tasks and service for others, but she often did feel proud of the achievements of her children or one of her 34 grandchildren. She lived her life and modeled her Christian virtue so that something of value would pass to her children and grandchildren.

She knew working together works…. She was the first to forgive and the last to complain, injuries or imagined injuries were best and soon forgiven and forgotten. She set an incredible example of love for sisters and brothers, she loved her own family so much and frequently shared stories of her parents and siblings and the hard but happy life they all cherished growing up on their farm.

Mother didn’t have an easy life and she never chose the easy way of life. Looking back we can see that she chose to like the things she had to do. Mom was never afraid of hard work, she was proud of the opportunities she had to work hard and make it an offering to the Lord.

Mother was a wonderful cook and many memories are shared around holiday meals and midnight suppers. Growing up we always had Sunday dinners often shared with Aunts, Uncles, and cousins. If you were sick, she sent her love by baking you bread or making you soup, in her younger days she was tireless in serving friends in need and had a big heart for people with mental challenges, she made them her friends and made a loving difference in their lives. Faith might inspire Christian effort but loving hands do the work and Mother had those loving hands.

Not only did mother give the example of how to work hard and be a follower of God but she gave the example of how to have fun sharing simple pleasures and would actually delight us with her sense of humor up to the very end.

Thank you Gary for letting me share this….as for my Dad….he died too young, he was only 45 but 49 years later we are all still proud to be a part of his life and legacy.

PS…Don’t want to forget those great men in Dunseith either…..Roland Mongeon is my Uncle, he is one of those great men and was like a father to me in lots of ways, I lived with him for 7 months in 1966 after Auntie Cora died and before I married. He is a great example of a life lived for the Lord, working hard and sharing your life and treasure with others….he will be 98 this week, I believe September 1st. Nora and Roland have now been married 40 years this month…..We all live such busy lives but Birthday greetings or Congratulations would be wonderful!

Forgive me for making this so long………

Letter of appreciation From Bill & Pat Hosmer. (Note) Pat Passed away several days ago
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: neolag@min.midco.net Minot & Bottineau, ND
Tim (69) & Tara (75) Martinson donate Cook Car to the Bottineau County Museum
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND
Hi Gary,
Thanks to LeaRae Parrill Espe (67) for asking me to scan/send this to you. :)

Hello everyone. Sorry I haven’t written in awhile but life sure has been busy. I am back at work and it is nice. I am enjoying some more structure in my life and seeing all my co-workers. Having a little adult conversation after spending so much time with just Connor and I sure is nice. But I also miss that extra time with Connor!! What can I do.

I am doing the hormone treatments every three weeks still and they are going pretty well. However my energy level is still really low. It takes all I got just to get through the day most days. I go to bed every night tired but hopefully Connor will start sleeping longer at night soon and then I will finally get some more sleep. But as people have told me I really probably won’t get a good night sleep until he is 18! I talked to my doctor about my low energy but unfortunately there is no magic energy pill so I guess I will just have to wait it out. On a brighter note my hair is growing in well. It is coming in really thick and is getting close to an inch long on top. The color seems a little blonder then my hair use to be but I think I better wait until it grows longer to really judge it.

Connor is doing well. He seems to have changed so much in the last month or so. As you can see in the newest couple of pictures I put on here he loves to roll over to his stomach. Unfortunately he hasn’t figured out how to roll back to his back from his stomach but I’m sure that will come. He has to be about 14 or 15 lbs by now so he is growing nicely. We take him back to the doctor in a couple of weeks so I will let you all know then how big he really is! We took him to a physical therapist this week for a check-up and were proud to find out that his physical development is ahead of what most preemie babies his age are. He is our little miracle boy! Oh and Connor seems to have adjusted to daycare really well. He is always happy when I pick him up. I think he loves all the attention he gets from all the other kids.

I better get to sleep. I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.

Love, DeAnn

Charlotte Phyllis Burcham Chase Olson Baumgart Obituary

Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND




Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND





To Bill Hosmer,

From Dennis (56) & Peggy Seim (60) Espe: Dunseith, ND

Family of Pat Hosmer

We are so sadden of your great loss Bill of your wife. Sympathy to your family for the great loss. We have such great memories of your folks Jack & Inez when we were younger comming down from the farm.

Dennis & Peggy
Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO
Hello….I guess I was born at the right time in history, there were heros all around me, but it was a time when we needed heros.
Sorry men, but when we pick heros, we tend to be about a 180 degrees off. Go back to harder times, just check out your own mother, servants all. That’s what a hero is. I will name a few for the fun of it….the Knox girls, the Eurich girls, Stubby and Charolotte, Edna Leonard and top o’ the hep…Helen Watkins. This list could be very long, but it was how they made me feel in a hard world. Oh, I don’t want to forget my high school classmates, now Bruce Poepell was a guy, but he stood out, possibly because he had lost his dad and had a couple of heros of his own, Harvey Hobbs and George Goodsell stepped right up for Bruce. At present time in history, men can’t even take care of themselves????? Women even taking over driving the semis, educating themselves and if the guy will just stay home and take care of the kids, that is all they ask. Gary
PS I must apologize. Gary dictates these articles to me and I type them and am not always correct on the spelling of some of the names.Sue
Reply from Aggie Cassavant (69): Fort Mill, SC
In reference to my brother Aime’s letter (message 893) to the blog about the foriegn exchange student who commented on how patriotic Americans are. It reminded me of a very good friend of mine from Bosnia, when I asked her what she liked most about America? She said in her broken English,” I love how da Amicican people went crazy wit, a flag in every window after 9-11 and how da military has so many people of differnt race all fighting for da same cause.(Sanela is Muslim).She went on to say,”Da America people are dah nicest people I ever met, I just wish dey would understand better, that as Christian nation you can’t come into a Muslim country and start trowing bombs around wit out big problems down da road…. Sanela and I agreed on very little politically, but I would have to say that she was one of the most intelligent person,and the most interesting person that I have ever talked to in my life, not to mention hysterically funny… Aggie






For anyone that liked the Beatles


From Bill Grimme (65): Birmingham, AL






Every song they ever made?



The Beatles (Tube) ! ! !

A Day in the Life <http://www.beatlestube.net/video.php?title=A+Day+in+the+Life>
A Hard Day’s Night
A Taste of Honey
Across The Universe
Act Naturally
All I’ve got to Do
All My Loving
All Together Now
All You Need Is Love
And I Love Her
And Your Bird Can Sing
Anna (Go To Him)
Another Girl
Any Time At All
Ask Me Why
Baby It’s You
Baby You’re A Rich Man
Bad Boy
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
Blue Jay Way
Can’t Buy Me Love
Carry That Weight
Come Together
Cry Baby Cry
Day Tripper
Dear Prudence
Devil In Her Heart
Dig A Pony
Dig It
Dizzy Miss Lizzie
Do You Want to Know a Secret
Doctor Robert
Don’t Bother Me
Don’t Let Me Down
Don’t Pass Me By
Drive My Car
Eight Days a Week
Eleanor Rigby
Every Little Thing
Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except For Me and My Monkey
Everybody’s Trying to be My Baby
Fixing a Hole
Flying (instrumental)
For No One
For You Blue
Free As A Bird
From Me To You
Get Back
Getting Better
Glass Onion
Golden Slumbers
Good Day Sunshine
Good Morning, Good Morning
Good Night
Got To Get You Into My Life
Happiness is a Warm Gun
Hello, Goodbye
Helter Skelter
Her Majesty
Here Comes The Sun
Here, There And Everywhere
Hey Bulldog
Hey Jude
Hold Me Tight
Honey Don’t
Honey Pie
I Am the Walrus
I Call Your Name
I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party
I Feel Fine
I Me Mine
I Need You
I Saw Her Standing There
I Should Have Known Better
I Wanna Be Your Man
I Want To Hold Your Hand
I Want To Tell You
I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
I Will
I’ll Be Back
I’ll Cry Instead
I’ll Follow the Sun
I’ll Get You
I’m a Loser
I’m Down
I’m Just Happy to Dance with You
I’m Looking Through You
I’m Only Sleeping
I’m so tired
I’ve Got A Feeling
I’ve Just Seen a Face
If I Fell
If I Needed Someone
In My Life
It Won’t Be Long
It’s All Too Much
It’s Only Love
Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey
Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand
Lady Madonna
Let it Be
Little Child
Long Tall Sally
Long, Long, Long
Love Me Do
Love You To
Lovely Rita
Maggie Mae
Magical Mystery Tour
Martha My Dear
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
Mean Mr. Mustard
Money (That’s What I Want)
Mother Nature’s Son
Mr. Moonlight
No Reply
Norwegian Wood
Not a Second Time
Nowhere Man
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Octopus’s Garden
Oh! Darling
Old Brown Shoe
One After 909
Only A Northern Song
P.S. I Love You
Paperback Writer
Penny Lane
Please Mister Postman
Please Please Me
Polythene Pam
Real Love
Revolution 1
Revolution 9
Rock and Roll Music
Rocky Raccoon
Roll Over Beethoven
Run For Your Life
Savoy Truffle
Sexy Sadie
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
She Loves You
She Said, She Said
She’s A Woman
She’s Leaving Home
Sie Liebt Dich
Slow Down
Strawberry Fields Forever
Sun King
Tell Me What You See
Tell Me Why
Thank You Girl
The Ballad of John And Yoko
The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
The End
The Fool On The Hill
The Inner Light
The Long And Winding Road
The Night Before
The Word
There’s A Place
Things We Said Today
<hings+We+Said+Today” target=”_blank” title=”http://www..beatlestube.net/video.php?title=Things+We+Said+Today“>http://www.beatlestube.net/video.php?title=Think+For+Yourself>
This Boy
Ticket to Ride
Till There was You
Tomorrow Never Knows
Twist and Shout
Two of Us
We Can Work It Out
What Goes On
What You’re Doing
When I Get Home
When I’m Sixty-Four
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Why don’t we do it in the road
Wild Honey Pie
With a Little Help From My Friends
Within You Without You
Words of Love
Yellow Submarine
Yer Blues
Yes It Is
You Can’t Do That
You Know My Name
You Like Me Too Much
You Never Give Me Your Money
You Really Got a Hold on Me
You Won’t See Me
You’re Going to Lose That Girl
You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
Your Mother Should Know


The Beatles video from Albums:
Please Please Me
With The Beatles <http://www.beatlestube.net/album.php?album=With+The+Beatles>
A Hard Day’s Night <http://www.beatlestube.net/album.php?album=A+Hard+Day%27s+Night>
Beatles For Sale <http://www.beatlestube.net/album.php?album=Beatles+For+Sale>
Help! <http://www.beatlestube.net/album.php?album=Help%21>
Rubber Soul <http://www.beatlestube.net/album.php?album=Rubber+Soul>
Revolver <http://www.beatlestube.net/album.php?album=Revolver>
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band <http://www.beatlestube.net/album.php?album=Sgt.+Pepper%27s+Lonely+Hearts+Club+Band>
Magical Mystery Tour <http://www.beatlestube.net/album.php?album=Magical+Mystery+Tour>
The Beatles – White Album= <http://www.beatlestube.net/album.php?album=The+Beatles+-+White+Album>
Yellow Submarine <http://www.beatlestube.net/album.php?album=Yellow+Submarine>
Abbey Road <http://www.beatlestube.net/album.php?album=Abbey+Road>
Let It Be <http://www.beatlestube.net/album.php?album=Let+It+Be>
Past Masters Volume 1 <http://www.beatlestube.net/album.php?album=Past+Masters+Volume+1>
Past Masters Volume 2 <http://www.beatlestube.net/album.php?album=Past+Masters+Volume+2>



Folks, I screwed up again yesterday with the numbers. Yesterday’s message was number 898, not 897. I realized my mistake when I was posting it on the Website, so yesterday’s message is posted with the correct number. Gary
Bill & Pat Hosmer Memories
From Jan Hosmer Cobb (60): Wilsonville, OR

My cousins Bill and Pat Hosmer were always so special to us growing up and older. Both would talk with us younger folks with attention, respect and interest. How wonderful to be treated with such genuine affection as youngsters and to have that relationship extend into adult friendships. A gift.

As adults, Pat and I shared an interest in books and occasionally recommended this one or that one to each other. We had fascinating conversations because she had so many interests and was so knowledgeable. Pat had charm and calm and intelligence and warmth. She is irreplaceable.

I am writing this to remind myself and all of us how important our relationships with our extended families can be. Cousins, Aunts, Uncles – all of us have the opportunity to have positive and lasting influence. What better gift?

Jan Hosmer Cobb
To Bill Hosmer,
From Pam Fassett Faust (65): Lilburn, GA
To Bill Hosmer – I’m so sorry about Pat’s passing, but thank God she’s now in heaven where she belongs. I talked with my Mom (Dorothy Fassett) tonight, and she told me that Pat was gone. She will be very much missed, but I know her friends and family will remember her with love and for everything she meant to so many people. I’m so sorry. Love, Pam (Fassett) Faust
To Bill Hosmer,
From from Geri Metcalfe Munro (59): Fargo, ND.
Bill, We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Pat. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in these difficult times. The loss is hard, but her suffering is gone. She will be missed, but the memories are there. Bill, as a reminder, we are all here for your support. We felt we knew your parents, Jack and Inez, Bob and Lee as you were far ahead of me in years at DHS and they
hunted on my Dad’s farm, Jim Metcalfe north of Dunseith, near the Peace Garden. It is fun to remember how Jack would give my Dad a hat from his store; Bob would extend Gold Bond ?? credits for my Mom to get the china she wanted….that was special!!.
God bless you, Bill and family…..
Geri (Geraldine Metcalfe) Munro ’59 and Chuck Munro, Rolla ’58
To Bill Hosmer,
From Kenny Nerpel (65): Rugby, ND
To: Bill Hosmer
Bill, you are certainly deserving of all the comments that you have received. I would like to take this time to thank you for your service to your country, (what a remarkable career) and offer my deepest sympathy and well wishes to you and the members of your family in this time of loss.
To Bill Hosmer,
From Diane Larson Sjol (70): Minot, ND

Love and prayers to you dear cousin. See you soon.


To Bill Hosmer,

From from Connie Zorn Landsverk: Bottineau, ND

Bill Hosmer so sorry about the passing of your wife. I know how you are feeling as my husband Roger Landsverk passed away on June 1st of this year. We were married 38yrs. Roger struggled with cancer for about 18 months.Pat & Roger are now together in heaven. My sympathies are with you Bill & your families. Connie Landsverk I never knew your wife but hear she was an awesome person!!

To Bill Hosmer,

From Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI


Bill–My deepest sympathy. I know words are very feeble at times like this, so I thought it best to use very few and keep the rest inside with prayers for you.



Irene (Mrs. Bob) Stickland’s relationship to Neola and My relatives.
Folks, Alney Kofoid, a cousin of Neola’s and mine, is marreid to Lorna Adams, who is Irene Stickland’s Neice. Neola asked me how Lee Stickland was related to Lorna. Gary
Gary’s reply to Neola
Lee’s mother was an Adams. Mrs. Lars Sivertson is also a sister to Lee’s mother and Lorna’s dad. Lee’s dad, Bob Stickland, was our mail man for 28 years.
Neola’s message to Lee Stickland

Hi Lee,


I happened to see this email when I was looking for a different one.


I don’t know if you/someone else has mentioned your mother was an Adams. I’m assuming you know an Adams family lived in the Kramer/Gardena area.


Raymond Gust, my husband’s “first” cousin, was married to Violet Kuebler Gust. Violet’s mother, Anna Adams Kuebler, was an Adams. I think it was quite a large family. Pearl Adams Nelson also belonged to this Adams family. Pearl’s grandson and one granddaughter were my students in Minot.


Raymond/Violet lived app. one mile north of Kramer, ND. Pearl Adams Nelson lives on a farm near Lansford, ND.


I don’t know if you are interested in what I’m writing, so I’ll stop for now. :)





Lee Stickland’s Reply to Neola

Neola !!!

Definitely. Lorna is my cousin, as is David. Glenn, Joan, Judy,Donna and Janette.

MY MOM, Irene is a sister to Reinhold Adams, Violet Gust is/was my cousin, etc
MY bothers are Dean, Youngest, and Darrel (Doc), in the middle. THey both live in Olympia WA.I will be 64 on 10-20-2010. I live alone in Dickinson as my wife left me in 1995.My brother Darrel is also divorced, a bit longer than me. Matt 19:6and Mark 10:10 are clear about marrying again as long as one spouse lives.

My career was as a nursing home adm for 20 years, beginning as an orderly in both hospitals in Minot, when there was 2. Met my wife, Bea, when she was in nurses training at Trinity. She and I began in nursing homes at Dunseith when we started from “scratch” and cleaned it all up to NO deficiencies. I did that in Dickinson, Mandan Milwaukee and in Boise Idaho. THe man who owned Dickinson at the time I worked there had sold it bought others, one being in Boise, He called me to come to Boise and I told him that I had 9 in Milwaukee which would take another years, he said he would call me back then, he did and we moved to Boise in late 1988

My son, Eric, his wife, Kim and their son, SAM live in San Marcos, about 30 miles north of San Diego. Kim is a chief scientist for a pharmaceutical company as she had 2 PhD, one in Pharmacy and one is toxicology. Eric just completed his undergraduate degree in history with all As> Some of his writings have made into the pages of a few books.
I have a masters in public health from the Univ of Minn, son Eric has taken 10 years piano lessons, Kim plays a bit of guitar. I began guitar at age 11. Darrel does not know a note but had a band in the cities for 10 years, has about 10 valuable Gibson, one of which he sold me very inexpensively.

SAM became 3 years old on 8-23-2010

I have met a day-stocker at WalMart name Oscar who grew up near Kramer, He knew some of the family but I fail to recall his last name. He is blond +/- 50-55 years old ??

ps 1 Yes, I do become verbose,talking or writing Lee (Leland) Stickland

ps 2My Dad worked for YOUR father, my parents left Dunseith for Montana, They moved back to Dickinson in 1990, mom died of heart failure in April 2002 and Dad lived til 87, to
February 25, 2009.

ps 3I have developed wrinkles in my retinas, Dr says probably from a severe impact. Will need to go to MPLS in Sept to have them stretched out again. Old age tells its own story(ies) Lee

Add your content here



Pat Hosmer (Mrs. Bill) Passed away this morning.
Message/Reply from Bill Hosmer (47): Tucson, AZ
Gary and all my terrific friends from Dunseith, I read your latest with much humility. Those comments from folks knocked my socks off and brought tears to my eyes. Also, it is a fact that my wonderful bride of 57 years, Pat Hosmer, is now with God. She passed away early this morning, and I’m still bewildered by that fact, but thankful that her long battle with a bad disorder is over at last. She so enjoyed our times with family and friends for twenty summers in our cabin at Lake Metigoshe. I will miss her but will be a better person for having been her mate these many years. I will be bringing her remains to our cemetery near Dunseith, where we will both be buried some day. It will probably be during September. Don’t know just when,, but we will have a private grave side ceremony with family and friends with all our offspring in attendance.

My sadness is overwhelmed with the relief of her peaceful passing which we prayed for often.

It is so wonderful to have so many of my countrymen on my frequency with Gary’s miraculous format. I am blessed with your friendship and support, and will look forward to seeing any or all of you some day.

With respect and thanks, I’m Bill Hosmer

Bill, We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Pat. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in these difficult times. The loss is hard, but her suffering is gone. She will be missed, but the memories are there. Bill, as a reminder, we are all hear for your support. Gary
Reply to yesterdays posting (Bill Hosmer)
From Colette Hosmer (64): Santa Fe, NM
Hi Gary,

Re: My cousin Bill. Amen.
Jack & Inez Hosmer
Reply from Janice Larson Myhre: Spokage, WA
Dear Gary, Would you please forward the following to Bill Hosmer? I think he might get a kick out of hearing from me.

Dear Mr. Hosmer,
My name is Janice Larson Myhre. I was born to Harry H. Larson and Esther Tennancour in Bottineau, ND, in 1941. Before she married, in order for my mother to attend high school, she had to acquire a position in town. Your parents, Jack and Inez took her in to their home and hearts to help with house work and childcare. She lived with me the last three years of her life and often spoke of your folks and how grateful she was to them for helping her get an education. She also mentioned taking care of you and was proud to see your success as a Thunderbird! I’m grateful to Gary for keeping me on the email list. My folks would have been thrilled to read all these emails.
Jan Myhre

Jan, It’s great hearing from you. Yes, many of our readers remember your Dad as their teacher back in the 30’s & 40’s. He was Erling Landsverk’s first grade teacher. Erling has written some great memories of your father of which I will repost in the near future. Gary


Famous Thunderbird Air Show over Dunseith in the early 60’s
Folks, It’s been nearly two years since the last posting of this memorable event. I think it’s time for a reposting. I have posted the comments from this last posting at the bottom.
Bill Hosmer, Once again we salute you. You referred to Dick Johnson and me as giants. You are the giant of all times. I will never be able to hold a candle to you. Following your time flying for the famous Thunderbirds, you were the lead pilot for many bombing raids over North Vietnam. As portrayed in the book “The Birds Were Silver Then”, written by your friend Lowell Peterson, those were some very dangerous raids. You had many close calls that took the lives of so many of your fellow pilots. Many of them became prisoners of war too. Bill, you are my hero. Gary
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2008 7:56 PM
Bill Hosmer and the famous Air Force Thunderbirds: hozndaz7@yahoo.com Tucson, AZ
Folks, This deserves a re-run. Many of you have been added to our distribution list since this was run last January.
Seeing Bill Hosmer’s name, with his message yesterday, brings back a lot of memories of him and the famous Air Force Thunderbirds. As most of you know, Bill was a pilot with the Thunderbirds back in the 60’s. He, along with the Thunderbird team, performed many air shows around the world, with Dunseith being one of them.
The following was posted last January, 2008. Bill’s reply, with his side of the story, follows everyone’s story of their remembrance of that famous day, in Dunseith, when the Thunderbirds, unexpectedly, came to town. Some of the older generation thought the Russian’s were attacking.
Bill, this is one event that will never be wiped from the history of Dunseith. We are proud to have you as one of our own.

Bill Hosmer,

I thought I’d share with you and the Dunseith Alumni some of the memories that folks have of you and the famous Thunderbirds. I’ve attached a few messages that our class of 65 generated this last April , 2007, when our subject of discussion for the day was you and those planes performing over Dunseith. Last winter our class members had, almost live discussions, on various topics and this was one of them.



The first message I received yesterday from Ron Longie also from our class of 65. All the other messages down to Deb Morinville’s were generated last April.



Ron Longie’s (65) reply to Bill Hosmer:


I truly enjoyed reading Bill Hosmers email, the memories came flooding back about the old skating rink sitting in the warm up shed retying skates, warming hands and feet what a memory. I thank you Bill for the trip down memory lane, and I also like Bill Grimme remember the pass over of the jets what a day. Thanks again for all the names of people that I had forgotten.

Ron Longie

Colette Hosmer’s (64) reply:
Gary and Larry,

Great memories. Actually, Bill was my cousin — my Uncle Jack
Hosmer’s oldest son. Bill and his wife, Pat, have a cabin at Lake
Metigoshe and have spent the summers there for years now. Bill still
tells great stories about those days. One was that Uncle Jack had to
walk down to Casey Sine’s store the next morning to offer an apology.
Casey got skinned up when he “hit the asphalt” as the jets thundered
down main street at the end of their performance.

Larry – I also like the idea of the arched street lights.


On 4/23/07, Gary Stokeswrote:

Larry, Again you are a wonderful writer and story teller.
Colette, I think your Uncle Bill Hosmer was part of these Thunderbird shows
that Larry is talking about.

Wonderful story from Larry Hackman (66)

Gary & Bill (Grimme) & Paul

Did you read about the Blue Angle pilot crashing yesterday and getting
killed at a flight demonstration. That brought back a memory when the
Thunderbirds would come and fly over Dunseith. They would fly over and do a
few maneuvers usually about once a summer or when ever they were in the
area. I remember they would come right down main street what seemed as low
as tree top high. The street lights would start rattling and the next thing
that happened was there was five jets following each other right down main
street. It really made you stop what ever you were doing and pay
attention. If I remember correctly is that they would even break the
berrier a few times just to make sure that everyone would come out of their
houses to watch the show. That was still legal in them days,(You know, way
back when). Mostly I think it was to get the Hosmer families
attention. Colette’s uncle was one of the pilots if I remember correctly.
Then for the closing of their demonstration they would come flying down main
from the north end of town. They would come so low and so fast that the top
of street light poles would be sucked in and touch, creating arches from one
end of main to the other end. They would have to have the fire dept. go out
the next day with the ladder truck to streighten the poles back out. I
always thought the town would have looked better with the arches, and
really would have looked good at Christmas. You know with the arches
decorated with Christmas lights and such. It really would have created a
amazing sight in the dark of night. If you can emagine. You know, that is a
helluva idea for the street dance during the reunion. You can just emagine
everyone doing the snake dance (or is that crack the whip) down main under
the arches. Maybe someone ought to pass that idea onto someone. But I
think Colette’s uncle retired. Its really to bad about that Blue Angel
Pilot. We must all say a prayer for the well being of his family.
You all take care and smile,


Allen Richard’s (65)Reply:
Bill Hosmer, one of Jack Hosmer’s older sons was a pilot with the Air Force Thunderbirds in the 60’s. They were performing at the Minot Air Base and did an impromptu short show above Dunseith Min street. I was mowing hay in a road ditch along Highway 3– Getting buzzed by an F-100 (yeah that is what they flew back then) at 500 mph is a true religious experience.


By the way, after Bill Hosmer left the he did some test pilot work and demonstrations for Cessna–Great guy and fun to talk with. Last I saw him he was living @Lake Metigoshe God — been gone so long I forgot how to spell it! Anyway Collette or Jess might know his whereabouts.



Bill Grimme’s (65) reply:

Great stuff! The Thunderbirds were a big part of our younger days. I
remember hearing rumors that there might be a flyover (I’m sure an official
announcement would not have been allowed). Seems like it always corresponded
with some event at Minot AFB. We would wait in anticipation on the day and
still be surprised when the Thunderbirds made the first pass. Cakes fell,
kids and adults ran outside, Brownie cameras were pointed to the sky (doubt
that the pictures turned out) and, as Colette has shared, Dunseith citizens
skinning their knees when they hit the deck. What a day!

Here is a good link to the Thunderbird history. Colette’s cousin is
prominent in the article.





Colette Hosmer’s (64) reply:


Hey Bill,

I replied to the Thunderbird story before I read your e-mail.
So….one real live account of a “man” actually hitting the deck.
Another one was Jimmy McKoy. He was up on the roof of the Crystal
Cafe to get a better view of the show. He swore, that when the planes
came down main street, if he wouldn’t have flattened out he would have been hit!



Susan Fassett’s (65) reply:

The story I remember is that a lot of the older folks in town thought we were being attacked by the Russians when the planes came flying so low over the town. I remember standing in the alley behind our house and you could see the pilots in the planes very clearly, as low as they were. It was a real treat for us small town kids. Susan




Message from Deb Morinville Marmon (70):

Dear Gary,


Merry Christmas!! Are you overwhelmed yet? My goodness, this list is taking on a life of it’s own!


My mom, Frances Morinville used to tell this story of the day the “Thunderbirds” came to town (pretty much unannounced)


Back in those days the big threat to the USA was the USSR. Everyone talked about the “communists”. Mom and Dad talked about them so much I came to think I could identify one if they walked down the street kind of like a Martian or other alien. Anyway, Mom said that one of the jets came really low right over main street. The door opened at the store and an elderly woman came in, white as a sheet. Mom got her sat down in the chair by the window and after she could catch her breath she said “I think the communists are attacking!” Mom told that story for years, she got such a kick out of it. I also remember forming a caravan to the Minot Air Base to watch the air show. It was one of the thrills of my childhood years. Thanks Bill, for the joy of those days and also for your service to our country.


Merry Christmas to all my old “homies”


Deb Morinville Marmon
Bill Hosmer’s comments & Reply: Thunderbirds
Gary Stokes, Ron Longie, Cousin Colette Hosmer, Larry Hackman, Allen
Richard, Bill Grimme and to Deb Morinville (whose address I did not

Thank you for taking the time to comment on that brief period of
time in a long life. The flattery I’m experiencing is a gift from
you all, and that is important to me. By the way I answered a
direct mailing from Susan Fassett, so she was not included in this
series of observations and impressions response.

Just to clarify a couple of impressions, we did not do any
supersonic maneuvers. The explosive sound that was heard was in all
likelihood, the afterburner which is a loud and sudden explosive
acceleration which that engine incorporated. The solo pilots used
it more than us working guys in the formation, although it’s
possible anytime. On one of the South American shows we did in 1961
the President of Paraguay asked our lead to do a supersonic pass.
He explained that the shock wave might possibly break many windows
in the air terminal. The president said, “This is my country, and
those are my windows”. So the leader had the solo to open the show
with a boom. No windows were broken, but they had alot of tape
helping to withstand the shock.

What caused KC Sine to fall was not in the plan, but it happened
like this: As lead headed us toward Minot, I asked him permission
to do a slow pass down main street. I wanted to see if my folks
were at our store on main street. I was low and very slow with my
landing gear down. Unknown to me the other wing man pulled out of
the formation, got behind me a good distance then lit the
afterburner, accelerated to nearly 500knots, flew UNDER me as we
passed the bank on the corner. KC explained to me when Dad and I
went to apologize, he had that masterful fast paced dialogue with a
little swearing going on, telling me, that fast one was going to
kill him right in front of his store,etc, etc, then he ended his
tirade, he said, “hey kid, wanna banana?” I’d heard that many
years before that Sept day in 1961. What a piece of work that man

There are Thunderbird reunions every other year in Las Vegas where
we get together with us oldtimers, and all the teams before and
after us, and are treated to a private air show by the current
team in their beautiful F-16 aircraft at Nellis AFB. This year it
was last month. The number of attendees from our earlier teams are
less and less, but it is like being in Dunseith at our famous
100th and125th Celebrations to see all the generations in
attendance, to give the heart a tug, and the mind a blast of

I did eject from the airplane I flew to ND about two weeks after
we had been there. It was not at a show, but during our arrival
maneuvers at a Navy Base in Rhode Island, I had the engine quit
running, tried some emergency airstarts, tried to position the
bird to make a dead stick (engine out) pattern, but was too low,
so ejected without injury, and flew the spare airplane in the show
the next day. The other one exploded in an empty field with no
damage to anything on the ground, except the dirt. I landed in a
tree and I was not as good a tree climber as I was down at Willow
Creek, but shoot.

I’m hoping someone can figure out the best way to get us in
computer contact on a regular basis. I can contribute $$, but my
brain power is limited.

Cheers and Happy New Year to you all, and thank you from my
heart. Bill Hosmer

Colette Hosmer’s (64) comments and reply:
Bill, I began this e-mail (below) this morning but had to leave for an appointment so saved it to send later. I just got back and read the Thunderbird account from your point of view. Guess we’re working on mental telepathy now….

Hi Gary and Cousin Bill,

Loved reading your Christmas Day letter, Bill. So many people exchanged their memories of your Dunseith Thunderbird Show….maybe someday you’ll tell us your side of the story (?)

Although I don’t know anything about building or maintaining a website (I traded art and paid a professional for mine) I will add my 2 cents to the equation. I agree with Gary that we should stick with e-mail for our initial communication — especially since he’s so generous in acting as the clearing house for these thousands of messages. However, I would imagine that information could be organized very effectively on a website. And, photographs would be an important addition to the history.

I also agree that if this effort is made, it should be top rate, easy to maneuver and with plenty of room to add info indefinitely.

Larry Hackman’s (66) message to Bill Hosmer:
Just to let you know and to pump up your pumper more, I want to let you
know that I have related the story of the Thunderbirds buzzing small town,
USA, Dunseith, ND many times over the years. That one short moment in
time has meant a lot and apparently not only to me. We did not have much
growing up in Dunseith but we did have a pilot that flew with the
Thunderbirds, Not many towns can make that claim. New Rockford, ND. is
real proud to have a astronaut, but I’ll bet he never buzzed main street
and created the memories that you have for all of us. Thank you. Now if I
can figure out a way to get Gary to stop confusing me with Carmen Myer and
Santa Claus I’ll be doing great. By the way, I think I did meet you and
visit with you for a short time at the Althea Theatre (Senior Citizen
Center) at the Dunseith Reunion. Did you say you were living or staying in
a cabin up at Long Lake or am I confused. Bill, you have a great day and
thank you again, for the memory.
Replies to the above posting
Previoulsy posted with message 292 on 11/23/2008
Reply from Bill Hosmer (47):
Gary, and my Dunseith Friends, I am overcome with your comments from the past. My ego has been fed enough to last for the rest of my life. All of you have demonstrated that tremendous Dunseith generosity and support. Anything I accomplished in my past was due to a certain spirit and tons of encouragement by the likes of you, your parents, and grandparents experienced during my terrific days as a Dunseith guy. Blessings and Cheers to you with gratitude and affection. Bill Hosmer
Reply From Bill Grimme (65): wgrimme@charter.net



This is a great re-run! Brought back all the memories of the fun and pride Bill Hosmer and his team brought to Dunseith.


Those were good times. Plenty left ahead with your daily emails, too.


Last year’s reunion and these daily emails have really kept a spark going. I know when I went back to Dunseith last September, it was almost as good a trip as the reunion the year before. I’m really looking forward to the cruise. I think it is shaping up nicely.


Cold here in Birmingham tonight – should have a low of about 27. It got down to 24 last night. I know that doesn’t get the attention of the folks in Dunseith, but, down here, people start getting excited in the 20’s. Folks sell firewood out of pickup trucks on a lot of corners. We do get the single digits occasionally, but not often. A little snow now and then, too. In 1993, I had 18″ on the level in my yard. Drifts up to 2 or 3 feet. Shut the town down for 4 or 5 days. No snow removal equipment and a lot of hills here. My wife had me shoveling a square IN THE BACK YARD!!! We had three small dogs and they needed a little help for the necessities. The poor little guys would come in with snowballs hanging on their bellies. It would take about a half hour to get them all melted.


Looks like we’ll get a little warmup by Turkey day.


Happy Thanksgiving to all!






Reply from Colette Hosmer (64): colettehosmer@gmail.com


Thanks, Gary, for gathering together these “Thunderbird” accounts. Bill has always been a great source of pride to the family and I am especially proud as I have the honor of being his favorite cousin. (Just kidding, I assume several of his other cousins are reading this and I take great pleasure in putting him on the spot). Colette
Reply (Thunderbirds) from Neola Kofoid Garbe:


Great newsletter, Gary. I enjoyed it as much/maybe more than I did the first time it was sent. You do a great job of organizing the info for your newsletter. I remember KC; I bought several neat pairs of earrings from him in about 1954. The story about him is precious.


Reply from Diane Larson Sjol (70):
To all,
Do any of you remember what year it was that Bill over
Dunseith…seems we lived there then. I think my dad was in Germany
at the time and we lived in the old Art Rude house across the street
from the school. I remember being a little scared and excited at the
same time when I heard those jets and told everyone, “That was my
cousin Bill Hosmer!” We aren’t actually cousins but since my mother
and Lee Hosmer were sisters and I am a first cousin to the Hosmer
girls, Bill’s folks were always “Uncle Jack and Aunt Inie” so Bill was
always my cousin and still is! It was a very proud moment for me and
I have told the story many many times. By the way, a fellow
Thunderbird pilot of Bill’s makes and sells the most wonderful
hotsauce. Bill introduced it to Nancy (Hosmer) Baldwin and she
introduced it to me….I order it by the case. Col. Cooper as he is
known, is quite a character and will answer any email you send
him…..if anyone is interested, it is calle Mile High Hot Sauce…the
website is
www.milehighhotsauce.com. One other thing….for those of
you who are interested in reading a very fine book of essays and
stories of the Vietnam Air War edited by Lowell Peterson entitled “The
Birds Were Silver Then” the book is composed of first hand interviews
and stories by the pilots themselves and Bill Hosmer is featured
throughout the book as well as on the back cover. We all know what a
descriptive and eloquent writer he is so it’s great to be given
another opportunity to “hear” his stories. I begged him for a copy of
this book and he was kind enough to give me a signed copy. I
recommend it highly….Diane Larson Sjol


Dunseith history book, Prairie Past and Mt. Memories 1882-1982
Purchase request from Jean Nicholas Miller (66): Glendale, AZ
I would to get a copy of the Dunseith history book, Prairie Past and Mt. Memories. Do you or anyone know if it would be possible to get a copy and where? Keep up all the good work.
Jean Nicholas Miller
Jean, I know they sell them at the Log Cabin. The bank used to sell them too. I’m very sure that either the Bank or the Log Cabin takes mail orders. The bank used to. The Dunseith Security State Bank phone number is 701-244-5795. I know some of our readers can help us out with this one. Gary
PS – In May when we were there, the log cabin had just ordered a new batch of these books with both the hard and soft covers. I strongly suggest spending the extra money for the hard cover. The soft cover will come apart in time.
Folks, I screwed up yesterday and cut off half of Dick’s message, so I’m reposting today. I hate if when that happens. Gary


From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

Diane Larson Sjol’s memories of the garbage burn barrels brings to
mind the rest of the story. Johnnie Myer was the dray man for the city
and with this came a rather unpleasant side job—hauling the trash to
the dump ground. I still remember Carmen Myer and Jay Vanorny loading
the barrels, and sometimes the contents with a scoop shovel, of the
barrels that were too burned out– and then hauling the mess to the dump
on the back of an old red Dodge truck. This was usually a Saturday job
for them, as I recall. There were burn barrels behind nearly every house
and business in town. I particularly remember the barrel behind Marie’s
Beauty Shop. She used to use lots of hair spray! I walked or rode my
bike past the barrel every day on my way uptown. As kids, we were always
checking everything out and Marie’s barrel was no exception. We would
stop and spray the last of the hairspray out of the cans—I became
quite a judge of which hairspray was the best smelling. My favorite was
Helene Curtis, it had a sweet smell and little after taste. I guess
nowadays they call it huffing, but I never got a buzz—and only minor
brain damage, I think.

Lola’s memories of working at Dale’s brings to mind a story my dad
told me about going out for coffee. He would walk by the window and
there would be three or four high school girls sitting in a booth and by
the time he walked through the door, the cigarette smoke would be so
thick you could cut it with a knife—yet not a cigarette in sight. He
always wondered how that was possible? It was probably just another
unexplainable Dunseith phenomenon. I remember being in study hall in ’68
when a similar incident took place. I used to cover my ears with my
hands and read during study hall. It blocked out the noise and really
let me concentrate on my reading. Usually a hot rod magazine inside a
school book. Anyway, one day Big John Bogus couldn’t get my attention so
he reached across the aisle and hit my arm. I looked at him and he was
grinning and pointing under a desk ahead of us. One of the girls went to
the smoke room, oh excuse me, ‘bathroom’ and had put her cigarette back
in her purse without putting it completely out and now the contents of
her purse was on fire and the smoke was coming out and rising around
her. We just sat back and waited for what was bound to be a scene,
either way. She finally noticed it and grabbed her purse and ran out of
study hall and down the hall with the smoke trailing her—much to our
amusement. It used to be quite a ‘cat and mouse’ game with the girls
smoking in the can and the teachers trying to catch them.

Mark Schimetz is right about Frank Flynn’s house being north of his
folk’s house. You can see that in the picture—I should have looked
closer. There is a vacant lot between Flynn’s and the white house that
Gary Morgan said Conroy’s were living in at the time of the picture.
Also, I may not be right, but I believe Don Martel was our POD teacher
in ’67-’68. He was also serving as Assistant Principal that year, I
think. Please correct me if this is not right. Thanks Gary!


Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:neolag@min.midco.net Bottineau & Minot, ND





Recording history
Message from Gary Metcalfe (57) Forsyth, MO

Hi all, Recording history……I really think that the people who produced The Dunseith history book, Prairie Past and Mt. Memories, are to be commended. As we get older, some of us tend to want to know some facts about the last 100 years or so. A discerning reader down the road say 50 years, are going to say, “who are these Gottbrecht’s” for example. Was the old man, William, a good man? It just so happens that my dad told me that William was the guy who cared enough to guarantee their job in a very depressing time. William agreed to buy the load of wood they hauled every day from up in the hills, if they could not sell it otherwise. Some of the town rascals were stealing the bones and selling them back to William the next day and I think he thought they needed spending money. (buying buffalo bones was just another one of William’s enterprises).

Then came Dale. Most everyone knew Dale. I was pretty young when I went to work for him. I filled a big diesel truck with gas by mistake. Dale just told Alex to get a couple fifty gallon barrels and drain the tanks….no reprimand what so ever. The next season I was going to move on, Dale said to me, “I will give you what my top man makes” that was Getzlaff! He was around Dale’s for many years after I was. I don’t think Dale had a high school education, but I never saw anybody that went out of their way to match wits with him either.


Then came young George. He has probably given more to the city of Dunseith than any of them and his story needs to be written. It is not in the book, but could be in the blog.


That is 125 years of payroll and sweat, what a legacy. The book will show you that Dale built the south end of town in about ten years, 1951 to 1961, not bad for a guy with not much formal education. In those 10 years Dale built a gas station, motel, first class restraunt, a gravel operation and also a cattle feeding operation.


I saw how Dale dealt with Rose Belgarde when she needed fuel delivered on a Sunday in the winter. He told her, “pay when you can”, he bought fence posts from old Bud Miller, a hard drinking blind man…….those were the days.


Writing the history book they have let us pick up on things like Dale’s first job was with Arnold Lilleby. I am sure Dale learned a great deal from Lilleby, he was a top notch businessman as far as I could tell. By the way Arnold Lilleby’s daughter said a lot in a few words, “Casey and Margy Sign were the best”. I agree, 40 years of being good to kids, especially during the depression. Arnold was the guy who told one of the city fathers, ” I am not mad and don’t say I am mad”. A no nonsense guy for sure. Maybe some of you did not know that the Althea Theater was Arnold Lilleby’s to me. Leonard Cote must have bought it from him.


My dad had some alfalfa hay contracts with the San, Arnold and his right hand man, George Atchinson were up at our farm baling hay with the old wire tie baler.


When Don Martell asked about Rising Sun and that group, I thought about the area where they lived, it was covered with cinders. I think Bud Baker’s dad probably wanted to keep the Chief out of the mud. Baker hauled coal from town to the San for thirty years, I am sure. Those litttle green coal trucks went from our place to the San like bees, a load of chopped alfalfa to the San, a load of cinders back to the farm. Those cinders kept us out of the border gumbo….or mud! Gary Metcalfe
Jim McCoy’s (62) motor bike
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

Today I just happened to meet up with Jim McCoy at the drive-in in
Dunseith. I mentioned my memory of the bicycle he had with the washing
machine motor and the washing machine roller that ran against the back
tire to make it go. He stood there and stared at me and then said, “Man,
that was in the late ’50s. How did you remember that?” I was very
impressed, so it must have stuck in my mind. He said he couldn’t yet
weld so he made up the mounting brackets and had Orphela Robert weld it
together. I remember he had to reach back for some reason when he took
off. Today he told me that he had a lever that would lift the roller up
off the tire so that he could start out by peddling and then drop the
turning roller on the tire. Pretty inventive for a young kid! And to top
it off—-he still has the bike! Thanks Gary!


Bertha Meyers Memories
From Mark Schimetz (70): Rolette, ND.

A comment to Lola’s remembrance of Berta Meyers and the card game. Stella recall’s one particular game. While playing the cards, Fr. Wolf played a card that confused Berta,,,Berta looks at Fr. Wolf, and says, to Fr. Wolf.,, Now wat da heel did you play dat got dam ting for? in her Norwegian brogue. Fr. Wolf rolled his eyes and head and just laughed. Earl and Berta were such nice people. I know Dad thought a lot of Bertha, they were good friends, Mom , Mary and Francis at one time or another. worked at Rosie’s Café I remember the milk shakes, and Dime Pancakes, that nearly over ran the plates. On one occasion a Fiddler walked in and started playing. Rosie’s café was a common stop on Sundays after church for our family.


We caught heck one day at Meyers house, we was up in the tree picking crabapples, Earl didn’t want us up there, thinking we might break some branches, We promised not to break the branches, and he let it go. We were careful with the tree cause we really like those crabapples, and happy Earl let us be there with only that one stipulation, don’t break the branches. We were probably all about 6 or 7 years old, just exploring the town. there was always lots of fun things to do in Dunseith those days, Didn’t need internet, game cubes or other eye blinding stuff,, We had baseball bats, footballs and croquet hammers and balls and the Willow creek to swim, tube it, and BB guns, later rifles we would show off just out the the Shop at the south side of the Jr. high school side of the Dunseith High School. We only watched, TV when it was too hot or cold to be out for long. Comic books from Shelvers Drug Store, we would buy the outdated ones with out the cover, for a nickel, instead of a quarter. The Shelvers would let us stand there and look and read some of the new releases as long as we were careful. TV Favorites, were Combat with Vic Morrow and Rick Jason, Paladin and Marshal Dillion, Of course if Dad was home and Lawrence Welk was on we were in the basement, with road racing sets, comics and Louis Lamoure’s books, even the Dime Novels, I saved a copy that Dad had, it was all about the great out doors and Adventures we sought after.
Burn Barrel memories
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

Diane Larson Sjol’s memories of the garbage burn barrels brings to
mind the rest of the story. Johnnie Myer was the dray man for the city
and with this came a rather unpleasant side job—hauling the trash to
the dump ground. I still remember Carmen Myer and Jay Vanorny loading
the barrels, and sometimes the contents with a scoop shovel, of the
barrels that were too burned out– and then hauling the mess to the dump
on the back of an old red Dodge truck. This was usually a Saturday job
for them, as I recall. There were burn barrels behind nearly every house
and business in town. I particularly remember the barrel behind Marie’s
Beauty Shop. She used to use lots of hair spray! I walked or rode my
bike past the barrel every day on my way uptown. As kids, we were always
checking everything out and Marie’s barrel was no exception. We would
stop and spray the last of the hairspray out of the cans—I became
quite a judge of which hairspray was the best smelling. My favorite was
Helene Curtis, it had a sweet smell and little after taste. I guess
nowadays they call it huffing, but I never got a buzz—and only minor
brain damage, I think.

Larry Hackman’s (66) Granddaughter: Bismarck, ND


I have to introduce my newest Grandchild to everyone.

She is a peanut.

Is going to be 5 months old in about a week.

They say she has grandpas curly hair.

I checked, I have all mine yet.

Larry Hackman

Larry, She is beautiful! I can see why Grandpa is proud. Gary
Construction in the Philippines.
Folks, We are currently in the process of adding an addition to our house (22′ X 40′). I thought I’d share several pictures with how they mix and pour cement here in the PI. The mixing is all done by hand. They use buckets to transport the cement. Our house is 300′ feet from the road, so all the materials are off loaded on the road and then carried to our house. The sand and gravel are placed in empty cement bags and then carried to our place. Each man can transport about 1.5 Cubic Meters of sand and Gravel from the road to our house in an eight hour day. The slippers (shoes) these guys are wearing are standard foot wear for all of the locals here in the PI. I pay these guys a little more than than they get else where. The labors get $5.00/day and the guy working the cement gets $6.00/day. Gary




Bertha Meyers Memories
From Mark Schimetz (70): Rolette, ND.

A comment to Lola’s remembrance of Berta Meyers and the card game. Stella recall’s one particular game. While playing the cards, Fr. Wolf played a card that confused Berta,,,Berta looks at Fr. Wolf, and says, to Fr. Wolf.,, Now wat da heel did you play dat got dam ting for? in her Norwegian brogue. Fr. Wolf rolled his eyes and head and just laughed. Earl and Berta were such nice people. I know Dad thought a lot of Bertha, they were good friends, Mom , Mary and Francis at one time or another. worked at Rosie’s Café I remember the milk shakes, and Dime Pancakes, that nearly over ran the plates. On one occasion a Fiddler walked in and started playing. Rosie’s café was a common stop on Sundays after church for our family.


We caught heck one day at Meyers house, we was up in the tree picking crabapples, Earl didn’t want us up there, thinking we might break some branches, We promised not to break the branches, and he let it go. We were careful with the tree cause we really like those crabapples, and happy Earl let us be there with only that one stipulation, don’t break the branches. We were probably all about 6 or 7 years old, just exploring the town. there was always lots of fun things to do in Dunseith those days, Didn’t need internet, game cubes or other eye blinding stuff,, We had baseball bats, footballs and croquet hammers and balls and the Willow creek to swim, tube it, and BB guns, later rifles we would show off just out the the Shop at the south side of the Jr. high school side of the Dunseith High School. We only watched, TV when it was too hot or cold to be out for long. Comic books from Shelvers Drug Store, we would buy the outdated ones with out the cover, for a nickel, instead of a quarter. The Shelvers would let us stand there and look and read some of the new releases as long as we were careful. TV Favorites, were Combat with Vic Morrow and Rick Jason, Paladin and Marshal Dillion, Of course if Dad was home and Lawrence Welk was on we were in the basement, with road racing sets, comics and Louis Lamoure’s books, even the Dime Novels, I saved a copy that Dad had, it was all about the great out doors and Adventures we sought after.
Lola Metcalfe Vanorny (68) had a birthday:
Message from Mel Kuhn (70): St. John, ND



I believe that all of Lola’s fond reminiscing was probably due to the fact that Saturday the 21st was her birthday. I know my wife made her a pretty tasty Banana Split cake for at work.


Mel Kuhn[70]

Mel, Having been born in 1950, I believe Lola had a special birthday too, like most all the rest of her class mates.
Happy belated Birthday Lola. It’s hard to believe that you, the youngest of the Jim Metcalfe family, are now 60 years old. Where have the years gone? Life is so short.


Reply to Lola Metcalfe Vanorny (68):
From Diane Larson Sjol (70): Minot, ND
I absolutely loved reading your post…you made me smile…ah, the
memories of Dunseith. Whenever I smell garbage buring, I think of
sitting outside Debbie Morinville’s house next to Aunt Lee and Uncle
Bob Hosmer’s…looking rigt at the back entrance into the Crystal
Cafe..with Debbie’s dog Queenie at our feet…and garbage burning in
the old drums…love that smell….

Diane Larson Sjol

Reply to Maria Parlade (62):
From Diane Larson Sjol (70): Minot, ND
This message is for Maria Parlade,
Angelina and I were very good friends shortly after you all arrived in
Dunseith. I remember your mother and visiting at your house.
Angelina told me about your trip from Cuba….I remember your mother
made Angelina and I matching red cordoroy skirts…I believe I was in
the 4th grade at that time…in Mrs. Conroy’s class or else in 5th
grade with her. We moved November of my fifth grade year (1962)…do
you have any contact information for her so that I can get in touch
with her?

Thank you . Diane Larson Sjol

Happy Birthday Cathy Campbell Springan (73): Stanley, ND
Phyllis, Alan & Cathy
Cathy, this is a beautiful picture of you with your parents taken in the Bottineau Creamery. You all look so nice. There was a message that came across my screen that said, tomorrow, August 22nd is Cathy Spingan’s birthday. With that I wanted to wish you a happy birthday. Gary
Reply from Aime Cassavant (66): Jamestown, ND
Thank you, thank you to Maria Parlade Corral, Allen Richard, Dick Johnson and Kenny Nerpel. What is great is you all had the same answers so it was quadruple verification of the right answer! You are all co-winners of the “not losing your memory test.” Keith, thank you for the compliment but, uh, in our house, so many visitors have asked about that “Buddy Holly” the “big bopper” picture and my children have had great fun in telling everyone it is my graduation picture. Now maybe, go look at a picture of Ed Asner and it will be a better reflection of how I have aged.

Without wanting to bore anyone, I had the question about our political science class in a file of things to look up. The reason: Years ago in college English, I found writing to be a subject I enjoyed. Years later I decided to write and keep notes on experiences and events in my life and maybe – write something social/historical/political/autobiographical someday. Not that felt I had anything that exceptional to tell the world, but I have often read that grandchildren and great grandchildren take much interest and joy in reading information written by their forefathers. I know I wish I had more information – for example, on what my relatives might writing about during times like the Civil War, Industrial Revolution, World War 1 and all.

Well, one time as I thought of the current events the the day, I was reflecting on the changing times – the America of the 1950’s and 60’s and the America of today. At the time, we had a foreign exchange student from the Netherlands living with us. She mentioned how “patriotic” Americans” are – she has traveled much and said Americans are probably the most patriotic people she has encountered. I thought about my own political awakenings and some of that took me back to the political science class we had in high school. If I recalled correctly – it was referred to as “POD” which was an acronym for “Problems of Democracy”, but I wanted to make sure.

I thought about this some more. During that time period – it seemed unusual to question our government and the democratic way of life. While acknowledging the democratic form of government is the best ever devised to date – it is not uncommon to question- as a matter of fact, it seems like the norm to question everything our government does. Then I thought back to the title of our political science class “Problems (of, in) Democracy and thought – “Gee, that was a rather radical title for a political science class of that time period and in a conservative place like North Dakota. Sort of an acknowledgement that there in fact could be problems in a democracy. I thought it would be interesting to find a Political Science textbook of the 1960’s and compare it with a book that is presently in our school system.

All of this is perhaps a small point – maybe even an irrelevant one. As Allen Richard pointed out, there are many classes in high school with similar titles. So I was just doing a bit of an evaluation of my own – was our political science class more a teaching of the status quo or more on the cutting edge of our political system as the title suggests? I do recall learning of the “intern camps” of the Japanese and being cautioned that in our own lives, it is likely if our country is at war, we might see the same type of thing occur and should be ready to recognize it when it happens. Of course, I’m not making any political statement, just reflecting on our political science class and some notes I have been keeping.
Pictures taken in July at Gary Stokes’ Birthday party.
I thought I’d add a few pictures for filler material today. After getting these pictures ready to send, I’ve received several more postings, but since I’ve already got them pasted in this message for posting, I’ll include them.
We’ve installed a permanent roof over the area between our work shop and office. It’s a great area to have parties and entertain in an outside setting. It’s roughed in, so now we have to add the finishing touches. After installing the roof, our plants all died without the sun. We have a friend that will fix us up with some new ones though.
















ND Sunflowers” Picture

Reply from Gwen Struck Dumas (68): Havre, MT


To Kenny Nerpel
Really like the pictures! I’m now using the “ND sunflowers” as the wallpaper on my computer. Thx for sharing.
Gwen Struck Dumas – 68





Mr. Hepper

Reply from Mark Schimetz (70): Rolette, ND


In reply to Amie question, About the POD Classes. I wonder if it wasn’t Gene Hepper, our History and POD teacher. He was really a good guy, as a teacher, and as a Coach. I remember a lot of discussions in his class, about happening’s in World Events, and American History.





From Lola Metcalfe Vanorny (68): Dunseith, ND


Gary– well wishes go to you and Bernadette– today – I happened to google- Marty Spriggs for some reason- he made an impression on me in 8th grade- nive big guy!! he had been in vietnam!– and that was interesting to me in that our friends were in a horrible situation- it was like being “dam—” to get your number drawn– but i couldn’t for the life of me see why we should care about 100 years ago !– made no sense to me to talk about it! – he must have liked the debate cause I got a’s in his class!_ LOL!!– just a snot nose kid !!–and now I love History!!– and He must have made an impression on me!! LOL!


anyhoo!!- i came upon all the blogs since it started back in 2007 i believe!!- you googled my name and asked about Margaret- and now that is history!!- ha! and reading some of them— alot of them !—from the early days what stories!!!_ I love the ones of the days of main street being full of colorful characters- the Bertha’s — Mrs V– (Jay’s Gramma)- Bertha myer — Myrt Hoopman- 3 characters playing poker with the priest Father WOlf!- now those ladies were liberated!!- ha!- at about 70 years of age!-


-oh man!- the stories Mrs V told me when she ran Dale’s for George in about 1967–not long before she died!– I thought she was a crabby old lady til I got to know her- !! she was a hoot !!!- I would go buy her cigarettes @ 10 cents a pack!– and she would take me down to her house for – looking at old pictures- — She ran a boarding house in Ashley , ND they had a farm on the outskirts of town – unti they moved to work at San Haven during the depression!- She would talk German to Harvey Hoffman- in the kitchen and no one would know what they were saying- she thought that was funny!


Memories of Jack Hosmer- Bob Hosmer- Glen Shelver- Bill Evans- all such “people” people- love us young kids as their own!- and so many more- the Morinvilles – LaCroix’s- The ALthea Theater-


– My Gramma Evans– what a woman!!– – she was an old settler — worked like dogs hard times and many heartaches !! and she thought her Granddaughters worked way to hard on their school work and then work at Dale’s besides– LOL!– we were having a ball!!- Heck – we got to eat french fries and sleep in until it was time to go to work again!!- ha!– in the summer


What prompted this whole thing was- this early morning– I took my coffee outside on the deck– – and the dew was on the grass only it looked like gold sprinkles on the grass- from the rising sun I suppose — and I thought– “Oh man!- I wish I were coming out of an old wooden cabin at the lake- and the screen door slams as I walk out to a dock and I closed my eyes – and somewhere someone was sawing wood or something and it reminded me of when I would stay with Gramma Randina Evans in Dunseith – Howard Hiatts lived next door to Gramma — they were so very good to her- !–


( well I had to work the late shift because my Dad in his wisdom knew that a 14 year old girl needed to be either working or sleeping til about midnight – so I was the one- !!- Patti got to work the day shift- so after we closed the cafe — I would dally around and clean stainless steele fixtures and fill salt and pepper shakers – sugar jars- catsup bottles from gallon cans– maple syrup pitchers from gallon cans the cooks had made- and it better be done!!– cause sister Patti worked in the morning and I would catch heck if they weren’t done!! — big sista! uff da!! and maybe not get home til 12 or 1- am– and then !! imagine this!– walk across Myers field to the trailer court and then down the street about 8 blocks to Gramma’s house – never a worry — the only person that stopped you was the cop and he maybe took you home to get you off the street !- ha — But I was a night owl and loved that walk- although Patti and I tried to talk Dad into letting us take his old truck into town to get to work– hum– and he said “You know!– that little trek to Dale’s will just give you a start on the day and you’ll be ready to work- cause you will be awake!– oh man!- that was true!!- ha!- He knew very well we could have had a heyday wqith that truck!!! LOL!!)


anyway — I would be sleeping in til about noon not having to go t work til 3– and i woud hear them mowing Gramma’s lawn– and i would dream that I was at the lake and could hear boats humming along – I had a ball!!- LOL!!-


The only advice I have to give you about walking through town about 2:30 pm when the cherries came into season !! they were soooo good!! – on your way to work is — don’t eat the whole basket!- oh my what a feat !- waiting on tables and waiting for the bathroom!- I only did that once!!-


Bettter get to bed!– and quit babbling!!- also another thing !!———- i love venetian shades —– Inee Hosmer had those in her house and i thought they were beautiful!!_ and have always used a version of them – good nght!!- Lola


Trivia Question posted yesterday

From Aime Casavant (66): Jamestown, ND
Does anyone from about 1962 to 1970 know the ACTUAL name of our
political science class at DHS? The class I believe was taught by Mr
Prouty (?) – before my time – then Mr. Hepper and possibly Mr. Jury.
Looking it up on an old report card is OK. I just want to know the
actual name of the class. I’ll explain why later. For the super
trivia buffs or good record keepers, or good researchers, it would be
good to know the name of the Political Science textbook we used for
the class.

Aime Casavant

Trivia Question reply
From Maria Parlade Corral (62): Coral Gables, FL
I believe that the name of the class was Problems of Democracy (POD) . I graduated in Dunseith in 1962. Maria Parlade Corral
Maria, It’s so nice hearing from you. I know you’ve told us before, but I’ve forgotten. What year did you come to Dunseith? I’m assuming you left the area for college following graduation? How are things with you? We’d love to hear some of your life history too.
Folks, Many of you know but for those of you that don’t, Maria is from Cuba. She came to San Haven with her dad who was a doctor during the Cuban crises in the early 60’s.


Trivia Question reply

From Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

P.O.D. —- Problems of Democracy


Now days it is usually P.D.P — Problems Democracy Presents






Trivia Question reply
From Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA


This is to Aime Casavant from a former classmate. Wow, you’ve kept your self in good shape. You don’t look like you’ve aged a day since our senior year. Ha, ha.

My memory is okay, but nothing like Dick Johnson’s, so no, I do not recall the exact name of our political science class. I’ll bet Dick will recall it as it was probably still called the same thing when got there.
Keith Pladson (66)




Trivia Question reply

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND


Gary and Friends,

I think Amie is asking about P.O.D.—Problems of Democracy.



Trivia Question reply

From Kenny Nerpel (65): Rugby, ND
The class that Aime is asking about could have been Problems of Democracy (POD) or maybe just Civics. Those are the first two things that popped into my mind.
A couple harvest photos. A reminder that winter approaches.



Trivia Question
From Aime Casavant (66): Jamestown, ND

Gary – can you publish this on the Dunseith blog? I have a trivia

Does anyone from about 1962 to 1970 know the ACTUAL name of our
political science class at DHS? The class I believe was taught by Mr
Prouty (?) – before my time – then Mr. Hepper and possibly Mr. Jury.
Looking it up on an old report card is OK. I just want to know the
actual name of the class. I’ll explain why later. For the super
trivia buffs or good record keepers, or good researchers, it would be
good to know the name of the Political Science textbook we used for
the class.

Aime Casavant




Orvin Hagen
Reply from Geri Metcalfe Munro (59): Fargo, ND


Gary——Thank you for letting all of us know that Orvin has moved to Bethany Homes in Fargo.
We live north of there, and will visit him very soon–if we can find him. lol While I was in high school I worked for the caretaker’s at the Peace Garden in the summer, George and Lela Cota, parents of Gary. I also worked at Music Camp while that was in session. Orvin was the horticulturist at the Peace Garden and we got together often to visit, play piano and sing, and…….tell jokes, and laugh…… after my Dad died, Mom had a new friend, Agnes Hagen, to take along to her Circle at Peace Lutheran in the summer; in the winter, Orvin would take both my Mom and Agnes to Circle—such good friends..

We will visit Orvin and introduce him to others we know at Bethany.

Geri (Metcalfe) Munro ’59

Orvin Hagen
Reply from Linda Gardner: Vienna, VA
Leland – Thank you for sharing Orvin’s new address and phone number. I spoke with him last Friday and he told hem he would be moving shortly. We visited about his trip to ND amongst other things. He told me about his visit to Good Sam and yodeling – He was surprised that I already had heard about it and saw the picture on this blog!! I mentioned that we are planning a Wenstad gathering next summer and he’s welcome to ride with me back up to the Bottineau area. He said if feels as good then as now he would do that!!! I, too, will try to call him soon – Or by the sounds of your mesage, maybe I should write to him – I’m sure he’s going to be the life of the party at his new home!!
Don & Bernice Johnson
From Mark Schimetz (70): Rolette, ND


First of all, I would like to thank you and Bill Grimme, for the list of the years of birth listed below. The music especially is so nice that I often leave it playing on my notebook while doing other tasks. Also I would like to correct Dick Johnsons, recollection of Frank and Matilda Flynn’s house mentioned the the picture. Louis and Stella Schimetz’s house is located south of Frank and Matilda’s house. The Lakes, later the Jury’s lived north of Flynn’s. The house to the south of was moved in by Everett and Francis Acheson’s filling the east side of the Block. These were only 4 houses on the east side of this block. From North to South, the Jury’s, Flynn’s, Schimetz’s, and the Acheson’s, now belonging to Maryann Brennan. I remember Frank working as a Police officer, and Matilda, often baby sat for us. She was a very kind and gentle women whom we adopted as our other grandmother. It is in deed sorrowful when one recollects the good times spent with many of the elders in Dunseith, and to see them slowly vanish.


When hearing of the Murder of Don and Bernice Johnson, my heart sunk right to the floor. It was difficult to believe that anyone would want to harm Don and Bernice Johnson. They were such caring and beautiful people, loved by all in the community. First the sorrow, then the anger, which last for ever, and down right hate rid of these barbaric animals burned like fire the veins of family, friends, the whole community. The pain of losing the Johnsons’ reminded me of the first great loss of my life when my grandfather John Schimetz died on Christmas eve in 1964, 6 months after losing his wife Francesca. I was 12 years old.

Justice is mine says the Lord. The two punk murderers are gone, Denoir was killed in Fort Totten as I recall, and Redpaint was killed in prison, as I recall. Some one correct me on this if I am wrong about either of these punks. I cannot imagine the pain Dick had to deal with. My heart went and still goes out for Dick, and in remembrance so do My Prays. When these killers were in prison, so was I, as An angry man falsely, I looked for these punks in the Bismarck Petitionary. Red Paint was held in high security lock up. Too bad for me I thought at the time, as I had a planned fatal accident in store for him, with witness available. He was never out of Lock up the 15 months, I spent there. No way to get to him. Denoir was either transferred or in the minimum security section of the Prison. At the time I was going to do Gods work, or so I thought. My heart still goes out to Dick Johnson. for the unimaginable loss. Dick your parents would be so proud of you for all your musical accomplishments, especially raising the hearts of the elderly at the nursing homes. It is a wonderful thing you. May God always bless you and all your family.


House ID’s From Mark Schimetz:

From North to South,theJury’s, Flynn’s, Schimetz’s,

and the Acheson’s, now belonging to Maryann Brennan.


Orvin Hagen

Message from Leland Hagen (50): BRYAN, TX

Brother Orvin moved into the Bethany retirement center in Fargo on 16 August 2010. This had been planned for some time so he was ready for this move. Needless to say he will no doubt miss Kindred and all of his friends there but I talked to him last night and he had already met several people that he knew and was very upbeat about his room, the people, and everything in general.


His new address is:


Orvin Hagen

201 S. University Dr # 630

Fargo, ND 58103


His new phone number is:




I’m sure he would love to hear from you however he may be a little hard to find ! He said there are some Whist players around and he has already played a few games plus there is Bingo at night and who knows what else!! So he will probably be pretty busy.Just keep trying.



Leland, Orvin told me about this pending move last time I talked to him. He was pretty upbeat about the whole thing. Orvin is the kind of guy that makes the best of every situation. He loves people and they love him. He will always be where there are lots of folks and activities. That’s Orvin! I will call him in the very near future. Thank you so much for keeping us informed.
Folks, please give Orvin a call. He loves getting your calls. Gary

Ruth Ann Belgarde
(Died August 14, 2010)

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Ruth Belgarde, age 50 of Dunseith, died Saturday at a Dunseith nursing home. Funeral will be held on Thursday at 10:00 am at the Church of God in Dunseith. Wake will begin on Wednesday at 4:00 pm at the church. Burial will be a the St. Sylvan’s Cemetery near Dunseith.Ruth Ann Belgarde, a daughter of Jerome and Ellen (Norquay) Houle, was born on December 11, 1959 at Belcourt. She lived near Minot and went to school in Des Lacs and later she attended school in Wahpeton. On February 14, 1975, she married Steve Bruhn in Minot. They lived in Minot and later in Indiana. This marriage later ended and she moved back to Dunseith. She married Curtis Belgarde on December 4, 1992 in Dunseith. She later moved in to Dunseith Nursing Home.

Ruth was a member of St. Sylvan’s Church near Deunsieth. She liked playing bingo, going to the casino and spending time with family and friends.

She is survived 5 daughters, Caroline Bruhn, Nicole Hodges, Kaylene Bruhn and Jeannie Bruhn all of Valparaiso, IN, Shawna Belgarde of Dunseith; son, Gary Michael Belgarde of Dunseith; 7 grandchildren; sisters, Pauline Meyer (Roger) of Montana, Sandra (Morris) Bruguier of South Dakota, Lilia Houle of Dunseith, Charlene Shelkey of Dunseith and Becky Houle of Dunseith; brother, Rodney Houle (Karlene) Minot and numerous neices and nephews

She was preceded in death parents; brothers, Alvin and Billy Houle nad sister, Alma Houle.

Arrangements were with Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau.


Reply to message 886

From Marlene Henderson Rolla, ND


Charles Hanson is the grandson of Jeannine (Watkins) Robert (47): Lamoure, ND

Charles and Svetlana were victims of a double murder suicide.

I don’t know how many who read your blog concluded that this couple had murder/suicide but it was the wifes ex who did the murder and then killed himself.

Gathering set to honor slain Eagan couple

Husband, wife gunned down in home

Four days after they were shot to death, an Eagan couple will be remembered today at a prayer gathering. The bodies of Svetlana Hanson, 25, and Charles Hanson, 42, will later be cremated and inurned together in North Dakota.

Their deaths underscore a gruesome trend. Advocates for battered women say murder-suicides take place in Minnesota at a rate well above the national average, and many such crimes are committed by men after their wives or girlfriends leave them.

The Hansons were killed about 10 p.m. Tuesday when Svetlana’s ex-husband, 29-year-old Robin Bhattacharyya, fired a semiautomatic shotgun through the front window of the couple’s Eagan home, according to police. Bhattacharyya then used the gun to kill himself.

Svetlana Hanson’s father, who was visiting the couple from Israel, was in the living room with them but was unharmed. The couple’s three children, ranging in age from 9 months to 12 years, were asleep and not hurt.

“Svetlana was a beautiful person, and she and Charles were very much in love,” said her uncle, Mark Stipakov of Long Lake. “It was just a marriage made in heaven. They had a child together; there were two other kids, and everyone was very, very happy. It was the happiest time of their life.”

Stipakov and his wife, Bella, are caring for the couple’s 9-month-old son until a final determination is made on his placement. Two other children from Charles Hanson’s first marriage are with other relatives.

The Stipakovs have helped

organize a “gathering of friends” from 1 to 3 p.m. today at J.S. Klecatsky and Sons Funeral Home, 1580 Century Point, Eagan. A prayer service will follow.A memorial Mass will be celebrated Tuesday at the Basilica of St. James, 622 S. First Ave. in Jamestown, N.D., where Charles Hanson’s parents and two brothers live, according to the Jamestown Sun. The Hansons will then be inurned together at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Jamestown.

Authorities said they may never know what drove Bhattacharyya to commit the double murder-suicide. He had no known history of violence or criminal record. His marriage to Svetlana Hanson officially ended last year, just as her new one began with an older, wealthier man.

She and Bhattacharyya married in March 2004. She was 18, and he was 23. They separated in July 2008, and she soon moved in with Hanson, a software manager at Starkey Lab in Eden Prairie, to work as his au pair. She married him in 2009, around the time her divorce from Bhattacharyya was finalized by Hennepin County.

Bhattacharyya, who was self-employed, owned a house in Northeast Minneapolis and was working toward a doctorate degree in computer science at the University of Minnesota. His former wife graduated from the U last year with a dual degree in computer science and math, her uncle said.

Her name joins a list of women killed by partners and former partners in Minnesota. The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women recorded six murder-suicides involving intimate partners last year — the highest rate in the nation per capita and about twice the national average.

Experts who track domestic abuse, however, say certain details about the Hansons’ murders stand out.

Jeff Edleson, a professor of social work at the U, runs the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse. The public doesn’t always realize the danger women face when they try to leave an abusive partner, he said.

“We sort of assume when a woman moves away from her partner, it stops,” Edleson said. “But actually, soon after she leaves, if it’s against his will, you may see an increase in his violent behavior in an effort to get her to come back and (to) control her behavior. In fact, many murders of battered women occur in the few months after they have separated from their partners.”

However, no record exists of Bhattacharyya committing acts of violence or even making threats. Court records show he did not hire an attorney during the divorce, which was completed without a hearing or legal fanfare. He and Svetlana Hanson went their separate ways without either asking for alimony. They had no ongoing financial ties.

The murders occurred two years after she had moved out of his home.

“What the triggering event is, we may never know,” Edleson said. “It may have been something unrelated to her — difficulties at work or school, or rejection from another female. And in turn, he took it out on her and her new husband. Whatever it was, it’s no excuse for doing what he did.”

Bella Stipakov, Svetlana Hanson’s aunt, called the deaths unfathomable.

“It is a very tragic event,” she said. “They were very much in love. I can’t believe it happened. I just can’t believe it. I’m speechless.”

Frederick Melo can be reached at 651-228-2



Beaver Dam School
Reply From Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA
I graduated with Donna Hanson. By that time the Hansons and the Pladsons were the only two families left in the school. And after the school year ended in 1962 we moved up by you guys, so that left only the Hansons. So there would have been little reason to keep Beaver Dam open after that. The Lawrence Wenstad family also went to school at Beaver Dam, but for some reason (I don’t remember what it was) they left Beaver Dam and started attending Dunseith a couple of years before Beaver Dam closed. Agnes Berg was the teacher for the last four years Beaver Dam was open.

We went to school at Beaver Dam for five years and when we first started attending it there were several local families with school age children – the Berchams, Botts, Hansons, Pladsons, Rivards and Wenstads. But over the course of the next five years there were fewer and fewer school age kids left each year so by 1961-62 it was just the Hansons and Pladsons.

Reply from Lola Metcalfe Vanorny (68): Dunseith, ND
Hey Gary I am in a panic!! LOL!!- I am missing # 884 #885 and #886 blogs and #887 doesn’t make sense without them- love to read these wonderful stories- I especially love the old tie stories- congratulations on your award- you do deserve it!—Lola
Lola, It’s great hearing from you. It’s always a pleasure seeing your name come up on my computer screen. This was probably meant as a personal message, but because we have not heard from you in a while, I want folks to know that you are alive and well.
Folks, please let me know of any messages you do not recieve, so I can resend them. I post all these daily messages on the Dunseith Alumi Website too.http://garystokes.net/default.aspx Gary
Reply from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.
Gary, yes we are the same age. My birthday was July 2nd. Even in school I was the oldest in my class of 1966. I was even the first of the class to have a grandchild.
But then, Augie, is 6 yrs older than we are. Sybil Johnson
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND


Reply from Margaret Seim Lawston (54): Citrus Heights, CA
Hi Gary, I enjoy the blogs everyday. About the exchange
student, Flavia. My next door neighbor here, in Sacramento was a
great traveler,and booked on the freighters, before they had container
ships. On one of her trips the freighters stop in Brazil to to
unload. Having 3 days she decided to take a tour up the Amazon. The
guide[Flavia] spoke such good English my friend asked her where she
had learned it. Flavia told her she was an exchange student in a small
town in N. D. My friend said what’s the name of the town. She said
it’s very small . Dunseith!!!!! Not only had my friend heard of
it ,she had Art and Eva Seim stay in her home some winters when she
was traveling. A very small world.! Margaret Lawston
Reply to “Rising Son & Wife” and Standing Chief & “Jack Little Boy” pictures posted with message 885
From Don Martel (Teacher/Principal): Rosemount, MN
Hi Gary,
Congratulations on the Community service award. We appreciate your work for all of us.
I am curious as to what significance these two pictures have to Dunseith.
I love old pictures and have added them to my albums, but would like a little of the history behind them.
Dunseith History
Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO
Hello All, History is what we write down. For example Elwood Fauske is young enough so a lot of people still know him, but without his life story written in “The Book”, he would be just another pretty face. I will tell you he was not just another pretty face.
Gary Stokes you may wonder what an old fuddy duddy would get out of your blog efforts, well it keeps the memories of the greatest generation and even more, the generation that produced that generation alive. Some of the things your generation talks about sparks an interest as well.
Equal with written history, my love for music may explain how I feel about the past. I like all kinds of music, but love country western. The old legends were listening to Jack Green do the favorite song that he wrote, “The Last Letter”/ One of my mother’s old favorites. Narry a dry eye in the lot, so they asked Vince Gill, the only youngster there, again, narry a dry eye. Then Vince Gill said, ” Money could never buy the love and respect that your older generation have for each other.” It really showed on Vince that he felt he was missing out.
I saw that same scene from about 1946 at least through the 60’s, people who needed each other and were not afraid to show it. I saw people walking down the street whistling and comments like, “thanks ever so much” and “thanks a lot until you are better paid”.
I could just say thanks Gary, but I will say you could have fit into that generation very well. You are the one guy I know that could get up from watching the ole tide come in, walk up to your car, put your arms on top of the door and say “hey, ole boy, you made a difference in this old world, you have a following that most of us would like to have.”
I want to thank Larry Hackman for his ability to tell a great story and sharing it with us. What a gift you have. I will say I thought Bill was Willy and really wonder if you ever heard of “Cupcake Joe”??? Gary Metcalfe
Thanks Gary M. It’s so nice to hear from you. It’s been a while. Whether you realize it or not, you have quite a following too with all of your contributions. The generations behind us will have a hay day with all this history that we have saved. We are having so much fun recording it though. Gary S
Country Schools – Reply to message 881
From Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA
One quick response to your comments about the country schools. Though some of those schools may have closed as of your graduation (I assume you meant 1961), not all of them did. I graduated from Beaver Dam School in 1962 and it closed the year I graduated. Beaver Dam was near the Rendahl Church.
Keith Pladson (66)
Keith, I didn’t realize that Beaver Dam School stayed open a year past Ackworth’s and Willow Lake’s closing. Were you the lone Graduate in 1962? Helen Rivard was a year ahead of you. Who was your teacher the last year? Gary
Great Grandma
Message from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.
Gary and all,
On Thursday morning, at 9:10, we were blessed with the birth of my 3rd great-grandchild; a girl with the name of Raelyn Sukee Skye Hanson. She weighed in at
7.42 lbs and was 201/2 inches long. Her great-great-grandpa-Axel Johnson would have been proud.
Sybil Johnson
Congratulations Sybil! It’s hard to believe that you are old enough to have great Grand Children. I think you and I are about the same age. With these daily blogs, I often think of myself as being the youngest generation. Gary
Reply to Dunseith Pictures posted the past several days
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

Thanks to Ele Slyter and the rest of those who remember that day so
long ago. I know there were other bad days for the area but this was the
blackest day for many of us and hopefully we never have another like
it. This community is so well connected that everyone is hurt and
saddened by any tragedy of any kind.

Lloyd Awalt is right about the cars on Main Street in the postcard
picture. Both the car in front of Hosmer’s Store and the one in front of
Horsman’s Drug are ’38 or ’39 Chevys. The difference between the two
years is only basically in the grille design and the picture doesn’t
show either one clearly enough. The car in front of the Dakota Hotel and
just under the Standard sign appears to be a ’46 Dodge with a visor. The
car on the north side of the drug store is probably a late ’40s Packard.
In all, Lloyd would be real close putting the picture in the late ’40s.

Gary Morgan knew who’s house was who’s. I thought he would. I think
the house between Jim Footit’s and Dick Morgan’s shoulders, in the
‘Volunteers’ picture, would have been where Frank Flynn lived. The spot
is now where Stella Schimetz has her newer home. I would venture a guess
that William’s house may have been just out of the picture to the left.
Thanks Gary!


Dick Johnson:
Folks, I want to share with you a personal reply I got from Dick. Many of us have remarked at how well he remembers, in great detail, things of the past. I recently made that comment to him with some personal messages we exchanged. This is his reply. Gary

I honestly don’t know how my memory works. Maybe I’m stuck in the
past! The memories I have seem to be quite vivid like the colors of
rooms and the furniture type and color. There is no way I can explain
it to someone, it’s just there. My son is somewhat like this too. He
often says that something smells like some place or thing he remembers.
When I think about it, he is right with his memory. Who knows—not me!



Bicycling the World
Glen Williams (52) Daughter: Missoula, MT
Gary…She, our daughter, wrote the blog….and is the one riding the bike…
She and her husband Eric have bicycled Africa, the middle east, parts of Europe, North America, Central America and now South America…
Click on the update, I think it is, and you can look at all of their past Blogs..
She does have some “Dunseith blood” in her veins…so that must be causing her to want to travel the world on a Bike…that is not for me..
Glen Williams

Is your daughter one of the cyclist in this blog?
—– Original Message —–

Daughter Andrea’s latest blog….Glen W.


News for that year
From Bill Grimme (65): Birmingham, AL
This is kind of a fun list.

_1900_ ( http://www.infoplease.com/year/1900.html )
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Happy Birthday Flavia Moraes (73): Sao Paulo, Brazil
Flavia, Today, August 14th, is your birthday. It’s nearing the end of the day. We are hoping that you had a marvelous and enjoyable birthday. Gary
PS – Folks, Flavia was an exchange student living with the Alan Campbell family when she attended Dunseith. Flavia remembers Dunseith and everyone well. She is a friend of mine on facebook too. Gary
Happy Birthday Al Johnson (70): Rolla, ND
Al (Albert), Today/Tomorrow, August 15th, is your Birthday. Enjoy and celebrate to the fullest. This is your day. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” Gary
Memories of Don and Bernice Johnson:
From Kim Fassett: Coos Bay, OR.

Being the youngest kid of Darrel & Dorothy Fassett, I remember the day that Mom called and told me the horrifying news. I knew that they were all close (the four of them) but at that stage of my existance didn’t realize the magnitude of this tragedy. Now that I’m older – really can relate to the loss that everyone must’ve felt (esp. M&D since you all were not only relatives but best friends!!). The little that I remember of Don & Bernice, they were the ultimate couple and such great people. We always enjoyed seeing them even though it was only once a year in the summer because we had moved to California. Anyway, thinking about Dick, Brenda and family at this always difficult time. Kim Fassett- Coos Bay, OR P.S. We always looked forward to “Aunt Cynthie” coming to visit us in Portal – she was like our ‘other mother’!!!
Art Rude Receives “Dunseith Community Service” award.
The “Dunseith Community Service Award” was presented to Art Rude at the Dunseith Days parade yesterday. Cheryl Haagenson (71), the MC and parade announcer presented this award to Art. I believe that is George Gottbreht standing behind Cheryl. I’m not sure, but I believe that is Donna DuBois Thomas (72) standing behind the vehicle on the left?
Congratulations Mr. Rude. With all that you have done over the years for the community, this couldn’t have gone to a more deserving guy. You are looking great too! Gary



Art Rude being driven by Floyd Dion










Dick Johnson (68), Cheryl Haagenson (71) &


Donna Dubois Thomas? (72)



Thank you Dick Johnson for receiving this award on my

behalf and thank you to the Dunseith community for recognizing me with this award. I would have dearly loved to have been there, but with 10,000 miles (10 time zones) between Dunseith and me, I was unable to make it. As I said in yesterday’s message, I truely enjoy what I am doing. You folks are my inspiration. Gary





Reply from Bill Hosmer (48): Tucson, AZ



The idea of recognizing Gary Stokes for the miraculous site which gives us the chance to remember and reach out to one another who came from these places is most appropriate. I hereby salute the man and his beautiful bride who makes this possible. If anyone deserves such an honor, it is Gary. If anyone more appropriate would receive this honor in his name than Dick Johnson, I would be surprised. These gentlemen stand out in fundamental loyalty and love for where we began our lives, and for those of all these generations who sprung forth therefrom. They both emulate the value system which is rural America, and they both give me the pride and sense of respect for my heritage which is in the hearts and minds of the readership and our elders and our offspring. God Bless Gary Stokes and God Bless Don Johnson and God Bless all who read and contribute to this treasure. I am proud to be in the company of you giants. Bill Hosmer
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

In reply to Donna DuBois Thomas request to say a few words about
Gary Stoke’s Award. He is very dedicated to this website/blog and has
made possible a renewed interest in the history and personal connections
of the Dunseith community and it’s citizens. Gary is the best choice for
this honor with all he has done to keep us posted daily. Before Gary
started the site, I thought maybe I was one of the only people with an
interest in Dunseith’s history. Now I see that there are many with the
same interest and because of Gary we now have a wonderful connection in
which to share our memories and pictures as well as stories from days
gone by. Thank you Gary and congratulations!


Reply from Cheryl Larson Dakin (71): BEDFORD, TX
Congratulations Gary on receiving the Dunseith Community Service Award. This is an awesome undertaking and it’s so appreciated. You have brought hearts together from all over the world. The memories and the stories and the connections people have made are so precious and it’s been such fun to turn on the computer every evening and read the “news”.
Thanks for all you do.
Cheryl Larson Dakin
Thank you folks for all the kind words. They are appreciated way more than you will ever realize. Gary
Dunseith Post Card Picture:
Reply from Lloyd Awalt (44): Bottineau, ND
Hi Gary. The postcard of Dunseith I would say was taken in the 1940s. The standard sign there was in front of the Dakota Hotel. There was a little gas station there. I owned that station in 1946 & 47. The city service station sign across the street was owned by Iver Lo. The two flags are in front of the U.S, Customs Office which was there at that time. The sign on the drug store at that time was Horseman’s drugs. The car that is parked there, just guessing, could be a 1938 Chevy. I owned the station when I came home from the navy. Lloyd Awalt
Turtle Mountain Volunteers Picture:
Reply from Gary Morgan (54): GARRISON, ND
Gary & All.
As usual, Dick Johnson is right in that the picture was taken in the yard of what later became the Ed Conroy home. We lived there until the spring of 1955. The house behind Don’s head was the Peavey Elevator house. The Steve Johnson Family lived there at that time Also, at that time, Conroys lived in the house over Dick’s left shoulder. George Habberstead lived in the house behind my head.

Gary Morgan

Posted By Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND
& Eileen Brudwick: Goodyear, Arizona

Alan Francis Poitra I
(December 2, 1947 – August 12, 2010)


ALLAN FRANCIS POITRA IAlan F. Poitra, age 62 of Dunseith, died Thursday in a Belcourt hospital. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday at 10:00 A. M. in the St. Michael The Archangel Church of Dunseith. Burial will be in the St. Mary’s Cemetery of rural Dunseith wake will be held in the church on Tuesday beginning at 4:00 P.M. with a prayer service at 8:00 P.M.

Alan Francis Poitra I, a son of Roy F. and Virginia (Laverdure) Poitra, was born on December 2, 1947 at his home in Dunseith. On June 23, 1967 he was married to Susan M. Poitra at St. Mary’s Church of rural Dunseith.

He is survived by his wife Susan of Dunseith; sons, Alan f. Poitra II (Laurie) of Dunseith and Adam J. Poitra (Samantha) of Bottineau; daughters Allison M. Whorley (Pierre) of Rolla, Valerie L. Malaterre (Joe) of Dunseith and Kari M. Poitra (Ryan) of Dunseith; 11 grandchildren; brothers, Randy S. Poitra (Shirley) and Terry L. Poitra (Tammy) both of Dunseith and Troy R. Poitra (Terry) of Flagstaff, AZ; sisters Sandra V. Poitra (Wade) and Ramona d. Love (Quentin) both of Dunseith, Pamela F. Banley (Thad) Sioux Falls, SD. Audrey M. Martinson of Minot, Roxanne M. Fairbanks (Rob) of Detroit Lakes, MN and Marlys Belgarde of Minot.





Charles Hanson is the grandson of Jeannine (Watkins) Robert (47): Lamoure, ND

Charles and Svetlana were victims of a double murder suicide. So sad. Our hearts reach out to their families with their loss of this marvelous couple. Gary

Svetlana M. and Charles L. Hanson

Svetlana M. and Charles L. Hanson

Charles L. Hanson

Age 42 of Eagan on August 10, 2010. Preceded in death by grandparents, Inez & Charles Hanson and Adolph Robert. Survived by children, Ingrid, Thorin & Bjorn; parents, Gary & Sandra; brothers, Justin (Jenaah) & Jay (Theresa); niece, Jocelyn; nephews, Karsten & Casey; grandmother, Jeannine Robert of Lamoure, ND; & many other relatives and friends. Charles was a 1986 graduate of Jamestown, ND High School. Received his B.S. from NDSU and completed his PhD program in neuroscience at the U of M Twin Cities. He was currently employed by Starkey Lab in Eden Prairie. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Svetlana M. Hanson

Age 25 of Eagan on August 10, 2010. Survived by son, Bjorn; parents, Yefim & Valentina Pagoda; brothers, Grigory & Genady; sisters, Larisa & Olga; the Stipakovs’ and Kravchenko families. She was a graduate of the U of M Twin Cities. Sveta will always stay in our hearts.

Both Charles and Sveta loved their family and took a great deal of joy in spending time with them. Their children were very precious.

Gathering from 1-3PM Saturday, August 14th at J.S. KLECATSKY & SONS, 1580 Century Pt. (Yankee Doodle Rd. @ Coachman), Eagan, MN with a Prayer Service at 3 PM.

Memorial Mass 10AM Tuesday, August 17th at the BASILICA OF ST. JAMES, 622 So. 1st Ave., Jamestown, ND. Inurnment at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Jamestown.

Written in Memory of Don & Bernice Johnson
From Ele Dietrich Slyter (69): eleszoo@yahoo.com Dunseith, ND

Sorry it’s so hard to read with the pic in the background…this was written in memory of Don and Bernice Johnson and I thought you might enjoy reading it…it sort of relays the feelings of everyone in this community the day the sadness, grief and horror of what happened began to hit us like a freight train..I know it sure tells how I personally felt that night in the dark with my kids and neighbors near me.
Here is the wording as it appears on my copy:
This day began just as any other, but alas it wasn’t to be.
The morning sun rose and kissed the deep blue sky,
Dew on the grass, is wet against my feet.
Breakfast of over and dishes are done.
The floor is swept and kids are on the run.
There are clothes to wash and meals to make.
I grab a basket full of clothes and run them out to the line.
The breeze kisses them with such ease.
The sun a warm hand against my back.
But something seems just not right?
A haze in the sky perhaps?
The phone rings, I run to answer, I say hello and the world shudders to a stop.
I grab the kids and load the guns.
Neighbors begin to gather.
Emotions, there are so many,
Terror and fear, anger and loathing, sadness and tears.
No! No time for tears, later we will weep, for now
Bar the door and watch at the windows.
As darkness comes on silent feet
We speak in whispers with bated breath.
Are they near?
Will they come here?
The biggest question of all is why?
Long hours later the phone again rings.
I say hello and pray “it’s over” that I’ll hear.
This day that began as any other
Has watched us lose our friends and neighbors.
Two people, very beloved, have gone home to heaven.
We ask why these two had to go,
But God isn’t telling.

Posted By Neola Kofoid Garbe: neolag@min.midco.net Minot & Bottineau, ND


Don & Bernice Johnson Memories:
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

I can only reaffirm my sincere thanks to all those who sent these memories of my parents. There is no way you folks will ever know how much it means to me. Thanks.


Old Pictures & message
From Dick Morgan (52): Washburn, ND
21 July 10
From the desk of “Old Dad” Morgan
Dear Bernadette and Gary,
Can’t describe how much I enjoy your Blogs. (I receive them courtesy of my brother Gary). Pictures are understandably popular, so I dug out my album and had these copies made. The copies in a couple cases are clearer than the originals. If you think anyone would be interested….
Dick Morgan
Folks, I received a letter from Dick Morgan yesterday with nine pictures. I am posting 4 of them today and plan on posting the remaining five tomorrow.
Dick, these are absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing. Gary









DHS Gym 1951



Standing: Coach Jerry Blake, Don Hiatt, Gary Morgan, Clayton “Kick” McKay, Don Hosmer,


Glen “Junner” Williams, Jim Footit, Norman “Hoagy” Haagenson



Seated: Ed Leonard, Bob Leonard, Dick Morgan, Marshall “Mud” Awalt.


Ernest Tennancour
Message/Picture from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND

Hi Gary,


I sent a picture of Ernest awhile ago. I think he was standing behind the counter in the garage in that picture. I might have sent this one, too–you know my memory! :) I wrote Corner Service/Corner Garage as I’ve seen papers with both names used. I don’t know which was the correct name; I guess either one is fine.


I enjoyed reading the comments about the garages in Dunseith. I had meant to respond to them, but didn’t get it done. There are a couple of errors in the newspaper clipping; maybe I’ll get around to correcting them one of these days. :)




Memories of Don and Bernice Johnson
Folks, this was a very unusual day with no postings. With that, I thought this would be a good day to repost the many Don & Bernice Johnson memories we have gotten from you folks. Their untimely deaths were such a shock and loss to the community. They contributed and did so much for the entire community. Their son Dick and his wife Brenda are a chip off their block with their integrity and values. They are following right along in Don and Bernice’s foot steps too, with all their community involvements and contributions. As stated below, I will add all additional memories and tributes to Don and Bernice’s stored achieves. Gary

Previously posted Feb. 3, 2008



With all the tributes you folks have provided with memories of Don Johnson, I’ve decided to dedicate today’s mailing to Don and his family. The first 3 messages, ahead of the article, I’ve gotten today. The messages following the article have been published before. I wanted to combine all the messages into one for this distribution. I went back through and tried to capture all the memories you folks have provided of Don. Please let me know if I’ve missed any.

I will include future comments that you guys provide, with memories of Don, in the daily messages. I will also add them to this message for redistribution in the future.

Gary Stokes




From Paulette LaCroix Chisholm (68): Newark, Delaware



These daily comments, stories and memories are a much better read than the Turtle Mt. Star in my humble opinion. I see I missed the “Daddy” song.


A little story about Don Johnson. In high school I played clarinet beside Gwen Grimme on the same old honking clarinet my two older sisters played going back at least a decade. Years of abuse had practically disintegrated the case so my mom taped it from head to foot with some gawd awful putrid smelling tape. When Mr. Johnson opened the door to the little room of stored instruments and was hit by the stench, he came to the conclusion that one or more students had not cleaned some filthy reed or mouthpiece in ages. He was quite “put out” with this disgusting find and lectured us on proper hygiene so “it” would never happen again. I knew it was my fault since I couldn’t put the clarinet even close to my lips without a gag. Now, I was sure everyone “knew” my mouthpiece was the “filthy unhygienic culprit.” Too embarrassed and red faced to fess up during the lecture, I waited in painful guilt and anxious expectation until after class. To my relief, he threw his head back in laughter and told me in a playful way to “get it out of there.”

I remember his eye opening introductions to different styles of music and his tying the message of “Romeo and Juliet” with the more modern “West Side Story.” He gave many of us the recognition and appreciation our parents didn’t or couldn’t and we “felt” his pride in our accomplishments. If you wanted to participate, he provided every effort to support you. I will always remember his kindness when gently telling those, who had less than perfect pitch, to keep their voices low so they could still participate in the choir. His contribution to our community over the years was huge, heartfelt and lasting.

Paulette LaCroix Chisholm (68)


From Brenda Hoffman (68): Greenville, SC

Thank you Gary. I love the “community” of our emails. I could send this info directly to Dick Johnson but wanted yet more accolades for Don Johnson. Don was wonderful about exposing all of us to a variety of music (first heard and fell in love with Westside Story via Don in a music class), but also made absolutely sure that any cultural event near Dunseith was available to any of us who were interested. I so remember taking the bus to A Mid Summers Night Dream and laughing hysterically — and being amazed that it was written by Shakespeare. Or the concerts in Bottineau. Or the circus in Minot. And I loved how anyone could join the choir…even me. I knew my voice wasn’t the greatest (I think that’s an overstatement!) so would pretty much just voice the words when we were practicing. Toni and Paulette told me that they couldn’t hear me so I should sing louder..which I did for one song. I was a freshman in High School so of course, was intimidated by older classmates in the choir…Don stopped our practice after that one song and just said, “Brenda, could you keep it down.” He also sang at my wedding to Terry Hegney in 1969 (Terry died in 1981)..Of course, tunes from Westside Story!



I also want to note that I worked with Dick’s grandmother Cynthia during my high school stint at the San Haven dining room. I loved her. She was so kind and gentle. I’m not sure if even Dick knows this but when I was in the hospital for TB between the ages of two and three, I swallowed a nickle that someone had given me (people used to give kids coins as treats in those days). My mom was also in the hospital at the same time. Dr. Loeb (who was a prisoner of war before becoming the director of the San…he was an absolutely wonderful Dr. by the way and we were so lucky he decided to stay in ND after the war) couldn’t remove the nickel so Dad (who was working at the San in the kitchens at the time) warmed up the car, asked Cynthia to accompany him, borrowed clothes from Jay Vanorny and we were on our way to Minot. Can you imagine every one’s terror that I wouldn’t make the long drive? At any rate, the eye, ear, nose specialist in Minot removed the coin and all was well. Thank you Dick for a loving and warm family who impacted my life in so many ways.

Brenda Hoffman (class of 68)




From Dave Slyter (70): Fargo, ND

Hi Dick:

Just a quick comment about your dad. Just like a super star, or actor, or singer or writer or composer your dad left a legacy in so many hearts, not only in the Dunseith area, but to North Dakota and Canada. He was a man that had a lot of influence on a lot of peoples life’s. He will always be in my life. He was the best teacher I had ever had.

Just one more little story about your folks together. When we lived on the farm up in the hills my mom Margaret Hiatt would make the best cinnamon rolls in the hills of the turtle mountains. When she would get into the mood of making them there would be this strange thing that would always happen during that same day of the baking. Your mom with your dad or your mom with her mom or your mom with your dads mom would always drive up and visit. We always asked mom when she was baking if she thought Don and Bernice would show up. Sometimes we know more than said it, and they were driving up the hill to our house. It was funny and also always enjoyable as they would sit and talk about so many things and memories of the old Benny Johnson farm. Always look forward to their visits. And they loved the cinnamon rolls. We always told mom that Bernice could smell those cinnamon rolls a mile away. ha

Take care
Dave Slyter :)




Prairie Past and Mountain Memories (1982 centennial book) Page 213




Dick Johnson’s (68) reply to the memories of his dad, Don Johnson: Dunseith, ND


Gary and DHS Friends

I do truly appreciate all the good memories folks have about my
dad, Don Johnson. He had an ability to understand the needs of
those around him and then find a way to make their lives a
little better. The one thing that I believe he passed on to
most of the kids was that everyone is of similar value
regardless of his background or wealth or name! This I believe
is what allowed him to achieve things like Governor’s Choir
with something like sixty kids singing that well. The other
atribute that he had was to never give up no matter what the
odds were. This determination could be seen by his students and
I believe it also drove them to achieve. Thanks to all those of
you who have told your stories of your memories of my dad, it
means a lot!

Dick Johnson





Margaret Metcalfe’s (65) memories of Don Johnson: Rolette, ND



Several people have written about memories of Don Johnson so I thought I
would add yet another:

I was a Daddy’s girl. Wherever my Dad went, I was riding on his shoulders
or hanging on to his hand. I remember my parents wondering how I was
going to handle starting school. However, my first grade teacher in
Hilltop school was Don Johnson and I thought he was the best teacher
ever.. I don’t know if this was his first teaching job, but he and
Bernice were so young and Dickie was only 2 or 3 years old. One day
Bernice came to pick him up from school and I thought she was such a
beautiful lady. Don fixed the swing in the school yard and I was the
first to get to swing on it. I backed up as far as I could and then sat
down to swing forward, just then Dickie ran in front of me and I crashed
into him knocking him down. I felt so bad, he got up Don dusted himself
off and he had a gash on his head…..but his glasses didn’t break. He
was such a little cutie.

The years went by and Don taught my husband Chuck in 8th grade in Rolette.
Then he came back to Dunseith and I remember the chorus and how we
harmonized and had concerts….so fun. I took Music Appreciation from him
and like so many others learned to appreciate so many different composers
and their music. Whenever I hear Classical music, I think of him. He
brought the Grand Canyon suite to school and we listed to the LP’s on the
stage in the new school. I thought it was the most beautiful music I had
ever heard. After that I started really listening and appreciating the
music in movies. He was my teacher in first grade and my senior years and
I have such fond memories of one terrific teacher and a wonderful, caring
person. We were so honored when he sang at our wedding! He was a

Margaret Leonard




Memories from Bill Hosmer (48): Tucson, AZ


Gary and all the rest. Just read the neat 180 degree turn by the
band described by Dick Johnson. It made me believe that Don Johnson
gave more positive stuff to more people than anyone I know. The last
time I saw him was when he was leading the band down Dunseith’s main
street at one of my visits home during Dunseith Days. His grin and
wink, when he recognized me, stays with me these many years later.




Don Lamoureux’s (75) Memories of Mr. Johnson: Bethel, MN

I also have great memories of being in Mr. Jonson’s band. I started out playing clarinet, which didn’t seem too cool for me, I hadn’t heard of Benny Goodman. I later switched to the string bass, when that spot opened up, and was even happier when the school bought an electric bass guitar, so now I could play and be heard.

He also helped me out of a pickle during deer season one year. I was in big rush after school to get to a hunting spot, driving my dad’s 4 wheel drive jeep pickup, and was tearing up the hill past Sime’s to get to a spot before dark. I mean to get to a spot where I could hunt until dark. I rounded a curve to discover that an oncoming school bus and I were going to be occupying the same space shortly. I swerved to get out of the way, missed the bus, but put the truck into a spin, I did a 360 and then went backwards off the road and down the ditch.

I know I was closer to some other folks, but didn’t feel like confessing my crappy driving to anyone else, so I walked down to Mr. Johnson’s. He fired up a tractor and we went back to pull it out. The ditch was pretty steep, and the only thing that kept it from going farther down the ditch was the tree I managed to wedge the truck up against. I think Mr. Johnson had to go back home to get a chainsaw. It’s not real clear to me, because I was pretty much dreading having to go back home and face the music there, so to speak. Mr. Johnson tied the truck off to the tractor, buzzed the tree down, yanked the truck out, and sent me on my way. Mr. Johnson must have called ahead to smooth out the waters, because it really wasn’t that bad when I got home. Probably Dad could see nothing was going to make me feel worse than I already did. There still was the inevitable lecture of course, but then he told me of a time as a kid he was driving one of the brand new cars from the garage, and wrecked that.

I can also recall spending many fall days looking for grouse and pass-shooting ducks at Mr. Johnson’s.


Don Lamoureux (75)




Memories from Ele Dietrich (69): Duneith, ND


After reading Deb M. memories of the Governor’s Choir in 1969, I felt that I just have to add this tickle of memory: Mr. Johnson (who would ever have called him anything else) probably had the highest impact of any teacher in Dunseith when I was in school. Through him we all learned to appreciate music. We also learned to give from our hearts when we sang and I think that has stayed with all of us to this very day. I personally can not thank him enough for that gift. I will always remember though that he absolutely dispised Buck Owens and the nasal tone of his music. Remember “let the sound come from the mouth not the nose”…those words will be with me always. He introduced me to so many kinds of music, music that I had never heard before and still love to this day. Thank you Mr. Johnson.


Ele (Dietrich) Slyter ’69 rules !!!



Memories from Deb Morinville (70): Miles City, MT.


David Slyter jogged memories from our Governor Choir days. I learned how to play “Whist” because we had down time sometimes. I also remember Governor Guy coming to Dunseith for a banquet. The town really spiffed up and it never looked so good! I also remember many long hours on busses and getting up at to travel to many different places to sing.


Like in the legislative chambers at the Capitol inBismarck


Yeah we had the blue blazers and the girls wore white skirts and the boys black pants. We stopped inHarveyone time to eat and filled the restaurant. On cue from Mr. Johnson we all stood up and sang our “Grace” It was very impressive. We were scattered all over but still managed four part harmony. I never realized important reading music would be. Now I singon a worship team and the ability to read music helps me to learn it quickly. Mr. Johnson had a huge impact on my


life in the way he taught me to appreciate so many different kinds of music. He never really liked country music though! What a legacy he left. It was such a great joy and privilege it was to sing with some of those former members at the Sunday service last summer at the reunion. Gary Fulsbakke directed us and we dedicated the songs to Mr. Johnson.



Keep the memories coming everyone!



Deb Morinville Marmon 70





Memories from Dave Slyter (70): Fargo, ND


How many remember the good ole band and choir days of good ole DHS. Of course who could forget the best music director of all of DHS’s history, Don Johnson. He done so many things for so many students. One of the most memorable was when Dunseith received the Governors Choir award. I think I remember then the choir had over 60 members in it. The high school band always had big numbers in it. He ran a very high standard music department.

Alan Poitra, I remember those funny looking hats also but they were always locked up in the little practice room and we were all hoping that no one would mention to Mr. Johnson that we should wear them while we march. ha I always remember the home coming parades in Dunseith and also the day that we would travel to Minot for the Minot State College home coming parade. It was a long march, (especially when I had to carry that big ole bass drum) but was the best of times. Always went downtown Minot and hung out at all the stores. Always went to the five and dime store.

When we were in the music program in the late 60’s and into 1970(by the way that is the best year ever) we had the really nice blue blazer that we wore for high school concerts. I think we wore them for marching also. I also remember going to Devils Lake for the high school music contest or festivals. Dunseith always came home with high marks.

I think that was the best part of jr. high and high school was being in the famous Don Johnson music program. Well that and passing my grade each year. ha

One more memory I have to mention about the DHS music department. It has to do with years after I graduated but was a memory I will never forget. I was once a custodian at DHS after the good ole years of San Haven employment. My daughter Stacey was in high school band then and was under the direction of one of Don Johnson’s former students and everybody knows her, Cheryl Haagenson. She too did a great job in the music department. During the year that Stacey I think was a Junior in high school they decided they wanted to take in a contest down in Orlando Florida. So the money raising was put into place and the plans and dates of the trip were decided. I was fortunate enough to be a chaperone of this big event and what a memory it was. It will be with me for a very long time. The kids were so well behaved and they should have been so proud as they brought home this big huge trophy that I hope still is in the show case at the school. “Way to go Cheryl” You have done the school proud.

Thanks for the memories








Feb 4, 2008





Memories of Don & Bernice Johnson from Bill Hosmer (48): Tucson, AZ


Gary, and Dunseith Friends. One rather unlikely story, but one that
had some predictive qualities took place during my freshman year at
DHS. Don and Bernice were both Juniors. There was an operetta
directed by Miss Nesting. The characters in the play were Native
Americans. The title of the play was “Star Flower”. That character
was Bernice. Then there was a young brave I think named “Lone Buck”,
played by Don Johnson who was courting Star Flower. Her father was a
grizzled Chief named ‘Lost Eagle” or something like that, played by
yours truly. One line I remember well from Bernice was, “Father, you
bid me come to you”. I was supposed to be a grouch, so I had my arms
crossed across my bare chest which had been slathered with leg make up
to make me look more tribal-like. I had on a full headdress loaned by
the Chippewa tribe, and there were several of them in the audience of
this production. Bernice was so beautiful I wanted to hug her, but
that would have ended my stage career, and I’d probably have left that
leg make up on her Indian Princess dress. By the way for you young
folks, leg make up was a substitute for silk stockings which were not
available. It was a fluid in a bottle. World War II was still ongoing,
and then nylon etc became available later. There was alot of music
and the two of them sang love songs in duet, and they lived happily
everafter. Fortunately, the chief in the play did not have any singing

This was just a brief interval in a long friendship with those two
great Americans, but when there is such a wealth of personal
admiration, and deep sense of loss, every little whisp of memory comes
back to reinforce the importance of having known and indeed loved Don
and Bernice Johnson. Cheers, Bill Hosmer





Message (Don Johnson) from Glen Williams (52): Missoula, MT


Gary…Great that you put that collection of “memories” of Don Johnson together…I was quite a bit younger than Don…so did not know him personally, but did know he was….and was to old to be in his classes…but would appear that he made a difference in a lot of students lives….I did know that he had been killed and was saddened by that event… His life just should not have ended that way…!!!

Glen Williams…

Susan Fassett’s (65) memories of the the Don Johnson family: Spearfish SD



I have thoroughly enjoyed all the nice memories of Dick’s parents. We had many good times at the Johnson farm, as Cynthia (Dick’s Grandma) is a sister to my Aunt Dorothy Fassett. We had picnics at the farm and chased the fireflies at the edge of the lake where the farm sat, Johnson’s were included in many a family picnic and Dick was always a favorite “cousin”. My sisters, along with the “other” Fassett girls spent some nights at the farm and relate stories of the bats that inhabited the old buildings. Isn’t it great to be from a community that shares so many great memories.!!! Hugs and prayers to all—-Susan







Feb 5, 2008



Memories from Lola Metcalfe Vanorny (68): Dunseith, ND


lola vanorny, ew
Oh yes, I remember so many good memories of the Johnsons– I remember
going to a contest somewhere in his big black shiny cadillac – probably
about a 1961– and he drove really fast– (we thought) — that was cool!!_
ha– that was back in Dad’s 50 mph days– ha —!

Bill’s story about the play was really cute!!_- i can just imagine them
doing that– Yes- Bernice was very beautiful!

Sometimes when I see a group of school kids performing somewhere —
how sad it is that the dress code has gotten so lax– when we played for
an occasion somewhere – we looked sharp!!– The blue blazers – black or
white pants or skirts etc. and we’d better stand up straight– !!– He
was a stickler for that!– and I believe that too made an impression on us.
He had high standards.







Tribute to Don & Bernice Johnson from Aggie Casavant (69) Fort Mill, SC


I was so very happy when I saw this website do a tribute to Don & Bernice Johnson,that is now giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts and memories of two beautiful people…two people who left a far greater impact on peoples lives than I believe they ever realized. Don Johnson set the standard for me what every man,in what ever capacity of my life,should measure up to…So far I haven’t found one. The things I remember the most about him is his warm and friendly smile,and chuckle,and when he would meet me in the hall he would always give me that smile and say,”Hi Ag-ga-nus”, he would pronounce my name like that ;and chuckle. I remember his earth science class and he would make it so interesting.I remember for a semester test in earth science,he gave us 50 definitions and we had to give the word that defined it.I know he had to be aware of the fact that I overall in school did not do well in any of my classes,and for me to pass a test was unheard of(all jokes aside) however I always did reasonably well in his class.When I was taking that semester test of completions,not multiple choice, I got every last one of them,except I was stumped on one.He told me to go onto the other questions and come back to it,that the answer would come to me.I finished up the test and came back to that one…and just drew a blank. All the other kids completed the test and had left the room,and Mr. Johnson stood by my desk and said,”Come on Aga-ness tink, tink,you can do it.I remember he pulled a desk into the aisle and put his foot up on the seat leaning in trying to help me as much as he could,but not giving me the answer.I can still see those brown pants and brown wingtip shoes with that design on them propped up on that desk seat,and all I could do was stare at those shoes wanting so badly to remember the definition of…”washing away of the soil”. He said,”Aga-nus,remember in class when I gave the example when the road flooded by our farm and it washed part of the road away,it is called……………..”He wanted so badly for me to get 100%,but I just couldn’t do it.After about 20 minutes I put my head on my desk and said,”I just can’t remember it…what is it??? There was a long pause,and he said,Your sure you can’t remember it? And I said no,”No I’m Done”…He said,”Agganus,the washing away of the soil is called….erosion….it seemed like the whole world stood still for a minute,and I fell face down over my test…Oh nooooo I said…When I looked up at him,he kinda had tears in his eyes,and he hugged my head and sai,”You did good Agganus, you did really good”. Then he went on to say,”in the years ahead,everytime you see a washed out road,or washing away of the soil you will remember the word “erosion” and this moment…and you were right Mr. Johnson…I never have forgot.As for Bernice, my Mom shared with me something so special that Bernice had done for her,everytime I think of it I just say,Wow! Due to the personal sensitivity of the subject on my Mothers part, I don’t feel at liberty to share it over the website.But I can say with certainty Dick, something you’ve known for years….that you were blest with the two most awesome parents that anyone could of been blest with…it saddens me everytime I think of how your time with them, and the worlds time with them was so short…When I’ve tried to describe Don and Bernice to people in my travels over the years. I would say,”they kinda reminded me of the show Green Acres,cuz Don Johnson would have on a suit when I saw him,and Bernice would always have on a coat with a fur collar and drove a big gold Cadillac,but they lived on a farm,and were much more genuine,warm,sincere and common,than Eddie Albert and Za Za Gabore…They were just the nicest people ever…..Thank you still after all these years Don & Bernice Johnson. You are still loved,you are still missed..But never forgotten…Sincerely, Aggie Casavant







Reply from Aggie Casavant (69) Fort Mill, SC


Hi Gary,Thank you so much for giving the people who’s lives were so touched by Don Johnson, to share thoughts and memories. Due to my busy schedule, and having the day off today, this morning was the first time that I really got to sit down with a good cup of coffee, and read all the messages that people wrote of their memories of Don &Bernice…What a joy and a blessing to sit and read all the different stories. I especially enjoyed Bill Hosmer’s, and Paulette LaCroix’s. I found Bill Hosmer’s so interesting, giving insight to Don and Bernice as high school kids like we were. You know how it was when you were young, and you never really gave much thought that your parents or teachers, were once kids too….Like they just dropped out of the sky as grown ups, sent here for the sole purpose to be our parents and teachers…Ain’t life crazy??? I know the word ain’t would not be acceptable to use if Ms Foss was reading it, but I guess I just lived in the south too long. Anyway Paulette, I loved the mixture of sentimental memories and humor ; and especially Mr. Johnson giving recognition, and appreciation, and would always leave you feeling, that you were the most important kid in the world…I would go as far as to say, that any of my success or accomplishments in life are directly as a result of the impact Don Johnson had on my life, and I would go as far as to say many of my brothers and sisters would agree. That’s why I remind teachers every chance I get, what an opportunity they have to change a kids life completely for the better. So Gary, I hope if there’s anymore stories out there of Don & Bernice that people send them in. Thanks Gary





Reply from Diane Fugere (75): Minot, ND


I was inBismarcka couple days at meetings and found it ironic to see all the memories posted about Don and Bernice when I got home.


The reason I found it ironic was that I too had thought about Don and Bernice both on the way toBismarck and back toMinot.


Everyone who was ever in choir will know what stirred my memory. I was listening to the radio, (Bismarck has a great oldies station) and heard the song both on the way down and on the way back: Monday, Monday by the Mamas and the Papas!

Great song and great memories of a wonderful couple.


Diane Fugere





Reply from Erling Landsverk (44): Portage, WI









Pat Hosmer’s Diagnosis Clarification
From Bill Hosmer (48): Tucson, AZ
Gary and Diane, I just wanted to make a few changes regarding my wife, Pat’s diagnosis. It is a very rare condition, 6 people in a million have it. It is Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) which is slightly different from the fibrosis condition which Diane believed to be the situation. The resultant shortness of breath, which advances in both cases, is the difficult part. Scleroderma is the disorder which eventually brings about PAH by hardening the artery which brings oxygen from the lungs to the heart for distribution throughout the body. The condition gradually advances and under hospice care, safety and comfort are the main objectives of the therapy provided. There is no cure. The calsinosis is part of the “CREST SYNDROME” which is the introducory disorder which leads to Scleroderma, and then to PAH. Now, there is no need to include all this in DHS Alumni, I think a short editorial correction is all that is needed. I’ve already tried to
acknowledge our heart felt wonderment and appreciation to Diane, and I’m still dazed by the overwhelming loyalty the Bottineau and Rolette county folks continue to show their fellow citizens and it brings a new respect for our part of that great state of North Dakota. I’ll be forwarding my expressions of thanks when the time comes and I can formulate an adequate version. I consider Diane my cousin although it’s a shirt tail sort of cousinhood I pronounced some time ago. Thank you both for all you do and how you do it. Bill Hosmer
Bill, It’s easier for me to just post your whole message. You have explained everything so well. We are so sorry to hear of Pat’s condition. This has to be so hard for both of you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Gary
Diane Larson Sjol’s (70) reply: Minot, ND
I am glad you are setting the record straight about Pat’s condition.
I got my info second hand so should have verified that. Nonetheless,
it is very sad and disheartening for Pat to suffer so….and you as
well. We love you both dearly. Gary, I expect you will clarify this
tomorrow ….and thank you…We love you guys…


Reply from Ken Striker: Dayton, OH

Forwarding my response to Gary Metcalfe
My heart leaps at the news of the card you have with a poem that Wm Chelcie Striker wrote. I would indeed like to have it. We have our Ohio Striker reunion on the 22nd of August and it would be a great “show and tell” item. It appears you have been seeing my Striker Family postings at the DHS blog. I do know about Dr Gary Striker in NYC. We have corresponded. Thanks for thinking of me. My snail mail address is: Ken Striker, 4769 Arcadia Blvd, Dayton OH 45432
Ken Striker in Dayton OH
Country School Reunion
Reply from Linda Gardner: Vienna, VA

Yes, Gary has grown some in 45 years – as we all have!!! I did want to mention the Twin Oaks Hotel and Convention Center, also, Gary. I hear there was some scuttle-but about the cost for the country school reunion and I know it was much higher than the Dunseith school reunion. The Twin Oaks facility was fabulous – The banquet room has full length windows overlooking the lake; there was a lounge right next to the banquet room that opened onto a patio for the smokers in the group. The hotel handeled everything and did just a fantastic job which made it so much easier for me to relax and enjoy the event as well. Coffee was served throughout the afternoon and evening as well as iced tea, lemonade and cookies in the afternoon. Appetizers included shirmp cocktail, meatballs, chicken drummies, egg rolls, meat & cheese kabobs, corn chips and salsa. Dinner included lemon pepper chicken, roast beef, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, pasta salad, tossed salad, and a bar for dessert. My brother and I both suffer from celiac disease so cannot have any gluten. The caterer was extremely gracious in accommodating our special dietary needs. They were right on time serving everything and cleaning up around the group without disruption.


You’re right that we are not an up and coming group so it would be nice to have another country school gathering in the future. If there is enough interest maybe we can do something a couple of years down the road. There were a lot more particpants from the Rolette County Schools (Willow Lake and Beaver Dam especially) and I’m sure that was due to your blog postings. Maybe we could have a contest between Rolette and Bottineau Counties to see if we could raise more interest there. Would love to hear anyone’s thought on this.

Linda, We need some feed back from the folks with this one, but they normally say intervals of 5 years for reunions is a good time span. Having them more frequent they say you loose folks not attending all reunions.
Here’s my suggestion. I suggest (2015?) we coordinate with other area groups to have several reunions near the same time frame. We could coordinate to have a Dunseith Alumni reunion, Country School reunion, and any of the other surrounding community reunions all within a few days of one another. That way out of town folks could attend multiple reunions with one visit. This summer I would have dearly loved to have attended the “Country School Reunion” as well as stuck my head in the door of the Bottineau HS class of 65 reunion that was held last month. These reunions were just spread out too far to attend with the same visit. In this coordination effort, I’d suggest that classes planning reunions from different high schools for the same year schedule their reunions for different days. Many folks belong to several schools. We’d need to start planning this effort 2 or 3 years in advance. Others could plan other events around these reunions too. We can make it work! Gary


Benefit for Bill (48) & Pat Hosmer:
From Diane Larson Sjol (70): Minot, ND

I am writing to inform all of you of a benefit on August 15th for Bill
and Pat Hosmer. There will be an all day golf outing for $25 at the
Birchwood Golf Course at Lake Metigoshe, ND….this includes 9 holes
of golf with prizes and lunch available. In the evening theire will be
a steak fry for anyone (golfers and non golfers) for $10. I will have
my husband scan the flyer and include it in another email since I
don’t have a scanner.

The reason for the benefit is to help with mounting medical costs for
Pat’s home care. Pat is suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, an
autoimmune disorder that destroys the alveoli in her lungs, making it
difficult to breathe. She has also developed scleraderma which has
spread to her lungs, causing tightening so they donot flex properly
when she does breathe. A third condition she has, that is very
painful is calcinoma, a rare disease where the body produces too much
calcium, causing eruptions in the skin to discharge pieces of calcium.
Pat is terminal and under 24 hour care at home, including hospice.
The cost of her care continues to mount and is over and above any
benefits Bill and Pat have, so we are hoping to help them out with a
benefit and generosity of their friends.

If any of you can participate in the golf tournament or even just the
dinner, please call the Birchwood Golf Course for a tee time at
701-263-4186. For more information about the event, go to
birchwoodgolf.com. You can also call Nancy Hosmer Baldwin Kontzie
(yes, she got married to Keith Kontzie on July 17!) for more

A bank account has been set up at First National at Bottineau under
the name of Bill Hosmer. If you want to send a check there, here is
the address: 424 Main Street, Bottineau, ND 58318. The phone number
is: 701-228-2236. Thank you in advance for supporting our dear
friends, Bill and Pat.

Jim Metcalfe – Poem
From Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO

Old history….Looking through my dads old wallet rently, I found this card that he must have carried all his adult life from about 1940 so thought I would share this information on it. If we had a scanner it would be easier, but….just ole hillbilly you know!



HAIRCUTS 35cents :: CHILDREN 25 cents
306 WEST 85th ST. 9813 23RD AVE. N.W.


(This poem is on the back of the card…..if he was as good a barber and real estate man as he was a poet, he was very successful in deed)
If you want a beautiful country to see,
come good stranger along with me.
From your prairie land way back in the east;
come along and let your fancies feast;
to this dream like place you’ve been wanting to be,
that lies in the sunshine along the sea.
Beauties and pleasure here abound,
in this place I am praising by the Sound.
Come out from the parched land over the hill;
and let your long starved soul just fill,
with these wonders rare that I have found
in the evergreen lands of Puget Sound.
A white sail swells and shines in the bay,
in the harbor quaint ships lay,
a fair haired fisherman plans his course
as he heads his ship toward the icy north.
A mountain wrapped in ancient snow
glazed from storms of long ago.
Smiles in the distance, serene and clear,
that fantom-like beacon called Mount Rainier.
Isles, streams and valleys please the eye,
every where evergreens blend with the sky,
luxuriant gardens and orchards grow,
beauties surround you wherever you go.
(all rights reserved)
Here was another colorful friend of my dad about 1940 in Seattle. Bill Striker and Elmer Striker were established in Seattle when my folks arrived in 1939. I am sure that Ken Striker and his family would like to have this card and I am willing to send it off to them. Stokes as well as a great number of N.D. people settled in Seattle and this poem, and I know my mother would agree, that this is right on dead center, as I do.
Elmer Striker’s son, Gary, became a dr. in Seattle.
Gary Metcalfe
Gary, how beautiful. Yes, this is right on dead center. Gary S.
India folks
Reply from Larry Liere (54): Devils Lake, ND



We have friends from India and I agree they are most polite and friendly people. Two of our doctors in Devils Lake are from India. One of my friends (from India) that worked for the city of Devils Lake could not stay in the USA after 911 so he moved up to Canada. He was a city planner for Devils Lake and did a lot of things over and above what his job title said, like being the first city person out after a big wind storm to help the people that had storm damage and working after hours to get the job done. The city tried to keep him after 911 and even worked with North Dakota people in Washington but nothing seemed to help him and his family. He had to leave because his type of visa was one that was in question as a could beterrorist. I also read that people from India have the highest IQ of all world countries.


Lamb & Wicks Picture/Story
From Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND
Several years ago my sister-in-law was working at Dunseith’s Security State Bank. A gal came in and gave Deb a photograph. She said her grandmother had instructed her to give the photo to Lottie Metcalfe’s family. Deb gave me the photo which I shared with mom who identified the people. The photo was from Mrs.Stretzel of Carpenter Lake……..Stretzels were long ago friends of the Sam Wicks family.
The attached photo is of my grandmother SYLVIA ARIZONIA WICKS (Lamb), her parents Sam and Elizabeth,her Uncle Homer Welch,and younger brother Orville Wicks.
Grandma Sylvia was born in Iowa & traveled by covered wagon to Dakota territory with her parents Sam and Elizabeth (Welch) Wicks. The Wicks’ first settled and homesteaded at Perth N.D. They then ran a cafe/hotel in McCumber , still later a cafe, “Mountain View”at Dunseith, North Dakota.
Mrs.Elizabeth(Welch) Wicks was of Irish and Penn- Dutch origins and Sam Wicks was of Somersetshire English decent. Elizabeth Wicks was a local area midwife.
Sylvia Arizona Wicks filed on Holmes Township land west of Carpenter lake which she proved up. She later gave her homestead land to her parents upon her marriage to Robert Eli Lamb. Robert Lamb also of English decent had immigrated from Ontario, homesteaded at Fortuna ND, and purchased a farm east of highway #3 in Holmes Township.
Among the neighbors in that East Carpenter community were the Brennan’s, the Hurst’s, the Hackmans, the Dietrichs, the Nerpels, the Schroders, the Beachler’s and the Abrahamsons.
During the latter part of WWII Sam Wicks, Bob and Sylvia Lamb left the Carpenter Lake community to work in the shipyards of Washington state. The maintenance and care of the cattle and farms were left in the in the capable hands of Elizabeth Wicks, Carl Wicks, & Floyd and Charlotte Lamb.
Before she passed away in December 2207, Lottie relayed to her daughter that while she took care of the Lamb home, and the chickens. Floyd was responsible for the live stock. They both shared responsibility for their two younger siblings. If they needed guidance they were to go to their Grandmother Wicks and uncle Carl. “Lottie” said often on weekends Floyd would harness the team, she would roast potatoes to stuff in their pockets, off they’d go to the aforementioned neighbors, eat and socialize when they got there.
No telephone. Just letters to communicate to their parents in Washington. And an adventure in growing up.
A year later, when Grandpa Wicks and her mom and Pop returned from Washington they were able to “undo” the financial burdens and concerns left from the “depression years” of the thirties with the monies earned at the shipyards.
Sylvia (Wicks) Lamb was noted for her passion of flowers in her gardens on West Highway #43 and flavorful homemade ice cream.
Sylvia’s homestead remained in her family and is currently owned by Martha (Lamb) Sheopp. And Sylvia’s passion of flower gardening was inherited by at least few granddaughters ….Martha, Nancy and Cynthia.
A special thank you to those like Mrs. Stretzel who continue to share their photos so we can preserve our histories and friendships.
(note the shoes and grandma’s sideburn curls)
Country School Reunion – July 10th – Lake Metigoshe
Message/Pictures from Linda Gardner: Vienna, VA
Hi Gary – Sorry this took so long. I’ve been having Internat access problems but I think they are finally cleared up. Here’s a list of those signed up for the reunion:

Laurel & Shari Wenstad, Neva M. E. Ramey & Kenneth Hill, Lynette Wenstad, Melvin (Pete) Wenstad, Diane Weibe, Marie Parrill, Mildred Parrill, Thomas (Tom) Hagan, Allen Pladson, Janice & Norman McCullough, Lloyd & Orlene Larshus, Lloyd Pederson, Myron & Yvonne Amundson, Everett J. Solper, Mary Ann Brennan, Mike & Marion Nerpel, Evelyn Hanson, Curtis L. Hahn, JoAnn Wittmayer, Donna Molander, Helen Taylor, Marlie Baker, Betty Tratebas, Karen & Gary Wenstad, F. Lars Sivertson, Helen & James Dunlop, Jerry Christianson, Borghild & Frank Filas, Erling & Owen Landsverk, Arliss Lider, Orvin Hagan, Doreen Moran, Linda Gardner, Lloyd Gardner, Minnie Flynn, Larry & Gail Schuler, Wallace Pladson, Arlan & Darlene Wenstad, Karen Prouty, Janet LeNoue, Barbara & Larry Lawrence, Sharon Beckman, Bruce Landsverk, David Landsverk, Connie Turner, Debbie Slyter, Jack Dahl, Lynda Jordan, Lester Halverson, Luella & Floyd Dion, Earl Roland, Rena Roland, Edna Millang, Robert & Kim Bott, and Ronald & Betty Heinz. We had some drop ins who did not sign up so I don’t have those documented.



I took some random pics of people that I’m also including – There are some in those pictures also that I cannot identify so if anyone can help me out that would be great!


Borghild FIlas, Luella Dion, Lester Halvorson, Marie Parrill




Borghild Filas & Orvin Hagan – They attended first grade together.





Laurel Wenstad, ?, Lloyd Gardner, Erling Landsverk’s Son





Marion Nerple, Connie Turner, Gary Wenstad




The Bottineau Paper and the Metigoshe Mirror both did very nice articles about the reunion. I do not have a copy of the Metigoshe Mirror article yet but I can scan the one from the Bottineau paper if anyone is interested.


As a follow on to the reunion, I think it would be fun to document some of the stories people remember from their Country School Days. I have a story Erling Landsverk wrote about his first grade teacher. My one regret from the reunion is that I did not record the stories folks got up and shared with the group – And there were some really good ones – Plus Orvin entertained us not only with stores but yodeling as well!!!! Anyway, getting back to my original thought – I think it would be a real compliment to Rena Roland’s book about the one room schools in Bottineau County to augment that with a compilation of stores from those of us who attended country schools in the Turtle Mountains. I will be happy to collect and assemble such a document if people would like to submit their stories. Let me know if anyone is interested.


Again, Gary, thanks for all that you do. I’m sure the success of the Country School Reunion was a result of your support!

Linda, Thank you so much for these pictures and list of those that attended the reunion. I know about 80% of those that attended. I am so glad that this was a great success with so many folks. I would have dearly loved to have attended. Those my age, 63, were the last to graduate from the country schools. After we graduated, the country schools were closed and everyone was bussed to the town schools. We country school Alumni folks are getting up there in years. We need to have another one of these reunions before too many more years pass. 20 to 30 years from now we’ll be a lot thinner. Gary


PS – You know it’s been about 45 years since I’ve seen Gary Wenstad. I knew him well in my growing up days too. He looks great, but I would have never recognized him.



Friends of ours asked us and other friends of theirs to their house last night for a pot luck dinner. While eating our dinner outside under the stars and the moon, I couldn’t help but notice the diversity of the folks in attendance of which I made comment of. At my table we were all from different countries with no two of us being from the same country. We were from Spain, India, Denmark, Holland, Ireland, England, Bulgaria, Dubai and the USA. The other tables included not only folks from these countries, but also from Australia and of coarse the Philippines. Guess what, we all spoke English. It was such a friendly bunch of folks too. We didn’t get home until nearly midnight. It’s so much fun meshing all these cultures into one. Lately we have met a lot of new friends from India. They are such friendly and very polite people. I’ve seen several studies that have said the folks from India have the highest average intelligence of all the world countries.


Horseback trip to South America

Reply from Trish Larson Wild (73): FORT COLLINS, CO


Hi Gary, Just a heads up to let you know I just update my blog:



Having a great time – not without challenges, but getting stronger and smarter every day!


Peace to all! And thanks to the folks who have been commenting and staying in touch! I love hearing from the ND contingent!






Allen Stokes Story

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND


Gary and Friends,

There is a story that came to mind when I saw the picture of Allen
Stokes. He was one tall and lanky kid in about the 10th grade and could
do amazing straight on jumps over the bar (high jump) in school track.
We had a track meet in Dunseith and Marc Gottbreht and I were manning
the high jump bar. We would reset it at the height the score keeper
ordered. Allen (Big Ally) Stokes would jump the bar straight on as you
might jump over a log on the ground. Normally jumpers would charge the
bar from the side and roll over it. Allen was at the bar height that
would have qualified him to go to state–I believe it was 5’8″–when he
jumped and cleared the bar with the exception of his arm which caught
the bar and pulled it down with him. He landed in the sawdust on top of
the bar and with his arm under it. There was a loud pop and he just
said, “Oh nuts, I broke my arm.” We helped him up and he held up his
arm. It was horizontal from the elbow half way down to the wrist and
then it turned straight down toward the ground. He said, “Hey, Mr.
Hepper, look I broke my arm.” He gave it a few shakes and Hepper yelled,
“Don’t shake it like that—get in the car!” They headed up to the
clinic for a cast. It was at this same track meet that Steve DeCoteau
from Belcourt threw a javelin (spear) many feet further than anyone
else. They were throwing toward the north on the west end of the high
school and he threw one clear across the road into Boguslawski’s yard!
When he let fly, it looked like it was never coming down. This reminds
me of a short joke. Ole told his mother he couldn’t learn the alphabet
as fast as the other kids in his class. She told him it was just because
he was Norwegian and it takes longer to catch on. A few days later he
said he didn’t like school again because he couldn’t learn his numbers
and the other kids could already count to 100. Again she said it was
just because he was Norwegian and it takes a little longer. He then came
home one day all smiles and told her they had what they call ‘Phy. Ed.’
and he could run faster and lift more than any kid in his class. He
asked her if that too was because he was Norwegian? She said, “No Ole,
it’s because you’re 18 years old.” Thanks Gary!




All Country School reunion Picture ID’s

From Linda Gardner: Vienna, VA


Note: I will post Linda’s message with more pictures of the “Country School Reunion” tomorrow. I am kind of rushed today. Thanks, Linda. Gary


Here’s the best I could do in identifying the picture from the Bottineau paper: Linda

In the back row: Wallace Pladson, Bruce Landsverk, Larry & Gail Schuler, Lester Halvorson, Allan Pladson, Arlan Wenstad, Gary Wenstad, Karen Prouty (Wenstad), Darlene Wenstad, Jerry Christianson – The rest in that row I wouldn’t dare guess



Next row:David Landsverk, Linda Gardner, Barbara Lawrence (Landsverk), Linda Jordon (Parrill), Connie Turner (Wenstad), Janet LeNoue (Parrill), Arliss Lider (Halverson), Luella Dion (Halverson), Floyd Dion, Erling Landsverk, Borghild Filas (Landsverk), Marie Parrill (Nelson), Lynette Wenstad, Laurel Wenstad (behind Lynette) Sheri Wenstad, Melvin (Pete) Wenstad, ?, Orvin Hagan, Tom Hagan, ?



Front Row:Susie Millang (Knox), Debbie Slyder (Wenstad), Minnie Flynn (Knox), Rena Roland, Victoria Krogen Gillies, Dianne Wenstad, ? –The rest in that row I don’t recognize.



European Trip rundown
From Gary Fulsebakke (71): Devils Lake, ND
Dear Gary and Friends,

Greetings from the good ol United States! I finally returned home
Thurs. Aug 5th. Traveling is fun, but it’s always great to be back
home. People, both abroad, and here in the US, often ask me what my
favorite place was to visit. Its difficult because they were all
wonderful in their own way. For sheer beauty of the landscape, it
would have to be Norway. As far as cities go, I would lean toward
London, because of the diversity of things to do, its people, who
were very congenial, and the fact that they speak English. Berlin
and Paris are not far behind, however. In fact, Berlin was a
pleasant surprise. This captital of the Third Reich and Hitler’s evil
empire, is a city full of history. The first surprise was my hotel.
One never knows what you are going to get when you book a place
online, and especially when you are looking for a place that is
inexpensive. But the Hotel Bogota exceeded all my expectations. It
was located in the most elite and expensive part of Berlin with a
Gucci’s around the corner and a Cartiers and large Rolex store across
the street. The hotel had once housed some of Berlins most famous
residents and served for a time as Hitler’s office of cultural
affairs. My second surprise came when I saw a free walking tour of
the famous sites of Berlin advertized. The leader of the tour was an
American named George. We started at the Brandenberg Gate, past
Hitlers bunker, to Check-Point Charlie and the Berlin Wall. One
thing I like about Berlin and its people, is that they have owned up
to their own tragic history. The city has left some of its bombed
out cathedrals and other buildings stand as a testament to the
tragedy of war.
In fact almost all the buildings from that era have bullit holes and
mortar shell or bomb damage. 90 per cent of central Berlin was destroyed
during WWII. One notable exception was the Ministry of Air Defense, a
massive and modern looking building that didn’t have a scratch on it. The
reason was that by the end of the war, Germanys Air Force had been mostly
destroyed and so the allies left the building alone and used it as a
landmark to guide them to other sites. One of the most controversial
sites was a memorial to the Jewish holocaust. But the Germans used a more
vivid term. It was called The Memorial to the Murdered Jews. It consists
of about ten acres of concrete blocks of various sizes that looked
somewhat like a cemetary. Another place I found fascinating was Hitler’s
Bunker. This is where Hitler conducted military operations in the last
days of the war and where it is claimed he committed suicide by taking a
cyanide pill and then shooting himself. It is said that the Russians
found Hitler’s body, but no one knows for sure. Today it is a gravel
parking lot and would be unrecognizable if not for a small sign marking
the spot. It is said that Berliners show their contempt for the man by
bringing their dogs to the site and letting them do their business.
Check-Point Charlie is well-known to any GI who served in Germany after
1962. That is the year the Berlin Wall went up and divided the city into
east and west. Today there is only about a hundred yards of the wall left,
and ironically, the remaining wall is protected by two fences. There are
many heroic stories of East Germans trying to cross over to freedom. Some
would build armored cars and blast their way through. Others would tunnel
underground, and still others would be smuggled in secret compartments in
or under cars. But one of the most amusing stories that our guide George
told us about was two East Germans who decided to graze their way to
freedom. Thats right. They donned a cow costume, one in the front and
one in the back, and they began to slowly graze their way to greener
pastures. A guard noticed the errant cow and called his superior officer.
“There’s a cow thats crossing over into the west.” His boss replied,
“It’s a cow. They always return home eventually!” And so the two Germans
grazed and mooed their way to freedom. May we never take our freedom for
granted! Happy trails to you! Gary Fulsebakke (71)

Reply from Marie Iverson Staub (69): Seattle, WA.



Just wanted to let Sharon Longie Dana know that when we were in Dunseith in May they did have t-shirts in the drug store. However, they didn’t have a lot.

Marie Iverson Staub (60)

Peace Garden Pharmacy is located at 18th Main St SW Dunseith, ND. Phone: 701-244-5711
This is my Brother Allen. He has lived in San Diego for a number of years now. Gary
1962 – Age 14 – 8th grade
Allen Stokes





This is my Grandmother, Julia Stokes. This picture was taken in 1958 in



her home in

Alvarado, MN. Gary


Julia Stokes


Butte St. Paul
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND


Dunseith Dragon T-shirt Purchase Question
From Sharon Longie Dana (73): MIssoula MT

Question for the Dunseith community, the last time i was back home which has been a few i bought a Dunseith Dragon t-shirt at the drugstore in town. Can anyone tell me if they still sell them there or if the high school does ?? I am hoping to go home to Dunseith in September and may only be there a few hours(possibly overnight) and was just wondering about the shirts. Any info would be appreciated.


Sharon Longie-Dana(73)
Thank you Kenny Nerpel
From Bill Hosmer (48): Tucson, AZ
Gary, I just wanted to thank Kenny Nerpel for his service in that ugly war, and recognize his contribution to our North Dakota heritage. Thank you, Kenny, for that service in that terrible place. I’m proud to share a part of our home area with the likes of you. Bill Hosmer
Kenrose Medlang
Message from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND


I was up town for Crazy Days in Bottineau this afternoon. I met my high school friend Karen(Hagen) Simon for brats smothered with fried onions and sauerkraut sold by the VFW /American Legion. The two of us then went up to see my first Sunday School teacher Kenrose Medlang who is now a resident at the Bottineau Good Samaritan Home. Yup, Me, Joanne, and Marlys met with Kenrose behind the altar at Little Prairie Church. Kenrose always looked so trim and smart in her dresses. Karen recalled the 4-H days at Ackworth School.

I guess, one never forgets the “good in people” folks who shared the “important stuff” in our childhood. I’m sure Kenrose’s day’s would be made brighter if anyone is inclined to send her a card or if you are in Bottineau to visit her at the Bottineau Good Samaritan Home. Although her sight, hearing and mobility are a challenge, her mind is quite alert. Coffee time is 3:00 each afternoon. Thanks Gary. Vickie M.

Vickie, Kenrose brings back many good memories for me too, with 4-H an all. I believe this would be Joanne Millang and Marlys Medlang you are referring too with whom you met behind the alter at Little Prairie Church. Gary
Christmas Card to Julia Stokes from the Willie E Hiatt Family in about 1956
Folks, this is another picture/card we recently found in our Grandmother’s belongings. The Woodward’s Maxine refers to are my grandparents and Corbin Pritchard. My mother’s sister, Luella, died at San Haven in 1944. She and Corbin Pritchard were married in 1943. Luella met Corbin when she was teaching school at Ackworth. Corbin later met and married Doris Smith (46). Corbin and Doris were the owner operators of the Pritchard shoe store in Bottineau for many years. Gary
Back: Willie, Maxine, Barbara & Harvey
Front: Doug and L.D.



“Dunseith Community Service Award at Large”
Message from Donna DuBois Thomas (72): Dunseith, ND

Hi Gary,


You are nominated and have won the “Dunseith Community Service Award at Large.” Will you be able to come from the Philippines or can your brother Darrel pick it up for you. The plaques will be give out during then Dunseith Days Parade on Saturday August,14., Call me for further details. CONGRATULATIONS!


Donna DuBois-Thomas – Class of ’72. (701-477-5998 or 263-4439)


This is such an honor. I want to thank the Dunseith Community for being selected to receive this prestigious award. I know there are others other equally deserving as me. Thank you.

Unfortunately I will not be able to be there on August 14th. Yes, I’d love to have my brother Bud or Dick Johnson pick this up on my behalf. I have not yet discussed this with either of them. This is a very busy time for both of these guys. If they are unable to be there, we will figure something else out.

Again, Thank you


Camp Metigoshe
Reply from Arlene (Jerry) LaCroix (73): Bottineau, ND

Just to further Art Rudes information about Camp Metigoshe being a
Lutheran Bible Camp. It is, but for two weeks each summer it is
borrowed by Trinity Youth Camp ( A catholic bible camp based out of
Rolla). Today many catholic kids attend Camp Metigoshe and Trinity
Youth. And yes, there is a Catholic Mass held each Saturday night at
the Metigoshe Chapel from Memorial Day until Labor Day.

Enjoy your blog and look forward each day to new suprises and a chance
to learn more about the Turtle Mountain Area.

Arlene LaCroix ( Mrs. Jerry LaCroix)

Reply from Dwight Lang (61): Tucson, AZ
Hi Gary,
I still remember my dog tag, NG27775040, after some fifty years. But can’t remember what I had for supper last night. You reversed my trail. Did boot camp in Ft. Leonard Wood and then served out the rest of time at Ft. Lewis during the worlds fair. The space needle was the big attraction then. I also remember another attraction, one million silver dollars in a clear plastic oversized barrel. Other than that don’t ask me about the other exhibits. Also I still have a clear memory of the gal who picked and sang Pasty Cline songs in one of the honky tonks downtown.
Take care buddy,
Dwight Lang
Reply to Keith Pladson (66)
From Colette Hosmer (64): Santa Fe, NM
Fascinating story, Keith. And you have an interesting point. I look forward to more “knee-jerk” life stories.

Colette Hosmer
Army & Vietnam
Reply from Kenny Nerpel (65): Rugby, ND

I guess I could have made some wiser decisions also, but I felt the same way as Keith. I simply could not see spending that extra year in the service. I think the key is to make the decision, follow through on it and then never look back and question it. As Gary said, I went through basic training with him and a bunch of other fellows from North Dakota at Fort Lewis, WA. Some of it was actually kind of enjoyable. I enjoyed the marching and the Jody calls that went with it. “Ain’t no use in going home, Jody’s got your girl and gone. Sound off, 1,2 Sound off 3,4 bring it on down 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4”. And on and on. And the “I don’t know but I been told” series. Some of those drill sergeants were incredibly talented. I recall asking one of them on one occasion how he expected us to stay in step when we all had legs of different lengths. He replied, “Oh college boy huh, that sounds like a personal problem to me” and dropped me for pushups. “Drill sergeant, now I understand Drill Sergeant”. Excellent teaching tools, those pushups. Some of it was really hilarious, especially when hillbillies like Gary and me got our turns at calling the Cadence. I’m glad no one got that on film.


Then it was on to Fort Polk, LA for advanced training in light weapons infantry, the dreaded 11B Mos.


When arriving in Vietnam I was told that the company that I was being assigned to was at that time experiencing 50% casualties. In other words you had one chance in two of being wounded or killed. I never actually saw the figures but said to myself at least there is a chance.


It is also interesting how seemingly unrelated things can affect the course of your life. I have throughout my life reacted severely to insect bites and stings. Our company was out on patrol one day and like so often happened it was decided that rather than go back to the base, we would just dig in and spend the night in the jungle. I got stung by an insect on the side of my face and it immediately started swelling. This alarmed the platoon leader and he decided I should be sent back to the base. A chopper was getting ready to leave for the nearest base and he told me to get my donkey on the chopper and get out of there. Well the chopper was located some distance from the perimeter so I headed in that direction. When I got about halfway there the VC decided they didn’t like the helicopter sitting there and began to mortar it. The chopper takes off leaving me in the middle of nowhere with no idea what to do. Well I decide to beat a hasty retreat back to the perimeter and to make a long story short we were able to lay down enough fire so that the enemy retreated and I was finally able to board the chopper and get out of there. The VC did try to overrun the company position that night and there were a number of casualties. If I would not have reacted to that sting, who knows.







Reply from Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA


You are so right with your comment of how we play the cards we are dealt. Some who start with all the best achieve greatly, while others do not! And some who start with nothing achieve greatly while others do not! It’s all in how we play the cards we’re dealt!

And yes, to confirm, when Alice and I first met we each had only High School Diploma’s. But about five years after we got married we both decided to go back to school and I earned first an Associate’s in Business Administration and later a Bachelor’s in Business Management and Alice earned an Associate’s in Business Administration, then a Bachelor’s in Applied Psychology and later still a Master’s in Contract Management.

But, enough said, or it will sound like bragging.
Keith Pladson (66)



Andy Fassett (38): North Liberty, IN
Pictures Provided by Bill Grimme (65): Birmingham, AL
I had a great visit with Uncle Andy Fassett, Aunt Betty Jane, and three of my cousins and their families last weekend. I thought I would send along a few pictures for the folks who know them.
Uncle Andy and Aunt Betty Jane live in a great area; very reminiscent of some parts of North Dakota. They live on three acres and are surrounded by fields, wetland, and wooded areas. Lots of wildlife makes visits to their yard, including white tail deer (big ones – I saw one on the way out) and wild turkeys). Their children live around them in the general vicinity; the furthest is probably an hour away. We had a great time talking about the last few North Dakota reunions and the interesting stories on your blog.

Keith Fassett, Andy Fassett, Bill Grimme, Wayne Fassett, Greg Fassett
Aunt Betty Jane Fassett, Bill Grimme, Uncle Andy Fassett
Bible Camp
Reply from Art Rude (71): artrude@hotmail Bismarck, ND
Hi Gary,

Although Larry Hackman writes a great story, his response today has an error in it that may give some people fits. The camp that is located on the Aasness place is not a Catholic Camp, it is the current location of the Metigoshe Lutheran Bible Camp which today is called Camp Metigoshe. Although there are few tensions today between Catholics and Protestants like there used to be, in fact that may be the source of the confusion, as they do many cooperative programs with area Catholic Churches, but the camp there is definitely Lutheran.

I am very familiar with that transition, as I graduated in 1971, that’s the year the Bible Camp bought the Aasness property, and that was my first summer on camp staff. I was the first staff member from the camp assigned out there, and stayed there by myself for a few weeks, I think Pastor Mark Ronning, the director of the camp, put me out there because I was from the local area, (Jimbo Pladson, son of Duane and Jean Pladson also came and stayed with me out there) and he thought I would probably know anyone who stopped by, thinking that I was from the immediate area. One of Mark’s chief concerns that first summer was shutting off the beer drinking that had been going on there, so the Bible camp could start sending overnight campers there.

Larry mentioned the barn at the Aasness place, which reminds me of an episode I often chuckle about. Mark had sent some staff members out to “clean barn”, and as the kids were city kids, they showed up with brooms. To a kid who grew up on a farm, that was amazingly funny. I sent them back, and they showed up later that afternoon with manure forks, and we began to clean the barn, a process that was beyond the imagination of these city kids. They couldn’t believe that rural people actually did this on a regular basis. They were mostly grossed out . . . grossly.

Mark Ronning was a leader in ecumenical cooperation in the area, getting four rural Lutheran congregations that had trouble even talking to each other to combine and form Metigoshe Ministries at Lake Metigoshe. The construction of the Lakeside Chapel with REA electric poles (from North Central Electric) and cooperation between the Lutherans of Metigoshe and the Catholics from Bottineau, was basically unprecedented in the area. Mark used to talk about the wonderful experience of working with the Catholic priest from Bottineau (I don’t recall the name) setting up the REA pole rafters for the Lakeside Chapel.
During the years I worked at the camp, Pastor Mark became quite concerned about the water quality in the south lake (that’s another story) and decided to move the entire bible camp to the Pelican Lake site, which of course was the former Aasness farm. So, ironically, Camp Metigoshe is now located at Pelican Lake, and has been for 30 years, Mark Ronning passed away 27 years ago.

Anyway, Larry, keep those stories coming, but I just thought I would clarify a little for anyone who might be confused or upset about any religious denomination label confusion.
Peace and Power,


Thanks for checking out Art Rude Productions,
webpage address: www.artrude.com
and Art Rude TV at: artrudetv on Utube
Art, you are so right about the Catholic’s and the Lutheran’s sharing the same facility. I wasn’t aware that they shared the bible camp until receiving Larry’s message, but I remember well, my dad talking about parking cars for the folks attending Catholic mass that was held following the Sunday Lutheran services at the Metigoshe Lutheran chapel. Pastor Ronning did wonders with his abilities bringing the Lutheran’s and the Catholic’s together respecting each others beliefs. I know that there are many of you out there, Catholic and Lutheran, that attend or have attended services at the Metigoshe Lutheran Chapel in the summer months. I’m not sure if the Catholic’s are still holding Sunday mass there or not? Gary
Military Service
Reply From Don Aird (Carroll Carlson’s nephew): St Louis, MO
I went through Fort Lewis August 1969. Half my training platoon came from North Dakota. I was one of 4 teachers in that group.
Don, All but several us in my training platoon were recent graduates from NDSU & UND. Kenny Nerpel (65) and Larry Lawrence from the local Dunseith/Bottineau area were in my Basic Training Platoon. Larry is married to Barbara Landsverk (67). They live on a farm several miles NE of Bottineau. How well I remember our senior drill instructor giving us speeches telling us we were the dumbest bunch of B’s he had ever trained. I’m sure he told that to each of his training units. Gary
Military Service & Careers
Reply from Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA
Nice picture of yourself. You entered the service about 10 months before I did, as I entered on April 3rd, 1969.

What I found interesting about your story is how a single (and as you called it, “knee jerk”) decision you made when you were young had such a profound life changing effect on you. It’s not only that you ended up later joining (and retiring from) the Army Reserves, but if you hadn’t extended your enlistment, you may have ended up in the Infantry {they were really in need of new blood for the grinder (Infantry)} at that time and who knows how that may have went. But it was more than just that, as everything about your future life changed from that day forward; settling in and working your whole career in the Northwest, meeting your wife, working for the Government, retiring in the Philippines, kids, grand kids and even what you do now with your blog — all came about because of that one “knee jerk” decision.

I made a similar decision when I entered the Army that had a similar profound impact on my future life.

As it was, I had went for my physical over a year earlier (in 1968 and was classified One-A) and I knew it was only a matter of time before I was drafted so decided to pick my own time for entering the service. (Back then they called what I did volunteering for the draft.) In any case at the recruiting office, they tried to encourage me to enlist for 3 years as I would then supposedly have more say over where I went and what I would do, but I was hung up on the 2 versus 3 years and decided (my “knee jerk” decision) on doing just 2 years. So, out of Basic Training I got assigned to the Infantry (wow, what a surprise, huh!). And I must say at that point I was certainly thinking I had made a bad choice.

But as my life went forward, it turned out that that decision would indeed have a profound effect on the rest of my life. Out of my Advanced Infantry Training (at Ft. Lewis, WA) I qualified for a relatively new program that the Army had started a couple of years earlier called Non-Commissioned Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning, GA. Following the three months of intensive class room and field training at Ft. Benning, GA we were then assigned to various Basic Training bases to complete two more months of on-the-job- training in leading troops. In this phase we were to served as platoon and squad leaders in actual Basic Training classes in order to get the badly needed experience in actually leading troops before our eventual deployment to Viet Nam. In my case, I was assigned to Ft. Lewis, WA and reported there around the first of December, 1969. But while in this training capacity at Ft. Lewis, the Army decided to close down all training operations at the base for two weeks for Christmas and New Years. So with nothing to do for two weeks, I decided to take some leave and go back to ND. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), while on leave in ND, I was in a pretty serious car accident, and spent the next five months in the hospital (first in the Veterans Hospital in Minot, ND and then at Madigan General Hospital at Ft. Lewis, WA).

To make a long story short, I ended up with a permanent medical profile (restriction) that basically said I couldn’t run, crawl, stoop, walk for long distances, etc.. And, when I finally got out of the hospital, they changed my MOS from Infantry to Transportation and sent me to the Washington DC area where I finished out my “two year” enlistment working in an Army transportation office. So, though there was absolutely no way of knowing what impact it would ultimately have on my future, my “knee jerk” decision to go for two years only (in a very convoluted and round about way) kept me out of Viet Nam, got me into and back out of the Infantry and got my civilian Government career started. It also introduced me to the fields of transportation and logistics – where I spent all of my career. Finally, I met my wife out here and we have now both retired and since all of our kids and grand kids live in this area, it is very likely we will stay on the East Coast of the U.S. the rest of our lives. (Though I do try to visit ND often.)

I’ll bet there are others out there who have similar stories about the impact single decisions they made (and often they may have seemed like “simple” decisions at the time) had on their lives.

Is anyone willing to share one?

Thanks Gary.
Keith Pladson (66)

Keith, You and your wife have done so well in life. I believe along the way you got your Bachelors Degree in Business too, that contributed to your career successes. It’s all about how we’ve played the cards that have been dealt to us. Gary


Pizza Inn Story
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

The story from Larry was great. He has a soft way of telling about
his devious past! The guy making and spinning the pizza crust was Ron
Beckman. He opened the first pizza place in Bottineau and it was a hit
with the college kids. I wasn’t too sure about eating some ‘foreign’
thing like that at first, but have become one of the best customers in
the country. A quick story about Ron’s Pizza Palace. One night in the
late 60s we were cruising town in Big Chip Johnson’s ’66 Bonneville and
decided to make a pizza run to Bottineau. It was Big Chip, Dave Tooke,
and me. Of course everyone who knew Chip Johnson knew when the big 421
Pontiac hit the open road it was on the floor at 140+ MPH. We were in
Bottineau before we left Dunseith, so to speak. We parked in front of
the Pizza Palace and went in and ate. When we decided to go home we
walked back out to the car and a front tire was flat. It was late and
real dark out but we proceeded to change the tire and that’s when I
heard Dave Tooke say, ” Chip, were you trying to kill us or what?” I
rolled the tire around to the trunk and noticed it was as bald as a
baby’s butt! Kids have some lucky days! Thanks Gary!

Message with Larry Hackman Jr.’s reply to his dad’s message posted yesterday:
From Larry Hackman (66): Bismarck, ND


I couldn’t resist!

I had to forward my sons reply on to you. It makes you homesick for the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota doesn’t it?

The Catholic Camp is on the property that you know about and I know well. It is on the farm that was owned by Bill Aasness, who is married to my cousin

Antoinette Dietrich. They are both gone now. There daughter Iris has four children and lives in Glenfield, ND. Bill’s farm was north across the road from Long Lake on the edge of Pelican Lake. We use to go their often to visit, play in that huge barn and catch fish. I don’t know if you know but just through the trees north of that barn he had a couple of docks and boats. We caught a lot perch off them docks as kids while the dads went out in the boats. I caught my first northern on Pelican Lake while trolling on Pelican Lake with my great Uncle Tony Dietrich, son of Tony and who also is my cousin and Godfather Joe Dietrich. Yes, I snagged about a 3 lb. northern and after that I was hooked on fishing.

The last conversation I had with Antoinette she had asked about a bunch of pigeons that my brothers and I had caught in the loft of that big barn and had taken back to Dunseith for pets. She was wandering if they had all died. I told her we kept them in a shed in our yard for about month. Dad made sure we kept them fed and watered. We would ride our bikes down to the railroad tracks by the grain elevator with a pail and scrape grain up from the ground. After awhile we grew tired of this and dad said if you don’t want to take care of them, then we had to let them go. We opened the door and they flew away. I asked Antoinette (Tony) if she noticed them back on the farm. She laughed and said no. I replied that they must not have been homing pigeons then. She laughed more, but she said when we took them that she was worried that they would die. I replied, that they did well as long as we had them, and I don’t remember any of them dying.

Isn’t it strange, how small the world is. My granddaughter is running around and enjoying the same area that I did as a kid,

Amazing isn’t it?



Sent: Monday, August 02, 2010 1:40 PM
Subject: RE: A Henry&Larry Story

Awesome story!!! Follow me boys!!!! I was up in the turtle mtn.’s on Sunday picking up Sadie from the youth camp. It’s the first time my kids have been up there since they have been older. They could not believe there grandpa grew up in such a beautiful place. Sadie had the time of her life, maybe because the Hackman spirits were with her showing her how to have a good time. She went hiking, canoeing, camp fires, The priest was from Harvey & all the kids were from all over (Rolla, Rugby, Esmond, Harvey, Bottineau). I told them we might have to make a trip up there this coming weekend to have a jumbo & enjoy the sites and sounds of the turtle Mountains (the hidden gem of North Dakota). Your sure welcome to come along & show us where you grew up & roamed the land. Camping?? Motel?? What do you think.


I was going thru some old newspaper articles and found this. I debated long and hard whether or not to post it. After sleeping on it and thinking about it from a 3rd persons point of view, I decided I would. As you can see, I had a service number too, of which I still have memorized. It was shortly after this that they started using the SSN’s for service numbers. Kenny Nerpel, I’ll bet your service number is very close to mine. You may be one or two either up or down from mine. I was drafted, but I extended a year to become a Dental Specialist. At the time it was a knee jerk reaction signing up for that extra year, but as it turned out, it was one of the smartest moves I’ve ever made with a lifetime of benefits. I would have more than likely never joined and retired from the Army Reserves, following my active duty service, had I had any other MOS than Dental.


Gary Fulsebakke gets robbed in Rome:
From Gary Fulsebakke (71): Devils Lake, ND
Dear Gary and friends,

Greetings from Rome, the eternal city and home to some of the most
notorius pick-pockets in Europe. Thats right, I got robbed. I was
boarding a subway at the Coleseum and tried to squeeze between a man
and woman who were blocking the entry. Once I got past them I checked
to see if I still had my wallet. It was gone, and so were they! They
got everything. All my cash(about $300) all my credit cards, drivers
license, etc. After the initial panic of realizing I was thousands of
miles from home in a foreign country that does’t speak english, with
absolutely nothing, I headed for the nearest police station. I was not
alone. There were several there who had the same happen to them. One
fellow was lucky enough to have a plain clothes policeman actually
catch the thief in the act. After filling out a police report, they
directed me to the American Embassy which was hard to get into and of
little help. At least there I was able to get my credit cards blocked.
The Embassy told me to go to the American Consulate the next day as it
was late and the consulate was closed. They were quite helpful allowing
me to make several calls to the states, but more importantly, to my
bank which was able to wire money to me via Western Union. Within
minutes, I had enough money to continue my trip. I learned some things
from the experience. First of all, just when things seem to be going
so well, disaster can strike. But in the midst of the trouble, God has
his angels to help you. In my case, it was a couple of cleaning maids
responsible for my room that lent me ten euros so I could get a train
ticket to the consulate and some food. And at the consulate it was a
kind italian man who did everything he could to help me and apologized
profusely to me that this should happpen in his beloved city of Rome.
And Rome is wonderful! The Coleseum, Forum, The incredible
Pantheon,the catacombs, the wonderful fountains, and the highlight of the
trip, Vatican City, with Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, and St. Peters
Bascilica. It is a tourist paradise. But Rome, more than anything else is
about the people. They are a different breed. They have learned the
secret of “la dolce vita”, the sweet life. At night they would all come
out, eating at the many sidewalk cafes and enjoying a gelato(italian ice
cream) sitting on a park bench with their friends. I must confess that
after a gelato or two and a good italian meal I was back on track and
ready to experience the next adventure. And there have been many! Next
time I must tell you about Norway and Berlin. Until then, Ciao! Gary

Man Gary, What an experience. I admire you for being able to pick up the pieces to continue with your vacation. It doesn’t pay to panic in these type of situations. Gary
Dunseith Garages
Correction from Lloyd Awalt (44): Bottineau, ND

Hi Gary, I kind of made a error on when the garage was built. We were living in Tom Cassidy’s house west of the commercial hotel when it was built. So that would put it being built in the 30s. We built the house down by the depot in 1941 and it was built before we moved. Woke up at 3 o’clock with that on my mind. Lloyd.

Lloyd, Isn’t if funny how something like this will just ware on you. Gary
Message with another good story
From Larry Hackman (66): Bismarck, ND
Hello Gary;
I hope this message finds you and your family well.
The grandson came in sixth in state Babe Ruth Baseball.
Not to bad, and there is always next year.
It was exciting to watch and got the old pumper, pumping a few times.
Its always more exciting when you have someone playing.
It gets personal.
I also want to thank Cheryl for her kind words concerning my granddaughter Sadie,
that she met at the races at Minot. She is a sweetheart.
Thank You Cheryl.
This story I have attached was told to me by my brother Henry.
after I told him that my son Larry had talked to Rodney Hiatt.
He had Rodney give him an estimate for getting some concrete work done for a garage he is going to build.
In fact I had forewarded the information for the Hiatts to my son from this blog Gary.
Thank You, to you and Neola.
I told Henry that Rodney had commented to my son that he thought I should have a million dollars for all the stories
I write. I told Henry that I could agree with that statement.
Anyway that comment must have reminded Henry of an event from the past, and he had to tell me this story that I have attached.
I hope you enjoy it.

Bottineau for Pizza

My brother Henry and I were attending the all school reunion back in 1989.It was in the evening out at the bingo barn after eating.Howard Hiatt came and sat down at a table with us and we were reminiscing about days gone by.The conversation bounced around between the time they lived in Dunseith, the death of his son Earl, who died in a car accident south of town, and who was in the same class (class of 65) as Henry.Howard’s time as Peace Officer was also brought up, and which reminded Henry of a time when Howard had to arrest him and some friends.During the story, we would all stop and laugh at some parts and Howard would ask questions in trying to remember the time.What amazed me and also amazed Henry, was the amount of times Howard would stop Henry and ask him if he held a grudge against him because of the arrest.Henry and I got the impression that Howard felt worse about the incident then we did.Henry replied no, to him several times and explained to him that they knew he was just doing his job, and that they knew the risks that they were taking.That none of them held a grudge against him.Howard would just shake his head and laugh like he couldn’t believe it.We couldn’t believe that he couldn’t believe it either.We finished our conversation and everyone eventually moved onto visiting with different people.Later on that evening Howard came back and shook hands with us saying he was headed home.He gave us each a can of beer and departed.I and Henry still can’t believe that he thought that we should be carrying a grudge.In our book he was a nice guy, just doing his job, trying to make a living for him and his family like everyone else.The story that Howard and Henry were reminiscing about follows:

The time period was the early 1960s.Henry my brother (class of 65) and my oldest brother Anton, (class of 64) and three of their buddies were cruising around one evening in my oldest brother’s fancy, late model 1957 Mercury.Late meaning it already had four headlights while most other models didn’t have four until 1958.Fancy because it had a two tone paint job, lots of chrome, lots of room, smooth ride, quiet, could go over a 120mph and it felt like you were sitting still, eight people could sit in it comfortably.You could see all four corners from the driver’s seat.Yes, it was back when Detroit still built automobiles, not just transportation.I call today’s vehicles soap bubbles, they all look alike, just different sizes, small to smaller.Yes, you could party in a vehicle back then, and apparently that’s what my brothers and their friends were doing on this particular evening.They had got off work a little after 9:00pm picked up a 6pack and headed for Bottineau for pizza with a few friends that were hanging around the gas station.Heading for Bottineau, for pizza was apparently the thing to do back then.

I myself remember going to Bottineau and walking up to the pizza place some evenings after hunger pains started making their presence noticed, or was it just the idea of having pizza.Pizza at that time was a fairly new concept in our neck of the woods.I remember watching the man through the window throw dough in the air and spin it to make the large flat crusts.It was amazing to watch and he was good at it, and I hadn’t seen anything like that before.Another man that could throw dough and that I liked to watch was Herman Martinson.I watched him many times grab a 50lb. chunk of dough from the raising bins, where it was kept overnight.That dough that he mixed and placed in the wood bins the day before had raised and actually had pushed the lid up and was bulging out between the bin and the lid.Herman would remove the lid, ball up his fists, and punch that dough back down into the bin, like a boxer in the ring with Floyd Patterson.Then he would grab the chunk of dough and slam it on the counter, like Vern Gunya giving Pampero Ferpo (The Wild Bull of the Pompas) a body slam.Then he would take a butcher knife, cut off a smaller chunk of dough throw it on a scale, usually hack off a little with the knife or add a little for the proper weight, then he would throw it into the hopper of this grunting and groaning white machine like Wilt Chamberlain, a basket ball player, going for a slam dunk. That machine would roll and pat that chunk of dough and spit it out the other end, in a nice round oblong shape, that Herman would grab and slam down into a bread pan for the pin.He would do this over and over again until all the dough was in bread pans and the pans placed on shelves for the dough to rise into loaves.When raised he would place the pans, into the huge oven with rotating shelves where the dough would bake into loaves of fresh bread.The smell of fresh baked bread is to die for isn’t it?No wonder all these people were nice people.They took all their frustrations out on the dough to make dough (a little pun for fun).

My brothers and their friends entered Bottineau on highway #5 and turned right onto Main.You know it was always a hassle to get to the Pizza Palace when you would come into town from the south.You always had to go to the north end of Main to make a U-turn by the railroad tracks or go around one of the blocks and come back on the left side of Main to park on the west side of the street in front of the place.The thought of parking on the right side of the street and walking across the street, when there were parking spaces on the other side right in front of the place you wanted to go into, never entered their minds.Henry said, on this night it was a little different.That boot-legger that Gary Metcalf is trying to figure out from previous stories was driving.I would tell you, who he is Gary, but I might need him in my next life and I don’t want to ruin a good thing.Besides he might have a life by now and I would hate to ruin it for him.Now, I ask Henry why this guy was driving.Anton never let anybody else drive his cars.Henry didn’t know for sure, but I’m sure it had something to do with getting something cold to quench a man’s thirst after a hard day at the office.A deal must have been made, if you know what I mean!Apparently this fellow did not like driving any further then he had to either, because when he got to the front of the Pizza place he just whipped that car from the right side of the street into a parking space, right in front of the restaurant.Now this is where things came apart, where the wheels fell off, where Murphy’s Law came into play.Murphy’s Law is whatever can go wrong will go wrong.

Before entering town everyone in the car was suppose to finish their beer, and toss the can out into the ditch.It is littering but it is better than getting caught with an open container and all the other laws broken that go along with that one violation.Now when something like this usually happens there is always one guy in the car or group who doesn’t listen and has a tendency to do things their way.The driver did take a huge chance by pulling this maneuver on Main Street, but it was late and there was not a person in site.They thought they were safe and were getting out of the car with their mouths watering in anticipation of chomping down on some delicious pizza.They hadn’t shut the doors on the car yet when they heard the most dreaded sound a bunch of minors could hear.They heard the clunk, ting-ting-ting, the sound of a metal beer can rolling on pavement.They didn’t have aluminum yet. They looked toward the sound of the beer can and watched it role up onto the toe of a cowboy boot.The blood drained from their faces and their eyes got big as they saw it was the Bottineau, Chief- of- Police, Howard Hiatt.

Now you know this happened because there is always that one guy in the group that likes to do things his way or just doesn’t listen.When in the military that one guy was always there and would make his appearance at the damndest times.The rifle range was usually the funniest place.A bunch of us would be shooting at the range.When done shooting, the drill instructor would tell everyone to clear their rifles.Remove the magazine, remove the bullet from the chamber and check the chamber before pointing the rifle in the air and pulling the trigger.There was always a bang, everyone would duck and start snickering, as the drill instructor would go take the guys rifle away and grab the guy by the back of his collar and tell him to take his left hand and grab his left ear and take his right hand and grab his right ear and pull his head out of his donkey (ass).The drill instructors never used the term donkey.I don’t think they were affiliated with any political party.Another time was in Vietnam.The helicopters had just dropped a bunch of us off at a landing zone out in the jungle.You didn’t want to be hanging around a landing zone too long.Nothing drew the enemy’s attention like the commotion of a bunch of helicopters landing and taking off in an area.We on the ground first made a huge circle facing outward protecting the sight until the last helicopter had landed released his load and left.Then we moved out fast to get away from that area as you knew what was going to be landing there next, and it wasn’t going to be anything that anybody liked.We were headed out into the jungle when someone hollered, halt.What the hell was going on now, was your first thought.Guess what, that guy showed up again.Sitting out in the middle of the landing zone was this GI with his rifle tore down and cleaning the parts.A Sergeant went out and as gently as he could, removed the guys head from his ass, and told him to grab his stuff because we were moving out.Needless to say we did not stick around for him to put his rifle back together, and nobody cared that the man was carrying a rifle that didn’t work.We, maybe even felt a little safer.Those guys always show up at the damndest times.Another time back in Dunseith we went hunting ducks after school up in the hills.We had finished hunting around this slew with no luck.It was getting late and we were headed for the car.Before getting in everyone was told to remove the shells from their guns.Everyone said they did and we were on our way.We stopped at Kelvin store for some soda pop and candy bars.We in North Dakota I think went wrong way on shortening soda pop, to just pop.Isn’t asking for a pop like asking for a, Hawaiian punch?You could get what you ask for.(Anyway)This was about 1959 when Kelvin was more of a grocery store and gas station then a bar.We drove up the road and pulled into an approach, to eat our goodies.Then all of a sudden, bang, there was a hole through the floor of Anton’s 1953 black and white ford, right behind me.Talk about jumping.Anton was really ticked off; he thought for sure the guy had just shot a hole through his new glass pack mufflers that he had just recently installed.Just put a dent in it though.Guess what?That damned guy had shown up again.You can almost bet that there is one in every group.It’s not always the same guy, but there was one along in Bottineau that night, when he kept his beer can in the car and then accidently kicked it out on his way out of the car.

Howard Hiatt picked up the empty beer can and said follow me boys, just like in that movie starring, Fred McMurray in Follow Me Boys, Follow Me.They marched around the corner and to the west for about a half a block to the Bottineau City Hall to see the Justice of the Peace.Henry said Howard had them sit there for about three hours until the Justice of the Peace showed up and delivered justice by giving each of them a fine.They paid there fine and were on their way.Needless to say, by this time the pizza place and the bars were closed.No pizza, no beer, its late, nothing else to do but go home.Thinking about it now, maybe that was Howard’s plan all along.If it was, it was a good one.

Laugh and the world will laugh with you.




Hassen’s Store
Reply from Marge Longie Langan Wilcox (56): Vancouver, WA
While I was a teenager I spent allot of time at Hassen’s store along with the store kiddy corner from Hassen’s next to the tavern.
gee those were the good ole’ daze lol, even the crystal cafe, pool hall.
my parent’s bought the Richard house off main street .
we moved to Dunseith in the early 50s’ from St. john.
Marge Langan Wilcox
Stone Garage
Reply from Lloyd Awalt (44): Bottineau, ND

Hi Gary, There has been a lot of discussion about the garage. It was built in the 1940s by Ray Lake the owner. Roy Lake was a brother to Ray who would work for him during the summer months. Winter time Roy spent in Florida. Dale bought the garage from Ray in the 50s. When they dug the basement they looked all over Sunday for guff fine and could not find him. He went out Saturday night and fell in the hole and went to sleep he was o.k. Lloyd Awalt




Dunseith Buildings

Reply from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.


Dick, it’s so good to hear that Dunseith is keeping the old buildings and homes, instead of like so many towns that tear them down. It’s neat to think that Aunt Hazel’s house is still standing and the old store is being used for something more than a parking lot. Today, is the last day for Cheyenne Days (thank heavens) and I have to say, the pattern for storms have changed, during this time. Sybil Johnson
On horseback to South America
From Trish Larson Wild (73): FORT COLLINS, CO
Camping with the horses in Durango



Happy Birthday
Alva Azure Gladue (75): Dunseith, ND
Alva, I understand that today, August 1st, is your birthday. I’m hoping you will have the most enjoyable birthday ever. Enjoy, Gary
From LeaRae Parrill Espe (67): Bottineau, ND
Gary, Dick Johnson just corrected me that the Hassen home is still standing. I guess I was so shocked to see the big hole and I made the error. Dick said the corner where the store stood is now a used car lot. LeaRAe
Stone Garage
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

Folks have been replying about the owners and operators of the Stone
Garage on Main street in Dunseith. I remember that in the late ’50s or
early ’60s it was run by Dale Fugere. Dad bought a yellow ’51 Studebaker
from Dale at the garage. The car had been owned by Carl Lider and must
have been traded in or left there to be sold by Dale. One of the things
that Dale had and had probably made there was a portable fish house for
ice fishing. He removed the front fenders and hood from an old Hudson
car and then welded a hitch to the front to tow it to the lake. He had
painted it dark blue and had it sitting across the street between the
jail and the Corner Bar. I think this would have been around 1960, if I
remember right. It was at this same time that Dale and his wife lost
their first born son. I believe the little boy was named Miles. He was
explaining it to my dad in the garage when I was along. I remember how
sad it was to hear him tell about it. Dale might have been the last
operator of the garage, as a garage. I think Orlan Fuchs bought it and
opened it as a bar after the Corner Bar burned and it was a bar until it
closed many years later.
Thanks Gary!

Johnny Kofoid, Neola’s Dad:
Lee Stickland’s (64) Reply to Neola: Dickinson, ND

I knew YOUR father quite well. I can see him now in his striped bib overalls with the engineers cap, I believe.

We lived three (3) blocks east of YOUR Dad’s garage. Believe that my Dad, Bob (Robert) Stickland did some mechanic work with/for YOUR Dad?

I am having a reminiscent Sat eve and attempting to tie much together.


Lee, This picture is proof that you have a great memory. Gary
Made it to the Trailhead
From Trish Larson Wild (73): FORT COLLINS, CO
Leave in the morning.
Trish, we wish you the best with you long anticipated 10,000 mile journey
to South America on horse back. What an adventure. Gary