Reply from Randy Kelly (’69): St. Paul, MN
I forgot to congratulate you and your wife on the birth of your twin grandchildren. What a blessing. God is truly great!
Thanks Randy: They are special. They look like
Bernie, their dad too. Very healthy and doing well.
Memories of Jack Flynn
From Lyle Olson (’75): West Fargo, ND
Gary and all,
So sad to hear of Jack Flynn’s passing.
I hauled literally thousands of hay bales for Jack. Although barely a teenager I still remember all the conversations we had driving from town to his farm. He talked about all manner of things, including sports, politics and life in general. He talked to me like I was a man and not a tweener.
As most know, he rarely talked about his military service, or at least not with me. As I grew up and heard the horrors of Vietnam Nam from the local boys who fought over there, I often thought that Jack must have seen some god awful things during his long tour of duty in WWII. He was truly a patriot and one of the greatest generation. It was his advice upon which I joined the USAF after high school ( well his advice and that of James Very, the Juvenile Court Judge at the time—-
However, I prefer to remember that it was Jack’s advice that carried the day!)
Jack was an avid reader, until the cruel onset of his vision loss. I would bump into him from time to time and he would tell me about a book he just finished. He also wanted to talk about law with me and I must admit he stymied me on more than one occasion. But he did so with humor and intelligence.
Although not a very good baseball player I was a bench warming member of some of the best Legion teams Dunseith ever produced. Jack would show up at almost all the games. He loved baseball and especially enjoyed watching his boys from Dunseith. I remember him showing up at a Babe Ruth State tournament game in Minot and he then drove a few of us younger boys to watch our Legion team play a Regional or State game in Carrington. He bought us all lunch and made sure our parents knew we were with him.
Back to hauling bales, Jacked would often hay with Wally and Kenny Hiatt. I remember Jack letting me drive a load of hay back to the farm and I took a corner a bit too fast and half the load tumbled off the trailer. Kenny was not too pleased and said a few swear words my way. Jack simply walked over to the pickup and grabbed a warm Schlitz beer out of the box and said he would supervise me while I restocked the load. That is exactly what he did. Never said a bad word my way and never mentioned it to anyone. By the time I finished he had put away 3 to 4 warm beers and asked me to drive home! Definitely gave me confidence to drive, which I know now was his intent. Can’t beat that kindness!
Memories of Jack Flynn
From Don Olson (’75):
The Olson family moved to Dunseith in 1968. I am the oldest of three sons of Lorraine Somers, (Metcalfe). My name is Don and I have two accomplished brothers, Lyle and Rob. We were involved in sports, baseball, basketball, and football. Our mother worked three jobs to support us but we did have people who watched us play and would tell our mother about our performance, be it good or bad. Mr. Jack Flynn was one of these people.
Growing up in Dunseith you were certain of a couple things. One, if there was a sporting event in town, especially baseball, Jack Flynn and Herman Martinson would be there. Looking back at the experiences we had in Dunseith, we were very privileged and honored to be taught about life by these two men. Herman Martinson was one of the best people I have ever met or probably will meet. His soft-spoken guidance helped more than one young man see problems more clearly and he had this sense of knowing what you needed to feel better. Once in a while, he would jack you up if you had been slacking or he would boost you up when you needed the reinforcement.
Mr. Flynn was the driving force behind the American Legion teams from the late 60s through the early 70s. He made sure that the Dunseith squad had all the equipment they ever needed and funding to go to tournaments and food for the boys. I think for about three summers we played over 40 baseball games and were in three state tournaments.
All he ever asked for in return was respect for the game, respect for the American Legion and sportsmanship. You were expected to stand at attention for the American Legion Creed; you were expected to hustle on and off the field at all times. You were to respect the umpires and referees and to be good sportsman and act like gentlemen. I do not remember a time when he did not support each and every individual in the team like we were part of his family.
The second thing I was assured of as a boy; was that we were expected to give our best efforts in any endeavor we chose. He believed in our potential as boys and later as men. I feel truly blessed to have had role models such as Jack.
My last encounter was with Jack was one afternoon at The Hardware Store. I stopped in for something and when I asked David Fugere for the item, Jack who was sitting on the bench, said “I know that voice is an Olson; which one are you?” I told him I was Don and he related how he would sometimes walk across the street to our little trailer and grab one of the younger Olson Boys to go with him to pick rock on the farm. First it was Lyle and then Rob as he got older. My brothers talked about being with Jack as a great experience as he was fountain of knowledge and care. He never ceased to ask about my brothers when I saw him. It was an honor to be mentored by such good men.
Jim and Ruby Birkland’s 80th Birthday Party
Posting/pictures from Larry Hackman (’66): Bismarck, ND
I hope this letter finds you and your family doing better. Hang in there old friend.
I really appreciate that you are still able to find the time to get the blog done and sent out to all of us.
Here are some photos of Jim and Ruby (Kuhn) Birkland’s, “80th Birthday Party” celebrated at the Lutheran Church in Dunseith , ND. on Sept. 20,2015.
If your gonna play in North Dakota , ‘You gotta have a fiddle in the band”!
A great time was had by all.
A few others who joined in the fun.
A couple other guys and a hot rod at the Birthday Party.
Thanks Gary, You do a great job!
Blog (358) posted on February 2, 2009
From Lois Lilleby Fielding (51):
Hi to all: We are home from visiting children and grandchildren during December and from Costa Rica during January–where we studied and lived with a family.
We had felt some small rumbles in the earth a few times before the big earthquake occurred (6.2) and we ran out of the house to the back yard, where we swayed back and forth with the earth for a short time, I even felt nauseous. North of San Jose at Volcan Poas occurred massive damage and some people have never been found and several communities were wiped out. The T.V. news, of course carried it constantly and the people of C.R. came to the rescue as best they could. I even saw a large monkey run into the arms of an animal rescuer. It was very touching. Volcan Poas is again open for visitors, but the devastation of the roads and beautiful mountains and streams is great–just in that area. The rest of C. R. is okay. About 30 volcanologists were studying Poas in the crator when it cccurred, but they all came out unharmed. Happy New Year to all! Lois Lilleby Fielding
Reply from Lloyd Awalt (44):
Hi Gary, Here is my answer to Dick.
Hello Dick Johnson,
1960 is when Bill Teal retired from the depot, Bill Teal almost never drove, he always got someone else to drive for him.. Bill and Irene moved down next to Jack and Minnie Flynn. Ray Hagel took his place as depot agent. Yes I remember putting pennies on the train tracks and having the train flatten them, so you weren’t the first to do that and you sure weren’t the last. Doing that sure made a penny look like it could be worth more than one cent didn’t it!
My Dad John Awalt bought the Dray Line in 1931 from Ike Berg. We used horses to haul the freight, we hauled everything, coal, ashes, and ice besides what came in on the train. During the Christmas Season is was not unusual to haul as many as three truck loads of mail up to the San Haven. Coal was a big part of the business because almost all homes, stores and the school was heated by coal. The coal had to be pushed from the train cars into the coal sheds and later loaded onto the wagon or truck and hauled to it’s destination. The bucket you pushed it with by hand was no easy chore, and sometimes if you hit a nail in the floor as you were pushing it was a bugger of a quick stop. Dad sold the Dray Line in 1943.
Reply from Janice Leonard Workman (56):
Hi everybody, hope you all are getting ready for spring. Surely it must be on the way!!!
Elaine Watkins died just 1 month after my sister Corinne. Both were mentally challenged. It was interesting to hear of Elaine’s ability to remember things,
because Corinne could also. She remembered all the relatives’ birthdays, anniversaries, and she could also tell you how old people were. My mother used
to say, if it weren’t for Corinne, nobody would have gotten birthday cards from her. Corinne did not attend public school, although that was tried and failed, but she did have a
tutor come to the house for a time. That was Elinor Fuchs and she made a big improvement in Corinne’s life. Elinor taught her to read enough so she could find things in
the newspaper. Especially she would look to see who was in the hospital from Dunseith. As Mom was writing the news for the TMS, that was a big help. One of the things
about Elaine, when we were younger, was that we would sit together at the movies, way down in front. She wasn’t always as friendly as she was as she got older, but
mostly we managed to get along. She and Corinne were much more compatible. I don’t remember Bud so well, but I knew his folks better as they were often in the Crystal
Café when I worked there. Bud was pretty quiet, but friendly.
I really think Gary Metcalf gives Bonnie and I a lot of credit as I see our names in his messages pretty often. Thanks, Gary, you are alright!!!
Adrian Egbert was a character around town. He was the father of my aunt, Margaret Lilleby who was just the best aunt to have in this world. She and Louis drove a
taxi in Dunseith for a number of years before moving to Washington. They lived in the house the Dick Johnson’s folks had before moving to their farm. Eventually my
brother Lowell owned that house. The house was right across from Adrian’s Northern Hotel. Adrian’s woodpile was always a temptation on Halloween, and my
friends were involved in several “tricks” there. Dorothy (Adrian’s second wife) and my mother were friends and visited often. When Mom wanted to sell the house we
had lived in (get this, which was built by Adrian) Dorothy bought it for $2000. What a deal!! Donald and his wife lived in the last I knew.
Enough for now. Take care. Janice Leonard Workman, class of 1956 rules!!!!
Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57):
Re: Modeste Lagimodiere
Modeste’s homestead was about 1 1/2 miles south of Rapid City Lake and one mile off #3 highway. Louis Riel Jr. was son of Julie Lagimodiere and Louis Riel Sr.
I have a story of Joe Lagimodiere and old Martin Evan’s, also Ben Lagimodiere told my dad what to do if a mean bull got you off guard in an open field.
If Alice Bergan doesn’t have a picture of Alcide, what with Alcide babysitting her kids all those years, then I guess we are out of luck. People reading this would get a lot more out of it if there was a picture.
It is interesting that Bergan’s land is connected to the old Modeste homestead and Mahlon Bailly was right next door The Banker Templeman place where Wilmer Fassett was after 1935 was there also.
Melvin Cook, someone out there may know what family brought him to the area. I am guessing maybe the Anderson’s. On those swimming adventures on Rabbit City Lake, they would look way over on the other side of the lake, and say “there he is”. Melvin swam like a duck, staying under water so long, they wondered where he was at. I think he had some other talents too.
About 1947 Dad introduced me to a man named Fred Morin. He had a big star, a big hat and he was a rather striking figure of a man, this was up on the Jack Rabbitt Trail north of Dunseith. As I read his story in Prairie Past and Mountain Memories, one could easily write a book on his life of 104 years. I thought Fred did a lot of his duty on foot? For sure Wilbur Hall did his work on horseback on the Canadian Border when we first came back to the farm. Things really were changing fast in the 40’s.
Reply from Colette Hosmer (64): c
I liked your memory/letter which included Elaine Watkins very much. I have added this image of you to my file of “cousin Bob Hosmer memories” in my head. That’s one of the great things about this communal “blog”. It enables us all to build a more complete picture of those who contributed to our lives.
Thanks to you, the “Fassett Boys” and others, my memory of Elaine has filled-out considerably.
Susan, I forgot to attack the pictures when I posted the following message with #355. Sorry about that. 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
Irene Fassett & Elaine Watkins Dancing – Paula Fassett on couch
Elaine Watkins – 1940
Elaine Watkins – 1940
Elaine Watkins – 1940