Happy New Year
From Esther Murray Fleming (65): Flint, MI



Hi Blog

Just thought I would wish everyone a Happy and prosperous New Year., from the Fleming Clan.
Love Esther
From Lynn Halvorson Otto (75): Boonton, NJ
Gary and Bernadette, Happy New Year to you all! We have been so very blessed in 2010 and I’m sure God has great plans for all of us in 2011 and beyond. You and Bernadette are a great blessings to all of us alumni from Dunseith, ND. I hope all appreciate all the time and effort it takes to do this blog. All our best, Lynn and Greg Otto and family
Lynn, Doing this Blog gives me something meaningful to wake up to each morning. It also keeps me connected to the good ole USA and the wonderful folks from Dunseith and the surrounding areas. It takes time, but I’m retired, so I can choose to use my time any way I choose. You know when I worked I enjoyed my job. When one retires you have to find ways to fill the social void that comes along with being retired. It took about a year for me to feel comfortable being retired without the pressures of my job hanging over head. Now, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard seldom comes to mind. I learned the skills of the trade with what I’m doing with this Blog from my working years at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Gary
Reply from Trish Larson Wild (73): FORT COLLINS, CO

Happy New Year Everyone! Gary your photo cracked me up – I loved the plate of dessert leading to the New Year resolution that we all make at this time of year. Very funny.

I am in California now, and write this from my North Dakota girlfriend’s house in Sacramento. We are so glad we are not dealing with your weather in NODAK, but thanks for the humorous stories that get shared so readily in that climate. We cooked and ate and drank champagne and laughed about old stories we were in together. Yup, I love my North Dakota friends!
Sending you all best wishes for a New Year full of whatever you ask for. As they say, be careful what you ask for….
Thanks Gary!
Trish Wild
The Equine Nomad
John Awalt Memories
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

There are a couple memories I have of John Awalt, Sr. that might stir some memories from his family. John was always doing something with wood, whether it was carpentry or creative woodworking. I built the cabinets for our house and wanted a nice valence for the area above the sink, between the cupboard cabinets. I drew a pattern and headed down to see John. I showed him my design and he said it was good and he would have no problem making me one. A few days later he called me and said to come and get it. Of course I had to have coffee and cookies with he a Gertrude before I left. When we were finished, I took out my billfold and asked what I owed him for such a nice piece of woodwork? He said, “You don’t owe me anything. It’s my part of your new house on our old place.” He wouldn’t take a dime.

When he was retiring, Dad bought his temporary workshop that sat west of Dale’s truck stop and we moved it to the farm for a shop building. John kind of went with the project and helped me put in the overhead door and other jobs. It was working with him that I learned a lot of things about carpentry. Between John and Bill Peterson, I could find out nearly anything I needed to know when I was building or remodeling. For those who don’t know, Bill is John’s nephew. While working on Dad’s shop, I also heard many of the cliches John used and I bet his kids remember. It was the first time I heard anybody say, “I cut it off twice and it’s still too short.” John also had his own little saying. Most people say, “Holy Moses”–not John–he turned that around to, “Moldy Hoses”. There were a couple ‘others’ that I will just keep in MY memory. Once he asked me to bring down a load of old barnyard manure for his garden. I had some that had been piled for many years and I had used it on my own garden and it really worked well, so I loaded a big load and took it to John. He wasn’t home when I got there so I just shoveled it off and spread it around evenly on his garden. He came home just when I finished and when he looked at it he got a strange look on his face. He said, “I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but that’s going to be way to rich and my spuds will be all scabby.” I felt kind of bad, but I told him I didn’t think so because it worked well on my own garden. Later that summer I was sitting at the counter at Dale’s and John came in and wrapped his arm around my neck and said, “I just went out to the garden and dug some of my spuds and they are the biggest and best that I’ve ever grown in that garden. You really know your s__t!” I guess that was a compliment! Thanks Gary!


This is kind of a nice “Happy New Year” picture with the gals head gear that I thought I throw in with today’s blog.
Evelyn and Alex Todd are the couple in the picture with us. They recently moved here from San Diego. Alex is retired from the Marine Corps and Law enforcement (Sheriffs department). Evelyn is retired from the “Navy Federal Credit Union”.


From Connie Zorn Landsverk: Bottineau, ND
I would like to wish everyone a healthy & happy new year!! Connie (Zorn) Landsverk
From Rhonda Hiatt (75): Battle Ground, WA

Have a Safe and Healthy Happy New Year Everyone, and my condolences go out to all who have lost a loved one this year.


Rhonda Hiatt





ND Snow storm:

Message from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND


I just got off the phone with one of my friends in Eastern North Dakota.


He said that since early this morning, the snow is nearly waist

high and is still falling. The temperature is dropping below zero and

the north wind is increasing. His wife has done nothing but look through

the kitchen window. He says that if it gets much worse, he may have to let

her in.

From Mel Kuhn (70): St. John, ND



Stories–I’m part of a morning coffee group of 10-12 guys. We gather every morning at the little cafe in St. John that used to be Mel’s Diner. One day one of our younger members [early 50’s] asked me what happened to all those old guys that used to sit around in the mornings having coffee and telling stories when I used to own the place. I looked around at the faces and said–uh we are those old guys now. We sit around telling old stories and new stories that if good enough will become old stories. We tell jokes and we prank on one another and if one of our group is missing for a couple days we wonder where he is. We wonder if he is sick or what is wrong–or worse yet did one of us in our story telling or pranking do something to offend them and they may not come back. We tell stories of those old fellows that used to be the coffee group that was ahead of us that we have now graduated into. Sometimes the stories are embellished upon to improve the content shall we say, and sometimes they need no embellishment to make them a good story. As the guys get up and leave we discuss how full of crap he was today and then I wonder what they say about me when I leave the table. I know that I wonder that if those younger fellows sitting having their breakfast off in a corner are talking about all of us old farts. I wonder what they will talk about and do when it’s their turn to be part of the group. Will the stories about us have to be jazzed up or will they be good enough to make it on their own. Will the story tellers like Dick Johnson and Larry Hackman be able to be replaced by someone as good or will they be another story of their own. I myself know that I could never replace them. Mostly for the simple fact that I can’t stretch the truth or spread the bull nearly as thick with a staight face to fit in with the likes of them.


Well this is enough for me for this year. If I try to say any more I’ll probably have to start telling stories and I wouldn’t want to be accused of doing things like that.

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone and may all your stories for this coming year all be good ones.


Mel Kuhn
Reply from Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA

Thank you to Bonnie Awalt Houle. I found your input, Bonnie, on your son’s interview of your Dad most interesting and entertaining. For me, it brought back memories of when I was young from about 7 or 8 until I started high school. We heated with wood, and for many years it was my job to chop the wood and bring in the daily supply. I also remember us using a thrashing machine for several years which involved cutting the grain with a binder hitched to a team of horses and putting the bundles of grain up in shocks to dry. We also did a lot of other things on the farm with horses. Of course, we also had a tractor for plowing, seeding, etc. We also did a lot of sledding on one big hill in particular and found many other ways to entertain ourselves throughout the years. Thanks again for refreshing my own memories.

And to you Gary, congrats on your 200 plus. I’m not bowling this year (the first time I’ve not league bowled in many years) as I hurt my throwing shoulder last spring and it still isn’t properly/completely healed.
Keith Pladson (66)

Happy New Year from the Philippines
We had a wonderful New Years eve celebration in the Ball Room at the Marko Polo hotel here in Cebu with friends. There were 21 of us with two tables. There were 500 guests in the Ball Room. The buffet was set up at 7:00 PM, followed with music, dancing and fellowship until Midnight. At Midnight we all were escorted to the roof top for a huge fireworks display.
The Marco Polo is a 5 star hotel and they most certainly served a 5 star buffet meal with unlimited drinks and beverages the whole evening. Below are several pictures taken last night.




I toped off my meal with a few desserts. Now it’s time to go on a diet



Before After


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