12/29/2014 (2158)

Reply from Margaret Metcalfe Leonard (’65):  Rolette, ND

There just no way to adequately thank you for the time and effort you put into eight years on this blog.  It’s simply amazing that you’ve kept us connected and informed over not only years but from so many different viewpoints with stories that spark our  memories of days gone by.  I think It’s fascinating  to think that all these stories came out of our little town of Dunseith.   What a gift you have given  to all of us!  Thank you, Gary.  Wishing you and Bernadette and your family many blessings in the new year!

Margaret Leonard

 Thanks Margaret,

 We are actually going into year eight. The first Dunseith Alumni blog message I have on file was posted 12/21/2007.

 Before that it was just our class of ‘65 in the loop. We got our start in about March 2007. I had over 2,000 class of ’65 email messages that got deleted.



Reply to Yesterday’s question – Mrs. Longie
From Ron Longie (’65):  Yakima WA

No, Mom did not attend school in Dunseith, Mom’s schooling took place in the Devils Lake area.


Blog (222) posted on September 14, 2008


From Blanche Wicks Schley (42): 


I am enjoying your daily e-mails.  It certainly is a good way to connect with many people.

I talked to Emerson (Charles) Murry recently and he is living in Bismarck.  He has had an interesting career in law, legislature, National Guard and is now enjoying retirement and his family.

Yesterday morning I chatted with Dorothy Schneider.  She had mentioned that you had contacted her.  As we were talking, Dorothy asked if there was anyway that she could get copies of your e-mail news.  I told her that I could print out the ones that come daily and forward them to her (via snail mail since she does not have a computer).  Is there anyway that you could send her the past ones…and I will forward the ones I have received in the past and future.   Guess even though it has been many years since we all lived in Dunseith,  that is really our roots and we are always interested in news of people and events.  I always like to know what has happened to friends and acquaintances.

I usually log on each morning to check my e-mails and it is always interesting to read yours.

As a result of your e-mails, I had a conversation with Art Rude who was a friend and classmate of my brother, Henry.

Always fun to connect!

Keep up the e-mails, Gary.

Blanche Wicks Schley


Hello Blanche,

It is wonderful to hear from you and hear that you have been able to connect with some folks from the past.  I am so glad that you are enjoying the daily blogs too.  Yes, I had a very nice visit with Dorothy Schneider, also from your class of 42.  She is living in El Sobrante, California.  It is so nice of you to volunteer to send her these daily messages via regular mail.  That is quite an undertaking. A number of our folks have been printing these messages out and mailing them to their parents and others that do not have email. I was talking to one of our alumni a while back and she said that her son takes his computer over to her house and they sit down and go over these daily messages together. She said they normally spend the whole afternoon reviewing these messages.  Since December 26th, with the exception of several days when my internet connection was down, I have sent out a group message every day. That’s about 260 days. I started numbering them on February 2nd. With that volume and multiple pages with each days message, I don’t think I’d be able to print all those out and send to Dorothy.  I really appreciate her interest though. It is with the interest of all you folks with all that you send, that has made this a success.  I’m just the messenger, kind of like the in-between guy. If Dorothy or anyone else is interested, I can set them up with a free hotmail email account. With that account they could view these messages from any computer hooked up to the internet. Most public libraries, schools, etc have computers for public use that they can use.  They can even go to a friends house and use their computer too. There are always folks around to assist them logging on to view their email messages.  All they need to know is there email address and pass word.  I have set several hotmail accounts up for our folks.

I have pasted, below, a picture of the class of 38.  Your brother, Henry Wicks, is standing in the back row to the left. I recognize Henry (Hank) Salmonson standing just in front of Henry in the middle row. Hank is still living on his farm up in my old neck of the woods, in the Ackworth community. Hank lives 2 miles east of the  Ackworth cemetery.  I also recognize Maxine Radley Hiatt in the center of the first row. Her husband Willie recently passed away.  Maxine is currently living at the Oak Manner apartments in Bottineau.

Thank you so much for this reply Blanche.



                            Dunseith High School Class of 1938
Class of 1938 2158





12/27/2014 (2157)


We are now starting year 8 with this blog. The years have flown by rather quickly.

I do not have anything to post today, so I am only going with what was posted with Blog 221 on 9/13/2008.



Blog (221) posted on September 13, 2008


Folks, Of the 30 folks in the class of 1939, there are only four I’m unable to locate.  Please let me know if any of you know anything at all about any of these folks.  Thanks, Gary


Class of 1939

Lois Borland

Doris Damstrom

Irene Danstorm

Joseph Smith

From Lee (Leland) Stickland (64):


Great to hear from YOU in regard to Dad.

I believe he went to the 10th grade?

Dad is 87, is  very lucid, in a NH, barely ambulatory, on constant oxygen, and needs walker at all times.

I go to visit him each day, preferably in the am when there tends to be less congestive heart failure evidences.

The phone number and the address are correct.

He has a great memory, esp of his 27 years on the mail route, days at the Hilltop School, etc.

I am certain that he could drive right to your farm, now; as I  hope I could also.

I am confident that he would be absolutely delighted to contribute in any way to the history of the hills.

I, as all others, look forward to the daily Dunseith recitations.

My e-mail is for the service of/toward communications and is certainly a welcome point of connection.

Thank You, Gary              LEE


From Bill Grimme (65): 


Got home safe and sound. Had a great time visiting ND. Although I didn’t get to see everyone I planned to look up, I was in the company of  ND friends all my waking hours. I really enjoyed the trip to the Rolette County museum. Dick Johnson and Mel Kuhn gave us a first rate tour. It is clear that they, and others, are working very hard on a worthy effort. They are really saving the history of the area. Of course, they have a lot left to do, but I commend them on the job so far. The museum is really a nostalgic place.

Thanks to everyone for the making my visit so enjoyable.



From Florence Hiatt Dahl (50):

Harry I. Hiatt  April 27 1903  – October 15 1955 Ackworth Cemetery

Since were going down memory lane, remember Uncle Harry?  Harry Hiatt.  I was nunber seven of eight children and Don was number eight.  Needless to say that  with that many children we were pretty much on our own.  When we felt lonely or picked on, we would go to Uncle Harrys.  He two children, Pete and Sally.  They always heard us coming and would hide in the  woods.  Boy were we innocents–I don’t remember how old  we were before we realized there was no Pete and Sally.  He always had chocolate cake etc. and of course of course he shared. Thinking back, he would put up with us for a period of time and then would take us home.  What a wonderful person………..


Florence, I remember your Uncle Harry Hiatt well.  I remember him going past our place everyday with his pickup truck on his way down to Willie & Margie’s.  I was 8 years old at the time of his death, but I remember it well. Margie’s Grandson, Jim Hiatt, was with him, at his place, when he died.  Jim would have only been 6 years old.  Harry collapsed and Jim went running to Elwood Fauske, your brother-in-law, who was doing some brushing near by, with the county caterpillar. They believe Harry died of a heart attack.  I remember your nephew, Dwight Lang, telling me he played the taps at Harry’s burial.  Harry was well known for being a very nice gentleman sort of a guy. The Gilje’s and the Myhre’s from Rolette purchased Harry’s farm with his famous Log house. For years and years, they had huge Deer hunting parties, every deer season, at Harry’s Cabin.  Your brother, Howard Hiatt, was well known for his superior hunting skills.  Gary




Arriving  in England in December , Carroll was stationed at  Banbarry until March.  They waited for orders, and continued to train.  They would take part in ten mile marches, once a week keeping in shape.  In January,  the guys were anticipating a  week pass.   The passes drawn  would meant the  guys could go to either  to Liverpool or London.  So many men.   Of course,  everyone, including Carroll wanted to draw  London.     Shorty Moore, Carroll’s friend throughout the war and Carroll  both drew Liverpool.  ” We hit the beer pubs and parlors where the action was playing darts.”   “Many men were on leave,  the pubs would serve a ration of  so much scotch whiskey each night.   Then it was back to beer. ”  ” The whole country was sealed up with men.”(Carroll maintained contact with Shorty after the war,   Shorty passed away a few years ago from injuries sustained in an auto accident.)

While in Banbarry the Battalion stayed on an estate.  The men stayed  in little round huts, with a stove and sleeping on cots.  The fare was “army food”, which was  lots  dehydrated food, and lots of spam, once in a while they would get fresh eggs on a Sunday, but  never bread.   (Carroll says the sailors ate better, and whenever he was on a ship,  the last meal before landing was always real good,….the sailors got bread!”).  The middle of  March came and they received orders to move to  a location closer to the ocean.
Carroll’s Traveling Years will Continue with part 8 tomorrow:


Provided by Neola Kofoid Garbe: 

                                    Tuesday August 12, 2008
Dunseith news


12/26/2014 (2156)

       Happy Birthday Diane Larson Sjol (’70): Minot, ND
Larson Sjol, Diane 2156


From Lynn Halvorson Otto (’75): Boonton, NJ

Merry Christmas Gary Stokes family and also to all those who use this blog.  Lynn Halvorson Otto and family

From Trish Larson Clayburgh (’73):  Portola Valley, CA

Merry Christmas to all my Dunseith friends.  May all our dreams come true in 2015!

Trish Clayburgh


The Christmas Buffalo Story
Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (’70):   Bottineau, ND

The Christmas Buffalo

The holiday mostly observed in my father’s childhood home was not Thanksgiving or Christmas it was New Years.  I have since discovered, Hogmany, is a Scots tradition and the French observed New Year’s Eve.

Perhaps t’was, the influence of the Scots forebear. Or then again, maybe living in the days of the great depression, gift giving as it is now was not really observed.

My father told me as a child, he received only one newly purchased store purchased gift. I’d say, “Dad who gave it to you?” He could not remember. (twenty years after his passing where it came from)

One Christmas, when he, Leona and Emil were all small children, they each received store bought Christmas gifts! The gifts were little cast iron toys. Dad could vaguely remember for sure; he thought maybe, Emil a little wagon, Leona an iron girl toy.

His gift was an iron buffalo!  He treasured that buffalo more than anything, and played with it often.

In those days of no TV or electricity, neighbors came “visiting”. He’d show his present proudly.

One night, after the visiting neighbors left he found the treasured buffalo had also left.  He went to his mother, wailed and carried on.  He told his mother he was quite sure that the young Lajimodere boy, had stolen it!

His mother was not so sympathetic.  She said, “Hush!  Do not accuse, you don’t know for sure if he took it!  If he took it he probably needed that toy more than you.”

He certainly did not agree with his mother THAT boy needed his toy more than he? But soon realized “whining to his mother would get him no where. His mother would not “fix” this problem. Nor would she tell or take it up with the other boys parents.

He bided his time.

One evening, he was very happy to ride along in the wagon with his mother and father to the neighbors, on a return “visit”.  In the final, moment, while the grown ups were bidding their goodbyes, and crawling into the wagon.

He stealthily searched and found. Then his toy buffalo was quietly tucked it up under his shirt. He ran and caught the wagon.

He crawled forward in the back of the wagon, and making himself small, quiet holding his breath, in the stillness of the fragrant hay.

Good bye. Goodbye. The parents said. But he said not a word. The buffalo was safe. His father, clicked his tongue and the horses moved along. Yes, going home.

The wagon was just moving, moving, moving  away and away. He heard when the Lajimodeire door burst open. a faint, “OHHHH no….” crying Francis as he came running out of the house.  “Where he go dat buffalo”?

My father said not a word. He just quietly stroked his buffalo.  He had stolen his buffalo back.  His mother did not chide him nor did his father.

Many years later, every New Year’s eve, dad received a long distance telephone call. Dad would enjoy a nice visit, then hand mom or I, the phone to hang up.

I’d say, “Who was that? He’d say, “Francis Lajimodiere, the boy who said, where he go dat buffalo.”

The old childhood friendship remained intact through all those years.

On my last visit with Aunt Leona I asked her if she remembered her first store boughten  gift?”  “Why Yes,” said my

Aunt Leona. “Do you remember who gave you. Emil and Dad those gifts?”

“ Ah”, she said, “Scotch Annie’s paramour , _____…..”… Wow. Another part of a story I had never heard.

Thanks Gary and friends.

Later. Vickie


Blog (220) posted on September 12, 2008


Thelma Medlang from the class of 1941 (deceased):

Folks, Many of you are doing research trying to find Thelma Medlang’s (41) married name.  We knew Thelma was diseased and had lived in the Seattle area.  I just got a call from Duane Bjornson who lives in Anchorage, Alaska.  His mother, Inga Medlang Bjornson was a cousin to Thelma. Duane told me Thelma’s married name was Wozniak. I was able to find her death record.  Thelma Medlang Wozniak was born 11/13/23 and died 7/15/98.  Thanks to all, for all your help.  Gary


From Bev Morinville Azure (72):

I have gottn shingles  for years  they are  very very painful . One year I got them  six  times   I always get them on my  shoulder,,,,,I  happened  to  be talking to my  cousin  Jean PLladson  one time  as I was  suffering   with them and  happen  to  tell her  about  them…..Jean as  many know is a  very very smart Lady  and  she said  let me do some research on them and I  will get back to you  she called me back the next  day and told me to  take  vit  B 12  but take  the  kind  you  put under your  tounge. I went to GNC and  got  some  and  took them everyday  and  I have not had shingles since. just wanted to pass this infor  on .


Reply from Diane Larson Sjol (70): 

First of all I would like to say that I love the way you write cousin Bill (Hosmer).  You certainly have a way with words that makes the  reader want more!  And thank you to Neola Kofoid for providing the  article about my participation in the 3Day breast cancer walk.  I

would like to thank those of you that donated and enabled me to
participate…and now just a short quick prayer that my feet hold up
(lol)…the ole gray mare ain’t what she used to be….I will keep you
posted and provide some photos upon my return. I leave a week from
today (next Wed. nite) on the train from Minot to Mpls…and will meet
my friend Paula there. We will stay in a hotel that night and then we
are off the next morning and it’s 20 miles a day and sharing with
thousands of others and then a night at camp in our tent (2 to a
tent..we pitch them upon arrival to camp) and start over again no Sat.
and then on Sun. Home on the train Sun. Night …..arrive in Minot at
8am and teach from 10am to 4 at the college…that should be
interesting!!!  Lucky nurses will probably get out early that
day..haha.  Thanks again for all your support, each and every one of


Message from Dick Johnson (68): 

Gary and Friends,

With the interest shown in the James history, I have a couple more

articles some may find worthy of reading. It was said that a family
trait was brilliant blue eyes that most family members had. I read this
and then over the years have noticed that it is quite true and prevalent
down through the generations. One time a few years ago we had a family
reunion at my Grandma’s place in Bottineau. Otto Strietzel, several of
his sisters, and his brother Carl all were there. Otto was sitting out
in the yard with us when his nephew, Clinton Jr. ‘Butch’ Strietzel,
walked up behind him and said, “Hi Otto, I bet you don’t know who I am”?
Otto hadn’t seen him for years,but looked at Butch for a while and then
said, “No, but I can tell by your eyes, you’re a damn James of some
kind”. This certainly ran true with the accounts and stories I had read
and heard for years. Many of the descendants of the James family, who
are around my age, still live in the St. John area. Every time I see
them the first thing that I notice is the steel blue eyes.

Another note of interest is that after Jesse James’s cohort shot Bob
Ford in Colorado, for bragging how he killed Jesse, several folks put
money together and bought a tombstone for Bob Ford. Jesse had lived in
St. Joseph, Missouri under the alias of
J.D. Howard, so the folks who liked him and bought Ford’s stone, put on
it, ‘Here lies the coward who shot Mr. Howard and sent Jesse James to
his grave’. This may not be the exact wording but it is close. Jesse
James lies buried in the yard of his home place at Kearney, MO. They dug
up the grave within the last couple of years and DNA proved it is him
buried there, after a dispute with a family from Texas who claimed they
had the real Jesse James buried there in 1921. Jesse was married to
Zerelda Mimms and had two children, a boy and a girl, Jesse Edward and Mary.

The reason the James family from St. John didn’t acknowledge the
relationship to the James Gang until later, was simple. They moved here
to live normal lives, and remember, this was the NORTH! They feared
reprisal for what their cousins had done in Missouri, not that long
before. I’m sure there were still many Civil War veterans, who fought
for the North, still living in this area. My Grandma used to say that
when, as kids, they would ask their mother about being related to Jesse
and Frank James, she would give them a stern stare and then change the
subject.Grandma said she never said NO, just ignored the subject. I can
understand completely. The first ‘public’ acknowledgment of the
relationship that I know of, was in 1973 in the obituary of Harvey
James, from St. John, where it said he was a  distant cousin to the
infamous Jesse and Frank James. Harvey was a first cousin to my
grandmother, Cynthia Strietzel Johnson. Thanks Gary!



From Vickie Metcalfe (70):V

Hi Gary, Hiatt descendents, and the Slyter Brothers who written in, What wonderful loving memories you,the Hiatt descendents and Ackworth community neighbors hold in your hearts for Willie and Margie.  Dad plastered their house and also enjoyed the gift of working for them so much!  Margie stories were  like Jennie Handeland, stories, “tell it like it is…absolutely….priceless! ”  You guys are wealthy with both the memories, stories to pass on and share, and the knowledge you were well loved by Margie and Willie Hiatt. Later, Vickie

Message/Picture from Dick Johnson (68): 

Gary and Friends,

With all the talk of Margie ( Mar-Gee not Mar-Jee) Hiatt’s popcorn

balls, I thought I should sent this nice picture of them taken June 30,
1970. I know they were very close neighbors to the Stokes and Pladsons.
Several years ago I was on the same bowling team as their son, Norman,
and we had a blast every Thursday night! Norman was a joker so we pulled
tricks on him all the time. He was a good sport and took it as well as
he passed it out! One cute story he told us was that when he was a kid
and World War II broke, his uncle Harry was staying with them and
helping on the farm. One night at supper, Harry opened a letter telling
him he was drafted. I think he was in his forties so Margie sure
wondered why in the world he would be drafted. They were all serious but
Norman exclaimed, “They probably just want to get the lead out of his
ass for bullets”! He said he thought it was funny but Margie sent him to
bed without supper! Thanks Gary!


Hiatt, Willie and Margie



                                     MILITARY ACTION
Africa and Italy
This ship was the first troop convoy to  North Africa, landing in Casablanca.  Carroll rode a train over 1,500  miles on to Tunisia to take part in the defeat. and capture  the Afrika Corps.   They moved on  through two invasions;  in Sicily  supporting the 3rd infantry division at LeCata  Beach and across the island to Messina.
Carroll attained the rank of PFC.  And his job was to set the elevation.  Throughout the war he was on a 24 ton S. P.Howitzer  He remained with some of the same men, in the 62nd  Battalion FA B Battery 4th Gun Section.   Carroll says it some ways it was an ideal job,  as they didn’t  have to walk or carry provisions. Carroll continued with the same job/same kind of gun all the way through the war, setting elevation on the big gun.   He was the  number one man and assistant gunner. John Lewis was the gunner who set  the  gun, left to right.  There were usually   three  or four others handling the ammo which was contained in round tubes.  There  was also a driver.   (Another guy in his battalion was, Fritz Iverson from Velva, N.D.  Carroll said Fritz went all the way through WWII, after which he was reading meters for  an electric company when a pole fell on him and he was killed.)


Carroll’s Traveling Years will Continue with part 7 tomorrow:

12/25/2014 (2155)

No blogs the past three days.

Folks, with the Christmas Holidays and all the added activities, I was unable to get any blogs posted the past 3 days.


Happy Birthday Diane Hill Moline (’75): Burlington, ND
Hill Moline, Diane


Reply from former St. Paul, MN Mayor
Randy Kelly (’69):  St. Paul, MN


Thanks for getting back to me.  Glad the storm didn’t hit you folks too hard,  I am semi-retired.  My oldest son Ryan, who lives here in St. Paul, has a consulting business and he ropes me into handling some of his clients.  It keeps me on my toes and my mind active.  It also, as my wife Kathy says, “covers the cost of my hobby” which is the 300 acre farm, “ranch” which we have in western Wisconsin.  I raise, train and at times board horses. I also have a small herd of Texas Longhorns and raise chickens.  As they say,  “You can take the boy out of the country…..”.  My wife Kathy is the Supt. of Schools of a large suburb of Mpls. and loves what she does.  Our other son, Reed, is an actor/performer on Broadway and TV and movies and lives in New York City

Hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas.  Thank you again for helping to keep so many of us Dunseith expats in touch





Thank you so much for this reply. Sounds like you have a fun retirement hobby, one that many of us envy too.

The term “Expats” (Expatriates) can very well be applied to all of us that were born and raised in the Dunseith area that now live in other parts of the USA or world. Until now, I never thought of it that way.

“An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of the person’s upbringing”



Picture correction
Reply from Dick Johnson (’68):  Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

       I have to agree with Crystal’s correction on the gal in the picture I sent.  It is Bertha Kraft, I believe, instead of the lady who owned the little shack that our ‘Great Uncle Herman Strietzel’ lived in in California at the time of his death in 1964.  I don’t think I replied back when the story ran on the blog six years ago. Somewhere I have a picture that is very similar with another lady in front of Herman’s little rental shack and I mistakenly thought this was the one.  I’ll have to look through some old pictures to see if I can find the correct one.  It’s always good to get the correct information so I have to thank Crystal for spotting this and replying.  Thanks Gary!



Obituary posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND
Troy James Coleman
August 30, 1998  –  November 28, 2010 

Troy James Coleman,  16, Sawyer, ND, passed away on Friday, November 28, 2014 from injuries sustained in a snowmobiling accident near Sawyer.

Troy James Coleman was born on August 30, 1998, a son of Troy and Gale (Bergan) Coleman at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Minot, ND. He was raised in the Sawyer area, attending Bell Elementary School, Jim Hill, Central Campus and was currently a junior at Minot High School.

Troy found a love for motors at an early age and began riding with his dad at the tender age of three. They spent many hours in the Badlands of North Dakota and everywhere in between, joyfully cruising any area which could be traveled by two wheels.

Troy cherished any and every animal he come across and had a special place in his heart for anyone in need. He was always kind, respectful, cordial and made everyone around him feel like they were the most special person on earth.  He had many, many special friends but held the Sailor and Robert’s families as close to his heart as he held his own family.

Over the years he spent many hours camping, talking, laughing and playing washers with Barb and Terry Tenneson, who he also held close to his heart.

At the age of 15, Troy began working at Market Place Foods Dakota Square (Minot) location. He was a hard worker and met many great friends who meant the world to him.

In his free time, Troy enjoyed the outdoors, camping, fishing, hunting, riding motorcycles and snowmobiles.  He also enjoyed wrestling, football and playing his trumpet in the band in his earlier years. He was a wonderful son, brother, grandson, nephew and friend who touched many lives and will be deeply missed.

Troy is survived by:
Parents: Troy and Gale, Sawyer, ND; Sister: Morgan Page, Minot; Maternal grandparents: Glenda and David Bergan, Dunseith, ND, Paternal grandparents: Karen and Duane Azure, Dunseith, ND and C.J. and Helga Coleman, Emerado, ND;

Honorary grandparents: Barb and Terry Tenneson, Carrington, ND; And numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Troy was preceded in death by his maternal and paternal great-grandparents.

Visitation: Wednesday, December 3, 2014 from 1-5 at Thompson Larson Funeral Home, Minot

Vigil Prayer Service: Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 7:30 p at St.Leo’s Catholic Church, Minot

Mass of Christian Burial: Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm at St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Minot

Burial: A private family burial will take place at a later date.


Passing  and story of the family
From Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

I never met this lady. But those of us living in the area in years past  would recall her family, as neighbors of NE Holmes Township.

The Nadeau Family lived on Highway 43 East, just a  wee bit east of  Carpenter Lake.

Mrs. Nadeau was a sister to Mr.  Belgarde whose family  also lived in the area, close by School Section Lake (Church of the Brethren Camp) across from the Ross Brennan place

Two of the Nadeau brothers, Mike and Dan worked for my parents at various times, were very stoic, polite and shy  youth.  They were extremely  honest. diligent ,hard workers.

They were so shy they wouldn’t enter the house to eat.   My mom could be insistent, but she respected their shyness.However she’d bring lots of food out and leave it for them eat.

One hot July day, one of my  little brothers who was about 3, at the time disappeared.   Mom was beside herself with worry!  Dad was off plastering somewhere. We all started calling. No answer.

Searching  the buildings and woods high and low our minds could not imagine where that little boy was?

A couple hours went, by then, all of us were desperate!  Hearing the black Ford come back, mom on a run up the hill, to the growing hay bale pile, shouting, “Mike, Have you  seen Shan?”

Silence, fears shifting, the pickup backed up, Mike  stoically shrugged then pointed into the seat beside him.  Looking quite smug, little Shan had hitched a ride in the old black Ford with one of his heroes.

He’d taken a  mighty liking to Mike.  Although, why?  None of us knew. Neither of them ever talked. They communicated through silence gestures and eye contact.

Reading the obit, I pulled in the recesses of long ago.   I know one brother went away,  then about a year later the other one left.

The night before they had to go, each  drove down to our farm.   No, neither would come into the house but waited.

Silent and stoic. Waiting for Cliff, who went out.

Much later, Dad would  come in quiet……………

Dad was quiet, very sad but honored by the gesture.   My father said,”____came to tell me, Thank you, and Goodbye… he’s leaving tomorrow.”

Far and away to VIETNAM……….

I do not know if they ever returned.

Later, Vickie


Cebu, Philippines
Christmas Eve party at the Stokes Residence

These are a few pictures from our party last night. Bernadette used to prepare a Christmas Eve dinner for the local folks, Relatives and in-law relatives in our area. Now that she is unable to do that, we have it catered. With that we invited a few of our Expat friends too. We had about 55 locals and 45 Expats for a total of a 100 for our dinner last night. It was a fun night.


Stokes 2155-1 Stokes 2155-2 Stokes 2155-3 Stokes 2155-4 Stokes 2155-5


Blog (219) posted on September 11, 2008


From Bill Hosmer (48): 

Gary and Friends,  The historical significance of Dick’s latest on the James Clan was not only interesting, but fascinating reading, plus evidence of alot of research.  Excellent.  Also stories of the people who most of us are descendant from have meaningful memory jogging value.  Although most of the writers are younger than I, the names and associations are of high value and stir up memories of my time in our home country.  Gary has created this forum of conversation which has now and probably continue to increase in volume and significance for all of us and our descendants.  That’s what history is all about.
The pocket knife stories are terrific.  The mummely peg was a great game and took care of alot of boring times during hot summers.  Marbles was a game that was the cause of alot of competition.  In my case, I’d invest 25 cents for a bag which included a shooter.  I’d hope it would last until the snow came.  Never did.  There were many great shooters, including a lad called John Satrang, who won the state championship sometime in the late 30s.  The guy who won most of my marbles was Donnie Gottbreht, the son of John who was our policeman in those thirties. Don had been playing on the old merry go round at the school yard and put his finger into the  hole on top of the center post, and it was cut off.  When it healed he had the perfect configuration for marble shooting.  One day I was at his house and he showed me his coffee cans full of marbles.  Told me he had over 3000. They would be worth some money today.

The other day my wife, Pat, Leonard and Eleanor Stickland, and I went to the Rolette County Museum for Mel’s steaks and Dick’s musicians solid music.  My old friend Art Rude was there, of course, and gave me a private tour of the big building with the heavier equipment for later display. There were some fascinating articles with fantastic history, among which was a contraption which Billie Lawrence, our blacksmith used. Also, there was another fascinating machine used by Harry Douglas, our undertaker, located adjacent to the north side of the Althea Theater, to move caskets from the basement to the main floor, etc.  Art was class of 1939, and will be celebrating his class 70th reunion next year.  Hanna Higgins was in that class as well.  Art is really a Dunseith Man, and instrumental in getting our museum established. He still wears his ball cap in a decided slant over his forehead and is recognizable from a great distance because of it.

There are not accolades strong enough to measure the power of folks from  a rural community talking freely with one another and entertaining us with their experiences in a way that everyone, and I mean everyone can relate to and share. Gary, if the right words ever come to me, I’ll send them. In the mean time, know that your contribution to this effort is a dramatic lesson in dedication and friendship.  Thankfully, Bill Hosmer

Bill, having mentioned Hannah Higgins & Art Rude, I have included several recent pictures with them. I couldn’t find one of Art Rude with his cap. His cap and the manner in which he wears it has been his trade mark for as long as I’ve known him. Hannah and Mrs. Longie worked together up at San Haven and have remained friends all these years. Hanna lives in the Seattle area and Mrs. Longie in Spokane.

Willie & Ron Longie, did your mother ever attend school in Dunseith?  Gary

Higgins Longie 2155 Teachers 2155

Reply from Vickie Metcalfe (70): 

Gary & Dick,

My Dad, a voracious reader and listener was another believer that the
“James Family of St John” had connections to Jesse James.
Dick, Wow!  What  fun!  The fun part of  family history is when a
person takes the  family myths ie  the the stories you  thought were
B.S. or Tall tales and then make the  efforts to research find out
they are more truth than fiction.
Happy Trails everyone on your own family history ventures.  Please
share. Vickie
Reply from Dave Slyter (70): f

Gary and all,

There is one thing about Aunt Margie that everybody remembers and that is that if you go to visit, be prepared to stay as you will not be able to leave until you have had lunch or a snack with her.  I remember all the times that we as the Hiatt/Slyter family would go and visit her and Uncle Bill.  The table was always set when we got there and the food was a plenty.  The meals were so good as most of it was her canned goods. And then there was her home made baked pies.  All kinds, apple, cherry, pumpkin and yes even peach.   They were so good with cool whip.

I took care of Margie while she lived on the farm in her later years for approximately 15 yrs.  I would mow her grass, paint her fence and even fix it.  Help her put her car away for the winter (put the cars on blocks the tires didn’t touch the ground) as she never drove in the winter months.  Each time she would call and I went up to help her with something, she would always reward me with a good lunch.  I always looked forward to it.  She was quite a women.

And she always had time to tell a short or long story (depending how much time you had) about something in the past that had happen he her life.  Some of the stories were very interesting.

One Sunday afternoon I received a call from her son Norman saying that they tried to call Margie and she wouldn’t answer. He asked if I would mind going up and seeing if she was alright.  I was thinking if I know Margie she would be outside working in her yard. When I entered her yard I didn’t see her.  I went into the house and called out to her.  No answer.  I went back out and looked toward her fence line and barn and there she layed.  She had fallen the evening before and couldn’t get back up.  Margie always loved what she was doing and I could tell she passed away very happy as she had her arms and hands around a bowl of juneberries, that she was preparing to can after washing them.

She was a wonderful lady with a mind of her own.    I miss and loved her dearly.

Dave Slyter (70)


Dave, I knew that you were the one that found Margie when she left this world. Within a few hours after you discovered her, my dad called me out in Washington. Margie would have been very happy to have known that you were the one that discovered her.  You did a lot of things for her, for a number of years, and she truly appreciated everything you did. She mentioned you, many times, the last years of her life.  She was sharp as a tack, right to the end.  I learned a whole lot of Stokes history, that I would have never know had she not told me.  Gary


Reply From Bobby Slyter (70): 

I too remember aunt Margie’s popcorn balls and all the other goodies that she had,it was always a thrill to get to go and see her and uncle bill,when I was younger I did not realize that uncle bill could not hear so I would sit in his lap and talk to him like he could hear me, he always seemed to understand what I was saying, they where two of the most loving people I know and it was an honor to have had them in my life

Bobby, Yes, Willie was a little hard hearing, but he could hear Margie when she got close to him and spoke rather loudy.  As I remember, he had a problem hearing most everyone else.  He was so soft spoken.  I think Willie & Margie celebrated their golden anniversary in 1969 or 1970. I know I was in the service at the time.  Gary


Reply from Florence Hiatt Dahl (50) & also a Niece of Margie’s: 

Reply  to Marlys regarding chicken poz.  Yes, once you have had chicken pox,the virus lies dormant untill activated by stress, illness or whatever.  Do get the vacination.  I warn you it’s pricey.  But I have spent far more on the drops and the medication.  Good luck you guys who don’t.

Florence, Thank you so much for this advice. I am for sure going to get this vaccination. I do remember having the Chicken Pox at a very young age.  Gary


                                          DRAFTED! AND  TRAINED

Carroll saved and had  started a savings account  in the First  National Bank of Chinook, which he continued  through the war.

On April 13, 1942 Carroll was drafted for active military duty.


Carroll tied up loose ends.

Carroll,  sold the ’36 Chevy to  Henry  Miller, for  $200.  Miller  had a  need for a lighter vehicle to get out to the ranch from his home in Chinook.   Automobiles and tires  in the early  ’40’s tough to find.  Carroll left his belongings in a suitcase,  behind in a  hotel/ boarding room in Chinook.   He a reported to the local draft board, along with several other fellows from Chinook.

Carroll and several other fellows from Chinook  rode the train west  to Whitefish, Montana.   Arriving in Whitefish,  they got on a bus and headed south to Missoula, Montana, where they were sworn in to active duty..   A few of those guys  who left  Chinook served with Carroll all the way through the war.

They spent April  at Fort Lewis, Washington. They  journeyed  south,  by train to California  where they underwent basic training at Fort Roberts, California  then to the to the 62nd AFA Battalion  at Desert Center, California. Carroll trained to be a cannoneer.   While   training with his group  in the California desert,  he wondered,  “What a desert had to do with Europe or Japan”?   (Carroll said they found out later  when they ended up in North Africa.)
The 62nd  Battalion left California and traveled the southern route east across the United States.   on (once again) train.    Carroll says the fall  in Virginia was rainy,  miserable  muddy and wet.  Milford, Virginia was a historical area from the  Civil War, but his  Battalion   did  not do much site seeing.

They spent six weeks there, doing more training.    They got orders to move out,   traveling  by train to  Staten Island, New York on November 2, 1942, where they boarded a ship.

(Carroll has a few more tales to tell  in this section,  but they are best  heard from the story teller himself!)

Carroll’s Traveling Years will Continue with part 6 tomorrow:

Provided by Neola Kofoid Garbe: 

                     Diane Larson Sjol from the Dunseith High School class of 1970

larson Sjol, Diane 2155Larson Sjol, Diane 2155-1






12/21/2014 (2154)

Happy Birthday Connie Peterson Lagerquist (’74): Dunseith, ND
Peterson Lagerquist, Connie 2154


Question from former St. Paul, MN Mayor & President George W. Bush staff member
Randy Kelly (’69):  St. Paul, MN


I have thought of you as I have watched the news of the typhoon hitting the Philippine.  Hope you and the family are safe and your property not damaged.  If you have time, perhaps you can let me know or post it on your blog.

Take care and God bless.

Randy Kelly

Folks: Randy’s mother was a Fauske, sister to Elwood and Lydia Fauske LaCroix

Hello Randy,

We and the Philippines on a whole were pretty lucky with this last Typhoon.  When it hit land, it’s intensity weakened. For those in its path, they were affected, but not nearly to the degree as initially expected. 

We here in central Cebu live in the Banana belt. Most the storms pass to the north of us, often times clipping the very northern tip of our Island as was the case with this last typhoon.  With this last one the only affects we had were several heavy rain showers with very heavy overcast and wind gusts of about 35MPH.

It is great hearing from you. I am assuming you are now retired? You were 4 years behind me in school so you’d be about 63.

With my trip back to the Dunseith/Bottineau area this next summer (July 3 – 27, 2015), I am looking forward to seeing you if you are in the area during that time.


Kelly-1 Kelly-2


Retirement Party for Helen Rivard Christianson (’65)
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND


Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND
Dunseith News


Joke of the day
Posted by Albert Johnson (’70)  Maplewood, MN

            ITALIAN MOTHER

Giuseppe excitedly tells his mother he’s fallen in love and that he is going to get married.

He says, ‘Just for fun mama, I’m going to bring over three women and you try and guess which one I’m going to marry.’ The mother agrees.

The next day he brings three beautiful women into the house, sits them down on the couch & they chat for a while.

He then says, ‘Okay Mama, guess which one I’m going to marry?’

Mama says immediately, ‘The one on the right.’

‘That’s amazing, mama. You’re right! How did you know?’

Mama replies, ‘I don’t like her.’


Blog (218) posted on September 10, 2008


Marlys Hiatt’s (71) reply to Florence Hiatt Dahl (50): 

Hi Everyone,

I remember those popcorn balls at my grandma Margies too.  They were the
cooked sugar kind that she colored red.  I did have the chicken poxs and
maybe that’s where I got them, from her popcorn balls.  If you have had
the chicken pox can you get shingles?  If so I am running to get the shot.
My mother, Irene Hiatt, got shingles at least a couple of times.  The
first time it was around her eye and the second time it went around her
abdomen.  The second time it lasted for at least a year and she really
suffered with tremendous pain.

Marlys Hiatt
Class of 71


Marlys & Florence, I remember those Popcorn balls, really well, of your Grandma & Aunt Margie’s.  At one of her Christmas party’s, when I was a kid, I remember eating so many of those popcorn balls and other goodies she had baked that I actually got sick. They were so good.  She was sure famous for all of the good stuff she baked with that original wood cook stove. She was very famous for her flavored popcorn balls. She always canned a lot of good canned goods too.  With each of my annual visits back to visit, I always visited Margie. Right up to the time of her death, she always had lots of baked and canned goods that she served for lunch. She did not believe in using paper towels either. She could not see wasting her money using paper towels when rags were available. Margie usually had a pretty good handle on the neighborhood gossip too.  She wasn’t afraid to call a spade a spade either. I always enjoyed my visits with her. She knew my Dad from early childhood and of coarse my two brothers and me as well, our entire lives.  There will never be another Margie Hiatt like the Margie we knew.  She was one of a kind.  She thought the world of you Slyter boys.  You guys were tops in her book. Believe me, with her critical standards, it wasn’t easy reaching the top of her book. She was an aunt, great aunt, great great aunt, grandmother and great grandmother to many of you folks out there. Margie was a good family friend. Gary

From Janice Leonard Workman (56): 

Hey Gary, I haven’t heard from you since Saturday, today is Tuesday.  I pray that you are alright and maybe it’s only copper that has been taken.

I attended a funeral today and ran into Bernard Hiatt and Mary (Tootsie Peterson).  We had a good visit.  Bernard looks really good and Mary looks like she did in high school, not even a gray hair.  Bernard lives in Enumclaw, not far from Auburn and Mary lives in Algona, not far from Auburn either.  I did play whist with a group that Mary was in, so saw her every month until December 2007 when the group stopped playing.

Anyway, again I hope all is well, Gary.

Janice Leonard Workman, Class of 56

Folks, With these messages coming from overseas, they are screen more critically, by some of your email providers, for spam.  If they get rejected by your email provider they will not get delivered.  Most of the time I do not get a message telling me they did not get delivered. Please let me know if you don’t get some of these messages so I can resend them to you using one of my other email accounts. That often times works.  Gary


From Crystal Fassett Andersen (70): 

Gary,Reply to  Dick’s pictures,I think it is Patty (Fassett ) Sjue that grandma Kate Fassett is holding,and the bottom picture is of our  Great Aunt Bertha Patenaude Kraft,who was married to Grandma Kate’s brother Dave Kraft,they are Marlene Armentrout   and  Dorothy Schneiders (and 3 other kids) folks. Aunt Bertha made the best pickled northern and this winter we tried her recipe on some northern we caught over here in Walhalla , and it was darned near as good as hers!! Oh,and Mel we used to play mumbley peg and even though “we were girls” we always had a jackknife and Dad made sure they were sharp. I still carry mine and also have the one my Dad had on him at all times. We could always count on Dad to be ready to sharpen sticks for roasting weinies or making us all willow whistles at family picnics. I haven’t mastered the willow whistles yet,but with 8 grandkids ,we are “practicing” on them

I feel like Bob Hope but “Thanks for the memories” everyone!! Crystal Fassett Andersen

From Sybil Johnson: 

Thank you Dick, for that story about “pa’s” brother Hans. Do you remember,
when Axel and Bernice lived on the Island? According to how Augie told it,
Pa would take a swim every morning. Then I remember Bernice telling me about
her brother Raymond. How their father told him to go and get potatoes and he
came back 10 yrs later, with a sack of potatoes on his shoulder.
Thanks again everyone. I love reading these old stories.
Sybil Johnson





Carroll and his friends, the Shilling brothers, fellow ranch workers, left Chinook in the fall of 1941 driving in the Shilling brothers automobile.  They were off to better pay/big money at factory positions in defense work and see sunny California.  Jack and John Shilling and Carroll arrived  in  the San Diego area in November of 1941,  where   the  defense jobs were only paying  the sum of   $.50 an hour.    The three  worked and continued to travel around and see sights.  One morning  in December they decided to head south of the border  to Tjiuana, Mexico.  After arriving  Mexico,  ready to see the sights, they heard the news.  “The Japs had bombed Pearl Harbor”!

The date, December 7, 1941.

The three  got back in the car and headed  over the border.  Carroll, Jack and John went back to work on the defense job.  But, it was becoming  clear,  able bodied  men would be  needed.   The US was at war on two fronts. If the draft was to take him  Carroll  wanted to have a choice of where he would be drafted from.  So he headed back to his adopted home town.  Chinook, Montana.  (“Carroll is an independent  person that likes the freedom to choose. ” vm.)

Carroll’s Traveling Years will Continue with part 5 tomorrow:


Message/Picture from Dick Johnson(68):

Gary and Friends,

Gary Metcalfe mentioned that Otto Strietzel was a spittin’ image of
Jesse James. There is a connection. Otto Was one of 11 children (
including my grandmother Cynthia Strietzel Johnson, his sister) of Paul
Strietzel and Della James. Della was the daughter of Joshua King James
from Lincoln County, Missouri. Joshua’s father was Jacob James. Jacob
James was a brother to Jesse and Frank James’s father. I guess we all
share some grandparents! I did a research paper in college on the life
of Jesse and Frank, for a history class. There were several stories that
I had heard about them that were totally false, others were closer to
the fact. Now a short history lesson. The Civil War divided Missouri
into two factions, Northern sympathizers and Southern Sympathizers. The
James family were southern Baptist and stayed loyal to the South. The
North raided and killed and burned the farms of the Confederate
sympathizers, this caused hatred of the North among the James families,
especially Frank and Jesse. They decided to join Quantrill and his
raiders to exact some revenge on the North. After a few raids, Jesse and
Frank became wanted outlaws in the eyes of the North. Northern Railroads
were a target of the James boys and so the railroad hired the Pinkerton
Detective Agency from New York, to take them down. One night when Jesse
and Frank were gone, they threw a smoke bomb through the window of the
James farmhouse. Mrs. James kicked it into the fireplace and it
exploded,. killing Jesse and Frank’s little brother and blowing off
their mother’s arm! When they got back and found out what had happened,
they cast off any pity or reservation they had up until then, and really
went out to settle the score! Any Northern bank or railroad was now fair
game. While I’m not attempting to excuse or justify their actions, I can
understand somewhat, the hatred they carried on their raids. They gave
most of their plunder back to their friends and neighbors, so the home
folks thought of them as war heroes and helped to keep them from being
caught. They continued to raid for several years until that fateful day
in Northfield, Minnesota. The town found out the bank was being robbed
and was ready for them when they came out. The Younger brothers, cousins
of the James boys were shot to pieces in the street.  Cole, Bob, and Jim
Younger were caught by the posse later that night after they split up
near Mankato, Minnesota. Jesse and Frank went through Dakota Territory
and eluded capture. Both were carrying bullets in their legs but made it
back to Missouri and healed their wounds. They then hid out in different
places around the country and in time had families and gave up robbing
for good. Jesse was shot by his cousin, Bob Ford, for a $10,000 reward.
He moved to Denver and bragged about what he had done, to the wrong man!
The man was a friend of Jesse’s and sent young Ford to an early grave.
Frank was eventually pardoned and lived to an old age in Lincoln County,
Missouri. It was said, that old Mrs. James went around and bought up all
the used pistols she could find and then sold them, one at a time, to
visitors for a big price–telling them,” This was Jesse’s own gun”! Not
so dumb! Attached is a picture of my great-great grandfather, Joshua
King James and his second wife, Helena. More later! Thanks Gary!


Johnson, Dick

12/19/2014 (2153)

Happy birthday Gwen Grimme Eltz (’68): Spokane, WA
Grimme Eltz, Gwen 2153


Lillian Thompson Bergstrom (DHS 1936):
Biography provided by Keith Pladson (’66):  Roanoke Rapids, NC

Gary Stokes’ Note:
Lillian Thompson’s mother was a Stokes, sister to my Grandfather Frank. My dad, Bob Stokes and Lillian were first cousins.

Lillian Thompson’s Father was a brother to Mrs. William (Ida) Pritchard.  Robert, Corbin and Winifred Pritchard Eurich Pritchard were Lillian’s first cousins.

At the age of nearly 99, I believe Lillian Thompson Bergstrom is the oldest living to have graduated from Dunseith.

Sorry this has taken so long.  Below is a brief biography of my beautiful Aunt Lillian Fanny Thompson Bergstrom.  Though I am the one submitting the information, most of the data was in fact provided by my cousins Ron Cain and Lucy Herrick.  I am extremely grateful for their help and for their willingness to allow this to be included in the Dunseith blog.  Interestingly, the source of some of the information I got on the Thompson family was provided in some hand written notes from my Aunt Esther.  Apparently Esther had provided them to Lillian and then Lillian in turn gave them to her daughter Lucy.  In any case, I now have a copy of those notes.  From the notes, I learned that my mom and her siblings had another brother that I had not previously known about.  Also, it was in those notes that I found out the year that my grandmother fell down the stairs.  This confirmed what I had always previously thought but didn’t know for sure – that she gave birth to all of her children after she became handicapped.  So I am indeed grateful that I asked Ron for his help and that between he and his sister Lucy I got all this family information on my ancestors.

This past April, Alice and I drove up to Superior, WI to see my aunt.  My sister Fern and I accompanied our cousin Lucy and visited with Aunt Lillian on two separate days (Alice had a cold so we all thought it best that she not go to the nursing home).  The first day’s visit was one of those things in my life that I will always cherish.  Lillian was very alert, quite spry and very much in the mood for visiting.  I can only wish, 1) I may live that long, and 2) if so, be that spry and mentally alert and aware of everything around me as she was.  Since she really can’t hear anything, it was a little hard to communicate with her, but by using the chalk board and the old photographs we looked at and pointing at different people in them, she would start talking about the old days (really old days) and we all just sat there and listened and enjoyed her recall of the people and the stories she would tell us about the photograph or other stories that the photographs brought to her mind.

But I have rattled on enough.  I do hope the below is of at least some interest to some of your readers.

One final request.  My cousin Ron Cain would like to receive copies of your emails.  Though he will most likely know very few names from your blog, he said he would like to get them anyway.  So, could you add him to your list?  His email address is diorron@gmail.com.

Thanks, Gary,
Keith Pladson (66)

Lillian Thompson Bergstrom was born February 21, 1916, the third of five children born to Ulysses Thompson and Alice Stokes Thompson.  Her siblings included:  Clarence Thompson, born either April 11 or 12, 1911 (and died shortly after birth), Esther Thompson Tangen, born November 3, 1912, William (Willie or Bill) Thompson, born August 1, 1920 and Ella Thompson Pladson, born March 31, 1924.  Not surprisingly, at age 98, Lillian is the only remaining member of that generation of the family.

A little background here will help.  Six months or so after Lillian’s mother Alice married Ulysses on June 15, 1910 she accidentally fell down some cellar stairs and severely injured her back.  As a result she spent the remainder of her life confined to a wheel chair.  Though this greatly limited what she could do physically, she never-the-less gave birth to all five of her children while confined to her wheel chair.  As one might imagine, her injury and resulting confinement to a wheel chair led to very difficult times for the Thompson family.

Even though times were difficult, Lillian, at a young age, set herself the goal of earning a high school Diploma.  This was a significant goal, given that her and her older sister, Esther, had to trade off going to school for several years as one of them was always required at home to help their mother.  Never-the-less, Lillian graduated from grade school in 1930 and then went on to high school starting out in Minot and later returning to Dunseith.  On May 27, 1936 she achieved her goal when she graduated from Dunseith High School and earned her high school Diploma.

In November, 1936, Lillian married Lester Cain.  This union led to the birth of five children:  James (Jim) Cain on November 24, 1937 (now deceased), William (Bill) Cain on August 6, 1939, Lucy Cain Herrick on August 16, 1940 and twins Ronald and Donald Cain on October 29, 1943.  The family moved several times between North Dakota and Wisconsin until 1947 when they settled for good in Superior, Wisconsin.  Lillian’s marriage to Lester Cain later ended in divorce and on July 2, 1968 she married Carl Bergstrom.  In addition to her children, Lillian has ten grandchildren, sixteen great grandchildren and seven great, great grandchildren.

Early in her adult life Lillian began working as a nurses aide (now called nursing assistant or NA).  Over the years she continued to work in the nursing field and she worked in several different nursing facilities and hospitals.  In August 1980 she retired as a ward clerk at Superior Memorial Hospital in Superior, Wisconsin.

Today Lillian is a resident at the Villa Marina Health and Rehab facility in Superior, Wisconsin.

In early March of this year, my sister Fern and I accompanied by our cousin Lucy visited with our Aunt Lillian.  It was a wonderful visit as Aunt Lillian was lively, very much aware and in a very fun mood.  What was especially great was that she remembered and recognized both Fern and I.  Though she can’t hear very well, we were never-the-less able to communicate with her using a chalk board and she regaled us with stories of her past – including her childhood.  We also looked at many old photographs and enjoyed her telling us about where the photographs were taken and identifying the people in them.  The sad part was leaving and saying goodby to our wonderful Aunt.

I have attached a few photographs of Lillian that may be of interest.

Keith Pladson (66)

Thompson, Lillian 2153-1 Thompson, Lillian 2153-2 Thompson, Lillian 2153-3



Blog (217) posted on September 9, 2008

Reply from Louise Pigeon Horsman (43): Tohorsmans @AOL ..com

Thelma Medlang lived in Seattle. Eileen Tennecour Korbol and I drove to Thelma’s house one day for lunch.

She passed away several years ago.

Folks, We have now found all of the folks from the classes of the 40’s.  Thank you all for the info you provided, enabling us to locate all of these folks.  I will be making a formal distribution of those class lists shortly to the respective class members.  I will also incorporate their class lists into the big combined class list. After I’m finished with the 30’s classes I will be sending a copy of that combined class list to all of you. Gary

Message from Sharon Longie Dana (73): 

Gary, thanks again for ALL you do!!!!!!!  Without you I would not have seen an old friend

I hadn’t seen in 34 years….not since she graduated in 74′.  Ivy Eller Robert was passing thru Missoula on her way back home for her sons wedding and she stopped in Friday night and we had a short visit but it was AWESOME!!!!!  She got to meet my daughters and my husband( my son was working).  It was neat to share news from back home!!! The first thing she told my girls wa “your Mom wasn’t my BFF that was Darla but she was a good freind”.

It brought back alot of memories and did we have some good laughs…………

Thanks Gary without you that wouldn’t ahve been possilbe!!! I appreciate you very much and just wanted you to know……

Don’t forget to call me Ivy when you’re on your way this way again!!!!! Hope the wedding is fabulous and you have  agrat visit…..say hello for me!!!!


Sharon Longie Dana

Ivy Eller Robert, I have marked on my calendar that you plan on being in the Dunseith area most all this week.  Please keep us posted.  Gary


Message from Blanche Wicks Schley (42):

Congratulations Gary on finding all the alumni of DHS!  This a very neat project that you have taken on.

Thanks for the phone call.  Even though I did not graduate from DHS…my brother,Henry and sisters, Marjorie, Gwendolyn and Gladys did.  We left Dunseith in 1938 and moved to Wahpeton.

I graduated from high school there and Henry and Gwendolyn attended Science School.   After attending Minot State (now University) I finished my school at Jamestown College.

Did you find Margaret Ann Myhre and Barbara Nelson?  I called Charles Emerson Murry and I guess you had already located him.

It is so very interesting to find out what has happened to everyone. I have kept in touch with Dorothy Schneider.

I m enjoying your web pages.   Keep up the good work!

Enjoy your retirement!  When did you retire”

Blanche Wicks Schley

Yes Blanche, With your help, I found Margaret Ann Myhe , Barbara Nelson  & Emerson Murry  all of whom are included with these distribution.  Thank you, Gary


From Mel Kuhn (70): 

Howdy Gary,

First I have to mention that it was nice that Dick Johnson included me in the meeting up with Bill Grimme along with Ken Nerpel, John Bedard and their wives in St. John yesterday. I really appreciate the fact that they didn’t bore me with any farfetched stories of yesteryear. HA! A BIG thank you to Bill for his donation to our cause at the museum.

Another great story from Larry. Only thing is that he didn’t mention any of those pocketknife games. Being afflicted with CRS I have trouble remembering names of these games. There was one called mumbely peg, mumbittley peg, mulberry peg, ahh whatever peg. Should have been called-make sure everyone is wearing shoes peg-because you might perform some unnecessary medical procedure on someones toes. Also the stick a knife in a tree game in a crowd of people, that was a good one. I hope someone can answer Larry’s question about the pocketpool game cause I’d sure like to hear more about that. I’ve heard of it before but don’t know anything about it. Is there like a list of rules that I can get somewhere?

Mel Kuhn[70]


Gary Metcalfe’s (57) reply to Larry Hackman (66): 

Reply to Larry Hackman

You are a blessing to remember where some of us came from.  I am headed out for the Hurricane Ike evacuation, but had to take time to respond to your stories.  I will make it quick.  My dad, Jim Metcalfe and Harry Zeiler were sawing lumber on the Miller 80.  While the crew had lunch, Harry, the machine man worked on the drive belt.  He asked my dad if he had a jack knife, when Dad handed him the knife, Harry threw it as far as he could in the wild, tall grass and said, “anyone who has a jack knife like that should be ashamed!”

So, with tears in his eyes, my dad told Harry that was Mrs. Evan’s knife (Grandma).  Poor old Harry hired us kids to look for that knife, to no avail.

I have been going to ask you to share stories about Gus and Bill.  I have a lot of my own.  Larry, Gus had two Prince Albert cans in his bib pocket.  One was his billfold.  He paid me for a load of wheat straw one winter day.  I can still see him standing behind that load bending the can just right and putting it back in his bib.

When Gus lived over by the Kelly place, my dad and his pesky brother Archie delivered a young bull Gus had bought from one of them.  Gus was much younger then.  Gus was not home, so they backed up to the old building, perhaps a barn.  After Archie got the lariat off him, he had to swing on the rafters to get out.  He turned pretty mean.  So they wrote a note and left it on the door, “mean mountain lion”.  Saturday night at Kelvin, Dad asked Gus how he handled his new bull.  Gus said, “I wrestled him down and put a polk on him.”  I am not going to explain what a polk is.

For the other story teller, Dick….in case you run short of stories, you probably have a couple of Otto Streitzel stories.  About 1956 or 57, the summer your Uncle Cliff and Otto were housed in Glenburn.  Otto was driving Cliff’s gravel truck on the Air Base second shift.  Otto spent one afternoon chasing a fly in that old trailer house, I don’t think he really liked flies according to what he called them.  Otto told me he was related to Jesse James.  Some Missouri folks said he was a dead mix for Jesse.  I always liked that Missouri jargon.

Gary Metcalfe


From Vickie Metcalfe (70): V

Gary, You are so…. relentless and good at keeping us on task from Cebu. Thank you for your foresight in giving back to the Dunseith Graduates something they didn’t realize they needed/wanted.  Do you realize you now that can’t ever think… quit ? ..There would be a number of us folks on with drawl. Vickie


From Vickie Metcalfe (70): 

Gary,Inga and Ingolf Medlang were twins, no other siblings.  Both are deceased.  Ingolf was caretaker at the Peace Garden many years and Peace Lutheran treasurer at times.  Inga’s daughter, Sharon Bjornson just retired from working at Bottineau County Social Services resides in Bottineau.

Inga and Ingolf’s dad was a brother to Odin Medlang’s dad and Dot
Kavali’s mom.  I ‘ll ask  KenRose Medlang or Bob Lagerquist, or Hank
Salmonson about any other connections.

Larry , Thanks for affirming my dad, Cliff’s saying,  “A good farmer
or cowboy always carries two tools. A pair of pliers and a jack
knife.” For exactly the some of reasons you shared.  I always thought
if my brothers chose not to take over the family farm I would, but
it’s becoming  clearer to me why I didn’t.   I never wore bib’s,  and
can’t open a jack knife. They both take a special talent. I do
continue to carry pliers and a jack knife in my trunk.

Reply from LeaRae Parrill Espe (67): 

Thelma Medlang is mother’s (Mildred Nelson Parrill) classmate (43).  I just talked to mom and she said that Thelma is a cousin of Inga and Ingolf.  She is also a cousin of Odin Medlang.  Thelma lived in town during high school.  Her father ,Iver, was a carpenter and built the house that Ed and Florence Conroy bought.  Thelma had a brother named Kenneth and a sister (mom couldn’t remember her name) and possibly another brother.  Inga Medlang Bjornson (deceased) had a son in Alaska and a daughter in Bottineau named Sharon who just retired from social services after about 40 years of service.  She may be traveling, but I think she would be willing to help us out if she can.  I called her tonight and there was no answer.   701-228-2724.  She also has a cabin at Lake Metigoshe 263-4917 and I just called there and that line was busy.

Mom asked about Wilma Fisk so I finally wrote her an email tonight.  We’ll see if we can’t get those two in contact.

Thanks for all your wonderful work. LeaRae



In the spring of  ’38, Archie married Bernice Seim, daughter of John and Ingrid Seim. Archie and Bernice moved to the Kolhmeir farm, where they began a family and farmed. Later,  Archie, Bernice and Conrid moved to Washington State where Archie began his career in construction.   (Archie passed away, January 1959.)

In the Spring of  ’38, Carroll returned to the Bears Paw  of  Montana  by train and went to work for Henry Miller.  The pay was $40.00 a month.  Carroll continued  working for the Henry Miller Ranch. from the spring of 1938, through 1939, and 1940.  Carroll  was not to return to  Dunseith until after the war.

The Miller Brothers were progressive ranchers and good managers . The brothers each,  had their own focus,  Chris, sheep and Henry , cattle.    The  Miller  Brothers Ranch  at that time ran about 1,900 head of cows and over 35,000 sheep. Carroll worked in many capacities  including hauling hay by team and wagon or team and sled to feed the sheep those three winters.  And,  lambing, sheep herding, haying, threshing and taking the  large Miller horse herd to Harlem where they were wintered on the mountains of the reservation.
Carroll purchased a fine working, used with very few miles on it,  1936 Chevy Coupe for about  $300.- 350. from the Ford Dealer in Chinook.  Carroll and  ranch hands, usually one of them being  Whitey.   “Whitey,   was  a North Dakota kid who’s hair was so bleached it looked white”.  Carroll and the guys  adventured around Montana, and the Western  U.S.  as far as Yakima , WA.

It seem’s Carroll and his friends  were never lag-abouts.  When,  not seeing the country, Carroll would try different jobs on time off.  Once he got a job laying railroad ties out of Lewistown,  Montana.     However, “working on the railroad” was not for him.  “It was hard heavy work and  often be coated by creosote” .

……………………………So back to the ranch……………  .

Carroll says other Dunseith fellows came out  to find seasonal employment.  He recalls Alcide Lajimodere who was on a haying crew.  Alcide was deathly afraid of rattle snakes and somehow was put into the stack frame.  Whenever he  heard a suspicious rattle sound, Alcide would jump off the stack….. with a  mighty  holler.  Alcide continued to do farm labor  in the Dunseith area after he was released from active military service in the Pacific . And as we recall,   never  did care much for any snake.  Alcide was a kind person, and hard worker,  often would work for Cliff Metcalfe.   In later years he would “chore” for  Cliff and Lottie.  He entertained the Metcalfe girls with his  stories, “tall tales”.   Alcide  was a good top off man on a haystack, and  in hay season  Cliff Metcalfe children would stomp the stack frame and Alcide would top it off.  With the Metcalfe humor,  Cliff every now  and then would holler,  snake!   Alcide would always jump.

Carroll also remembers seeing  one of the Henry’s and Charlie Metcalfe working for the Miller ranch.   The ranch hands continued their Saturday nights off at  a local gathering  place, the Cleveland Beer Parlor.

Then back to the ranch….

Carroll’s Traveling Years will Continue with part 4 tomorrow:


Message/Pictures from Dick Johnson (68): 

Gary and Friends,

I have yet another old car story–but wait ladies–there are a couple
pictures of interest to you too! Back in April of 1965, John Boguslawski
bought an old 1938 Oldsmobile from my Grandpa Hans Johnson, for $10. We
aired up the tires and pulled it out from the place it had sat for
several years. We had to clean out grain sacks and twine and other junk
that Grandpa had saved for later use. We towed it to town and John
started working on it in their back yard, close to the alley. Before he
could get it started the town cop or city council said he could not have
it in town unless it was licensed or garaged. We didn’t want to buy a
license unless it would run and we hit a ‘catch 22’. One night just a
few days later some kids, in the alley, broke out the windows so we
pulled out the engine and transmission and towed the rest to Albert
Roussin’s Junkyard on the San Hill. We were kind of disgusted with the
entire episode and just cleared our slate and chalked it up to our
ongoing education, I guess! The two pictures are of  Kate Fassett,
holding Crystal (or Patty ?), Susan, Pam, and Dorothy, taken in April
1952. The old car to the left is John’s 38 Olds. My grandparents were
still driving it until 1954, when they got the 47 Plymouth that I
eventually had ( the one Paul Grossman and all the other kids remember).
Anyway, the other picture is of Toni Morinville, at Boguslawski’s, in
front of the same car some 13 years later. This picture is from Paulette
LaCroix’s collection which she sent a couple years ago, and I
reproduced, completely without her consent! Oh, and Paulette, play nice
with the other boys and girls!
Thanks Gary!


Kate Fassett, holding Crystal (or Patty ?), Susan, Pam, and Dorothy Fassett
Fassette 2153

                                   Toni Morinville
Morinville, Toni 2153


Message/Pictures from Dick Johnson (68): 
Gary and Friends,

A couple days ago, I sent some old pictures of my grandmother’s uncle,
Herman Strietzel, who had homesteaded in Saskatchewan, Canada. While
looking through more of Grandma’s pictures, I found two more. The
writing on the back of the first photo says–‘Sept. 1962, the day Uncle
Herman left for California’–( then added later ) ‘He passed away July
24, 1964’. In this photo is Herman, Cynthia, and me. This was the time
he came to say goodbye and gave me the old shotgun. The next picture was
taken by my mom, in California, in early August, 1964. I remember the
woman in this photo, being the one who rented the little shack behind
her to Herman. She told us she was sorry we hadn’t heard that he had
died just days before we got there. Maybe when we are finished with
Vickie’s well done stories of Carroll Carlson’s life, I could send a few
of the stories from the autobiography that old ‘Uncle Herman’. wrote.
That is if there is any interest from the readers for this.Thanks Gary!


       Top Picture: Dick John, Cynthia & Herman Strietzel
                         Bottom Picture: Unknown name
Johnson, Dick 2153





12/18/2015 (2152)

Message from Bob Hosmer (’56): Lynnwood, WA

Just want to wish every one on this blog a very merry Christmas.

It will be my second one without my Anne Katrine.  But for THIS I have Jesus.

Hosmer, Bob 2152

Bob Hosmer (‘56)


The  Stinky Limberger Cheese Mystery
Story from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

I got to know some pretty fine friends; Hank, Hilmer and Angus through our mutual friend Carroll. I enjoyed many a Saturday lunch special at the Bowling Alley amongst that delightful group! I enjoyed every minute hearing a wealth of stories.

Carroll and Hilmer were WWII Veterans who discussed stories of life on the Atlantic and Alaska front respectively, while Angus and Hank would discuss life on the North Dakota home front.

I became fond of Hank as we visited about common interests, places and people. Hank’s brother, Clarence and my Uncle Bill Metcalfe shared holiday dinners at our farm the last years of my dad’s life.

Hank as a teenager began to play the fiddle and learned how  to play the Swedish Waltz by listening to a Victorolla which had to be cranked.  He told me, he was shy about playing in front of people.

Hank was able to attend Dunseith High School by staying and working for the Evans family.

He shared about one lovely, sunny, warm spring day which brought big brother Clarence to town. A wild wind suddenly blew in, and he found it difficult to stand or walking north up the street of Dunseith. The wind brought a sudden snowstorm.  He rode along into the hills while his brother managed to drive North from Dunseith to where he lived by Bill and Mary Metcalfe.

Hank shared that Archie and Bernice saw him and Mae on the day they were married. They insisted he and Mae come to their farm where they hosted a wedding supper.

He shared about life on the home front during WWII, the rationing, and things people were reluctant to talk about openly.

One thing, was a rather strange balloon which landed in the trees.  It was buried quietly not telling anyone about it. Another mysterious event happened in the neighborhood. Cows were fine for the morning milching and dead by the evening. Various neighbors lost cattle.

During berry season, Hank shared fondly of Mae and her wonderful Juneberry sauce .

And now and then, I could get him to share a brownie or chocolate Nanimo bar and tell me more stories!

One Saturday a year or so before he passed, we were sharing lunch and a visit at the Bakery, I said,

“Hank I always wondered about when my dad was in 7th or 8th grade.” “You would have been in High School, is that right”. He said, “Yes.

He listened while I said, Did you ever hear about my dad putting limberger cheese onto the hot school radiator, it took days to find where it was at. And Dunseith School was closed down?”

“I’ve always wondered, how my dad was able to purchase the cheese?” “He couldn’t have had much money.”

Hank very quietly looked down.

I suddenly felt suspicious. I said, “HANK! Do you know?”

He said, “Myron, Me and some other fellows were pitching pennies playing some game…..”

I listened awhile he spoke softly.

He cleared his throat, “I lost. So, I had to buy the cheese.”  He shook his head.

I said… speaking in my teacher voice, “Did you big boys, put my dad up to putting the cheese in the radiator?”

All Hank did was nod “Yes”.

I said, “Hank, My dad never told on you.” “He would never tell me the rest of the story. Did any one of you ever tell?”

Hank just shook his head. No.

We both sat quiet for a minute. I began to laugh, he joined me.

We laughed together, then quietly pondered that lifelong secret of school boys. Cliff, the 7th/8th grader and Hank the upperclassman supplier, who never told secrets.

I’ve learned sometimes.. it takes patience, listening and the passing of time to learn the whole story.

Thanks Gary and friends.

Later, Vickie


Joke of the day
Posted by Don Martel (Former DHS Principal):  Rosemount, MN



Blog (216) posted on September 8, 2008


Folks, our search is now narrowed to one person to find from the 40’s classes.  Reading through some of the achieve Turtle Mountain Star papers from 1940, I noticed where Irene Nelson (41) had a brother named Rollie. I found a Rollie Nelson living in Leeds ND. When I called him, he was the guy from Dunseith with a sister named Irene.  He said Irene passed away about 10 years ago. Rollie was with the class of 46, but his family moved from Dunseith in his Junior year.  I have added him to the class of 46 and will be sending him a hard copy of his class list.

That leaves Thelma Medlang, from the Little Prairie community to locate.  She was with the class of 41. In the Bottineau 1984 centennial book, I found an Inga Medland, originally from Rolette county that married Arnold Bjornson.  I think Arnold and Inga are both deceased, but I found Arnold Jr. living in Alaska. No one was home when I called. I hope Thelma was part of his mothers family.  Gary


Request for Dick Johnson (68) from Colette Hosmer (64): 


Would it be possible to post a copy of Herman Strietzel’s life history?  Maybe it’s too long — too much to scan — but if not, I think most of us would enjoy reading it.




Request for Dick, Reply to Vickie & Message to Allen Richard from Cheryl Larson Dakin (71):

Hi Gary and all……I love hearing the stories about the early days in the area. I am looking forward to reading more of Vicki’s installments on Carroll Carlson and also Dick, if you would care to share any of your Uncle Hermann’s manuscript, it would be great. To Susan (and Allen)  Richard, it’s so wonderful to hear you’re doing well in your treatment. Our prayers are with you in your recovery. Hang in there.

Cheryl Larson Dakin (’71)


From Bev Morinville Azure (72):

Conrads to Alan Houle  I can  still see him ……when  they  came  out of the boys  locker  room   he  was always  bent  over   and  looked  like  he  was  coming out  charging. I have never forgotten that…………..  him and  Jim Berbue  were  something  else  .  WTG  Alan

From Diane Larson Sjol (70): 

Hi everyone,

First of all, thank you to those of you who have donated and are
making my participation in the Walk for the Cure Breast Cancer 3 Day
walk possible.

Just a reminder….to those of you who are planning to donate but
haven’t, time is drawing near. I leave in 1 1/2 weeks (Sept. 17) and
still need $1100 to meet my goal of $2200.  Each participant has to
raise a minimum of $2200 to walk the 60 mile walk. So, please take a
moment and go to http://www.the3Day.org/ and make a donation.  Click
on “donate now” and then type in my name and state. When my name comes
up, click on it and the rest is self explanatory or you can mail a
check made out to Breast Cancer 3 Day and send it to me at 712 South
Main St., Minot, ND 58701.  No amount is too small. It all adds up.
The money goes to breast cancer research in attempt to find a cure.
Imagine if they find a cure for breast cancer, what that will mean for
finding a cure for other cancers.  Most of us have been touched in
some way by cancer, so please take a moment and make a donation.  When
you do, email me the name of a person you want me to walk for or to
remember and I will write that person’s name on my shirt.

Again, thank you for making my participation in this walk possible.

Diane Sjol



                      SUMMER OF 1937,  CARROLL AND ARCHIE  AS RANCH HANDS  IN CHINOOK   #2
Five o’clock a.m. the daily routine would begin.  The crew would eat breakfast prepared by the ranch cook  at the ranch house.  Usually,  the cook was married and her husband was called a “chore boy”.    The chore boy milked four or five cows and did the chores which needed to be done to aid the cook in her job.  Carroll and Archie’s first  job was to help with the lambing.    After a ewe lambed, she and her lambs were taken out to a  “bunch”.     Carroll tended a bunch herd, accompanied by, ” a good little, well trained,  sheep dog,( “English  Shepherd, or some such thing.”    “Old John Lind”  was also a bunch herder.   (John Lind  was  a former early  rural Dunseith farmer,  who  lived in   a little apartment in  downtown Chinook during the winters  and work  seasonal work for Miller Brothers.)    When  the  “bunch” grew to about  fifty ewes,  four bunches  would be combined together.  Then, added to a bigger herd. And finally to the open range for the summer with a sheepherder.”

The Sprinkle Ranch Site was  managed by MacIver.   The Sprinkle Ranch held the access road to the Druniak farm.  The Druniak’s lived about  a mile  from the Sprinkle Ranch,   up a dirt trail which wound itself around the  slightly rolling hills  and through the Sprinkle Ranch yard. The Druniak’s,  were  Mick’s  (Gary Morris’) grandparents. The Druniak’s had a small farm, raising pigs, chickens, and milking cows  The family  came  through the  Sprinkle Ranch  to  the main road into town where they sold their cream.  Mr. Druniak also cut hair for the area ranch hands.     They were  among the first people Carroll and Archie met.  The family included, Mr. and Mrs.Druniak and their three  children,  Beatrice, Monica, and Francis.  Beatrice was the  mother of Mick.

When springs work was completed, Carroll and Archie found themselves  laid off  for a week or two  before haying season.    Carroll and Archie were not known for idle moments. They made the best of their time off by site seeing.  Together, Carroll  and Archie made a down payment on an old Model A, and pooled their  finances to continue the payments. The two ranch hands,  with  Archie driving most of the time toured the Bears Paw and local establishments.   Carroll recalls that Archie “liked to drive fast and get places.”  They  saw the area  sites ,and  went to picture shows  or dances in Cleveland,  Montana double-dating.
Close to Chinook, Montana   is the Chief Joseph National Battlefield.   Chief Joseph a brilliant military strategist led his people  on foot and by horse over a thousand miles of the tough terrain of E. Washington, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, pursued by the military.  It was near Chinook, the Nez Pierce people fought their last battle,  less than sixty years previous to  Carroll and Archie’s traveling to the area via Model A.   Carroll says, “he toured the site , but never found any interesting souvenirs.”

When haying season came, Carroll remained at the Sprinkle Ranch working for MacIver ,   Archie went a few miles down the road to Cleveland, Montana,  to the  Chris Miller Ranch which  also ran sheep.   The Chris Miller ranch was located within a mile of Cleveland.

The summer work ended.  In the late fall of ’37,  Carroll and Archie sold the Model A and hopped a train back to the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota  where they wintered

Carroll’s Traveling Years will Continue with part 3 tomorrow:


Another “GREAT” story from Larry Hackman (66): 

The pocketknife story

Back in the day everyone carried a pocketknife.  For those that don’t know what a pocketknife is. It is a knife with blades and other type metal items such as leather punch, or cork screw. or bottle opener, that fold into the handle, and it is small enough to be carried in your pants pocket. At one time almost every man carried a pocketknife.  Even the young boys had a pocketknife in their pocket.  I suppose it became a necessity, pretty much like most farmers carry a plier and now everyone carries a cell phone.  A plier was a necessity for a farmer to carry because if something broke while running a peice of equipment you could tighten a bolt, turn in a screw or take a plier and a piece of wire to hubble the broken item together to make it through the day or complete a project.  You wouldn’t have to shut down.  The pocketknife became the tool of choice during the leather age.  When animals such as horses were fitted with leather hanesses to perform such tasks as towing  hay rakes, mowers, plows, and pulling out tree stumps. Horses were used to do just about everything that is done with a tractor today   It seems like a long time back, but it is less then a generation a go.  What would we all do if we suddenly lost all electrical power and there was no gasoline.  We don’t want to go there do we, after all, this a pocketknife story.

The pocketknife became a handy tool to have when them leather harnesses broke, you could cut off a leather strap, punch some holes and make a repair to the harness on the spot, and continue working.  Just like the plier when something broke on the equipment you were using, you could walk over to the neighbors (you wouldn’t want to take it off your own fence, would you?) adjacent barbeb wire pasture fence and using the plier to cut one strand of wire from that two strand barbed wire,perferably the strand without the barbs (little harder to work with the wire when its got them barbs on it) and go back and make the repair by wiring it together with the aid of that plier.  The boys would use them pocketknives to make sling shots, and harass frogs and snakes.  I remember using them to strip bark off a birch bark tree to make tepees and canoes.  I remember it was either Mrs. Strietzel or Mrs. Halvorson up at Hilltop School where they had one or two of the classes build a relief of a Indian Village in a sand box.  They used birch bark to represent the hide of animals and willow branchs to construct all the items in the box.  I remember that they even colored the sand to make it look like the village sat on the edge of a stream, and with mountians in the background..

You remember them bib overalls all the farmers use to wear and the kids always refused to wear?  They had the pocket for the plier and the loop for the hammer along side the leg.  They had the pockets just below the waist two in front and two in back. In front you carried your pocketknife. Remember the old timers saying to always close the blades of your poketknife before putting it into your pocket.  You never asked why. You just understood why.  The back pockets were used, one for the grease rag and one for the snot rag, and yes, they did pull and use the wrong rag for the right thing once in awhile. You remember seeing people with grease on their nose and __.  You get the idea. The bib of the overalls had two pockets with a pencil holder between them.  One pocket was used for their billfold and the other for Prince Albert in the can or a bag of Bull Durum tobacco and their cigarette rolling papers.  Oh, yes the other pocket below the waist and in front is where they put there cigarette lighter.  If they didn’t smoke, and they had nothing in there front pockets, but their hands.  They would be accused of playing pocket pool.  Must of been some type of game?  Maybe some old timer will reply, and explain what that was all about?  Do they still make bib overalls?  What a good ice breaker?  Everyone on the cruise should or could wear bib overalls to dinner the first night and bring yourselves along a pocket knife for whittling.  Old timers use to say that your mouth works better, when your hands are busy.   Did somebody else already suggest this about the bib overalls?  Maybe they wern’t going on the memory cruise, neither?  Just kidding.

The pocketknife was a mighty handy instrument, not only was it used to repair harnesses it was used to cut off corns, trim toe nails and finger nails and to clean the fromunda from beneath them nails.  The old timers were mighty proud of their knives.  Whenever they sat down to take a break in the shade of some old oak tree or on the step of the house in the evening, they would bring out their pocketknife and their pocket emery stone and start sharpening their pocket knife. They would sharpen and sharpen until the blade  was sharper then a razors edge.  My dad would always say that a sharp knife will not cut you but a dull one would.  A sharp knife will go where you want it to cut.  You have to force a dull knife and if you have to force it, you do not have it under control and you are bound to cut yourself and the other lesson was to never cut toward your body, always cut away from yourself.  I still have a couple of my dads old pocketknives laying around here somewhere.  The cutting edge of the blades are worn into curves from being sharpened. That was the way a lot of the old timers relaxed after a hard day, sharpening their pocketknives and listening to the radio.  I think a lot of the pocketknives went dull when people started watching television.

Another reason them pocketknives were kept so sharp was that they came in mighty handy when taking care of the male calfs and pigs. A farmer just never knew when it would be time to perform surgery on a critter. They say the testicles must be removed to keep the meat from tasting and smelling strong when cooked and that the animals do put on weight faster if they don’t have these. It must be the results of that damn testosterone?

Now to get to the real meat of this story.  No pun intended!  I was a young fellow about 13 years old up in the Turtle Mountians visiting my three uncles when this subject came up.  Apparently Uncle Guss had bought a male pig (bore) for butchering in the fall.  This was no small pig, I’m guessing that it weighed around 250 lbs.  Back in them days not to many people had a squeeze chute to immobilize a critter.  They didn’t, and probably wouldn’t have taken the time to use it anyway.  Anyway, these three, 60 year old men crawled into this pen with this hog, I stayed on the outside of the pen. I guess I was being held back in reserve in case they needed someone to tell them how to get out of the pen. Sounds good to me.  Anyway, Uncle Guss in the pen with his two brothers, grabbed this hog first and using his shoulder pushed it up against the side of the pen.  Uncle Bill the oldest of the three got a bear hug on the mid section of that hog and together they forced it over onto its side with its back up against the pen.  Guss then changed his position to actually sitting on the pigs head.  Then uncle Bill changed his position to actually sitting on top of the pigs mid-section. Do to this tag team match-up in no time they had that pig under complete control.  Uncle Frank got out his razor sharp pocketknife made two slits and removed that hogs package so efficiently and fast that after he was released that bore was walking around like he was still master of his domain.

While walking back to the house from the barn yard and while discussing the medical procedure that was just used without the benefit of anesthesia, Uncle Guss started complaining that he thought that damn hog had bit him on the butt.

Apparently that hogs teeth wern’t as sharp as that pocket knife?  We all started to chuckle a little as Uncle

guss reached around to his back-side and started complaining about that hog tearing the right back pocket off his bib overalls and also getting a piece of his hide.  I took a couple of steps backward and reported to uncle Guss that he had a pretty big strawberry on his right butt cheek.  Uncle Guss asked if it was bleeding?  I said, no it wasn’t, but that it looks like it wants to. He said, that he would put some horse linament on it, and it would be alright.  Seems like them old timers used that linament for everything.  I remember my dad using that stuff on his legs when they started giving him problems from MS.  I remember that it smelled terrible.  I wonder if it was made for horses, or humans?

So, after making you all aware of how to tackle a hog and remove its package.  Is there any of you fellows willing to tackle a 250 lb. bore.  I’ll volunteer to stay outside the pen and give pointers as you request them.  Remember you need a very sharp pocketknife.  I remember them old timers saying, when discussing someone that had done someone wrong, that they ought to be castrated with a dull knife.  Apparently that would really hurt.

Dick, Do you have any Idea where Randy lives?  Hee, Hee, Hee.

I don’t know what he said that made me think of this story? Maybe he remembers.

Remember, Laugh and the whole world laughs with you!  Cry and you cry alone!




12/17/2014 (2151)

Happy Birthday Kenny Nerpel (’65): Rugby, ND
Nerpel, Kenny 2151


Pictures from Pastor Orval Moren:  Coon Rapids, MN.

 From: Pastor Moren
Picture of Orval and Bernell Moren, Dunseith,
Peace, Rendahl and Little Prairie Lutheran 1960-1963

Merry Christmas everyone, and a prosperous New Year 2015

                                           Pastor Orval  and Bernell Moren

Moran Pastor 2151


School days About 1937
Story from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Parents Were Perfect Children”

As a child I held parents in high esteem. I  had the belief “Parents never ever make mistakes.” “Parents are not mere mortals. “Parents always do the right thing.” Etc! Etc!

It was in the summer of my 10th year I learned from my father’s very own little sister Jean that he was not a perfectly well behaved model child at school.

Yes, t’was my very own Auntie Jean who told me the enlightening tale of one of his “escapades “at school.  Of course, I was quite mortified to hear my dad was responsible for the closing of Dunseith School for 5 days!

My own dad would never tell me all the details.  He kept his secrets. He never told me “the who’s, “how’s”, “the whys” others that were also involved.”

I was telling my Aunt that my dad never made mistakes.  She replied, Aw Ha! So your father never told you about when he put limburger cheese in the school radiator?

Hesitating, I took a breath, I did not have a clue what limburger cheese was. ‘The only cheeses I knew were Mom making homemade cottage cheese, if we lived in town she bought cottage cheese, my sister Cyndy and Uncle Archie both hated it and wouldn’t eat it unless they were under duress. The only other cheese purchased would be by Dad who favored eating long horn Colby cheese with the Horse collar bologna.

Horrified I said to Jean, “ What happened?. Jean said, Well you need to ask your dad about it.  At the supper table that night eating roast beef and potatoes and peas,  amongst the Maki family. I said, Dad, What is limburger cheese?

He said, “Why”

I said, “cause Jean said you put it into the school radiator and school was shut down for about a week.”

Dad said well Vickie, Limburger Cheese is a skinky cheese that a lot of old Norwegians used to like…..Yes I put it in the school radiator….He went back to cutting up his beef and changed the subject talking to Aunt Jean about various cheeses.

NO, Dad never denied. He said he did it. But doggone it I could never get the whole story out of him. He would never utter or tell on anyone.

But for years my inquiring mind wouldn’t let go.

“WHO did he get the cheese from?”

“WHERE he go it?”

“WHY he did it?”

Twenty-some years later……….

I found out the rest of the tale. All I’m saying today, it had to do with schoolyard games……of upperclassmen.

Keep pondering, Gary and friends!

Until later,



Joke of the day
Posted by Dick Johnson (’68): Dunseith, ND

There was a man who worked for the post office whose job was to process all the mail that had illegible addresses.

One day, a letter came addressed in a shaky handwriting to God with no actual address. He thought he should open it to see what it was about.

The letter read:

 Dear God,

I am an 83 year old widow, living on a very small pension. Yesterday someone stole my purse. It had $100 in it, which was all the money I had until my next pension payment. Next Sunday is Christmas, and I had invited two of my friends over for dinner. Without that money, I have nothing to buy food with. I have no family to turn to, and you are my only hope… Can you please help me?

Sincerely, Edna

The postal worker was touched. He showed the letter to all the other workers. Each one dug into his or her wallet and came up with a few dollars. By the time he made the rounds, he had collected $96, which they put into an envelope and sent to the woman at her return address.

The rest of the day, all the workers felt a warm glow thinking of Edna and the dinner she would be able to share with her friends.

Christmas came and went.  A few days later, another letter came from the same old lady to God.  All the workers gathered around while the letter was opened.

 It read:

Dear God,

How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me? Because of your gift of love, I was able to fix a glorious dinner for my friends. We had a very nice day, and I told my friends of your wonderful gift.

By the way, there was $4 missing. I think it might have been those bastards at the post office.  

Sincerely, Edna


Blog (215) posted on September 7, 2008


Folks, I got a call from Bill Grimme (65), midnight Dunseith time, last night (Friday).  I think I understood him to say he arrived in the Dunseith/Bottineau area Thursday.  He is staying at the Super 8 in Bottineau. He has been on the go, non stop.  When he called, we were headed out the door to a wedding, so we had to cut our conversation short. I am including a picture of Bill, so you folks in the Dunseith/Bottineau areas know what he looks like if you happen to see him. This picture was taken in Paris, France about 6 weeks ago. Bill will probably be surprised when he sees this message posted with his picture. With the short time he will be in the area, I know he wants to see as many folks as possible. Bill is living in Birmingham AL. Bill is a very friendly sort of guy and he does not bite, so if you see him don’t be afraid to introduce your self. Gary

As I’m writing this, I just got a message from Dick Johnson informing me that Bill just called him and they set up an appointment to tour the museum in St. John today (Sunday) at 5:00 PM.  Kenny/Shari Nerpel & possibly John/Margaret Bedard will be joining him. I’m sure when Dick has the Museum open, it’s open for all to enjoy. For some of you guys, that would be a nice Sunday drive over to St. John.


         Bill Grimme
Grimme, Bill 2151

Reply for missing 40’s folks, from Mona Dionne Johnson (48): 

My husband, Chuck, and Leo Murray were very good friends.  We stopped to see him in Spokane on a trip west.

Leo has since passed on.  His sister, Mary, as I recall him saying lived in California.  Their father was the janitor at the school for many years, and all of us in the 40’s classes can well remember John’s smiling face.  I don’t remember hearing Mary’s married name.
Mona Dionne Johnson (48)


Reply for missing 40’s folks, from Margaret Myhre Lary 

Note: Margaret Myhre is a cousin to Carl Myhre, (Bank) from Rolette. I called Carl to get her contact info.

Mary Murray was a very good friend of mine.  She was a nurse and married Paul Torrell, who was “Man of the Year” in Idaho.  Mary died in the late 1990’s. She was the 1943 graduate.

Lona Lund Swant (class of 44).  I last heard from her in the late 1990’s.  At that time she was living at 764 Crestview Place, Walla Walla, Washington 99362

Margaret, I was saddened to find Lona Lund has passed on too.  I found death records for both Lona Lund & Mary Murray. Thanks for providing this info.  Gary

Folks, we have only two folks remaining to be located from the 40’s classes and they are both from the class of 1941. Please help if you know anything at all about either of these folks.


Class of 1941
Thelma Medlang – she was from the Little Prairie area
Irene Nelson

Folks, with all the positive responses we got with the story that Vickie Metcalfe provide about Carroll Carlson, She has agreed to share a series of traveling stories she has written about Carroll.  I did not know Carroll, but with her stories and others provided by Dick Johnson, Carroll was a very interesting sort of a guy. Many of you did know the Carlson family and Carroll.  They lived south and east of Kelvin up in the Turtle Mountains.  We will be posting some of Carroll’s traveling stories, each day, for the next few days. We will sequentially number each days posting. Carroll is now deceased.  Gary

The thirties were tough years economically, and those dry years were tough for agriculture in ND and on the youth who were seeking jobs.

Carroll and Archie Metcalfe, were neighbors and about the same age.   Carroll grew up on the Carlson farm about 2 miles north of the Metcalfe’s at Rabbit City Lake. Carroll’s sister, Ursella, Luella Cote and Leona Metcalfe were also friends who rode horse together.

Carroll had completed High School at Dunseith in 1934.    Archie had worked for area farmers and FDR’s, CCC program.  Archie’s father passed away in July of 1935.  And his mother moved to Dunseith, with the younger children.

With the scarcity of work Carroll and Archie decided to relocate to the West Coast in early spring/summer of 1937.  They found their way to Minot and discovered they did not have enough money to get all the way to the coast.   So they decided to buy tickets with all they had, about $10.00 apiece, and caught a west bound train.  The tickets would take them as far as the middle of Montana.

Kelso Graham had worked two or three years for the Carlson family, in the early 20’s for the Carlson’s. After a time in the twenties, he and Clifford Medlang, son of Ole and Christine of the Little Prairie area decided to head west into Montana.  Clifford was the younger of the two, and didn’t tell his parents he was leaving fearing his mother would not allow him to go.  The two young men went to work for the Miller Brothers Ranch located in North Central Montana.  The Miller Brothers Ranch was one of the largest privately owned ranches in Montana at that time.  There may have been some bigger, but generally run by a corporate style operation, owners living in the east and with a manager running the ranch.

Well,  when they didn’t  have the fare to go to the West Coast, Carroll remembered,Kelso Graham  was  living in Chinook, Montana.   Upon arriving in Chinook the next morning, they got off the train, with just the clothes on their backs.   They went to seek out Kelso.  At that time Kelso was working at a gas station.  Carroll and Archie told him they were looking for summer work.  With Kelso’s help, by the same afternoon, they both had found employment as ranch hands.

They were going to work for Mr. MacIver who owned a sheep ranch, called the “Sprinkle Ranch”.  Carroll and Archie were asked about their equipment.  Their answer,  “What equipment?”   Carroll said,  “We did not have anything except the clothes on our backs.  The necessary equipment included a bedroll.  So, MacIver loaned us the money to purchase what we needed, the expense was taken out of the first pay check.”


12/15/2014 (2150)

Happy Birthday Muzette Berube Fiander (’74): MELBOURNE, FL
Berube, Muzette 2150


Blog (214) posted on September 6, 2008


Folks, With all the input and help from you guys, we have narrowed our search down to 4 folks we are trying to locate from the 40’s classes.

If any of you know anything at all about these folks, please let me know. Thanks, Gary

Class of 1941:

Thelma Medlang – She was from the Kelvin Little Prairie community

Irene Nelson – She was listed a number of times in some of the archived Turtle Mountain Star papers.

Class of 1943:

Mary Murray – She was related to Roy & George Murray. I Think her sister was married to Roy Kuhl who lived in Grand Forks & Dunseith

Class of 1944:

Lona Lund (Swan?) – Someone mentioned she was married to a Swan. Not sure of the spelling.


From Wendy Strietzel (Daughter of Dorothy Eurich 75): 


Thanks for the e-mail today.  I was so surprised to open it up and see my last name there as I scrolled down.  I showed it to my folks (Art and Dorothy Eurich Strietzel) and my dad was surprised as well.  I heard about my great-aunt Cynthia but had never seen a picture of her. It was nice to finally put a face to the name.  Thank Dick for me as well.

Take care,

Wendy Strietzel


From Florence Hiatt Dahl (50):

Do you remember getting chicken pox as a child?I couldn’t.   But I remember going to Aunt Margies for dinner–oops, I forgot it’s supper back there.  And she haId the most wonderful popcorn balls AND I could eat as many as  I wanted, and I did……….The next morning I awoke with mumps andI just knew it was those popcorn balls.  But no memory of chicken poz.  So when some friends told me they were having the vacination for shingles, why bother.. Did you know that after you have c. p. you carry THE virus in your body from then on? This a painful rash on the torso on one side of the body only.  Wrong…..It can be in your scalp, face, ears and a eye.  And it can strike as early as the early fifties.  Why am I writing this?  The first week in May, My right eye felt funny, then a film covered  it………..I had shingles.  I won’t go into all the medical terms, but puttin it simple,  talk to your doctor, get a prescripion and get the vacination.  I wish I had.  I,m just getting over it….Four months”””””


Thank you Florence for this wonderful advice. I know shingles can be very painful. Believe me, I am going to take your advice. Thank you, Gary

Clipping from the Bottineau Courant provided by Neola Kofoid Garbe: 

Allen Houle – Dunseith High School class of 1967
Houle, Allan 2150




12/14/2014 (2149)

Happy Birthday Pam Houle Hagen (’73): Big Lake, MN
Houle Hagen, Pam 2149

     Happy birthday Iris Wolvert: Willow City, ND
Wolvert, Iris, 2149



Message from a different David Striker:


I am a different David Striker, but the Dunseith Strikers are my cousins.  Jim must have misunderstood.

David Charles Striker


Knights of Columbus Picture
Reply from Aggie Casavant (’69): Fort Mill, SC


Thanks  for  the  correction  on  the  Knights  of  Columbus  picture (when  it  was  taken).  I  knew  it  was  off  by  quite  a  few  years, but  Math  was  not  my  strong  subject  in  school, so  trying  to  run  the  numbers  to  make  a  correction  I  could’t  do.  I  was  thinking   a  person  must  of  had  to  be  18  to  join  back  then  and  maybe  even  today  if  the  organization  still  exist.  In  reference  to  the  picture  the  majority  of  the  guys  in  that  picture  were  from  Rolette. The  guy  in  the  very  back  row  on  the  very  end on  the  right  is  Romeo  Boucher.  Thanks  Neola  for  sharing…it   was  interesting.  Aggie


Blog (213) posted on September 5, 2008


Allen Richard’s (65) reply after asking if we had located Emerson Murry (42): 

Emerson and I got to be good friends when I was in the legislature.  We shared the honor of being the only two graduates to come back and give the commencement addresses to the Unset graduating classes.  I still don’t know if we are still the only two.  I need to thank Ben Grossman for my speaking/debating/drama skills.  I don’t know where Emerson got his, but he was certainly no pushover!

As to Susan’s cancer issues — she is doing very well with an excellent prognosis.  We went the aggressive route with double mastectomy and reconstruction plastic surgery due in large part to her family history.  Of her three aunts, three uncles two parents and one sister—only two have NOT had some type of cancer — do the math.  With that in mind she decided to go with chemotherapy even though half the doctors thought she didn’t need it and the other half was moderately in favor of it.  Thankfully no radiation was involved.

It has been a roller coaster for quite some time for more reasons than cancer.  We are in the middle of a multiyear era of difficulty that overshadows anything we have encountered in our 21 year relationship — including 2001 and 2002 when both of our fathers passed away.

But we will make it.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  I was borderline suicidal before I met her — so I don’t complain much.


Allen Richard’s (65) Reply to the KC’s Picture: 

KC’s class of 1960– I think that is the year my father joined, but I’m not sure.  I think I have their “class picture” at home.  the problem with identifying people in the pictures stems from the fact that in those days the Dunseith KC’s were almost regional in scope–members in the picture you have could have been from Dunseith, Rolette, Rolla. Bottineau, Rugby and everywhere in between—maybe more.


Correction from Diane Larson Sjol (70):


First of all, I want to thank those of you who have donated on my
behalf to the Breast Cancer 3 Day walk I will be participating in on
Sept. 19-21 in the Twin Cities.  I will be walking 60 miles over the
course of three days to raise awareness on the fight towards curing
breast cancer.  I want to make a correction to the website if any of
you want to make a donation.  There was a word left out of the website
and if you went to the one I listed, you were probably wondering why
you were reading about window blinds.  So, the correct website is:
http://www.the3day.org/  Go there and click on “Donate Now”. then type
in Diane Sjol and ND and hit enter.  My name will come up.  Click on
that and then you will be taken to another page with directions.  If
you choose to send a check, please make it to Breast Cancer 3 Day and
mail it to Diane Sjol at 712 South Main St. Minot, ND 58701.  Please
submit a name with you donation and I will put that name on my shirt
and walk for that person.  The person you choose can be battling any
kind of cancer, be a survivor, or be deceased….it doesn’t matter.
Remember, no donation is too small. It all adds up and my goak in
order to be able to participate is $2200.  So far I have raised about
$700.00.  Thank you in advance and I am sorry for giving you the wrong


Randy Flynn’s (70) reply to Vickie Metcalfe (70): 

OK Vickie.  You can keep the memories going.  You have done the DHS class of 1970 proud.  Your story of Carroll Carlson has surpassed all Dick Johnson and Larry Hackman stories.  Not that theirs were not good, you just kept me wanting to learn more.  Please share all of those memories when you have time.

A question for Vickie and Dick about Carroll Carlson.  Vickie mentioned Carroll had cousins in Canada.  Do either of you or anyone for that matter, know the connection between the Turtle Mountain Homesteaders and those who moved to Alberta.  Was it the second generation looking for farm land of their own, was it a religious connection, or did it occur in the 30s.  I was told Carroll had relatives in North Central Alberta, one lady was named Hazel, I believe.  She was married to a gentleman with the last name of Sather but I do not know if he was from the Turtle Mt area.


Vickie Metcalfe’s (70) reply:  

Vickie, this is another great message of yours, that I have chosen to share.  Gary

Randy, Gary, Dick,

I believe it was a second generation of homesteaders.  My dad’s  Aunt
Anne (Metcalfe) Eccles ,daughter Jim &Mae (Eccles) Smith ( no
relation to Wayne)  moved up to Medicine Hat area in the early 1900’s
also. It was soemtime, after the tragic  time of my aunt Lillian’s
murder which happened on the Eccles place.

Picture this  in your minds eye….. Old High Way #3. You’re driving
north on the old highway #3, around the lakes close to the old Oliver
Handeland place ( their great granddughter Pam (Anderson) Defender
lives there now) going up a steep  hill then the Seim/Metcalfe
meadow….ya got it pictured ?  Well that big hill was called by my
dad and old timers”the Jim Smith Hill” .  I believe Mae Smith sold
that piece of land to Pete Carlson in the 30’s while she was living
in Alberta.  George Cota’s brother used to pass through that area of
Alberta to visit former Turtle Mtn folks.  I believe his name was
Alfred.  Old Mrs. Cota was a sister to Randolph Keeler who was
married to one of my dad’s cousins on the Metcalfe side.. He was
about muy Uncle Luckys age. …..Enough pondering back to work I ‘ll
do some more thinkin over the weekend.

Gary, Is there any interest..in me to just send pieces of CARROLL’s
TRAVELING YEARS so you can just fwd  installmentss on through your

Til the weekend. Vickie

Message/pictures from Dick Johnson (68): 

Gary and Friends,

Carroll Carlson had cousins at Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Their last
name was Halvorson, if I remember correctly. I believe they were all
women and were his first cousins. Some of them were here not too many
years ago and Carroll brought them over for me to meet. I just can’t
remember their married names. My Grandmother Cynthia Strietzel Johnson,
had an uncle that left the Turtle Mountains to homestead at Crane
Valley, SK. He stayed there nearly all his life, but moved to California
when he was quite old and lived out his life there.I think there was
good land available on the prairies in Saskatchewan. Here in the hills
it was a big job to clear trees and brush, so many folks headed north.
Grandma’s old uncle was a character. He was a scrounger and a pack rat.
We called him ‘Uncle Herman’ and when he came to visit, his old 51
Pontiac was so full of junk he only had a place to sit to drive. Once
when he was here at the farm, he gave me an old double barrel shotgun
with a homemade latch to keep it shut when you fired it. I was really
proud ( I was about 12 ). I showed my prize to my dad after Uncle Herman
left. Dad saw the lock contraption and said, ” Don’t ever shoot that,
you’ll blow your head off”! For once I listened, or I probably wouldn’t
be typing this email! I’m attaching two pictures of Herman Strietzel.
The first is of him in front of his ‘claim shack’ at Crane Valley, SK.
and the second is of he and my grandmother, Cynthia Strietzel Johnson,
taken at our farm in 1952. He was down visiting family on one of his
excursions. When Randy Flynn asked if people went to Saskatchewan for
religious reasons, I thought of Uncle Herman! He didn’t go there for
religious reasons, not the way I remember him! He taught himself to read
and write, and then found an old typewriter and wrote his life history,
of which I have a copy. He said he was born in a log house and was
delivered by a neighbor woman (midwife). To this he remarked, “I spent
my first seconds here on Earth in the arms of another man’s wife”! The
rest of his ‘manuscript’ is equally interesting! He spelled words the
way they sound and this makes the reading hilarious! Thanks Gary!



From Ele Dietrich Slyter (69): 

I think the picture is of Kay Belgarde, daughter of  Clifford and Ella Mae (Burcham) Belgarde and was probably taken at their home east of Dunseith — Kay looks to be a teenager so I would think the picture may have been taken in the mid to late 80’s.  She lives in Jamestown now.
              Kay Belgarde

Strietzel 2149-1 Strietzel 2149-2


Obituary provided by Neola Kofoid Garbe: 

Floyd W Pritchard

6 Birchwood Heights Rd S

Bottineau, ND58318-8020

(701) 263-4964

Pritchard, Ann obit 2149


Provide by Neola Kofoid Garbe:
Arliss is married to Kevin Fugere (76):

Fugere, Arliss 2149



12/13/2014 (2148)

Happy Birthday Donna Halvorson Krim (’77): Sartell, MN
Halvorson Krim, Donna 2148


David Striker (’70)
Request from Jim Robillard (’58):Williston, ND

Gary, I recently met this gentleman by the name of David Striker. He mentioned that he was from Dunseith and he has relatives still living in the area.

he would like to be included on the mailing list for this blog. His address is as follows,  daves1958@ would you be so kind as to include him.


Thanks Jim,
I had the wrong email address for David. I have David listed in my records as living in Wahpeton, ND


The Lunch Ladies
Reply from Lola Metcalfe Vanorny (’68): Dunseith, ND

YES BRAD I REMEMBER  – THE LUNCH LADIES  !!-  what awesome meals those gals put out- Litlle Stella Schimetz is still l going  strong– !!- Our Jason just loved her when they went to Dunseith to school !!_    — Stella told me what he called  her !!- But i can’t remember what it was !!- I’ll have to ask her again something like “doodle bug”  or some crazy name but he just thought she was awesome- !! and the rest of the girls too !!-  Mrs Casavant was there forever i think when i was still i school and also Gladys LIder!!_   hard working ladies and made the best homemade meals ever !!_  i don’t know show they did it !!-  cooking in that quantity  can get pretty poor but not there- !!-  I know when we went to Bottineau to school Jason was in 6th grade and he would just complain about the food !!_ He so wished for “Stella’s cooking” again !!-  I thought  it can’t be that bad !!-  so i went to school and ate with him one day and yes  !!- it was that bad!!  just so hard to cook for so many kids  !!!–  I told him to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and i made full meals for supper when they got home- !!  –  I think Stella even got up at like 1 am to have fresh carmel rolls ready for the kids at breakfast cause they served breakfast in Dunseith at that time- !!-   — You won’t find that kind of home made cooking anywhere without a miracle worker like Stella- !!!– not even in a cafe!!!!–

She still looks great – and is going strong- what a woman!!_  

Also Brad i worked with your MOM  Caroleen-  at San haven —  she was a lot of fun and  a meticulous worker-  with the bookkeeping!!– in the medical and also i think later in the dietary !!_  —  anyhow i gotta get busy emailing my customers –    so better get going!!_  best regards to you and also extend  to Caroleen and the rest of your family !!_  Lola  & Jay


Blog (212) posted on September 4, 2008


Folks,  Please see list of the 1940’s DHS class folks remaining to be located at the bottom on this message.  Gary


Karen Loeb Mhyre’s (65) reply to Vickie Metcalfe (70): 

Hello Vickie,

Thank you for the corrected information on my mother’s cousin, Carroll.  I am in Michigan right now visiting my daughter and her family but will be home on the 15th (Bellevue, Washington).  The book you mentioned sounds wonderful.  Do you have one or two copies I can purchase?  My mom would love it.  I was so glad to read your comment about Leonard and his visits.  Mom had said he “left home when he grew up and never came back”!!!

When I get home the week of the 15th I will print your letter and take it to my mom.  She does not do email!!  She is 87! She lives in Bothell, Washington.   I do remember the Aird name and she will be interested in that information as well. We did visit a cousin of hers once who lived in Marysville, WA but I am not sure how she was related.  Will ask my mom about who this was and get her name.  I think her husband was a fisherman.

Do you know who is farming the Carlson farm now?

Thanks again for writing about this part of our family.

Keep in touch!!

Karen Loeb Mhyre (daughter of Hannah Higgins Loeb, granddaughter of Alida Olson Higgins who was sister to Christine Olson Carlson – mother of Caroll!!!)


Vickie Metcalfe’s (70) reply to Karen’s message above: 

Actually Karen,  what I wrote is about 15 pages typewritten. Are you still interested?  If so, I will mail  a couple copies to you at your home address.
If you so desire, after receiving  and reading.  All I ask is ,make a  small  donation to Little Prairie Cemetery Association in Carroll’s memory.  That’s where Carroll’s remains are along with the Carlson family. ………………And, He’d smile at that!
Every 1st weekend of  May is the clean up for that little cemetery. I think all the siblings including Leonard are there too. I remember Leonard well.  He made his last journey to ND when my dad was still living, and walked over the pastures east to our family farm to visit.  I think he told my dad that he was dying.
Carroll when not farming worked with my dad mixing mud for sheetrock.  Then my dad lost his vision and that ended.  But Carroll was always a good neighbor.  Geographically…..On that road,the Carlson farm, the Seim farm, the Metcalfe farm, the Smith farm,the Johnson farm.  We were all neighbors and all belonged to each other as friends.
Christine (Carlson) was married to a fisherman and last address was Stanwood WA, I met her when they buried Carroll the June after his passing. . She and her husband would send Carroll  caps with fishing logos.
I have  a cousin Ken Oswell in Bellevue, another Ron Oswell in Shoreline. There mom used to ride with Ursulla as teens.  Ardis Steggall belonged to Uncle Lucky lives  on Whidbey Island and Dianne ( Jean’s daughter) a teacher in Monroe.  So I know thhe area of western WA well.

Do you have the book written for the Dunseith Centennial in 1982, “Prairie, Past and Mountain Memories”? If not obtain one for you and your mom they are about $30.00 . That book you will find the family story of about every family.

Later. Vickie Metcalfe


Dick Johnson’s (68) Reply to Vickie Metcalfe (70):

Gary and Friends,

I enjoyed Vickie’s story about the trip and memories of my old pal,
Carroll Carlson. That was him, exactly! He often said, “I would change
things, but I gave him my word”. If he told you this was the way he
would do something, that was the way he did it! He also told me many
times, the reason our country is going the way it is–is because,
“People ain’t got no shame”! It may sound simplistic, but the underlying
fact is that he was right! Carroll was a man of high moral fiber, and
trusted his fellow man. This at times cost him, as some of the people
took advantage of  his trust. Even that didn’t cause him to be less
honest or trusting. I think he just felt that they would have to answer
for it someday. On a lighter note, when he was having heart problems, I
drove him to Minot several times to see the doctors. He didn’t like to
drive in Minot and wouldn’t have been able to find his appointment or
hear what they wanted anyway. On one occasion, the doctor was telling
Carroll, in technical terms, what he was to do. Carroll didn’t hear a
word, so I said, “Tell me and I’ll see he does it”. The doctor then
understood that Carroll couldn’t hear. He asked what I knew about
Carroll’s history? I explained about him being in North Africa and Omaha
Beach on D-Day, and that was Carroll’s big event. The Doc put his hand
on Carroll’s shoulder and said loudly, “I understand you were in World
War II”! Carroll said, “That wasn’t too hard to get into”! The Doctor
laughed and left the room still laughing! Months later after several
more visits, Carroll finally got the word that he no longer had to take
most of his meds and could just go back to his normal routine, he was
nearly skipping down the hall. When we were walking across the parking
lot, he turned to me and slyly said, “I think I’m going to start smoking
again”! I said, “Go ahead.” He was 88 at the time! Thanks Gary!



 Message to Gary from Vickie Metcalfe (70): 

Vickie, I hope you don’t mind that I’m sharing this message.  Many of our folks can relate to and know the folks you are talking about.   Folks, Bradley Salmonson (61) is Hank’s son. Gary

Now I consider it a treat when Hank Salmonson shows up for lunch at the Family

Bakery.  For me, he’ll share chocolate!  He’s another good buddy of
Dick’s.  Hank recently with friend Jade Mogaard released his Cd
entitled “88 years of Hank”.  Yes, he’s an uncle of Wayne Smith and
Dennis and Terry Espe also my sis in law, Debbie.( Harlan’s daughter)
and Salmonsons.   A couple summers ago Bradley and his son came back
and painted Hanks house.  Hank will go pick guitar with Dicks group
when  they are together at Wayne  and Rosemary Smiths……..He’s
also got a wealth of stories to tell.  Right now, his great – niece
Shari Honsey June’s daughter( from Seattle) is in the area and they
hang out together.  Hank  was   a brother in  law to Albert Hiatt and
married to Maybelle Smith, who has passed away.  Back at ya.Vickie

From Bev Morinville Azure (72): 

Thank you Bonnie  for   this  clear up  Yes  my dad  was  the driving force behind the  K of  C’s in   Dunseith  he  was   very proud of  this. He  may not have had  much money  but he had the  biggest  heart in the world……he   fed many people through his store   we never had much  money  we had something  more…….  we  were taught  how  to treat  others  with love and kindness………our house was open to many,  we ended  having  many friends   because mom and  dad never turned any of  our  friends away even the  ones  that were  a little bad  lol  they just  took  em in and loved em. Dad  was also the man that  started the  field mass , every  summer  up at the  peace gardens there are hundred  that gather for a mass  for  peace around the  world. It  is held every  2nd  Sunday in July. Please  join us next year.  He  was  the founder and it is  still going to this  day  I  think it is  about  40  to 45  years   going  now.  Debbie is coming along   she is  in Holy Rosery Hospital now  in  Miles  City   she is having  therapy.  We  plan to go see her  next weekend   after   Shonda’s wedding this weekend  I  will need a  week to recover.You all sound like you had  fun in St John  we  talked about going  but   we needed a weekend  to   do stuff  at home  we have been on the  road every weekend   this summer.  Gary  thanks again  for all you do.  By the  way  I went and spent 4  days  with Toni and her  family and  we had a blast .  We will do it again next summer I hope.  Bev



From Dick Johnson (68): 

Gary and Friends,

I think its great so many people have sent replies to the Knights of
Columbus photo. There is one correction though, it was taken about
1969-1971 as the two Casavants in the middle row are Rick and David who
are about my age. Rick was in the class of 1966 at Rolette and I think
David was in !968. So 1958 is too early by ten years or so.



Hurricane Gustov from Dale Pritchard (63): 

Hi Gary,

Hurricane Gustov come in out of the Gulf just a little West of New
Orleans Monday forenoon.  It started past my place, to the East, about
10:00 Monday night, with the entire eye between here and Alexandria,
which is only about 45 miles further East.  It’s better to be on the
West side of a hurricane.  The East side is the “big trouble” side.  The
wind blew many hours with a steady howl that works on one’s nervous
system.  I stayed up till 2:00 AM Monday night just in case the roof got
damaged and rain started in.  I finally gave up and went to bed until
8:00.  By that time it was past but dumping rain pretty hard.  Between
downpours, I checked outside and crawled up on the roof to see what was
gone (or left).  It was all OK and I still have a hard time believing we
came through it with no damage.  Alexandria on the other hand, had
houses damaged, trees down, trees on houses, flooding, etc.  We’re
already looking at four more on the way.  It’s pretty certain the first
the first one will head North on the East side of Florida but it’s too
early to tell anything on the other three.

In Sep 05, a hurricane came in on the Louisiana/Texas state line, about
20 miles away, and took some of my shingles with it.  I was on the East
side that time and paid for it!!  We spent about four days without power
that time.  This time, it was only off about seven hours.  I feel for
those in Florida who get some effects from almost every one that goes
by, and more than their share of hits!



From Sybil Johnson: 

Ive gotten to looking forward to receiving your emails and all the information from others. I noticed a mention of Hazel Hyatt and I remember her well. She used to come to Bernice’s house all the time. She sure was a worker, as I remember on her farm. I do have a picture of her and if I can find it, I will put it on here.

Sybil Johnson


Pictures provided by Neola Kofoid Garbe: 

Daughter of Sandra Zeiler (62) & Mike Vandal
Vandal, Terri 2148

Daughter of Sandra Zeiler (62) & Mike Vandal
Vandal, Dawn 2148

Marlin Williams (55 – Deceased) – Doris Peterson Williams (53)
Peterson, Marlin Doris 2148


Does any one recognize this picture?
Belgarde, Ella 2148


Below, I have listed the remaining folks that we have not located from the 40’s classes. Thank you very much for all the feed back you provided with the last request asking for help locating  these folks from the 40’s classes.  With your help our list has gotten much smaller.

Please provide any info that you know about any of these folks. Please provide names of relative or friends that may know and Married names of the gals



Class of 1940
Lucina Bahl

Class of 1941
Kenneth Christianson
Thelma Medlang
Irene Nelson

Class of 1942
June McDermott

Class of 1943
Mary Murry

Class of 44
Lyle Johnson
Lona Lund (Swan)

12/12/2014 (2147)

No Blog the past 3 days.

For the record I did not get a blog posted the past 3 days. Not enough hours in the.



Happy Birthday Karen Larson (Owner Bottineau Spectrum)
Larson, Karen 2147


Happy BIrthday Lee Hosmer
From Jay (’66) and Lola Metcalfe (’68) Vanorny:  Dunseith, ND


Philippine Typhoon
Comment from Cecile Carbonneau Marchand (’51):  Clearwater, FL & Kenosha, WI

My prayers are with you all in the line of the terrible typhoon that is going through your area. We were very lucky this year in Florida with the absence of any bad hurricanes. Always enjoy your effort to keep us all involved in our past in the Dunseith/Bottineau area.

Thanks for your concerns Cecile:
We here in Cebu pretty missed the intensity of the storm. When the storm made land fall, in the parts of Cebu that it hit, it’s intensity was considerably weakened. All in all the Philippines escaped a what could have been a repeat of the typhoon that hit the Philippines last year. This one produced some damage though, so all wasn’t good.


12/11/2014 Cebu Philippines: Cebu expat dinner at the Marco Polo Plaza.

Bernie, our son, is here now too. He will be here until Jan 23rd.

This month’s Cebu Expat dinners were held at the Marco Polo.  Because of our numbers we had to have two dinners. Wednesday we had about 65 folks and last night (Thursday) we had nearly a hundred. Bernadette and her Nieces, (Novie and Mirasol) only attended last night’s dinner.  Bernie, Lorelie and I attended both dinners.

This was a spur of the moment picture that was taken last night. One of many. Art Hagen said that since he has met Rose, He has had more pictures taken than all combined in the rest of his entire life.

Bernadette is the drawing card for all of these pictures.



Cebu Marco Polo Plaza (Five Star hotel) tower to the right.
Stokes 2147-1

Marco Polo Condo tower (1 of 2) to the left.
Stokes 2147-2


Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND
Dunseith news


Blog (211) posted on September 3, 2008

Folks, don’t miss the Knights of Columbus picture, with explination From Bonnie Awalt Houle,  at the very bottom of this message.  Gary

Mel Kuhn’s (70) reply to the “Historical Society” Steak Fry last Saturday: 

Howdy Gary,

The turnout for the Historical Society Steak Fry was overwhelming. We got caught with our pants down. I know I never imagined the people would come in so fast and all at one time. We kind of started out pretty confused and had trouble keeping everything straight and some steaks went out to the wrong people and cooked the wrong way. We finally got a list going and almost got organized by the time it was done. A lot of our steaks hadn’t gotten thawed all the way and that was creating quite a problem for those well done folks. I ended up recooking several which I have to apologize for and for some of the people that had to wait so long. We ended up having to raid my freezer at home for more steaks when we ran out and still didn’t have enough. We went through a 101 steaks and a couple dozen burgers and some hotdogs. This all happened in an hour and a half. None of the workers[7 of us] and several of the band members never got a steak. I know I ended up with a cold wiener at about 9:30. Lots of the people there I did not know and they were there because of this site and we have to thank you for that. I got to visit with Ele for a while so that was a good thing. She informed me that she is having a 60th. Birthday party for Richard next Saturday and invited us to attend. Someone told me of people there from the old Dunseith days and the only name that I can remember is Nancy Hosmer but there were several others. Maybe Dick can pass along some names. Well, I hope everyone’s food was OK and no one got sick. I didn’t get to listen to much of the music but what I did hear was great. We’ll have to try it again next year and see if we can to a little better job. I forgot to mention that the banter between myself and Chicken[Henry LaRocque] is just something we do, we weren’t really arguing. It was great seeing so many people and I hope to see you all again.

Mel Kuhn[70]


From Vickie Metcalfe (70): 

Thank You. Gary for #210 this am was awaiting me.  So great to hear that even as a high school student you were helping “Cupid” with the Rude/Fauske romance. Years later, as the world turned you and Bernadette  continued to do so with your young friends this past summer.
Reply to yesterday’s message from Judy Allery Azure (65): 

Hi Gary,

I must inform you that my brother, Hubert Allery, is a DHS graduate but the year should read 1962 not 1952. This was a good laugh when I informed him of the year you had above his picture.
Thanks again for all the hard work you do.

Oh, by the way the picture of the two little boys with Debbie Dubois’ name are actually from Belcourt.  Debbie’s maiden name is Allery, her parents were relatives of my family.  Her mother is Rosemarie Allery of Belcourt, ND.

Judy Allery Azure


Judy, That was a typo. I do know that Hubert graduated in 1962. I should have caught that one before it went out. Sorry for the mistake.  Gary


Three replies from Dick Johnson (68): 

Two replies From Vickie Metcalfe (70): 

Gary and Friends,

Rod Hiatt wanted me to elaborate on events at the sporting goods store

in Bottineau. I can do that. It was in the early 80’s that Henson’s had
a sporting goods store in the old Stone Hotel. Gary
Mortenson worked there with Don Bunce, as I recall. One day a man named
Dodgion and his wife, Florence were in the store. He was handling a ..22
Magnum when it discharged and  took her life. She was the daughter of
John and Helen Gunville and this was a very sad incident for all the
family and for all those who knew them. I do remember that after this
happened, Don Bunce really lost interest in the business and before long
closed his store and moved, I believe to Minot, but I’m not sure of
that. Florence was in the DHS class of 1967 and was well liked. Her
brother, Mark, had worked for me here on the farm for a while just
before this happened, so I felt connected to this tragedy. If I have any
details wrong, I apologize, but this is how I remember it. Feel free to
correct anything I write at any time, as we need these articles  to be
as close to the facts as is at all possible. Thanks Gary.



Gary, A side note.. In one fwd. Rod Hiatt mentioned a shooting at a sporting good store…….Gary, I wonder if the young mother who lost her life was Florence Gunville, daughter of John and Helen.  I believe, John and Helen raised Florences’ young son on the former Kavali farm after they purchased it from Leonard and Dot.  Another tragic blow to an old Dunseith family. Sometimes all that gets folks through  the tragedys are  good  friends , strong family and enduring Faith.Vickie Metcalfe



That is the Garden Lanes sign on the picture. The cars appear to be mid
60s. I’m sure someone will recognize the bride and groom, but I don’t
right now! Thanks.


Gary, I’m sure Dick has corrected the notion  that Carroll Carlson ever lived in the Dunseith Nursing Home..NO NEVER…….Carroll, after leaving the Carlson farm moved to the Hazel Hiatt farm stead (just south of Kick McKay’s)  on Willow Creek just n. of Dunseith. Carroll was mentally capable. Dick Johnson assisted Carroll  get medical attention when so needed. Don Aird, Carroll’s nephew was in contact frequently with Carroll via telephone and came to spend time with him at least once a year. Vickie


Short note–Vickie Metcalfe is right, Carroll Carlson never was a day in any nursing
home! He took care of his own business right up to the last day! He was
also sharp as a tack! He came home after driving uptown for Senior Meals
and died while walking across his kitchen, exactly the way he would have
chosen, I’m sure!



Reply from Jeff Skjelver(Dave Shelver’s son): 

Gary’s Reply: Jeff, Mr. Hepper has been discussed several times in the past year with pictures. Does Tom remember much of Dunseith?  I had Mr. Hepper for World History.  Gary

Oh sure he does.  He used to pal around with John Morgan’s (61) son, Mike, when they were kids.  Tom speaks fondly of his days in Dunseith, especially negotiating the aisles of Shelver Drug.  He moved with his family to Rugby when he was about 7 years old.  That would have been around 1973.


Tribute to Scott Nadeau from Dave Slyter (70): 


Tribute to Scott Nadeau

Born on earth  2/10/73

Born to heaven  8/28/08

I was so sorry to see the passing of a good friend to me and to just about everyone,  Scott Nadeau.   I remember Scott from when I worked at the DunseithHigh School back in the early 90’s.    He was a very polite, smart and down to earth young man.   His smile would shine like the bright sun and his mannerism was unbelievable.   He would spend a lot of time after school just hanging around and every once in a while he would come and visit while I was doing my daily routine work and ask if he could help.   I never turned down any kind of help.   When he got a little older he got very interested in sports card and I told him he should go and see my sister Brenda and her husband Paul as they owned the trophy shop in Rugby.  They were instant friends of each other.  They too will tell you that Scott was the most pleasant person to be around.   We will certainly miss him.

Scott fought a long hard battle with his cancer and even when I remember when he got it, his positive attitude brought him a very long way thru the years when he was fighting this horrible disease.

Today I will say a special prayer for Scott as he goes home to his final resting place.   I know he will be welcomed with open arms and be a friend to everyone, just like he was here on earth.    God Bless you Scott and we will be seeing you later when we all go home to that special place you are now,  Heaven.

Dave Slyter (70)


Obituary from Neola Kofoid Garbe: 

Scott Nadeau

Feb. 10, 1973-Aug. 29, 2008

DUNSEITH Scott Nadeau, 35, Dunseith, died Friday, Aug. 29, 2008, in a Belcourt hospital.

He was born Feb. 10, 1973, to Roberta Nadeau in Belcourt.

Survivors: mother, Dunseith; brothers, Jamie Nadeau and Roy Poitra, both Dunseith; sisters, Melissa Beston, Donna Beston, Angel Beston and Stephanie Beston, all Dunseith.

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

Burial: St. Louis Cemetery, Dunseith.

Prayer service: Today, 8 p.m., in the church.

Wake: Today, 4 p.m., in the church.

(Nero Funeral Home, Bottineau)


From Vickie Metcalfe (70): 

Gary,  I understand  a cousin mentioning  her relationship to Carroll Carlson. Attached is a letter I sent to his nephew, Don Aird the son of Clarissa (Carlson) Aird, which you may share if you wish. (Although, I’m still a computer novice, when I first began writing remembrances, I started saving all kinds of stuff on the computer and have some letters and Carroll’s 1937—- history. )Carroll also said one time he was somehow related to the Martinson’s out of Landa ND………Carroll was very close and fond of his sister Clarissa’s children. Don and Christina Aird .

Carroll also chose and counted Dick Johnson among his
friends many friends.
I do have Mrs. Carlson’s recipe for Cardomom Cookies!
Gary, I am getting e- mails infrequently.  Missed a quite a few, But
I was happy to get #209.  Because I  always delight in sharing my
fond remembrances of the folks of “Snuce Box Junction Road” . As
ever. Vickie

Attached Letter:


May 14, 2004

Dear Family of Carroll,

Just  a couple weeks ago on May 1,  2004. Little Prairie Cemetery had the annual spring clean up.  Carroll was there with his rake. Imagine that at …89 years old recovering from cataract surgery and heart complications.

I knew Carroll, all my life  growing up 1/2 mile east. There was a big generation gap.   He’d tell people, “This is Vickie, I’ve known her all her life.
I remembered Mrs. Carlson as a kid, and her wonderful Cardamom Sugar cookies. . And I remember Carroll’s brother, Leonard.

Whenever Leonard came back to visit Carroll, he (Leonard) would walk through the fields and visit my folks, sometimes pulling up a milk stool at the barn,or walking into the  unlocked house and have coffee.  Carroll,  in contrast, was more than quiet.   He was one person that people would often miss or overlook in a group.  He was  reserved.

As a kid, I always wondered. “What the connection was with the Metcalfe’s?” For many years, Carroll would come and get a bucket of drinking water every week at our farm, never stopping at the house. Or driving down the road on his tractor pulling some piece of machinery. He was very quiet. Except with, Dad when he was around, who would engage him in conversation.  Dad had said that his brother,  my Uncle Archie and Carroll had traveled to Montana as young men.  My dad had the highest regard for him and would say about him, “Carroll is a true American hero.”   And, Dad also said, “If it’s not any of your business when you ask him about something, Carroll will tell you. “It’s none of your business.”  Carroll also moved stealthily.  My dad said, “Carroll had  a hunting prowess,  you wouldn’t even know he was around when he was hunting in the woods.”

We,  Metcalfe kids respected the “generation gap”.  So as a kid, I assumed Carroll wanted to be left alone.  As an adult, I found out differently.  In one conversation  with my mom about 4 years ago, Audrey Smith(another neighbor) told mom that Carroll told her, “Vickie always says hello when you see her.”  So, I took that as affirmation that it would be o.k. to approach him.

Three years ago, Mick (Gary) Morris came to Dunseith on his  own quest. In the early 90’s, his mother  told him that his birth father was Archie Metcalfe of Dunseith ND.  In late July 2001, Mick contacted our family. For me, and Mick Morris there was, some kind of immediate emotional bond.  I remembered and loved my  Uncle Archie Metcalfe in my childlike memories.  A gregarious, fun loving , favourite doting Uncle who loved kids.  I shared what I remembered  with Mick.

And I knew, what dad had said about Carroll and Archie in Montana.  I also remembered what Dad had said about Carroll and “minding one’s business”  but I  took a first big risk with Carroll.

I told Mick, not to expect anything. But, I wished for him to meet two people who had known my Uncle Archie (on their level), as men. Carroll and Art Seim.  We drove my blazer to Carroll’s in north Dunseith.  I got out and  cautiously approached Carroll, I told him I had a visitor from Chinook, MT.   I told him that Mick was from Chinook, MT  who believed he was  Archie’s son.  Then,  I asked if he’d be willing to talk to Mick.  Carroll moved with alacrity and said most definitely that he would.  I asked where he’d like to visit?  Carroll said Dale’s. ( I’ve since learned that Carroll does not frequent that business).  Carroll crawled into my blazer took one look at Mick and  laughed, that little  unique laugh that he had, said.  “Yep,  You’re a Metcalfe.”  Carroll could not stop talking with Mick.  Betty  (Mick’s wife)  and I just sat quietly and smiled at the two of them.  I asked Carroll, if he thought it would be appropriate for me to take Mick to meet Art Seim.  He said yes.

Carroll and Art Seim were kind enough to visit with Mick, and share what they knew.  ie. Carroll and Archie Metcalfe, as friends  rode the rails to Chinook, MT together in 1937 and worked on the Miller Ranch.
Carroll,  the quiet, non-pretentious,elusive person, and I began  to visit frequently.  I think our friendship was cemented when Carroll and I had an adventure to Chinook, MT.  I was so grateful, that he was open and kind to Mick.  When I asked if he’d like to go to Chinook he responded affirmatively.  I was to  drive, but he insisted on paying for the gas and eats…. At service stations, Carroll would jump out and start filling the car with gas. He would not nap on the road. He said he had to stay awake to keep an eye on my driving.  But, as we drove I realized his eyes were darting everywhere, taking in every speck of scenery, making comments.  He  pointed  out road signs,  towns visited, and also to a sign toward Canada where he had cousins at one time. He even tolerated my dogs!

We visited Fort Peck Dam, Mick and Betty in Chinook, the Miller ranch, Nez Pierce National Battlefield, Cleveland MT, and the Bears Paw.

While in Chinook, Betty and Mick opened their  beautiful home to Carroll and myself. In the mornings, Mick would drive Carroll to the cafe for breakfast. And,  one day took him to visit to see an old friend, a veteran,  Carroll served with. This was  difficult for Carroll since they were both hard of hearing and  talking at the same time!

Mick introduced Carroll to the grandson of one of the Miller brothers, Carroll had worked for.   Mick and Carroll also went to the bar in the afternoons to visit  the locals.  Ha, so much for me being….. “one of the boys”.  :>)

They finally,  :>) did let me and the dogs go along on the road trip. Which is much better  to me than the thought of golfing.  We spent an entire day  in Mick’s truck 4-wheeling throughout the Bears Paw.  At one point,  Carroll was hanging on to the handles while Mick drove almost vertically down a mountain. Carroll laughed his little laugh and told Mick he’d never been on top one of the Bears Paw, in all the years he worked for the Miller brothers.

Me, and the dogs sat quietly in the back seat.  (I felt like a little kid… excited about being allowed  to go along with adults on a grand adventure.) We stopped at different ranches, found a sheep shed Carroll remembered.  (After a fire in the early ’90s many building were destroyed in Blaine County.) Carroll  delighted Mick and I with  stories.  We ate lunch in  Cleveland, MT where Carroll recalled stories about himself, and Archie, and the ranch hands at the Saturday night dances.  We ate hamburgers and drank a beer at that little Cleveland bar.  Before we ate dinner, Carroll locked himself in the  mens’ bathroom when the door knob came off the door.  I giggled,  quiet Mick smiled, Carroll  took the ribbing good naturedly.  Although, he did get the last laugh, when the same thing happened to me,  the handle came off the womens’  room door.   We had  brought the dogs in and kept a close eye on them after the proprietor told us she had killed a rattler inside the place the week before.    I  was trying to get out of the bathroom, taking slow deep breaths all the while imagining snakes.  More stories and reminiscing.

Carroll shared the story of his first plane flight with Archie over the Bear’s Paw and Chinook, of hard work, moving sheep, haying and moving horses to the reservation wintering grounds and of the fun, site seeing with Archie.  Mick and I shared our delight at Carroll’s enthusiasm and delight.

Carroll was always a gentleman.  As a Metcalfe, I am big, I towered over Carroll and I am quite capable of taking care of myself.  But he’d open doors, insisted on gassing up the car, and  try to beat me to a ticket.

Carroll was also person of tact.  One evening, Carroll and I were to take my car and meet our hosts for dinner at a swanky place in Havre.  Carroll said to me when we we alone,  “What does Mick do?”  (He was very impressed with Mick, and Mick’s home).

One disappointment, ( I  regret this)of Carroll’s that he had on that trip.  I did not find out until later was, he did not see not  an old acquaintance, Monica (Druniak) Conrad.  The Druniak family were among the first people Archie and Carroll met in Chinook, of course after Kelso Graham.   He didn’t ask me about why Mick did not take him to see her until we were miles away from Chinook.
Carroll really loved those Bear’s Paw.  When driving over the Mouse River,  the Turtle Mountains  came in sight I asked him if he’d was happy  to get back in view of the Turtle Mountains.  He  regretfully replied,  “I like the Bear’s Paw Mountains.”

I asked Carroll if I could write down the stories he told me on the trip.  (Of course, he was shy about it.) “Huh,Why would you want to do that?” he responded”.  I told him because I love stories, and you have a story to tell, one I want to remember.  He, then started bringing me stuff and telling me more stories. I believe he was pleased to collaborate.

That Christmas, Carroll suggested that I send his story to Monica. That was how he introduced me to Monica (Druniak) Conrad via  the US mail and telephone.

Carroll really wanted me to know his story, and his friends, and understand  to not forget the lessons of W.W.II.  An example, He’d bring me newspaper articles.   And , last summer 2003, he called me up asking me to stop in and meet his niece in Camano Island when I was in Washington. I was a bit embarrassed to do that.  Now I wish I had. (another regret)

At least once a month Carroll and I  met for 11:30 dinner, the  Saturday lunch special, at the Bottineau Bowling Alley.  Carroll  and his friends  shared so many interesting stories of life experiences,opinions of  current events, news,  and common interests.  I thoroughly enjoyed the  knowledge, uplifting humor and teasing among Carroll and his Saturday dinner friends.

As I came to appreciate Carroll more and more as a person,   I realized he was of the same caliber, kind of man that my dad and so many folks of that generation were ie. Patriotic, strong work ethic, honest,  fair, trustworthy, positive, well read, and  knowledgeable.  Carroll could discuss  many issues , ideas, and  politics as well as regional history.  Maybe, that’s another…why?.. I liked hanging out with him.

The only time I saw Carroll really angry and swear (not quiet) was a discussion  about the possibility of war.  He had a very strong opinion, in opposition to it. Something like , “we don’t belong over there in that damn place.”  We were eating lunch at the Bowling Alley, Angus and I were surprised at (normally quiet) Carroll’s outburst.  Angus and I looked around,  everyone was looking.  Then,  we shrugged it off.  Heck, Carroll earned the right to any opinion he wished to express.  Another time when I was writing his remembrances he said  “war is not glorious, it’s hell!”

One characteristic Carroll really exemplified, modeled, and valued was, “His Word.” When Carroll gave someone his word, it was mightier than a written contract or gold. It meant something!  Others, who he entered agreements with him sometimes weren’t as forthright, broke contracts or let him down.  But Carroll never, ever wavered on where he stood.  I’d say , “Why Carroll?  When the those folks don’t keep their end of the bargain? ”  He’d say,simply,  “I keep my word.”

Carroll  talked fondly of his family.  He liked to share what they were  doing and talk about  a painting,  article, book, picture, or  gift  that was sent to him.  He spoke affectionately of his siblings. He never mentioned  the word,…. love.  But, I could just see a glow, when he was talking about  one them,  that he loved them.   On that May 1, 2004 cemetery clean up day, he spent some time  standing in silence at the Carlson family plot.

I consider myself privileged to have known him.

Vickie Metcalfe


Follow up message from Vickie:

Gary, Someday, would you like me to mail you a hard copy of ” Carroll’s Traveling Years”?  I had  the most wonderful ,great time writing/collaborating with Carroll.   Once finished, he shared with many of his friends at Dunseith Senior Citizens.  He also  sent copies to family members ie. his sister Ursulla in Virginia……..Ursulla’s husband, Donn  a few years ago wrote  and published a book about his life of…. “arms dealing” , he was originally from Overly.  Ursulla  painted, continued with her love of horses and they were both very interested in national affairs.   Upon Carroll’s death one of Ursullas paintings is on display at the Dunseith Senior Citizens.  Carroll’s niece, Christine lives on Camano Island WA, her husband is a commericial fisherman.  Don Aird  retired from the Food and Drug Administration lives in St. Louis.   They frequently  sent Carroll books on WWII, and “The Greatest Generation”, which he’d in turn  would  share.  Don and  Christine have Aird relatives in St. John they continue to correspond with. I’m sure Dick would know  this too.

I think Carroll kind of adopted Dick and Brenda.  He loved them. And , They were wonderful to him! And as you probably have realized by now, Carroll enriched many, many lives.  We, continue to validate his.  Vickie


Bev Morinville’s (72)reply to the mens picture posted yesterday:

Ithink that   man on the  far  right is  Warren Johnson     I will ask  Linda   also   someone  said they thought   that was  rich  campbell  if  it is K OF  C   that wouldn’t be  Rich,    this one is  still a  mystery  ..    I still think it is the  K of  C’s but   maybe  that is    rich’s   twin  lol    Hey  rich  how about it is that you  or not ?




Reply Mona Dionne Johnson (48):

When the first pic was sent, it was enlarged and did not include the

whole bunch apparently, so when I said it was a Casavant sencond  from
right in the middle row , it now becomes 4th from right in the middle row.
Mona Dionne Johnson (48)


Reply from  Linda Johnson Juntunen(72): 

Aunt Mona, I think so far so good.  Warren Johnson on the middle row far right.

The floor looks like the basement of the St LouisChurch so I think some KC thing also.

Also Gary, my Dad, Joseph Warren Johnson passed away in 1992 and is buried in the St. LouisCemetery. My Uncle Robert (Bob) Johnson is out in Frederick, Maryland. These were two of the names on your 40’s list



Microlap Technologies, Inc.

ph  701.477.3193.ext 18


Reply from Don Martel (Former DHS Principal):  

Gary, again thanks for keeping this going.  In regards to the picture, third from the right, front row is Terry Scott (deceased) from Rolette, and second from the right, second row is my father, Albert Martel  (deceased) from Rolette.  I would guess this was a Knights of Columbus event.

Reply From Bonnie Awalt Houle (56): 

Hi Gary,

Concerning the KC Picture:  Joe Morinville was the first person from Dunseith to join the Knights of Columbus.  He had to go to Rugby because Dunseith didn’t have enough people to have their own council.  The picture was taken before 1958 in Rugby.

Keith Houle, Darryl Fugere, Raymond Cote, joined in 1958.  When they joined Emile Cote, Al Houle and several others were already members.  Lloyd Awalt didn’t join until 1959.  Joe Morinville was the driving force behind the success of the Knights of Columbus in Dunseith, he worked very hard and convinced many young men of the importance of the good works they could accomplish.

Bonnie Awalt Houle (56)


Thank you Bonnie for the explanation of this photo.  I know many of you folks have probably been trying to identify those in this picture or been waiting for someone to come up with the identities. With what Bonnie just said, Many of these folks are probably not from Dunseith.  Thanks to all of you that replied identifying those that you knew.  I thought it was strange when Dick Johnson (68) did not know many of these folks and now we know why.  Gary

                      Knights of Columbus picture taken in Rugby.
knights of Columbus 2047



12/8/2014 (2146)

       Happy Birthday Leona Hosmer: Wilsonville, OR
Hosmer, Leona 2146


Happy birthday Joan Tremblay Johnson (’79): Dunseith, ND
Tremblay Johnson, Joan 2146

Philippines – Typhoon Ruby
Reply from Cecile Carbonneau Marchand (’51):   Clearwater, FL

My prayers are with you all in the line of the terrible typhoon that is going through your area. We were very lucky this year in Florida with the absence of any bad hurricanes. Always enjoy your effort to keep us all involved in our past in the Dunseith/Bottineau area.


Reply to unknow picture posted yesterday
From Aggie Casavant (’69):  Fort Mill, SC


I  beleive  the  guy  in  the  military  uniform  with  his  hat  on  and  glasses  is  an  Allery, just  can’t  remember  his  first  name, it’s   right  there  in  fron’t  of  me  but  just  can’t  think  of  it…. Aggie

You are so right. It is Hubert Allery. Please see reply and picture near the bottom of this message from Judy Allery Azure.


Tis the Season Memories
From Brad Williams (’78):  Hallock, MN.

Season’s Greetings to Gary & the rest of our Dunseith blog “family”. I hope each of you are getting in the holiday spirit. For those that have lost loved ones this past year, you have my deepest sympathy, but try your best to enjoy spending as much time as possible with your remaining family & friends and let them know how special they are to you.

Seeing the recent posts from Aggie Casavant reminded me of a photo that might jog some memories in many of our Dunseith Alumni. This pic is of a group of ladies that showed their DAILY dedication to students in all grades, so this is a perfect time of year for bloggers to show their appreciation to “The Lunch Ladies” by sharing any special memories they have of all the meals they ate with their classmates during their school years.

One that I can vividly recall, goes back to being in first grade with Alice McKay as my teacher. She always watched over her students to make sure they cleaned their plates. I hated creamed peas (still do) but my whining protests of “My mom doesn’t make me eat peas” were met with a stern look and a quick reply of “I’m not your mom” ! I thought of just hiding them in a napkin and tossing in the trash, but figured that was a bit messy, and other classmates who tried that sneaky tactic and got caught wasting food usually got in worse trouble. So I just waited until Mrs. McKay wasn’t looking, and convinced one of my country boy buddies to take them off my plate. An early lesson learned ….. sharing can have a win/win result. I was sometimes a fussy eater, so if I couldn’t get a classmate to openly volunteer to eat my least favorite foods, I would just bribe them by promising to use the back door to go visit my grandma and she would give us both an extra dessert. Orange Dixie cups and apple crisp were two of my favorites. Stella has been a close family friend since we moved back to Dunseith in 1965, and if she knew there was a main entrée that I didn’t much care for, she (or Mom) would usually have something else fixed up for me ahead of time, so having “connections” to the lunch ladies was a definite perk. If all else failed, I could always fill up on peanut butter sandwiches & chocolate milk ….. apparently it worked, cuz I grew up to be a pretty big boy !

I’m sure many of you have funny or embarrassing lunch stories to share, so please pass your comments or your sentiments of gratitude for former & current Dunseith Lunch Staff along to Gary.

Wishing all of you a Very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year !

Not sure exact date of this photo, but looks to be Christmas of 1970 or 1971

(From L to R) Marie Casavant, Stella Schimetz, Gladys Lider (Grandma), Caroleen Williams (Mom). Not pictured but still vital members of this Lunch Staff were the dishwashers Luella Dion, Alice Boguslawski & Ruby Birkland (my apologies for any I may have missed)

Dunseith School Lunch ladies 2146


Pastor Curt Rotto
Reply from Dick Johnson (’68):  Dunseith, ND

 Gary and Friends,

     I remember well when Pastor Curt Rotto came to Dunseith Lutheran Church.  He showed up with vigor and vitality and a smile that was genuine.  He got the younger generation,  my age group, involved and interested in church activities.  Our Luther League group became something to look forward too.  I remember one time in the fall,  he borrowed my dad’s older farm truck and we loaded square bales in the box and went for a hayride all around the area. We also had many a game of broomball in the basement of the church after our meetings.  I was about

15-16 years old and I still remember coming home just before midnight and my mom,  in her motherly duty, asked where I had been?  I said,  “At the church playing broomball in the basement.”  She was speechless.  I would imagine she checked out that story the next day?  Anyway,  we had lots of fun with and because of Pastor Rotto coming to Dunseith.  He took us on a sledding afternoon at Rendahl Church in the hills and also on a couple picnics at the Peace Garden so we had lots of things going on.  One cute story on Curt Rotto—One time at the Peace Garden,  he had planned an evening bonfire and there was a pile of dry brush that we were given permission to burn for our bonfire.  Pastor Rotto brought out a small can of gasoline and began to pour it over the brush pile.  He poured and poured gas and I remember thinking, “That’s going to be a bit too much gas.”,  but I looked at Greg Grimme and he just shrugged his shoulders.  We stepped back a ways as Pastor Curt headed over to light it.  He was wearing a white cowboy hat and when he struck the match and threw it at the pile,  there was a huge bang and his hat flew up in the air! I remember him picking up his hat and saying,  “Now,  that wasn’t too smart.”  Greg and I had to chuckle a little but there was no one close or in any danger so it was just a funny incident in the end. All in all,  it was a great time in our lives and we have Curt Rotto to thank for his dedication and guidance.

     To Curt Rotto: This year we didn’t perform at the Hostfest as ‘Highway 43’ .  Our lead guitar man,  Ron Hett, headed south to AZ the first week of September this year.  We will be doing a performance with another lead player at the Frozen Fingers Festival in February in Minot.  For those who like the old time country and bluegrass music, it’s a fun time.  I’ll post a flyer on the blog when everything is finalized.  Thanks Gary!



Blog (210) posted on September 2, 2008


Reply from Ele Dietrich Slyter’s (69):

I want to thank both of you for posting the notice about the Rolette County Historical Society fundraiser.  Sherri, Cam and Alyssa were able to attend the event with me and we all had a wonderful time.  The food was great, the people were awesome to visit with and the music awesome as well.  You had a wonderful turn out for the event and the weather also cooperated.   Had it not been for you posting this on here I would not have known about it and would not have had such a wonderful evening.  Thank you isn’t enough but it is all I have.  So thank you again.

The Society has made wonderful advances in the museum…we were there about 3 years ago and things have changed so much from then until now…keep up the great work.


Message from Betty Watschke Cooley (45): 

Hello Gary – – –

It was good to hear from you.  LaRose Ketterling has been forwarding your postings to me for some time and it has been most interesting.  I had just decided that I should get in touch with you myself when the latest from her arrived and also yours on the same day.

Many of the contacts have been in much more recent generations than mine, but there are still names that I recognize and of course all the old remembrances from the “old” days with names, happenings, etc.  to which I can relate.

I was sorry to learn of Hope Bedard’s passing.  She was a good friend of my parents and as a  retired nurse had helped care for my mother at home who was in a paralyzed condition after a bad car accident.  My dad was Carl Watschke who was a rural mail carrier from l943 to l963. His route was mainly to the northeast of town so we were acquainted with many of the families in that area.  When he retired he moved out here and made his home with us (when he wasn’t traveling).

Two thoughts re the l945 class:  Georgia Merrick is deceased.  She had lived in the Seattle area for quite some time and I remember seeing it in the newspaper, but I don’t have any info as to when, but it’s been quite a number of years ago.

Floyd Dion wasn’t a member of our class — but may be he’s what you have labeled an “Auxiliary” in some other  letters.

I haven’t received any of the pictures when LaRose has been forwarding to me — so perhaps that will change when I can get things directly from you.
This is a great hobby you have developed — and I know it is appreciated by many.  It must consume hours of your time.  Thanks so very much.

Regards,    Betty Watschke Cooley — class of l945

Betty, Yes, this is a fun and rewarding hobby.  About Floyd Dion being in your class.  Floyd told the reason and I forgot, but he was not able to continue school.  He said had he continued he would have graduated with the class of 45.  Gary


Reply from Jeff Skjelver(Dave Shelver’s son): 

Question Jeff: Is Tom Hepper’s father Gene (Deceased) the former teacher from Dunseith that many of us remember so well? Gary

Jeff’s reply: Yes, Tom is the middle son of Gene and Patricia’s three boys.  Tom and his wife have been out in the Green Bay, WI area for the past 13 years or so.

Gary’s Reply: Jeff, Mr. Hepper has been discussed several times in the past year with pictures. Does Tom remember much of Dunseith?  I had Mr. Hepper for World History.  Gary


Reply from Bob Lykins (DHS teacher Mid 60’s): 


Great wedding photos.  It reminds me of the time I was invited to a wedding in Olongapo City (Subic Bay) and ended up taking a ton of photos because I was the only one with a camera.  Congrats to the happy couple.

I am off to Germany for two months.  That is if Hurricane Gustov will allow us to get off the ground.


From Janice Workman (56): 

Hi Gary, I saw in the TMS that Darrell Haberstad died. Do you know any details??? His family has my sympathy and prayers.

Joyce Martinson had a daughter, Martha Rae, that I babysat.  The going rate at that time, about 1950, 51 sometime in there, was 25 an hour.  In 1952 I worked at the Crystal Café for 35 cents.

The sign in the picture I think is Garden Lanes.  It would have been taken after the creamery burned and the Garden Tap was built.  The Crystal Café is right next door.

Janice Workman Class of ’56.

Janice, All I know is that Darrayl had a stroke at a young age and was pretty much bed ridden for the rest of his life.  At the time of his death he was living in a nursing home in Glasgow, MT near his sister Lona. His other sister Lorraine lives in Vista, CA.  I have pasted their info below.  Gary


Habberstad Darrayl Passed away in December 2007     Deceased 59
Habberstad Nelson Iona Joy PO Box 222 Glasgow, MT 59230 (406) 228-8454 No email address 49
Habberstad Worrall Dorraine 149 OCEANVIEW DR VISTA, CA  92084 (760) 630-4827 td4tap@cox.net 47

Reply  from Karen Loeb Mhyre (65): 

It would be fun for all of us in the Seattle area to get together and we hope many of the cruisers would be in Seattle a day or two early to join us.  We will have to figure out the time of our gathering when you know your exact itenary.  Just let me know the date that will work for you.



Pictures provided by Neola Kofoid Garbe:


This is the picture that came in yesterday when I was sending the daily message. Neola was asking me if I knew who L. Rude would be. One look at this picture and I knew right away it was Carrole Fauske Rude (66), Laverne’s wife.  Neola and Laverne have known each other most of their lives, so when I replied, she was shocked.  At the moment, when she sent the picture, she had Leroy Rude on her mind and not Laverne.

Because I have a little story to tell, I cropped another of picture of Laverne and added to the Bottom of Carrole with their children,  I think Melissa & Brant.

In a sense, one can say Carrole (Fauske) and Laverne Rude are kind of special to me.  From the very day I was born, I have known them both pretty well. Laverne’s family and our family were very active members of Salem Lutheran church.  In the coarse of a week we were together often.  We were very close. We knew Carrole’s family well too, with her mother, Eleanor, being a Hiatt.  Laverne’s parents were Albert & Gladys Rude.  They lived about 4 mikes west of us in Bottineau county. Laverne graduted from Bottineau HS in 1963.

Now for the story and you will see why Carrole and Laverne are kind of special.

In the school year of 64/65 Carrole was a Junior at DHS and Laverne was a Sophomore at the Forestry. I was a Senior at DHS. Living way up in the hills and with cows to milk and chores to do, we were seldom able to attend any school activities outside of the school day. Every now and then, but not often, my folks would allow me to attend some evening school activities. Because we had to get up early to milk cows before going to school, we had to be in bed at 9:00 PM.  Laverne, like most guys was interested in girls.  He had heard that Dunseith had some really nice good looking girls and he wanted to check them out.  He asked me if I would accompany him to one of our Dunseith high school basket ball games.  My folks said it was OK.  He picked me up in his dad’s white and green 57 Chevrolet and we went to Dunseith.  I remember it being very cold. During the coarse of the basket ball game, Carrole came over and asked me who the handsome blue eyed fellow was with me.  I introduced the two of them that night and they have been together ever since.  I believe they were married in 1967, after Laverne graduated from NDSU.  With the union of Carrole and Laverne, I think (know) there were several broken hearts in Dunseith.

I remember after the Basket ball game, Laverne and I got back into his dad’s 57 Chev. Laverne was driving and in the coarse of backing up to get turned around on ice, we backed/slid into the side of Virgil/Jay Vanorny’s car.  So that was a memorable night for Laverne. He had met his future wife and had an accident to boot.

Carrole and Laverne are currently living in Vancouver WA.  Laverne became a pilot and made a career of the Air Force. After retiring from the Air Force he was a pilot for Verizon air lines, part of Alaskan Air lines, for a number of years.

Now as Paul Harvey would say, you know the rest of the story.


        Carole Fauske Rude (66) with I think, Melissa & Brant.
Fauske Rude, Carrole 2146

Laverne Rude
Rude, Laverne 2146


Reply from Judy Allery Azure (65): 


This is a picture of my oldest brother Hubert Allery, he resides here in Fargo, ND.   It would be nice if Neola would be able to mail it to me.   Then I could pass it along to him.  I believe you have my address.  Thanks!   Wonderful job you are doing.  Read your e-mail on a daily basis sure nice to read, about so many people  I know.

Thank You!

Judy Allery Azure

Allery, Hubert 2146







12/7/2014 (2145)


Not sure if you got a reply to this one or not, It’s my cousin, Laura, oldest daughter of Lawrence and Betty Hiatt, granddaughter of Willie and Maxine Hiatt.

Jeffrey Cote. Devils Lake North Dakota.

Thanks for the reply Jeff,

I was thinking it could have been Harvey Hiatt and Teresa’s daughter, Sheri too. Sheri was born in Oct 1969, so she would have been a year old when this was taken.

Please give our regards to your mother, Barbara Hiatt Cote, from us too.



Men picture posted yesterday
Reply from Aggie Casavant (’69):  Fort Mill, SC

Hi   Gary,

The  picture  you  asked  for  identification  and the occassion  of  all  these  men,  I  beleive  is  members  of   The  Knights  Of  Columbus…. I  know  3  of  the  guys  for  sure.  In  the  2nd  Row  from  the  top  left  to  right  the  3rd  guy  is  our  first  cousin  David  Casavant  who  was  killed  in  a  motorcyle   accident  like  36  years  ago. The  4th  guy  is  Richard  Gault  who  is  married  to  Carol  Ann   Malo  from  Rolette.  And  the 7th  guy  is  Davids  younger  brother  Ricky  Casavant  who  still  lives  on  his  Dads  farm  married  to  Denice   Wheeler.  Some  of  the  other  guys  look  familiar, but  I  just  can’t  remember  their  names  right  now…but  will be  interesting  by  the  time  this  is  all  filled  out…..Thanks  Gary :)   Sure  do  appreciate  all  you  do  to  keep  this  blog  up and  going. God   Bless  You!   Aggie :)

Hi   Gary  it’s  me  again….In  reference  to  the  Knights  of  Columbus  picture.  The  back  row  2nd  to  the  left  is  Gene  Dionne  of  Thorne.


Erling Landsverk (‘44) and Lola Metcalf Vanorny (’68)
Reply from Aggie Casavant (’69): Fort Mill, SC

I  just  want  to  say  thank  you  to  Erling  Landsverk  for  the  beautiful Christmas  Story  of  yester-year.  It   was  very   well  written  and  it  took  me  back  totally  to  happier,  much  happier  and  simple  peaceful  times  in  America.  Kinda  made  me  tear  up. Thanks  again  Erling  for  sweet  Christmas  memories.


To  Lola  V.  I  always  enjoy   your  stories. They  are  very  detailed  and  complete, and  never  leaves  you  wondering, and  having  to  fill in  the  blanks.  Like  you……it   broke  my  heart  to  hear  about  the  young  Coleman  boy, who  passed  away  from  a  snow  mobile  accident.  Although  I  did  not  know  the  family  its  hearbreaking  hearing  about  things  like  this  especially  around  the  holidays. My  heart  goes  out  to  the  Coleman  family, and  praying  they  can  find  peace  during  this  time.


Erling Landsverk’s (‘44) Christmas letter
Reply from Lola Metcalfe (’68):  Dunseith, Nd

Yes it was nice to go downtown during the CHristmas season and all the lights and decorations were wonderful !!_  the gamble store- Drug store-  Hosmers-  etc–  but still today i go to the hardware and ask – what do i need to fix this?? no matter what it is and they fix me up — personally!!! – David Fugere and Dennis Halvosrson and Brian Armentrout-!!!    I    go to the drugstore and Tom ROndeau is there to answer my questions– and go to the grocery store and ask if i can have a ham cut into smaller  sizes or part of it sliced  and  Wayne is happy to do it– We still enjoy  those courtesies and also they always carry out whatever we buy !!_  you can’t beat that at Walmart or any other – “discount :”  store-  and that is why i shop locally !!_  —  it drives me nuts to have to walk a half mile just to pick up a battery for my camera–  or to get a box of detergent- !!_  and then carry the whole works out to your car and fight the wind to load it  and get the cart back to their spot!!- no thanks- !! I just stay away  from them —  !!!_  and also if you pay attention– the local stores have their merchandise  marked at lower prices than the chains – cause the chains  have a big sale and they sell it for more than our little shops – !!!  and -people think they are getting a deal when actually the chain has it marked up higher than our stores in the first place and then they put it on sale and it is still higher than our local  stores-  !!!  funny how people think they are getting a deal — !!-  just because they say it is “on sale! at the chains  !!!- then they get you in there and you buy a bunch of stuff – you don’t need- !! just cause it is there- !!_  –People are so easily fooled into thinking they are saving a bunch of money by going to the discount stores-  !!-   But try to find someone to ask how to find something or how something works  — they don’t have a clue!!- they are just there to sell the merchandise whether they know how it works or not !!_  — I imperfectly happy just going where i know they will take care of me– thanks very much!!- LOL!!_ LOla


Blog (209) posted on August 29, 2008

Folks,  As I’m getting ready to send this message, I got a surprise picture from Neola that will have to wait until tomorrow.  We’ve got lots of stuff with some new folks in today’s message.  It’s wonderful!  Gary


From Erling Landsverk (44):








From Matha Lamb Schepp (68): 

Hi Gary,

I am home starting my 4th week since rotator cuff surgery.  I had to

practice a bit with my left hand and the mouse, but I really wanted to
get into your site and keep up on the journals.  Being a lefty isn’t so
bad especially when I get read a little home town history.  You do a
great job keeping everything in order.  Thanks!

Martha Lamb Schepp

Martha, I’ve been a lefty for over 61 years.  It’s not so bad.

Dwight Lang, your mother, Charlotte, tried to make me right handed in first grade, but she was unsuccessful.  Gary


Message from Marlene Henderson from Rolla: 

Gloria Plante (45) was married to Everett Henderson of Rolla, ND. I am married to Everett’s youngest brother Alfred (Fritz) though I was married to Fritz before Gloria and Everett married.

I also have a brother, Clinton, who must have also attended Dunseith School.

I do remember some Casavants, Berubes, Barbots and Vandals from Dunseith.


Request from Dave Shelver (63): 

Hi Gary,

Thank-you for doing such a great job of sending out the e-mails each day, I truly enjoy reading them.

I have a favor to ask of you, could you add my son to your e-mail list?  His name Jeff Skjelver and e-mail is

Yes, the last name is spelled correct.  He changed it back to the Old Norwegian spelling.

Thank you,



Quick Reply from Jeff Skjelver(Dave Shelver’s son): 

I look forward to Dunseith news. A very good friend of mine, Tom Hepper, comes from there before his family moved to Rugby.

Question Jeff: Is Tom Hepper’s father Gene (Deceased) the former teacher from Dunseith that many of us remember so well?


Pamela Pritchard Smith’pamela_ reply to My message pasted below her reply.  Gary:   

Gary – Thank you so much for your kind message.  We have been reading your messages and following the condolences that you have forwarded – everyone has been so kind.  Thank you so much for passing them along.  I will share this and the other messages with dad and my sisters.  Thank you again,  Pamela

From: Gary Stokes
Subject: Condolences for your mother Ann
To: “Smith, Pamela (Pritchard)”

Hello Pam,

I know this has been a really tough time for you and your family with the loss of you mother.  You guys were right there with your mother the whole time she was struggling for her life following her lung transplant.  She was probably more conscience than you realize, even though they had her heavily sedated.  I did not know your mother, however, I remember your dad well, from my younger days visiting the Eurich’s.  I was born and raised up in the Ackworth community and that is where the Pritchard’s are from.  I have always know that you folks had the Birchwood.  Your mother got in touch with me a few months ago and asked if she and your dad could be included with the Daily distribution of the Alumni email that I have been sending out.  We exchanged several nice messages.  I had no idea she medical problems until I got your message.

 I wanted to let you know that many folks on the Dunseith Alumni distribution list were following the daily progress of your mother.  Needless to say, they were deeply sadden by her departure.  I’m not sure how much you followed the messages after her death, but many folks expressed their condolences.  Condolences came in for a number days following her death. I tried to place them at the front of each daily message. If you did not see them and no longer have access to them, I can go back through and forward them all to you if you’d like.

 Again, your family has my sincere condolences for the untimely death of your mother.

 Gary Stokes


Reply to yesterday’s message  from Joe Johnson (77): 


Almost everyone called our Dad by his middle name of Warren.  Dad passed away in July of 1992 of lung cancer.  I can’t remember the exact day but I’m sure my sister Linda Juntunen could recall the date.

Thanks for all your work on the Alumni news letter.  You are performing a great service for so many, when one day you are greeted in heaven may God greatly reward your service to others.


Class of 42

Jean Braaten

Warren Johnson – Joseph Warren Johnson

June McDermott

Margaret Ann Myhre

Barbara Nelson


Reply to yesterday’s message from Karen Loeb Mhyre (65): 

Note: Karen’s father was Dr. Lobe (Deceased), former Supt. of San Haven.  Her mother is Hanna Higgins Lobe from Dunseith. Karen/Hanna live in Bellevue WA.

Hi Gary,

I talked to my mom today and she said that the name Ursell Carlson Grand Pre would have been the youngest of the 6 children of Pete and Christine (Olson) Carson.  Christine was the oldest sister of Alida Olson Higgins, my maternal grandmother.  They were from Trail County near Grand Forks.   The Carlson’s farmed north of the San on the east side of the highway. Caroll Carlson (never married) farmed that farm for many years after his parents passed. He lived in the Dunseith Nursing Home a long time but has died now.  I don’t know who owns the farm now.  The only Carlson still alive would be Ursella.  Mom believes she lives in North or South Carolina.  She does not know anything else about her.  We would always watch for the big red barn visible in the trees when we were driving to the lake shortly before we turned left to take the gravel road through the hills to the lake instead of going through Bottineau.  Many of us kids had trouble with “car sickness” along that road!!

The  Carlson siblings were Melba, born in 1921; Leonard, Alpha – married a Le Moureix (?), Clarissa – married to someone named Don;Carroll; and Ursella.

I so enjoy the daily emails you send.  I loved the picture of the wedding reception with Evie in the punch line.  We were all so adorable in the late sixties.  Thank goodness time has been kind to most of us!!

Hope to see you when you gather here in Seattle for your cruise to Alaska!  We should have a pre- function for the many Seattle/Washington/Dunseith residents who are unable to join you on the cruise!  The cruisers would be welcome as well!!  Jim and I did this same trip last summer to celebrate our 60th birthday!  What a wonderful trip!

We would be happy to host the gathering!

Take care and hello to Bernadette!

Karen Loeb Mhyre

Karen, Your pre-cruise gathering sounds like a great idea. Could we include the many Dunseith folks living in Western Washington that are not going on the Cruise?  This could turn out to be a good size gathering/reunion. Gary


Reply to yesterday’s message from Evon Lagerquist (77): 

Gary, Joyce Martinson from the class of ’45 was married to my brother Kenneth Lagerquist. They lived in Spokane, WA.
She was born on April 2, 1928, and passed away on Nov. 21, 1990.



 Bev Morinville Azure’s (72): reply to the men’s group picture posted yesterday: 

Gary,  the only man i know is my dad  Joe  Morinville  top  left   so i would say  maybe  something to  do with  the Knights of Columbus.


Rod Hiatt’s (69) reply to Kathy Bunce’s picture posted by Neola:

Good morning, afternoon or whatever it may be in your part of the world.

Kathy Bunce and her husband Don ran a sporting goods store in the old
Stone Hotel on the north east corner of
main street in Bottineau. It was either in the late 70’s or early 80’s
as I had the Western Shop across the street and little to the
south. She had that smile on her face all the time and was always very
friendly and quite bubbly gal.
I believe that she was Cliff Paynes daughter from Towner. Cliff was old
cowboy turned into an insurance salesman for I am not sure what company.
If Howard was still with us, he could give me the whole family history
and which ones were good and which weren’t
worth their salt. He sometimes was considered to be somewhat out spoken
if you know what I mean.
Anyway back to the Bunce’s sporting good store,They weren’t open to long
as one Saturday morning  someone was looking at a rifle and accidentally
shot a woman. The details are somewhat foggy, but I believe that it was
the guys wife and I think she died. I may be wrong, but I’m sure that
Dick Johnson can program his mind back to that time zone and come up
pretty much the exact details. Dick you either have an excellent memory
or you have 95% of us baffled with BullS&^%^&. Which is it Dick?


                        Kathy Bunce
Bunce, Kathy 2145


12/6/2014 (2144)

No blog the past 4 days.

With all that has been going the past few days I have not had the time to post a blog, since Monday, and today is Saturday. I have concentrated the past two plus days organizing this month’s Cebu Expat dinners that will be held at the Marco Polo Next Wed and Thursday. We had too many for one night, so the overflow will be accommodated on Wed. We are filled to capacity for Thursday with a hundred folks. We currently have 40 signed up for Wed. Things really moved quickly with this one. The Marco Polo loves our numbers and they treat us well too.


Typhoon Ruby
 (international name Hagupit)

At this very moment the Philippines is being hit with a very powerful Typhoon. It looks as though we will be spared from its forces here in Cebu. I have not heard any of the latest conditions. Hopefully it will not be as devastating as that of Yolanda a year ago.

Projected path


   Happy Birthday Jerry Williams (’54): Watertown, SD
Williams, Jerry 2144


  Happy Belated Birthday Erna Walters Pederson (’55): Minot, ND
Walter Pederson, Erna 2144


Happy Birthday Debbie Williams Syvertson (’75): Minot, ND
Syvertson, Debbie 2144


Response to Dick Johnson, #2141
From Curt Rotto (Former Peace Lutheran Pastor):  Fergus Falls, MN.

Thanks, Gary, for keeping us informed and entertained for many years. Your blog has to be a unique small town gift to many folks. THANKS!

Comment to Dick Johnson re: Dunseith (became Peace) Lutheran confirmation class. Yes, I do remember meeting with your parents and making a decision about your future confirmation studies; I do NOT remember I met with you for two full years??? (Glad you didn’t do the same stunt to my black VW!) However,  you were an excellent class of students. You asked great questions and had interesting discussions.  It was exciting to see your growth over the years. Our time at Dunseith was a milestone in our lives….we made special memories of many folks and events.

Ann and I continue to live in Fergus Falls, MN., retired and healthy and busy. Our three children and their families (10 grandchildren) are in different states… we travel to see them. We appreciate all the memories everyone shares. Blessed Christmas season to all of you.

(Dick, missed you at Hostfest!)


Christmas letter
From Erling Landsverk (’44):  King, WI.

Hi Gary and Everyone!

It is indeed regrettable that Christmas is celebrated only once a year. I hope my thoughts on Christmas in the attached article are not too  lengthy for you to share with all my North Dakota friends and relatives. Merry christmas and God Bless you All

Erling Landsverk


How wonderful to hear from you. Folks have been asking about you.

Thank you so much for this wonderful Christmas letter too. It brings back wonderful memories of yesteryear, that is for sure.




I wonder how many readers remember downtown Portage in the “fifties”.

Every store and other establishments had their windows and entrances decorated with wreaths, holly, and lights and of course a Christmas tree.   The market square and every other parking lot in town were packed with cars and shoppers were going from place to place, and being greeted by name by the owners who were eager to help them find a certain gift, and if they didn’t have just the right one, they would cheerfully direct the shopper to a competitor whom they were quite sure might have it.

No doubt it was cold at times, but it was only a few steps to the next store.  How can we forget these fine stores; the Lorelei, Maloney’s Jewelry, Atkinson’s Dept. Store, The Gamble Store, Portage café, Eulberg’s men’s Store, senger hardware, Atkinson’s shoe Store Service Drugs, Woolworths, Rhymes Drugs, Blacks Furniture and those are just some stores on one block. Christmas carols were heard at every turn, with speakers everywhere playing the message of the Christmas season. Shoppers greeting one another, and at times standing in groups to exchange a merry Christmas and Happy new year. The true meaning of Christmas was easily seen on the smiling faces of shoppers, as they went from store to store, many times with children trooping along to look with wondering eyes at the new toys on the shelves of the store. How great it was to be on a first name basis with the store owner and their employees,  and knowing you could count on them for a fair price for  your purchase along with a smile and  cheery, “would you like this gift wrapped”?  You find yourself saying, “yes, if it’s not too much trouble. “No trouble at all” and just like that, the purchase is transformed into a beautiful gift at no extra charge and a merry Christmas as you walked out.

Now days, we drive 2 miles north to a collection of big box stores, with a parking lot that seems to cover several acres.  As you walk in, there is no owner to greet you and the employees are few and very busy with their duties of stocking shelves, and if you are lucky, you might be able to find one who can give you some hurried directions to an area that you might find what you are looking for.  They don’t ask if you want it gift wrapped, but if you do want that service, some of the large stores have a service that can assist you for a fee of course.  Customers are grim faced trying to find items, and probably wishing they hadn’t come to shop for a Christmas present, and resolving that from now  on, “let’s just send a gift certificate” One wonders who the owners are, probably a shareholder   in some other state could tell us.  No matter, they don’t attend our churches; belong to the PTA, or Local clubs and organizations. Of course the employees live here, at least most of them, but I doubt if they know the CEO of their company.

It’s hard to imagine how Christmas will be in the future, but if the trend continues with computers, we can just order our gifts over the internet and have them delivered by someone we don’t know, and then we won’t even have to bother to utter merry Christmas.  Isn’t progress wonderful!

Of course, we cannot reverse time, but we can enjoy the luxury of a beautiful time in our lives when we journeyed as a family to our church to worship our creator and celebrate the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. We do this willingly . Our hearts filled with joy and gratitude marking this blessed event. We also share this time we have with our friends and neighbors at worship service as we celebrate the real meaning of Christmas together. After returning  home we gather around the Christmas tree to open gift, enjoying the children as they open their gifts and the look of joy  and love in their eyes as they undo the final wrap. I shall always cherish those memories along with my lovely wife Joann.  We thank God for our wonderful family and for making our lives beautiful and happy. May the Spirit of Christmas remain with  everyone forever.


Gottbreht & Thorne question
From Larry Liere (’55):  Devils Lake, ND

Hi Gary

I seem to remember the Gottbreht name as a Dunseith Police Officer in the late 40’s & 50’s.  Was that Dale or was there another Gottbreht or am I wrong about this??  I also remember the Thorne area because my Uncle James Leonard’s family went to church at Thorne.  I think all that is left at Thorne now is the Cemetery.



Louise Crosby the Pottery Lady (Ref blog 2142 -11/30/2014)
Reply from Deborah Gunville Champagne (’76):  Belcourt, ND

Good Morning Gary, Louise Crosby has now passed on also her daughter lives in St. John Judy Handleland

From St.john. Pictures # 23 and 5 our Fabian and Dee Azure, they are both deceased now there granddaughters 

Live in Belcourt Denise Marceallias and Toni Parisien not sure where they work.


Our heartfelt sympathy to the Cota and Coleman families
Message from Lola Metcalfe (’68):  Dunseith, ND

At the church supper in Peace Lutheran last month –  Kenny Hill was telling me of his escapades  with  Gary COta — Gary MEtcalfe- and I think  Larry Sime- !!-  comical !!_  

and when i got home i began to reminisce   remembering Gary’s Parents  George and Lela Cota–  — Now– I don’t think i have ever known two more  sweet and gentle people than those two – !!!  

When jay and i got married back in 1968  —  we lived out on Jay’s sheep ranch for a few months and then his Mom died– so we moved in with his Dad for a couple months-    George and Lela lived right behind their house-  

 and i was working at the san and Jay at Dales from 6 am til 6 pm– !!  so i was on my own to go to work – and  a storm  came and who was out there shoveling the snow away from my car//– yep George Cota–  !!-  and just such sweet neighbors-  !!-  

when i went to work at San Haven back in high school —  I worked on the floors – on the big mens’ ward– of non ambulatory patients  !!!  – at not quite  16  !!!–  and i would faint every darn morning- !!!- I would  get about 2 patients fed and then i could feel i was going to faint and would run smack into the nurses desk !!_    darn– I was aiming for the door!!_  —  and Lela was a cleaning lady there and she would haul me off to the dressing room – put my feet up and put a cool cloth on my head- —  well, after a week of that they made me go to the Dr in town–  and Dr Kester said i had such low blood pressure and then standing up that long and being tense cause i was  not familiar with the patients-   that the blood just didn’t go to my head- !!  —  but that went away after a couple weeks and i got familiar with the patients  !!!–   But dear Lela took care of me so well !!_ 

and then i found out years later that George and LEla were my folks best man and Maid of honor –( the only two ) back in 1934 !!!_  for their marriage !!-  their witnesses- !!!-  and many years later   they visited regularly !!!_   

Such sweet people  !!-  I loved them dearly  — they were just so good to jay and i when we lived next to them in town- 

I believe Gary was their only child  !!_  if i remember right- !!- – anyhow it is interesting  how you have someone on your mind and then all these happenings come along-  !!-  God bless their souls  !!_  LOLA

 Also it is with  a very heavy heart and Jay and i had a very  sad weekend thinking of Troy  Coleman – son of  Karen Belisle COleman and now Azure —  who lost his son in a freak accident with a snowmobile  right in their own yard  !!-  Troy Jr- just 16 years old working on a machine with his Dad and the darn thing went haywire and somehow the throttle stuck or something and it went up a tree and Troy Jr hit his head and died- !!!  Our hearts are just so broken for Troy as he was the ideal father his son was his Best Friend !!_ and gayle  )Bergan)    his mom – the sun rose and set on their son !!_ such a happy wonderful home for that boy !!_  so sad !!!_  Steve Coleman — Troy’s cousin  gave us the news saturday morning-  — and we all sat in shock at the thought of it =- !!!  just so heartbreaking — someday we will know the reason why but here on earth ???–  really makes you wonder  why !!– 


Troy Coleman Passed away

Troy James Coleman——16, Sawyer, ND, passed away on Friday, November 28, 2014 from injuries sustained in a snowmobiling accident near Sawyer

Troy James Coleman was born on August 30, 1998, a son of Troy and Gale (Bergan) Coleman at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Minot, ND. He was raised in the Sawyer area, attending Bell Elementary School, Jim Hill, Central Campus and was currently a junior at Minot High School.

Troy found a love for motors at an early age and began riding with his dad at the tender age of three. They spent many hours in the Badlands of North Dakota and everywhere in between joyfully cruising any area which could be traveled by two wheels.

Troy cherished any and every animal he come across and had a special place in his heart for anyone in need. He was always kind, respectful, cordial and made everyone around him feel like they were the most special person on earth.  He had many, many special friends but held the Sailor and Robert’s families as close to his heart as he held his own family.

Over the years he spent many hours camping, talking, laughing and playing washers with Barb and Terry Tenneson, who he also held close to his heart.

At the age of 15, Troy began working at Market Place Foods Dakota Square location. He was a hard worker and met many great friends that meant the world to him.

In his free time, Troy enjoyed the outdoors, camping, fishing, hunting, riding motorcycles and snowmobiles he also enjoyed wrestling, football and playing his trumpet in the band in his earlier years. He was a wonderful son, brother, grandson, nephew and friend that touched many lives and will be deeply missed.

Troy is survived by:
Parents: Troy and Gale, Sawyer, ND; Sister: Morgan Page, Minot; Maternal grandparents: Glenda and David Bergan, Dunseith, ND, Paternal grandparents: Karen and Duane Azure, Dunseith, ND and C.J. and Helga Coleman, Emerado, ND;

Honorary grandparents: Barb and Terry Tenneson, Carrington, ND; And numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Troy was preceded in death by his maternal and paternal great-grandparents.

Visitation: Wednesday, December 3, 2014 from 1-5 at Thompson Larson Funeral Home, Minot

Vigil Prayer Service: Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 7:30 p at St.Leo’s Catholic Church, Minot

Mass of Christian Burial: Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm at St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Minot

Burial: A private family burial will take place at a later date.


Blog (208) posted on August 28, 2008
Folks, at the bottom of this message I have listed the folks I’m having problems locating from the 40’s classes.  Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.  Thanks Gary

Reply from Colette Hosmer (64): 

Evie … what an absolutely sweet photo of your Mom and Dad!  I had to print it out to put on my fridge — I love it, especially your  Dad’s cute haircut.


Marlin William’s picture provided by Neola Kofoid Garbe: 

Marlin was married to Doris Peterson from the DHS class of 53.  Doris does not have email.
Williams, Marlin 2144


 Picture/message from Neola Kofoid Garbe: 


I don’t know what group this is, but I’m guessing it’s a Rolette County group, but that’s just a guess.

I recognize Joe Morinville (top, left).  Howard Lemieux (Middle row, second from the left), Rich Campbell next to Howard?.  Joe Lemieux (fourth from the left in the front row).  The first man in the front row is VERY familiar, but I don’t recognize him.

It doesn’t matter to me if the men aren’t identified, but I thought your readers might recognize/enjoy seeing some of the men. :)  There’s no date on the picture.


Can any anyone identify this group of guys?  What is the occasion?  Gary
unknown men


Picture provided by Neola Kofoid Garbe: 

Does anyone recognize this little Hiatt girl? 

She would be nearly 40 years old now.  Gary




Need help Locating:


Folks,  I need some help locating a few folks from some of the 40’s classes.  Any info that you can provide for anyone of these folks will be extremely helpful. For the ladies I need married names.


Class of 1940

Lucina Bahl

Robert Johnson

Geogeina Maginel


Class of 1941

Kenneth Christianson

Thelma Medlang

Irene Nelson


Class of 42

Jean Braaten

Warren Johnson

June McDermott

Margaret Ann Myhre

Barbara Nelson


Class of 43

Mary Murray

Evelyn Goodsell – her sister Artis Johnson lives in Bottineau


Class of 44

Ursell Carlson (Grand Pre)

Lyle Johnson

Lona Sund (Swan)

Delphine Wentland


Class of 45

Joyce Martinson

Georgia Merrick

Betty Watschke


Class of 47

Gloria Plante


Class of 48

Bonnie Haines


12/1/2014 (2143)

       Happy Birthday Darrel Fassett (’47): Boynton Beach, FL
Fassett. Darrel (2143)


 Happy Birthday Don Boardman (’60): Bottineau, ND
Boarman, Don 2143



Gary Cota (’56) Passing
Message from Dick Johnson (’68): Dunseith, ND


Just letting you know that Gary Cota of the DHS class of ’56 has passed away.  His funeral will be Monday in Dickinson.  Gary had a long battle with cancer for several years.



Gary Cota (’56) Passing
Message from Lee Stickland (’64): Dickinson, ND

Gary Cota, 76, died at his home in Dickinson on November 23, 2014.  He, and his folks, once worked at the Peace Gardens.  I will attend his funeral on Monday, December 1 at 10 am MST.  I saw Gary about town at times.   LEE      s      11-29-2014


Gary A. Cota
B. Sunday, January 2, 1938  D. Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gary A. Cota
Cota, Gary 2143

A funeral service for Gary A. Cota, 76, of Dickinson, will be held at 10:00 a.m., Monday, December 1, 2014 at Stevenson Funeral Home, Dickinson. Military Rites will be provided by the Dickinson Honor Guard. Burial will take place in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, ND.

A Family Receiving Friends service will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday, November 30, 2014 at Stevenson Funeral Home, Dickinson.

Gary passed away Sunday, November 23, 2014 at his home in Dickinson.

Gary A Cota was born January 2, 1938 in Bottineau, North Dakota, the son of Lela (Johnson) and George Cota. He graduated from Dunseith High School. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1960 and was honorably discharged in 1963.

He worked at McGuires in Rugby, lived at Petersburg, Crosby, Grafton, West Fargo and Dickinson, working for ND truck regulatory. He was foreman at International Peace Gardens, painter at Minot Air Force Base, worked for Western Crude, which later became Texaco, KD Motors and BNSF rail crew bus driver, retiring in 2002.

On May 6, 1965 he was married to Darla Brummond at Sisseton, SD.

He enjoyed old cars, car racing, and collecting Texaco memorabilia. He was very proud of his 29 model A and 1968 Torino. But most of all, he was proud of his family.

Gary is survived by his wife Darla (49 years); sons Maynard (Sheila) and Dean (Denise); four grandchildren; brother-in-law, Arlyn (Leone) Brummond of Laramie, WY; sister-in-laws, Eileen Brummond, Sandra Duschscherer, Valda Mahle all of Granville, ND, and Judy Brummond of Red Lake, MN.

He was preceded in death by his parents; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Violet and Maynard Brummond, and grandson, Jesse Cota.

Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.stevensonfuneralhome.com


Posting from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Games on Rabbit City Lake and Bergin HillSide School

While living on Rabbit City Lake as a child, for my father, there were no store purchased toys.  Oops. (Ah, with the exception of one which I learned came from a surprising source, years after Dad passed away. And that my friends is for another tale.)

The Bill Metcalfe I owned two pair of boxing gloves.  Bill Metcalfe I taught each of his children from Wild Bill to Lucky down to Cliff, including Leona, the “Marques of Queensbury” rules of boxing.  Whenever there was a disagreement, their father would say, “STOP!  Go put on the boxing gloves.”  Usually after going through the routine of putting on the gloves and securing the laces tempers had cooled down.

They were thinking and  found they were not interested in fighting anymore. Their father discussed anger, strategies, and basic rules of  “fair fighting”.  A common family saying: What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong! 

My father told me that he was seventeen before he could win a boxing match against his big sister.  He said, he was determined to fight her fair and square. But on that day, after finally winning, he decided didn’t have the stomach to box her any more when she cried.

He didn’t hurt her, she had realized he was growing up and she was not the big tough sister.

Boxing was a sport which always remained a continued interest the family. The years before T.V. they looked forward, discussed  and listened to boxing matches on the radio.

How well I remember. My dad, Uncle Jim, Art Seim, and Emil Morin  gathering to listen to a fight on the radio.

Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, and Rocky Marciano, Sonny Liston, and Cassius Clay were familiar names at our house any body else remember?

In the fall, when his father and elder brothers butchered hogs for the winter’s food, Dad recalled blowing up the pigs bladders to make balls which he learned to play kickball and football with his brother Emil. He said, once when he was a little chap he carried around a homemade pigs bladder ball made by one of his elder brothers. His mother would find him pulling and chewing the dirty strings off with his teeth.  “Acht Cliff!,”she’d’ say. (Kids then did the darndest things too)

All of the Metcalfe children learned to play softball. They played with classmates during  recess at Bergin School,

where  aunt, Leona was a champion slugger!

Living on the lake, the boys learned rather quickly to swim and dive. They could not go in until June 15.

One fall, their maternal aunt, Liza, sent the family many pair of  recently hided raw leather shoes. The shoes were far too big, ragged and raw. Using their wits and bits of ingenuity the children soaked the shoes, fashioned the toes to curl up, put them outside to freeze the shape, and stuffed them with rags. They would each grease their feet with lard , wrap with rags and stuff them into the “shoe”. Then  off to the lake, where they enjoyed sliding on the ice.

They had learned about the game “Shinty” a Scottish Highlands game from their father.

He showed them, how young  chokecherry trees have  a natural curve at the bottom which made perfect “sticks”. Soon Cliff, Leona, and Emil fashioned their own

hockey sticks and played “shinty” on the ice of Rabbit City Lake skating in their raw hide “skates”. And many of their neighbors joined them.

My dad and his brother Emil had the winter chore of going to the straw pile on the hill gathering and bringing the milking shorthorns down the trail to be milked.  On the way running up the trail, their breaths were frosty  as they kicked the frozen cow pies off the trail.

Once the cows were gathered and counted they  sent them down the trail. Emil would grab a cow by her  tail, Cliff grabbed the last cow by its curly long tail  as the cows ran by.

The brothers lay face down, hung on  sliding on their bellies behind the running cow!  It was all fun!

Until one or the other hit a frozen cow pie.

HUG, huH! knocking their breath away. Sore chest.

Or, hitting a  fresh, warm, fragrant cow pie down the trail.

Yee ha!

Another family game was called “Last Face”.  Who could startle another? Who could make the worst face of the day? And whoever made the last face of the day would the champion. Of course in this big family they all enjoyed startling each other, by just making faces without making a sound. HIding behind trees, bushes, snowbanks, doors, windows……

This game picked up  once again years later, after he and Emil left WWII service.

Once in a while they would grin, sneak out the door, run  around the house to make a face in the window and  frighten their sisters or poor mother washing dishes  at the kitchen sink.

Oh, the gales of laughter! They all absolutely loved to tell stories on each other and laugh.

In July  of ’35, when my dad was just twelve, his father, William I, died. The little family moved into the town of Dunseith. My father then completed grade eight at Dunseith Public School where he learned all about marbles.

and….( years later yet… my good friend Hank shared  with me  what my father learned as a result of another game played by older It was a Dunseith high School boys.)

The fond memories of playing with his siblings and country  friends never faded from my fathers  mind.

He never forgot his first friends. He remained stalwart in all of the fond friendships and the laughter of Rabbit City Lake and Bergin School.

Thanks Gary, and friends.

Until another story.


Vickie Metcalfe


Blog (207) posted on August 27, 2008


Reply from Erling Landsverk (44):







From Mel Kuhn (70): 

Howdy Gary,

I don’t know that saying I’m going to be the Chef for the Rolette County Historical Society steak fry is a plus or not. You may be chasing people away. For 10 years of running Mel’s Diner in St. John, I was known as the Crabbiest Cook in town. I don’t like cooking a steak past medium rare and most of these old Hillbillies like ’em turned into shoe leather. HA! HA! It should be a good time with some good music if Old Dick’s hand gets healed up so he can play. On Sunday afternoon the City is sponsoring a Mud Run and we’ll be there cooking burgers, brats and dogs. I’ve been collecting dogs for the last week and have a few really nice one’s [been trying to stay away from road kill] so they should be good too. So if your looking for something to do this weekend come on up. Hope to see lots of you this weekend.

Mel Kuhn[70]


Picture/Message from Evie Gottbreht Pilkington (65): 

Picture was sent to me today from my cousin’s wife Tangee Brunsell of Bottineau, guess there are free Wondrasek photos at the museum in Bottineau.   Rachel Berube’s wedding 1965

Evie Pilkington


Berube 2143


Picture/Message from Evie Gottbreht Pilkington (65): 

Hi Gary,

I wanted to share this picture of my Mom and Dad, thought my old friends would enjoy it. This was taken, summer of 1938, in Thorne, ND – my Mom was raised in Thorne.  This was the summer before they married.  I especially miss them the month of August.  Dad died suddenly Aug 29, 1961, 45 years old and Mom died Aug 15, 2005, 88 years old.   They produced 8 children, 35 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren and counting……

Thanks Gary


                         Alma and Dale Gottbreht1938
Gottbreht, Dale and Alma 2143


Reply from Sandra Zeiler Vandal (62): 

Hi Gary,

I’m up at Nancy Hosmer’s place. She showed me the picture
taken so long ago. The kids names’ are from left to right are
Dawn,Teri, Kelly and Todd. Order of birth, Todd, Dawn, Teri and
Kelly. When Kelly was five, we had Heather. Who knew way back
when we would have twenty grandchildren and one great
grandchild. Mike remembers your Dad having to pull him out of
the ditch, once. I think he had to pull Dad out, too. Folks are
coming to Mn. with us for a few weeks. We will enjoy catching up
on the e-mails. Thanks a lot, Sandra

Pictrue L to R:
Back: Sandra & Mike
Front: Todd, Dawn, Teri & Kelly
Vandall, Mike family 2143


Toni Parisien has identified these 2 photos

                       Fabian and DeDe (Agnes) Azure
Azure, Fabian 2143

Peter J. (Butch) Azure, DeDe Azure (Agnes), Fabian Azure,
Francis (Sam) Azure, Agnes (Dolly) Plumage, Caroline Davis
Azure, Fabian Family 2143