John Awalt
Reply from Allen Richard (66): Midland, MI

To Bonnie Awalt Houle.


It brought back something more like memories of memories passed down. Too bad we are not as skilled in passing on our legacies in story telling like our Native American friends! So much is lost. We should all try to bring back the “between the lines” things that never made it into Prairie’s Past and Mountain Memories. We all should try to compile stories from the past. Age wise your dad was about half way between Dad and Grand Dad. Grand Dad was a well known “house party fiddler” and Dad started farming with horses and bought his first tractor at the age of 15.


Your dad and Fred Nicholson did a lot of remodeling on Dad’s home in the late 60’s early 70’s. There were more than a few “story breaks.” I wish i had paid more attention.







John Awalt

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.


Gary and Friends,

A special thank you to Bonnie for sharing the story about her dad. I sure do enjoy hearing these stories from people I have known. There were good times in those hard times. Thanks Gary!


Folks, I had a streak of luck last week bowling. I must have had a good lane where the pins feel easily. My previous high game was 182. Gary

Bowling Group One (guys)

Gary Stokes took the high Game of 208 and in the process had both a new personal best High Game and a new personal best High series of 485



High Game


High Series




Last 9 Games




Gary S














Reply from Martha Lamb Schepp (68):Newburg, ND
Thanks Gary,
Can you believe, it has been about 50 years since the Mountaineers began. Seems like yesterday. Thanks again!

Martha, It’s been 50 or more years. 50 years ago I was 13 and you 10. I was in the 7th or 8th grade when the Mountaineers was organized. We learned so much and did so many interesting fun things in that club. For years our club rented a Fugere/Hill bus to attend the Minot fair. John Hill was normally the driver. I remember when Lori Hiatt was born in about 1962. Jim calculated that we were in Rugby on our way back from the Minot State fair when she was born. Gary
From David Slyter (70): Sabin, Mn
The “BEST” to all family and friends in the ” NEW YEAR”.

Dave Slyter (70)
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND
Garry M. Counts

(Died December 23, 2010)

Guest Book | Sign Guest Book | Send Flowers |

Garry M. Counts, age 72 of Dunseith, died Thursday at a Belcourt hospital. Funeral will be held on Wednesday December 29, 2010 at 10:00 am at the St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Dunseith. Wake will begin on Tuesday at 4:00 pm with a prayer service at 8:00 pm at the church.

Garry Morris Counts was born February 13, 1938, in Belcourt, ND, to Patricia (McCloud) and Walter Counts; he was the oldest of 10 children. Garry attended school in Souris and in Dunseith. He was married to Theresa R Peltier on April 1, 1957, and they celebrated 53 years together earlier this year. They were the proud parents of 8 children. He served in the Armed Forces from 1956 – 1959, being stationed at Fort Lewis, WA. Garry attended vocational school in Fort Worth, TX, and college at Dakota College in Bottineau (formerly NDSU-Bottineau Branch). He worked in the oil fields in Western ND; a bus driver for the Turtle Mountain Headstart and the after-school bus at the Dunseith Public School; coordinator of the Local Sheep Co-op; owned Dunseith Pool Hall; was a District IV Councilman for the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians; G & T’s Rec & Café for a time; an aide at San Haven for a few years; was employed in Security at the Mini-Casino for a time in Belcourt. His happiest employment endeavor was buying and selling cars through his business Double R Cars.

Some of his favorite things to do were: spend time with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and to travel. He always encouraged his family to read, leading by example, as he always had a book close at hand. In this respect, his dreams for his children included achieving success in higher education. He enjoyed spending time at the casino playing cards and slot machines, and visiting with everyone. He also had a story for every occasion. He would take time everyday to write in his journal – which he had started after his retirement and has kept from February 28, 2001, through December 16, 2010 – he said if he didn’t write it down, he might forget. He often said one of the best gifts he has ever received was his conversion to Catholicism last year.

Garry passed away at the Quentin N Burdick Healthcare Facility in Belcourt, ND, on Thursday, December 23, 2010, after a long illness.

Garry is survived by his wife, Theresa, and his children: Garry W (Lucinda) of Dunseith, ND; Doreen (David) Rodriguez of Waterford, MI; Monica (Gene) Nadeau of Dunseith, ND; Allison (Blaine) DeCoteau of Dunseith, ND; Francine Counts of Grand Forks, ND; Gerald (Melissa) of Devils Lake, ND; Loren (Olivia) of Hastings, MN; and Donovan (Denette) of Hastings, MN; 22+ grandchildren; and 15+ great-grandchildren; brothers: Roger (MaryRose) and Richard (Renee), both of Dunseith, ND; sisters: Linda (Louis) Martinez of Bismarck, ND, and Leona Counts of Devils Lake, ND; numerous nephews and nieces; along with many foster children and step-grandchildren.

Garry was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Diana L’Esperance; brothers, Roland; Warren (Buzzy); Dennis (Duff); and Sidney; grandsons, Justin Nadeau, William Counts, and Kennedy DeCoteau.

Arrangements were with Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau. Friends may sign the online register book at www.nerofuneralhome.net.

(Nero Funeral Home – Bottineau)

John Awalt Sr. Interview
Posted by Bonnie Awalt Houle (56): Becker, MN.
Dear Gary, family and Dunseith Alumni,
Over the Holidays my Granddaughter came over to interview me for a school project. The questions she asked brought back the memory of my son interviewing my Dad, John Awalt about similar topics. Thought maybe it would jog memories from other families.(The following is the letter written by my Father John Awalt)
a) Where were you born, and when? John Charles Awalt was born on January 19, 1904 in Holmes Township, Rolette County North Dakota. My parents were William David and Mary Agnes Awalt. My parents came to North Dakota on an immigrant train from Iowa and filed on a quarter of land in the Turtle Mountains North East of Dunseith. The land was on the North Shore of a very nice spring feed lake called Horse Shoe Lake. The land was all thickly timbered, in fact it was so thickly timbered that you had to look straight up to see out. Each tree was hand cut so we had lumber to build our home and barn. We stumped out the trees so we could farm the land. The timber was also used for fire wood. There were fish in the lake, sharptail grouse in the meadow’s, ruffled grouse and deer in the woods. All provided a good source of food for the family.
b) What was school like for you? I walked two miles to school. It was just a one room school house with 8 grades and one teacher. One year we had 37 students in our school. We went to school from April until about Thanksgiving. When weather got bad school was closed. The year I was in 5th grade our school was closed to I went to another school where the kids were all from Norwegian families. The children all spoke Norwegian during recess and before that summer was over I could talk Norwegian along with the best of them. As I have grown older I’ve forgotten most of it.
c) What chores were you expected to do? My chores were to see that the cows were brought in to be milked, I was to feed the calves. I also needed to chop wood and keep the wood box filled.
d) What did you do for fun? In the summer the neighborhood kids gathered at the lake and went swimming every evening. In winter we gathered in the same place and went ice skating. We cleared the snow by hand unless it got to deep and then my Dad would bring down his sharp shod team and use a blade to clear the snow off the ice. There was a steep hill between our house and the lake where we went coasting in the winter time. We used ski’s, sleighs, most anything you could slide on, even my Mother’s dishpan, we wore the bottom right out of it. One summer we took Dads buggy to coast in, we tied ropes on the axel to steer it, but for some reason it got away from us, we hit a bunch of willows turned it over and did a pretty good job of wrecking the buggy altogether. That was pretty had to explain to my Dad.
e) What kinds of machinery did you use for farming? Our farm work was all done by horse. There were no tractors and very few cars. Every family had a driving team. Some were pretty classy! I had a saddle pony I was pretty proud of, if I whistled he would come or answer. One night when I was at a girl friends place her brother went out the window and took my pony from the hitching rack where I had tied him. He hid the pony out behind the barn and thought he was playing a good joke on Me. When I got ready to go home I came out of the house and no horse, so I whistled and soon knew just where the horse was because he answered me.
The grain was cut with a horse drawn binder, shocked by hand, then threshed with a steam powered machine. It usually took about 12 teams and bundle wagons to haul the bundles to the machine, 3 wagons to haul the grain to the granary. In all about 18 men. The men were fed in a Cook Car that went along with the threshing rig. The young men always tried to get a job hauling bundles, as it was a means of making money also some what of a picnic, although hard work.
Haying was also done with horse drawn mowers and rakes. Then the hay was hauled with wagon and hayrack and stacked by hand into mounds.
The fields were plowed with 5 horses and gang plow, each outfit could plow about 5 acres per day. The size of the farm determined the number of outfits you had to have. One would hitch 4 horses to a harrow and walk behind to drive, also 4 horses on a ten foot drill. 20 acres per day.
(It was a slow way to serve the Lord.)
f) How did you clear the snow after a storm? As for clearing the snow, we didn’t. We shoveled a path to the barn, to the wood pile, and the little house out back. We made roads in the snow when it came in the fall and the sun moved it in the spring. Those roads were sure good for sleigh ride parties in the long winter evenings. Also all the grain had to be hauled to market in winter. It was 12 miles to town.
g) How did you refrigerate your food? We had only natures refrigeration, so we waited till cold weather to butcher. The beef would keep all winter, the pork would be cured and smoked. Stripes of beef were salted and smoked for jerky. Venison and pork were mixed and ground together for sausage, called country sausage.
h) How did you get your washing done without electricity? Washing clothes was done with soap and water. Mostly with a wash tub and a wash board and lots of elbow grease. The soap came in bars that you sliced off the amount you wanted then softened it in hot water, or you rubbed in into the clothes on the wash board. Later Sears Roebuck came out with a washing machine that consisted of a wooden tub on four legs like chair legs it had an agitator that worked by pushing a lever back and forth. Later Maytag came out with a gas powered washer. We had the perfect clothes drier, it was the sun. When the sun was out the clothes dried fast and were whitened at the same time. There were no wash and wear clothes. Everything had to be ironed.
I) What was dating like for you? Dating–Why Ask Me?
It must have been somewhat different then modern dates. We had house parties, school activities, church and swimming and ice skating parties. There were baseball games, not organized teams but some pretty good players that made for some great games. All of this took place in a radius of 10 or 15 miles from our home. We used horses for traveling. One advantage of going by horse was on the way home you would just tie the lines on the dash board and the horse would go home. This freed up your hands for the girl you were with, two hands are always better then one and you didn’t have to watch the road either. There were several of us from our neck of the woods that would gather together in the Bob Sleigh and go to town for the townhall dances. We would take two teams, one team would be tied half way, the other team would pull us into town and halfway back and then we’d switch teams again, that way it wouldn’t be to hard on any one team. Sometimes we’d be going 16 or 18 miles, that doesn’t sound very far in today’s mode of travel but back then it was a long haul for a team.
I hope this stirs up some good memories for everyone.
Bonnie Houle (56)
Ward & Alcide Lajimodiere
Message/Picture posted by Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

A couple days before Christmas I happened to meet Debbie Poitra Rondeau in Wal-Mart in Bottineau. She told me she would see if she could find the picture her mom, Betty Counts Poitra, had given her of Alcide Lajimodiere. Today she found it and sent it to me. As an added bonus, the picture happens to also have Ward Anthony in it. Alcide stayed with the Anthonys on their place which is about a mile and a half south of our place. I visited there a few times and they came to our place once in a while. Ward was a character and Alcide wasn’t far behind. With the two together, there was never a dull moment. One time when we lived in a trailer house near the shore of Horseshoe Lake, about 5 AM one morning I heard a vehicle drive in. I jumped out of bed to see who was driving in at that time of the day? I looked out the window and Ward and Alcide were just getting out of the car down by the shore. It was summer and I had the windows open so I could hear what they were saying. Ward pointed south across the lake and said loudly, “Right there is where I said and I’m right!” Alcide mumbled something and they got back in the old Plymouth and drove back out of the yard. My guess is that they were up all night arguing about where their place was from our place and Ward had to drive up and show Alcide. Between Anthonys and our place is the lake and about a half mile of brush. It was miles around by road– up past Smiths and through several gates. Ward must have really had to prove his point! Thanks to Debbie and thanks Gary!


L to R:Ward & Alcide Lajimodiere



Reply from Martha Lamb Schepp (68): Newburg, ND
Hi Gary,


Happy Holidays! I’m enjoying every blog. I brought home my lap top from school. Kinda scary, because I can send e-mails on this computer. Somewhere on one of the blogs you posted Orvin’s address at Bethany homes in Fargo. Would you please e-mail this to me? Thanks Gary


Martha Lamb Schepp (68)

Martha, Orvin’s address and Phone number are

Orvin Hagen
201 S. University Dr. #630
Fargo, ND 58103
Your mother, my mother, Mary Ann Hagen, Orvin and others were the Mountaineers 4-H club leaders for many years. We were a very large club. We must have been one of the largest of all times. I have forgotten the numbers, but 60 plus comes to mind. I mentioned those four leaders, because they were the ones that organized and started our club. I learned so many good things from being in that club too.
Our mothers were also very active Kelvin Home Makers members. I remember seeing you often at their monthly meetings and social gatherings too.
Martha, It is great hearing from you.

Reply from Wesley Schneider’s Sister-in-law
Florence Hiatt Dahl (49): Anchorage, AK
Wesley Schneider was working at the creamery in Bottineau and he told the ladies that worked in the office that his birthday was such and such day. So they did the nice and proper thing and had a big celebration with the birthday cake etc. And then when the actual day of his birthday, Ovidia brought a beautiful home made birthday cake in to the office– much to every one’s surprise—————Wesley’s comment, “I like birthdays” Hope I remember this correctly..


John Belgarde
Reply from Warren Anderson (65): Rolette, ND

Hi, Gary—yes John B. is my mothers younger brother. There were to older brothers that served in WW-2, Issac and Charles. Issac was Army and Charles was an airforce pilot. Both heros.


There was a story in life magizine back in 1950 about a large battle in Korea where John was pictured. I don’t know if it was the battle of Kunu-ri or not. I read it when I was about 10 years old as one of my aunts had it. If I remember right they charged a hill and only a few walked off the hill, Uncle John was one of them but he had been wounded. Maybe an elder in the blog remembers that story.


A couple of years ago John also had a two page story of his war expierences in the Turtle Mtn Star—out of Rolla.


I do not think John has E-mail. His Phone # is (701)263-4851. His mailing address is PO Box 667, Dunseith, ND 58329———John and his wife live on a horse ranch three and one-half miles straight north of Dunseith.


Warren ’65

Warren, If John has Email, can you get it for us? That is if it’s OK with him. Thanks, Gary
Wesley Schneider celebrates his 90th Birthday.
Message/Pictures from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND
Gary and friends,
Thor and Me and the dog named Bue went for our walk this morning. It
was +13 no wind. The ice build up under their paws, was bothersome.
But a day so bright and clear, made pure pleasure walking the 2 miles
through the snow.

On the way back home we stopped for treats at Wes and Ovidia’s. who
were listening to a local musician, Jerry Olsen country gospel cd.
Ovidia met the dogs with 1 treat. Then, Buie enjoyed Wes smooth
petting, while I took birthday photos.

Ovidia told me she had forgotten to light their breakfast candle. I
had no idea in all the time I’ve know them, that she lights a candle
every morning during the fall and winter months at their breakfast
table. “Simple gifts” of candlelight and music are enjoyed every
day during the cold weather.

Wes’ children sent him a beautiful bouquet which we admired while
consuming a choice of various Norweigian treats. I only once did
catch Wes sneaking the boys a bit of fatigman (ms).

I left their cozy home as they were watching sparrows gathering at
the bird feeder and the temperature climbing well in to the +20s.
Ah, Simple gifts.

From Karen Larson
Wesley Schneider’s 90th birthday December 27th, 2010 Vickie took these
this morning. Karen
Folks, Ovidia is Karen’s mother. Karen is the owner of the Spectrum store in Bottineau. Several of you have used her wonderful services to provide pictures for this Blog. Thank you Karen.
Wesley, you are looking great! You have not change one iota from when I frequently saw you in my child hood days working at the creamery and also at a lot of the Hiatt/Fauske family gatherings. You look as though you are good for another 90 years.






Reply from Evon Lagerquist (77): Dunseith, ND

Yes, Albert Hiatt was Mom’s oldest brother. It was really foggy when I took the picture on my way over to Mom’s Christmas day. I thought it looked so pretty with all the snow on the evergreens that surround the building!

And yes, the land belongs to the Lagerquist’s now.

Evon, I remember well when Albert planted those evergreens, in the Ackworth school picture, back in the late 50’s. I think he sold a few for Christmas trees too?
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

A very good friend of mine, D.E.’Bud’ Anderson of Rolla, served in the US Army in both WWII and in Korea. He attained the rank of Master Sargent and was involved with leading many men from all walks of life. One time he told me that some of the best soldiers he had were local men of Native American heritage. He said these soldiers were inherently both cautious and capable in nearly any situation. He said it seemed they always were paying close attention to the terrain and to every movement everywhere around them. Bud told me he thought they were much more apt to survive because of this natural instinct. I thought Bud’s insight was interesting and coming from him, I also knew it was true. Thanks Gary!


Salute to John Belgarde
From Bill Hosmer (48): Tucson, AZ
I salute the record of heroic action performed by John Belgarde. He represents the best of our war fighters and I am proud to know he is from our community and wish I had known of his courage and combat performance so I could shake his hand and thank him for his heroic service. Bill Hosmer

Web Link

Reply from Dwight Lang (61): Tucson, AZ

Hi Warren and Gary,

If anybody wants to order this book, the link above will hook you up to get the job done thru Lulu)*)*)*) something. Tried Amazon with no luck. Take care and I’m looking forward to reading my copy.

Dwight Lang 61

Follow up reply from Dwight

Sorry guys, that’s what I get for reading the blogs backwards. Read 1044 – got interested and went on a search for the book. Later, I read 1043 and it was there. Being I’m so much older than you boys, I need an allowance for brain f- -ts every now and then. OK?


Garry Counts

Feb. 13, 1938-Dec. 23, 2010

December 26, 2010

DUNSEITH Garry Morris Counts, 72, Dunseith, died Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010, in a Belcourt hospital.

He was born Feb. 13, 1938, to Patricia and Walter Counts in Belcourt. He married Theresa R. Peltier April 1, 1957.

Survivors: wife; sons, Garry W., Dunseith, Gerald, Devils Lake, Loren and Donovan, both Hastings, Minn.; daughters, Doreen Rodriguez, Waterford, Mich., Monica Nadeau and Allison DeCoteau, both Dunseith, Francine Counts, Grand Forks; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; many foster children and stepgrandchildren; brothers, Roger and Richard, both Dunseith; sisters, Linda Martinez, Bismarck, and Leona Counts, Devils Lake.

Funeral: Wednesday, 10 a.m., St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, Dunseith.

Burial: St. Louis Catholic Cemetery, Dunseith.

Wake and prayer service: Wake Tuesday, 4 p.m., prayer service Tuesday, 8 p.m., both in the church.

(Nero Funeral Home, Bottineau)



Rolette county War Hero’s
Message from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND

Hello Gary,

During WW II, My father, watched through binoculars from the USS Hamilin, as American marines placed the flag at Iwo Jima. It was my Dad who first told me about Ira Hayes, a man he never met but as an American serviceman, understood his struggle returning to civilian life.

This past summer while researching family genealogy I got side tracked into the County Veterans Office.

I asked the Veterans officer to look into his big book, which lists WW II Veterans, for our family friend, Alcide Lajimodiere. We did find the minimum amount of information. The Veterans officer said,there are many many,men of American Indian heritage from Rolette County,who served our country.

Yesterday, reading the Minot Daily on line, I just happened to run across that article about J.Belgarde.

The same author also wrote, “The Man Called Chief” the Woody Keeble story,another ND veteran who was Sioux, finally awarded the medal of honor, posthumously. I first became aware of Mr. Keeble’s story while listening to North Dakota Public Radio. That story kept me glued to my car radio while sitting in my driveway,(the only place I can get “Prairie Public Radio).

Now, I’m hopeful Prairie Public will do something similar on this author and the story of J.Belgarde.

It is also my hope as citizens, we continue to respect our serviceman. We may never know their personal stories but they were/ are among the best of us.

Thank you Gary for being one of the best in continuing to serve whether on this blog or in your little community in Cebu.

John Belgarde, Korean War Hero, is Warren Anderson’s (65) uncle
Message from Warren Anderson (65): Rolette, ND
Merry Christmas and joyful holidays Gary and Bernadette. And to all the listening family of the great Dunseith Blog. The time for gratitude, yes we have it for the spiritual gifts and for this blog, Thank You–Gary!
I had a tear full expierence last night here in Bismarck that I would like to share. My wife and I are in Bismarck over xmas as we have a new granddaughter with Cora’s sons family. We went to xmas eve mass at St.Marys Catholic Church. Anyway, the carol “Silent Night” was song in half German and it was so powerful as it touched me. Just knowing how powerful the song was in its history. In WW-1 and WW-2 many battles stopped on the German Front and both sides sang Silent Night to each other. Then my own Xmas in Viet Nam where we also sang Silent Night about three times. But my thoughts then were, will I ever have another chistmas with my parents and siblings. It is amasing the fear of that night, for 41 years had stayed hiding.
My years of helping veterns never ends.— that includes myself. My uncle John Belgardes Book about his War in Korea–hope you all get a chance to read it. I joked with my wife that I already knew half the book as Uncle John and spoke to each other about our Wars–course arguing who had it the worst expierence. No douht in my heart he did. Merry Christmas everyone
Warren !65
Warren, I’m assuming John Belgarde is a brother to your mother. This article does not mention where John is living today. Does he have email? He is to be commended. John is an unsung hero. Why has it taken this long for him to be recognized? Gary
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND





Ackworth Schoolhouse Building/ Taken 12/25/2010

Picture from Evon Lagerquist (77): Dunseith, ND


Thank you Evon for sharing this picture.


Many of our readers attended Ackworth including our parents. In 1981 the school was moved from it’s original location to the sight of the former Ackworth post office. Albert Hiatt owned this land then. I’m thinking your family now owns this property? Albert was your mothers brother.


Things are white up in the hills. It looks as though it may have been snowing when you took this picture yesterday too.






Condolences to the Brennan family
From Kelly Woods (89): Massena, NY

Sad Sad news of Supan Brennan’s death. She was a wonderful mother and beautiful person both inside and out. She will be missed and remember for all times. Condolences to Bob and the entire Brennan Family.

Kelly Woods

Message from Alan Poitra (71): Bloomington, MN
Happy Holidays Gary! and thank you for the gift of organizing the Dunseith Blog!

My condolences to all the families who lost loved one this past couple of weeks and this past year.

Across the many miles
From Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND



Gary and friends,

Thanks for your gift of friendship.


Wishes;To all, “a new year full of hope, wonder, and joy!”

And to those who are filled with the pain of loss, grief and sorrow, “Much peace upon your heart.”

as ever, Vickie M


From Eileen & Mike Brudwick: Goodyear, AZ

Merry Christmas to you & your family Gary, and to everyone else!! Also wishing everyone a very Happy New Year, 2011!!!


Eileen & Mike Brudwick
Early Awalt history
From Lloyd Awalt (44): Bottineau, ND

Hi Gary, Reply to Dick about the Awalt’s. You are right I am the oldest. I never was in the house. Your granddad bought it min 24. My dad thought he was going to get the farm when him and mom got married but grandpa Awalt sold it and went back to Missouri, so dad & mom went along. Dad worked for Budweiser and did some carpenter work with an uncle. In 1929 when all the banks went broke mom & dad came back to north Dakota. Myself & Eleanor was both born in MO. We lived in Lude Peterson’s place that winter. In the spring we moved to Dunseith. Dad worked for Mr. Gottbreht at the dairy. In 1930 dad bought the dray from Ike Berg. We lived in Tom Cassidy house till dad built the house down by the depot in 1941. I kind of forgot about that building setting in Myron’s pasture. Wasn’t thinking that for north. Right at the corner where you turned to go to Bott. I don’t know when they tore it down. If the stories were right they used to sell grocery and buy cream at one time. That was before we came back . Marshall knows more about the old farm than I do .. Lloyd





Stone Church Date correction

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND


Gary and Friends,

I have to apologize for an incorrect date on the building of the Stone Church. Lloyd is correct with the later date. The Masons decided to take over the completion of the building which was started in 1911 and was left unfinished for several years. I looked it up in the Dunseith History book and the 1918-1919 dates are much closer to correct. I should have looked it up first. Thanks Lloyd and Gary!


John P. Belgarde Book – Article from Minot Daily newspaper
Posted by Tim Martinson (69): Anchorage, AK
and Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND

Belgarde recalls war

Dunseith man gives account as a young soldier in Korean War

December 24, 2010 – By ELOISE OGDEN Regional Editor eogden@minotdailynews.com

DUNSEITH When John P. Belgarde went to Korea to serve in the Korean War he was quite certain he wouldn’t make it home alive, so he came up with three rules to live by:

1. I will do the best I can for as long as I can.

2. I will not surrender.

3. I will let nobody surrender me.

“An American Fighting Man” is the Korean War account of John P. Belgarde of Dunseith. The book is in his words. Merry Helm, a freelance researcher and writer in Fargo and native of Anamoose, edited and published the book.

“The book is about the burdens of having to teach himself how to lead troops and also how to preserve his and their souls because he soon recognized ‘the mind is a very fragile thing.’ ” said Helm.

After Col. Ralph M. Hockley, a Korean War combat veteran, read the book, Helm said he wrote:

“Few books are as much a study on how a kid becomes a man at age 19. Few books, including Army manuals, describe as well how to become a leader of soldiers, and few books are as much a description of the American kid who goes off to defend his country against all odds as John Belgarde’s ‘An American Fighting Man.'”

Helm said she had been working on a much larger book called “Prairie Boys at War” about Korean War military heroes from the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Montana, and needed to talk to someone from North Dakota who had gone through one of the most catastrophic battles of the war at Kunu-ri. A man from the 2nd Infantry Division contacted Belgarde about talking to her, she said.

When she called Belgarde, he talked to her about that battle as well as his entire nine months over there, she said.

“The story was so compelling, I decided he needed a book of his own. Casualties were so high during his tour that he kept getting bumped up in rank from a private all the way to master sergeant leading his own platoon very unusual,” she said.

Helm’s other works include “The Man Called Chief,” the story of Master Sgt. Woodrow “Woody” Wilson Keeble. Keeble was the first full-blooded Sioux Indian to receive the Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor that a president can bestow. The medal was presented posthumously in 2008. Keeble was a World War I and Korean War veteran.

Like “The Man Called Chief,” Helm said the book about Belgarde, “An American Fighting Man,” is carried in independent bookstores.

Hi Gary,

I could not find another site that the book “An American Fighting
Man” is for sale at unless it is for sale in Dunseith?

Take Care, Tim


Christmas in the Philippines
These are a few pictures that were taken yesterday (Christmas Eve)


These three boys father, Noel, was buried on Thursday, the day before this picture was taken.Noel was only 31 years old.


These gifts (Robots) were given to them by their adopted Dunseith Alumni sponsor. Their sponsor had sent money for Christmas gifts prior to their dad’s passing. We thought it best to follow thru with the gifts rather than using the money for funeral expenses. I know for a fact that these are the first store bought toys these boys have ever had. They live in a make shift hut with a dirt floor behind the building across the road from our garage. The oldest boy’s birthday was yesterday too. He was 10. The other two are ages 5 & 6.




These kids are cousins to Noel’s boys pictured above. Bernadette always gives them a little something at Christmas too. Their father and Noel were brothers. They live in a small house across the street from our Garage. The oldest girl in this picture is about 13 years old. For lack of funds and also to help work, she has dropped out of school. She is a very bright gal too.



Bernadette’s nieces little girl. She was born in July. Her father is from India.






Bernadette’s Great nieces, nephews and our helpers children waiting outside for their Christmas gifts.





These same kids lined up inside to get their gifts. There are 20 kids in all, but only 12 in this photo. The other 8 are two years old and younger.





The children’s gifts





Gaga and Tata (sisters) our helpers, making the bed in our new bedroom

All rights reserved


Merry Christmas
I’d like to wish each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas. We have now completed year three with this Blog. Today we are starting year four. What a remarkable bonding of the Dunseith Alumni to keep this going. We are making history too of the history of yester years. The genealogy buffs of years to come will have a hay day with what we are doing.
It’s now Christmas eve here in Cebu, Philippines. Bernadette has all the gifts lined up in the dining room that she will be giving out later today. This evening the folks in our area/compound will be gathering just outside our gate in Bernadette’s sisters yard. They will have music and games until midnight. At midnight Bernadette will be serving a big dinner to all at our place.

Reply from Ceile Carbonneau Marchand (50): Clearwater, FL
The article on the Peace Garden was great and I hope I can return to the area again and see it.. It is beautiful here in Sunny Florida but it is hard not to be with the .family at this time.
I want to wish all of you a Very Blessed Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. I have been gone from the area for a long time but I enjoy the communication with our past.
Cecile (Carbonneau) Marchand Class of 1950
Condolences to the Bob Brennan family
From Jay (66) & Lola (68) Metcalfe Vanorny: Dunseith, ND

We were so shocked and saddened to hear of Supan’s death. She was such a nice person and I enjoyed visiting with her a lot.

I so enjoyed visiting with her and especially when she talked of her early life In Thailand. Our sympathy goes out to Bob and the family . Lola and Jay




Condolences to the Bob Brennan family

From Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

My sympathy to the Brennans too. The good always die too young. Our prayers are with you all.






Augie & DJ Johnson – Father & son resemblance

Reply from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.


Yes Neola, DJ does resemble his father, Augie; to a certain extent. But, Augie has a wider face. Merry Christmas to all, from Wyoming..
Sybil Johnson


From Florence Pladson Sime (62): Dunseith, ND
Here’s wishing you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR. May god bless you all with a good year ahead. Florence

Reply to Banche Wicks Schley (42):

From Lloyd Awalt (44): Bottineau, ND


Hi Blanche I was going thru the book and found out when the stone church was built. 1918 & 1919 just about completed in 1919. The Lutheran church was moved from Rolette to Dunseith in 1940. My dad and Earl Fassett dug the basement with horses. At that time the church sat across the street from where we lived. The big building on the north end of town I can’t place which one unless you are thinking it to be the city hall that burned down in 1931 new years eve. Maybe come up with more later. Merry Christmas to every one. Lloyd Awalt





Reply to Blanch Wicks Schley’s questions

From Dick Johnson (66): Dunseith, ND


Gary and Friends,

In answer Blanch Wicks Schley’s questions. The store where Mr. Kotschevar displayed his doll house would have been Billy Wright’s Grocery if it were before 1947. Then it was Olson’s Grocery, and later, Joe Morinville’s Grocery.

The Dunseith Lutheran Church was moved to Dunseith in 1940–that was the year I remember on the cornerstone.

The ‘Stone Church’ was built in 1911 and 1912—it was finished by the Masons. It is currently being used by the Church of God.

I remember the big building that sat in Myron Evan’s pasture at the south end of the old ‘dump ground road’. There were people living in the building when I was a kid. I don’t remember what happened to this place but it’s long gone. Can’t help you on the Satrang building.





Awalt Homestead:

Question/comments from Dick Johnson (66): Dunseith, ND


Gary and Friends,

There are a couple questions I have about the Awalt homestead. I think Lloyd is the oldest in the family and I was wondering if he remembers going to see his grandparents when they lived in the log house that was here in the yard? It’s the one that was pictured in the blog a couple days ago. If I remember correctly, the Conn family lived for a few years in the house before they moved to California in 1938. Lloyd would have been quite young when his grandparents lived here. I think my Grandpa Hans Johnson bought the place from William Awalt in about 1924-25. The Conns were also related to us. My Grandma Cynthia Johnson had a sister, Stella, who married one of the Conn boys, Howard Conn. It may have been how they met when Conns lived in the Awalt house and my grandparents lived just across the road. Mr. Conn, the dad, used to sell popcorn beside the show hall in Dunseith. Thus, he had the nickname, ‘Popcorn Conn’. I think the family was quite poor and knowing my grandpa, he probably let them live in the house to help out. Something that I remember about the house that is not evident on the picture is that on the north side of the house there was an addition that had two very small rooms, probably bedrooms. As a kid, I was amazed that anyone could even get into the rooms as they were no bigger than 6′ x 8′ and the ceiling was only maybe 5′ at the outside. They were probably bedrooms for kids but with them being on the north side and built out of only boards, they must have been cold in the winter. The east side of the house had a log addition (evident in the picture)that was rather unique. The east door opened into a landing and there was what today is called a ‘split foyer’. There were about 4 steps that went up to the main floor and about the same number that went to the dugout cellar. I remember Dad telling me that he thought it was quite a modern concept for a log house to be built this way clear back then. This part of the house was still there when I was young and I explored the house lots of times. The main room that is just through the door in the picture was the living room and this is where the horse fell through around 1950 or so. That room had log walls that were painted a very light shade of blue. It still looked pretty good in the 50s. Anyway, I was wondering what Lloyd remembers about the place? Thanks Gary!



Obituaries & death notices posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND


Supan Brennan

Died December 20, 2010

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Supan Brennan, age 61 of Dunseith, died Monday at a Bottineau hospital. Funeral will be held on Monday at 3:00 pm at the St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Dunseith. Visitation will be Sunday from 1:00 pm until 9:00 pm with a prayer service at 7:00 pm and again on Monday from 9:00 pm until noon at the Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau. Burial will be at the St. Louis Catholic Cemetery at Dunseith.

Supan Brennan, a daughter of Sing and Doll Ponsopa, was born on December 27, 1948 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In 1973, she met Bob Brennan in Bangkok, Thailand while he was serving in the US Army. They were married on September 17, 1973. She moved with Bob to Dunseith in 1974. Her first job was at the Dunseith Nursing Home where she met many friends. She later worked at San Haven near Dunseith were she met many more good friends. For the past 16 years, Supan had a dog kennel and raised many small dogs that adored her. This was a job she truly loved.

She was a member of the St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Dunseith, where on January 7, 2010, she and Robert renewed their wedding vows and Supan was baptized. She was also very active in the St. Michael Altar Society. She was very proud of her heritage and of her home town of Chiang Mai, Thailand. She adored her family and loved spending time with them.

She is survived by her husband, Robert of Dunseith; twin daughters, Sheila (Troy) Kubas and Shelby (Kal) Larson all of Minot; sons, Sonny (Holli) Brennan of Bismarck and Shannon (Kristie) Brennan of Minot; grandchildren, Lauren and Madison Larson, Brennan and Jaxon Kubas and Kaden, Gracyn and Rylee Brennan; and 2 sister, Pon and Vee Pa of Thailand.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one brother and two sisters.

Supan will be deeply missed by all from her family to friends to her little furry friends, especially Juanita, her little yorkie that laid by her side at the end of her journey here on Earth.

Arrangements were with Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau. Friends may sign the online register book at www.nerofuneralhome.net



Amanda (Berg) Schultz


(February 17, 1922 – December 20, 2010)

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Amanda Schultz, age 88, of Jamestown, ND and formerly of Valley City, ND and Donnybrook, ND died Monday, Dec. 20, 2010 at Eventide Nursing Home in Jamestown, ND. Funeral services will be conducted at 1 PM Monday, December 27, 2010 at the Lerud-Schuldt Funeral Home in Valley City with Rev. Dan Bader officiating. Burial will be at Kenmare, ND later in the spring.

Amanda Schultz was born Feb. 17, 1922 in Homen Township of Bottineau County, ND. She was raised there and also attended school in Homen Township. She later graduated from Bottineau High School and then attended the Bottineau State School of Forestry. She then worked in Bottineau at a coop store for 4 years. She married Clarence Schultz on June 15, 1944. The couple farmed at Little Prairie, north and west of Dunseith, ND and in 1949 moved into Dunseith where they operated a grocery store and later a garage. In 1953 they moved to Minot and in 1954 they moved to Donnybrook, ND where they owned and operated a grocery store and locker plant. They retired in 1989. Mr. Schultz died on Dec. 11, 1999 and she then moved to Valley City, ND. In May of 2008 she became a resident of Hi Acres Nursing Home in Jamestown, ND. Amanda was active in community affairs and was a member of the Methodist Church in Donnybrook,ND. Survivors include 2 daughters: Connie (Merlin) Trapp, Marion, ND and Terri (Dan) Bourdeau, Camano Island, WA; 4 grandchildren: Ryan Knecht, Stephanie (Robb) Lee, Joshua Bourdeau, and Cameron Bourdeau, and 4 great grandchildren: Jordan Lee, Brandan Lee, Alyssa Lee, and Dylan Knecht. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, 2 brothers, and a sister.



Neola’s comments: Amanda’s parents were Albert/Clara Johnson Berg (P. 189 in Centennial Book). They lived along Highway 43 (Peace Garden Road) in the Turtle Mts. northeast of Bottineau, ND. Amanda’s sister was Arla (Mrs. Anthony Marteliano); her brothers were Martin (married to Alice Brudwick Berg–my aunt). Martin/Alice have one daughter, Carol; Alvin who was killed in a car accident many years ago. Alvin’s wife was Lillian Torgerson Berg. Lillian later married Reinard Schultz. Alvin/Lillian’s children are Gary, Diane, Sharon and Guy.

Clarence/Amanda and Albert/Emma Christianson Halvorson owned the garage (Corner Service/Corner Garage) my dad bought in Dunseith in 1952 (?). Dad sold the garage to Alvin Moe in 1960.

Clinton Parisien
(Died December 20, 2010)

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Clinton Parisien, age 32 of Dunseith, died Monday in his home. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday at 10:00 A.M. in the St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Dunseith. Burial will be in the Church Cemetery. A wake will be held on Monday beginning at 4:00 P.M. with a prayer service at 7:00 P.M. in the Church.

Clinton Michael Parisien, a son of Randy Davis and MaDonna Parisien, was born on March 13, 1978 at Rolette.

He is survived by his mother, Madonna Parisien of Dunseith; father, Randy Davis (DHS class of 1977) of Dunseith, grandparents, Joyce (Buddy) Dumont of Dunseith; his companion, Carolina Deschamp of Dunseith; sons, Joseph Parisien, Jared Parisien and Javon Parisien all at home; brothers, Austin (Andrea) Duncan of Grand Forks and Nathan Parisien of Belcourt; sisters Sharise Parisien and Kandea Parisien both of Belcourt; foster sisters, Tracie Delorme and Nichole Parisien both of Dunseith.

Gary M. Counts
(Died December 23, 2010)

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Gary M. Counts, age 72 of Dunseith, died Thursday at a Belcourt hospital. (Nero Funeral Home – Bottineau)

Christmas Soldier’s poem
From Mike and Sandra Zeiler (62): Vandal: Elk River, MN
A Soldier and Santa




















































































This poem was written by a Peacekeeping soldier stationed overseas. The following is his request. I think it is reasonable.

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favour of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to all of the service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your small part to plant this small seed


Condolences to the Bob Brennan family
From Ele Dietrich Slyter (69): Dunseith, ND

We are so very sorry to hear of Supan’s passing…our hearts go out to Bob, Sonny, Sheila, Shelby and Shannon at this terrible time. She was such a wonderful person, so strong and capable. I always admired her courage to leave her family in Thailand to come here to live. She will be missed by many.




Reply to Mrs. Conroy’s 1954 class picture posted with Auggie Johnson

From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND


Hi Gary,
I think I’ve mentioned Auggie/Sybil Johnson’s son, D. J., was in my class in Minot many years ago. I can definitely see the resemblance between D. J. and Auggie.
Deerheart Lodge
Reply from Banche Wicks Schley (42): Grand Forks, ND
Just read about Deerheart Lodge. The mention of the house tar Mr. that had built reminded me of an incident that it was displayed (by them) in Dunseth. It was so amazing to me to see lights in this tiny doll house. There was a store next to the telephone office on the east side of the street and as I remember this where he showing these items.
Can anyone tell me when the “stone church” was built. Is it still used as a church? It must have been built as a Masonic place –but in the ’30’s it served as a community church. When was the Lutheran church moved in to Dunseith? Also, another question: there was a building
where the Satrang family lived….it had not been built as a residence ( this would have faced the highway going to Belcourt Then there was a building on the north side of town
that was also a large structure. I In the ’30’s Dunseith had a baseball team and this where they lived for the summer.
I am sure that if I would contact the bank and get a copy of the history of Dunseith…these questions are answered.
Merry Christmas to you and your family ….this includes all the people that cintribute to your daily column, May 2011 be a blesed year for all.
Blanche Wicks Schley
Snow in Germany
Greetings from Bob Lykins (Teacher): Hutto, TX
Hello from snowy Germany and the Bayischer Wald located in the heart of Bavaria, You talk about snow. I have been here for 13 days and it has snowed all but one day, Last year it took me 5 days to get here because of the storms, This year I left earlier and I missed the disasters at the airports over the past several days that you probably read about or saw on TV. It is beautiful here and there is nothing like Christmas in Bavaria. Merry Christmas to all and a very happy New Year. Bob Lykins
Bob, Enjoy your time in Germany with your son and family. Gary
Nathan Richard (2000) Fort Greeley, AK
From Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

A lot of Dunseith grads have backgrounds in military service. Nathan began in the National Guard at UND and later in Army ROTC. Shortly after graduation and marriage, he was assigned to Homeland Security and is stationed at Fort Greely just outside Delta Junction, Alaska.


Kristina Richard December 18 at 3:28am ReplyReport
This is Nathan’s evaluation for this year. We are pretty proud of him!

1LT Richard’s duty performance was integral to the success of my Fire Direction Center crew. During this rating period Nathan was the only dual certified operator as Sensors and Battle Analyst in the Battalion. His Operational Readiness Evaluation (ORE) scores were higher than the primary crew Battle Analyst. 1LT Richard’s technical and tactical expertise gave him an advantage at the time to execute tasks in relation to the Battalion’s strategic mission. He is, without a doubt, a mission-oriented professional; dedicated to the mission and equipped for success. Nathan was responsible for the timely and accurate submission of strategic and operational reports along with crew training products IAW Brigade Annexes and the Battalion training management SOP. Keep a close eye on his career. Ready for positions of increased responsibility based on his untapped potential. 1LT Richard is an outstanding officer and demonstrated he was the right choice as an executive officer for the battalion fire direction center on numerous occasions. He quickly acquired the skills of becoming an executive officer and enabled his fellow crew members to exceed the highest standards of training performance in the U.S. Army. Additionally, he has dual certified as a sensor operator and a battle analyst for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense Fire Direction Crews in a very challenging certification process. He has continued additional duties for his crew as well, assisting the crew APFT program through equipment donation and by personal example, maintaining his edge as a front-line leader and proficient warrior. Promote when eligible.



Supan (Bob 70) Brennan passed away
From Mark Schmitz (70): Rolette, ND

Dear Gary and friends:

I am so sorry to announce the passing of Supan Brennan. Supan is the wife of Robert Brennan. Robert (Bob) Brennan was in the class of 70. Circumstances unknown as of yet. Apparently she fell outside her home, reasons unknown. She was able to crawl into her home. Bob and Mike Brennan found her when they had returned home from a horse sale in Minot. She was taken to the Bottineau Hospital where she expired. Supan was a lovely lady, always present with the Catholic Ladies Auxiliary making and serving her special dishes. I know as this tragedy unfolds many hearts will be touched and broken with those who loved and respected this lovely lady from Thailand. The cause of death is at this time unknown.

Bob and Supan had no internet services, Their home address is 2325 97th. St. Ne. Dunseith N.D. 58329.
Their phone # 1-701-244-5911. I will collect, print, and deliver any condolence’s sent to me, for the Brennan Family,
How sad, I remember Bobby well. He rode our bus. Our condolences are with him and his family. Gary
1964 Concert photos
Reply from Paula Fassett (71): North Branch, MN

What great photos, Dick! I’ll have to dig out my old albums and see if I have any of those. The city hall doesn’t look near a HUGE as it appeared way back then! I loved Trish’ remembrances of band. We did have some very musically talented kids in that little high school. I don’t remember Cheryl in the music camp production, but I’ve played for her so many times over the years and have seen her “wow” people many times over. I always said when I played for Cheryl I never had to worry about how loud the piano got. No matter how loud I played, she could out sing the noise! Cheryl and I have chuckled in recent years over how many hours we spent at the piano – me playing and her singing – and not even practicing for anything – that’s just what we enjoyed doing!!!




One summer at the Bottineau Fair there was a band playing at the grandstand – their lead singer would go to different people in the crowd and hold his mic up for them to sing. Most people would giggle, or get all embarassed and not sing much. About the time he wandered down in front of Cheryl, they were playing “New York, New York” – imagine his surprise when he waved his mic in front of Cheryl and she took it, stood and finished the entire song … AND brought on applause that was greater than what he’d been getting!!! It was a great moment!!




Paula Fassett-Pfuhl

Fines, Penalties and Forfeitures Officer

Customs and Border Protection

Minneapolis, MN

Deerhart Lodge
Message/Pictures from Don Boardman (60): Bottineau, ND
I have a couple of the pieces that Henry Kotschevar made up at Deerhart Lodge. They lived just a half mile west of our farm, a mile and a half north and then a little way west. It was just south of the Schneider Farm where Wes and all of his siblings were raised. They would let us pick juneberries from the patch along the road into their Lodge. I can remember going up there many times and going through the Lodge with them with Marion explaining the doll house that he had made with the carved shingles and the taxidermy animals that she had done. They were really handy and they did a lot of fine work. He used to go around to the sloughs and find diamond willow and make all kinds of lamp stands, candlestick holders, canes and other things. He also used the native poplar to make things. If I remember right the Lodge was made out of the native trees. They were fine people and proud of the things they could do with mounting animals and carving things. The only time he would get angry was when he played whist. He was very good at counting cards and very soon after you were playing a hand he knew just about what everyone had in their hand. If you didn’t play it right he got mad at his partner.
Just a few memories of “the good ole days”.
Don Boardman
Mrs. Conroy’s 4 grade class Picture
Reply from Mary Eurich Knutson (62): Dunseith, ND
Morning Gary
We made it through another big snow. I don’t know how much we really
received but it must be close to the 9″ predicted. State plows had
already cleaned 43 by the time I left for work.
I wonder if the little girls name on that class picture was Marta
Graham seems I remember that name but I do not remember the girl. I
have more pictures ready to send but Karen is so busy I didn’t have the
heart to ask her to send them. I’ll wait till after Christmas when
things slow down a bit.

3rd row front to back: Kenny Handeland, Lowell K., Dwight Lang, Lynda Williams
2nd row front to back: Nicole Bedard, August Johnson, Nikkey Bedard, Patty Spaeth, Johnny Morgan
1st row Front to back: Cecile Gouin, Joan L., Gearld Anderson, Duane T., Marta G.,
George Gottbreht, Glenda Fletcher, Mrs. Conroy


Reply to Diane Hill Moline (75)
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

We can certainly make some good quality reproduction photos for Diane and send them in the mail. Maybe someone else was taking pictures and would be able help with her request also. I will send what I have to Diane. Thanks Gary!


Hill Moline Diane 114 Kittelson Dr Burlington, ND 58722
Jonathan Poitra Died
Death notice posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND
Jonathan Poitra, age 28 of Fargo, died Friday, December 17, 2010 in Fargo. Funeral services will be held on Monday, December 27, 2010 at 10:00 A.M. in the St. Michael Catholic Church in Dunseith. A wake will be held on Sunday at the St. Michael Catholic Church beginning at 4:00 P.M. with a prayer service at 7:00 P.M. There will be no burial. Cremation will take place after the service.

Alaska Cruise 2009
Gary (57) & Sue Metcalfe
Gary M, We have not heard from you for quite sometime now. I’m hoping all is well. We miss all your wonderful stories. Gary S


1964 Concert
Reply form Diane Hill Moline (75) Burlington, ND

Hello Everyone!!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!! I too appreciate all the work Gary does for the “Dunseith family” and all of you for sharing your memories and pictures.

The 1964 Community Concert has been on my mind a lot lately, being Christmas and all! I was in 2nd grade, just turning 8 on December 24th. I was small in stature at that time, so I understand why Dick thought I was 4!! Mrs. Dean Parrill was our second grade teacher at the time. She asked the class who knew the words to the 2nd verse of Away in a Manger. I think I was the only one who raised my hand, therefore I got the part. I recall the excitement of the concert that day. Don Johnson was concerned no one would see me while I sang, so he chose to set me on top of the piano. So, that’s where I sang my 2nd verse from!! I have always wished to have pictures from that concert, so if anyone can help me get a good reproduction of these photos it would be greatly appreciated.

God’s Blessings to you all the Holiday Season, and all year long!!! Diane Hill Moline

1964 Concert
Don Johnson, Diane Hill, Paula Fassett & Gail Henning
Son’s of Norway Christmas Party
Message from Connie Zorn Landsverk: Bottineau, ND
The Son’s of Norway had a Christmas Party @ the Senior Citizen’s Center in Bottineau on December 16th. It was a fun evening. Brenda & Dick Johnson provided the music. They did an awesome job singing and playing. Thanks again Brenda & Dick!! Merry Christmas Connie Landsverk
Pictures – EXPAT Christmas party at the Stokes house
Folks, We slept in our new bedroom for the first time last night. The inside of our new addition is entirely done. They are finishing up the outside painting this week.
Last Saturday we hosted a potluck dinner Christmas party at our house of which I have attached a few pictures of. We had a great turn out with about 70 guests. The two pictures taken inside the house with the gals and the guy were taken in our new living room. Bernadette hired a disco guy to come in too with his big sound system for folks to dance to also. These folks love to party and have a good time. If someone is sitting by themselves being a bit shy, folks go over and start talking to them. We are a group of folks from many counties around the globe. The thing we (Guys) have in common is that we are all foreigners living in this country. A few of the gals (spouces) are not Filipina’s either and they fit in just fine. Gary









Travel Across America
From Trish Larson Wild (73): FORT COLLINS, CO
Hi Gary,

I haven’t given you an update on my travels recently, so thought I would send my Equine Nomad holiday greetings to all, with best wishes for good times and warm gatherings with friends and family.

Since returning from from my travels to Europe and Cozumel, Mexico, in early December, I have been living on the road with my 3 horses again. We are traveling with my truck and trailer, on our way to San Francisco. Tonight we are in Bakersfield, CA after camping for three days in the high desert of Joshua Tree National Park, where we had some very scenic rides in the high desert. My youngest son, Zak, is traveling with me, and it has been wonderful having his company along the route.

I decided against travel through Mexico for now, as conditions there are dangerous and getting worse, depending on which news report you happen to catch. The deciding moment for me was the recent deadly firefight in the streets of the very border town I was planning to cross into Mexico. A reporter and many others were killed in the cross fire.

So my ride to South America is postponed for now, and I’ve gone to plan B, which is to ride my horses at least 200 miles in every US state. I picked that mileage because it’s the same distance as riding to South America – 10,000 miles. I’m very happy and excited with the new plan, and my sons and friends are relieved. I reserve the right to quit if it ever stops being fun, but so far, I’m having the time of my life!

I’m making plans to change my blog format, and currently trying to find a new host. The site I have been using is not user friendly enough, so I decided to change. I’ll let you know when I decide on a new provider, but in the meantime I’m just updating with photos and text on Facebook.

Anyhow, I enjoy reading your blog, and admire your commitment to the Dunseith folks who read it daily. Thank you again for all the work you do. It is a special a gift to so many, and as I am well aware, a lot more work than many people realize. So Thanks!

To Paula Fassett, I would like to say that I sure remember your piano playing during my choir experience. Seems like you were just ALWAYS there, and patiently playing so well! I was in awe of how you could just play anything perfectly, the first time and every time. What a talent, and so casual and humble about it. I hope you still find the time to play….

Any time I think of Choir, I also think of Concert band. Cheryl Haagenson on 1st chair clarinet, Stephanie Evans wailing on sax, and Gary Fulsebakke on trumpet, sometimes in duet with Don Berg or the Henning boy, or my brother Greg. How about Larrett Peterson and was it Lori Williams on Drums, and of course Peter ? on the bass. Who was on that French horn? And I believe Greg Hill played the tuba – am I right? And although Muzette Berube played the clarinet very well, didn’t she switch to oboe at some point? Brenda Hiatt and I sat near each other for a while, trying to squeak a good sound on those awful clarinets, and Pam Fugere, Lynn Gillis, Myra Henning, and Edith Struck played their hearts out on those flutes. I’m sure someone has a photo of the band from that era – there were many more teens playing their brains out during that era. Don Johnson sure knew how to get a lot of people practicing and attending music camp, didn’t he?

And does anyone remember seeing Cheryl belt out the songs in the summer Music Camp production when she played a preacher? It was something. I was there, although I believe I played a minor flower in a field or something….maybe a weed? The director had the idea to have us peons play the landscape – very avant garde! There was no question who the stellar talent was. I remember standing outside the cabin as Cheryl was auditioning, and someone turned around slack jawed, saying “My God, what a voice!”.

We had a wonderful week together, walking the path from the Music Camp dorms to the amphitheatre several times a day. The Peace Garden back paths were so beautiful. I used to ride my horse at a gallop from my house to the Music Camp and back again on the trail through the lovely woods. Like my son does now, I often rode bareback at a gallop, and I can easily recall every turn and dip in that beautiful trail. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to live at the Port and have the Peace Garden as my playground.

Happy memories from good old times.

Best wishes to all for wonderful new memories of this holiday season!








Saturday before Christmas Memories
From Sharon Longie Dana (73): MIssoula MT

Hi Gary, I wish you and Bernadette a Happy Holiday Season !! I wanted to share a christmas memory I have of Dunseith. I remember on a Saturday sometime before Christmas, Santa Claus would show up. This particular time he was in the back of a pick up truck and he gave all of us kids goodie bags with oranges, apples, candy(I always thought the bags were big and even if they weren’t they were FULL). and said he would be at our houses christmas eve. I just remember the excitement and we sang christmas carols and wanted for Santa to show up. It was always cold but we never noticed it. It was such a happy time. I think of it now and it makes me smile. I remember telling my friends to come to make sure we all had goodie bags to take home. Those were the days.


Sharon Longie Dana(73)

Dunseith Community Christmas Concerts memories

Reply from Sharon Gerdes (62): Windsor, CO
Paula, I remember those Christmas eve programs so well. Didn’t matter how cold it was outside, that program had to go on. I thought those bags of peanuts and candy were just awesome, but we seldom had ” store bought” candy. Then we would go home and open presents, which in those days were pretty meager, but oh so special. Again great memories. Thanks, Sharon Gerdes.
Dunseith Community Christmas Concerts memories

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

Paula brought up the Community Christmas concerts from the ’60s. She mentioned the solo by Diane Hill at age 4 or so. Here are the pictures and Dad, Diane, and Paula are together in one. It bears reposting this time of year. Those were the days! Thanks Paula and Gary!


From Dick
Gary and Friends,

What a great memory, Paula! I do remember the Sunday School Christmas programs at the old Dunseith Lutheran Church. The lights were turned down except up front where the kids did their parts, usually dressed like shepherds and wise men and the rest. The other thing I remember was that the old church was bursting at the seams with standing room only. I remember how Carl Grimme would quietly and diligently care for the furnace and the appearance of the church building. He could often be seen walking across the street to check how things were over at the church. I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think he was given enough credit for his continued monitoring to be sure everything was in order, which he made sure it was. Another thing I remember was the rope that came through the ceiling in the entry that we pulled to ring the bell. When we were older, maybe 14-15, we used to get to ring the bell before church. We always had younger kids hanging around wanting to ring the bell so we played a trick on them. It was the same trick the older kids played on us. If you pulled the rope down slowly, it would come down about 6-7 feet without ringing the bell. We would stand on the rope and hold it down and tell a small kid, “Well, OK you can ring the bell. Now grab on and don’t let go whatever you do.” They would hold on tight and when we were ready to ring the bell, we would let go of the rope and the little kids would go up half way to the ceiling. We would grab them and set them down and then ring the bell. You could only get a kid to fall for that ONCE! In the old church there were floor registers for heat. Nearly every Sunday some kid would drop his nickel or dime that he brought for the offering and we would hear it go through the register and roll down the duct work toward the furnace–and then usually hear a little kid start crying. I think Paula is right about the program in the old days being on Christmas Eve and I KNOW she is right about what was in the bag of treats that was given to each kid as they were leaving the church at the end of the program.. Good memory Paula! Thanks for stirring the old memories. Thanks Gary.


Previously posted on July 10, 2009
Message/pictures from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

Paula Fassett brought up the Community Christmas Concerts we had back
in the mid 60s. I think Dad was encouraged to direct the choir made up
of all ages of folks from the area. I remember I was also ‘encouraged’
by Dad to be in it, although at the time I was one of the only kids my
age involved. The school choirs were also involved in the Christmas
programs, again under his direction. The pictures below are of one of
these concerts and were taken in the old city hall. The little girl by
Dad is Diane Hill. Next to her are Paula Fassett and Gail Henning. My
guess is Christmas 1965. Thanks Gary!



I looked back to July 2009 and in the message Paula correctly dated the concert to 1964 rather than ’65. Thanks.




Reply from Paula Fassett (71):
Bill Hosmer’s mention of singing Christmas carols made me think about the years when Don Johnson organized the community chorus. I think this has been discussed on this site before, but what the heck – it bears repeating! My Dad sang in the choir – Mom didn’t, she wasn’t a singer. I remember going to the concerts in the old city hall – it was a very merry event. One year when Diane Hill was about 4, Don lifted her up and sat her on the piano and she sang a solo – I don’t remember the song she sang – but it was pretty amazing since she was such a little girl. Some of the grade school classes would perform, too. I don’t remember which grade I was in, but I remember being the accompanist for my class – probably a few classes together – getting up to sing with the choir.  

Do any of the old Lutherans out there remember the Sunday School Christmas programs in the old Dunseith Lutheran church? As kids, we all had speaking parts – I HATED that – and we’d sing a few carols. Then there were always Christmas presents from your Sunday School teacher…and a bag of candy for each kid….that was the part we all looked forward to! There was always an apple or orange in the bag, LOTS of peanuts, some hard Christmas candy and always that chocolate covered mint thing (not my favorite, obviously). I think the program used to be on Christmas Eve back then??


Merry Christmas!

Paula Fassett

Wesley Schneider’s childhood memories “Stille-Nacht”
Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (70):
Gary and Friends,

I realized this eve,while crossing the street, “This day is short.” Darkness came abruptly at about 5:00. Six months ago it could not be summoned til 10:00 p.m. What a five hour difference and snow, snow, snow.!
Knocking at the door of my neighbors, the dogs sought and got their treat.
And I, join Wes and Ovidia as they set up to supper to dine on homemade steaming hot chicken noodle soup, venison sausage, fruit salad and homemade applesauce.

Of course, Wes sitting between me and Ovidia made certain I am to have a scoop out of any dish that passes before him, back and forth, back and forth. They are as generous to me as they are with my dogs.

I share with Wes an e-mail from the Blog.
Then, I ask Wes, to recall his “Memories of Christmas Past”.
The Schneider home in those yesteryears did not have electricity. The main source of lighting were the kerosene lanterns lit as darkness descended.

After supper, a story might be told. One night, his brother while using hand motions to tell a story hit the globe off the lantern. KEROSENE__ mayhem! All action stopped__ while the kerosene was wiped up. Then the story proceeded.

Wes said, “He recalls getting Christmas gifts and they always had a Christmas tree.” “His parents were very cautious and only lit the candles attached to the tree branches when everyone was gathered around the tree.” Often, his sisters who loved music would start the singing and others would harmonize. Some would play instruments to accompany.

Songs were sung in the families first language. “Stille Nicht”

And of course on the eve before, the Bedtime excitement! One Christmas morning memory, Wes hearing a jingle,woke his little brother, “Warren! Listen! Santa! ” The jingling continued, high__ on__ the roof top. The two boys in their under wear scampered to the window.

jingle,JINGLE The metal milch bucket came rolling, faster, rolling over the edge of the roof.” The boys looked down at the bucket laying in a snowdrift. Down at their big brother grinning, walking off, off, off into the distance.

Off to the barn to the morning choresŠ..chuckling.
“Stille Nicht”
Ryan Zorn, Son of Myron (65) & JoAnn was killed in Iraq November 16, 2009
Recap with an airline captains letter
From Sharon Zorn Gerdes (62): Windsor, CO

Gary, I don’t know that you would ever have room to include this, but I thought it was so good I wanted to send it. Mary Eurich sent it to me. I can tell you this is all so true. When my nephew Ryan (Myron Zorn’s [65] son) was killed in Iraq last November, it was amazing how much happened that was just heart wrenching. When his body came to the tiny town of Gillette, Wyoming, it was on a private jet. On the ground was an honor guard, and beside them were 200 freedom riders ( Vietnam vets and other vets who attend military funerals, stand for hours with flags, and keep protestors from getting close). Then there were 10,000 people lining the streets and freeway and overpasses , waving flags and saluting. Vehicles of all types stopped and got out and stood as the hearse went by. Schools had been closed and little children were standing in groups waving flags.

The funeral had a constant honor guard,( changing of the guard), there were many many vets, including one gentleman in his late 80’s who still got into his uniform. The state governor, two senators, a representative, a bird colonel, a five star general, — the list goes on and on of the people who came. And this for a normal kid who no one knew, but the response was overwhelming. The army was unbelievable with all they did and offered to the family. They have so many very beautiful mementos and calls and letters and items people made from all over the US. I could go on forever, but I spoke with a colonel, and he said they learned a lesson from the treatment the Viet nam soldiers received when they came home, and that the army is going out of its way to make every single detail taken care of now, and the utmost respect and care given. Its also amazing how they send the bodies first to Dover, and regardless of what shape the body is in, even if its just pieces, those parts are carefully cleaned and groomed and placed in a new uniform before its sent to the soldiers home. The army sends the family to several memorial services, including when Ryans troup came home. They called his name at roll-call and had an empty chair where he would have set.

I just wanted to share a few things after I saw that airline captain email. The soldier will never be replaced, but the branches of the service are trying hard, and I do think that America is thankful for the tremendous debt we have to our servicemen. Thanks. Sharon Gerdes.

Sharon, I most certainly have room and if I did not, I would make room for this. You have such a good way with words too. This letter is beautifully written. I have included the Airline Captains letter below. It’s touching. Gary




He writes:
My lead flight attendant came to me and said, “We have an H.R. on this flight.” (H.R. stands for human remains.) “Are they military?”
I asked.

‘Yes’, she said.

‘Is there an escort?’ I asked..

‘Yes, I already assigned him a seat’.

‘Would you please tell him to come to the flight deck. You can board him early,” I said..

A short while later, a young army sergeant entered the flight deck. He was the image of the perfectly dressed soldier.
He introduced himself and I asked him about his soldier. The escorts of these fallen soldiers talk about them as if they are still alive and still with us.

‘My soldier is on his way back to Virginia ,’ he said.

He proceeded to answer my questions, but offered no words.

I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said no. I told him that he had the toughest job in the military and that I appreciated the work that he does for the families of our fallen soldiers.

The first officer and I got up out of our seats to shake his hand. He left the flight deck to find his seat.

We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and performed an uneventful departure.

About 30 minutes into our flight I received a call from the lead flight attendant in the cabin.

‘I just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is on board’, she said. She then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother, wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their son, husband, and father home. The family was upset because they were unable to see the container that the soldier was in before we left. We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to wait four hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia .

The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see him was too much for him and the family to bear. He had asked the flight attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow them to see him upon our arrival. The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off the airplane.. I could hear the desperation in the flight attendants voice when she asked me if there was anything I could do.. ‘I’m on it’, I said. I told her that I would get back to her.

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form of e-mail like messages.
I decided to bypass this system and contact my flight dispatcher directly on a secondary radio.

There is a radio operator in the operations control center who connects you to the telephone of the dispatcher.

I was in direct contact with the dispatcher.. I explained the situation I had on board with the family and what it was the family wanted.
He said he understood and that he would get back to me.

Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher. We were going to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the family.
I sent a text message asking for an update. I saved the return message from the dispatcher and the following is the text:

‘Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. There is policy on this now and I had to check on a few things.
Upon your arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft.

The team will escort the family to the ramp and plane side. A van will be used to load the remains with a secondary van for the family. The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into the terminal where the remains can be seen on the ramp. It is a private area for the family only.
When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to watch the remains being loaded for the final leg home.. Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans. Please pass our condolences on to the family. Thanks.’

I sent a message back telling flight control thanks for a good job. I printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight attendant to pass on to the father. The lead flight attendant was very thankful and told me, ‘You have no idea how much this will mean to them.’

Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing. After landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area.
The ramp is huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway. It is always a busy area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter and exit.
When we entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp controller, we were told that all traffic was being held for us.

‘There is a team in place to meet the aircraft’, we were told. It looked like it was all coming together, then I realized that once we turned the seat belt sign off, everyone would stand up at once and delay the family from getting off the airplane. As we approached our gate, I asked the copilot to tell the ramp controller we were going to stop short of the gate to make an announcement to the passengers. He did that and the ramp controller said, ‘Take your time.’

I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake. I pushed the public address button and said, ‘Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain speaking I have stopped short of our gate to make a special announcement. We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect.
His Name is Private XXXXXX, a soldier who recently lost his life. Private XXXXXX is under your feet in the cargo hold. Escorting him today is Army Sergeant XXXXXXX.

Also, on board are his father, mother, wife, and daughter. Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank you.’

We continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our shutdown procedures.

A couple of minutes later I opened the cockpit door. I found the two forward flight attendants crying, something you just do not see.
I was told that after we came to a stop, every passenger on the aircraft stayed in their seats, waiting for the family to exit the aircraft.

When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly started to clap his hands.
Moments later more passengers joined in and soon the entire aircraft was clapping.
Words of ‘God Bless You’, I’m sorry, thank you, be proud, and other kind words were uttered to the family as they made their way down the aisle and out of the airplane. They were escorted down to the ramp to finally be with their loved one.

Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I had made.
They were just words, I told them, I could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier.

I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the sacrifices that millions of our men and women have made to ensure our freedom and safety in these United States of AMERICA .

Foot note:
As a Viet Nam Veteran I can only think of all the veterans including the ones that r ode below the deck on their way home and how they we were treated.

When I read things like this I am proud that our country has not turned their backs on our soldiers returning from the various war zones today and give them the respect they so deserve.

I know every one who has served their country who reads this will have tears in their eyes, including me.
Prayer chain for our Military… Don’t break it!

Please send this on after a short prayer for our service men and women.
Don’t break it!

They die for me and mine and you and yours and deserve our honor and respect.

Prayer: ‘Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.’

Folks, Noel (Nolan), the guy in red and the father of this family died suddenly yesterday morning. He was 31 years old. I am posting this because, this is one of the families that is being helped with monthly contributions from one of our Alumni. We received a check several days ago for Christmas gifts for these kids too of which may have to be used for funeral expenses. Noel’s wife had gone to early mass with the children yesterday morning. When she returned home Noel was blue and barely conscience. He was rushed to the hospital and was DOA. His body is now in a casket located in his uncles house across the street from our garage. Noel had jobs hit and miss and was the bread winner of the family. As long as we have known them, they have lived in a small shelter/shack (not a house) with dirt a dirt floor behind his brothers house across the road from our garage. They are such nice folks, always happy go lucky. Whenever Noel would see us leaving with our car, he would always be right there to direct traffic for us to back our car out of the garage. Gary


Folks, Last night when I logged into my computer, I was able to open my Internet Explorer program just fine. I think the problem was a bad internet signal that we often times have. There are times I can access all of my email just fine, but cannot log into any internet sites and vise versa. Anyway, I have now posted the last two days and today’s will be posted on our Dunseith Alumni Website after I send it out. Gary
Dialogue between the Awalt’s & Dick Johnson
Reply from Bill Hosmer (48): Tucson, AZ

I am so impressed with the dialogue about the Awalts and what Dick Johnson generated about the old places on his land. I’m 80 years old now, and have been so close to the Awalt family for my entire life. Then I was a fellow student of Dick’s parents in high school in the old white school house., All of this is a miraculous record of days, people, events, and places in the hills which warms my old heart. Since the holiday is approaching, and my memories of singing the Christmas songs in church and in the city hall, accompanied by these wonderful memories of those special days , let me give my sincere best wishes and hope for the New Year, and a fervent “Merry Christmas” to all you Dunseith folks who give me such pride in your friendship and loyalty to our common place. Bill Hosmer
Generational History
From Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND
Gary and friends,
Ah, generational history! Again, many, many thanks for the photo sharing of the children of John and Gertrude.
My father Cliff, a phenomenal oral storyteller, spoke of a deep friendship of William Awalt and his father, William Metcalfe I.
According to my dad, “It was said Mr. Awalt, was a highly respected early pioneer, of deep spiritual faith within the Holmes Township Community
Dad said, Mr. Awalt and my grandfather had many intellectual conversations. One conversation, Mr.Awalt told his friend,to name the new baby, my father, after him. William Metcalfe I replied,”He already had a son named William, but would name his son, Clifford David;” The middle name David, an early Scot’s king, and like King David the 7th son of a 7th son”.
The early Metcalfe’s of Rabbit City Lake,were also were neighbors and friends of the William Anderson’s parents of Walter, Charlie and Gertrude.
Through the years, the two William’s sons, William II and John Awalt continued to be great friends. John and his sweetheart,Miss Gertrude Anderson were attendants at the wedding of William II and Mary Metcalfe in September 1923.
My dad and his friend Bill Peterson, another grandson of William Awalt as young men, embarked on their adventure to Seattle in the early 1940’s.
Dick/Brenda Johnson’s log cabin pictures
Reply from Mark Schimetz (70): Rolette, ND
Very Nice Home Dick and Brenda!
Date correction to Dick Johnson’s log cabin pictures posted yesterday
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

The pictures are current and the numbers behind the photos are simply the ‘jpg.Dec. snow .001 — .002 etc.’ picture numbers. I think the readers will think it’s the date I took the pictures and in the text I said current which they are. Thanks.


Dick, I caught that mistake after I had sent those. That’s what happens when I get in a hurry. Thanks for the correction, Gary
ND snow
Pictures from Larry Liere (55): Devils Lake, ND & Mesa, AZ



It does not happen very often in North Dakota that we get this much snow and no wind. The radio said 15″ and then changed it to 20″


The snow on top of our picnic table in the attached picture was 22+” Mesa, AZ will look good.











I am kind of making this a little short today. Getting ready for an EXPAT Christmas party that we are hosting at our house this Saturday along with the finishing touches of our addition and with Bernadette’s sister having arrived from Japan yesterday, things are kind of busy at our house. I’ve also been experiencing some computer problems not being able to use my internet explorer browser. I need to be able to use internet explorer to post the these daily blogs too, so yesterday’s and today’s are not yet posted.
Awalt Homestead
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

A real big thank you to the Awalt crew—Marshall, Bonnie (my babysitter long ago), and Lloyd, who emailed me saying he had a picture and would find it. I know the family has been here to look the old place over several times over the years, but I only hoped they might have some pictures of the old Awalt house. They certainly did! Thanks for posting them. On the south side of the house,which is straight out in front of the door in the old picture, William Awalt placed a ring of big rocks for a flower bed and, I assume, Mrs. Awalt planted flowers there. These rocks are still there and Brenda has flowers there every year. I will attach a picture of her flowers from this summer. I don’t know if anyone is interested but I will also send a few pictures of my log house when I was building it 32 years ago and a current one of how it looks today. Awalts house sat on the same spot although it faced south and mine faces east. Thanks again to the Awalts and of course Gary, our main man!!




Flower Bed in 004


Original Awalt flower bed




Dec 001


Dick/Brenda’s replacement log house located on the same spot as the




Awalt log cabin




Log house construction




We are headed to the Airport shortly to pick-up Bernadette’s sister, Alot, who is arriving from Japan. She will be here for two weeks. Alot has been here for Christmas the past several years. She has lived in Japan for about 25 years. Needless to say, Bernadette is all excited for her arrival.
Ardis Goodsell Johnson (49)



Ardis Johnson
(Died December 10, 2010)

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Ardis Johnson, age 80 of Bottineau, formerly of Overly, died Friday at a Fargo hospital. Her funeral will be held on Wednesday at 2:00 pm at the Willow Creek Lutheran Church at Overly. Visitation will be Tuesday from 10:00 am until 9:00 pm at the Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau. Burial will be in the Willow Creek Lutheran Cemetery at Overly.Ardis E. Johnson, a daughter of James and Julia (Kennedy) Goodsell, was born on August 1, 1930 at Westhope, North Dakota. On March 27, 1949 she was married to Lyle Johnson at Overly. Lyle passed away on January 10, 1994.

She is survived by two daughters, Kathie (Keith) Overvold of Clearwater, Florida and Peggy (Donavon) Volden of Fargo, North Dakota; one grandson, Scott (Dawn) Volden of Fargo, ND; grandchildren, Hunter and Reed Volden of Fargo, ND; two step-grandchildren, Kaye (Jim) Maradus of Florida and Cliff (Mary) Overvold of Fargo, ND; step-great-grandchildren, Bryan, Cory (LeAnn) and Amanda (Tom) of Florida; and Laura, Adam and Zach Overvold of Fargo, ND; two step-great-great-grandchildren, Grace and Cameron of Florida; brothers, Franklin (Vivian) Goodsell of Yuma, AZ, and Earl Goodsell of Missoula, MT, and two sisters, Alta Mae Hyde of Spokane, WA, and Alice Heiser of Baker, MT. Friends may sign the online register book at (www.nerofuneralhome.net) (Nero Funeral Home – Bottineau)


Awalt Log house:
Picture from Marshall Awalt (51): Newport, NJ.


Here is a picture of that old log house Dick wanted. I cut four logs out of the left hand corner that I still have. It was a pretty location then and still is.







Awalt Log house:

Pictures from Bonnie Awalt Houle (56): Becker, MN.


Dear Gary,

In answer to what Dick Johnson wanted I have scanned the photo’s that I have of the old Awalt Homestead which is now Dick’s home, of course Dick has done a lot of improvements.


Bonnie Awalt Houle (56)










Awalt Picture Question
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

Marshall Awalt sent in a picture of people celebrating the end of World War I at Berdella, ND. This was actually here on our farmland. What I was wondering is if Marshall or any of the Awalt family would have a picture of their grandparent’s home which sat on the exact same location where I built my log house in 1978? I remember the old log house of William Awalt’s that I cleaned up in order to build on the spot. It was a log house with two very small added rooms on the north side. It was left unoccupied from 1938, when the Conn family moved to the west coast. By the mid ’50s, when I started exploring the place, it was starting to deteriorate badly. One story about the house is about how the living room floor got caved in like it was. Dad told me that when Grandpa Hans Johnson used the yard and surrounding acres for pasture, one of his team of workhorses pushed the door open and went in and fell through the floor. They couldn’t find him and finally looked inside the open door and he was standing in the cellar, unhurt. By 1978, when I cleaned up the old house with the Cat, it had collapsed and was just rubble. I really would appreciate it if anyone has a picture of the old house back in the day when it was Awalt’s home and would post it for me. The big elm trees that graced the yard were planted in 1902 and John Awalt told me his dad covered them with horse blankets so they wouldn’t be damaged during the building of the house. We had a beautiful yard for many years until a few years ago when Dutch Elm disease claimed ever single elm in the yard. I do have pictures taken in the yard when Awalts lived here but none show the house, just people and horses and the picket fence gate on the south side of the house. I hope Marshall or one of the family has a picture for us. I would really like to see one. Thanks Gary!




Photos provided by Jim Kamphenkel (Teacher): Greenwald MN


This photo is 5th & 6th grade basketball in 1974-75. I think all of the kids have been identified correctly.


Jim Kamphenkel


Back: Brian Azure, Albert Delorme, Pat Evans,Orville Davis,Coach Steve Krebsbach, Gary Belgarde,Patrick Gunville, Randy Azure, Jr. Poitra.
Front: Joey Evans, James Malaterre,Sylvester Laducer, Fred Laducer, Tim Leonard, Blair Neameyer, Jeff LaFountain, Rod Moe, George Bruce, Danny Ringuette,




Here’s a photo from about 1975. It’s a group of excited kids who won a junior high basketball tournament showing off their trophy.

I think that I got the names and spellings correct – I hope!


Jim Kamphenkel



Back – Steve Renault, Reed Rainey, Clarence Enno, Gary Belgarde and Terry Decotah.

Front – Rod Moe, Clarence Counts, Blair Neameyer, Wade Renault. 



Ardis Goodsell Johnson (49) passed away

Ardis Johnson
(Died December 10, 2010)

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Ardis Johnson, age 80 of Bottineau, formerly of Overly, died Friday at a Fargo hospital. Funeral will be held on Wednesday at 2:00 pm at the Willow Creek Lutheran Church at Overly. Visitation will be Tuesday from 10:00 am until 9:00 pm at the Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau. (Nero Funeral Home – Bottineau)
Ardis’ passing is such a surprise. I have talked to Ardis several times in the past couple of years. When I last talked to here a few months back, she told me she was doing some volunteer work at the Good Samaritan home in Bottineau.
Our condolences are with Ardis’ family with her passing.
Reply from Allen Richard (65):

I loved the Apron History! About the germs–They must have been good things. The last time I got the Flu was in ’68–’69 —- Which was the last time I got a flu shot! (Unless you consider vodka a flu shot. Come to think of it–I never heard of a flu “pandemic” in Russia———–)


To Bonnie Awalt Houle— Looked at your picture–you can’t possibly be old enough to remember that stuff. Must have taken notes from Keith — he could be that old!


(Sorry– I haven’t zinged a cousin in months! I couldn’t resist!)


Hope you are all enjoying the winter weather! We are about 450 miles straight East of Rochester, MN. Don’t believe all the bad winter weather complaints you hear about MI. True–the UP gets interesting and lake effect snow can be fun, but the rest of it is pretty wimpy — by Turtle Mountain standards.


I’m on the school board here — can you believe they shut down school when the wind chill hits -20???? First of all we didn’t know the term wind chill until the ’80s. Second if we followed the -20 rule we all would have had December-February as weather days!



Merry Christmas!
Awalt Family
Folks, With the Awalt family being frequently mentioned the past while I feel it’s time for a re-posting of their family picture along with Bonnie’s message.
Previously posted with message 480 on 6/15/2009

Message/Picture from Bonnie Awalt Houle (56): Becker, MN
Dear Gary,
On the third of June all the Awalt Children headed for a Lake Home near Lincoln Nebraska. For 5 days we celebrated together, reminisced about the younger years, and completely enjoyed the company of our siblings. We feel so fortunate to have all of our Brothers and Sisters and their spouses still alive.
We have been married a total of 367 years:
Lloyd and Theresa…60 years, Eleanor and Leonard…60 years, Marshall and Joan 50 years, Emma and Garry…55 years, Bonnie and Keith…52 years, Bill and Eunice…48 years, John and Gerri…42 years. Our Parents John and Gertrude Awalt were married over 60 years before they entered into eternity. They taught us Love, Fidelity, Perseverance, and Devotion to children and family. What a blessing was handed down to us from our Parents.
Bonnie Awalt Houle (56)
Note: Marshall’s wife, Joan, passed away this past May.
Note: Those listed in Red are the Awalt siblings. Spouses are listed in Black

back row: Garry Jolliffe, Keith Houle, Leonard Stickland, Lloyd Awalt, Marshall Awalt

middle: Emma Jolliffe, Bonnie Houle, Eleanor Stickland, Theresa Awalt, Joan Awalt
Front: BillAwalt, Eunice Awalt, Gerri Awalt, JohnAwalt


From Bonnie Awalt Houle (56): Becker, MN.

Merry Christmas Gary from Minnesota and our fresh foot of snow. The wind is blowing and sculpting beautiful shapes in the drifts and the best part is we can sit inside where it is warm and put together a jigsaw puzzle. Thanks to everyone for solving the picture puzzle of my Dad for us.
My Grandmother Anderson always wore aprons, she had many, many of them when I came across this poem about aprons (attached) she immediately came to my mind. Thought people might enjoy the poem and think of Grand Anderson also.
Bonnie Awalt Houle (56)

Bonnie’s memories

Long Distance Telephone Calls

Horseback riding


What are some of the common things from the past that we haven’t thought of in years?How about the long distance operator breaking in to tell you that your 3 minutes are almost up?Now days we pick up the phone and dial long distance without giving it a thought.When we were kids it was a big deal to call long distance, and when a long distance call was received at your home everyone was to remain silent while our parents talked, long distance was not for children. The time limit of 3 minutes was honored by the person calling and the person receiving the call.When the operator said your time was up you hung up even if you were in the middle of a sentence.Children did not talk for a long while on the phone, it was state your business and hang up.We had party lines in town sometimes several parties on one line.I do remember how excited everyone was when we were able to get a two party line.Your ring let you know whether the call was for you or your party line partner.Our ring was two long rings.If you were calling someone up in the hills you had to go through Berdella, or something like that, that was the operator at Kelvin. (Some of you people from the Hills could be more accurate on this as I am guessing).

The stories of horse back riding remind me of the Schneider girls, Elaine and Marlene.They were excellent riders.Elaine even had her horse jumping poles she set up.Gayl Bedard was another excellent horse woman.Gayl loved horses from elementary school until the present day.Gayl spent a lot of her spare time in school drawing horses. (she was pretty good also).When we were in High School we borrowed Rodney Evans horse Toni and road out to Lords Lake.It was Elaine, Gayl, and Myselfand I can’t remember for certain who else.We decided we should have a race.(DUMB)The county grader had been through and left a row of dirt clumps down the center of the road, of course that is where we were racing.The Evans horse was used to racing and used to winning and so with Gayl as his rider he had no trouble jumping the dirt clumps and taking the lead.I was not a good rider but was very competitive and tried to do the same thing.Needless to say the horse and I both went down.I broke my ankle and the horse was scuffed up pretty good also.We had to get the horses home and face the music of having done such a senseless thing.I believe Elaine took the brunt of the blame for that, as I was riding her horse.Another day after that we rode from Schneider’s out to Rodney Armentrout’s farm.We did a lot of riding that summer and our biggest challenge was trying to get the horses to cross the creek out by the graveyard to get to Gottbreth’s.I led my horse across I never could get her across with me on her back.




Mrs. Conroy’s class picture provided by Dwight Lang (61):

Reply from Dwight Lang (61): Tucson, AZ.


This was far too easy for you folks, about a 2 or 3 on the hardness scale. I figured Joan (Wurgler) Salmonson and Janet (Hosmer) ???? would have nailed them all shortly. Got to thinking again and that’s very dangerous, when did Janet (Hoagenson) join up with the class of 61? The Duane T’s last name was Trustee. I think his dad was a fed with the border or the post office. Now that Marta G. I have no idea. Sure cute with those big ears. Bet she grew into a beautiful woman. Dick, you got the rest right, Lowell, Augie and Joanne.

Dwight, You are the only guy I recognized in these pictures. You are the only Guy in these pictures that I knew back then too. Since the day I was born, I have known you. You’ve got 4 years on me though. Your mother, Charlotte Hiatt Lang, was my first grade teacher at Acworth. That was the last year of summer school at Ackworth too. There were only 7 students total in the whole school that year. They were Barbara, Harvey & LD Hiatt; Bradley Salmonson; John & Dale Pritchard; Gary Stokes. Gary
PS – Hopefully the Origin of the name Marta given below will jar some memories as to who she is?
Marta (given name) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marta is a Czech, Russian, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Georgian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish given name for females,




3rd row front to back: Kenny Handeland, Lowell Kelly, Dwight Lang, Lynda Williams


2nd row front to back: Nicole Bedard, August Johnson, Nikkey Bedard, Patty Spaeth, Johnny Morgan


1st row Front to back: Cecile Gouin, Joann LaRocque, Gearld Anderson, Duane Trustee, Marta G.,

George Gottbreht, Glenda Fletcher, Mrs. Conroy



3rd row front to back: 4th graders; Glenda Fletcher and August Johnson



2nd row front to back: Marie Iverson, Jean Lake, William Longie, Judy Kiesow



1st row front to back: Harvey Johnson, Ernestine Dailly, Janet Hosmer, Michael Graham,


Billy Awalt, Rodney Kalk, Adolph Longie, Mrs. Conroy





Our New phone number – (701) 428-8186
Folks, Our new phone number is (701) 428-8186. That’s a Kindred phone number with Magic Jack. Phone numbers for SRT phone exchanges are not available with Magic Jack, so I chose a Kindred number. This number will not wake us up, so you can call anytime. If we don’t answer just leave a message and I will get back to you.
Wonderful Wonderful – A lot of folks have been visiting our Dunseith Alumni Website. It’s interesting to note that several days last month we had in excess of a hundred visitors. The average daily visits for last month were 50 and a fraction. It’s also interesting to note that for days I’m late getting a message out or if I miss a day, the visits to our Website are spiked.
Dunseith Alumni Website link

Mrs. Conroy’s class pictures

Reply from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.
Thank you Marie Staub, for the school pictures showing Augie and Harvey Johnson. As you know, Harvey passed away some time ago, in St. John ad Augie lives in
Minot. Him and I have been divorced for the past 15 yrs. and I dont speak to him, but it is still nice to see and read stories about Axel’s family. Thanks again.
Sybil Johnson
Mrs. Conroy’s class pictures
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

Thanks to Dwight Lang and Marie Iverson Staub for the picture and the names of the kids. I did have a question about some of the names I don’t recognize. Can someone fill me in on how some of these kids fit into the Dunseith area, as in what there parents did or who they were living with. The students I don’t seem to remember are:

Marta G.
Duane T.
Glenda Fletcher
Judy Kiesow

I think the second girl in the 4th grade picture is Joann LaRocque–she is listed as Joan L. ( my guess?)
The boy listed as Lowell K., I believe is Lowell Kelly, who is Randy’s brother. (He looks like Augie Johnson, his cousin, in the same picture.) Thanks to anyone who can fill in some information. Thanks Gary!



3rd row front to back: Kenny Handeland, Lowell K., Dwight Lang, Lynda Williams
2nd row front to back: Nicole Bedard, August Johnson, Nikkey Bedard, Patty Spaeth, Johnny Morgan
1st row Front to back: Cecile Gouin, Joan L., Gearld Anderson, Duane T., Marta G.,
George Gottbreht, Glenda Fletcher, Mrs. Conroy






3rd row front to back: 4th graders; Glenda Fletcher and August Johnson



2nd row front to back: Marie Iverson, Jean Lake, William Longie, Judy Kiesow



1st row front to back: Harvey Johnson, Ernestine Dailly, Janet Hosmer, Michael Graham,


Billy Awalt, Rodney Kalk, Adolph Longie, Mrs. Conroy




Wesley Schnieder
Reply from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND



Yesterday, I printed and delivered the message to Wes from his niece. Wes sat down in his chair at the kitchen table, got out his glasses and read quietly. Although Buie and Thor both vied to get Wes to pet him Wes gave full attention to Connie’s message.


He appreciates all the personal comments written to him. And say, ” Here Ovidia did you read this?” I also happened to notice one day, Ovidia has a file she puts all his stories and correspondence in, saves and they read over again.


Last night,I commented to Wes, “I suspect Christmas has always been your favorite holiday from childhood, because, your birthday comes so soon after.”


Our friend, Wes will soon be 9 decades old a couple days after Christmas. Vickie
Laurent Gouin Passed Away
Message/Obituary from Cecile Gouin Craig (61): Windsor, CO

My Dad Laurent Gouin passed peacefully Saturday evening December 4th 2010. He will be missed.

Cecile (Gouin) Craig

Mrs. Gouin, Cecile and Maurice, Our condolences are with you with the loss of your husband and Father. Reading his obituary, We can tell he was a great man. He will be missed dearly, but your memories will always carry on. Gary

San Haven – Mildred Isackson
Message/Pictures posted by Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

Most of the folks who lived or worked at San Haven will remember Mildred Isackson. She was the director of nurses for most of the time the San was in operation. These are two pictures of her, one from the very earliest days and one in her later years. I apologize for the darkness of the older photo, but that’s the way it is. On the back it says, ‘Mrs. Isackson at work at San Haven’. Thanks Gary.



Mrs. Conroy’s class pictures
Reply from Marie Iverson Staub (60): Seattle, WA.
I have these picture’s and I did have them labeled so hope they are correct.
4th grade front to back first row: Cecile Gouin, Joan L., Gearld Anderson, Duane T., Marta G., George Gottbreht, Glenda Fletcher, Mrs. Conroy.
2nd row front to back: Nicole Bedard, August Johnson, Nikkey Bedard, Patty Spaeth, Johnny Morgan, Kenny Handeland, Lowell K., Dwight Lang, Lynda Williams.
5th grade front to back first row: Harvey Johnson, Ernestine Dailly, Janet Hosmer, Michael Graham, Billy Awalt, Rodney Kalk, Adolph Longie, Mrs. Conroy. 2nd row front to back: Me(Marie Iverson), Jean Lake, William Longie, Judy Kiesow, and 4th graders Glenda Fletcher and August Johnson.
Marie Staub(Iverson)






Sandi Dubois LaRocque
Reply from Connie Zorn Landsverk: Bottineau, ND
Just read today,s Dunseith news & so sorry to hear about Sandi Dubois LaRocque. I don,t know Sandi but will pray for her. Cancer is an awful thing. My husband Roger died from cancer in June so I know how Sandi & her family & friends are feeling. We must put our trust in the Lord & hope for the best!!
Boy on the horse pictured with John Awalt has been identified
Reply from Lloyd Awalt (44): Bottineau, ND
–I finely know who the boy on the horse is it is Michael Gress who is my sisters Eleanor’s grand son the picture was taken at crossroad ranch which is on hwy 43. She has the picture on her wall. Mystery solved. Lloyd Awalt
Reply from Lee Stickland (64): Dickinson, ND
Gary the boy in the picture with John Awalt is his great grandson Michael Gress. He is the grandson of Leonard and Eleanor Stickland. The picture was taken at Cross Road Ranch. Dick his mother is Punky Stickland. Eleanor
Lloyd & Lee, Leonard and Eleanor Awalt Stickland’s email address that I have is not longer a good one, so they have not been getting these daily message. Gary
Reply from Gwen Grimme Eltz (68): Spokane, WA
Hi Gary,

The little boy on the horse with John Awalt looks familiar to me, too. I noticed that Bonnie said the photo was labeled “Carl.” I was wondering if the “Carl” could actually be “Carol.” The little boy looks a lot like Carol (Fassett) Tessin’s son, Timmy. When Tim was about that age, Carol and he visited the Dunseith area. Bonnie and Carol probably graduated within a year or so each other.

The picture of John Awalt is so real to life. He and Gertrude were good friends of my folks, so I remember visiting their home many, many times. They were so friendly–never too busy to sit down for a good visit. I also remember Bonnie Houle’s (and Lloyd Awalt’s) grandmother, Myrtle Anderson, really well. My mother was part of Grandma Anderson’s Wednesday afternoon coffee guests when Myrtle lived in a tiny house next to John and Gertrude. After Grandma Anderson passed away, both of her sons (Charlie and Walter) stayed with us at the Commercial Hotel for many years.



Michael Gress and John Awalt




Pictures from Mrs. Conroy’s class

“Green Berets reply”


rom Dwight Lang (61)


Let me start a new name the heads game (well not really new /50+ years back) Mrs. Conroy classes. Remember the poppy program and posters? I believe it’s my eagle on the back wall. Pretty pathetic now that I look at it but at the time it should have won the top prize as far as I was concerned.
Gary, some time ago I sent you an email regarding my recollection of the “Green Berets” and I included in bit about Mrs. Conroy. You never published either. I don’t know if it was because of the content or if you lost it in the scuffle. Anyway, the Mrs. Conroy story might go well the ID game with the epic’s attached. Here’s a reprint. Edit as you please, PLEASE. Dwight , No editing necessary. Gary
Dwight, I did not see this the first time when you sent it back on November 11th. I would have posted it then had I seen it.
Folks, I never just not post anything that is sent. If I feel editing is necessary, of which none rarely is, I will reply with an edit request. Gary
From: Dulang8@aol.com
To: gws123456@hotmail.com
Sent: 11/8/2010 10:47:16 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time
Subj: “The Ballad of the Green Berets” & Mrs. Conroy’s teaching
“The Ballad of the Green Berets”
I have to agree with Keith that “The Ballad of the Green Berets” came out in 66 or possibly 67. I remember Veterans day on the campus of UND. Although I never served in Vietnam, I was a vet having been discharged from active Army a few years prior. There was no honoring of the service veterans that day at UND. But there were 20 or 30 protestors marching around the entrance of the student union. The signs they carried ranged from “Stop the War” to “Baby Killers”. I remember vividly the feelings of both shame and hatred. With thousands of my comrades being killed daily, those “Baby Killer” signs hurt to the core. Yes it was the right time for “The Ballad of the Green Berets” to arrive. We all needed that little pick me up back then.


Mr. Editor, Gary, are we allowed two topics on the same blog?Dwight, Absolutly, The more topics the better. Gary

Mrs. Conroy’s teaching:


Another flashback! Yes I recall the singing of “It’s a Grand Old Flag” at the Memorial Day program. Mrs. Conroy was a real choreographer in her day. She convinced me that I had a special talent to display and make Mr. Bo jangles dance. You guys remember the toy, the stick puppet with the hinged arms and legs suspended on a string above a flexible stick. I believe it was the very first time I ever performed before an audience larger than the forth grade class. I don’t recall which event it was but here I was, center stage at the old city hall, before the entire Dunseith population making Mr. Bo jangles dance to the music blaring. Was spot lighting used in these programs? That I don’t remember, but it was a grand production let me tell you. It was my finest hour of fame or maybe just two minutes. Next stop – Broadway!!!

Thank you, Mrs. Conroy.

Dwight, These are precious! They will bring back some memories for lots of folks. Thank you so much for sharing.
Folks, feel free to reply with the identities of or those you think are in these two pictures. I’ll keep posting until we have it nailed. Thanks,Gary




I think Dwight Lang is in 3rd row from the right, 2nd from the back?



Gwen Grimme Eltz’s Nephew.
Posted by Gary Stokes

Hi Gary,

The voting link is embedded in Facebook, so I sent you a message in Facebook to connect with the West Acres content that Steven is in. Hope the link works for you still. Steven is a neat kid; he was born prematurely so has had a lot of health issues–but he’s a totally happy, bright teenager. He’s had 22 surgeries so far in his short 18 years; in fact, last week he had to have to surgery to prepare for using a Vagus Nerve Stimulator. The stimulator, hopefully, help with the seizures that cause him a lot of misery. He graduated from West Fargo high school. Steven’s dad (who was killed in a car accident) was George’s only brother; hence the “Eltz” name.



Hope all is well with you and Bernadette!

Folks, This is for a good cause. For those of you that have facebook, please follow the link above to Gwen’s facebook and Vote for Steven. Let’s keep him number one. Gary




Wesley Schneider
Memories from Connie Fauske Monte (62): Santa Barbara, CA
I too enjoy Vickie Metcalfe’s story telling, especially the ones about Wesley Schneider. He is my uncle and it seems the only times I get to really hear about him is when Vickie talks about him. Vickie, tell Wesley hi from his niece Connie Fauske Monte. He was the greatest uncle anyone could ever have. I remember when he worked at the creamery in Bottineau, he would bring cottage cheese over for us. It was so good, Mother always made hers so the kind you had to buy was really a treat.

The last time I saw him, he was telling my sister Carrole and I, the story of when Exlax first came out, the company sent out samples to everyone in the community, so when the Schneiders got theirs he and Sal liked them so much they went around to all the neighbors mailboxes and got theirs and ate them all. He said, needless to say, they did not go to school for the next few days. We all laughed so hard.. He is a great guy and great story teller as well.

Reply from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND.
I am speechless reading Erlings compliments. Thank You.
Erling, life has given us simple gifts; One of the most valuable is friendship.
All I am or hope to be is rooted in the beliefs gifted by my parents. Lessons in strength from interactions (some negative some positive) with folks of our home community. And, multiple gifts of courage which were taught to me by great teachers, ” kids” from N.D. across to Montana. I safe keep each of those gifts. Vickie.
Sandi Jubous LaRocque
Message from Verena Gillis: Dunseith, ND
This is just to inform everyone on the latest of many cancer victims here
in Dunseith/Turtle Mountains. Sandi Dubois LaRocque has been diagnosed
with ovarian cancer, she also has a tumor on her liver and a 5x6 tumor on
her stomach. She leaves for the University of Minnesota along with her
family tomorrow morning at 8:00 am. This was such a shock to everyone! 
She has always been a healthy person, rarely getting sick. Her son Jared
is married to our daughter Brandi. We will be taking care of the 4 little
ones so they can accompany her to Minnesota. I do believe her mother
Violet, sisters Beverly, Poodie, Janice, Shelly and Linda will also be
going with her. We still do not know what is in store for her once she
gets there, more than likely surgery to try and get the tumors out. We
are asking for prayers from everyone for her and her family. PRAYER IS

Megwitch (Thank you)

Horse Picture with John Awalt
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

After eliminating Dustin Striker as the boy on the horse, I do have another thought. The Peace Garden buildings of the earlier vintage were mostly all of ‘board and batten’ construction. This is vertical boards with a strip covering the seam.Most of the practice huts at the music camp were also similar. It was in the late ’60s when I worked there and they were just then talking about an equestrian camp and stables. The building in the picture appears to be newer as the boards haven’t really started to weather much. John Awalt was one of the better carpenters in the area and maybe he was involved with the construction of the barn type building and was there when this picture was taken. That could also explain why no one recognizes the little boy as he may not be from this area at all, just at the Peace Garden for the day. If this is right, it may also explain why there is no last name on the picture–just ‘Carl’. His last name would probably not even been asked. Just another guess. Thanks Gary!



Horse Picture with John Awalt

Reply Don Martel (Teacher): Rosemount, MN
Perhaps the child on the horse is not a boy


Folks, I normally get this out before noon. It’s now going on 9:00 PM, so I’m later than normal. I had a busy day with the plumbing, painters and electricians with our new addition. Everything needed my attention all at once. I’ve been the one, with a helper, that has pretty much done the plumbing and bathroom fixture installations. Except for the bedroom closets, the inside will be finished in several day. The closets should be finished and painted by mid week next week. Gary

Wes Schneider memories – The Long Drought of the 1930’s

Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND.
Gary,Mark S., and friends,

When I had the dogs out after school today,we walked over to Wes and Ovidia’s armed with Mark’s information from the blog on “the Kotchevars and the Schimetz families” .

Once my boys received treats from Wes, they settled down to contently listen and Wes provided them his special soothing pats . Those two dogs are so happy you’d think it’s been weeks instead of days of missing “their Wes”!

After I read to Wes he commented, “Yes, Louis and I were the same age and good friends.” He then said, “In the dry thirties no one lived on that piece of land which most recently was the “Louis Schimetz” hobby farm.
Wes also told me, “The land was always kind of swampy” then recalled during the long drought of the thirties his father needed hay. And the swampy ground did have hay.

So, Wes a mere lad, was put on the dump rake. He said, That bumpy^bumpy^ ground made it difficult for me to stand on the rake, because I was to short to sit on the seat. I had to hang on or fall off. The poor horses got bad sores from the harness rubbing their hides raw as the rake jogged up and down this way and that.”

His father was happy to have whatever hay there was for the cattle. Also, during the winter’s of the thirties, in the fall, his dad purchased a big barrel of molasses to put on straw for feed. Wes said, “He continued to ride rake on that bumpy land for a more few summers, until one dayŠ.the rains finally came.

Later. Vickie
Vickie Metcalfe & ND Eulogies
From Erling Landsverk (44): Portage, WI
Hi Gary and Everyone:
As I was perusing your last blog, I came across a disertation by Vickie metcalfe. She is not only a gifted story teller she is an astute scholar of human behavior. Her description of the dunseith folks and their varied ancestories is so very much on the mark. In addition to that I must add that the balance of the population acted and lived the same way. A kind of good Neighbor policy that was voluntary and practiced by everyone.
On my last visit I had the good fortune of meeting many of the younger generation of our old neighbors and friends. They are exact clones in their social behavior. They all seem to exude a friendly and cheerful attitude. They are considerate, hard working and are not judgemental. They are all a refreshing change from other states I have visited. I guess I have said it before but there is really something unique about the people of North Dakota One has only to experience it and it becomes very evident. I enjoyed very much vickie’s recipe for egg nog. She has such a clever way of telling things, that one feels almost like we are right next to her in her home Thank you Vickie for a great recipe. I would like to add that I met vickie for the first time while on our visit for the one room school reunion. I met her in the Bakery. She made a lot of things work better for my sister Borg and I, and her genuine friendliness was really appreciated. Vickie has a gift for writing about events that keeps a person reading it I have an idea there could be a collection of short stories that will hit the market with a big splash.
Erling Landsverk
Unknown Boy pictured with John Awalt
Reply from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND.

Gary,Lloyd, Dick etal…


Now I’m on board sleuthing.

We’ve agree the photo is of John Awalt, the horse is quite gentle, and it is a summer photo.


I do remember, sometimes neighbors loaning horses out to give “city kids’ who came visiting a taste of country.


Myself, I thought that horse sure looks my brothers old mare from childhood, Dolly.

Or, the Uncle Jim Metcalfe’s pony, Scottie.


I recall, John Awalt was around our farm for a time in the early 70’s doing finish carpentry. He and Gertrude also frequently visited with my Uncle Bill and Aunt Mary. They were all together at the 50th wedding anniversary of Uncle Bill and Aunt Mary in ’73, as they were the wedding attendants at the Sept. 1923 wedding.


Does any one remember seeing a shed like that with the boards running vertical?


Does the photo have the year printed?


Hmmm. Perhaps folks should take a closer look at the horse, then just maybe identification of the little boy will happen?


With luck we can!, Vickie



Unknown boy with John Awalt





Dunseith News


Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND








Bernadette’s niece snapped this picture of us as we were leaving going out for dinner in celebration of our 32nd Anniversary





Gary & Bernadette Stokes




Kochevar and Schimetz families

Reply from Mark Schimetz (70): Rolette, ND
To Gary and friends, an excerpt I recalled for Vicky Metcalf’s and Wesley’s Story.
Thank You Vicky for the retelling of Wes Schneider story.
As You know the Kochevars were very close friends of the Schimetz, (Simec) family. I suspect it was Jake Kochevar that Wesley was talking about. Jake was the father of Lillie Kochevar, Lilly lived just a half mile west of Joe Schimetz’s farm,(Which was won in a card game). Joe was the oldest and first of the 3 Schimetz men that came to the USA, while great strife was occurring in Austria and surrounding countries. Joe came over as a stowaway and was caught and put into a chain gang in Florida. Joe later escaped with dogs and men on his tail in the swamps of Florida, and arrived later in North Dakota. Joes farm was later inherited by John and Franseca (Sasak)Schimetz farm. Then Later by Louis Schimetz Hobby Farmed the same ground with exotic Birds and other animals. My Grandfather John and Franseca first farm lived on was where Ingolf Medlang later lived. My Dad Louis was often at the Christianson farm where Ray and his siblings lived, not far away.
Recipe from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND

Gary and Mark,

Thank you Mark for stories and photos of the Kotchevar’s and Schimetz’. I recall, your dad, Louis was also an oral story teller. We are of the generation so lucky to have had no t,v. then t.v.’s!


Your comments about Wes and his stories of life in the foothills West of Dunseith, Dunseith and Dunseith School will delight him. He likes sharing his stories, and hearing back from folks.

I’ll print out and share your insights with Wes. I know he will enjoy hearing your Schimetz history. Perhaps your reply will spurn him on anew.

Oral history stories are fascinating, especially when relationships and feelings are uncovered. I’ve enjoyed Wes telling stories which talk about early Dunseith folks; including his German father, the Kotchevars,the Austrian Schimetz’, my own Grandma Rose, the Egberts, folks like KC of Lebanese descent and others interacting with each other.

I ‘ve come to believe; These folks,our role models, put aside many differences including, nationality,religion, language and color. NO,they did not lose that identity they were proud of where they came from.


They were just keenly aware of the need for mutual respect for human dignity which pulled them all together to build a community.

Flash forward to 2010 to a little Dunseith blog community fashioned by Gary S. and Dunseith alumni does it not? Many folks from all corners of the “blog” community who continue sharing common identity.

Regards. Vickie
Home made Egg Nog
Recipe from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND

Gary and friends.

My friends, Wes and his son in law were processing deer sausage last week.

I have to tell you all, sausage recipes are not to be found in this gal’s recipe box.

Here it is the holiday season and I, like Scrooge am dreaming of Christmas’ Past. My Christmas past like yours, contains a lot of holiday memories and comfort foods.

Is there any one else out there who has a Christmas or New Years story to share? I will start with the first recipe I learned from scratch.

Egg Nog

I am my father’s daughter. My parents taught me how to savor “good food” and the love of sharing a meal with special people.

Although, I really disliked having to wait for my dad the times he was late with the chores, our mother was a stickler for our family eating together. Most often at the worn oak cottage table that came along, when they purchased “Acorn Hill” farm. We ate every meal together. Breakfast, dinner and supper. Dad at the head, mom at the foot, my sister and I separated by wood and Š..dad’s long reach!

Yep, For the longest time I was …second child. And the bane of an older sister’s existence. I could walk. She needed to be carried. She had been stricken with rheumatic fever. I, as healthy as the Campbell soup kid.

The earliest memory cooking was making egg nog from scratch with my older sister. Mom decided, she needed the wholesome nutrition. So, every night, we’d place the big taupe-clay colored pottery bowl on a kitchen chair. Then, I’d claim another chair to stand on to dig for the hand beater. While mom found the necessary ingredients. Fresh eggs from the chicken coop next to the separating room housed in the warm barn. Whole milk from our cows morning milking, along with store bought white sugar and McCormick vanilla.

With my insistence, we’d each get one egg to crack. I enjoyed perusing the eggs and making choice selections. My sister thin, frail and pale. Me. Short, stout and a little kid as wide as she was tall who could barely reach up over the bowl. Yet, I as stubborn as my MacLean genes would allow, spun that handle standing on my tippy toes leaning onto the chair which held the bowl.

All the while, my older sister fretted to our mother, “the eggs are not mixed properly, Yuck, they’re slimy and ick an egg shell! Because she was taller and older, she got to pour the two cups of whole milk, usually it was pure cream which had come to the top. Then measure the sugar, and add the vanilla. Ah. The aroma of pure vanilla! I guess my accommodation to this deal was the spinning of the handle to the mixture. When I got tired, I put the hand mixer into the dishpan and gave that a few turns……. That made nice bubbles..

While,she poured the concoction into the green, pink, orange or yellow metal glasses. Oh, no! Oft time’s I’d tangle the dish rag in the hand mixer while I was giving it one last spin in the dish pan. Mom would come to my rescue. And yes, of course, we had our favorite glasses according to my sister. Hers was pink! And I never said a word if I happened to find an egg shell or a piece of slimy egg white. I’d say, Yep it’s fine it’s just the way I like it.

We’d slurp the slimy concoction through paper straws. We’d find lots of undiluted sugar at the bottom. Of course this fat little sister’s loud slurps and sometimes unladylike belches frequently irked the big sister. ( Well that was the idea isn’t it? Little siblings are put on earth to bug older ones!)


We were responsible to do the dishes. My older sister always got to wash because I inevitably didn’t do it properly. Actually, ok the truth? I’d wipe because I loved the flavour of the end of a wet dish towel.

Well given time and years, my sister and I both grew tall and out grew eggnog making on kitchen chairs. Traditions changed.

Egg nog was made again by our mother. So smooth and pure with aromatic vanilla…..

Hum. Our mother’s dear neighbor friend was Wayne S’s mom who introduced a little New Years cheer to the eggnog. Now, we girls of Lottie, all cherish a recipe in our cookbooks entitled Audreys’ Egg Nog.

Be of good cheer! Only 20 days! I believe in Santa, like I believe in Nessie and most of all in fond memories! Vickie
Unknown Boy on the horse pictured with John Awalt
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

This afternoon we had a museum meeting after which I stopped by Marlene Striker’s with a print out of the picture of John Awalt, Sr. and the small kid on the pony. It took only a glance and she said, “That’s not Dustin.” Mothers know. So Lloyd, it’s back to you I guess. I don’t know of anyone that age named Carl from around this area either. Sorry, my guess was wrong. Thanks Gary!


John Awalt with unkown boy on horse





“Happy Birthday” to Tim Hill (68)
From Debbie Fugere Fauske (75): Minot, ND

Happy Belated Birthday, Tim!!!! Here’s to many many more!!! You look great!


Debbie Fauske
Horse Stories – Sharon Peterson – Sharlotte Nordquist
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

Lee Stickland has a good memory. Sharlotte Nordquist was a horse lover for sure. She collected plastic minature horses, she drew horses, and she rode horse every chance she got. When she stayed at the farm, we rode somewhere every day. She was a good friend of Sharon Peterson, who also liked to ride and owned a nice horse. I usually let Sharlotte ride my Welsh mare and I rode the half wild two year old colt. I only had one saddle that was decent so I let her use that and I used an old McClellen cavalry saddle probably of Civil War vintage. We used to ride up to the swimming beach at School Section Lake, a mile and a half from the farm. It was real dry and hot in the summer of ’61 and by the time we got to the lake both of us and the horses were all bit up by the horse flies. The horses would run into the lake and swim around–with us still on them. The first time we tried to hold them back and not soak the saddles but after that we just rode bareback and let them go. We went there to swim anyway so it didn’t matter.

One time we had more riders than horses so I went over to Smiths and borrowed an old dapple gray mare named ‘Belle’. Unknown to me, she had been a cutting horse in, I think, Montana before Smiths got her. We had several horses of all kinds and sizes and decided to race out to and around a haystack and back. That day I was riding old Belle and when we got to the stack, I really laid the reins hard to the side of her neck to turn. I was never so surprised in my life when that old horse laid over nearly flat on her way around the stack. The rest of the nags were standing straight up skipping sideways and trying to turn and I was half way back by the time they got around the stack. I think the old horse enjoyed it as much as I did so we made a few more rounds. She might have been older but she never forgot her job!

Another deal was that Sharon Peterson’s little brother, Larrett, always wanted to go along when we rode but he didn’t have another horse except for one of Bill’s old team of Belgian work horses named Cip and Cap. Larrett would only have been 7 or 8 and even a bit small for his age but he would go and catch one of those huge old horses and before we could get out of their yard he had a bridle on one and would climb the fence to get on and here he would come riding with his legs sticking straight out to the side bouncing from side to side. He couldn’t get off unless he had something to climb up to get back on. He would stick with us all day. I don’t think you could have found a smaller kid or a bigger horse in the country! I remember Sharon had named her horse ‘Shawnee Lee’–I thought that was neat. It was a good looking horse too, with lots of spirit. Do you think the ladies like horse stories better than those boring car stories? Thanks Gary!


Obituaries posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.

Willard Wendell Lasher, 95, Bottineau, died Monday, Nov. 29, 2010, in a Bottineau hospital.



He was born Jan. 26, 1915, to Ben and Melvina Lasher, at Edmonds. He served in the Coast Guard from July 31, 1942, to Nov. 24, 1945. He married Ruby Neubauer on Oct. 27, 1946, in Bottineau.

Survivors: wife; daughters, Connie Kahn, Rio Rancho, N.M., and Sandra Thompson, Bottineau; six grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; sisters, Lillian Beyer, Bottineau, and Beulah Hoaglund, St. Paul, Minn.

Funeral: Monday, 3 p.m., Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Bottineau.

Burial: Oak Creek Cemetery, Bottineau, in the spring.

Visitation: Sunday, 1 to 9 p.m., and Monday, 9 a.m. to noon, Nero Funeral Home, Bottineau.

Darlyne E. Melgaard 1930- 2010


Darlyne E. Melgaard, 80, Minot, formerly of Bottineau and Newburg, died Tuesday, November 30, 2010 in a Minot hospital.

Darlyne E. Pladson was born on July 11, 1930, to Theodore and Marie (Jacobson) Pladson in Columbus, ND. She was raised and educated in the Turtle Mountains.

On July 25, 1948, Darlyne was united in marriage to Clarence Melgaard at the Salem Lutheran Church, rural Bottineau. They made their home in Bottineau and later in Newburg where Darlyne was a devoted mother and homemaker. In 2005, after Clarence retired, they moved to Minot.

Darlyne had a love of music from a very early age. Her passion was playing the guitar and singing with family and friends. Darlyne and Clarence also provided music over the years at various community functions and nursing homes. She also enjoyed baking cookies and buns and was known for her great potato salad. She was currently a member of the Minot First Assembly of God Church and was active in coffee Bible study groups in Bottineau and Newburg.

She is survived by: Husband of 62 years, Clarence, Minot; children: Connie (Stephen) Harish, Devils Lake, ND, Larry (Janeen) Melgaard, Kenmare, ND, Dean (Janice) Melgaard, Bismarck, ND, Gaylen (Diane) Melgaard, Minot; 14 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren: sister: Delores Holdaas, Seattle, WA; sister-in-law: Jean Pladson, Lake Metigoshe, ND.


Darlyne was preceded in death by her parents, brother Duane Pladson and nephew Jim Pladson.


Visitation: Sunday, December 5, 2010 from 1 until 5 pm at Thompson Larson Funeral Home, Minot

Funeral Service: Monday, December 6, 2010, at 11 am at First Assembly of God Church, Minot


Burial: Will take place in the spring of 2011 at Salem Lutheran Church Cemetery, Turtle Mountains

To sign the online guest register for Darlyne

Christmas Poem from Travis Metcalfe (76): Mesa, AZ
Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (68): Bottineau, ND



This note is for your information as a veteran from the area who may be interested.


Here in Bottineau, I was not to happy last month when I read in the Bottineau Courant;

County commissioners voted to put the Veterans offices in the county shop rather than house the office in the courthouse… the reason…..no room.


I was incredulous and angry,I thought, “Do we want our soldiers to protect our country and stand in front of of us looking danger in the eye? Then like used goods…….throw them out to travel out to the county shop to seek services when needed?”


I was relieved when local veterans expressed their disapproval..

As I understand it, now the CDC building on main street has opened a space for the office.


The following fwd so fitting, was sent to me by my cousin Travis M.



A Different Christmas Poem

This is very powerful. It really brings reality to whats going on.

Remember our armed forces who keep us safe and sound everyday of our lives. Freedom is not free. God Bless America

Please pass it on.

YouTube – A Different Christmas Poem <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_P6yU_ymFM&feature=share>
Vickie, I agree with you whole heartedly objecting to moving the Veteran’s office to the county shop. What a slap in the face for the veterans. That office should be upfront in the court house and not in some pasture land out of sight, out of mind. It sounds like whoever made that decision has little respect for the organization and the folks they represent. I bet they love their freedom though.

With my Civil Service job, with reorganizations and downsizings, being a Veteran, I was always given seniority placement privileges. This always upset a few folks that were affected with these moves. My reply to them was, “This is the governments way of paying me back for my service to this country”. Gary



Tim Hill (68): Celebrated 60th Birthday
Picture provided by Diane Hill Moline (75): Burlington, ND

Hi Gary:


Family, friends and co-workers celebrated the 60th Birthday for Tim Hill in Minot, November 27, 2010. Pictured are Laurie (75) and Tim Hill, Dick and Brenda Johnson.





Diane Moline




Central Trenching Inc.


5200 7th Ave SW

Minot, ND 58701

Great Photo of all of you!

Tim, you are looking great following all that you went thru with your heart transplant.

60 is the this years milestone age for your class. Dick was 60 on July 20th too.


Laurie Evans Hill (75): Tim Hill (68), Dick Johnson (68) & Brenda Johnson


Harlan & Sharlotte Nordquist pictures
Reply from Lee Stickland (64): Dickinson, ND
Gary, Great to the pictures of Sharollet. She lives about 260 miles from Dickinson,south of Jamestown and a bit west. I remember that she likes horses and plastic replicas of. They lived a block or so south of us in Dunseith.
John Awalt picture with unknown boy on horse
Reply from Lloyd Awalt (44): Bottineau, ND

Dick , Looking at the picture of dad and the boy on the horse I have been thinking I know that boy but cannot put a name on him . I’m setting here looking at it now and I believe you are right for the Striker name rings a bell. You looking at it I was trying to place where it was taken at. I know it was taken in the hills ..I think you should have Marlene look at it then we will both be right or wrong. Did she have a boy named Carl? Lloyd Awalt




John Awalt picture with unknown boy on horse

Reply from Ken Striker: Dayton, OH


Dick- Reference unidentified boy. Doug Striker died in July of 1982, so Dustin would have been about 12 years old. Does anyone have more about Dustin. I had the privileage of meeting Marlene and children Deane and Debbie when they came in June 2009 to Berne Indiana for our 175th Striker Reunion. See information below. Ken Striker of Dayton Oh

H1e3 Douglas David Striker b 25 Jun1926 Rolette Co ND d Jul 1982 bur at Rolette Co ND Little Prarie Cem
+Marlene Ann Espe d/o Arthur & Effie M (House) Espe source: Marlene Striker Rt #1 Dunseith ND 5832 Marlene and children Deane and Donna and grandson Dustin came to 2009 Striker Reunion at Berne IN.

H1e3a David C Striker b 1952 1676 Ninth St N, Apt 2 Wahpeton, ND 58075 (701) 642-5724
H1e3b Deane K Striker b 1955
+Roberta Hagen (DHS’75)
works construction and raises cattle in Dunseith area, North Dakota.
H1e3c Deborah L Striker b 1956
+Bradley Kubela 2 children , works during the week working for the local college in their dining sevices. grow sugar beets and soybeans
H1e3d Donna D Striker b1958
+Michael Lund (div) 2 children
+ Dennis Robinson. I have been living in Swift Current for about 8 years now. I married a Canadian in 2004 after being divorced for 21 years. I love it up here. We have about 80 acres of land 5 miles from Swift Current & my husband raises horses for a hobby. He is a long haul truck driver & runs both Canada & US. I work part time at a fitness place & love working outside in my yard. I do alot of flower gardens, fish ponds & a large vegetable garden. I have 2 kids, a girl that lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado & a son that lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
H1e3e Dustin L Striker b 1970
Dustin Striker?? & John Awalt Sr.

Susan Putnam Richard Models for Big Brothers Big Sisters Cancer survivors.
Weblink posted by Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI
My wife is the dark haired woman in the blue jacket.



No Blog yesterday.
Folks, I got hung up with our building project yesterday and did have a chance to get a Blog sent.

Harlan & Sharlotte Nordquist Pictures

Reply from Colette Hosmer (64): Santa Fe, NM

Wow. It’s interesting how images of people you haven’t seen in 50 years (give or take) still reside somewhere in one’s head. Thanks so much for finding and posting these photos.

Larry Nagel (Teacher) is President of the NDDTSEA:
Posting from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.
Hi Gary,
Larry Nagel taught in Dunseith awhile back. Maybe you were one of his students? He is now president of NDDTSEA. If you go to this site, you’ll see his picture. http://www.minotstateu.edu/drivered/nddtsea/
Larry was hired in 1967, several years after I graduated, as a teacher in Dunseith, So I never was one of his students. Gary
Unidentified boy on horse with John Awalt
Reply/picture from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

Quite a while ago, Bonnie Awalt Houle posted a picture of her dad, John Awalt, and a boy on a horse. She said the picture was taken in the 70s in the Turtle Mountains. I have looked at this picture several times thinking I should know this boy but today I ran across it again and think it may be Dustin Striker, Marlene Espe Striker and Doug Striker’s son. He spent nearly every day at our place with my son Dave after his dad died when Dustin was about 10. I think some of the Strikers read this blog and could maybe confirm or correct my guess on the identity. If there isn’t a reply, I will print the picture and show it to Marlene sometime as she will definitely know. This is just a guess. Thanks Gary!


Reply from Art Rude (71): Bismarck, ND
Hi Gary,

Thank you for sharing my book with the people on the list. I had pretty much given up on having the book in time for Christmas, although originally that had been my goal. I submitted the final manuscript in May, thinking the book could be printed during the summer and be ready for sale in the fall, well before Christmas. The publishing process was much slower than I had anticipated, so after two edits I did with a good friend (Bob Stenson, originally from Rugby) the publisher took several month to get to the first proofs, and then there were two sets of proofs before the book went into production. As it didn’t get to print until the end of November, I decided to put off promoting the book until after the first of the year. There were a couple of reasons for that. First of all, the electronic version of the book, (the e-book) still isn’t done, (not sure why, seems like it should be almost automatic) and I don’t want to promote until the e-book is available on Kindle and I-tunes. Also I know very little at this point about the marketing through other outlets. I know it is available immediately on Amazon, but it is also supposed to be available at Barnes and Noble (not yet confirmed as available there yet), Borders.com, and 12 other distributers.

All in all, I have a lot to learn about the process, and have set January 5 as the target date to have a promotional package together. Hopefully, although I miss Christmas for my promotional efforts, in January there is little competition for ad space, so hopefully, I will have a good program designed.

So, getting some sales for Christmas in spite of all the delays, is a nice surprise, seeing how I had pretty much given up for this year. I’m not sure how fast Amazon is to deliver, but I know one friend who ordered from Amazon right away, and he had his copy in hand before I got mine. Mine finally came yesterday, and it was great to finally see the physical results of all the work, and all the waiting. Although there are definite disadvantages to the “self-publishing” model that is prevalent today, the advantage is, the author has far more control than ever before. It allowed me to format the book in a rather unique format, and control such things as font size and bolding of text for emphasis. I really like that option.

I hope everyone who reads the book enjoys it, and finds in interesting and thought provoking. The review I got on Amazon was great, so hopefully that will continue.

Thank you Gary, for all your efforts.



PS. People who are interested can always keep up with me at my website, www.artrude.com. I haven’t done anything about the book on my website, but hope to have time this weekend to get a start.


Peace and Power,

Thanks for checking out Art Rude Productions,
webpage address: www.artrude.com
and Art Rude TV at: artrudetv on Utube!


Willard Lasher, age 95 of Bottineau, died Monday in a Bottineau hospital
Folks, Willard Lasher’s mother was Melvina Thompson. On his mothers side Willard was a first cousin to Robert Pritchard, Corbin Pritchard, Winifred Eurich Pritchard, Ella (Eldon) Thompson Pladson & Esther (Edmar) Thompson Tangen.
I will be posting Willard’s obituary when it is available in the next day or so.
Following my HS days when I worked at and lived at the Dave Clark Farm from June 1965 until I went west in October 1966, Willard Lasher became a very special friend of mine. Willard worked at Soland’s Standard Station in Bottineau. On my off time at Clark’s, I used to hang around the Standard station a lot. I used to see and visit with a lot of folks that passed thru the station. When things were busy, I’d help pump gas etc. I enjoyed the Camaraderie. It was my recreation. Willard was always working when I was there. We became close friends. Willard was a good mechanic too. He fixed a lot of folks car problems. Willard was known for taking his time and doing a good job. Dwight Olson was working there at the time too. Virgil Soland was the owner. Ron Bergman’s store has been on that corner for many years now.
I express my condolences to Ruby and her family with the passing of Willard. Gary

Steven Knudson, Grandson of Bev Handeland Hamnes (48), passed away:

Obituary posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND


Steven Knudson
(November 23, 1982 – November 28, 2010)



Steven Knudson, age 28 of Bottineau, died Sunday at his home. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday at 2:00 P.M. at the United Parish. Burial will be in the ND Veterans Cemetery in Mandan on Thursday. Visitation will be Tuesday beginning at 10:00 until 9:00 P.M. and Wednesday 9:00 A.M. until noon in the Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau.

Steven B. Knudson, a son of Brad Knudson and Karen (Light) Knudson, on November 23, 1982 at Bottineau. He was reared and attended school in Bottineau for a time. Steve then moved with his mother to Surrey. He returned to Bottineau in 1996 where he graduated from Bottineau High school in 2002. On July 3, 2002 he entered the US Army, where he served for a time in Iraq. He was honorably discharged on February 12, 2010. Steve returned to Bottineau and has resided here since.

He enjoyed snowboarding, traveling to many resorts on the East coast and in the Mid-west. Steve also was a hunter, played guitar, enjoyed listening to music, traveling and skiing.

Steve passed away on Sunday, November 28, 2010 at his home in the Turtle Mountains.

He is survived by his parents, Brad and Margo Knudson and Karen Knudson both of Bottineau; a brother Justin (Shelley) Knudson of Bottineau; sisters Miranda (Aaron) Schuler and Carla Knudson (Jordan Smith) both of Minot; step-sister, Kori Haugen step-brothers, Cory Haugen of Fargo, Isaac Haugen of San Francisco, CA and Ben Haugen of Bottineau; grandparents, Allen and Susan Knudson and Mel and Bev Hamnes both of Bottineau.

Steve was preceded in death by his grandparents, Bill and Carol Light.

Steve’s family has our condolences with his passing. Bev, we know he was a special grandson too. Gary

Steven Knudson’s paternal Great-Grandparents were Jennie & Clarence Handeland
Posting by Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND
Jennie and Clarence Handeland of the Kelvin Community, north of
Dunseith were paternal great-grandparents of Steven Knudson. Their
daughter Steven’s grandmother is Bev (Handeland) Hamnes.

Harlan & Sharlotte Nordquist
Reply/Pictures from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

Colette Hosmer asked me to post some pictures of her high school friends, Harlan and Sharlotte Nordquist. I found just a couple for now. Harlan was in the Marines and was stationed on Okinawa in the early ’60s. This picture was taken there while he was in his battle gear. The only readily available picture I have of Sharlotte is her graduation picture. She graduated from high school at Hatton, ND where my uncle Cliff was the superintendent of schools. I may find more pictures as time allows. Thanks Gary!


Art Rude’s new book is on Amazon.com

From Art Rude (71): artrude@hotmail.com Bismarck, ND


Here is the listing of my book with Amazon. If this works, it would be great if you would share this. If someone is interested in buying the book, it drives up my ranking with Amazon. If anyone reads the book and writes a review I would appreciate it. I hope everyone finds it interesting and thought provoking.

by Art Rude

In Stock

Price: $12.95

7 used & new from $12.72