9/30/2015 (2288)

Happy Birthday Vickie Hiatt LaFontaine (’73): Grafton, ND
Hiatt LaFontaine, Vickie 2288


Randy Kelly (’69)
Former St, Paul Mayor and former Personal staff of President George W. Bush.

I am sure most of you know or have heard of Randy Kelly. Randy’s mother was a Fauske, sister to Elwood Fauske and Lydia Fauske LaCroix. Randy was with the DHS class of 1969. His family moved to the twin cities before he graduated. From what I understand, Randy spend a lot of his childhood days staying with the Ernest and Lydia LaCroix family west of Dunseith.

Anyway, what brings Randy’s name into the picture is at our Cebu Expat dinner last night at the Marco Polo, one of our newer members told me he was from St. Paul. So I asked him if he knew Randy Kelly and of course he did. He wasn’t sure if Randy would remember him, even though he had run for a Legislature office in Randy’s district. Last night when I got home I zapped Randy a message with this guy’s name and  picture and Randy knows him.  Small world. With Randy having been a past Mayor of St. Paul, I was nearly 100% positive this guy would know who Randy is and he did. Not being from the Twin Cities area he was very surprised when I brought up Randy’s name.



DHS 68 Prom – Randy Kelly and Toni Morinville


Jack Flynn Memories
Reply from Bob Lykins (60’s HS teacher):  Hutto, TX.


I was deeply saddened to read of Jack Flynn’s passing.  Jack and Minnie were among our very first friends in Dunseith.  They took us into their hearts and helped us to not only adjust to living in a new community but also married life as we were newly-weds when we first lived there.  Jack had the greatest sense of humor and many a laugh was shared at the American-Canadian Bar when Jack was there.  His stories and photos of his experiences during WWII and his participation in the liberating of some of the concentration camps was so interesting and enlightening to a young man who’s passion was, and still is, history.  With his passing another part of the “greatest generation” is lost to the future.  My sympathies go out to Minnie and the family.  This is one man who will certainly be missed.

Bob Lykins
Francis Peter (Jack) Flynn
Flynn, Jack 2288
Born: July 15, 1921
Died: September 25, 2015

Send Flowers


Francis Peter “Jack” Flynn, age 94 of Dunseith, died Friday, September 25, 2015 in the VA Hospital in Fargo. A memorial service will be held on Friday October 2, 2015 at 2:00 P.M. in the Peace Lutheran Church of Dunseith. Cremation has taken place. There will be no visitation.

Jack was born July 15, 1921 Fonda, ND (east of Rolette) to Hugh Francis “Frank” and Mathilda (Marcotte) Flynn, the youngest of five children. Jack grew up in Rolette County and attended country school and then Rolette Public School, graduating in 1938. As a kid he worked at many jobs including Billy Murry’s pool hall in Rolette and for area farmers. He was a truck driver in the CCC camp at Kramer, ND and was part of their champion North Dakota basketball team, winning over Montana and South Dakota teams. His service in World War II was operating big radar equipment and truck driving in the U. S. Army from 1942 to 1945. His division landed in North Africa and made their way north through Europe. At the end of the war, they were among those liberating Dachau concentration camp.

Returning to the United States, he settled with his parents in Dunseith. He had jobs at a cream station, bakery in carpentry, and at gas stations before many years at American- Canadian Bar. He was a member of American Legion and other veterans organizations. He often reminisced about playing on the 1947 ND Independent Basketball team champions. Jack loved life and his family, growing crops and gardens, all sports, and was a fan of Barbershop Quartet music. Jack loved life and his family, growing crops and gardens, as well as all sports (Go TWINS!!). He was an ardent supporter of Dunseith baseball. He was a fan of Barbershop Quarter music. In his 90’s he raised pigs and chicken in an unused grain bin.”

Jack married Minnie Knox Dec. 28, 1948. They made their home in Dunseith and later Willow Lake Township on their farm.

Jack’s family: wife, Minnie, Dunseith; daughters, K. Jacqueline Richard, Dunseith and Jill(Larry) Tinjum, Powers Lake; son: Randy(Laurice)Flynn, Happy valley , Oregon. Grandchildren: Patrick(Elizabeth) Richard, Brooke(Garrett) Silbernagel, Richard Tinjum, John (Tally) Tinjum, Stephanie(Carter) Fong, Sonja Tinjum, Wyman(Liza) Flynn, Greir Flynn, Rio Flynn. Great-grandchildren: Julia, Autumn, Brody, Karys, Kolie, Sydney, and Parker and two nieces; Marlene Jorgenson and Tara Martinson and a nephew; Tim Martinson.

Preceded in death by family: parents-Frank and Mathilda Flynn, brother-Harold Flynn,
sisters- Evelyn Foster, Isabelle Burgan, and Pearl Martinson.

The family requests memorials to the American Legion Foundation.

Send Sympathy Card 

 Print ObituaryView Guest Book Entries 

Blog (357) posted on February 1, 2009


Posted on February 1, 2009

Message/Request from James Egbert’s (39) daughter Eileen:

I am the daughter of James Egbert and since iI did not get the pleasure of knowing my father and his

family and history due to his death in WWll, I am looking for information on his classmates and

friends as well as relatives on the Egbert side. I live in Fargo so it is not convenient for me to come

there to search for this information. I would like information on the reunion planned for this summer

as I may be able to attend that. Eileen Egbert Spitzer.

Folks, James Egbert was a son of Adrian’s. He was Killed early on in WW II. Eileen is his daughter. James was with the Dunseith High School class of 39. I have included several of you, with this distribution, from the class of 39 that are not normally on our daily distribution. Eileen is seeking any info that any of you may have about her dad and also of the Egbert family. Her grandfather, Adrian Egbert, was a pretty well known guy in the Dunseith community in his day. Living way up in the sticks, in the hills, and not having attended Dunseith until my High School days, I have known the name Adrian Egbert my entire life. Gary


Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57):

The Native Americans were first, what would Dunseith have done without them? Then maybe San Haven, what would Dunseith have done without them, people in the CCC’s brought prosperity and new settlers. The farm people from four directions brought their business and recreation to add the spice to that little settlement. Most every person has a little different take on most everything.

My parents were raised with the Bailey’s, Anderson’s, Bergan’s, Poitra’s, and a host of Native Americans, including Alcide Lagimodier. My dad always called Roy Poitra the Peacemaker, a very kind man.

Alcidede, as my dad called Alcide, was a life long friend from the old days.. He worked at our place for a number of years. One January morning , the ambulance from Belcourt, came and took Alcide to the Belcourt Hospital for about a week. That was the only time I’d ever seen Alcide “under the weather”, as the old timers called sick. He was diagnosised with diabetes. His first day back with us Alcide (Dr. Lagimodier) was down in my dad’s bedroom with the equipment necessary to take his blood sugar. As well as people liked to tease, no one to my knowledge, ever teased Alcide. He was my hero for a lot of reasons, one of them was he bought me a pack of Camels when we stopped at Kelvin at the end of his work week as I would take him back to Clayton Bergan’s. Alcide had a good home there.

Thanks to the Fassett Boys, as Casey called you, for a very candid tribute to Elaine Watkins. She was a friend to this old pin setter, country boy. You described her so well. Her mother, Helen was the greatest, her attitude was always upbeat, through those hard times, she was everyone’s friend.

I might say that without the benevolence of a few people like Janice and Bonnie and others from a class ahead of me, I could have been a real outsider too. Hillbilly you know. This country has just moved toward tolerance, that says a lot for this younger generation.

Gary Metcalfe

PS Gary is gone driving semi from Springfield, Mo. to Kingman, Az. tonight.. He left this letter written out so I could get it typed in for him. He told me as he was leaving that this blog has brought back so many memories that it gives him lots to think about as he is traveling through states like Ok., Tx.,N.M., & Az. where there can be lots of miles between places. …..Sue


Reply from Bob Hosmer (56):

Hi Gary,

I’m enjoying your communique’ immensely.

In response to Gary Metcalfe’s inquiry about Bud Myer and Elaine Watkins, as most know, they both were disabled mentally. Bud Meyer lived next door to us and was older than me by a number of years. Unfortunately, I mostly avoided him, because I was afraid of him. I wish now someone would have helped me make a connection with him. I think he was a very lonely man.

Elaine Watkins was in first grade when I was in second. In second grade, I was given a high school desk in which to sit because I to tall to fit in the regular seats-attached-to desk type desks that were fasten to slats that were fasten to the floor.

Elaine was sitting in one of those desks in the first grade section and she sat at the very front. For some reason, I can’t recall, Elaine became very frustrated with the subject matter under consideration and began throwing papers and books off her desk unto he floor and yelling. Miss Egge in her frustration in failing to calm her, took out a cat o’nine tails she had in her desk drawer and whipped it across her face. Principal Sterns finally came in and the matter and the matter get settled.

I was so agitated by the matter, I walked up to the teacher at her desk (I was actually about as tall as the teacher in second grade) and told her as flat out as I dared, “you cut Elaine’s face and it’s bleeding.” I could tell Miss Egge was still upset when she responded, “I don’t care.” This is not a nice memory to share, but from that time on for many years that action made me very cautious of those in authority over me. My tendency was always to keep quiet and to be as unnoticeable as possible.

On the other hand it made me more responsive to those who had to manage mental disabilities.

When I was pastoring a church outside Calgary, Alberta, we formed a ministry called “Friendship Club” for mentally handicap young adults. And saw many positive things happen in the lives of about 12 young adults who were part of that Bible class geared for them and in other interactive activities.

My wife and I saw Elaine last in the mid ’70′s and later we heard she had died.


Others, I’m sure will have more memories of both Bud and Elaine. I’m looking forward to hearing about them.



Bob Hosmer, WA Chaplain
Marketplace Chaplains USA
Cell: 425-299-0928


Reply from Dick Johnson (68):

Gary and Friends,

Paula’s story of Elaine Watkin’s perseverance needs to be expanded on.
Paula is absolutely right that Elaine looked through the Grand Forks
phone book to find our address, where Tim Hill and I were staying at
2022 2nd Ave N. The part that is the most amazing is that the phone was
listed in the ‘w’ section under Jack Widdell, our landlord’s name! She
didn’t know his name so had to go through the entire book to find it. He
answered the phone upstairs and then had to come down to the basement
and get us, so we couldn’t give poor Elaine the number as we knew she
would call often and really upset the landlord. She did ride home to
Dunseith on some weekends with us and was fun to have along. I still
remember the day she called and said, “Tim, I found your number!” I
remain baffled how mentally challenged people can somehow clear the
‘debris’ from their minds and do nearly amazing things, that would seem
insurmountable to most of us who are thought to be at least somewhat
‘unchallenged’. There are probably some readers who might question my
assumption of which category I would be included in, after some of the
stories I have posted
about the stunts we pulled as kids in old Dunseith! Thanks Gary!


Reply from Bonnie Awalt Houle (56):

Good Morning Gary,

Received all the missing messages and certainly appreciate all your extra time. Today we are headed to Fargo to meet with my Brother Bill and his family for the week-end. Our Grandson is going to college in Fargo so they are all going with us. Scott Awalt is in a play in Fargo tonight.

Thanks and Blessings to you and your family

Bonnie Awalt Houle

9/29/30 (2287)

      Happy Birthday Shelley Hiatt Kenner: Devils Lake, ND
Hiatt Kenner, Shelley 2287

     Happy Birthday Robin Olson (‘79): Walla Walla WA
Olson, Robin 2287


Phyllis Campbell, Dick and Brenda Johnson
Posting from Rich Campbell (’68): Minot, ND

How ironic.  Visiting Mom at the Bethel Nursing Home in Stanley today and heard familiar music coming from the activity area.  It was Dick & Brenda and their new friend Carl (Dakota Drifters).  By the time I brought Mom down they had finished.  We did have a good visit.  Mom sure enjoyed seeing them.

Rich Campbell


Jack Flynn’s Obituary
Posting from LeaRae Parrill Espe (’67): Bottineau, ND

Jack Flynn passed away.  A short notice is on the Nero Funeral Home Web site.  The family submitted the full obituary and I expect it will be on there sometime tomorrow.  The service will be at Peace Lutheran on Friday at 2PM.  Thanks, LeaRae

Gary’s reply

LeaRae, I just checked and his obit is not yet posted. I will post the full Obituary when Nero’s have it posted. I have posted the short notice below.

Our condolences are with Minnie and all of Jack’s family with his passing. Jack will be missed, that is for sure.
Francis Peter (Jack) Flynn
Born: July 15, 1921
Died: September 25, 2015

Send Flowers


Francis Peter “Jack” Flynn, age 94 of Dunseith, died Friday, September 25, 2015 in the VA Hospital in Fargo. A memorial service will be held on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 2:00 P.M. in the Peace Lutheran Church of Dunseith. Cremation has taken place. There will be no visitation.

Send Sympathy Card 

 Print ObituaryView Guest Book Entries 


Posting from Ginger LaRocque (’65):  Belcourt, ND

Hey,  Gary

Tonight the moon is red.

It is very pretty.


We had a beautiful fall day, the olden days fall.

Take care,


Gary’s Reply

Ginger, We are partly overcast with 90f and the Relative Humidity at 48%. Our average high is 88 to 92f year around. The lows are in lower 80’s. I don’t own a coat or any long sleeve over garments here. I really like it being summer year around.

Blog (356) posted on January 31, 2009


Bernice Belgarde (72):

Bernice, Enabling folks can contact you, I forgot to post your email address with message yesterday’s blog.  Sorry about that.  Gary
Folks, I recieved the following messages from Vickie Metcalfe that Denise Lajimodiere sent to her, Dick Johnson & Ginger LaRocque Poitra.  Bernice Belgarde forwarded Denise the daily blog messages with the stories of Alcide Lajimodiere. Gary

Denise Lajimodiere’s reply to Vickie, Ginger & Dick: 

Hi you all!

Berniece Belgarde has sent me your emails and information you wrote about Alcide Lajimodiere. His grandfather, Modeste Lajimodiere had three wives and 21 chlidren. I have all the family geneaology – if I can find the folders, I’ve moved and packed them safely away, and can tell who his parents were. My father, Leo Lajimodiere, called him his cousin, and never seemed to have much to do with him, so I never got to know him. Modeste was first cousin to Louis Riel, of Canada fame. His father, Joseph had to flee Canada when Riel was hanged, and that is how we migrated to Dunseith area – Modeste took out a homestead north of Dunseith.

Alcide is buried with the other Lajimodiere’s in Dunseith.

I love the stories you have told, thank you so much, keep them coming if you have others!  So many of the Lajimodiere men here in the states and in Canada never had children. With my moving to Fargo there are now no one living in the T.Mts. with our last name. There are many that live in Winnipeg and Wallhalla.

Does anyone have a photo of him?

Denise K. Lajimodiere
2219 4th Ave. S
Moorhead, MN 56560

Vickie Metcalfe’s reply to Denise:

Denise, Over the years I have asked lots of folks about photos ofAlcide but no one has a photo. Thank you so much for sharing your

information information. I will keep you in my address book. If I
hear anything more.
I recalled you telling me about the Lajimodere connection to Louis
Riel. Two cousins and I about 4 years ago visted the Riel house in
Manitoba while we visited St. Agathe where my great grandmother
Celina Morin LeDuc was born.
Is it ok if I send your information in to the Gary Stokes website?
Thanks so much! I hope you’re having a good life. Vickie

Vickie L. Metcalfe

Denise Lajimodiere’s reply to Vickie:

I am currently in a dream job as professor in Educational Leadership at NDSU Fargo. I don’t like Fargo, but I love my job and my house in Moorhead. I head home to Belcourt/Dunseith as often as I can. I got my doctorate in 2006 from UND.
Please send any info anywhere – the more the merrier. Who is Gary Stokes?  I have long contemplated doing a little chap book on the Lajimodiere history here in the states. We fled Manitoba after Riel was hanged. Some returned but my family decided to camp in the Turtle Mountains. At the 200 year anniversary bash of Jean-Babtiste Lagimodiere and Marie-Ann Gaboury in Winnipeg in 2006, most Lajimodiere’s there did not know there were a lot of us in the states.

The historian there said I had the most complete family history of any he had seen. He is doing a huge book on the 20,000 current descendants of JB Lajimodiere.

What are you up to?


Happy Birthday Brenda Hiatt from your brother Bobby Slyter (70): 

Gary: today is my sister brenda’s birthday (1-23-55) could you possibly post this for me, thanks for all that you do for us, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIS LOVE YA

Happy Belated birthday Brenda. We are hoping you had a good one.


Bobby, For some reason this message went into my spam folder and I didn’t catch it until today.  Sorry about that.  Gary


Ele Dietrich Slyter’s (69) reply to Leroy Burcham’s picture posted by Randy Hiatt

Enjoyed the pic very much.  Leroy looks so very much like Norman to me as he ages.   The Birklands and my Dad were cousins and I try to stay in touch with Jim and Ruby as they are living closest to me, but I’m afraid I don’t do a very good job at it, as we usually see each other either in the grocery store or clinic.  Richard and I get teased a bit about being related BEFORE we got married because Leroy was married to Delores Hiatt.  Such a small small world.


Reply from Bobby Slyter (70): 





A little winter humor, for all the snow this year, From Julie Hiatt Bonebrake (81):

You know you’ve had enough ofwinter when you see this while walking thru the park!






9/27/2015 (2286)

Fugere Twins
Happy birthday Debbie Fugere Fauske (’75): Minot, ND
Happy birthday Diane Fugere (’75): Burlington, ND
Fuger Twins 2286


Reply from Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65):  Belcourt, ND

I certainly enjoy reading the blog,  but I understand why you are unable to at times.

You do so much for all of us,  so diligently getting this blog to us as often as you do.  There is not to many people would have the stamina you have.

God bless you Gary for making so many people happy by sacrificing so much of your time,  your one in a million! !

You have to be enjoying it! Right?


Gary’s Reply.

Thank you so much Ginger for the nice comments. Bernadette’s condition is demanding more of my time these days too. That combined with other groups that I coordinate, there are days that I am an not able to get the blog posted.

When I came out to the office about 30 minutes ago, Bernadette was sleeping in her recliner. At the moment none of our help is here, so it is me alone. Novie will be here later on. Anyway a few minutes ago Bernadette was calling me. When I went in the house she said “I just cannot take it anymore. I am saying my good byes to you and checking out. I don’t want to be around anymore”. After getting her calmed down some I went and got Edelyn to assist her taking a shower and getting dressed of which she is doing now.

Having just gotten out of the shower and dressed, Bernadette has calmed down and is OK now.


Dakota Drifters Performing at the Hostfest with Dick/Brenda Johnson & Carl Kannianen
Posting from Dick Johnson (’68):  Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

We’re heading to the Hostfest next week.  Our new group “Dakota Drifters” will be playing at the Reykjavik Hall every day at 9 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.  We always enjoy the Hostfest and meet so many nice folks.

The Hostfest website also has our bio and schedule at this link.


We will still perform as Highway 43 when Ron Hett is back in the summers, but most of the time we’ll now be performing as the Dakota Drifters.  Our friend Carl Kannianen from Stanley, ND is a fantastic lead guitar player and loves old traditional country music like we do.

We also have another new member, Toby Nelson from Minot who will be joining us on the drums for the Hostfest.  We hope to see some of our friends in the audience.  Please feel free to stop by for a visit after any of our sets.  We sure would enjoy that! Thanks Gary!


Johnson, Dick 2286
This trio is made up of Dick and Brenda Johnson from the Turtle Mountains in north central North Dakota and Carl Kannianen from the Stanley area. All three are home grown self-taught musicians who really enjoy country music.

Carl farms in the Stanley area and has played the guitar for many years. He found out early in life that he enjoyed music. He sings harmony on several songs and also does vocals. Carl has a unique style of picking and his instrumentals are fabulous.

Dick farms near the International Peace Garden. He has been involved with music from the time he was young. He plays guitar and handles most of the vocals. He is known to favor Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash songs and always includes a few Norwegian jokes to keep things lively.

Brenda works for the North Dakota Forest Service in Bottineau. She started playing the standup bass just a few years ago. She keeps the group organized and is always looking for new “old” material. She and Dick have played and entertained together for several years.

This group plays a variety of country, gospel, rock-a-billy, and even some rock and roll. So if you like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Chet Atkins and other similar old time music you’ll enjoy hearing this group perform.


Barn Picture
Reply from Kenny Nerpel (’65):  Rugby, ND

The picture that Mel mentioned in the last post was actually taken in 2004.  I probably didn’t share it until 2010.  We just happened to be passing by it on a day when the wind was changing directions and thought that the reflection would make a nice picture.  It’s not looking so good now, but time marches on.


Mel Kuhn / Larry Hackman
Posting from Dick Johnson (’68):  Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

Mel Kuhn says he was overwhelmed with the intelligence Larry Hackman expounded at the birthday party.  I’m still trying to understand why I don’t find that odd?  Mel said Larry took a picture of him at the church but I bet he doesn’t know the real reason for that either? Larry will be showing his pals that picture back in Bismarck just to prove that it’s true that he really does know some hillbillies from the Turtle Mountains. I think what Mel might be referring to with my superior intelligence is just that when I have had a few beers, I am able to describe–in detail–things that I can’t fully even understand when I’m sober.

That’s a good reason to have another beer just to see how brilliant I can actually get.  One of my old friends said he would have been a doctor right now if he hadn’t been quite so smart when he got out of high school.  I don’t know,  a couple beers and it comes right back.

Thanks Gary!



Larry/Henry Hackman & Dick Johnson
Reply from Mel Kuhn (’70): 


Low and behold and much to my surprise at about 7:30 this evening Larry and Henry Hackman come a knocking on my door. This time I don’t think they were lost. They actually seemed to know where they were. They said they had been over at your place before they decided to come here. They said they had been at your place at about supper time but you didn’t offer to feed them. I took this as a sign that they were hungry. Kathy had been baking all day for the fall supper at the church tomorrow and she let us have one of the apple pies [I think she’s gonna make me pay $10.00 for it]. A piece of that pie and a cup of coffee seemed to bring them around. They were grateful that I gave them their pie on a real plate but they wondered if they would have to wash them so that I wouldn’t get into trouble for having to go buy some new plates. They remembered me having to do that while Kathy was gone on vacation and I ran out of dishes while she was gone and had to buy some new ones so that I had something to eat on. This was before she had told about paper plates. Who ever heard of such a thing? Anyway I guess they’ve been touring through the Turtle Mountains these past few days just a stopping and visiting with people from Bottineau to St. John. It was a good visit and we all got to tell some lies [mostly Larry] and maybe Kathy. Well it’s getting late in the evening and I have to cook a turkey for the church supper tomorrow so I should call it a day. I still have to go catch one somewhere yet. I’ve got my dog watching for one so maybe with a little luck he’ll get one by morning. He’s kind of like Larry, does his best hunting in the dark. Later.


Blog (355) posted on January 30, 2009


Gary and Friends,

Today we got hooked up to DSL, so things are good! My new email address is :

With the many folks reading this blog, I thought it would be a good
place to post this change. Please change my address folks so I don’t
miss your individual messages. Thanks!


Gary’s Reply:
Dick, Because so many folks do not have high speed internet, many of which do not have it available to them, I keep the daily postings relatively small in file size. I try to keep them less than 500 KB.  You will enjoy the faster internet service.  Gary


From Bernice Belgarde (72):

Hi Gary.

I cannot find the newsletter that told the story of Alcide Lajimodere.  It might have been #347 but I cannot retrieve it because my delete file cleared out my deletions too soon.  Can you resend me the article on Alcide?  Denise Lajimodere would like to know who wrote the article.  I sent her the story but did not put in the email the narrator of this story. I just want to say chi mii-gwitch (a big thank you) for providing us the history of Dunseith, ND.  I lived a different life in Dunseith coming from a native american home and I know a lot of the people there.  My life as a youth and teenager does different from what the white students and people did there.  Yet it is very interesting to see how they seen life in Dunseith.

Bernice Belgarde – Class of 1972

Bernice, It’s great hearing from you!  I found those messages and forwarded them to you. I’m assuming Denise would be related to Alcide?  Vickie Metcalfe phrased it so well with her phrasing, in a message quite some time ago, of the multi cultures that we had growing up going to school in Dunseith.  Gary


Reply from Susan Fassett Martin (65):

Gary Metcalfe mentioned Elaine Watkins.   She was born Jan 1st 1938 to Helen Amundson and Roy Watkins.  She was a sister to Murl Hill, Jeannine Robert, and Carol Carbonneau.  She died in 1993 peacefully in her bed at home on the farm north of Dunseith.   She never fully developed mentally beyond about a 10- 12 year old mentality, but I believer God sent her into our family to teach us love and understanding and tolerance.  She loved all of us kids (cousins Tim Hill, Charles Carbonneau, Susan Fassett, and all our siblings.  We used to tease her unmercifully when we were kids, but she loved us anyway.  Charlie, Mark Andersen, and I used to take her out on Lake Metigoshe in the boat (Charlie driving) and we would make her sit on one side and then Charlie would turn sharply so the edge of the boat was nearly touching the water, just to make Elaine squeal.  She loved to tease the roosters and they would chase her when she came out of the house.  I’m sure Carol can tell many stories about her and also Murl and Jeannine.  These pictures are in my collection,  of Elaine in 1940 when she was 2.  The one of her dancing is with my mother, Irene Fassett, her cousin.  Mom was teaching her to dance and that was at our house on the corner in Dunseith(Paula sitting on the couch.)  We had lots of good times with her.  I like to think that she and mom and dancing in heaven along with lots of other relatives who have gone home ahead of us.   God Bless,  Hugs and prayers,  Susan


Reply from Paula Fassett  (71): 

Hi All…

Gary Metcalfe mentioned Elaine Watkins, so I decided to add my two cents.  Elaine was my cousin – actually my Mom’s first cousin.  My mother was Irene (Watkins) Fassett.  Her mother – Gudrun Amundson  – and Helen (Amundson) (Watkins) Nelson were sisters.  Helen is Elaine’s mother – and mother of Murl Hill, Carol Carbonneau and Jeannine Robert. ( I hope my sister Susan replies, too – she is the historian of the family.)  Helen worked at Hosmer’s for many, many years so I’m sure a lot of you remember her.

Elaine, in this day and age, would most likely be diagnosed “developmentally disabled”.  Although that is the way the medical profession most likely saw her, to our family she was most certainly a treasure.  And Elaine was smart in many, many ways.  She rarely forgot a birthday or anniversary.  She could probably have told you the family lineage of most of the people in the TurtleMountains.  And clever – man, could she tell the jokes – some that would make you blush!!!  AND she could play the harmonica!!  In her later years, Elaine resided in Minot and I’m sure that many Dunseith residents who were at one time or another hospitalized in Minot can tell of Elaine coming to pay them a visit!! She kept an eye on the patient list in the Minot Daily News!  She missed very few weddings, anniversary celebrations and/or funerals.

Elaine loved to chat on the phone, and although Aunt Helen would tell her not to make so many calls every day, sure enough the phone would ring and after you said hello, there would be a pause, then Elaine’s throaty voice, saying “Mother just went to the barn, so I can’t talk long”.  One of my favorite Elaine “tales” is of Tim Hill (who is her nephew) at a time he was going to school in Grand Forks, I believe it was.  Elaine was probably in Grafton?  Tim wouldn’t give her his phone number for fear he would be inundated with calls, but he would pick her up on weekends that he was going home and take her along.  Well, Elaine wasn’t satisfied with that plan – and she knew the street address of where Tim was renting.  So she went through the Grand Forks phone book – line by line – until she found the address and Voila!  Tim got a phone call!  THAT is perseverance!

Elaine passed away a few years ago – I think she was about 65 years old.  She was quite a character.  I think you could ask anyone who was related to her – or a friend or a neighbor who knew her – and they’ll have a humorous tale of Elaine!

Paula Fassett


Reply to Gary Metcalfe from Jerry Williams (54): 

Yes Gary I do remember Elaine Watkins.  She was what  in today world be would termed as mentally challenged.  Back than we unfortunately had much more derogatory terms for her.  She was teased by many of the students back than. I believe that in today’s world with the classes that we have for the  mentally challenged she could have fit into our society.

There has been allot of talk about the past teachers from Dunseith School System.  The one that I remember the most was my 6th grade teacher Mrs. Conroy.  I had the greatest respect for her and she will always remain “Mrs.” Conroy to me.  Of all the teachers that I have had in the past, both in Dunseith and in college Mrs. Conroy was, to me, the most outstanding and she had a profound impact on my life.  Even though she has passed on thank you Mrs. Conroy from the bottom of my heart.

And yes Gary I am about 3 or 4 years older than you and I still remember you.  If I remember right you were on the football team the fall of 1953.  Am I right?  You may have been on the basketball team as well, however my role on the BB team was bench warmer (at best).


Reply from Don Aird (Carroll Carlson’s nephew): 

I’m sure you’ve covered the Peace Gardens in some of the earlier posts.  My Dad, Don Aird Sr., helped build the Peace Gardens with the CCCs.  Every Memorial Day we would come to Dunseith to put flowers on the Carlson graves at the Little Prairie Cemetery.  Then we would go to the Peace Gardens.  Dad would spend most of a day just going back to the places he remembered.  One story Dad told me that you may not have heard had to do with Kelvin and the switchboard.  Everyone was on the same “party line”.  Ease dropping  was common.  The commandant for the CCCs had to make a report once a month to Washington using the phone.  When he called Washington lots of folks picked up their phones to listen in.  When they did that they drained the electricity powering the system so the report couldn’t be made.  The commandant finally rang up everyone on the line and told them if they would wait he would call them all back and give them the same report he was making to Washington.  So every month there were two reports one, to Washington and one to the ease droppers on the line.

Reply from Sue (Gary) Metcalfe (57): 

Thanks for the reminder of hotel reservations..  Gary called today and secured our room….we are getting very excited about this great vacation cruise.  Our daughter, Leah and granddaughter, Angelina are also planning to come with us. Again, thanks for all your work Gary and Bill and everyone else involved.  Sue


Sybil Johnson’s reply to Gary: 

My birthday is July 2 and I also have 2 family members in July. My cousin is 6 days younger than me and we were

raised almost like sisters. Sybil

Sybil, you are only 19 days older than me and you are a Great Grandmother.  Gary
Reply/picture from Randy Hiatt:

Gary, I have attached a picture of my step father Leroy Birkland and his wife Alice, and one of Wades sons so some of the folks can see. This was taken when I was back last December to visit him in Bottineau. I hadn’t seen my step dad in many years so it was really nice getting backand visiting with him. I took dad for a drive up in the hills and stopped to see Freddy Hiatts old farm byWillow Lake.  A lot had change with that farm from the way I remember it when I was a kid visiting. The big red barn was gone and a lot of the out buildings as well.

I am still trying to figure out how this blog works in regards to what I type and what is posted. If I post a few things I will get the hang of it. I have lots of other pictures that people would probably be interested in seeing so let me know which way would be the best way to post them.

Thanks for everything

Randy Hiatt

Randy, I will post pretty much what ever anyone sends to me and would like posted. I try to keep the postings related to the interests of the Dunseith Alumni.  Folks love pictures, so please send what ever you have.  If someone sends me a note or message that we have not heard from or have not heard from for a long while, with discretion, I’ll post their message to let folks know they are on board with us. There have been times that folks have replied to someone’s message letting us know they have not seen or heard of that person for many years, sometimes 50 plus years.  Lots of our folks know your step dad Leroy Birkland. Thanks for sharing.  Gary

Leroy & Alice Birkland

9/24/2015 (2285)

Old Barn
Reply from Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65):  Belcourt, ND

Tony and I go riding around sometime actually quite a lot , we go by that barn and have watched it slowly caving in. I would say that I should draw it. It is a cute barn. Thanks Mel for taking the picture and also thank you Kenny. It is a unique barn.


Blog (354) posted on January 29, 2009



Reply from Don Aird (Carroll Carlson’s nephew)

I remember going down the Lake Metagoshe (sp?) road with Uncle Carroll. We always stopped at the Little Prairie Cemetery to see the Carlson graves. Then I ‘d take Carroll to the Lake. He would talk about who lived at the various farms. One of the farms he pointed out was Bernice Seim. I knew her brother Art and his wife Eva as we got our drinking water from their well.
Don, Bernice Seim Metcalfe was married to Elmer Lindberg. She was first married to Archie Metcalfe. He passed away years ago out in Washington state. Years later she married to Elmer Lindberg. Elmer was is sister to Alice McKay. The Lindberg farm is located about a half mile into Bottineau county on #43. Kristy Hagen, daughter of Orville & Gloria Hagen, purchased the Lindberg farm and is currently living there. Gary




From Sybil Johnson:

In reply to the Social Security issue: I’m allowed to receive part of my ex’s (Augie) Social Security, because we

were married for 30 yrs. I will be 62 in July, but haven’t been up to the Social Security Office, yet. He had to
retire early, because of the derailment in Minot. The fumes from that derailment came over the house and he was
affected by it. This was by court order, during our divorce proceedings.
The weather here in Cheyenne, is now like yours in ND. We received about 10 inches of snow, cold and now very windy. Yesterday, it was down to -5 below. I know that isnt like your temp, but we had been so spoiled earlier, that this is an eye opener, for most. Sybil Johnson

Sybil, I’ll be 62 in July also. What day is your birthday? Mine is 7/21/47. Gary

Dunseith News posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:

9/22/2015 (2284)

    Happy Birthday Jeff Gottbreht: Dunseith, ND
Gottbreht, Jeff 2284


Happy Birthday LaVerne Rude (BHS ’63): Vancouver, WA
Rude, LaVerne 2284


    Happy Birthday Janet Houle: Kensington, MN
Houle, Ron and Janet 2284


Jim and Ruby Birkland’s 80th birthday party.
Message from Mel Kuhn (’70):  St. John, ND


Today I went to my Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Ruby Birklands 80th Birthday party over in Dunseith and of all the people to run into there was Larry Hackman. I should’ve known he’d be there with the free sloppy joes and chocolate cake. I was in line after Larry and I had to wait for my cake while they ran over to Dales to get some Ding Dongs for the rest of us. I haven’t saw Larry for a while so he had a whole bunch of new lies to try and get me to believe. I just go along with him and nod my head like I believe him. It probably was a good thing that Dick Johnson wasn’t there or my poor old head probably would have exploded with all the knowledge they would have tried to force upon me. They know that I can only take in so much for one day. It’s hard to tell which one of them is “smarter”. Anyway-there were a lot of people there at the party. Some I hadn’t seen for a long time and some that I didn’t recognize. Then there were some like that DuWight Poitra that I didn’t want to recognize. Bernard Morin even made a guest appearance. Then Uncle Jimmy dug out the old fiddle and him and some of his kids and grandkids played a few good old tunes for us. Jimmy still know which end of the fiddle to tuck under his chin. When all that was done Larry and I got to visiting and he wanted to know if the old Berginski barn up on Hwy 43 was still standing. Kenny Nerpel used to take a picture now and then and keep us informed as to its condition. Kenny has seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth. We were wondering if we should be concerned or not. So I stopped on the way back home and took a picture of it with my phone. It kind of came out. Maybe Gary can doctor it up some seeing as it took me about three hours and seventeen minutes to figure out how to get it downloaded onto my computer. Downloaded-that’s the proper term isn’t it? Boy I don’t know, that’s a lot for me to try and understand. That’s about all I got to say I guess and every word I put down here is the honest truth. And Larry should know that ‘cause he took a picture of me there at the church in front of a picture of the last supper and there was a glow that just formed around me. There Larry I beat you to it, you was going to try and tell everybody some kind of lie about that too weren’t you? Later.


Mel Kuhn’s recently taken – 2015

Kenny Nerpel’s picture taken five years ago in 2010


Jim and Ruby Birkland’s 80th birthday party.
Message from Vickie Metcalfe (’70): Bottineau, ND

Gary and Dunseith Friends,

Today, It seemed nature knew she had to be wearing  her best, to celebrate Jim and Ruby’s 80th birthdays. The foot of the Turtles, was a gloriously,  beautiful  on one of the last days of summer!  The leaves are beginning to  slowly crown the trees with colour, along with  berries of roses, cranberries  and mountain ash  splashed in  abundant shades.

Jim and Ruby’s three children, Larry, Brenda, and Brian were in attendance as well as many of their families;  children and grandchildren. Many neighbors came out for the occasion;as well as family and friends from Bismarck, Minot, St. John,  Bottineau, Belcourt,  and Boissevain, Manitoba.

One  of the last to eat lunch; I d  sat with Brenda’s grand children, (5 boys).  Questioning them what the best things they ate were?  Because,  I trust kids  judgement of the   “good stuff”.   The  five tow headed boys ranging from eleven down to two each gave me a response of what they thought the best stuff was.  They  finally came to agree, “sloppy joes”! Brian then asked if I’d eaten yet. I went for the sloppy joe.   …….”.Mmmm.”  I said.  “Who made this? They are really good.”   The boys said, “Grandma Ruby.”

Everywhere, around the white circular tables in the  parish hall; old neighbors, family and kids ate that wonderful lunch and  enjoyed good visiting.

Many family photographs were taken with the birthday  guests of honor, a.k.a  Jim and Ruby.  I kicked  myself many times,  because I had forgotten my camera. Uffda….but I did remember the birthday card!

Jim, Brian, Brian’s son, and Brenda’s granddaughter jammed a wee bit .    Now , “Your Cheating Heart”,  and ” I’ll Waltz across Texas with You” are replaying in my head! And will be all week. Nothing like a great music jam session to get the fingers and toes tapping.

And Yes! Jim did fiddle!, The others played guitar. Reluctantly, I found myself needing to say farewell, ( my boys were waiting in the car).

As I hugged Brenda good bye,  I said to her,  “I was charmed by your  grand babies”.! I ‘d told her grandsons, ” I will see you back in 10 years for Great grandpapa  and Great Grandmama’s 90th.  They each told me what  instrument they will  be playing  then. All those boys are currently  taking piano lessons.

I figure,  when I see them in 10 years they will be playing with Great Grandpapa Jimmy!

Until Later.  Vickie


Posting of the day from my good Expat Netherland’s friend Leo Tacke.

This took place in Charlotte North Carolina .

A lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them against, among other things, fire.

Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars, the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company.

In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost ‘in a series of small fires.’

The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason, that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion.

The lawyer sued and WON! (Stay with me.)

Delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The judge stated nevertheless, that the lawyer held a policy from the company, in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be unacceptable ‘fire’ and was obligated to pay the claim.

Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for his loss of the cigars that perished in the ‘fires’.


After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON!!!

With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail

and a $24,000 fine.

This true story won First Place in last year’s Criminal Lawyers Award contest.




Blog (353) posted on January 28, 2009


Folks, with yesterday’s message we (I) skipped message 351, so there is no message 351.  Gary

Correction to Jerry Williams message posted with message 350.

Folks,  I miss read Jerry’s message thinking, in my mind, that he had been back to Dunseith many times since 1954. I sent Jerry a message telling him I was going to edit out the word ‘not’ in his message.  I told him if it was wrong, I’d post a correction.  Well I was wrong, so I’m posting the correction below.  Gary

Jerry’s reply:

I have only been back to Dunseith a few times after I Graduated in 1954.  I guess that is the way I should have composed the message.  Oh well you did good to catch a potential mistake.  Thanks.


Jerry’s original message:

I graduated with Viola with the class of 1954,  a graduating class of 8, I think the smallest to ever graduate from good old DHS.  Anyway I have not been back to Dunseith many times since 1954 myself and Viola is one of those people that I have not seen in now 55 years.  I don’t know if  our class is going to get together for a 55 year reunion this summer or not but it would be fun to get to see her again.  How about it class of “54” are we going to have a class reunion this summer?


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

Herzlich glueckwunch zum Geburtstag, Allen!

Speaking about collecting Social Security.  A little bit of information for those retireing from Federal Service.  I started collecting full Social Security benefits when I turned 65.  My 10 year old son (at the time) started collecting an amount equal to half of my benefits because he was under 18 and (get this) my ex-wife, because we were married for more than ten years, also began collecting benefits amounting to 50% of my benefit. My current wife doesn’t get anything which is a bone contention on occasion.  When I retired at age 68, because I am under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) The Social Security Windfall Act applied to me as it does to all Federal employees under CSRS.  As a result, just when we really need full Social Security benefits when we retire, they are cut, in some cases,  by as much as  75-80%.  The rationale being that we have been working all these years and paying into another retirement plan and not paying in to Social Security.  I wonder if this also applies to people in private business and industry?  It has taken the Social Security Administration a full year to catch up to me as I have been receiving full benefits during my first year of retirement and not eligible to do so.  I lucked out in that they only cut me about 45% but I have to pay back what they overpaid me this past year.  Not a problem since I knew this was going to happen and with each monthly payment dropped 50% into a savings account.  In other words I had a nice loan for a year from Social Security.  My son and ex-wife also have to pay back.  Good luck on them getting money back from the ex.  It’s no wonder that outfit is going broke.

Again, Allen, Happy Birthday.

Bob Lykins

Gary’s reply
Yes Bob, you fell into the social security off set rule when you started collecting your federal retirement. For me the bulk of my Social Security entitlement comes from my Army reserve years.  In my case the off set rule I feel is fare, because I did not pay that much into the system to get my qualifying quarters.  I don’t necessarily like it, but I can see the rational behind the rule for folks like me.  It’s not a fare rule for those that had substantial years social security before going to work for the government.  This rule only applies to those hired into federal service before 1984. To maximize my retirement, I learned the Government, Reserve and Social Security laws well.  Gary

9/20/2015 (2283)

     Happy Birthday Norma Manning: Princeton, Ill.
Manning, Norma 2283

Blog (352) posted on January 27, 2009


Posted on January 27, 2009

Please note there is no message 351.

Reply from Minnie Mary McKay Merrill (48):

Well, I certainly remember Miss Ewen. She had us totally under her

thumb and we’d better not ask “why.” I did my practice teaching in a
one room rural school south of Minot (one of te lucky ones to be
assigned to this situation) with Jim Bowles who also belonged to the
Rural School Teacher group. Miss Ewen, it seemed, was observing us every

I have had a wonderful teaching career–
beginning at Lockhart Rural School, moving to Overly to a consolidated
school, I had only 4 grades there, then on to Plentywood, Montana having
37 first graders. My next assignment was San Diego for 1 year. We
moved to Decorah, Iowa, where I had 3rd grade. Then I taught 1st grade
in St. Paul for 3 years. One would think I couldn’t hold a job, but I
was following my husband around.

Since then I have taught in Worcester, MA, Sutter Creek, CA, and Kent,
WA. So 51 years after teaching in 7 states and had 3 children I retired
to subbing on Fridays.

This must be thanks to Miss Ewen who had us cutting pictures out of
magazines and writing text to make up supplemental reading material, to
creating mind challenging seat work, that has given me great joy in
being a part of so many little children’s lives.

Tommy Hagen can relate to much of this early training, I’m sure.
From Minnie Mary McKay Merrill, Renton, WA.

Reply from Neola Kofoid Garbe:

Rita Gable called me. I had sent pictures of her to the Dunseith School, as someone had written Rita teaches there, which she does, except this year she is in Minot. She was wondering where I had found the pictures–I hadn’t taken time to write a note to send along with the pictures, so I was hoping she was in your lists and knew about the pictures. She isn’t and didn’t, but it worked out fine, as we had a nice visit. Also, she would like to be included in your Alumni news letter: (I hope I have that right; I sent a test email to her, but haven’t received a reply.). She asked if I had seen pictures of Keplin’s. I know I have seen some with the Keplin name. I’ll send them to her and see if they are her relatives–I hope so.

I plan to go to Bottineau tomorrow and stay until about February 7th/8th. I have an appointment with my oncologist on February 9, so I need to be back in Minot then. All is going well.

Later tonight, I hope to scan Frozen Fingers Festival tentative schedule; Dick, Brenda and Ron Hett are performing this year.

I’m attending a meeting at 8:00, so I’ll quit for now.

By the way, I loved seeing the picture of “the Morinville kids”.  I need to respond to other comments sometime, too, but thought I’d mention this picture now.


Rita, I have added you to our distribution starting with today’s blog. What years did you teach in Dunseith? Are you from the Dunseith area? We have a number of the staff from the Dunseith Schools on our distribution as well. It’s great having you included with our blog. I know many of our folks know you. Gary

Jarilyn Hiatt’s photo posted by Noela Kofoid Garbe:

Jarilyn is the daughter of Wallace & Arla Hill Hiatt. Does anyone know if Jarilyn has email? I do not have Jarilyn listed in any of my files. Gary

Posted by Neola Garbe:
Does anyone know where this property is located?

9/19/2015 (2282)

Dunseith Alumni Website link


All of these daily blogs are posted on our Website. Just click on this link. http://dunseith.net/blog/ or just type “Dunseith” in the address line and hit enter.

One good feature is the Search tool located in the upper right side of the first screen.  Type in a name and hit the enter button and it will search all the blogs for what you are looking for.  If are looking for let’s say Bill Hosmer. If you type in Bill Hosmer it will locate all the Bill’s and all the Hosmer’s. If you use quotes “Bill Hosmer” it will Narrow your search down to just Bill Hosmer. In this case all the Bill Hosmer’s inclusive of both bill and Hosmer together.


Happy Birthday Joanne Millang Bernstein (’70): Souris, ND
Millang, Joanne 2282


Floyd and Luella Halvorson Dion
Reply from Bill Hosmer (’48):  Tucson, AZ

Gary,  I had not a chance to check my emails for a bit, but when I saw the picture of Floyd and Luella, it hit me with a joy.  I have known these two and their kin all my life. They are what I believe  to be the heart and soul of Dunseith.  What a great picture of two Americans I trust and love for all they do and have done for all of us who came from that town and the Hills and Prairie on both sides of what will always be my home town.

Thanks for the memories and more.  Bill Hosmer
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND

Duane Gunville Sr.
1969 – 2015

Born: May 20, 1969
Died: September 18, 2015


Duane Gunville Sr., age 46 of Dunseith, died on Friday, September 18, 2015 arrival at a Belcourt hospital. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at the Eagle Heart Cultural Center of Dunseith. Burial will be in the St. Louis Cemetery also of Dunseith. A wake will be held on Tuesday beginning at 4:00 P.M. in the Eagle Heart Cultural Center. In Dunseith.


Blog (350) posted on January 26, 2009


Email address change for Armand Mongeon (40):

Gary my email address has changed from I really enjoy the email I do hope this goes through. Armand
Armand, this came through just fine. I have updated all of my files with your address change.
Armand, most all of us remember you, your family and you working at the hardware store. Several years ago you told me you have been working at the same hardware store in Dunseith for over 60 years. That is remarkable.
Folks, with your visits to Dunseith, feel free to stop in the hardware store and say hi to Armand.
From Dave Wurgler (64):
Gary: Good Day to whoever reads this. First of all Happy Birthday to Allen Richard, maybe one of these years you will catch up with me in age as you couldn’t do it with the cars we had back in the good ole days. lol. You were talking about retirement and Soc. Sec., so I will update my life,as of June 30th 2008 I retired from my service station business after 42 years of service. I liquidated my inventory and sold out the equiptment and as of Jan. 5th I sold the building and property. I am now working partime at the Tesaro Convenience Store and collecting that big Soc.Sec. check, plus I am shuffling cars around to different cities for the Ford dealership her in Rugby on my days off. (enjoying every bit of it) Char and I will be celebrating our 42nd anniversary in Nov. and raised three children, Lisa,(41) Teri,(39) and Chris.(34) and they made us proud Grand Parents of 8 Grand Children and we love and spoil them all. In Sept. we took our long awaited vacation and traveled to Calif. for three weeks to be with Char’s family and had a great time. What I really enjoyed the most was all the golfing we got in and all the beautiful courses we got to play the game on. We even golfed on the course Tiger Woods grew up on and learned the game of golf in his home city and also toured the three million dollar rec center he built next to the golf course for the city and he completely rebuilt the golf course by making the fairways longer and more difficult with sand traps, water traps, more trees and huge rolling greens. We had a blast golfing that course but as I am not a par golfer I shot a lot more boogeys than I did pars. lol. Well, I better quit boring your clients and sign off for now, but keep up the good work you are doing on this blog which I enjoy very much and I don’t miss a day, Thanks.—————–Enjoying my life and retirement, God Bless all of the Alumni of DHS and bless all with health and happiness. Dave Wurgler (64).
Reply from Bill Hosmer (48):
Lloyd Awalt’s reports alway seem to stir up a memory I had about our town. With the mention of elevator fires, I was reminded of a building on main steet between Billy Wright’s, later, Joe Morinville’s store and Floyd Nelson’s barber shop there was a building in the thirties which included the Dunseith Journal, a jewelry store, and maybe Judge Ray Wilson’s office where he and Ovila Laumoureux played chess for hours. When I was in the 3rd grade, and Miss Drege was our teacher that building burned. On the south side of the aforementioned store was the house where the Deeters lived. Mrs. Deeter was our telephone operator. She had two girls, Ruth and Carol. I was having a crush on Carol who was in the 4th grade, so she and the other girls never paid attention to “lower graded guys” So we came back from lunch on a school day, and Carol was crying because she was worried about her home burning. It was a very big fire. The teacher hadn’t come into the room
yet, so I stood in front of the 4th grade rows and waived my arms around and said that everything was going to be ok. I knocked over a can of full length chalk, and the sawdust they were packed in and made a hell of a mess, just before Miss Drege walked into the room. The good part was that Carol laughed, the bad part that I had to clean up the mess, and we never had a whole length of chalk for the rest of the year. Bill Hosmer
Reply to the 1949 snow storm from Don Aird (Carroll Carlson’s nephew):
I started grade school in Wahpeton the fall of 1949. My Mother, Clarissa Carlson Aird, took my 2 year old sister Christine to the Carlson homestead for Christmas. Dad and I stayed in Wahpeton. That Christmas the Turtle Mountains had a huge snow storm. My Mother and sister were snowed in. For two weeks I ate canned tomato soup and toast, all Dad knew how to fix. Finally Grandpa Pete got tired of the company. Pete hooked up his team of horses to his hay wagon, bundled my Mother and Sister up in quilts and took them to Dunseith to catch the train. Pete would have been in his mid 70’s.
Reply to 1949 snow storm from Gary Metcalfe (57):
Reply to Lloyd Awalt
Winter of ’49…yes, Lloyd we had our hands full to say the least. We had lots of cattle, all housed in the barn. It was definitel the only winter we had to make a pass or two with the team and hayrack to make a road before we loaded the load of hay. Then we had to haul the whole six ton stack that day or lose it to the elements. There were deer in the one side of the stack that had a crevice, they were too weak to run. Always more snow up there on top of the Turtle Mts. But, I guess we were prepared, always had a top team of horses, the super hired man, as Alcide was. Elwood Fauske became very popular that winter. I have pictures, but am hard pressed to get words out let alone pictures.
Lloyd those orphan lambs always became pests. Art Seim, sheepman, always found a home for some of his. They would lay by the door you used, so you couldn’t get out until you begged for mercy. One morning Alcide came in and said, “I saved Baby.” The ’49 Chevy pickup had rolled from the house to the barn, Baby was pinned but not hurt in the least. These were the kind of happenings that gave Alcide yet another story to tell all visitors.
Lloyd, just tell me I had a dream if you don’t remember this. Had to be between ’46 and ’49, you and your dad, John were at the farm. I must have been busy with chores that winter day. You and John came from the east, we had some old machinery 1/8 mile east, but John had you piggy back. It was cold and the snow was deep. You may have twisted your ankle. Again, I could be dreaming.
Yes, there sure were a lot of real adventure stories from that winter. Yes, the prairie too if you lowered all the road and grades one foot or two like they were in those days. Winter would take on a new look again. The people involved were people from the great depression, they took it in stride. The good part and I remember it well, grain and cattle were top price that year. Almost all our neighbors bought a new Chevy pickup, green or black. Dad sold a red pole bull to Al Houle for $500.00–that was a lot of moola in those days.
Thanks, Gary Metcalfe
Reply from Dick Johnson (68):

Gary and Friends,

Lloyd (and his ‘secretary’ Bonnie, I suppose), posted another great
story from the old days! I too remember the elevator fire of ’54. It is
listed in the Dunseith history book as June 1954, so I would have been
just a month from my fourth birthday. The flames are still clear in my
mind. Speaking of the train, did anyone else put pennies on the train
tracks for the train to smash? I still have one that I did in the ’50s.
It smeared it pretty flat! Bill Teal would go home for lunch and would
drive his two tone green ’56 Chevy past our house, so I knew when we
could mess around at the depot! Can anyone remember the coal bins by the
elevator where you loaded coal in your pickup with a two wheel cart?
That was where we got coal for quite a few years until Dad converted our
old furnace to fuel oil with a burner he bought from Herman Martinson at
the bakery. It was a relief to not have to haul coal and put it in the
basement! I also remember how the freight came in to the depot on the
train for most of the businesses in town. John Awalt and later Johnnie
Myer were the dray men who delivered all over town. They hauled a lot of
loads past our house on their way uptown. The good old days! Thanks Gary!


Birthday reply from Allen Richard (65):

Thanks for the well wishes. I planned to retire soon too but that got complicated with the economy. My stock comeback is that the announcement of my retirement will appear at the same time as my obituary.

Message/picture from Jerry Williams (54):

I graduated with Viola with the class of 1954, a graduating class of 8, I think the smallest to ever graduate from good old DHS. Anyway I have been back to Dunseith many times since 1954 myself and Viola is one of those people that I have not seen in now 55 years. I don’t know if our class is going to get together for a 55 year reunion this summer or not but it would be fun to get to see her again. How about it class of “54″ are we going to have a class reunion this summer?

Jerry Williams class of “54″ with wife Kathy

9/18/2015 (2281)

Happy Birthday Mary Ann Gottbreht Brennan (’58):  Dunseith, ND


Margaret Bedard Strong
Reply from Ellen Graff Myrick (’58): Grand Forks, ND

Margaret Bedard is not a triplet.  She is from Lucien and Hannah Bedard’s family – Connie, John, and Nancy are her siblings.  The triplets are from Rene and Hope’s family -Gayle, Lynn, the twins, and the triplets.

Face Book Posting for a very special couple
Dion, Floyd and Luella 2281


I want to share all the nice comments that were posted for this picture too.

Floyd and Luella, as you can see from these comments, you guys are special.

Note: These are the comments that have been posted so far in the past nine hours since this picture was posted. Comments are still coming in.


David Slyter Nice picture smile emoticon
Like · Reply · 8 hrs

Verena Gillis Sweet, beautiful memories, love these two people very much….
Like · Reply · 8 hrs

Laura Sarkilahti Who are those beautiful people haha you two look wonderful sure miss seeing you once in a while take see you some time love and prayers always
Like · Reply · 8 hrs

Darcy Gladue love this picture, these two are the sweetest people ever!!! v<3
Like · Reply · 7 hrs

Darcy Gladue heart emoticon
Like · Reply · 1 · 7 hrs

Elsie Leonard What a wonderful picture of you two, let me know when you go to coffee!!
Like · Reply · 7 hrs

Lynn Halvorson Otto Nice photo of you both!
Like · Reply · 6 hrs

Jeff Gottbreht Nice picture
Like · Reply · 6 hrs

Shelly Martell Awesome picture
Like · Reply · 6 hrs

Richard Turcotte great oic
Like · Reply · 5 hrs

Shelley Glinz-Blada Great picture of both you
Like · Reply · 4 hrs

Theresa Awalt Very nice picture.
Like · Reply · 4 hrs

Diane Sjol Two of my favorite people
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Gary Stokes This is very nice picture. I am going to post this one on the daily Dunseith blog.
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Shannon Azure Beautiful sweet people
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Dwight Poitra Two nice people
Like · Reply · 1 hr

Amber Hinderscheid THE best people I know  love u guys!
Like · Reply · 1 hr

Betty Heinz Nice picture
Like · Reply · 1 hr

Marsha Poitra Such a sweet couple!
Like · Reply ·


John Hobbs Family – Vance Bailey’s mother is Marie
Picture posted by Doreen Bailey:  Tempe, AZ
Hobbs family 2281 Hobbs family 2281-1


Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND


Sebelius, Kathleen 2281
(June 14, 1931 – September 11, 2015)


Kathleen Sebelius, age 84 of Wheatland, WY, formerly Bottineau, died on Friday, September 11, 2015 in a Wheatland, WY. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 2:00 P.M. in the First Lutheran Church in Bottineau. Burial will be in the Oak Creek Cemetery also of Bottineau. Visitation will be Monday, beginning at 1:00 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. in the Nero Funeral Home, Bottineau.

Kathleen J. Sebelius, a daughter of Albert and Margaret Engebretson, was born June 14, 1931 in Bottineau, North Dakota. She was reared on the family farm near Willow City, ND. Her religious upbringing began at the First Lutheran Church in Willow City. She attended school in Willow City until her  senior year when her family moved to Minot, North Dakota. Kathleen graduated from Dakota Lutheran High School and then she attended Minot Business College. After college, Kathleen moved back to Bottineau and worked for North Central Electric. On July 20th, 1956 she married the love of her life, Kenneth Sebelius, at the First Lutheran Church in Willow City. Kathleen and Kenneth moved to the International Peace Gardens where Kenneth was employed as the caretaker. They lived there for 10 memorable years. They moved back to Bottineau to be closer to family, lived there for 7 years until their path took them to Minot. They lived for 20 years. Following retirement, they were drawn back to their roots; back to Bottineau. Together they raised two children, Kevin and Hollee. Besides caring for her family, Kathleen worked as a secretary/bookkeeper.

Kathleen enjoyed raising poodles. She always had a poodle by her side or on her lap. Kathleen especially loved visiting with family and friends, she always had the coffee pot on and didn’t feel she was a good hostess unless she had a “yummy snack” for her company. Kathleen collected butterflies and received many through the years. Kathleen was active with Mission Aid and the Women’s Circle at the First Lutheran Church of Bottineau. She was an active member of the Sons of Norway and the Bottineau Services for seniors. Kathleen enjoyed her Norwegian heritage, she could make the best lefse and “rommegrot’. She helped start the Sunday “potluck” at the Bottineau Senior Center where people could get together for a meal and fellowship. Kathleen was a wonderful mother, grandmother and great grandmother as well as a good sister and friend. She always lent an ear and said “God Bless you!”.

Kathleen passed away on Friday, September 11, 2015 in her daughter’s home in Wheatland, WY.

She is survived by her daughter, Hollee (Ron) Bosch, Wheatland WY; and a son Kevin (Daleen) Sebelius, Gillette, WY also by a son/nephew, Paul (Kathy) O’Brien, Blanchard, OK.; Two grandchildren, Kelani (Andy) Urlaub, Dickinson, ND, and Paige Bosch, Cheyenne, WY.; Two Great granddaughters, Koryn and Alora Urlaub; she is also survived by one sister, Mildred Williams of Bottineau and a brother-in-law Manville (Dorothy) Sebelius of Dunseith. She also is survived by very dear nephews and nieces, and by one poodle–Honey. She was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth; her parents, Albert and Margaret Engebretson; sister, Beatrice Soland; dear, dear friend, Janet Erdman. She had many other friends she cared about deeply.



Kenneth and Kathleen Sebelius Memories

Posting from Vickie Metcalfe (’70): dogdays@utma.com Bottineau, ND

Gary and friends,

When I was a child, I first met the Kenneth Sebelius family when they lived at the Peace Garden in the care taker residence.. Kenneth was the caretaker of the United States side of the Peace Garden.  I believe their children, Holly and kevin started school at Dunseith School.

This was way back in the days when we could drive into the Peace Garden from the South.  About a mile South of the border, Dad or mom  would turn West then ,make a quick right  turn North. into the garden. Another turn East again into the driveway to their cozy little home. We  never went through U. S. customs when  coming or going to visit  the Sebelius family. And we so enjoyed visiting them. It was always interesting and sometimes educational at the gardens,  one summer they had a orphan deer, which trusted them explicitly.

Kenneth and Kathleen Sebelius were ‘ kind of the newly weds’  of Little Prairie Lutheran Church their first winter at the Peace Garden.The winters of the fifties and sixties, Little Prairie Lutheran Church was  bitter…cold, brrrr cold,  COLD!

Little Prairie congregation held Sunday Worship in congregants homes.  Whomever had the space and room volunteered to host Sunday worship service; if  the home had a piano  that was an added  plus:) On Sunday morning, folks began  arriving in automobiles, at the yard  of whomever was hosting.  Automobiles would be turned around and parked.  Little children and babies carried into the home. At the front door of the host home the host welcomed guests into  a  spic & span house .

Over shoes were discarded just inside the door ;coats taken gathered and laid carefully in a  pile on a bed in the master bed room.  Everyone wore ‘Sunday Best’ clothes.  Men in suits; Women in dresses. Little girls dressed in dresses and  brown stockings. Little boys with  hair slicked back; with a quick ‘spit bath’  from moms on their unsuspecting nose or cheek. The home would be toasty warm.  Smelling … mmmm…….’hot dish’….usually from  the same delicious recipe provided  years  before …..by Hilda Strong.  The hostess would be wearing an apron. In the kitchen women gathered, quickly offering their help .  “Yes, Please, mix the Koolaide. “Please, cut up the homemade dill or sweet pickles.”   “Now the butter is soft, please, butter the homemade fresh buns”.   Hmm. “Would you  check on the coffee cups?”  ( If you were at Aunt Ella Metcalfe’ s, Norweigian ‘egg coffee’ would be brewing  in the big white coffee pot .  Meanwhile, in the other room, small talk about  the weather or the roads would be the topic where the men gathered.  Thechildren shyly gathered in corners.

The guest of honor a.k.a. the pastor, finally ( according to hungry kids)   arrived; after driving miles up  highway, that long   winding hilly road  from Dunseith. Shhh.  quiet. Spoke the mom’s.  “Be good.”

Worship service began.  Prayer. Then a  song everyone knew, like Sweet Hour of Prayer”, Rock of Ages, etc.   Sermon.  Words spoken from the BIBLE. Another song.   The Doxology…..Table Grace sung by everyone.  After  church worship service,  Yay!  Sunday meal.  Kids usually were dished up first,  then the adults.  After the meal,  dishes were gathered; to be hand washed.

Whomever hosted  also  furnished hot dish for the congregation.  Other church ladies  brought  homemade buns,  salad, cake or bars.

……. forward in time…..

When I moved back to North Dakota from Montana.  I had many fine opportunities to renew friendship with Kenny and Kathy Sebelius.  They had a terrific family!   In this ‘small world’  our paths crossed many times. Their daughter Holly and my eldest sister worked as R.N.s together in Wheatland, Wyoming. Dailann ( their daughter in law) Kevin’s wife worked at the Bottineau School. Kevin worked at the same plant in Dunseith as my brother in law, and my sister- in -law.  Kenneth and Kathleen were avid members of the  Son’s of Norway.  For many Sons’ of Norway December bake sales, bazaars, Kenneth made awesome  ‘rommegrot’.  Kathy, ‘Julekakka’. The two of them would bake lots of  fine  Norweigian ethnic goodies.  And they loved their dogs!

…….. back to….. Little Prairie Lutheran church winter Sunday meetings.

Kathy told me those years ago, She and Kenneth attended Little Prairie church,  their first years of marriage.  She discovered; after volunteering their home to host the winter Sunday Service,  she had to also make the hotdish.   Oh.No!   She thought.  As newly wed she really didn’t know how to cook!  She told me,  she was embarrassed and  scared that she would be judged by her cooking by all of those Little Prairie Ladies Aide Church ladies who really were known for ‘good cooking.’  Anyway, the Saturday night before they were to host the  Sunday meeting at their Peace Garden home, Kathy  and Kenny, frantically were  thawing out  the frozen hamburger over boiling water.  They spent all evening boiling water trying to thaw out hamburger….. and next morning finishing the ‘hotdish’.   She discovered later how to thaw out meat by putting it in a skillet….

Kathy told me she hadn’t told anyone this story of making hotdish  for Little Prairie Church until years  later.  She said,   Kenneth, never said a word. Never told. They enjoyed learning the art of cooking together. Blessed be the memory of Kathleen and Kenneth Sebelius. I was one of the lucky ones  to have known them!

Later, Vickie L. Metcalfe


Blog (349) posted on January 25, 2009

1/25/2009 (349)

Happy Birthday Allen Richard (65):
I had another birthday announcement come across my computer screen telling me Allen Richard (65) has a birthday tomorrow, January 26. Happy Birthday Allen. Coming from the class of 65, I think you’ve got about 6 months in age on me. I’ll be 62 in July. We can start collecting SS. Being a retired Federal Employee, My SS will be reduced to almost nothing, but that’s OK. Gary
Allen Richard
Request from Jeff Evans (73):
Hi Gary,
Could you please add my brother Jon (85) to your mailing list? I’m afraid he’s feeling a little left out when Mom or my other siblings refer to a story from the blog. His e-mail is: Thanks.
I really enjoy this service that you provide for all of us. I save them and then go over them with Mom when I visit. Thank you, Jeff Evans (73)
Jeff, It’s for sure not a problem adding Jon to our distribution. With your mother being a Hagen and your dad an Evans, you guys come from good stock. When I talked to your mother, Joyce, she told me you take your computer over to her house and share these daily’s with her. She really appreciates you doing that too. Gary
From Lloyd Awalt (44):
1948-1949 was the year of the “Big Snow” in North Dakota. I’d like to hear memories from those of us that remember then or remember hearing stories told by others about that time.

When the snow started coming it didn’t know when to stop. It covered the fence posts, drifted up to the rooftops of the buildings and in the case of Billy Lawrence’s Blacksmith Shop it covered the shop enough to make it possible for my sister Eleanor and I to walk all the way over it. We could walk up the snowdrifts to the lower part of Hosmer’s Store, take a hop and we were on the store where we could walk to the Main Street side and look down on Main Street. The snow was packed so tightly across the streets that no one could drive anywhere. The city was not equipped to handle removing all the snow and so the National Guard was called in. There were four ways out of Dunseith but you could only travel about 5 miles North before snowdrifts stopped you. The Guard would go out to the area farms use a dozer to get to the hay stacks, throw a log chain around the haystacks and pull the haystacks up to the barn so the farmers could get hay to their animals. The Guard stayed through the months of February and March.
I wonder if everyone remembers the “4th of July Fireworks” held every year. It was held on the top of the gravel pit on the north east side of town. Everyone drove into out pasture and parked so they could see the display. The reason it was held at the gravel pit was so that the patients from the San Haven would be able to watch. (We had to make sure the cows were all into the barn as we left the gates open so people could just drive right into the pasture.)
As a young man I had a black pony named “Star”. I could do anything with Star. I would put my little sister Bonnie on Star’s back and she would walk all around the yard, no problem. ( Bonnie was 3-4-and 5 at the time) But Star would not let anyone else ride her if she could see me. One day my Dad rode Star out to bring in the cows for milking. When they were coming back Star looked up and saw me feeding the pigs, She bucked Dad off and took off to come to me. I could hear Dad Beller as he hit the ground and expected to catch heck when he got back to the barn. That didn’t happen, instead Dad just shook his head and walked past me to prepare to milk the cows.
When I first returned from the war I went to work for Edgar and Rita Anderson at the Gamble Store, (at that time 1947, it was located on the corner where the AC Bar is,.) It burned down and they moved over to Myres Clothing Store spot in mid main street. Iver Lo rebuilt the building and it became a gas station with the creamery in the back and a Tastee Freeze ice cream parlor along side. I worked for the creamery for two year before moving to South Grove Minnesota. Later on Iver Lo sold the station to Jack Flynn and Joe Evans and they turned it into the Ameri-Canadian Bar.
The elevator in Dunseith burned down two different times. In 1942 (about) it burned and was so hot you could feel the heat all the way to our home. The elevator was full of grain so burned a long time. In 1954 another of the elevators in Dunseith burned, Dunseith had a newer fire truck they were better equipped to fight the fire.
Lloyd Awalt
Reply from Bill Pritchard (Bottineau):
Bill is the son of Corbin (Deceased) & Doris Smith Pritchard. Beverly & Lois are Doris’ sisters. The Pritchard’s owned Pritchard’s shoe store in Bottineau for many years.
These two pictures are definitely of Beverly, or Patsy as we called her. Beverly died several years ago from cancer. I asked my mother about the other picture last night. I had printed it out to show her. After the picture is printed, the word Lois in the upper corner is easier to read. So the picture is definetly Lois. I’m going to send the picture to some of her family. They will really get a kick out of it. Lois has a huge family and they are all in the Shreveport, LA and Dallas, TX area.
Lois Smith
Beverly Smith in 5th grade

Beverly Smith

Article posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:

Charlene is married to Michael DuBois, Wade’s brother. Wade & Michael are nephews of Dennis DuBois (63).

Charelen DuBois

Dunseith News posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: 

9/14/2015 (2280)

Happy birthday wishes to Jean (Nicholas) Miller, class of 66, on 9/11: Glendale, AZ
From your sister Ellen (Graff) 58 Myrick:  Grand Forks, ND


Bernadette Stokes Holding her Twin Grandsons.

They are 14 minutes apart in age, but born on different days.
Here in the Philippines, childrens middle names are their mother’s Maiden name.
Lorelie’s family name is Papa. Now that she is married she has taken her maiden family name as her Middle name.
Lorelie Papa Stokes.
Stokes 2289


Margaret Bedard Strong
Question from Maria Parlade Corral (’62): Coral Gables, FL

Gary, is Margaret Bedard Strong one of the Bedard triplets that graduated with me in Dunseith in 1962 ? Congratulations to you and Bernadette for the beautiful twin grandkids.   I was in Dunseith for  only one year and my brothers and sisters attended school there for 2 1/2 years and I truly enjoy your blog.

What a great job !! , Maria Parlade Corral ( Dunseith , 1962)

Gary’s Comment
Maria, Margaret is in the one of the Triplets. I will someone else thoroughly answer your question though.


Blog (348) posted on January 24, 2009


Dick Johnson’s (68) reply to Dick Ziegler (Viola Hobbs Ziegler 54) message below:

Yep, Vi’s dad, Allen Hobbs, did buy scrap iron, along with hides
and fur. I can remember when Vi and I were going together, Allen
showed me a few of his muskrat hides he had stretched. I had never
before, or since, seen so many hides in one place. He had quite a
business going, and seemed to be liked by most people.
Don’t worry, you’re not being a pest. It’s nice to communicate with
someone from Vi’s old stomping grounds. Are you still living in
Dunseith? The last time we were back there, I believe was the year we
retired, 1996. We stopped in for a nice visit with Rodney and Marlene
Armentrout. (Not sure of that spelling.) Vi is still in contact with Marlene’s
sister, Bertha Kraft, who lives in Pocatello, Idaho.
We would be interested in visiting Gary Stokes’ site, but don’t have the address. Would appreciate it if you would send it to us.
Dick Ziegler’s message to Dick Johnson:
Dick and Viola,
I am being a pest, I know, but may I ask Viola if her dad, Allen Hobbs,
used to buy scrap iron. I was only about 9 or 10 years old when my dad
sold an old tractor to someone for scrap. I thought it was Mr. Hobbs. It
was the first time Dad let me drive to town, as I had to follow him,
with him on the old Twin Cities tractor. There has been much discussion
of Viola’s family on the last couple days ‘Gary Stokes site’. I hope
you’re getting the messages too! Thanks Dick and Viola!
Dick Johnson
Reply from Dick Ziegler (Viola Hobbs Ziegler 54):
Vi says the Leroy mentioned in the article was Leroy Afton, to
the best of her recollection. She said they didn’t live in Dunseith
very long, maybe two or three years. I didn’t put Leroy’s last name
in the article, as I didn’t know it, and I couldn’t ask Vi, as she didn’t
know anything about the article. I wanted it to be a surprise to her,
if the article was ever published. Was it ever a surprise to her.
We belong to a senior bowling league, and last week I was down
with a cold and didn’t bowl. Someone in the league happened to
subscribe to Reminisce Extra, and received his copy on the day
the league bowled, just one day before we received our copies.
He brought his copy to the bowling alley, and showed everyone
there. It caught Vi completely off guard, and I couldn’t have planned
it better if I had tried. She was totally surprised, and received many
very nice compliments from the people there. When she came home
and told me about what had happened, it surprised me too, as I
hadn’t been made aware the article had been published. Pretty
neat, huh?
Dick Ziegler
P.S. Thank you for putting us on your mailing list. We really
appreciate it.
Reply from Dick Johnson (68):
Gary and Friends,

I have to apologize for calling Arvilla Hobbs, Viola, as I know better.
Maybe the ‘grey matter’ is deteriorating! Sorry. Thanks to Ginger and
Vickie for your respective insight on Alcide Lajimodier. Interesting ,
to say the least. Thanks Gary!


Reply from Mona Dionne Johnson (48):
Gar;y: Our cottage was not very far from the Metigoshe Store (Hobbs),
perhaps a mile, and we went there often. If we were working on the
boathouse or something and took a break, Chuck, Ross (our son) and I
would go for a snack, and this is where we met Sylvia Bergan, as she
worked for them and she baked the BEST frosted ginger cookies that I
have ever tasted. Ross just loved them, and was raring to go when we
said we were going to the store. Harvey & Arvilla were so well liked at
the Lake and ran a good business, and would help you in any way they
could. We missed them when they moved away.
Mona Dionne Johnson, ’48
Mona, Now that you mention it, I do remember Sylvia Bergan working at the Hobbs store. Being good friends with Oscar & Sylvia, I think was the reason we were at the Hobbs store often. Sylvia also cooked for the Boy scouts camp at Lake Metigoshe for many years. She was well known for her baking and cooking abilities. Sylvia will be 97 this year. She is living at the long term care facility at Saint Andrews hospital in Bottineau. Sylvia and a lot of the older members of the Metigoshe Lutheran church Ladies Aid served lunch at both my parents funerals, Dad in 2000 and mom in 2004. It sure brought back some good memories seeing all those folks doing what I remember seeing them doing, many times, in my growing up days. Sylvia was an aunt to Clayton Bergan. Gary
Reply from Ruby Krause (former teacher):
Thank you for the birthday greetings! What a surprise to see that message at the top of your daily letter. I enjoy these very much, even though I don’t know many of the old timers. We moved here in 1970. Ruby Krause

Reply from Edna (Susie) Millang (60):
Gary – Happy birthday Ruby. January 24 is also Minnie Flynn’s birthday. Also Dorren – I did not know that Allen Hobbs name was Harvey. Maybe Viola could bring us up to date on this. Thanks again Gary for all that you do. Susie Millang (60)

Message from Lloyd Awalt (44):

Hello Gary,

In 1941 my parents, John and Gertrude Awalt built their home down by the Depot. Art Sime and Oliver Handland helped Dad to build it.

Living so close to the depot had it’s draw backs. One day Irene Teal came over to inform Mother that one of the hens from the barn had gotten over to the depot and sat on the undercarriage of the train and rode to Thorne before getting off. The train crew returned Mothers hen that evening on their return to Dunseith.

One Spring Earl Fassett had a mother ewe that died giving birth to a baby lamb. Out of the kindness of his heart, he gave the lamb to my sister Eleanor. The lamb was a PAIN! It was the lamb from “Mary Had A Little Lamb”, it followed Eleanor everywhere. To prevent that it was tied to the clothesline. The crazy lamb fell in love with the train, every evening when the train came in, that blasted lamb would try everything to get loose and run to the depot and crawl under the train. The train workers had their hands full whenever it got loose. You could find conductors, engineers, Bill Teal, Irene Teal, Mother, Emma and Bonnie crawling around under the train trying to catch the lamb. (Lucky Eleanor was always at work at the Drug Store so she didn’t have to crawl under the train.) Bless their hearts the train crew would always leave the train sitting still until the lamb was caught and returned home. Then they would take the train into the round house. This went on all summer and into early fall until Eleanor finally shipped that lamb.

Lloyd Awalt

Reply from Bev Morinville Azure (73):

lol first time all four of us had been together since our dad passed away that was 27 years. With Clarence and I running around the world for so many years it was hard to always get together. Now with Debbie being so sick I am wondering if we will all even be together again, Thanks Sharon they have Deb and I mixed up but everyone always did mix us up .and i just don’t see why she looks like dad I look like mom.
Bev, I’m the one that got you guys mixed up on that photo. After I sent it, I realized the mistake. I do apologize. Gary

9/13/2015 (2279)

Posting from Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’64): Belcourt, ND

That is very sad, the terrible things that are done for what they say is for the good to further medical science.

Thanks for all you do Gary

Bernadette looked great in that picture of you all eating together.

Tony and I often say this hamburger or this JUMBO doesn’t taste the way it used to.  Well I was thinking it is the buns, Herman made such good bread no one can beat it. It would be great to have that recipe,  mm mm good !

Ginger (LaRocque) Poitra

Gary’s Comment
Ginger, I think you are probably referring to Bernadette’s condition, Vascular Dementia. There is no cure or meds available to treat this disease. It is lack of blood flow to the brain cells causing them to die off. Once the process starts there is no reversing it.


Posting of the day
From Larry Hackman (’66):  Bismarck, ND

We all need a Tree!

I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had
just finished a rough first day on the job: a flat tire made him lose an
hour of work, his electric drill quit and his ancient one ton truck
refused to start.

While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited
me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused
briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both

When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation.. His face
was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his
wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity
got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do

‘Oh, that’s my trouble tree,’ he replied ‘I know I can’t help having
troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, those troubles don’t
belong in the house with my wife and the children.. So I just hang them
up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of
them. Then in the morning I pick them up again.’ ‘Funny thing is,’ he
smiled,’ when I come out in the morning to pick ’em up, there aren’t
nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.’

Blog (347) posted on January 23, 2009


Happy Birthday Ruby Krause. 
Ruby, I had a message come across my screen telling me it’s your Birthday tomorrow, January 24th.
We wish you a very happy birthday, enjoy. Gary
Krause, Ruby
PO Box 87
Dunseith, ND 58329

Phone: (701) 244-5833
Former Teacher
Request from Dick Johnson (68):

Dick and Vi Hobbs (54) Ziegler would like to be added to the list of daily
blog folks. They would probably like to see the stories of the Hobbs
family that have been posted in the last few days. Thanks Gary!

Dick and Vi Ziegler

Dick, For some reason, I did not have Dick & Vi included with our daily distribution. I have now added them and I have forwarded the last few days messages to them, starting with the posting of Dick’s newspaper article.
Dick & Vi, I am so sorry for this mix up. Gary
Reply from Dick Johnson (68):
Gary and Friends,

Harvey Hobbs and his wife, Viola (also his sister’s name) operated the
Metigoshe Store. It was just south of the bridge and on the south side
of the curve. We went there many times in the late 50s and early 60s,
usually by boat from the cabin on the south lake. I remember how the
store had lots of steps up the front and you first entered the lunch
counter area. I had many sundaes at that little counter, while the folks
got groceries and supplies. They handled nearly everything lake related.
When the Hobbs’ left Lake Metigoshe, I think they moved to Crosby, ND.
Last Memorial Day I walked around at all the cemeteries and at Riverside
I saw the Hobbs grave where Harvey is buried. I believe he passed away
in the last couple of years, if my memory serves me correctly. Thanks Gary!


Dick, I remember that store and park area well. I was thinking it was Harvey Hobbs that owned that and you have just confirmed what I thought. We frequented his store and park area with many picnic lunches over the years of my childhood. I remember the water cooled pop dispenser that they had. Orange was my favorite, but it wasn’t always that we had a nickel or a dime to put in the machine. I remember our good Friends, Oscar and Sylvia Bergan, being connected to the Hobbs’ in some way too. Maybe they were just good friends of Harvey & Viola. Gary

Harvey Hobbs’ obituary & reply from Doreen Bailey:


Just to clarify Harvey Allen Hobbs was full name of Harvey E. and Viola’s father. It was very common to use the Middle name in the years past. I believe one reason for it was that so often families repeated the first names from generation to generation to honor fathers and grandfathers, etc.. It makes for some confusion when doing genealogy. I attached the son Harvey’s obituary it gives a good outline of his life’s activities. Thanks Doreen Bailey

Email address change for Rod (51) & Helen Evans – please udate your files:


Enjoy your updates on Dunseith. We’ve a new address ,rheve@comcast.net.

Thank you,

Rod & Helen

From Ardys Bakken Horner (Teacher):

Gary had lunch with recent cruise travelers to Alaska and they said even in summer ( July) they needed warm coats, mittens and caps
esp for visits to glaciers and it was cool on board ship, don’t just bring summer clothing along. Ardys Horner

From Ginger LaRocque Poitra (65):
In reply to Dick, in reference to Alcide LaJmodaire, I was doing a little
checking, I don’t know his parents, but he was a brother to Bud Davis’
wife, who were the parents of LaDot. I was talking to Beverly Parisien,
wife of Albert Parisien, whose mother was a sister to Alice Bergan, Alcide
was just a friend to their family and stayed with them as he did with Leo
and Betty Poitra.

I will search for some more information on Alcide. I remember him coming
to our home too. A lot of people remember Alcide and Ward.

From Vickie Metcalfe (70):

Alcide Lajimodere was a proud native American veteran of W.W.II.
I was told recently that he was listed as a POW,veteran of foreign war and a long time a member of the Belcourt American Legion.
One of my former college classmates,a direct decedent of Ben Lajimodere. Denise Lajimodere told me over 35 years ago that Alcide was a cousin to her dad. Alcide was the uncle of Toosie Poitra Delorme, mom of Carol Ann (Parisien) Lavalle. Tootsie’s mother who was married to Ralph Poitra died when Tootsie was 5 years old, Tootsie was then sent to a mission boarding school as were her siblings. Alcide and Mrs. Poitra also had two brothers, Ovide and Francis. I don’t know if there were other siblings.
Alcide’s parents were friends of my grandparents, William and Rose Metcalfe. My dad, Cliff told me that the couples, visited frequently back and forth as neighbors. Out of respect, dad always referred to them as Mr. and Mrs. Lajimodere. He told stories of riding in the wagon box along with his parents to visit the Lajimodere family where he played with Francis. Francis who was about my dads age, called my dad from Grafton ND, every New Years Eve, the last few years dad lived
Alcide lived at various places.
Among the various seasons of farm work in the Turtle Mountains: Harvesting of trees for firewood usually in the winter when a fallen tree would be rolled up on a sled and pulled out by a team of horses brought into the home yard and piled. Calving and lambing season,Fencing season came as soon as the ground thawed in the spring, Castrating and dehorning season. Sheep shearing season. Planting crops season. Cultivating and summer fallowing season which included rock picking. Cleaning the calf pens season. Haying season. Fence post sharpening season. Sawing up the dried logs. Putting up and hauling hay. Wood splitting season. Harvesting. Among many jobs dad hired help for.
When we were youngsters our dad Cliff hired men seasonally. When we were adolescents I along with my sisters, Nancy and Cyndy became the hired men.
Many of the men dad hired worked in their areas of expertise. As I recall, all had the utmost respect of both mom and dad. Mom cooked 3 square meals a day and also served lunches. She felt that working men needed hot meals. She also found out their favorite meals and made a habit of cooking one of their favorite meals for them. Alcide’s favorite meal he’d ask for was Mom’s Chop Suey.
When the time came to pay to pay a hired man, Dad would always always say, “How much do we owe you” Then he’d say, “Get the checkbook Lottie” and tell her to write the check for more,usually saying to the hired man, “You’re worth more.”
My sister Nancy and I have fond memories of Alcide Lajimodere beginning when we when we were small small children living in the house with no plumbing. But when working for dad he usually fenced, sharpened fence posts or hayed. And he’d stay for maybe a week at a time.
Alcide was undoubtedly a very homely man.
Dad would say to us Alcide Lajimodere is as “homely” as his sister the first Mrs. Ralph Poitra was beautiful. WOW! We girls thought ….”She really must have been a beauty!” Dad also said Alcide was kind,honest,trustworthy, a hard worker and a story teller. We were not to be frightened of him but treat him with respect. And we did because we never heard him speak disrespectfully or swear.
Alcide was of medium dark complexion with native American features. He was tall and rangy thin, wearing clean blue chambray work shirts and denim blue work pants and his straight black hair was always trimmed. He didn’t have hardly any facial hair. When he cleaned up before meals he’d always wash up, then look at himself in the mirror combing his hair he’s say something like, ” um hum, What a handsome man”. We girls eyed him with wonder, WOW! He really believes that?”

Then after a meal we girls would be entertained by Alcide’s’ far fetched stories. At times I’d get scared and he’d look at me and say something like, ” Oh this wolf wasn’t a really a bad wolf, he was a nice coyote.’
There was one exception to the far fetched stories. It was usually the last story of the day. It was a story I heard Alcide tell many times over the years. And my dad said it was true.
It went like this. Alcide said, ” I was captured by the Japs. They made us walk and walk and walk through the jungle and didn’t feed the Americans.” “One day me and some guys got away.” “We were running, running, running day and night through the jungle.” “We tried to hide but the Japs continued to chase us.” “One guy was killed while running.” “Then,we were down to two of us just wearing our skivvies.” “We ate insects and fruit when we could”, “The other guy fell I said, get up and tried to move him, carry him.” Saying, We gotta keep moving, or we will be killed. “But refusing to move, he said, … They can kill me right here then… because I can’t go any further.” “So I left him and I was alone for a time.” “One day some American soldiers came and I stepped out into a clearing hunched down with long dirty hair and dirty skivvies .” The soldiers pointed their bayonets surrounded me, told me to put my hands behind my head.” (He’d say, like this and he would show us) “Then, one of them spoke very slow and loud, who are you and what are you? ” ( We girls then would really be wide eyed imagining Alcide, very brown, wearing only dirty bottom briefs ,ie skivvies with long stringy hair.(Then Alcide would get up from his chair straighten himself up to his full height) ..and finish the story…say, ” I said, (insulted) Haven’t you ever seen an American Innian”. (Then Alcide would proudly walk out of the room.) Blessed be the memory of the kind,gentle, PROUD AMERICAN INNIAN VETERAN…..ALCIDE LAJIMODERE..Vickie Metcalfe


9/11/2015 (2278)

Posting from Neola Kofoid Garbe:Bottineau & Minot, ND

Hi Gary,

There was a picture of Lois Smith, graduate of BHS Class of 1958.  I’m including a picture of Beverly (Patsy) Smith, BHS Class of 1957 graduate.

Beverly was my classmate (Class of 1957, but I graduated with Lois Smith (Class of 1958).

You know already know “my story”, but here it is again.  You are welcome to include this information in your newsletter–if you choose to do so.

In the spring of my freshman year in high school, I had what I called, “a spell”; it was a very strange feeling/experience.  I asked Miss Kittelson, in whose class I was at the time, if I could go outside for some fresh air.  Of course she said I could.  That was the first of my “mental illness” which continues to this day-in a different “form” today.  When I was a senior in high school (1957), electro-shock treatments seemed to be the fad, so in February, 1957, Dr. Gibb (This isn’t quite correct, but his name eludes me at this time–result of “shock” treatments??? LOL), a psychiatrist in Moorhead, decided I should have these treatments.  I spent the next 7? weeks in St. John’s Hospital in Fargo, receiving a total of 16 of these treatments (3 per week).  I didn’t return to school that year. In the winter quarter of 1957, I started taking a couple of classes as “the Forestry”.  I also took one class at Bottineau High School, starting the second semester, and one class by correspondence.  Because of this interruption, I graduated with the Class of 1958.  This is why Beverly Smith (Crummy) was my classmate and why I graduated with Lois Smith (Yates).  Beverly died many years ago.  This is the latest address I have for Lois:

Yates, Homer and Lois (Smith)  10450 Willoughby Cir.  Keithville, LA  71047  318-925-6932

I hope this makes sense, as I didn’t proof-read it.  If I reread it before tomorrow morning/notice anything I should change, I’ll send the revision.  I’ve been feeling REALLY well the last 5-6 days so I’ve been taking advantage of it and have been “out and about” every day. I’m going out this afternoon, too!

I’ll try to get the Dunseith news scanned/sent before tomorrow’s newsletter.

Thanks for everything, Gary!!!!

Smith, Bev 2278 Smith, Lois

Jerry E. Demery Passed away
Obituary posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND

Jerry E. Demery
(October 23, 1950 – September 7, 2015)

Jerry E. Demery, age 64 of Rolette formerly Dunseith, passed away on September 7, 2015 in a Rolette nursing home. Funeral services will be held on Monday, September 14, 2015 at 10:00 A.M. in the St. Michael Catholic Church of Dunseith. Burial will be in the St. Sylvan’s Cemetery of rural Dunseith. A wake will be held on Sunday, beginning at 4:00 P.M. with a prayer service at 7:00 P.M. in the church.

Jerry Ernest Demery, a son of John and Clara (Belgarde) Demery, was born on October 23, 1950 at home near Dunseith. He was reared and attended school in the Dunseith area. After his education he began working for construction companies. Jerry traveled around North Dakota working on different road construction crews. In June of 1979 he was married to Connie Thiefoe. They lived in the Dunseith area. Connie passed away on September 17, 2007. In 2014 Jerry moved into the Rolette Community Nursing Home and had resided there since.

He enjoyed traveling, riding horse and spending time with family and friends.

He is survived by daughters, Marsha, Tina, Clara, Jackie and Searra; sons, Mike, Jerry Jr. Waylen, Dickie, Gerald and Jessie; 40 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; sisters, Rose Mary Rose Counts and Ruth Hunt both of Dunseith.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; 4 brothers and 6 sisters.


Blog (346) posted on January 22, 2009


From Edna (Susie) Knox Millang (60):
Hello Gary – Just want to correct Doreen Bailey. Viola Hobbs is also a cousin of mine. Her Dad was Allen Hobbs. Harvery was her brother. Thank you for all you do. Edna Susie Millang (60)
The name Harvey Hobbs is a very familiar name to me and I’ll bet to a lot of other folks too. I’ll bet Doreen was thinking Allen and said Harvey. Harvey Hobbs and Lake Metigoshe come to mind. I think I remember him having a store over there. I think Viola mentioned that too, when I talked to her. I hope I’m not wrong with my thinking. I believe Harvey is deceased. Gary
Reply from Tom Hagen (51):
Hi, Gary and Gary (MetcalfeL) Yes, Miss Ewen was my supervising teacher from Minot State at the time. She was quite a character and didn’t hold back about anything. I started teaching in the fall of l952 at Cleveland School west of Rolette and kept on there for 3 years until Dot and I got married and she taught there for 1 year. At 8th grade graduatiion in Rolette, Miss Ewen was the speaker, and I had a student graduating then. She looked out in the crowd and said “Yes, and there sits that Tom Hagen, and he didn’t even send me and invitation to his wedding” Dot and I both had her so she knew us both. Quite the old gal but we learned from her!!!

Thanks, Tom (Class of 51) Sending this from Texas as we are visiting with them for a week

Reply from Bonnie Smith Kohler (Wayne Smith’s (61) cousin):
Bonnie, I knew that too, that you and the Elmer Espe kids were cousins. Lets see if I’ve got the connections correct. Frances Espe, Maybelle Salmonson & Alfred Smith were siblings to you dad Hank. Gary Metcalfe mentioned several days ago too, remembering seeing you over at Kelvin, before your family moved to MN. Gary
Reply from Marlene Lilleby Palmquist Larsen (53):

Dear Gary

I am really enjoying your E-mails and all the stories about people from Dunseith. The Viola & Dick Ziegler

story was really cute and interesting. I remember in grade school Viola Hobbs and Bonnie Awalt and so many others you hear from — The Leonards were cousins of mine as was Lois Lilleby — We are in Yuma Az.

for the winter and hope to get together with Bob and Donna Leonard in the next week and Lois and her husband Len are coming from Prescott for a short visit haven’t seen them for several years, so it will be

a nice time together and maybe we’ll see a few more Dunseith snowbirds.

Another cousin, Eileen Egbert Spitzer (daughter of James Egbert) who now lives in Fargo and is visiting us here in Yuma thought your blog was so good and she would like to be added to your list.

Her E-mail address is EREENIE@ aol.com. Keep up the wonderful work. You are so appreciated.

Marlene Lilleby Palmquist Larsen

Eileen, it is our pleasure to add you to our email list. The Egberts were well known in the Dunseith community. Without reviewing my notes, I believe your dad was a son of Adrian’s. I think your dad was killed in WWII. Please correct me if I’m wrong. If I remember right, your mother never remarried. Gary
Reply to Dale Pritchard (63) from Gary Metcalfe (57):
Dale, Maybe 52 years ago I knew Gene Beckman. He was a great friend of Carlyle Nelson. Preacher Nelson’s son up on Willow Lake Road. Anyway, I drank a few beers with him and Carlyle in Minot. They were heavy equipment operators at the air base then. Gene was a cool guy and a year or so after I met him he went down with a plane in Alaska. I think he must have had 2 names,I think Carlyle moved back to Dakota recently, he knew all about Gene Beckman.

Excuse me Doreen Bailey, did you mean Alan Hobbs or was Harvey Alan’s real name??
Gary Metcalfe

Gary, I believe Carlyle is Abe Nelson’s son who also lived in the Willow Lake road. I think Pastor Nelson lived on the Willow Lake Road too. Carlyle is living in Bottineau. He went to high school in Bottineau. Carlyle still has the farm up on the Willow Lake road. I talked to him a few months ago. I also saw a lot of Carlyle, both in Dunseith and Bottineau, with our trip back for the reunion in 2007. Gary
Reply from Marie Iverson Staub (60):
I was pleased to receive the email from you regarding my cousin but the
person who was killed in Cook Inlet was Gene Beckman who was another
brother to Allen and Irvin Beckman . I remember that as we were still
living in Dunseith. There mother Oleanna was my mothers sister and I
think that was a reason that she passed away as she couldn’t cope with
that news and I can see how that would affect a mother as I have two
boys and I can’t imagine anything happening to them. Again thanks for
the email. If you ever talk to Allen tell him Hi from his cousin.
I know the last time I saw Irvin he was working for the highway
department but I can’t remember if that was in North Dakota or another
state he was also in the service with Elvis Presley. I’m sure this is
more information than you ever wanted to know.
Marie Staub (Iverson)
Reply to picture posted yesterday from Sharon Longie Dana (73):
Reply to Bev Morinville Azure: Nice picture of you guys!!!!
Sharon Longie Dana (73)
From Warren Anderson (65):
Hi, Gary and all from the Great Dunseith Schools, and the bush country schools too! This is the picture that tells our feelings when we have so much snow and cold in N Dak. Soo-o cute. My wife and I are flying out to Florda on Friday for 7 days, we set this trip up to break up the cold month of January. I do not wish 40 B-low temps on my friends back in Dakota. However it better not be 25 above all the time we are gone because I love to snowmobile. Have fun–Warren ’65

9/10/2015 (2277)

Posting of the day

From Larry Hackman (’66):  Bismarck, ND

Two Choices

What would you do?….you make the choice. Don’t look for a punch line, there isn’t one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its

Dedicated staff, he offered a question:

‘When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.

Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.

Where is the natural order of things in my son?’

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. ‘I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.’

Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, ‘Do you think they’ll let me play?’ I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, ‘We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning..’

Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt.. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again.

Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the

Plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.

As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.

Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman’s head, out of reach of all team mates.

Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, ‘Shay, run to first!

Run to first!’

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.

He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, ‘Run to second, run to second!’

Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.

By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball . The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman’s head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, ‘Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay’

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, ‘Run to third!

Shay, run to third!’

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, ‘Shay, run home! Run home!’

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team

‘That day’, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, ‘the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world’.

Shay didn’t make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!


We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.

The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.

If you’re thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you’re probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren’t the ‘appropriate’ ones to receive this type of message Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.

We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the ‘natural order of things.’

So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:

Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?

A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it’s least fortunate amongst them.



Blog (345) posted on January 21, 2009


Reply from Doreen Bailey:

Gary & Dick Johnson I enjoyed the article from Reminisce ‘Extra’, I recognize the name Viola Elaine Hobbs, she is a first cousin to Vance Bailey. His mother Marie Hobbs and Viola’s father Harvey Hobbs were bother and sister. Thanks for the memories that keep Vance close! Doreen Bailey
Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57):
Viola Hobbs, you got away from us too soon, I bet your dad thought so too. I remember you and Renae Chilton in Miss Schur’s class in the Dungeon. Leroy may have been Leroy Cote, surely not Leroy Stadheim?
I would like to pay tribute to a group that a lot of people can identify with. The one year rural teachers. They were to the teaching profession what the combat infantry soldier was to the military. Mud and snow, wind and cold or hot, no insulation or electricity. Tell me a mustard sandwich isn’t good after a couple years of peanut butter and jelly.
Some teachers were just 18 years old after nine months of training and 6 to 8 grades to teach.
I am sure I knew 20 or 30 teachers that had to deal with Miss Ewen. She was an institution. Something of the ilk of Patton or MacArthur. That Tank Commander in Italy straightened out Patton and Give-em-hell Harry dealt with McArthur. But I am not sure anyone messed with Miss Ewen or any of her people. She made a lot of great citizens. There are a lot of great rural school stories out there, Tommy Hagen what year did you start teaching and how about Miss Ewen??
Bonnie Smith you were just a cute little kid who came to Kelvin every Saturday night the last time I saw you. Also your brother Wally and I don’t know why Harriet comes to mind, was she a sister? Gary Metcalfe
Reply from Dale Pritchard (63):
Marie / Gary,

About 30 years ago or more, Irvin Beckman was living in Anchorage,

Alaska and was a small plane pilot. One day after takeoff he went out over Cook Inlet or the Gulf of Alaska and went down. Neither he nor the plane were ever found. George had gone up there to wait on something to turn up. It really depressed him to come back home with nothing. I never knew Irvin. Apparently he was somewhat older than me and was already gone when Allen came into the picture. Allen was a good friend of my brother, Darold.


Dale Pritchard’s (63) Reply to the Smith girl photo:
Doris Smith Pritchard is Dale’s aunt.


Can’t help you with this. I just don’t remember what Doris looked like when I was 10 years old. Two of Doris’ sisters lived down here in Shreveport for many years. I can’t remember their last names so don’t know if they are still here or moved on. I get up to Shreveport about every 6 months or so just for someplace different to go.


Dale, yesterday’s message with Doris’s sister’s picture was forwarded to her son and your cousin Bill Pritchard. I got a message from Bill letting me know that he will show this picture to his mother for her to identify. He said he will get back to me. I think Bonnie Awalt Houle provided us with that picture.

Manvil & Dorothy Sebelius

Sebelius Boys: Duane, David, Jeff, Marvin, Dennis, Daryl, Dean and Harvey

9/9/2015 (2276)

Viola Hobbs Ziegler (54) – This article is all about you that Dick has provided: rtziegler@onlinemac.com

Viloa, This is an amazing story that your husband has written. Who is the LeRoy mentioned in this Article? Would it be LeRoy Birkland? Gary

Hobbs Ziegler Viola E. 1602 N.E. Riverside Drive, Unit # 12 McMinnville, OR 97128 (503) 474-2563 rtziegler@onlinemac.com

Article Posted by Dick Johnson (68):

Gary and Friends,  The January issue of Reminisce ‘Extra’ just came and as I was reading through it, the name ‘Dunseith’ caught my eye. This is an international nostalgia magazine with stories from individuals from all over. This is an article by Richard Ziegler of McMinnville, Oregon and it bears reading—-you will see why! Thanks Gary!  Dick

Reply from From Joe Johnson (77):


While serving in Korea at Camp Humphreys in 1980 I remember seeing the SR-71’s that were flying out of Osan Air Base while visiting friends that I attended Korean language school with (Osan was north of Camp Humphreys by 9 miles or so.). Even in Camp Humphreys all the Army personnel knew when an SR-71 was taking to the air for a flight over North Korea, or possibly China or the Soviet Union and who knows where else. The way we all knew was that the SR-71 had a very distinctive series of sonic booms, usually 3 in very quick succession as the plane accelerated through and then to, two (2) or three (3) times beyond the speed of sound. These sonic booms were just seconds apart as I recall.

When I first heard these sonic booms I asked about them and learned, from Army friends who had been stationed at Humphreys longer than I, that they were caused by the SR-71s flying out of Osan. I later confirmed the sonic boom stories with my Air Force friends. Ellen, thanks for the info on the SR-71 and bringing back some fond memories of the time I spent serving overseas in the US Army.

If you would like to see the maps of Camp Humphreys and Osan Air Base south of Seoul Korea follow this link:


 Camp Humphreys is SW of Pyongtaek across the river and Osan Air Base is straight N about 9 miles just S of the city of Osan. Both military installations are easily identified by their air strips and surrounding airfield and military building layouts.

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and that your 2009 New Year will become your best year yet!!! Thanks to everyone for all their stories.

Joe Johnson (77)

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

Gary, What a great piece of info on the SR-71 submitted by Ms. Myrick. What a great airplane that was. I remember the SR-71 very well from my days of living on Okinawa near Kadena Air Base 1977-1979. You always knew when an SR-71 was about to take off. The roar from their engines was very distinctive and seemed to cover the entire Island. We had a nick-name for the 71. We called it the “Habu” after the local poisonous snake. The take off times for the 71 were supposed to be secret for security reasons but ask any kid on the Island and they all seemed to know just when the bird would take off. I remember a rare night on the Island when, in late Fall, the sky was so clear you could see forever and the moon was very bright. I heard the roar of a 71’s engines and walked to the top of a hill near our base house. The plane took off and you could see the flames shooting out the back of the engines. Suddenly, the 71 literally stood on it’s tail and became a rocket ship shooting straight up into the sky. How high it went I really don’t know but one could follow it’s path from the trail of smoke and condensation it left behind. It was truly an amazing aircraft and this was really brought home to me when, several years later, I met one of the electrical engineers and aircraft designer who had worked on the design and creation of the SR-71. He was retired and had accompanied his wife to Germany as she worked on a consultant contract for our school system. He was a very interesting chap and told me a number of things about the airplane. The technology was very advanced and much of what went into this aircraft still remains a secret. However, much has also been realized in commercial aviation from the development of the 71. I was saddened when they retired the SR-71. As was stated she was an expensive bird to fly but perhaps the main reason was she was no longer needed as satellites had taken over much of the surveillance operations of our military. As anyone who was connected with the Air Force and the SR-71 will tell you she was a great aircraft that brought back the “romance” of military aircraft. Bob Lykins

Reply from Bonnie Awalt Houle (56):

Dear Gary, Don’t know what was in #342 but guess my computer doesn’t like it because it still hasn’t gotten through. Unusual. I rec’d today’s message #343 what a marvelous story from Ellen Graff.


Folks, again please don’t hesitate to let me know if you do not received a message. Bonnie did finely receive #342 when I sent it to her as an attachment to a message. Gary

Folks, I have this photo in my files labeled as a Smith girl. I forgot who sent it. Do any of you recognize which one of Winthrop Smith’s daughters this would be. His daughters are Doris (Pritchard), Betty, Beverly, Lois & Judy. I’m sure if there was a way for Doris, who lives in Bottineau, to see this, she could tell us. Gary

9/7/2015 (2275)

    Happy Birthday Lyle Lamoureux (’63): Prescott Valley, AZ Lamoureux, Lyle 2274

Blog (343) posted on January 19, 2009


Folks, this country, the Philippines is about 80% catholic. They religiously honor all their saints. Recently they honored their saint Sto. Nino with a procession. The procession route was about 7 miles or 4 hours in length. It was attended by an estimated 1.5 million people. When the start of the procession came back to the finish from where they started, it was another 45 minutes before the end of the procession could start. There are only about 4 million people on this island of Cebu. Cebu is about 150 miles long with a girth from about 5 to 15 miles. Gary
Reply from Bonnie Smith Kohler (Wayne Smith’s (61) cousin):
Bonnie, Besides the Smith’s you have other cousins that many of us know too. Off the top of my head, Bradley Salmonson, son of Hank and Obert & Marlys Medlang, children of Kenrose. Your uncle Hank Salmonson is going strong. He is still living on his farm located 2 miles east of the Ackworth Cemetery. He and the Lagerquist’s are close neighbors. Kenrose Medlang is still living on her farm too, located just east of Stan & Joan Salmonson on the south side of #43. Gary
Ele Dietrich Slyter’s (69) reply to Karen Loeb Mhyre’s (65) Ice pictures:
I agree the pics of the ice are beautiful. Just awesome what water and cold can do..BUT I think I will take the weather in ND even tho it has been VERY cold…would rather try to stay warm and shovel snow than fight ice any day of the week.
Reply from Dick Johnson (68):
Gary and Friends,

In reply to Gary Metcalfe, although I knew Alcide Lajimodier fairly

well, I don’t know who his dad was. He lived with Ward and Annie Anthony south of Horseshoe Lake for a few years and I went there to visit several times. One time when winter had closed in and the lake froze over, I took an old gun and headed across Horseshoe Lake to hunt a bit on the way to Anthony’s. It was like going back in time. When I got to their place and walked up the steps and as I knocked on the door, I noticed a pancake in the window down behind the stove. They had me in and we sat around the table and Ward started his jargon about horses and the like. Then he said, “The damndest thing happened this morning. Ma was flipping pancakes and one never came down.” I told them it was behind the stove. Alcide and Ward jumped up and looked and then let fly with another banter about how dumb the other one was. They used to get so bored down there, they would start an argument just to have something to do! I saw it with my own eyes. Ward would say, “Yes it did.” Then Alcide would say, “No it didn’t.” Pretty soon it was, “You dumb ass, you wouldn’t know if it did or didn’t.” It was hilarious! They used to sit around the table and feed the dog candied orange slices, the fakey sugar kind. He was so fat he would lay on the floor and pant continually. I thought it couldn’t be good, just watching him. One time later when I was there, they were all sad so I asked what’s going on? They said, “Poco died– had a heart attack right there on the floor.” No doubt! I always thought Alcide was an uncle to Alice Bergan so she must have been a Lajimodier. I found out later she was a Laverdure, so I don’t know the connection. Gary’s mention of four gates on the road to Anthony’s was exactly right, I opened and closed them many times. As kids, Keith Smith and I would go down the trail south of their place, through all the gates, to Anthony’s. They were so far down in the woods, it was nearly an adventure just to get there. My old buddy, Carroll Carlson worked on the Miller ranch at Chinook, MT in the late 30s. He said Alcide showed up there as a ranch hand. He said Alcide was deathly afraid of snakes and would jump off a hay stack if someone yelled “snake”! Vickie Metcalfe confirmed the story, as her dad also said the same thing. I was at Kelvin when Alcide had a heart attack. I remember Richard Slyter and I were there with Leo and Betty Poitra, who took him to the hospital. He passed away later that night. I think Alcide was a veteran of WWII, but I’m not sure. Thanks Gary!


Unidentified photo posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:

Does anyone recognize this young lady?

Posted by Randy Hiatt, Evan (Bing) Evans son:


9/5/2015 (2274)

Happy Birthday Corliss Allard Habets (’66): Kevin, MT
Allard, Corliss 2274

Happy Birthday Richard Slyter (’67): Dunseith, ND
Slyter, David 2274


Ed Seim Passed away (DHS ’49)
Posting from Margaret Seim Lawston (’54):   Citrus Heights, CA

With sadness I am reporting the death of my brother, Ed, after a long illness with Alzheimer’s. He died on July 21.He graduated from Dunseith high school in 1949. The son of Arthur and Eva Seim.
Seim, Ed 2274
Our condolence are with you Margaret and all of Ed’s family with his passing.   Gary


Jim and Ruby Birkland celebrating their 80th Birthdays
Posting from Vickie Metcafle (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Date: Sunday, Sept 20, 2015
Location: Peace Lutheran Church in Dunseith.

Gary and friends,

I am letting  all of you know,  of an upcoming celebration on Sunday, September 20, 2015 at Peace Lutheran Church.

I was happy to hear from the pair of them just moments  ago at Wal-Mart ,  good neighbors and family friends;

Jim and Ruby intend to be  celebrating their early 80th birthdays together on that day.

I wanted  to be sure to remember that special date  of September 20 2015;

I best remember  important stuff when I write it down;

I am writing on the blog to share with all of you who know them.

Jimmy is one of those phenomenal musicians of the hills,  as well as  a professional carpenter.

And, Ruby ? ( as Mrs. Anthony used to  say….”I hear you have a wonderful garden this year…”

Ruby grew wonderful things in her garden.

Everything you can imagine she can grow it.

And, together they farmed and raised three children.

Others may recall Jim and Ruby dancing together; their great, easy, smooth  going  personalities match exactly how they dance!

Together Jim and Ruby,  have Schottisched, Two -stepped and waltzed together for 59 years!

If anyone else gets an opportunity to dance with either of them.

It is a treat.

I know because whenever dancing with Jimmy ..I flew!

You  who love to dance,  will know the real true meaning of ” flyin”

And, you will know once you  have danced with  a couple of  the best!

Next year they tell  me they  will quietly celebrate their 60th.

Happy 80th Birthday’s Jim and Ruby Birkland as you dance through life!

May you celebrate many more!

Until later. Vickie Metcalfe

Gary Stokes’ Comment

I remember well when Jim and Ruby were married. I was only 9 years old. Their first home was on the Johnnie Hiatt farm, now the Fauske Farm. They were our only neighbors to the north. One mile north and ¾ mile west from our farm. I remember well seeing them going by our house. I don’t remember the make of their car, but I remember well it taking both of them to drive it. Those were some tough years, but they weathered them well.

Reply from Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65):  Belcourt, ND

Hey, Gary! Congratulations on your twin grand boys. This is great!  That is crazy, for them to have different birthdays.  I am sure Bernadette is excited also, and with good reason! Say congratulations to the proud parents! This is awesome! They really look JUST ALIKE, very handsome!

Thanks Gary

Gary Stokes’ Reply
Thanks Ginger

Reply from Mel Kuhn (’70):  St. John, ND

Congratulations on the twin grandson’s. How amazing is that? Pass my congratulations on to your son and his wife for me.
Mel Kuhn

Gary Stokes’ Reply
Thanks Mel

Reply from Vickie Metcafle (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Congratulations to Grand Papa and Grand Mama  Stokes , on the birth of beautiful  twin grandsons;

an amazing miracle, you were doubly blessed with  beautiful little boys on different days.

~You each can hold one at a time. Then switch~

How  fun and great  that is !


Gary Stokes’ Reply
Thanks Vickie

Rely from Colette Hosmer (’64):  Santa Fe, NM

What fabulous news!  Congratulations––two beautiful, perfect baby boys have joined the world.

Gary Stokes’ Reply
Thanks Colette.

Blog (342) posted on January 18, 2009


Reply from Doreen Bailey (Vance’s wife):
Gary, To answer your question: Yes Judith Bailey Foley is related to Vance
Bailey, they are cousins. Judy’s father Harvey Bailey was, Vance’s father,
Virgil Bailey’s Brother. Virgil and Harvey were sons Mahlon Bailey and
Frances Anderson they had the farm on the Hill north of Dunseith . Harvey
worked for the Rolla Turtle Mountain Star from 1928 to 1980, Judy went to
school in Rolla. Doreen Bailey
Bonnie Awalt Houle (56):
Dear Gary,
Vance Bailey and Judy Bailey are cousins. Vance’s Father, Virgil Bailey is the Brother of Judy’s Father, Harvey Bailey. Judy is also an author, she writes short stories and poems. We should get her signed up on your Blog.
Certainly enjoyed the snow pictures from ND. they have more snow then Minnesota but we aren’t jealous, THEY CAN KEEP IT!!!!
Bonnie Awalt Houle (56)
Reply from Mona Dionne Johnson (48):
As I remember when Vance & Wayne stayed with us at Lake Metigoshe, we
used to comment on both sharing an uncle, Uncle
Harvey Bailey which was Judy’s dad. So, I guess that would make them
first cousins.
Mona Dionne Johnson
Neola Kofoid Garbe’s reply to the Bailey wedding picture posted in #266:
I mailed just the one of Judith to Judith. I had a nice visit with Judith yesterday before I left Bottineau. I still have this picture. Judith mentioned her sister who married a Martinez and one who married a Perrin, so I was going to keep an eye out for them. Here it is!! WOW! Judith has email, but would rather not give it out; she would rather I send pictures to Marlene Henderson and have her forward them to her.
Lloyd Awalt called a few minutes ago and said he recognized Judith. She is a cousin of Vance Bailey, and so is Lloyd. Mothers were Andersons, I think. I told Lloyd I had a nice visit with Judith yesterday, and I was sure she would enjoy hearing from him. I just sent Judith’s phone number/mailing address to him. From Bonnie Awalt Houle’s info, I was able to locate both.
I’ll look at this picture a little closer later, just wanted to let you know the latest the Judith/Lloyd. I’ll definitely send this picture (and another one I found) to Judith/her sister. Now that I know Judith is in this picture, it isn’t difficult to recognize her.
Thanks, Gary.
Judith Bailey Foley
Reply from Bill Hosmer (48):
Gary and ND Friends. I’m catching up on my reading of your blog notes. I was glad to hear that my pal Pete Gillis gifted his family with his presence, and I’m hoping he’ll gift us next summer with that splendid draw he traces through the air on the Dunseith Golf Course. Also, I’m sorry to read that Shelly Azure has a heavy diagnosis. Thoughts and prayers are with them, and my other golfing buddy, Dwight Lang. That’s tough news about too many of our lot. Bill Hosmer
From Bev Morinville Azure (72):
Neola, Hope this is finding you well I love your additude .Your going to beat this I can feel it .I just wanted to let you know you are on my prayer list. Keep looking up . He is listening. I talk to my sister Debbie and she is improving please keep her in your prayers everyone. Thanks again Gary for all you do .Its amazing .
Vidio from Cecile Gouin Craig (61):
Folks, the Seattle area and Washington have had their share of snow and flooding this winter too. The following Video was sent to Cecile by her daughter Barb. She lives in Fall City, located, I think, about 30 or so miles North East of Seattle. The featured video is from King 5 news, one of the main TV stations in the Seattle and Puget Sound areas. Gary
Cecile’s Daughter Barb’s message:
About half way thru the video you see Brad and my gray head standing next to sink hole on our main road to town (we’re in the bottom right corner next to the K5). My trip to the post office just got a lot longer. :)
Cecile’s note:
Where they are standing You could see the Post Office. But now it’s a 21 mile trip to go get the mail. (Barb is my daughter). Cecile
From Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59):
Gary Metcalfe

Olard Boucher was the twin of Adelard Boucher, older brothers of Elmer. Olard died on one of the Pacific Islands his first day of battle, Elmer could tell us more. I believe his boot camp was also in Louisiana so reasonable that they would have met. I see the resemblance. I am sure it is not Dary Ryan. This would indicate that my picture of Herman did take place at bootcamp as you previously suggested. I will compare to picture posted by Gary of Olard – Olard and Herman were 1st cousins once removed. Victor Boucher, Herman’s dad, was uncle to Olards dad. Thanks Gary.


Pictures posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:
Thanks for the info, Gailord Peltier. :)

Bonita Parisien & Alfred Henry

9/3/2015 (2273)


Stokes Twins: Our New identical Twin Grand sons with different Birthdays

Brydon Stokes born on Sept 2nd 11:56 pm and Bryce Stokes Born on Sept 3rd 12:10 am.

Both boys look nice and are very healthy. Bernadette and I went to the hospital yesterday to see them. They are Bernie’s first children too. This is something he has been wanting for, for a long time. At the age of 44 he got his wish. He is so excited to see them. He will have to wait though until they go back to America hopefully within the next couple of months.

Bernie’s Face Book posting with pictures
Today, I received one of the most intense emotional news of happiness. At around midnight my wife gave birth to our first twin son “Brydon” on Sept 2nd at 11:56pm, and our second son “Bryce” on Sept 3rd at 12:10 both about 5.4 lbs. Identical twins but born on two different days, how awesome is that? And one even shares the same birthdate as our Grandpa Stokes. Wow, what are the odds for these two events to have happened?
Stokes 2273

Blog (341) posted on January 17, 2009


Posted on January 17, 2009

Request from Pam Wenstad Lane (78):

Hi Gary,

My name is Pam Wenstad Lane. I graduated in “78″. My parents are Elberta and Oscar Wenstad. I think you might have graduated with either Donnie or Connie. I was to young to remember. Also Debbie Slyter is my sister.

I went to school with Dellorie Enno, Shelly Hagel, Keith Berg,David Fugere.

Thanks Gary,

Pam Wenstad Lane

Pam, I remember your family well from the Willow Lake area. Our families were back and forth a lot in my younger and your a lot younger days. I’m closer to your brother Arlan’s age. He is a year older than me and I’m 61. Thank you so much for this request to be added. Gary

From Bev Morinville Azure (72):

Gary this is to Dwight . first of all I would like to say I am sorry about you having cancer.It is a very scary thing to hear the Dr say those words. I to had the same fun news a year ago on the 9th of jan 2008 I had cancer on my tongue and they removed 50% that was cancerous and then on to 36 treatments of radaition ( which was the hardest part of this whole thing) BUT with that being said today a year later I am cancer free so far Praise the Lord. My Dr told me my attitude had alot to do with my recovery. Radaition on the mouth is the hardest type of radiation a person can have. Dwight my point is Keep up your spirit and it is amazing how your body heals. I am praying hard for you and for the others I know that have cancer. stand up against this awful illness YOU CAN WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57):

Well, Dick it is hard to do justice to some stories, when the story is more in the viewing. I guess I don’t remember Richard Belgarde sitting on the woman’s side, always in the middle and singing Elvis’ songs all the way to work.

Gates….that was one of the semi negatives those days. I sure wish there would have been a third party when my dad would decide to visit his old friend Annie Anthony, 4 gates in and 4 gates out. They had to be closed every time and the hasp was 6 ft. off the ground sometimes. A gate that was easy to open was a blessing as was a cow that was an easy milker. I didn’t hold the lantern while my mother milked the cow, but she sure did milk the hards ones.

I’m thinking about an old family friend that worked for my dad, Alcide Lajimodier, one of a kind guy. Was his dad Joe or Ben or neither?? The only ones that I think may have known very well were Clayton and Alice Bergan’s kids.

Cold here in Missouri this a.m. too, about 10 degrees, above zero, but cold for here.

Thanks Gary sure do appreciate you and what you are doing to keep us all in touch. Gary Metcalfe

From Jerry Williams (54):




From Ginger (LaRocque) Poitra (65):


I noticed no one sent any pictures of the snow, around our area, maybe I
missed it too. A lot of the stores in Minot had to close to clean off the
snow from the roofs. The Wal Mart has been closed since Sunday the 11th,
later the Town and Country Mall, Miracle Mart, and Oak Park closed for the
same reason, they would ‘ve put the customers in danger if the roof would
fall in.

The weather is HOT! today it’s 9 degrees below here in Belcourt this morning.

It is supposed to rain today?? and get into the 20′s and 30′s this
weekend. We’ll see.

Ginger (LaRocque) Poitra (65)

Ginger, I received these two ND snow pictures from Carmen Richard and Neola Garbe. Gary
100 200

Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57) to Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59):

Sharron, I am convinced #333 has Herman and Olard Boucher. Compare #329, the way Olard holds his arems and parts his hair. Why do I think he was killed in the war? Was he Elmer Boucher’s brother? I think so. Gary Metcalfe

Neola Kofoid Garbe’s reply to Monte Espe’s (68) message posted below:


Thanks for much for the email/prayers. People’s prayers are sure working; I’m feeling fine. I have a doctor’s (surgeon) appointment on Monday, so I’m headed back to Minot as soon as I get ready. I’ll try to respond more thoroughly to this at a later date, as there are a few things I’d like to mention–naturally! Ha! My appointment with the oncologist is Feb. 9, so I’m assuming sometime after that, I’ll be starting radiation. I take a day at a time/don’t worry about any of it/have no pain unless I accidentally bump my breast. I have a hard time remembering not to lift over 10 lbs. with my right arm, as it feels “fit”, and even though I’m basically left-handed, I do reach for/carry many things with my right hand/arm.

Thanks again for the email. Thanks to you, too, Gary.


Monte Espe’s (68) message to Neola & Gary:

Note – Bonnie, Alvin & Viola Berg’s daughter, from Bottineau, is Monte’s wife. Alvin’s sister, Helga, was married to my dad’s brother Nels. Gary

Gary and Neola, Yes, Peggy is Bonnie’s youngest sister. She
is teaching at Mandaree. Their address is 3611 103ave sw,

Dickinson,nd 58601. Neola, you also have the information right
on the Bergs. Also Neola, you have been and remain in our
prayers. You will beat this with all these prayers and your
positive attitude. Last night we were at the Minot State game
and it was [are you tough enough to wear pink night],about
breast cancer awareness, with proceedes going for research.
Gary, I remember Your uncle Nels well, throughly enjoyed our
many visits with Nels and Helga. Also, just a little sidenote
Gary. Diane Schneider Sedlack [daughter of Wesley Schneider
and Evelyn Hiatt Schneider], who is a good friend of Bonnie and
me would like to be added to your list. She lives in Eden
Prairie, Mn which is twin cities area. e-mail

Diane Schneider Sedlack, I remember you well. I used to see you up at Fauske’s and also at the many community and Hiatt functions that we both attended when we were kids. I remember your dad well too, working all those years in the Creamery. You have many relatives on both your parents sides in our distribution. You aunt Florence Hiatt Dahl, from Alaska, is also on our distribution. It is my pleasure to add you to our daily Blog. Gary

Message/pictures from Julie Hiatt Bonebrake (81):

Hi Gary,

Here are some pictures of my husband Billy and our neighbor down the street. They some how managed to get the snow blower on the roof of our house, and attempted (key word attempted) to blow the snow off. They were having some trouble keeping the blower from sliding down the roof. It was pretty comical. We have so much snow in Minot. Just in January I believe we have received over 20 inches and I think most of it is in our back yard. I will try to send more pictures. Please share these with the rest of the world. Thank you so much.

Julie (Hiatt) Bonebrake

Julies’s second reply: Her pictures did not come thru the first time. Gary

Hi Gary,

As promised more snow pics. I think in the 5th picture is our hot tub. You can see where Bill has made a ramp to get up 3 stairs to clear a path to our front door. It’s been pretty crazy around here. Today we had temps in the 30′s ABOVE 0 and warmer tomorrow, now it will truly be a mess!! Thank you for keeping us all in touch, and I hope everyone enjoys the pictures.

Julie (Hiatt) Bonebrake
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Reply from Neola Kofoid Garbe:

Hi Gary/Others,

I just had a fun visit with Judith Bailey Foley. From info provided by Mona Dionne Johnson & Bonnie Awalt Houle, I located an address/phone number for Judith (white pages on the net) and called her. I’ll be mailing her picture to her soon.

Also, thanks to Judy Azure, Rita Gable’s picture is ready to mail.

I’m packing/getting ready to return to Minot (I’m going a day earlier than I had planned to go.), so I’ll either mail the pictures on my way out of town, or I’ll have my husband mail them after I get to Minot–He makes daily trips to the mall and other places; I prefer to stay home and work on “projects”.  I’m taking the last pictures I’ve sent, with me to Minot, and will get them sent from there.

There are others (Gailord Peltier/Debby Champagne, etc.)who have helped with addresses/identifying people in the last few days and before. Thanks to all of you, too! I appreciate any/all help!


9/2/2015 (2272)

Bob Stokes’ 100th birthday.

Happy Birthday to my wonderful father, Bob Stokes. He was born September 2, 1915. Today would have been his 100th birthday. We lost him in August 2000, so he has been gone 15 years now. We dearly miss him too. He was a people person and loved to tell stories. His stories always had you in suspense for the punch lines. He could tell them well.

The day of his passing was one of the worst days of my life. I was so fortunate to have spent 2 solid weeks with him several weeks before his passing. In those two weeks we visited lots of people in the hills (Turtle Mountains), Dunseith and Bottineau. That was his thing. So enjoyable. He did the driving too.


     Happy Birthday Gary Metcalfe (’57): Forsyth, MO


Connie Halvorson (’64)
Reply from Sharon Zorn Gerdes (’62):  Windsor, CO

Gary, I just have to comment-  that photo of  Connie Halvorson reminded me that she is  just one of the nicest people I was privileged to know, and she is still just SO  beautiful and classy.  She rode the same bus as we did and was so quiet and sweet. Good people up there.

Gary Stokes’ comment
Sharon, I totally agree with you 100% with your comments about Connie. That’s just the kind of person she is.


Our Trip back to North Dakota
Posting from Keith Pladson (’66):  Roanoke Rapids, NC

Just thought I would drop you a line reference our trip back to ND.

First, let me thank you, Gary, for picking up the tab at the Bakery in Bottineau.  When I asked for our check that Sunday morning and was told you had picked it up I was flabergasted.  There were quite a few of us.  A late, but very sincere “Thank You” from all of us in our group!!!

I am glad we were able to work it out so you and our cousin Ron Cain could meet for the first time.  I always enjoy much my visits with Ron and his wife Diana.  I only wish Ron and Diana could have spent a little longer in Bottineau.  And as always it was fun seeing and visiting with you again Gary.

Alice and I really enjoyed our visit back to ND.  It had been four years since we last visited ND (not including my brother’s funeral in 2011), so we had a lot of catching up to do.  Perhaps of interest to you Gary, Alice and I (and my sister Florence and Clem) had a very good visit with Carl and Shirley Melgaard.  Carl was in good spirits, given all he has been through, and both he and Shirley looked good.  I had not been in their yard since I worked for them in 1966.  The yard looked pretty much as I remembered it, except for their house which they had replaced with a beautiful house that Carl said he had built.

We also enjoyed the Pladson Family Reunion which was open to all living heirs of Olaf and Thyra Pladson (my paternal grandparents).  Although none of Alice’s and my children/grandchildren were able to attend for various reasons, there were a lot of attendees and many whom I did not know or had never before met.  It was a good day, good weather, lots of games and food and fun for all who did attend.  A special thanks to my sister, Tina (Thyra) Bullinger and my cousins Allen Pladson and Terry Olson for all their efforts in putting this together.

Now some general observations I made of or during our trip:

We chose to drive, even though it is a lot of miles.  This allowed us to stop in Louisville, KY on our return trip to spend a few days with one of Alice’s sisters and to visit with many of her other relatives.  It also meant we didn’t have to put up with any part of the airline industry.  I have flown on way too many flights in my lifetime to be able to count them (probably well over a hundred individual flights).  And I always used to say that flying was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable ways to travel.  But alas, I no longer say that.  To start with the last few times I have flown I have been treated like some kind of terrorist at the airports.  I have had a knee replacement, so have some titanium parts in my leg that always sets off their security machines.  And I always try to explain that to them – even offering to let them see a special card from the surgeon that I carry in my wallet.  But no, invariably, they always want to wave their magic wands all over me and then pat down my entire body like I must have something really, really dangerous hidden somewhere that is setting off all their machines.  Meanwhile we continue to hear stories about how unauthorized items are allowed through those very same machines all the time.

Then you have the airlines.  Where it used to be that the fare covered everything, to include full course meals and unlimited non alcoholic drinks, now there is a separate fee for everything: checked bags, pillows, blankets, anything to eat other that a small bag of pretzels and a half can of soda, watching a movie, and even for carry on bags with some airlines.  Meanwhile they have narrowed the seats and shrunken the leg room between the rows of seats to the point where the word comfort should no longer ever be used in conjunction with the words passenger airlines again.  So unless you can afford and are willing to pay for first class seating, flying is more like a torture test and nothing resembling enjoyable.

Anyway, driving always allows us to see so much of this great country.  And it allowed me to think back over the years when our kids were young and we made similar trips by car out of financial necessity.  The trip from either Virginia or North Carolina to North Dakota takes one through some of the most productive farm land in the world.  And also some of the most beautiful and scenic area in the nation.  But, I couldn’t help noting the changes that have taken place over the thirty to forty years that we have been doing these kinds of trips.

First, even though the maps don’t show it, I know the world is expanding because the distance is increasing.  What used to be a long, long two day drive or more often a comfortable three day drive in each direction, is now always at least a long and uncomfortable three day drive in each direction and sometimes four days.  And where potty breaks were only done when absolutely necessary (to avoid accidents, if you know what I mean), now they are often done just to stretch the legs and other muscle groups, or more likely, just because the rest stop was there.

On a more serious note was the changes I noted in farming that have occurred over the past forty or so years.  Perhaps it was because we made our trip at the precise best time of the growing season, or perhaps because this year virtually all of the areas we drove through had received just the right amount of rainfall, but all of the crops looked really good.  Lush green field after lush green field after lush green field.  A few thing stood out much more than others, however.

First was the changing of the types of crops planted and growing in each state.  Here in North Carolina the main crops are cotton, peanuts and tobacco, with some corn, soy beans and small grains too.  As you travel northward and westward you quickly run out of the cotton, peanuts and tobacco fields, but you see a lot more corn and some increase in the number of fields of small grain.  As you get into Indiana, Illinois and Southern Wisconsin you see almost exclusively corn and the corn crops are often 10 feet high or more.  Then as you travel north in Wisconsin, you start seeing less corn and more hay fields and small grain again.  Into Minnesota you start to see new crops like sun flowers and canola and of course corn, small grain and hay fields.  Finally, as you approach North Dakota, you start seeing many more fields of small grain as well as sugar beets and potatoes (especially as you drive north up I29).  But the one common crop that we seen in every state we traversed was CORN.  Corn, corn and more corn – millions of acres of corn.  And unless something drastic happens between when we drove through all those miles and miles of corn fields and when harvesting takes place, I can’t but see a true bumper crop this year.

But perhaps the biggest change I noted that has taken place in farming and was clearly obvious in every state we drove through was the almost total absence of fields in summer fallow.  In fact it wasn’t until we were in North Dakota and driving between Minot and Bottineau on Hwy 5 out by the Westope corner that I saw a couple fields in summer fallow.

One last observation was the number and size of the wind turbine fields that are being built across the nation.  Some of the fields in Indiana stretched as far as one could see and easily contained hundreds of individual turbines.  Of course for many readers of the blog you only have to go south on Hwy 3 toward Rugby to see them.

Alice and I hope Bernadette is feeling well.  Our prayers and many good thoughts go her way.

Thanks for all you do Gary,

Keith Pladson (66)

Gary Stokes’ Reply


It was so nice that our timings were right to be able to see you folks back in Bottineau.  Actually I am pretty sure that you arrived a few days earlier than planned so that we could meet. I really appreciate you having done that too. I enjoyed meeting Ron Cain, your first cousin and my 2nd cousin. His mother , Lillian Thompson Bergstrom, is the oldest living Dunseith High School Graduate too. She graduated in 1936.  She is nearly a hundred with all of her facilities too. She has some hearing loss, but her mind is fine.  Lillian was a sister to Ella Pladson. Their mother was a Stokes, sister to my grandfather Frank Stokes.


I have pasted a picture below of our gathering at the Bottineau Bakery. Terry Olson’s mother, Adeline Pladson Olson, was a brother to Keith’s dad, Eldon Pladson

Blog (340) posted on January 16, 2009



Temperature report from Evon Lagerquist (77):
Hi Gary, Thought I’d let you know, we had a toasty -50 or lower ( that was as low as my thermometer would register), this morning in the hills! Don’t you miss weather like this?
Man, It’s cold up there in the hills in the Ackworth community. It’s currently noon here in the PI and the temp is 88F. That’s a 138 degree difference in our temps at the moment. I remember those Nylon tires having a flat spot from sitting in the cold. At times we’d have to drive several miles, with rough riding, before they’d be rounded out again.
I just now recieved Martha’s message posted below. It was -52 in the Newberg area this morning too! Gary
Reply from Marth Lamb Schepp (68):
Hi Gary and Monte,

Lynn and Shane are going to the Mohall Seed Show tomorrow where they will have a booth for the Souris River Coop. I will send this with Lynn. I’m sure Shane will enjoy your information. I just heard on the news that Newburg’s own Leonard Walsh, who is our local meteorologist recorded a whopping -52 this morning. Wow!

Monte, I also remember how excited we were when the oil rig was set up north of your parents home. And the country school days. I wish I could remember the rules to kick the can. Suppose there might be danger involved with such a game at school these days. Martha

Reply from Julie (Knox) Seier (82):
Once again, thank you for doing this. It is amazing the things
that come up here that bring back childhood memories for me.
First off, the squeaking of the runners on the sleigh as the
horses pulled a load of wood or a load of hay on a quiet winter
day in the Trutle Mountains. I can still smell the smoke from
my Dad’s cigarette that he rolled himself, from the Prince
Albert tabacoo can, on the way home from whatever it was we
were hauling that day. My Dad had a team of horses on the farm
up until about 2003 so my kids got to have the fun sleigh rides
in the winter as well. We mostly used them for work when I was
a kid but every now and then we would have friends come to the
farm and he would give them a sleigh ride too. Not too many
folks my age can say that they used a team of horses for farm
work! I would have much rather hauled hay or wood or cleaned
the barn than do housework!

I remember Martin Belgarde too. He and my Dad used to hay
together for many summers lots of years ago. The one thing that
I can remember about him distinctly was that he always drank
cold coffee. When we would bring them lunch in the hay field he
always had his jug of cold coffee. He said it was the best
thing in the world to quench his thirst. (YUCK!!) Because he
was diabetic he kept candy bars in his lunch box too. Once in
awhile he would slip them to us girls for a treat! He was such
a nice man.

Monte, I met Shane Lester a few years ago when he was a student
at MSU-Bottineau. Luann came to know him and found out we were
realated. Fun young man.

Mark Schimetz, thanks for the photos from Aunt Minnie Flynn’s
birthday party. I was sad that I had to miss it.

Again Gary, thank you so much for your hard work.

Julie (Knox) Seier class of 1982

Reply from Marie Staub Iverson (60):
I want to add my thanks for all the great emails you send out each day I look forward to reading them ever morning.
Most of the time I recognize the names of several of the people but this morning I was surprized to read the message from Dale Pritchard as he mentioned one of my many cousins Allen Beckmen who was married to Lois and I was wondering were he was as after his dad George Beckman passed away I haven’t had any
contact with him. His mother was my mothers sister who passed away several years ago. I also wonder were his brother Irvin is as when we were younger we spent a lot of time with them .
So it’s great to here he’s in Golden Colorado.
The message from Dwight Lang brings back a lot of memories of school .I hope everything goes great for him as I’m sure it will . I sure remember his mother- a great lady. One year she sent me a bunch of things
that they had left from one of the reunions which I was not able to attend.
Thanks again Gary for all this great infomation.
Marie Staub Iverson 60
Reply from Dave Slyter (70):
Dwight Lang:

Just want to pass on a word of good luck to you during your medical procedures for your cancer. Hopefully they caught it early so it won’t be much of anything. When I seen your picture it reminded me of when you hired me to go down and clean your dad’s house. It was a fun job as your dad always had a challenge for me to clean up. ha But I always managed to help him out anyway I could. So you take care and our thoughts and prayers will be with you thru this medical ordeal.

God Speed,
Dave Slyter (70)

Reply from Judy Allery Azure (65):
Gary & Neola,
The picture with the date January 20,1973, is my cousin Rita Keplin Gable. Rita is a school counselor in the Dunseith School system. Neola you should be able to contact her there. Not certain of the others, thanks Gary & Neola for all the wonderful pictures and information concerning Dunseith. By the way Gary I have a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. I was recently hired at Cultural Divesity Resources in Fargo, I am the Program Manager for the new Native American Center, very excitig positon as I get to meet so many new people from North Dakota and Minnesota.
Well Gary, the weather is suppose to change this weekend, we are expecting above 0 by Saturday. I guess we live in this beautiful state because we LOVE everything about it.
I must sign off for now so until next time all take care. Sorry to hear about so many with illnesses, I will be praying for you all.
Judy Allery Azure
Judy, Congratulations with your new job. I have reposted Rita Keplin Gable’s photo below. We have a number of folks working in the Dunseith schools on our list, so I’m hoping Rita sees this. I just checked the Dunseith school WEB site and Rita is listed on their staff page. Thank you Judy, Gary
Rita Keplin Gable
Reply from Mona Dionne Johnson (48):
Gary: Unknown pic #2 is of my cousin, Judith (Bailey) Foley, who
lived in Rolla. Her dad worked for the Turtle Mountain Star.
Mona Johnson (48)
Reply from Bonnie Awalt Houle (56):
Good Morning Gary,
It is wonderful to wake to your messages each morning. Certainly enjoy hearing from everyone especially on mornings when the temperature is -26 in Minnesota.
The girl in the unknown photo #2 is Judy Bailey Foley. She is the daughter of Harvey and Hulda Bailey, and a graduate of Rolla High School. She has been married to Robert Foley of Rolla for 50 years. She is a retired teacher from Willmar Minnesota, her husband Robert is a retired Media Specialist of the school system.
Judy is my cousin.
Bonnie Awalt Houle (56)
Judy Bailey Foley
Folks, for those of you that have been following the trail of messages, Randy Hiatt recently discovered the Jim & Ella Evans Metcalfe siblings and vice versa. They are first cousins. His biological father Bing Evans & Ella Metcalfe were siblings. The following is a message trail between Geri Metcalfe Munro and Randy. Randy’s mother was Delores Hiatt Berkland. Gary
From Geri Metcalfe Munro (59):
Hi Gary,
MANY THANKS for connecting us with Randy Hiatt–we are sharing info with him (not all for publication on the blog). I’m adding this one because I mention that the Evans family had all moved away by the time you were born, except Aunt Nellie (Evans) Byre. She has two daughters in Minot, one in Rugby, etc Nellie never did leave ND–she lived at Kramer, ND where Bing died while doing carpenter work on the school there. We are as pleased as Randy is about all of this connection.
Of course, Mom and all her siblings are deceased.
Geri Metcalfe Munro