09/30/2016 (2440)

Reply from Bill Hosmer (’48): ftrpilothoz@gmail.com Tucson, AZ

Gary, Thank you for the unbelievable and consistent posting

of the things that us Dunseith area people live on, because of

the terrific lives we led with the terrific people who lived with us.

Over the years I was in the service and lately in my retirement

years, the memories of the people who gave me support, were

frustrated with my mistakes as a trouble maker once in awhile,

and encouraged me to do what I wanted to do. There were so

many who encouraged me, corrected me, and gave me the

friendship that I lived on.  Whenever I go back to the Hills and Prairie

there are recollections which grab me by the shirt, when I drive from

town into the hills, and back south to the prairie, to Rolette, where I

was born and remember so many good friends who gave me the

encouragement to do what I finally did.


I am going to be 86 years old next month, and that is something

I never believed would happen, for many reasons, but here it is, almost.

Ever since you started this marvelous way to talk to one another,

I’ve been trying to let you know how important a gift you gave all of us. Thank you,Gary.


On another note, I had the pleasure of meeting your bride a few

years ago. I know she has some challenges that give you and us

concern. Please hug her for me and tell her she is an example of

courage and strength that inspires the rest of us  Dunseith friends

of yours and hers.  God Bless, Bill Hosmer



Blog (511) posted on July 5, 2009

Posted on July 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Bruce Pigeon (61): Garrison, ND

Bruce, I received this notice yesterday in blue below. We wish you the happiest birthday ever. Enjoy. Gary

Bruce Pigeon’s birthday is tomorrow (Jul. 5)

Reply from Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC

Hi Gary, This is response to Cheryl Larson Dakin,and Ivey Eller Robert,I was happy to see that being a “fire bug” is just a stage all kids go thru. To Diane Fugure,I remember when alot of the kids on the bus would call our Mom “Mama Casavant”, she would just smile and take it all in stride like…Whats 12 more kids??? She always kinda got a kick out of it. As for you Fugure kids calling her that,it seemed normal as close together we lived.Your Mom and Dad ,and your family as a whole were such good people.To this day all us kids feel a special closeness to your family.I remember your brother David use to come up to our

Mom and say some crazy stuff that,only kids could come up with,and our Mom would laugh for a week about it…She just plain and simple loved kids…Praise God for That!!!! and all us kids said,…AMEN!

Come on All you former fire bugs out there I know you have a story!!!!

A reply to Gary from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND

Thanks, Gary. Very interesting. I won’t send the clipping.

I had forgotten Mel Kuhn and Keith/Myron Senechal are cousins. I should
have known/remembered this, so I’m grateful Mel mentioned the
connection again. I knew Keith when I was younger–like in high
school, or just a little later. He’s the reason I had a guitar.
Sharon Kofoid/I “hung out” a little with Keith Senechal and his
cousin, Jerome Allard. Keith played the guitar and sang. I thought
this was so neat. I asked Dad if he would buy a guitar for me (I
hardly ever asked for anything, but a guitar really intrigued me.).
Dad played the guitar when he was young, so he was happy to hear I
thought I’d like to learn how to play one. He ordered a $30 guitar
from, I think it was Sears (It was a beautiful guitar; the coloring
was so pretty. Needless to say, playing a guitar is quite hard on
fingernails, and I wasn’t dedicated enough to learning to play the
guitar to “sacrifice” my long fingernails. I did learn to chord a
little, but that was about it. About 4 years ago, when my brother,
Jim, visited his daughter/her family in Ashburn, VA (He drove his
pickup.), I sent the guitar with him to give to his grandson, Vinson
Corbo. Vinson was (maybe still is) interested in guitars, so he was
the perfect person to give the guitar to.

So, thanks to Keith Senechal, I had a guitar. I’ve seen Keith
occasionally over the years, the last time when he/his wife were
visiting his mother at Good Sam. Evelyn’s room was two doors west of
Mom’s room. Olivine was across the hall from Mom when she (Mom) first
moved to Good Sam.


P.S. If you think Mel would be interested in reading my “guitar
story”, feel free to forward it to him. The world continues to grow

Neola, This very interesting story is worthy of sharing with everyone. You mention Jerome Allard (58) in your message too. Jerome is married to Donna LaCroix (64). I posted Donna’s picture with her cousin Randy Kelly a few days ago. Donna’s mother, Lydia and Randy’s mother are sisters to Elwood Fauske. Gary

Elwood & Eleanor Hiatt Fauske

Randy Kelly (69)

Bill Grimme (65): Birmingham, AL

Folks, I wanted to share this picture that Bill Grimme sent to me with a Happy 4th of July message.

Bill, I love your outfit! Gary

Manvil & Dorothy Sebelius

Manvil & Dorothy Sebelius’ children:
Duane, David, Jeff, Marvin, Dennis, Daryl, Dean and Harvey Sebelius

9/28/2016 (2439)

Dick & Brenda Johnson (the Dakota Drifters) Playing at the Norsk Hostfest in Minot
Posting from Dick Johnson (’68):  Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

Just a quick note to let the readers know that our group,  the Dakota Drifters,  will be playing again this year at the Norsk Hostfest in Minot.  We will be on the stage in Reykjavik Hall all four days, Sept

28 through October 1, with performances at 8:30 AM and 2:45 PM each day.  Our new CD will be on sale there too.  We have a great time and hope to see some familiar faces in the crowd again this year.  Thanks Gary!



Anna Salmonson Lagerquist and Edith Salmonson Pederson
Reply from Evon Lagerquist (’77):  Dunseith, ND

Yes Gary. The ladies were related to the Salmonson families in the area. Dad (Johnny Lagerquist) was cousin to Clarence, Cliff Salmonson as well as Alice Hiatt…

Gary’s Reply

I never realized that your dad and Sam Pederson’s mothers were Salmonson’s, let alone related to the local Salmonson families. I am sure a host of others never realized this either. Thank you so much for this info. I have always known that Alice (Albert) Salmonson Hiatt was a sister to Hank, Cliff and Clarence. Hank and Albert Hiatt used to shear our sheep. They were brother-in-laws.


Blog (510) posted on July 4, 2009

Reply from Ivy Eller Robert (74): Everett, WA

Hi Gary,
Reading Aggie Casavant’s story about one 4th of July adventure, it reminded me of one I had with my sister Bonnie. We lived behind Robert’s gas station, but I’m not sure how old I was, maybe 7 or 8. Orphula Robert had a wrecker service & would haul cars, some wrecked & some not, and park them to the south of the station. He said we could play in a certain few, and showed us which ones. We would pretend that we had our own cars and play driving them around. Well one 4 of July, when we got our allowance, we bought some firecrackers & sparklers. It was raining for a few days prior to the 4th, and the weather report said it would be raining for a few days after as well. We just could wait so we got into the front seat of one of the cars and decided to light off the our firecrackers. We would light them and throw them on the floor in the back seat or the floor of the front seat passenger side. We had the window closed cause it was raining. We did this for, I’d say an hour or so and were having a great time, but next thing I know, I seen Mom out of the corner of my eye, pounding on the window next to me. I know she was saying something but we could not hear a thing she was saying. We didn’t have to hear, we knew why she was mad as a wet hen! It took a few days to be able to hear again as well as being able to sit down! I guess we were lucky we didn’t loose our hearing permanently. All I know is that Mom would not let us have fireworks, firecrackers to be more specific, again for a few years after that.

I hope everyone has a safe & great 4 of July!

Ivy Eller Robert

Reply From Cheryl Larson Dakin (71): BEDFORD, TX

What a great story by Aggie. Thank God for guardian angels! I can just see them running after all of you stomping out little fires! This will just spark floods of memories of behavior that was fun, or seemed like a good idea at the time, but was really dumb and dangerous. LIke when I was a freshman (old enough to know better) and lit candles under my crepe paper pom poms in my bedroom. Whoosh! And they were lit too. I grabbed a Reader’s Digest magazine and beat it out but there were whisps of burned crepe paper all over the room and floating in the air. It took flinging WATER to get the air cleared of all the charred crepe paper. Mom was at the commisary, (Dad was in Viet Nam) my 3 sisters were out playing so I closed my door and started trying to clean up. The girls banged on the door wanting to know what was going on and I told them I wanted to surprise Mom with my clean room and to stay out! They didn’t want to get roped into cleaning so they did. When Mom got back I showed her my nice clean room and of course she zeroed in on the slightly scorched wall first. Wanted to know what happened……I looked at her for a minute and knowing honesty was really the best policy, and needing to remind her of it “just in case” I said “well, I was going to make up a story Mom, but thought I had just better tell you the truth” so I proceeded to tell her what happened (the short version) and of course she was glad I wasn’t hurt, thankful the house didn’t burn down, and felt good that I chose to tell the truth and not lie. Whew! Dodged a bullet there!

I can’t wait to hear more of the stories I know will be coming!

Cheryl Larson Dakin ’71

Correction from Mark Schimetz (70): Rolette, ND

Dir. Gary, I don’t mean to be annoying, as you are doing a splendid job with this daily letter, However, the way it was written will confuse those that do not know the difference.

But!!!! Patty and George’s kids are Grand Children of Dale and Alma (Boucher) Gottbreht. Not George and Alma!

Your Post says that they are grandchildren of George and Alma. This should read (Dale and Alma)

As written this implies that George and Alma to be man and wife and or of the same grandparental status.

Dale and Alma (Boucher) Gottbreht) are the grand parents of George Jr. and Patty’s Kids. Dale and Alma being Georges parents.

George Sr. and wife Evelyn are the Great grand parents to George and Patty’s kids and Grandparents of George Gottbreht and his siblings.

Mark, Thank you so much for catching this mistake. This is one of those mistakes that I read right over when I proof read this prior to sending. I knew that Dale and Alma were husband & wife and parents of George. I also had Patty listed as being in the class of 66, so I have corrected that too. When I typed this I was thinking Dale and typed George. Again, thanks for catching this and bringing it to my attention. Gary

Patty Boguslawski Gottbreht (65) with her three sons Rick, Jeff & Bob.

Patty, I’m not sure of the identities of your boys. I’d say you are pretty well protected with these guys. Your boys are grandchildren of
Dale and Alma Gottbreht too, with George being their father.

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

Folks there are some Dunseith connections and folks in this photo.

Marlys Zorn (69) Fairbury, Nebraska

Vickie Metcalfe (70) Bottineau

Lynette Geiszler, Bottineau, wife of Brian Johnson (69) and Daughter-in-Law of Mona Johnson (48):

The following previously posted pictures were provided by Doreen Bailey: Tempe, AZ


9/26/2016 (2438)

Johnnie Lagerquist and Sam Pederson were first cousins
Reply from Evon Lagerquist (’77):  Dunseith, ND

I think Grandma Lagerquist & Grandma Pederson were sisters. They were Salmonson’s before marriage…


Gary’s Reply

Checking the 1982 Dunseith Centennial book “Prairie Past and Mountain Memories” I don’t see any Pederson family History. Kind of sad.  In years to come their existence of ever having lived in the Ackworth community will vanish as those of us that remember them depart this earth. I am one of the youngest that remember them and I will be 70 next year.

Were Anna Salmonson Lagerquist and Edith Salmonson Pederson related to the Ackworth Salmonson families?

Evon, I see a nice write-up of the history of you Grandparents, John and Anna (Salmonson) Lagerquist. They were married in Sweden in 1883. John was born in 1858. Your dad, Johnny, was born in 1901.  Evon, I think you were born in 1959? Your Grandpa was more than a century older than you, 101 years older.  


Blog (509) posted on July 2, 2009

Posted on July 3, 2009

Reply to the Casavant siblings from Diane Fugere (75): Minot, ND


To Aggie Casavant and all her siblings: Every time I read something from you Aggie, I think of your mom. We called her “momma” just like you kids did. She was a wonderful humble lady, “salt of the earth”, which reminds me of Stella Schimetz of the exact same character as your momma.

Diane Fugere

Reply from Kathy Casavant Ellingson (74)Bismarck, ND

Gary, Sometimes I do not get pics also but what I do is right click on the x in the box then I click on view pic & then it comes up so if your readers try that maybe it will work. Kathy

Kathy, Thank you so much for this info. Now it would be interesting to know why these pictures sometimes don’t show on the screen but are there when doing what you do to view them. This is interesting. Does anyone have the answer? Gary

Reply from Bev Morinville Azure (72): Dunseith, ND

YES Gary I also have the trouble with NOT seeing some of the pictures. To Lyle thanks for the It is really interesting . HAPPY 4TH OF JULY TO ALL and THANK YOU TO ALL OF U WHO SERVED AND MAKES IT POSSIABLE TO LIVE IN THE FREE WORLD.
To the Allard family so sorry to hear about the lose of your loved one. May GOD hold you close in this time of sorrow.

Reply from Jean Nicholas Miller (66): GLENDALE, AZ

In response to the question re:pictures not showing up, this has happened many times to me also. I kept meaning to let you know but never got around to it. Also on the cheerleader picture it had be the school year of 1965-66 as Joann and Corliss graduated with me in 66.
Jean Nicholas Miller(66)

Reply from Eileen (Mike) Brudwick: Fargo, ND

Hi Gary,

In regard to some of the pictures not always showing in an e-mail. Mine doesn’t either, and I am sure it’s the mail server I have. Sometimes if I go to the next e-mail, and then go back to your e-mail, the pictures that didn’t show before are there. Another thing is, before a person begins to scroll down to read it, make sure it is fully loading the e-mail before you do anything. At least that is how mine works better.

A special thanks to Erling Landsverk for his kind words. I agree, we who were born in North Dakota, do tend to help each other all we can. We’re just a different breed of cats, so to speak! HA!! <big smile>

My brother-in-law told me last night that when he was in Vietnam they sprayed this Agent Orange to kill the foliage because it was so heavy in areas, and so they could see the enemy better.

Great bunch of people you have on your list, Gary. I enjoy reading the newsletter every day!

Eileen Brudwick

Reply from Mark Schimetz (70)Rolette, ND

Karen Hermes Photo didn’t come through for me.

Also Old George Gottbreht and Evelyn his wife, would have been the great grandparents of Patti and George’s Boys.

It was Dale and Alma that would be the Grandparents.

Mark, That is one mistake I read right over before sending. I know blame well that Dale was their grandfather. Thank you so much for the correction. I have pastedKaren Hermes picture below that was included with her obituary. It was one of those pictures that was hidden until you clicked on the “Click here to down load Pictures” at the top of the message.

Folks, when pictures don’t go through, please zap me a message and I will send you a solo copy of the ones that you didn’t get. That is for sure not a problem. Gary

Our condolences to the John Allard family & Don Henes with their loss of Karen:

The John and Olivine Allard Family L to R:
Back: Larry, Kenny, Clayton,
Center: Mary, Olivine, John, Karen
Front: Betty, Duane, Carol

First Cousins – Class of 65 – 7-12-07
Patty Boguslawski & Carol Allard

Update on the Dunseith Reunion in Watertown SD.

Posted by Jerry (54) & Kathy Williams: Watertown, SD

We have most everything ready to go for the reunion here in Watertown with just a few rooms open at the Drake Motor Inn but will not be able to hold them past the 7th of July. If time allows we will be able to take in the Goss Opera House that is being restored here in Watertown also. Right now there is a King Tut display in the building that is very interesting. The following people have responded to me that they are going to be at the reunion and most have paid up front for the registration. Thank you very much.

Clark & Audrey Crum

Clayton & Arliss Lider

Betty Jane & Bill (Schneider) Lamb

Gary & Mary Lou Morgan

Rodney & Marlene Armentrout

Gary & Pat Woodford

Janice (Lenonard) Workman

Bonnie & Keith (Awalt) Houle

Dennis & Peggy Espe

Dick Morgan

Jerry & Kathy Williams

At this time the following did not know if they could make are not. Barry Shelver(work) and Elaine (Schneider) Hockett (husbands health).

I would also like to make up a display, and or a booklet of photos. So if you would be so kind as to send me or E-Mail me a graduation photo and a resent photo with a short write up of yourself ( where you live, what you have done in the past, what you are doing now ect.) So if you could send or E-Mail me a few pictures so that I could use to accomplish this I would be very appreciative. Even if you are not going attend the reunion please send your photos and write up anyway.

Thanks Again

Jerry & Kathy

From Larry Liere (55): Devils Lake, ND

Gary:This is a copy of what I sent to Bob Hosmer, Bonnie Houle, Janice Workman, and Arlene Daily.You may use any part of this that you think would be of interest to your readers.LARRY



Even though I have been back to Dunseith a few times since 1945 I have never visited with anyone about my childhood in Dunseith.At age 72 there may be a few things I don’t know for sure any more.I will try to mark things I am not sure of with an * and if any of you remember things different then I do feel free to let me know.

About kindergarten age I remember playing tag and hide & seek with kids.The names I can remember are Bob Hosmer, Bonnie Await, Janice Leonard Elain Watkins, Barry Shelver, Arlene & Ann Lamoureaux. I also remember a Connley Grimme I think he was a little older then me.Is Bill Grimme his little Brother?When we got old enough to ride bike our games moved to different parts of town and the park.The war was on so we didn’t have many toys except toys made of wood which were not much fun.Outside in the summer was the most fun.Barry was my best friend back then but we both played with Bob a lot.The girls would play tag, hide and seek with us or go on bike rides.* I think there was another park outside of town on the North West side we would ride to some times.I would guess it was a mile or two out of town.I was so happy I got to play the triangle in the school rhythm band.I was really worried I would get stuck playing the sticks.Barry, Bob and I would make the rounds getting treats. Candy at Bob’s dad’s store, pop at Barry’s dad’s drug store, and ice cream where my dad worked for the Turtle Mountain Creamery.Barry’s dad had a garage behind the Drug store with an upstairs that was a lot of fun to play in.One time we found some fun little bottles to play with and Barry said Bob and I could each have one.I took my bottle home and my mother found my little sister with it in her mouth.Guess what, it was an emptyArsenic bottle.Barry and Bob’s mothers were called but Glenn Barry’s dad said there was nothing to worry about because he always washed them good before storing them.Sad to say we didn’t get to play in the garage anymore.We got corn cob pipes to use in blowing bubbles with soap and water.We tried smoking rag weed in the corn cob pipes one Fall when the weeds got dry.(rag weed was also called pig weed)It wasn’t good so we didn’t try that again.Once or twice a month my Dad would deliver ice cream and milk up to the San Haven and some of my friends would get to ride along.There was a small lake below the San Haven we would go swimming in. * I think it was called Lake Schuty (sp?).I remember a murder up in the hills where a man killed a women.* I think his name was Chase (sp?)They had him in the Dunseith jail and there was a big mob outside.Our mothers came and got us away from there in a hurry.I remember bringing money to school to buy stamps which would buy War Bonds when you had enough stamps.We lived across the street from the Catholic Church and going from the South to the North the first house was Campbell’s a banker, then our house, then Haines(sp?) a Boarder Patrol Officer, then Ray Murry who had the Turtle Mountain Creamery.

Some things my folks have told me about living in Dunseith,My dad and Glenn Shelver refereed a lot of Basketball games together. My Dad was the butter maker and ice cream maker for the creamery.During the War.The little creamery in Dunseith had a contract with the Army and shipped a boxcar load of butter every week to the Army.My Mother was a school teacher in a one room country school East of Dunseith. (* I think it was about 6 to 8 miles East)

I have received E-mails back from three of my classmates in 1st & 2nd. grade and I hope to hear from more of you.


LARRY LIERE (55)Left Dunseith midterm of 3rd. Grade 1945

Reply from Lloyd Awalt (44): Bottineau, ND

Gary, The old white school on the Post Card Picture #501 . If you go to the West &

North corner of the school and go one block North the frist house on the block next

North is the one we lived in. It was owned by Tom Cassadie, the next house North was Henry Hagen. The nest house North on the corner was Ernest Horsman’s . The long

white Bldg. on that black was the Commercial Hotel owned by Grassman, later by

Grimmies. I started school there in 1932. #503 The inlarged ones I can pick out a lot of homes where people that I knew lived. Mrs Ben Marsa was teaching Grade school.

Charle Watkins house by the Stone Church. When we frist came back to Dunseith we lived in the house where Bill Fassett lived by the creek.


Story from Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC

Hi Gary & Everyone in Dunseith Blog Land

With the 4th of July right around the corner I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you all,a story that took place at the “Big House on the Prairie. When us kids were quite young like ages ranging from 7, 9,10,11,12, our brother Rene was working for our neighbor Freddie Neamyer,so often times on special occasions he would stop buy and visit and bring us younger kids little gifts and surprises. As I mentioned in one of my other stories we were not the richest kids on the block,so when Rene came home one night around the 4th of July he brought us some fireworks.Some were bottle rockets, some were sparklers,and a couple bigger ones…And boy oh boy were we excited…It was like waiting for Christmas Eve to open our gifts.Rene told us not to mess with them til he came home on the 4th and he we would shoot them off together.Well in the days leading up to the 4th we were listening to the weather every nite to be sure it wasn’t raining on the 4th…Well lo and behold,the morning of the4th of July it was raining.Here were these 5 little heads (Jimmy,Bobby,Eddie,Aggie,&Maryann) standing at the window watching the rain come down,thinking…I KNOW THIS IS NOT HAPPENING….Our Dad was sitting there in his chair like always reading the paper and smoking his pipe,So Bobby(Daddys pet as we would always call him) went over and asked,”Daddy,do you think it will quit raining by tonite so we can shoot fireworks? Our Dad looked over his reading glasses,half way smiling,and said ,Nah No,it’s gonna rain all day and all night…Bobby looked at him for awhile and said,”But we want to shoot off our fiereworks tonite Daddy.(Like he was going to manipulate our Dad to shut off the rain) I really believe to this day Bobby really thought he could…LOL. Daddy just kinda smiled and said,Nah you got all summer to shoot off fire works…. At that point us other kids heard about enough,and we all looked at each other like…Oh No,that ain’t gonna happen..this is the 4th of July,and come rain or high waters,those fire works are going off tonite!!! So as it worked out ,sure enough as it was getting dark it was still raining,so our Mom&Dad decided to go visit our Uncle Aime and Aunt Germaine Barbot,about 7 miles away.Our Mom and Dad wern’t a mile down the road,and us kids had the fireworks out of the box trying to figure out how we were going to shoot them off with it still raining outside.All at once Eddie said,” Hey lets go upstairs and open the door that goes out to the roof and stand in the doorway and shoot them outside,and we all were jumping up and down,yelling”Yah yah thats a good idea lets go.(Well first off you have to understand,we had no electricity to the up stairs) so were all running like crazy up the stairs,tripping over each other, in the dark . with visions of rockets red glare,and getting all patriotic…So when we got the door opened,we saw it stopped raining.So just as we were going to start back downstairs to go outside and shoot them off, Eddie said,”Hey lets not go downstairs lets go out on the roof and shoot them off,So Bobby started out on the roof first to set up this rocket on the peak of the roof. Well it was wooden shingles slick as oil and he slipped and fell grabbing onto the metal trim that went down the middle of the roof. Just then it started raining,so we pulled Bobby back in and went back to plan “A”.We had our pop bottles and were taking turns shooting them out the door.While waiting our turn,Jimmy,Maryann and I lit the sparklers and were running up and down the hallway,hollering and yelling and laughing.By that time Bobby and Eddie discovered that the rain would put out the bottle rockets as soon as they hit the outside,so they started shooting the bottle rockets down the hallway,So we all got our own pop bottle and started shooting them where ever we could find a space to shoot them. Some hit the walls,some hit the windows,some were being shot off straight into the ceiling,but they all went…When we got done with them,we started lighting packs of firecrackers all at one time… All at once we seen this flash of lights on the wall,we looked out the window and it was our Mom&Dad. (our uncle and aunt weren’t home so they came home early)We went tearing down the steps and slammed the upstairs door trying to look all calm and normal. When they walked in the house my Mom had this look on her face,as the smell of sulphur hit her… It was like her lips were moving, but we couldn’t hear her real well cuz they were ringing from all the fire crackers.We could kinda hear her saying,”What did you kids do??? I said, Bobby and Eddie lit a pack of fire crackers,but we’ll shoot ours off another nite…(Like none of the rest of us did anything wrong) Bobby and Eddie were looking at me kinda blinking,like they were shell shocked. Our Mom and Dad didn’t check to see if the rest of the fireworks were still there….But the next morning when our Mom went upstairs to gather our clothes to do laundry she got the full impact of what we did.I swear to God ,she must of thought she walked into a war zone,with burn marks all over the walls and ceiling with burned up fireworks all over the floor….Like the song goes”Let Freedom Ring,Let the Whole World Sing,Let the Whole World Know That That Day Was the Day of Reckoning……..

Hope You All Have A Happy Safe 4th of July! Aggie

Aggie, You guys were luck they weren’t calling the fire department. I’ll bet that upstairs was a sight for sore eyes when you guys were finished lighting off all your fireworks. Gary

9/23/2016 (2437)

Sam Pederson’s wife Edith and Jenny Handeland were sisters
Reply from Bev Handeland Hamnes (’48): Bottineau, ND

Yes , mother was a Sister to Sam Pederson’s wife Edith and they lived in Spokane , Wash.

Sam Pederson and Johnnie Lagerquist were cousins
Reply from Evon Lagerquiest (’77):  Dunseith, ND

Gary, Melvin Pederson’s dad, Sam, was a cousin to my dad…FYI…


Gary’s Reply:
Evon, This I didn’t know that your dad and Sam Pederson were cousins. Was it on your dad’s mother’s side or his dad’s side of the family. If it was on the Lagerquist side, the Woodfords would be related too. I know Gary Metcalfe knows the connections too.

Sam Pederson and his family lived one mile west of us in the Ackworth community. As a young child I remember them being there. I remember visiting them numerous times too. I am guessing I was about 5 years old when they moved out of state. I remember Sam visiting a few times after that too. You know the Peterson Lake that we used to go swimming in as a child was named after them too, but on the maps the name is spelled with a “T” and not a “D”. Norman Hiatt bought the Pederson Farm. One quarter Section as I recall.  


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


I think of you and Bernadette often. You both are good people.

I know how much Bernadette helped during our reunions.  I appreciate her very much, she is someone to be proud of.

I wish you both the best in all what you are going through at this time.

May God bless you and your Bernadette.


Gary’s reply:

Thanks for the nice compliments Ginger.

Bernadette’s condition has improved remarkably. She can stand and walk and her speech is better. She slept well last night too.


Joke of the day
Posted by Don Malaterre (72):  Sioux Falls, SD

Two Nebraska football players were walking in the woods. One of them said, “Look, a dead bird. “The other looked up in the sky and said, “Where?”


Blog (509) posted on July 2, 2009

Posted on July 2, 2009

Karen Allard Henes obituary:

Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND

Karen Henes
July 20, 1955 – June 25, 2009

MOHALL – Karen Henes, 53, of Mohall; died Thursday, June 25, 2009, as a result of injuries received in an accident involving a motorcycle striking a moose.

Karen Ann Allard was born July 20, 1955 in Bottineau, a daughter of John and Olivine (Cote) Allard. She attended school in Dunseith and graduated from Bottineau High School in 1973. She graduated from Josef’s School of Hair Design in Minot.

Karen married the love of her life, Don Henes, September 29, 1979 in Bottineau. She worked at Hal’s Men’s Store and Tommy Turtle Lanes for several years before moving to Mohall. Karen was currently employed as a hairdresser at A Reflection located in Minot.

Karen loved traveling to various places with her husband, Don. She always invited family and friends to join them. Karen enjoyed camping, fishing, gardening, canning, biking, boating, skiing, hiking and had a gorgeous yard. There really wasn’t much Karen didn’t enjoy doing. She loved life and lived it to the fullest! Although Karen and Don weren’t blessed with children, they were adored by all their nieces, nephews and many, many friends. Everybody loved Karen. Karen and Don were looking forward to celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary on the 29th of September of this year.

Family: Karen is survived by and will be deeply missed by her husband, Don, Mohall; her beloved pets, Jetta, Gizzy, Toots and Lucky; father, John Allard, Bottineau; sisters, Betty (Ron) Heinz, Rolette; Carol (John) Buxbaum, Sidney, MT; Mary (Laurel) Hiatt, Bottineau; brothers, Kenneth (Nancy) Allard, Fessenden; Larry (Dawn) Allard, Dunseith; Clayton (Diane) Allard, Bottineau; Duaine (Lavonne) Allard, Willow City; sisters-in-law, Mary Woolcott, Willow City; Diane (Ray) Kallus, Round Rock, TX; Peggy (Jeff) Oster, Bismarck; brother-in-law, Gary (Sherri) Henes, Bottineau; Dan (Cindy) Henes, Minot; James (Lavonne) Henes, Bismarck; David (Elsie) Henes, Willow City; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and her many wonderful friends.

Karen was preceded in death by her mother, and numerous aunts and uncles.

Funeral: Thursday, July 2, 2009, at 11:00 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, Mohall

Burial: Mohall Community Cemetery

Family Service: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the church

Visitation: Wednesday from Noon to 5:00 p.m. at the funeral home

Sign the Online Guestbook

View the Henes memorial folder (These links will open in a new window)
Henes folder outside
Henes folder inside


I did not know Karen, but Carol and Larry were in my class of 65. Carol, your sister Karen looks very much like you in her photo. She too was a very pretty girl. My condolences are with all of you family members with the passing of Karen. She was a young lady too. Many of you out there on this distribution are related to Karen.

I will be posting some of Karen’s memorial folders tomorrow that Neola included with her obituary today. Gary

Reply from Lyle Olson (70): West Fargo, ND


I hope all is fine with you and yours. I haven’t been able to read the daily messages for quite some time but did want to respond to the message from Verena Gillis about cancer rates in Rolette and Bottineau Counties.

When practicing law in Rolla back in 1987 – 1989 I represented several people for Social Security disability claims. Virtually all my clients had cancer or family members with cancer. Although not pertinent to my representation of my clients, I did learn through extensive research that the so-called fire break between the US and Canada – the scorched earth path that runs from the Peace Garden to Lake Metigoshe – had been sprayed with Paraquat (not Agent Orange as some have reported) back in the 30’s and up to the early 60’s. You may have heard of Paraquat in the past as it is the herbicide used by our own government to eradicate marijuana in California and elsewhere in the 1970’s and 1980’s. There was a huge outrage over the use of Paraquat for such efforts as marijuana users developed severe breathing and other problems after smoking marijuana that had been sprayed with Paraquat and then harvested for sale. While the DEA no longer uses the chemical for drug eradication in the US, it does fund the purchase of the same for use in countries such as Mexico, Columbia and now in Afghanistan. In any event, there is a statistically significant higher incidence of cancer mortality in Rolette and Bottineau counties than in the US and ND. Indeed, Rolette and Bottineau Counties rank #1 and #3, respectively, of the 51 counties in ND as to incidence of cancer. Go to “http://statecancerprofiles.cancer.gov/micromaps/” and complete the information in the left hand columns using all ND counties, all cancers, both sexes, all ages and other inputs and you will see the cancer “hots spots” in the state.

Now, I am not a conspiracy theorist at all. I do not believe the government is hiding anything as there could be literally thousands of reasons why there is a higher cancer rate in Rolette and Bottineau counties than in all but one county in ND and the US in general. Lifestyle, environment, etc… could all account for the higher cancer rates. However, it seems to me that the statistical difference is great enough to warrant some sort of study from the federal or state government.

Lyle Olson

Reply from Erling Landsverk (44): Portage, WI

Hi Gary and Everyone:

While listening to the many messages on your blog this morning, I was struck by the message from Eileen Brudwick, that referred to the Agent Orange being used in Canada, and the subsequent illnesses and other dibilitating conditions resulting and attributed to the possibility that Agent Orange might be responsible. While at a VA Hospital a couple of days ago for a semi annual check up, I visited with a veteran from the Korean war, who told me about his younger brother who served in Viet Nam. He told me that his brother was subjected to to the spray of Agent Orange while on patrol. Upon his return to the United states, his general attitude appeared to be changed, although he married later and lived a somewhat normal life, he suffered from constant skin erruptions that either didn’t heal completely or healed very slowly so that others appeared during the healing process. This continued untill he was about 58 years of age, when he was diagnosed with cancer in many parts of his body, and he died after two years of painful treatments. I believe that his older brother said that the cause of his untimely death was quite likely if not absolutely certain was Agent orange. The reason I brought this incident up is that I have learned of many cancer deaths in the Dunseith, Bottineau area, and I might say an inordinate number. It would be a shame if the matter were to be dropped, and the responsible chemical companies were not brought to task for not warning of the potential dangers to everyone in the area before using it.

I guess I have to be thankful they hadn’t developed Agent Orange when I was wandering through the dense Phillipine foliage during World War II.

I wish to thank Eileen for her thoughtful consideration by bringing up this bit of information for all to consider. Thats the way of the High Plains people from North Dakota, always on hand to help others.

Erling Landsverk

Erling, I want to make comment to your statement “While listening to the many messages”. We know that being blind you have computer software that reads these messages to you. I am amazed with your ability to remember all that you do when replying to these messages with the level of detail that you do. I don’t know about the rest of the folks, but I often times reference back to the messages I’m replying too when writing my reply. You don’t easily have that luxury. Gary

Reply from Sharren Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA.

Yesterday, the info regarding Agent Orange and its use was sent to my cousin, Ron St Onge of Sask. Might you patch his response to the blog? I also visited the web site you list today. All the defoliants used in the boundary land are probably carcinogenic, according to Don, but Agent Orange was not the culprit between Sask and ND. To what extent the materials have invaded our water and soil should be tested by the EPA office of ND. I visited their web site; found no evidence that tests for Dioxin had been performed. The BIA and border counties must have the leverage needed to properly check the scope of contamination. A shout should be raised. Remember the book, Silent Spring? I wonder if hunters and other observers see cancers in wildlife population?

I talked with brother Ernie yesterday – misery loves company. We both recalled the young Legasse vet of Rolette County, who died scant months after returning home from Nam, riddled with cancer. No doubt a tragic victim of Agent Orange and a fright for everyone of our generation. Ernie was in Camron Bay and the Bay of Tonkin a number of times servicing other ships. He said the surrounding land bordering the area was like a desert – no foliage. He also said there was a constant haze about the area.

In the early 60’s the USA tested Agent Orange on a small island off the coast of Porto Rico. They evacuated half the island prior to testing. Cancers are rampant in the remaining population of the island and among those who migrated to the main island, all who were supposedly upwind of the testing.

What a relief to read my cousin Aggies’ messages. Mom loved to visit her first cousin Etienne and Marie on the farm and a few of us would tag along. Lots of space in that big old house for a family of great heart and love of life. I think I remember watermelons and popsicles? The family spent few winters were in Willow City where I visited Bernadette and Paul and their many siblings. Houses could hardly contain the Casavant glee and constant motion. Great memories from ’50 and ’51.


Sharron’s cousin Ron’s reply:

Hi: just anote about agent orange use on the border, I have lived and worked along for the border in eastern sask. all my life never heard or saw any evidence of the use of agent orange. The use of anyweed sprays such as 2-4-D and all the others have no doubt raised the level of cancer along the border and the reason is that farms on both side of the border were the first to use these products and still continue using them to-day, My father and I were instrumental in getting people spraying in 1946 and they have been spraying and using seed disease treatment since that time and the rate of cancer is higher than in the rest of the country and I believe that these factors were partly the reason for that fact. take care Love Ronnie

Reply/question from Lynn Halvorson Otto (75): Seoul, Korea

Hi Gary, just a comment about some of the pictures that don’t come through. Does anyone else have this problem? For example, Jim Birkland picture does not come through but everything else does. This has happend many times before but just thought I’d mention it. Thanks for all you do with this alumni site. Have a great time on the Alaska trip. Happy birthday wishes to your wife as well. We are in the states for our summer visits. I think we have one more year in Seoul! All my best, Lynn Halvorson Otto

Lynn, With your reply to that message, your copy of that message included with your reply to me has Jim Birkland’s picture. I’m wondering too if anyone else is having that same problem with some of the pictures not being displayed. It’s obvious that the picture was there, but just not being displayed. I’ll bet we have some computer experts out there that can probably tell us the likely problem. I try to keep the file size of these daily messages to a minimum too. Larger file sizes I think could be a possible problem, but I wouldn’t think that would be the problem with these daily messages, but maybe it is. Yesterday’s message had a lot of pictures, but the file size of the whole message was relatively small. Do any of you have any idea of what may be causing this problem. Gary

Reply from Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC

Hi Gary, I read with great interest Ele Dietrich Slyters story about her Dads 100 year old fiddle. I’m a die hard Antiques Road Show fan. I think it would be so interesting what they would have to say about it. I know the show goes to Bismarck now and then. It more than likely would not be anything you would be interested in selling to them,but just to know what they would have to say would be interesting. It’s always nice reading your stories Ele. I always remember you, with you,and I and Penny Awalt sitting on the floor of Mrs. Langs classroom playing jacks.I remember you would always beat Penny and I… Who would of ever thought back then that today we would be talking about the “Good Old Days”…That kinda talk was for the “Old People” like our parents…LOL. Isn’t it ironic, that as I sit here writing this message, that I’m about 15 yrs older than my Mom when she was cooking at the school…WoW, “aint that wild???

Gary, Thanks for all the kind words about our family, us kids were so blessed to have such a Great Mom,who instilled in us some pretty good values that has stuck with us all throughout our lives.She led by example,and us kids adored her.Although we weren’t the riches kids on the block,we not only knew we were loved ,we “felt loved”…so on second thought …we were rich… Thanks Again Gary! Aggie

Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND

Clarence & Mary Ann Hagen

This brings back a memory that I have never forgotten over the years. I believe 1957 was the year we had an early snow fall. I remember attending a party at Clarence and Mary Ann Hagen’s when I was about 10 years with fresh snow on the ground. I remember a bunch of us were standing outside when Herman Hagen and his mother Alice arrived. Herman had a ford car with brand new snow tires and I remember everyone being very impressed that he didn’t slip a tire on the snow when he turned around in the yard. I believe this would have been Mary Ann’s birthday party that we were attending. For some reason I have never forgotten that. Gary

1966 or 1967?

Standing: Lola Metcafe, Patt Metcafe, Joan La Croix

Sitting: Joann Houle, Corliss Allard, Randi Mongeon


Shirley Boguslawski, Margaret Faine, Shirley Decoteau

Patty Boguslawski Gottbreht (65) with her three sons Rick, Jeff & Bob.
Patty, I’m not sure of the identities of your boys. I’d say you are pretty well protected with these guys. Your boys are grandchildren of George and Alma Gottbreht too, with George being their father.

Trish Larson Clayburgh (73) with her love of horses. Trish is a

Registered Nurse in Fort Collins, Colorado. A lot of her spare time

is devoted to horses.

Folks, this picture speaks for it self.
Phyllis McKay (65) – 2007 – Auburn, WA

9/21/2016 (2436)

Bernadette Stokes


Bernadette had a really bad spell or seizure. She hasn’t been well the past several weeks. This past week was the worst by far. She was to the point of being totally bed ridden and not really being with reality. At times she remembered nothing. Most of the time her short term memory was pretty short too. Yesterday while I was playing pool she had a really bad attack. The gals got scared and called the Ambulance and took her to the hospital. Her BP was 175/49. Extremely high in the high and extremely low on the low. Very strange. In a few hours her BP returned to normal 110/70. She was in the Emergency Room for 6 hours. They attributed her condition to her sickness of which there is nothing they can do for. We brought her back home. This morning she was able to stand and walk with assistance. Her speech is very much improved and she isn’t nearly as confused. What a remarkable comeback.

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

I am thinking of you and Bernadette.  Close family and friends are invaluable in these difficult times and you are blessed with an abundance of both.   Take care,  Colette


Class of 1965 Home Economics teacher
Question from Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65):  Belcourt, ND


I would like to ask our 7th or 8th grade Home Economics teacher probably ’61, ’62 or ’60, ’61 school years.

She taught us in those grades and years. Someone mentioned her not to long ago.  Well anyway I remember we made a large fish I am sure it was for a parent night. It was shaped into a fish, mixed with a mayonnaise.  I don’t know if she made her own. It was a wonderful flavor,  I was wondering if she still has the recipe I would appreciate it,  if she does. I am probably reaching to out of the way.

Thank you Gary



Melvin Pederson Obituary (Jenny Handeland’s Nephew???)
Posted by Doreen Larson Moran (BHS ’61):  Spokane, WA

Gary.  So sorry for the suffering and sadness for you and your family.  You are a strong person from very strong stock.  Life is not easy.  Peace to and be with you through these rough times.

I just took time to look at the Spokane Obit section.  I hope you can open and read this one on Mr Pederson.  The born Ackworth ND alerted me.  His son and daughter in law had come to one of the American Legion/VFW breakfasts in Priest River ID.  I still have the history you sent to me.  I expect one of these times they will be back in Priest River for the breakfasts. (As will Bob and I be back there too.  We are in ND until Mid Oct.) At that time I will give him the history.

Gary’s comment

 Thanks so much Doreen for your concerns. I guess you could say I come from strong stock. Didn’t we all from that part of the country.

 About Melvin Pederson. As I remember from hour blog discussions a few years back, I think Gary Metcalf mentioned that Melvin’s father, Sam, was a brother to Jenny Handeland. I can’t readily find that posting though. So Bev Handeland Hamnes and Melvin Pederson were first cousins.

 The Pederson farm was located a mile west of our farm in the Ackworth community. They moved from there in the early 50’s so I don’t remember much about them.


Pedseron, Melvin 2436

Born at home in Ackworth, ND on February 19th, 1926 to Sam and Edith (Hurst) Pederson. Melvin passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends on September 13th, 2016 at Hospice House North in Spokane, WA., at the age of 90. Growing up on a farm in North Dakota, he joined the Navy at 18 years old and got in on the last of World War II aboard the Destroyer, the USS Kendrick. After being Honorably Discharged in May 1946, he moved to Spokane where he made his home for the rest of his life. He worked in construction and owned a service station for a few years until November 1949, when he hired on at Kaiser Aluminum, Trentwood, and worked there until his retirement in February 1987. Melvin married Katherine (LeClare) Orchard on February 16, 1963 and they raised four children on a 15 acre quarter horse ranch north of Spokane. Katherine passed away in 1993. He was preceded in death by four of his siblings. He leaves behind a son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Mary Pederson, daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Bernard Jones, daughter Judy Pederson, son Russell Pederson; daughter-in-law, Tiffany Peterson; and six grandchildren: Mitch and Nathan Pederson, Hayley Blank, Macie Jones, Noah and Kyan Pederson. Melvin is also survived by one brother, Lowell Pederson and close friend, Kathy Estes. Melvin’s favorite hobbies were dancing and horseback riding. He participated in the Gentlemen on Horseback ride for over 20 years. He was an active member of the Back Country Horsemen and completed the entire route of the Chief Joseph ride which entailed a distance of one hundred miles a week each year for 13 years. He participated in other rides spanning Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arkansas. He also rode for two years with the High Country Horsemen in Wyoming. Visitation will be held on Friday, September 23rd from 5-7PM at Hennessey Funeral Home, 2203 N. Division. The Rosary will follow at 7PM. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Paschal’s Catholic Church, 2523 N Park Rd, on Saturday, September 24th at 12:00 noon, followed by a Burial at Holy Cross Cemetery, 7200 N. Wall St, at 1:45 PM. The family would like to express special thanks to the staff at Hospice House North for their love and support. Online condolences may be expressed at hennesseyfuneralhomes.com


DHS State championships

Posting from Terry Marion (’75):  Dunseith, ND

Gary, Here is a little history for Dunseith High School (see picture), I am not sure if there were any other state championships that DHS teams had during our schools history in the sports of Football, Basketball and Baseball?  Maybe someone out there might know the answer to this question.  I and (Jeff (Evans) noticed that there might have been some players names that might have been left off of this trophy if so who were they?  The other question I have, were there any other state championships in the other towns in Rolette County.  I am aware of a 2nd, 3rd and 5th in the  state Basketball tourney for Dunseith boys teams but maybe only one state Championship in baseball for Dunseith.  Thanks, Terry L. Marion
Dunseith sports 2436-1 Dunseith sports 2436-2



Blog (508) posted on July 1, 2009

Posted on July 1, 2009

Reply from Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC

To Dick,that story was soooo funny,when you first described putting all differnt sizes of tires on that car, I just lost it laughing,just trying to picture it.Then when I scrolled down and actually saw the car you can see that there is 2 different size tires on it…What a scream…As I was reading it I was cringing thinking of how dangerous that whole episode was,but kids being kids just don’t think that far ahead,but it was obvious Keith Smiths dad realized it,but I guess thats what parents are for,to protect us from ourselves.That was really a great story and I can see how that picture would be priceless to you. Keep the stories and pictures coming…. Aggie

Aggie, I was in a bit of hurry yesterday and didn’t take time to comment to your message posted yesterday. You too had me in stitches with your comments as quoted:

“We use to be able to talk our Dad to go on a Sunday drive with the whole family??? I’m not real sure how we managed, but I remember about one Sunday a month he would pack us all in and drive down to Yellow Corners and get dixie cups. It kinda reminds me of this reality show on T.V called, How’d They Do That??? Well thanks for all the great entertainment Gary! Aggie”

Aggie, I’m sure most know, but some don’t, that there are 16 kids in your family. Most of us knew that is what you were referring to. Now the rest know. Aggie, the humor just rolls out of you. You really have a way with words. Your folks did a wonderful job raising such a large family. One can not ask for a nicer bunch of caring compassionate roll model folks than you guys, the Casavant kids. That was very obvious with the conversations Bernadette and I had with your brothers Rene, Joe & Gerald at the 2007 reunion. We had a nice long and very enjoyable lunch together one day at Dale’s. Gary

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

In reply to Aggie’s question about the big white building by the
police station—that is the old city hall. It burned down in ’68 and
was soon replaced by the current city hall. I believe that is the
building you are referring to. A special thanks to Sharron Gottbreht
Shen for sending the picture. In years past, there were periodic
pictures of main street that were made into postcards. I remember
seeing some from the ’50s. Would any of our alumni possibly have some to
share on the site? Thanks Gary!


Reply from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY

While at my granddaughter’s wedding in Wisconsin, Augie and I were talking about Randy. He said, he had talked to Randy
months back. He told me, that Randy had retired up in Montana. Where in Montana, Augie didn’t say. So, if anybody knows,
Augie would, but I have no other contact with him. Sybil Johnson

Reply from Bev Morinville Azure (72): Dunseith, ND

Gary, I would like to say a few words about Verena Gillis….. This woman is an amazing woman she is the first one to come forward to do a benifit for someone who is in need. She doesn’t ask for anything in return. I would love for every town in the world to have a Verena she is priceless.HATS OFF TO VERENA AND MAY GOD BLESS HER .

Reply from Ele Dietrich Slyter (69): Dunseith, ND

Today’s blog brought back many memories for me…Patty, I too learned to drive on a Ford tractor, but perhaps Dad was a safer instructor than Dick???? lol as I don’t remember trees being in the wrong places.

Verena, I heard my parents and grandparents talk many times of the use of Agent Orange to clear the border line in this area, but I have no proof that this is true. If it is true, I think it may have been used somewhere around the 30’s or 40’s from what I remember them saying. I hope that someone will be able to find the information as it may help people in this area understand why so many are sick.

Gary, I don’t think this will be of interest to many people, but feel free to include it if you wish. I am including a picture of my grandfather Anton Dietrich with his fiddle. The picture was taken somewhere in the early 1900’s, which would make this instrument around 100 years old now. After my parents passed away, I found the fiddle in Mom’s things and decided it deserved to be heard again and enjoyed, so I gave it to Jim Birkland, who as you all know is a fiddle player. He did a bit of fixing and played it for me. I wanted to cry the first time I heard it. To think I was hearing the same sounds my grandparents and parents had heard was awesome. Jim called me last night and asked if he could pass the fiddle on to his son, who also plays. What an honor to know the fiddle will stay in the family and be enjoyed for many years yet!!! Thank you Jim.

And thank you Gary for all you do for each of us each day.


Ele, By all means I will post this picture of your Grandfather Anton Dietrich. Are you related to Jim Birkland? I have not seen Jim and Ruby for close to 50 years. They lived up on the Johnny Hiatt place, now the Fauske’s, when they were first married. Ruby is a sister to Mel Kuhn’s (70) dad. I think this is a picture of Jim Birkland that Kenny Nerpel sent a year or so ago? Please correct me if this is not Jim. Gary

Anton Dietrich Jim Birkland

Reply from Paula Fassett (70): North Branch, MN

It was interesting to read Verena Gillis’ note about agent orange. Once upon a time, Joe Evans told me that years ago when the US/Canada border was cleared at the Peace Garden and beyond, agent orange was used to rid the area of foliage, and he swore that that was the reason for the high cancer rate in the area. At the time he told me this I thought it sounded like a valid reason, but I’d never heard that from anyone else until now. So Verena, maybe there is something to that!

Paula Fassett

Reply from Eileen Brudwick: Fargo, ND

Hi Gary,

Here is a link to a website regarding the agent orange sprayed in Canada. I don’t have a clue whether this is the area Verena is talking about, but thought I would pass this on to you.





Over one billion grams of Agent Orange, Agent Purple and Agent White were sprayed on CFB Gagetown and surrounding communities from 1956 to 1984 consisting of 3.3 million litres and kilograms of Dioxin, Picloram, 2,4-D + 2,4,5-T, and Hexachlorobenzene

In May/June of 2005, the CBC National, CTV, Global TV and hundreds of newspapers across Canada reported the ongoing stories of the spraying of Agent Orange and Agent Purple at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Gagetown, New Brunswick, Canada.

Document A-2004-00207 (See DND Documents in our Menu) was obtained through the Access to Information Act from The Department of National Defence (DND) Freedom of Information Directorate in Ottawa.

This document, authored by DND, – a collection of letters, emails, pictures, charts, diagrams and transcripts of briefings contained the decades-hidden truth about the severity of the sprayings on CFB Gagetown.

The Agent Orange document, as it became known, showed the extent of the sprayings of Dioxin, Hexachlorobenzene and Picloram contaminated defoliants for a 28-year period over an area of 181,000 acres on CFB Gagetown.

Our Department of National Defence claimed the U.S. military had been invited to test only two and one half barrels (483 litres) of Agent Orange and Agent Purple and other unregistered herbicides for a total of three days in June 1966 and four days in June of 1967.

However, DND’s own documents show that shocking amounts were sprayed for 10 years before the Americans sprayed their miniscule 483 litres in the summers of ’66 & ’67 and DND continued to spray millions of litres for a further 20 years after the Americans had packed up and gone home.

During the 28 years that DND sprayed, the enormity of the spray exposure and drift became evident as thousands of civilians and military personnel became sick and were/are dying from being poisoned by the carcinogenic toxins in Oromocto, CFB Gagetown and all of the communities surrounding CFB Gagetown

Toni Morinville & Randy Kelly

Dan McKay & Pam Lagerquist

Comments: This picture must have been taken in 1950. With 3 candles, this must be Pam Fassett’s 3rd birth. Her birthday is November 30th and I think she was born in 1947. I think Dick Johnson was born in 1950 and by the looks of this picture he’s not even a year old yet. Gary

Picture (11/30/1950) L to R:

Mark Anderson, Susan Fassett, Pam Fassett, John Morgan & Dick Johnson

Don Johnson (46)

Ramona Dionne Johnson (48)

9/16/2016 (2435)

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

Hey Gary,
I hope Bernadette is doing better today.
Prayers are still being said for her.
God Bless all of you who are involved in the care of Bernadette as well as Bernadette.
love and prayers

Gary’s reply,
Thanks Ginger. Bernadette is much better today. She still needs assistance to walk, but at least she can walk. She is also able to talk today too, so she is better, but still not good.


Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND

Elwood ‘Al’ Landsverk passed away
Landsverk, Elwood 2435

Elwood Norman “Al” Landsverk, 81, Minot died on Monday, September 12, 2016 in his home.

Elwood was born on February 9, 1935 in Bottineau County near Dunseith, ND to Nels and Gertie (Rispa) Landsverk. He was raised on a farm near Willow Lake in the Turtle Mountains near Dunseith and educated at rural schools in that area. As a young adult he was employed as a farm laborer and construction laborer. Al enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1954 and served for twenty-three years as a Fire Control and Quality Control Inspector. He received his honorable discharge as a Master Sergeant in 1976 at Minot Air Force Base.

Al married Linda Lowe on May 9, 1970 at All Saints Episcopal Church in Minot. They made their home in Minot where he was employed at Overhead Door Co., Lowe’s Printing and as the Manager of Copies Quick. He retired in 2004. He and Linda had moved to Fargo about a month ago to be closer to family.

Al was an active member of All Saints Episcopal Church where he served as Financial Secretary and as a member of the Vestry. An active member of the Minot Masonic Lodge, he was a member of the Blue Lodge, York Rite, Kem Temple of the Shrine and Merrymen. He was a 33rd Degree Mason and Mason of the Year at both the local and state level and was a member of the Sons of Norway – Minot and Red Cross of Constantine. Also, he was a charter member of the Minot Soccer Association where he coached and played a major role in establishing the Minot Soccer Complex.

Al’s loving family includes his wife of 46 years: Linda; sons: Robert ( Jessica) Landsverk of Fargo and James (Megan) Landsverk of Sioux Falls, SD; grandchildren:  Angela, Jacob, Gracyn, Moira and Stout; siblings: Sharon Beckman, Barbara (Larry) Lawrence, David Landsverk and Leland Landsverk all of Bottineau; in-laws: Aggie Landsverk of California, LeAnn Landsverk of Minot, Connie Landsverk of Bottineau, Mary Smith of Boissevain MB and Tom (Cheryl) Lowe of Minot and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Al was preceded in death by his parents, daughter: Elizabeth Landsverk; siblings:  Arlen, Darrel, Evelyn, Roger, Kenneth, Bruce, and Virgil and in-laws: Artie Pladson, Janell Landsverk and David Smith.

Celebration of the Life of Elwood “Al” Landsverk:  Friday, September 16, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. in the All Saints Episcopal Church – Minot.

Prayer Service:  Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in Thomas Family Funeral Home – Minot.

Interment with Masonic Rites and Military Honors will be in Sunset Memorial Gardens – Minot.

Visitation:  Thursday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Thomas Family Funeral Home – Minot.

Memorials are preferred to All Saints Episcopal Church or the Shriners Childrens Hospital.


Blog (507) posted on June 30, 2009

Posted on June 30, 2009

Dorothy Pritchard is now on our distribution list.

From Mary Eurich Knutson (62): Dunseith, ND

Just to let you know how interesting I find your web sight. Would you add Dorothy Pritchard to your mailing list. This is the e-mail address to which she would receive it:activitynd@yahoo.com. This is the activity department at the Long Term Care Center at St Andrews in Bottineau. She became interested when the articles on Sylvia Bergan were put out. They were from the same area and went to the same school as kids and Dorothy tells of how they became friends after she and Robert were married. Sylvia and Oscar were living west of Boundary Lake and Robert and Dorothy were living on the same place where they always lived only the house was further back to the east.(I could be off on that one). Any way, Robert trapped around Boundary Lake and she had gone with him to check traps on this particular day and they decided to walk on over to Oscar and Sylvia. Can you imagine! There were no groomed trails or paved walkways at that time. I didn’t ask her if they were wearing snow shoes or skis. Anyway, they became very good friends over the years. They both wound up at St Andrews Long Term Care. Sylvia was unable to visit anymore but she always recognized Dorothy and they always acknowledged each other with a little wave. So sad! Dorothy loves to visit and is getting hard of hearing but she still loves a good laugh. Appreciate all the local news. Thanks. Mary Knutson

Dorothy, it is with great pleasure, and I stress great pleasure for me to add you to our daily distribution list. It is wonderful that they have email capabilities for you to be able to get these daily messages. I had to take a double take to realize that it was you that Mary was requesting to be added to our distribution list. This is absolutly wonderful. I am adding you near the top of today’s message hoping that the staff will readily see it and share it with you. I am assuming Mary has probably alerted the staff to be on the look out for these messages to share with you. Dale and Carol are also on this daily distribution. Please alert the staff that these messages are posted daily. Feel free to reply as you see fit too. I’m sure the staff will assist you with all of your replies. We’d love to hear from you.

Folks, Dorothy and Robert Pritchard lived one mile south of us up in the hills. John (62), Dale (63) & Carol (67) are her children that attended and graduated from DHS. I always make it a point to visit Dorothy with each of my trips back to the area. At 96 she is sharp as a tack. Evon Lagerquist is now living on the Pritchard farm. Dorothy and Sylvia Striker Bergan both lived in the Cando area as kids.

Mary, Dorothy always speaks highly of you. Your good deeds have not gone unnoticed and have for sure not been forgotten by Dorothy. You are a wonderful niece in Dorothy’s eyes.

Folks, I would suggest adding “Attention Dorothy Pritchard” in the subject line for messages you’d like to send to Dorothy using her email address listed above.Gary

Dorothy Pritchard on her 96th birthday (January 2009) With Darrel(Bud) Stokes

Reply from Jim Casavant (73): Old White School House: Jamestown, ND

I started !st grade in 1961 in the old white school house. I was in Mrs. Seim’s room on the first floor on the east side of the old school house. I remember those first days of school in Dunseith School was like going to New York City after living in that small world on the farm. Mom worked in the kitchen in the basement which was comforting, but I can remember one day climbing up those steep basement steps and instead of turning to go to my first grade room, I somehow got lost and kept on walking down that long breezeway to the “upper grades” side of the school. By the time I reached those steps by the offiice, I thought I had walked off the end of the Earth and was lost forever. I think it was Principal Art Rude or Joan Wurgler, the secretary who tuned me around and headed me back in the right direction. Isn’t it funny how small things like that seem so big at the time and stick in your mind forever. That area where the old gym and locker rooms were also had a second !st grade class room on the west side of the gym. I think you had to climb some steps to get up to it. Mrs. Aus taught first grade there, then they left Dunseith a few years later. Mrs Emma Halvorson also had a second grade class room in that area just before you got to the office steps. I remember Mrs. Seim and Mrs. Halvorson as very kind teachers.

Jim, it’s great to hear from you. You are enough younger than me for me to remember you, but I knew some of the rest of your family well. I graduated with Rene and Joe. As mentioned before, I remember your mother well too, working in the Kitchen. Gary

Message/question from Verena (Pete 65) Gillis: Dunseith, ND

Note: Folks, Pete Gillis has been battling prostrate Cancer for a few years now.

Hi Gary,
Sounds like you are still pretty busy. So am I. Pete might have to start
chemo again, we will find out in September. PSA’s is not going down, took
him off one cancer pill and just going to try the shots for now and see
what happens. I am very busy with my sister who just turned 52 last
She also has cancer, the lungs and her kidneys along with a big tumor in
her stomach. So been very busy with benefits for her to get her up to
Canada to see a medicine man who is supposed to be pretty good. Looking
for a miracle. We are also getting ready for a big family reunion, mainly
for her while she still can get around, July 3rd actually.

I have a question for you since you and Bill are so sharp with finding
things out. In the middle to late sixties Agent Orange was sprayed up in
No Man’s Land which is across the border. I found this out this year from
one of my co-workers who is from Bottineau and she told me it’s a known
fact. So how does a person find this out? We have the highest rate of
cancer in this area. They also have a very high rate in Bottineau County.
There must be a way to find this out. Please let me know if you can help
us out with this or steer me in the right direction. It’s pretty scary
with all the people getting sick from that terrible disease. Darn near
every family is being affected by this disease.

Verena Gillis

Verena, I know nothing at all about any Agent Orange being sprayed up in Canada, but If that truly did happen, I’ll bet we have some folks that will know. I am so sorry to hear of your sister having cancer too. Your sister and Pete are very fortunate to have you in their lives. You know the right things to do at the right times. With you, nothing falls through the cracks. You are a wonderful human being. Gary

Class of 65 reunion 7-12-07
L to R: Raphael Poitra & Pete Gillis

Reply from Jim Casavant (73): Jamestown, ND

In that freshman initiation picture I’m sure that the first guy in question is my brother Rene.

Reply from Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC

Hi Gary. Oh Wow! This last set of pictures were awesome…ALL OF THEM…The photos of Dunseith were “GREAT” it was fun looking at them, trying to remember what was what and who lived where. I’m a bit baffled what that white building north of the police station is? I’m still not through studying those pictures. Fun, fun…About the picture, is it Kenny Nerple or Rene? “Dats mo brotha” Rene for sure. I would really like to know what play or skit that was? It was pretty funny at any rate…The last picture with the family from the Philippines on that motorcycle reminded me of when we use to be able to talk our Dad to go on a Sunday drive with the whole family??? I’m not real sure how we managed,but I remember about one Sunday a month he would pack us all in and drive down to Yellow Corners and get dixie cups. It kinda reminds me of this reality show on T.V called, How’d They Do That??? Well thanks for all the great entertainment Gary! Aggie

Aggie & Jim, thank you so much for positively identifying your brother Rene in this picture. When this picture was first posted he was identified as Rene, then we thought it may be Kenny Nerpel and his true identity never was resolved. As far as the skit, I’m not sure what it was. Some of you guys in the skit/picture may remember. All I know is that this was our class of 65 freshman initiation. I remember well attending our initiation too, but I don’t remember this skit. This is a pretty sexy looking bunch of folks. Gary

Class of 65 freshman initiation in 1961:
Rene Casavant, John Awalt, Billy Grimme & Allen Richard

Reply to yesterday’s message from Don Aird: St Louis, MO

That last picture reminded me of the Vietnamese and their mo-peds. I remember at Tet, 1970, just north of Hue, watching a family of five riding to a celebration, all on a mo-ped dressed in their Sunday best. Another guy had two adult pigs wrapped in a bamboo blankets strapped to the back of his mo-ped. Each pig was facing the opposite direction at right angles to the bike.

 Message/picture from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

Back in the summer of ’62, Keith Smith (67) and I decided to get an
old Model A Ford coupe running. His older brothers, Ron (61) and Wayne
(61) had driven it to country school and had moved on to newer cars and
just let the old coupe sit in the weeds. Keith was 13 and I was 12 at
the time. We put an old battery in it and found several different size
wheels and tires, one 16″, one 19″, one 21″, and yet another, but they
all held air! We kept on tinkering until we got it going. The old
battery was nearly dead so we rolled it down the hill to get it started.
We always had to find a hill if we were going to shut it off. The
rattling old 4 banger motor had an updraft carburetor that leaked gas
all the time so we hung a coffee can under it and when the can got some
gas in it, we would pour it back into the gas tank! Every time we
stopped we had to be sure to shut the gas tank valve off or it would all
run on the ground. There was no fabric center in the roof so we found a
piece of plywood just a little bigger than the hole, and put it on top.
We drove big nails through the plywood and the tin and I bent them over,
inside the car, while Keith held the post maul on the nail heads. We
also didn’t have the bottom floor boards so had to keep our feet up on
the front floor boards and could watch the road go by under us! The seat
was shot so we threw the springs out and put two old car rims inside and
another board on top of them for us to sit on. It might have been a
death trap—but we were rolling! We terrorized the neighborhood with
that old car and now had a way to get back and forth between their farm
and ours, about two miles by road.Up until then, we had to walk or ride
horse about a mile or so around Horseshoe Lake through the trees and
across our pasture. We would take the old coupe out on their hay meadow,
just out of sight from the house, and wind her up and spin cookies on
the grass—of course, after the hay had been stacked. One evening we
were zipping across the meadow, and when Smitty cranked the steering
wheel to one side, we lost a front wheel! The hub dug into the soft
ground and we did a 180 so fast we nearly banged our heads together. The
wheel and tire headed across the meadow and went into the woods and
disappeared. We looked for it for a long time but finally gave up. Ron
found the wheel and tire years later when he was fixing fence deep in
the trees! It went a lot farther than we figured possible!One thing
about a Model A that is rather unique, is the speedometer. It has a
small window through which you can see the numbers that indicate your
speed. As you go faster the numbers move and it shows you how fast you
are going. Those cars were made to drive around 40-50 on the highway.
This old car had loose steering and bald tires and would dive from side
to side on the road and was not safe at 25-30, let alone 40-50. Well,
Smitty was used to the loose steering and we would take it down the big
hill, on the road between Smith’s and our place, as hard as it would
go— so we could see the numbers on the speedometer that had never seen
daylight before! The numbers–50 and 60–looked like new! One fateful
day later in the summer, Al and Audrey Smith, Keith’s parents were out
in their garden and heard us winding up the old Model A and spotted us
as we went flying down the hill about a half mile away. When we came
back into the yard later, driving nice and slow of course, I saw Al
coming toward us with ‘that look’ on his face. When we got out of the
car, he opened the hood and took out his jack knife and CUT the fan belt
and gave it a toss! I knew we were in deep! He told Keith, “You get in
the house!” He then turned to me and said, “You better get home!” YES
SIR, that’s where I’m headed! That was the last time the old Ford ran.
Looking back, I know we could easily have killed ourselves.We had it up
to 60-65 a few times! The old coupe is still sitting at Smith’s and we
still chuckle about our ‘land speed record’ attempt in the summer of
’62. For many years I have looked high and low for the picture of us
standing by Smitty’s Model A, but to no avail. I knew someone had taken
one and I had seen it long ago. My cousins, Doug and Brad Warcup, were
back that summer from California for a visit and were also in the
picture. I went through literally thousands of pictures and several
albums, but no luck. Last night I sat down at the computer to read the
days emails and what appears on my screen—-the picture I have searched
for for years! Wayne and Rosemary found it in some of Audrey’s old
photos and thought I might like to see it. I may have given it to Keith
when we were kids, or maybe this is the picture I saw, I can’t remember,
but this picture means more to me than anyone can imagine! That car,
that summer 47 years ago, was the very trigger that sent me into a
lifelong love of old cars! Thanks to Wayne and Rosemary Smith for making
my day—-year, actually! Thanks Gary!


( The picture is dated ’63, but wasn’t developed until later)

From L-R Doug Warcup, Brad Warcup, Keith Smith, Dick Johnson

July 2007
Rich Campbell(68)

July 2007
Deb Morinville Marmon (70) & Colette Pigeon Schimetz(70)

Folks, Have any of you had any contact with Randy Kelly? Being on

President George Bush’s Staff, he was kind of a hard guy to get in

contact with. Randy was also mayor of St. Paul, MN for a number of years too.

If any of you have contact with Randy, please let him know we’d love to

hear from him. Gary

Cousins Randy Kelly(69) & Donna LaCroix Allard (64)

Previously posted with message 104 on 5-16-08

Picture/Message from Dick Johnson (68):

Gary and Friends

The picture of my old pal, Rich Campbell, prompted me to send one from
51 years ago! The picture is of Patty Fassett, Rich, and me with our
bikes in 1957. The other photo is Patty and me at the farm in 1964 the
day I taught her to drive the old Ford tractor. I tried to teach her to
drive an old Studebaker the year before, but we had a little trouble
with some trees that were in the wrong place! I spent the rest of that
day teaching her autobody repair! Dad’s car, you know how it goes!


Patty Fassett (69), Dick Johnson (68) &
Rich Campbell (68)

9/14/2016 (2434)

Bernadette is not doing well.
The following are progressive Facebook postings that I posted from Last night until now.
Stokes2434-1 Stokes 2434-2 Stokes 2434-3

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

Hi, Gary,

It is good to see Bernadette and you going out together, take advantage of all you can,  let her know all you want her to ever know,  every day,  tell her how much you love her. Remember once they are gone you can’t and wish you had. Just little things you don’t really think are so important right now will be.

A person’s spouse is so important, in all ways possible, so don’t take any part of them lightly.

They love us  enough to marry us and vise a versa, I am sure you know what I am talking about,  so I will stop here.

Take care and love Bernadette with all you have, hold her as much as you can,  give her those kisses you will miss.

A friend



Blog (506) posted on June 29, 2009

Posted on June 29, 2009

Reply from Cheryl Larson Dakin (71): BEDFORD, TX

A very happy birthday to Bernadette! You’ll have to let us know how the dinner was, and what was served. Is it similar to German sausage?

Cheryl Larson Dakin

Folks, I don’t think my waist line could stand very many of these birthdays. We had a fabulous buffet brunch at the Gustavian Restaurant in the morning. As the name implies, it’s German. They had pancakes, bacon, ham, sausage, scallop potatoes and the works for my appetite. For Bernadette, they had a variety of seafood. I eat very little seafood. They also had a variety of salads, fruits and pastries. Then at about 7:00 PM we went to a Japanese restaurant for another buffet. They had all the typical Japanese foods with enough chicken, beef and pork entrees to satisfy my appetite. Bernadette loves Japanese food. They do have a lot of seafood’s in their menus. Gary

Reply from Dick Johnson (69): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

The picture of Susan Fassetts birthday party reminded me of a deal
with the Mongeon kids. In 1960, Armand and Leona Mongeon got a new light
blue 1960 Ford four door car. All of us kids hung out together almost
every day so when Leona was going to take her kids up to Killarney,
Manitoba to go swimming, she told us we could all go. We got in the new
Ford and headed north with Leona driving. I was sitting in the front
seat on the way up. What I remember was that Leona wasn’t used to a car
with that much power and would keep going faster and faster and then
look at the speedometer and say, “Whoops” and then step on the brakes.
She did this several times and we laughed every time. When we got there,
we changed in an old wood changing room on the edge of the lake. When we
were out swimming, someone stole Bobby Mongeon’s money out of his pants
pocket. He brought extra money that he had saved and lost the whole
works. I must not have had any money, or very little because I didn’t
lose much. We had a great time, except for Bob’s loss. It’s funny how
the memories come back with the posting of pictures. Thanks Gary!


From Neoal Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND

Hi Gary and All,

Thanks for all the prayers/good thoughts for Carol Berg Hamel. As of 4:00 this afternoon, she is home. Her staples will be removed on Tuesday. Carol’s doctor is very impressed with Carol’s progress. Prayer is powerful.

Her liver/lymph nodes are cancer free. Carol will most likely have chemo treatments to “kill any stray cancer cells”–my words.


Pictures from Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA

This arial shot was taken shortly after we moved to our new home on the corner, completed in 1954. The school portion of the picture is enlarged. Thanks for posting the earlier photo.

I was told that the school building was sold at auction; the bid of August Dionne was accepted. This surprise was a headache and worry for uncle: he stood at the foot of George’s bed late one night and said George would have to take it off his hands. George would know who handled the move. The important structure had such presence; a sadness to see it moved.

You do good work Gary. Sharron

Folks, We never did positively identify the first guy in the first picture. It sure looks like Kenny Nerpel to me?

L to R: Class of 65 freshman initiation – 1961.
Kenny Nerpel? or Rene Casavant?, John Awalt, Bill Grimme, Allen Richard

Bill Evans, Lucien Bedard, Janet Evans, Hannah Bedard, Dale Gottbreht

Dale & Alma Gottbreht

Dale Gottbreht & Bill Evans

Dunseith Fishing trip

Dale & Alma Gottbreht Children:
Back: Emma Jo, George, Sharron
Front: Ernie, Marc, Evie

Marge Brodeck, Marge Kester, John Bedard, Hannah Bedard

Family transportation in the Philippines on a 115cc Honda motorcycle

8 passengers (4 adults & 4 children) with a few house hold goods.

9/12/2016 (2433)

Cebu City, Philippines
Bernadette and I attending an event at the local mall this past Friday.
Saturday and Sunday Bernadette wasn’t doing so well. She is much better today.
Stokes 2433-1

Lunch today with the kids at the local Mall.
Being around us they have mastered their English skills quite well.
Stokes 2433-2


Reply to the last blog
From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND

Hi Gary,

Another very interesting newsletter.  Naturally, I particularly enjoyed the pictures of/information about Salem Church and your grandfather (my great uncle), Carl Petterson. :)

Along with so many others, I thoroughly enjoy your newsletters.  Thanks!


Joke of the day.

Grandpa, what Is couple sex?

Make sure that you understand the question first….

All you Grandpas and Grandmas, this was too funny not to forward.

We are all reaching that stage where we need to keep the wax out of our ears and keep the hearing aids tuned up.

An 8-year-old girl went to her grandfather, who was working in the yard and asked him,”Grandpa, what is a couple sex?

The grandfather was surprised that she would ask such a question, but decided that if she’s old enough to know to ask the question then she’s old enough to get a straight answer.

Steeling himself to leave nothing out, he proceeded to tell her all about human reproduction and the joys and responsibilities that go along with it.

When he finished explaining, the little girl was looking at him with her mouth hanging open, eyes wide in amazement. Seeing the look on her face the grandfather asked her, “Why did you ask this question, honey?

The little girl replied, “Well, Grandma says to tell you that dinner will be ready in just a couple secs.


Blog (505) posted on June 28, 2009

Posted on June 28, 2009


Bernadette, with her birthday today, has caught up to me in age. We are now the same age (61) for 3 weeks. We are going out for a Sunday brunch at a Gustavian Restaurant this morning. We have reservations for 10:30. This evening we plan on going out for dinner at a Japanese restaurant of Bernadette’s choosing. I told her McDonald’s is just fine for my birthday, but she may have something to say about that.


Francie Gottbreht Dutra (63): Olympia, WA

Folks, please update your address books with Francie’s new email address

Reply to yesterday’s message from Jean Nicholas Miller (66): GLENDALE, AZ

Yes. that is my mother without the glasses. Thanks.
Jean Nicholas Miller

Memories from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND




Subject: pictures of Ole & Bing.

“I remember a Sat. night in Dunseith being carried to the car by dad
with Bing walking beside us. He had on kakki pants & a white shirt.
He reminded me of Uncle Archie. He was likeable to me & I wasn’t
afraid of him. I must have been 2 or 3. I remember when Bing fell
asleep with a cigarette & died in a fire. It was hard on everyone,
he was well liked & the neighborhood hero. I noticed how upsetting
it was for Lola even though we were both so little. He had been in
the army 8 years. Mom took care of Lola while Ella went to the
funeral, she was about 2 or 3. That weekend, the Evan’s (all of
Ella’s brothers, sisters & families) & mom & dad spend that Sun at

Jim’s. There were lots of kids to play with. I knew they were my
cousins cousins & kind of related which made it all the more fun.
Mom’s cousin Evelyn Nerpal (Lizzies daughter) was married to Arnie
Evans & their oldest was Marvin, I knew he was my cousin , he was
about my age.
I remember having night mares then. Dying by being burned in a fire
sounded like a horror movie to me. It seemed like it was
January/February & freezing cold. Ole’s wife Cora & Ella’s sister
Hanna seemed so classy & pretty to me. Ole was really darkskinned &
sat in that chair by the stove next to the stairway. To come down
from playing upstairs and go to the bathroom or kitchen, I had to
walk right by him. Every time I had to come by him he would make the
ugliest face at me. Lola wasn’t afraid of him, she thought it was
funny watching his expression when she pulled her dolls head off.

When we went to go home & milk cows, it was dark and cold. Dad
backed the pickup up over the heavy wire that had come down from the
electric high line pole, Arnie & Ole came out & lifted the back end
of the pickup off so we could get out. This is one of the first
memories I have of a gathering of relatives.”


Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

The post card picture of Dunseith is unique in it’s ability to
identify it’s age. The brick addition to the school was built in 1935
and is on the picture. The City Hall is not yet there and was built in
1937, so the picture has to have been taken very close to 1936–within
months. For those of us who really remember where things were, it’s
interesting to look at each city block to see what is or isn’t there yet.

The baseball team has a correction. The guy sitting second from the
right is my uncle Cliff Johnson, but was listed as Gary Morgan. I
contacted Gary and confirmed that it was Cliff. I have to admit, it sure
does resemble Gary in this picture. I gave Cliff a copy of the picture
and he knew all about the team and gave me a rundown on the group. It
looks like Cliff might have had to fight for his spot on the team–he’s
wearing a shiner under his right eye! Thanks Gary!


Dick, Both of those pictures were posted in May 2008 and I think I remember you making that correction with Cliff and not Gary at that time too and I failed to correct it. I save these pictures referencing the email message they were posted with for future reference. I hope I don’t make this same mistake several years down the road if I repost this same picture. I am amazed at how well you remember and how well you know the history of the area from the very beginning. You are amazing an guy Dick and an inspiration to all of us. We love and look forward to all of your contributions. You are a major contributor to the success of what we have going today. Gary

Memorial service for Violet Hiatt House

Posted by her Daughter Doris House Gillies: Boise, Idaho

Hi Gary,

Just a quick note to let you know that we will be having a memorial service for my Mom ( Violet Hiatt House) on July 18 at 12:00 p.m. It will be held at Greenwood Memorial Park, 350 Monrow Ave. N.E., Renton, Washington 98056. It took awhile to get everything organized since her service is being held in a different state than where she was living. Art (my brother) is finalizing everything on that end, and I’m taking care of all the things here on this end. There sure is a lot of paperwork.

Doris House Gillies

Folks, To visualize where Violet fits into the Hiatt family, I have posted the Hiatt family tree below with Violet highlighted in Blue. Violet was the daughter, 2nd child, of Geroge and Eva Hiatt. Gary

9/9/2016 (2432)

Moved from Turtle Mountains to WI.
Message from Rebecca Lemke Rude (’74):  North Central WI.

Hello Gary ,

I hope your summer has been a pleasant one . Oh yes you are more than likely still enjoying summer time there in the Philippines . Howard and I moved further south too . We moved to Wisconsin this past spring , lol – North central Wi . We’re loving it even though the climate isn’t a great improvement , it is a little better ,and we’re within driving distance of Lake Superior (our little mini ocean) . Wonderful place if you like the outdoors and we do .We Hillbillies fit right in around here . haha . So here is our new email address for now bekkajaz@   many thanks for your perseverance and work in keeping all us Dunseith and hills folks connected through your daily blogs .

Rebecca (Lemke) Rude

Gary’s comment


You and Howard did move a bit further south, but more east than south. Glad to hear you enjoy the area.

I remember well you and Roberta riding our bus when you lived by the Day School. Our bus made that loop off of Highway 3 around the day school. I remember picking up Peter Gillis too who also lived on that loop. Thanks for this message and email update.



Four Old Mill and a Bud.docx Story
Posted by Don Malaterre (’72):  Sioux Falls, SD

With the recent passing of Mohamed Ali it brings to mind a little episode that happened in the summer of 1972. So I decided to do a little cut and paste from the transcript of my latest book titled “Four Old Mill and a Bud”. The non-fiction book chronicles different episodes of growing up in Dunseith, 50 years ago.

The summer of 72

I had just graduated from high school and was looking to raise a little extra cash for college. As it happens my brother George had inspirations of following our father’s footsteps and becoming a boxer, maybe even trying out for golden gloves. First thing he needed was a trainer. Times being what they were, I decided to take the job. So I set him up on a vigorous workout program. Running, pushups, running, situps and a little more running. After supervising that for a while I decided to get him some sparring partners, so I recruited some of our friends. That didn’t work out to well. In fact I remember Curt Hagel taking one punch and quitting on the spot. Reid Schmitz lasted only one round and quit. So I decided to take a shot at it. I figured I’d be a natural, with our dad being a two time golden glove champion, turned professional, a prizefighter, if you will. My strategy was simple, keep away from his big right hand. Besides I was faster than him. My plan was working pretty well. He couldn’t catch me. Jab, jab, back pedal and back pedal some more. I was actually holding my own. In fact after the first round I was ahead in points. Hell I was kicking his ass. His lip was bleeding and I could tell he was getting frustrated.

Round two started, he walked up to me and BOOM. He caught me with a left hook, I went down and the lights went out. When I finally got up I had two black eyes, one where he hit me and one where I hit the deck. I never put those gloves on again.

Now the time came that he needed a manager. Times being what they were, I decided to take the job. I made a few calls and I got him a fight. As luck would have it, it happened that my friend Bob Brennen was also training and looking for a bout. I called Bob and we went over some fine print and we set a date. Now we needed a promoter. Times being what they were, I decided to take the job. First we needed a venue. I made a few calls and as luck would have it, it happened the Honsey family garage was available. I would collect the gate and they would take the concessions.  I promoted the fight as “Buffalo Bob” verses “The Chippewa Kid”. Now I needed a couple of chumps for the under card. So I made a few calls. As luck would have it Curt Burg and Lyle Olson were feuding, so I made them a deal to get in the ring, settle their differences, and make some cash on the side. They jumped at the opportunity.

Now we needed a boxing referee. Times being what they were, I decided to take the job. For the full monte appearance we needed some card girls, you know the ones who walk around the ring between rounds holding up cards with the numbers on it. After several interviews for promotional reasons, I decided to go with some local girls, Dianna Honsey, Ellen Hagen and Dawn Gregory. Everything was in place.  The joint was packed to the gills. There was not room for one more person. It was so full there were kids actually sitting up in the rafters. We were about to rake in a small fortune. The pre-fight was on. Curt came out with fire in his eyes. It was clear Lyle was overmatched. I think Curt wanted to make a statement. He pounded Lyle pretty good. I had to call the fight midway through the first round. Poor Lyle, he wanted to put in a good show but only got a couple of lumps on the side of his head to show for himself.

The main event was on. Bob came out with a fury. He was taking the fight to George. It was clear he had better training and had the passion to go with it. Did George take Bob too lightly? Everyone was on their feet. What a fight! Both fighters stood toe to toe and exchanged blow for blow. What did I get myself into now? I didn’t have the experience needed. Luckily I had ingenuity and technique. Basically I bluffed my way through it all. Round one ended. The boys went to their corners, respectively. I wanted to remain neutral so I went over to supervise the girls. We didn’t want them to get their cards mixed up you know. Round two was on and it started right where round one left off. The punches came fast and furious. I was getting settled in my new profession and had it all under control. The place was going wild. Round two ended and the fight was still progressing at an amazing pace. Round three started and Bob was starting to show some fatigue. Bob put up a hell of a fight, but George was out muscling him. The fight was over. George was declared the winner. But everyone agreed it was just a great fight.

I gave the boys their cut and the fans gave them a standing ovation. I went on to college and became an accountant. Bob went on to become a boxing trainer. George went on and spent 20 years in the Marines and did some boxing there. Bob died a few years back. I miss Bob.


Blog (504) posted on June 27, 2009

Posted on June 27, 2009

Reply to yesterday’s message from Jean Nicholas Miller (66): GLENDALE, AZ

Gary and Dick,
It was such a wonderful surprise to see the picture of Grandma Anderson’s birthday party in 1959!!!! My mother (Aggie Nicholas) is in the picture. She passed away in 1978 from Leukemia. She looks great. I was 11 years old when this was taken. Thank you both so much for this picture and everything.
Jean Nicholas Miller (66)

Jean, with the picture labeling, I believe this is your mother,

Aggie Nicholas, with Agnes Berg.


Reply from Ivy Eller Robert (74): Everett, WA

Hi Gary,

When Dick Johnson mentioned a car show at the Peace Gardens with Jack & Bud Anderson, it brought back a memory for me. When Russell Robert & I were first married and we lived in Rolla. We were the janitor & maintenance people for the Rolette County Court house so we lived in the Janitors house that was located in the behind the court house over to the side. ‘Our House’, the Court House, & the Sheriff’s office formed a triangle and in the middle was the parking lot. While living there Russell had the ‘side’ job of checking out all the new firearms that came into the Rolla Hardware, before they were sold to anyone. Bud Anderson owned the store and his brother Jack worked there, as well as their Dad. Since we were very big admirers of Bud’s classic car collection & he know us pretty well, every once in a while on Sunday’s, he would let us take one of his cars out to ride around town in. ‘To clean out the carburetor’, he would say! About that same time, we had found a 1957 Three Door Biquiscane Chevy that didn’t run. It was the “sister” to the Nomad that most everyone is familiar with. OJ Robert, Russell’s Dad, helped us put a different motor in it. WOW, was that fun to drive. Great memories of those cars and getting to drive & ride in them. I don’t think I ever knew exactly how many cars Bud owned! Bud and Jack were wonderful guys. Jack seemed to be more “full of the devil” than Bud, but they were great!

Thanks again for all that you do for all of us Dunseithers. (I don’t think that’s a word, OH well)

Ivy Robert

Ivy, If Dunseithers wasn’t a word, it is now! I just added it to my spell check dictionary. Gary

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

The old white school was the only building up until about 1935, when
the brick classroom, gym, and bathrooms were added. The third addition
was in about 1955-56 and was the new high school. The large room that
was used for the assembly was designed that way, not as a gym. When the
1935 gym became too small for functions, ball games were held in the
City Hall. It was built in 1937 and was used until 1963 when the new gym
was built. As discussed before, the City Hall burned in August, 1968.
There was a brick schoolhouse along Willow Creek, about straight west of
the new high school, that was used before the end of the 1800s. I don’t
know exactly where it was located but people used to find red bricks
scattered in that area. Does anyone know what happened to the red brick
school—demolished, burned, abandoned?? Thanks Gary!


Dick, I believe this is the same old school in this 1939 Aerial photo of Dunseith. This picture was probably taken prior to 1939 though. The post card this picture was taken from is post marked 1939. Gary

Pictures previously post with message 96 on 5-7-08

Pictures from Cyrstal Fassett Andersen (70):

Here is a picture of the 1953 baseball team that my Uncle Darrel Fassett played on. They drove some fancy cars!! Crystal Fassett Andersen

Standing: Don Fassett, Duane Fugere, Guy Knox, Roger Johnson & Virgil Vanory
Seated: Bob Leonard, Jim Footit, Darold Grenier, Lloyd Awalt, Gary Morgan & Darrel Fassett & John Leonard batboy

Here’s another picture of one of my sister Susan’s birthday parties.It is taken in our front yard in Dunseith,across from the creek. It was in August but no year. Crystal Fassett Andersen


Back: Pam Fassett, Tobby Dailly, Karen Loeb, Carol Jasper, Susan Fassett, Bill Grimme, Marlene Richard. Evie Gottbreht,
Judy Jo Johnson & Mark Anderson..
Front: Debbie, Randi & Donnie Mongeon

Folks, going through some old pictures I ran across this one taken inside of Salem church in July 2007. Arliss Rude Hagen and her husband Leonard totally restored Salem church, both inside and out, several years ago. They donated a lot of hours of labor and the results are fantastic. All the furnishings are restored original. Salem is open to the public. I believe Glen Rude unlocks the doors daily in the summer. If for some reason it is locked, Glen lives just a very short distance to the east on the south side of the road from the church. He will gladly unlock the doors if they are locked. Salem church is located on Highway 43 about 5 or 6 miles east of Lake Metigoshe. I spent many hours sitting in the Pews of Salem in my growing up days. When visiting the church, take note of the Sunday school attendance roster posted on the wall. My name with a few others of you out there is on that roster.

Gary Stokes inside Salem Chruch – July 2007

Folks, I ran across this picture too. This is my dad’s biological father, Carl Petterson. For those of you that knew my dad, you can sure see the similarities of him in this picture of his father. Of the 6 boys, dad is the one that most resembled their father. Dad was always very close to his biological family. His father, Carl, lived about 5 miles NE of Bottineau in the Foot hills. Three of his sisters married the only 3 Kofoid brothers in the area. I always knew I was related to all the Kofoid’s, but I always had problems figuring out which Kofoid family everyone belonged to. This picture was taken 6 months before Carl’s death in December 1960. He was 82 years old. Gary

Carl Petterson – Bob Stokes’ biological father.

9/7/2016 (2431)

Face Book posting
Nice picture of Gary Metcalfe (57) with his daughter Leah
Metcalfe, Gary 2431


Blog (503) posted on June 26, 2009

Posted on June 26, 2009

Reunion question from Bob Hosmer (56): Lynnwood, WA


As always, I appreciate the effort you put in to coordinating all this correspondence. Don’t know how you keep it all straight.

Just a question about which Best Western Hotel in Seattle we are meeting at for the dinner and gathering on July 24th. There are about four of them not far from Seattle Center and about another four in the Seattle area. You may have already mentioned that in an earlier mailing, but can’t find it in my Dunseith folder at the moment.

Thanks for everything,

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


Bob, We are having our reunion at the Best Western Executive Inn located on Taylor Ave. I have posted a picture with the space needle in the back ground. As you can see, the Best Western Executive Inn is very close to the Space Needle. I have also listed our (Bill & mine) point of contact at the Best Western. Feel free to call Jan for any direct questions you may have. She is a super friendly lady with ND roots. Gary

Jan Peterson-Gross

Director of Catering

Best Western Executive Inn

200 Taylor Avenue North

Seattle, WA 98109

(206) 674-6614

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

First, I can’t take the credit for announcing the Bottineau
Quasi-centennial parade–it was very well done by Les Halvorson and
Dwane Getzlaff. Diane saw me setting up the sound system for the south
stage for the ‘music on main’ so it’s easily understood why she thought
it was me. I doubt that I could do it even half as well as Les and Dwane!

Allen—the show and shine car show is Sunday, August 2 at the Peace
Garden. This is our 30th annual show and is being held in conjunction
with an art show in the lodge. I understand Colette Hosmer will be one
of the exhibitors. Our group, ‘Highway 43’ has also been asked to play
music in the other room of the lodge during the shows. There is no
entrance fee for the car show and no judging as it was in the old days,
just come and park and leave when you want. Lots less work for those of
us setting it up! Hope you can make it. Yes, I’m afraid ‘Swearin’ Jack
Smith left us a couple years ago. The show hasn’t been the same without
Jack and Bud Anderson from Rolla. They were the core we built around!
Thanks Gary!

Dick, Les Halvorson does a mighty fine job of announcing. In conjunction with teaching in the Newberg area and being an auctioneer with his auctioneering business, he has been a radio announcer for years with the Bottineau radio station too. Les is married to Myra Henning from the class of 72. Her parents were previous owners of the Gamble store in Dunseith. Les was also a teacher at Dunseith high school in the 70’s. Les and Myra have lived directly across the street from my brother Darrel (Bud) and Debby on Vera street in Bottineau for years. Their daughter, her name has slipped my mind at the moment, replaced Pat (Mrs. John) Frykman when she retired several years ago as the head librarian at the city/county library in Bottineau. Les & Myra, we’d love to have a picture of you guys too.

Message/Picture from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Folks, I was rushed yesterday and failed to see the attached picture that Dick included with this message, so I am reposting with picture. If you folks send me a message with an attachment and I fail to post, please let me know. I will never ever not post an attachment without letting the sender know. To be honest, that has seldom happened, but I’d never do that just the same. The same is true for messages that you send that you don’t see posted. I will, without fail, get back to the sender if I decide not to post. If you don’t see a message posted and I have not gotten back to you, that means that I have not gotten the message or I have missed it. These are my self imposed rules that I will never deviate from. Gary

Gary and Friends,

The last week of August, 1968 five of us guys decided to take a trip
to the Black Hills in South Dakota. We borrowed my dad’s pickup, a
topper from Manvil Sebelius, a tent from Harvey Halvorson ( I think ?)
and took off ! The crew included Rich Campbell, Greg Grimme, John Bogus,
Tim Hill, and me. We drove through to the Black Hills and got to a
campground in the middle of the night, much to the dismay of those who
were already there trying to sleep. It was raining so it took some
gasoline to start our campfire! A Canadian came over and asked if we
were alright? We couldn’t get the stakes in the ground on one side of
the tent but found out why the next morning—that side was sitting on
the road! We did have a great time together and went to most of the
sites of interest around the Black Hills. We hit the dog races in Rapid
City and some low life dive in Ft. Pierre where we were lucky to have
survived. It was our last bash together before we all went our separate
ways to college and beyond. I wouldn’t trade the memories of that trip
together for anything! Thanks Gary!


Those in the pictures: John Bogus with the multi colored shirt, Rich
Campbell with the block of wood, Greg Grimme with the hat on, and Tim
Hill with the ‘ I think we made it ‘ look!

Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): moniesue@yahoo.com Forsyth, MO

Hello all, Neither of the two pictures we have seen on the blog did justice to Mr. Jerstad. He was old school, Navy, boxer, very clean cut and had a hard time with the aroma some of the farm boys brought to school in the morning, but I think he tried to reserve good hygiene to himself. A cool guy with a neat wife.

Mr. Conroy was the guy who said, “get to work or do you want to be a $10 a day ditch digger all of your life!” He also commanded a lot of respect.

The blog has enhanced memories of days gone by. I feel so privileged to have known old settlers, the world’s greatest generation and also generations thereafter. Too bad that we have almost lost the romance of the 30’s and 40’s. Dunseith had the diversity that not many communities had in the area. For instance, I can only remember one Native American who sat in front of the Red Owl on Saturdays, her name was Long Shanks. Minerva Standing Chief and Daisy One Side may have been there as well. The foot hills were burned every spring and the Sundance always had an aura about it.

Johnny Hill was the right age to be entertained by the Saturday night battles, so he had a better handle on what really happened, after all when you are only 8 years old it is hard to really see what is going on. But, some of the best entertainment Dunseith had to offer was toward the end of the 40’s. What with four bars in full swing. \

It was good to see that Betsy Thiefoe got away and made a good life for herself in California. And Janice Striker, by the way her Uncle Elmer Striker was in the west when we got there in ’39. Also his older brother Bill. My dad talked about William Striker having a real estate office in Seattle and was a poet of sorts. That’s when Seattle had only three digit phone numbers. It is going to be great to revisit some of the houses we lived in, especially the big house on Spruce and Yessler Way, where many ND people stopped and some rented rooms. I remember my dad leaving for Juneau to run a plastering job and came back with lots of stories. We will be going to Juneau next month on the cruise. Thanks. Gary Metcalfe

Reply from Sybil Johnson:great_grandma2007@live.com Cheyenne, WY

How I remember those hamburgers at Dale’s. They were large enough to feed a family and they were so good. Alot of the people
mentioned in various emails, I dont know personally, but I do remember when “PA” or Bernice talk about them. Happy July 4th, everyone. Sybil Johnson(

Reply from Mark Schimetz (70): mschimetz@msn.com Rolette, ND

From 1958, I remember the old School House, there was a gym in the basement as well as a boiler room that doubled as a locker room, and said boiler room attached to the south and the east addition from the Old School house basement. I expect my interest in mechanical devises along with friends John and Danny Boguslawski got me the tour of this area. The Gym was also used as a music room , the teacher was Don Darling ? From the Old School house there was a hallway to the newer south wing, and in that area was the men’s bathroom and the trophies and photos of previous years, Which was always a stall in my getting back to the classroom. At that early age these guys were like superheroes to me. Then down the short railed steps heading south right past the principles office, Quickly as the door was always open and back to classroom. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think the kitchen was in the west side of the old school house, but I don’t exactly remember how we got there.

I had the 3rd and 4th grades in the Old School House, First and Second were in the East addition newly added.

Mark, you have jarred my memory. What you described is right on with what I remember about that old school and the south addition. Up until now my memory was a bit fuzzy, but you have revived all that. I was having a hard time recalling the physical layout of the old school until you mentioned that hall way between the old school and the new addition. I had totally forgotten about that cold hall way. That was the missing link. That hallway was mighty cold on -40F days. Yes the principles office was at the bottom of the steps, in the south addition, on the left (East) side of the hallway. The class rooms were located, down the hallway, to the left just past the Principles office. The new gym, used for a study hall, was to the right. I spent my first year of HS in these buildings before the new High School was built. I’m not sure what year the south addition was built. It was there when I started HS in 1961. As a freshman, I remember always being seated in the area to the left (north) side of the gym for our study halls. I think they had us grouped by classes starting with the freshman to the left and the seniors to the extreme right next to the south windows. I remember Connie Fauske, a senior at the time, being in one of my study halls, sitting next to the windows. I remember well, Phyllis McKay sitting across the aisle and several desks up from me in that study hall. I remember her turning around to chat with me, when Mr. Grossman wasn’t looking. For me, being a country boy fresh out of country school and new to the city school, being noticed and talked to by Phyllis was a highlight.

DHS Sophomore Class of 1945 (Class of 47)

First row; Eleanor Awalt, Lola Striker, Patty Mc Atee, Laverne Schick, Shirley Wentland, Doris Schneider, Darraine Habberstad, Jennine Watkins

Second row: Donna Aitchison, Alice Goodsell, Janice Striker, Delores Hiatt, Luella Halvorson, Mildred Brennan, Jean Metcalfe, Velma Brennan, Lorraine Christianson, Gloria Plante, Minnie Knox

Third row: Leo Murray, Leonard Stickland, Raymond Haagenson, Harvey Halvorson, Darrell Fassett, Dee Nelson, Wayne Molgard, Allison Fiske, Darald Dion, Llyle McDermott, Miss V. Marie Nesting, Advisor

Previously posted with message (89) 5-1-08

Message/picture from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends

The attached picture was taken in 1959, at what I believe was Grandma
Anderson’s birthday party. She was the mother of Gertrude Awalt and
Charlie and Walter Anderson, and spent the last part of her life living
in a small house in Awalt’s backyard. I used to walk over to her house
and she would give me cookies and milk. If I remember right, she had a
wood cookstove that she baked in and cooked on. This picture shows a
group of neighbor ladies with her in front and center. It has been a
very long time but I am quite sure this is Grandma Anderson, if not
please correct me, or if I have anyone else wrong please feel free to
send the right name. I am doing this from memory as there are no names
on the picture. Thanks again Gary!

The ladies L_R:
Standing—Irene Teal, Dorothy Egbert, Rose Kalk, Thelma Johnson, Joyce
Evans, Marie Allard, Marie Thompson, Lela Cota {nearly hidden},Joy
Nordquist, Arla Millang, Bernice Johnson, Agnes Berg, and Aggie Nicholas.
Seated— Beatrice Olson, Grandma Anderson, and Myrtle Olson.

9/5/2016 (2430)

Veterans Wellness Conference
Posted by Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65):  Belcourt, ND

My son Todd is Rolette County VSO (Veterans Service Officer) and has put together I believe the first Veterans Rolette County Wellness Conference.

This is open to all veterans,  and active duty military.

This poster will explain all information needed for this conference.

He hopes to see and assist a lot of Veterans.

Ginger Poitra class of ’65


Blog (502) posted on June 25, 2009

Post navigation



Posted on June 25, 2009

Reply from Brenda Hoffman (68): Greenville, SC

Gary, I noted on the Dunseith School building photo yesterday that it was obviously moved from somewhere to Dunseith in 1956 – the year I started school there in the first grade. Where was the school building moved from? And what served as the elementary school before 1956?

Brenda Hoffman – class of 1968

Brenda, With a little research and a few faded memories I think that old school was moved around 1970. I think it was erected on the original sight years earlier. I could be all wrong about that though. I’ll bet we have some folks out there that probably can fill us in on the history of that old building. I believe this was the old building that was just to the north of the newer addition in the photo pictured behind the moving of that old school. This old building was part of the entire school my first year of High School in 1961. We had many classes in the basement of this old school. I think this was the old school building basement. I could be wet behind the ears with what I remember, with this being the same building. Gary

Reply from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

To Dick Johnson—-Ahh yes— the old school. And I’ll bet a majority of the good memories for a lot of us Mrs. Conroy. That would be synonymous.

When is the Peace Garden car show? I was thinking of visiting Dunseith this summer, but not until August. I was going to drive the old Dodge — But the thought of buying 200 gallons of Premium at $350 a gallon kinda takes the fun out of it. (It has been tweaked a bit.)

I assume our old friend “Cussin’ Jack Smith has passed or would be well into his 90’s by now.. What a character.


Susan & Allen Richard

Dunseith (Seattle) reunion – July 24th

Folks, In a message I got from Bill Grimme yesterday, he mentioned that Larry St. Claire (66) has signed up for our reunion dinner in Seattle on July 24th.

Larry, This is wonderful that you are making special trip down to Seattle from Anchorage, Alaska to attend this reunion. You are a special guy.

Evie Gottbreht Pilkington, you too are making a special trip from Southern California for this reunion. You too are a very special.

We are looking forward to seeing you guys and everyone else at this reunion. Gary

Larry & Robbie St. Claire

Reply from Evie Gottbreht Pilkington (65): Irvine, CA

Hi Gary,

Thanks for posting the picture of my Dad again and also for your message Diane. Have lots of memories of the “Jumbo” – the Canadians would come over and over again for the treat…..The bun was great – hamburger in the old days from the Red Owl but I think one of the secrets was the well grilled bun and the diced onions vs. sliced onion.

Diane when you lived in the barn house I babysat for you girls several times. I also lived in that house for a brief period when we were waiting to move into our new house on the corner. My grandmother Evelyn lived there for a time, she had an old wood cook stove and it was all she cooked on ….we warmed our toes there on cold winter days.

I babysat very little for money, our allowance and fun money was made by working in that café or station ….I have check stubs going back to when I was 12 years old and had a regular summer shift at the café. I was paid 35 cents an hour; most of my checks were signed by Bob Strickland. We just filled out a time card like everyone else and picked up our check on Saturday…..on some checks I notice that Ernie and I cashed ours at the movie theatre – “show hall”.

I am not going on the cruise but will be at the dinner and looking forward to seeing the group.

Evie Pilkington Gottbreht 65

PS – Today I was on google and I put in my cell number and the Dunseith website came up……my cell number was with the picture posting of Dad. If you google a listed house phone MapQuest pops up so you can immediately get a map to your house……hmmm that might be too much info for some in the world today……..

July 12, 2007

Marlene Richard Parslow & Evie Gottbreht Pilkington

Reply/message from Diane Larson Sjol (70): Minot, ND

A couple of things….Dick brought up the subject of the old white
school house conjuring up some memories….I remember when I was in
the 4th grade, Mrs. Conroy’s 4th grade class was upstairs…we had a
fire drill and I was petrified of those metal steps…some of the
wiggled like crazy when you stepped on them. Being somewhat chubby
and afraid of heights, I was frozen on the top of the steps while the
entire school was down below…I remember them coaxing me to come
down…I was up there scared I would fall down going down the
steps…don’t know if I ever did make it down..

The Rendahl Gospel tape is great….I am sure Art Rude Jr. has more of
them for sale or can tell you where to get them. Ran into him
yesterday and he said to check out his website… http://artrude.com/ … he downloaded lots of
photos he took at Bottineau’s 125th this past week…it was a great
time. Dick Johnson did a great job announcing the parade… Oh, just
told some more people about the jumbo at Dale’s…they should be there
on Sat.

Diane Larson Sjol

Dick Johnson, I’ll bet you did go a wonderful job announcing the Bottineau Q-centennial parade. Les Halvorson (former DHS teacher) from Bottineau, announced the Dunseith Q-centennial parade in 2007. You guys are great! Gary

I think this is the appropriate time for another posting of this delicious ‘Dale’s Jumbo Burger’.

Khayla Poitra displaying Bill Grimme’s ‘Dale’s Jumbo burger’ – July 2007

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

The last week of August, 1968 five of us guys decided to take a trip
to the Black Hills in South Dakota. We borrowed my dad’s pickup, a
topper from Manvil Sebelius, a tent from Harvey Halvorson ( I think ?)
and took off ! The crew included Rich Campbell, Greg Grimme, John Bogus,
Tim Hill, and me. We drove through to the Black Hills and got to a
campground in the middle of the night, much to the dismay of those who
were already there trying to sleep. It was raining so it took some
gasoline to start our campfire! A Canadian came over and asked if we
were alright? We couldn’t get the stakes in the ground on one side of
the tent but found out why the next morning—that side was sitting on
the road! We did have a great time together and went to most of the
sites of interest around the Black Hills. We hit the dog races in Rapid
City and some low life dive in Ft. Pierre where we were lucky to have
survived. It was our last bash together before we all went our separate
ways to college and beyond. I wouldn’t trade the memories of that trip
together for anything! Thanks Gary!


9/3/2016 (2429)

Fauske Picture
Posted by Randy Kelly (’69):  St. Paul, MN

Hi Gary,

Thought I would send this picture that Glenda Fauske, Russell’s wife, took at the nursing home in Bottineau when I visited ND this past weekend.

Pictured is Glenda and Russell’s oldest son Tyrell and his wife Amanda with their little three week old son, Corbin, along with Brian, Beth and Arlinda Fauske, I am between the two of them and seated is Elwood and Eleanor.  Tyrell brought his fiddle and entertained a number of residents who enjoyed it very much.  I brought my guitar and played a few songs also. Ellwood was having a good day and Eleanor is so sharp and alert.  I was so impressed that Eleanor could recall names, places and events so well.  She provided all of us with a lot of information and insight. I had a wonderful few days with the Fauske clan who are so warm and generous.  It was great to see all of them and to roam around “the Hills”, drive around Dunseith and visit the cemetery where so many of my relatives are buried.  ND, because of all the rain they have had, is green, verdant and lush.  Very pretty

Randy Kelly

Gary’s comments

Thanks Randy for sharing this picture. Stubby and Elwood are really looking good too. I am sure they were glad to see you too. They are of the next generation up from us. I am pushing 70 so their generation is thinning. They Have been good family friends since before I was born. They are like family to me. Dad and Stubby were raised together too in the same Ackworth neighborhood. The family ties go back pushing a hundred years now. That is unbelievable. Dad would have been 101 yesterday. Stubby and Elwood will be celebrating their 74th wedding anniversary very soon too. They sure don’t look that old in this picture.

Folks, Randy Kelly’s mother was Elwood’s sister. Also Lydia LaCroix sister too. That is where Randy fits in the picture. Randy is a past mayor of Saint Paul, MN. He was also on Presidents George W Bushes personal staff. As you can imagine, he was a hard guy to get in touch with in those days when I was putting all the lists together, but he did reply.

Thanks again Randy.  

Fauske picture
yrell/Amanda/Corbin, Brian, Beth, Randy Kelly, Arlinda (Lindy). In front Elwood and Eleanore
Fauske 2429


Kathy McGhan: Bob & Elaine Stokes’ former next door neighbor.
Posted by Larry Liere (55): Devils Lake, ND & Mesa, AZ

Gary:  We were on a bus tour this week and had a stop at the International Peace Garden.  Kathy McGhan

was our Tour Guide there and she told us she lived in Bottineau so I asked her if she knew you and about your

BLOG.  She said she knew about the BLOG but has not had enough time to use it.  She also said she

lived next-door to your Dad which I thought was another small world event that happens in North Dakota

a lot because of our small state.  I have not been on the BLOG much this Summer because we have been

so busy but I do read it almost every day.  Sorry to say I have not seen many postings from my age group so

I hope there will be more postings this Winter & Fall.  Keep up the good work of keeping up posted.

Thanks, LARRY

Gary’s Comment

Larry, it is a small world. Kathy lived next door to my folks for many years. She was a good neighbor. My dad loved to chat and visit with her. He shared all his stories and news with Kathy. She knew every detail of his life. Rob and Kathy are wonderful nice folks. It has been years since I have seen Kathy. I think the last time I saw her was at my dad’s funeral in August 2000.

Kathy McGhan
McGahn, Kathy 2429

Reply to 6/23/2009 blog reposed last Wednesday
From Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65):  Belcourt, ND


I remember as a young girl watching those fireworks I try to explain them to my children,  I always have such a time trying to explain how they could have made them look so, so beautiful. The way that they would go off with such timing , non stop until the end! The waterfall was stupendous ! And the flag, there are no words.

Thank you for being involved with the fireworks and putting on this most spectacular show!  We all loved it.

Ginger Poitra class of ’65

Thanks Gary/ I love the picture of you and Bill Grimme at graduation also.

Gary’s comment
Yes Ginger, that picture of Bill Grimme and me at Graduation is priceless. You notice who is wearing the scarf too.


Myra Henning Halvorson (’72) Picture
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND
Bird Bird1

Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, NDDunseith News


Blog (501) posted on June 24, 2009

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Posted on June 24, 2009

Reply to Evie Gottbreht (65) from Diane Larson Sjol (70): Minot, ND

I really enjoyed the picture of your dad…I remember as a little kid
while visiting in Dunseith or staying there while dad was stationed
somewhere we couldn’t go, we tried to make enough money to go and buy
a jumbo at Dales. The Morinville girls and my sister Cheryl and I
decided to have a puppet show…we raided mom’s kitchen and served all
kinds of things…I think we made about 55 cents. We had a quarter
saved here and there and we all pooled our money. I believe it was
Debbie, Bev and Duane Morinville, Dennis Dion and my sister Cheryl and
I. Back then the jumbos were about $1.50…we finally had enough and
started walking from town to Dale’s. It seemed like we walked miles
thinking of that great bib juicy burger….we talked about it the
entire way. When we got there, we dumped all of our change on the
counter and ordered one up….best thing I ever ate. Don’t know if we
had the right amount of money, but we got the burger just the same.
We still talk about that burger and take visiting friends and
relatives to Dales whenever they come to ND to see us….

Diane Larson Sjol

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

The old white school was moved out around 1970 or later and was
replaced by the ‘pods’, a new concept at the time for open classrooms.
The old school was then moved to a point in the foothills near St.
Anthony’s church, where it was used as a training center for vocational
type instruction. I think carpentry and electrical training were two of
the classes taught. The building later burned to the ground. Until just
lately, the sign was still near the road but it is now also gone. I’m
sure nearly every person reading this has memories from this old
building and and the classes and teachers who were there. Thanks Gary!


Reply from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND

Hi Gary,

I’ve been meaning to mention there is a good (I think it’s good.)Rendahl Gospel cassette tape for sale. I’m quite sure I bought it from Art Rude, Jr. Art, Ole Bursinger, Jerry Olson, The Lund Family, others perform on it. I also bought, I think, two of Scotty/Thelma Thompson’s tapes and dubbed them onto one 90 minute tape; I had a little space left, so I added a few of Bashful Brother Oswald’s tunes. LOTS of good music on this tape!! I have two of Art’s tapes, too, but I didn’t combine them. Art’s songs are really clever. Speaking of Art, I enjoyed the TV programs he/a few of his friends produced and showed on TV a few years ago.

Art can tell you more about who is on the Rendahl tape.


From Susan Malaterre Johnson (69): Alvarado, TX

Hi! George, Donald, Gordon and I have a brother who lives in Co. Last Sat. I received a notice that his son, our nephew, was in the main bout. I guess he enjoys (?) extreme sport fighting. UGH! Some of you may remember our brother, James. His son is into this crazy sport. He was the challanger for the main bout. He won. I cannot help but compare him to George. Only,Jeremy has ben trained by his father in the martial arts. George learned with genetic skills. I’m sure that our nephew looks like a broken survivor. But, HE won. This reminds me of one of George’s fights . His opponent had about 5 years ahead of him. George lost!! After the fight his opponent came to us. He said that when he saw George, he told himself that if he got hit. I t would be over. So he did the next best thing. He wore Georg down. It’s tactic. I can’t help but feel that Jeremy worked the same way during this fight. kickdownmma.com Love, Susan Yes, I’m proud but so scared. I cannot go to a bout. Better for me to wait and see. Susan Johnson

From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND

Hi Gary,

I know some of your readers remember Carol Berg Hamel. She had surgery (Rugby) this morning for colon cancer. She came through the surgery fine, but they found a spot above her liver. I’m not sure what that means, but that’s what Lynette (Carol’s daughter) said they had been told. As you know, Lynette is married to Wade DuBois (good picture of Dennis DuBois and Phyllis McKay). Would you ask your readers to add Carol to their prayers/prayer lists, please? I know she would really appreciate it.

Carol’s family will be with her today/tomorrow. On Wednesday, I’m returning to Minot, via Rugby. I plan to spend the afternoon/evening/maybe the night with Carol. I have a 12:30 doctor’s appointment on Thursday, so I need to be in Minot by then.

Thanks, Gary.


Neola, Those of us from the Ackworth and Willow Lake areas remember Carol Berg well. I believe she graduated from Bottineau HS in 1967. At Ackworth she was in the class with my brother Allen, Jim Hiatt, Rodney Lagerquist & Carol Pritchard. That was a big class for good ole Ackworth. When they were in 6th grade, I was in 8th grade. There were not 7th graders. Carol transferred to Willow Lake in the 5th or 6th grade. I forgot which. I am sure most of our folks know that you and Carol are first cousins with your mothers being sisters. Our prayers are with Carol. Please keep us posted. Gary

Reply to picture posted yesterday from Ellen Graff Myrick (58): Grand Forks, ND

The guy in the red shirt beside Don Martel is Ron Link, President of the class of 58.

Picture 7-15-07

Ron Link (58), Don Martel (Principle) & Rene Casavant (65)

Methodist Choir picture:

The following three messages previously posted by Dick Johnson, Gary Morgan & Phyllis Campbell all relate to the Methodist choir picture below. I wanted to repost all three of these very informative messages that go with the picture. Gary

Previously posted with message (85) on 4/25/08

Message/Picture from Dick Johnson (68): djcars@srt.com

Gary and Friends

The enclosed picture is taken in about 1954. It is in the Methodist
church {stone church} and is probably the church choir except for my dad
who was Lutheran. I think the rest are Methodist? I can name most of the
folks but not all.

The folks I marked “unknown” are only unknown to me as most of you
probably know them. Thanks Gary!!


Back row L-R: Don Johnson, unknown, Gary Morgan, Don Hosmer, Alan
Campbell, unknown, Jerry Williams, Clark Crum, unknown.

Middle row: Florence Conroy, Jenny Cook, Inez Hosmer, Colleen Conroy,
Don Conroy, Rod Armentrout, unknown.

Front row: Unknown, Elsie Schneider, unknown, unknown, Millie Crum?,
Elaine Schneider.

Previously posted with message (86) on 4/26/08

From Gary Morgan (54): gmorgan56@hotmail.com

Hi Gary & All,..We missed you.
About 1950 the creamery that was located where Garden Lanes is now, burned down. It was just luck that the fire didn’t take the whole block. Having suffered two major fires in a couple of years, the Gamble Store and Creamery, it was painfully apparent that the fire department had to upgrade their equipment. About the only way organizations could raise substantial sums was by holding dances and smokers.
About this same time, a new minister came to serve the Methodist Congregation. His name was Rev. Ramquist and he lived in Bottineau while serving the Bottineau and Dunseith congregations. Rev. Ramquist was determined to clean up “Sin City” so when the Dunseith Firemen held a money raising smoker in the basement of the city hall, the Reverend fetched the sheriff and they raided the smoker. Since it was imperative that the fire department at least get a new truck, most, if not all, of the pillers of the community were caught in this den of iniquity. Sin City indeed!
The next day there was a big writeup in the Minot paper about how a gang of vigilantes had run the Reverend out of town. Actually, a couple of fellows followed him out of town just to be satisfied that he was gone and not coming back.
Shortly after that, the Methodist Church Board determined that Dunseith needed fire equipment worse than they did a crusading minister so Rev. Ramquist was asked to leave. He later perished while white water kayaking somewhere.
Between ministers, we Methodists were served on an intirim basis by Rev.
Kepler from Rugby which finally leads me to the point of my story…the fellow
between Alan Campbell and Jerry Williams in Dick’s picture of the Methodist Choir is Rev. Kepler’s son but I can’t remember his first name.
A revised roster of names on the picture is as follows:

Gary Morgan
Class of 54

Back Row: Don Johnson, Findel Helgeson (immigration Inspector who replaced Les Greener), Gary Morgan (young man about town), Don Hosmer, Alan Campbell, aforementioned Kepler, Jerry Williams, Clark Crum, Glen Williams Jr.

Middle Row: Florence Conroy, Jennie Cook, Inez Hosmer, Millie Crum, Don Conroy, Rod Armentrout, Duane Lang.

Front Row: Marjorie Morgan, Elsie Schneider, unknown, Irene Teal, Betty Jane Schneider, Elaine Schneider.

Previously posted with message (87) on 4/27/08

From Pyllis & Alan Campbell (42): campap26@yahoo.com

To help complete the names that are still missing from that Methodist/Lutheran church choir picture – I can fill in a couple of the names ….the young man who wasn’t identified is Don Keplar – son of the Rugby minister who was supplying the Methodist church – and the un-identified lady is Mrs Charles Keplar – the minister’s wife.

As an additional personal note, Gary, we want to tell you how much we appreciated all the help your Dad Bob gave to Alan’s aunt and uncle Anne and Glen Campbell all the years they lived in Botno. He was a wonderful neighbor who shoveled their sidewalks and saw that the grass was always cut. He always went in for a visit too and they also enjoyed visits from your mother Elaine.

Phyllis and Alan Campbell

Phyllis & Alan: I would like to share your personal note with the group, because we have many Dunseith Alumni Bottineau folks on our list that knew Ann Campbell. Many of these folks are married to spouses or have relatives that had Ann for a teacher. She taught school for many years at various schools in Bottineau county. Most folks that knew my dad knew that he loved to talk. With his visiting, he mentioned Ann many times and he was asked, real often, if she was related to Alan. I heard that question asked many times, with my annual visits back to ND, when I’d be out with my father. A lot of folks never made the connection of Alan & Ann. Dad spoke highly of Ann and he thoroughly enjoyed doing the things that he did for her. I too learned to know Ann quite well with my annual visits. She was a wonderful lady. Glen was gone by the time I came into the picture, so I never really knew him. Gary

Methodist/Lutheran Choir Picture:

Back Row: Don Johnson, Findel Helgeson (immigration Inspector who replaced Les Greener), Gary Morgan (young man about town), Don Hosmer, Alan Campbell, Don Kepler, Jerry Williams, Clark Crum, Glen Williams Jr.

Middle Row: Florence Conroy, Jennie Cook, Inez Hosmer, Millie Crum, Don Conroy, Rod Armentrout, Duane Lang.

Front Row: Marjorie Morgan, Elsie Schneider, Mrs. Charles Keplar, Irene Teal, Betty Jane Schneider, Elaine Schneider.

Dunseith High School Class of 1948

Back row: Ydola Pigeon, Dorothy Strietzel Fassett , Betty Watshke, Urbain Cote.

Middle row: Howard Landsverk, Bernice Olson Johnson,
Bob Molgard, Shirley Sunderland

Front row: Patty McAtee, Andre Berube