05/31/2017 (2528)

New England Cemetery
Posting from Jim Mellmer (“72):  Mandan, ND

 Jim Mellmer and crew went to New England today to put flowers and pay our respects to Pete and Viola Mellmer and Jim’s grandparents today.


Dunseith Trip
Posted by Don Martel:  Rosemount, MN

Sometimes we don’t notice the things we see frequently. When you have been away for some time, these same things become very interesting. So it was with the “Round  Barn”, for me.
How long has it been on the National Register of Historic Places?
Whoever owns it, is to be commend on its up keep.
I just now noticed that it is made of cement blocks.
I used to go to dances there, but I think it looks as good or better than 60 years ago.
Another interesting piece of Dunseith history.
Round barn 2528-1 round barn 2528-2 round barn 2528-3


Blog (602) posted on October 25, 2009

Posted on October 25, 2009

Harry Larson – Erling Landsverk’s first grade teacher

Story from Erling Landsverk (44): Portage, WI

Hi Gary:

The story is off to Janice Myhre, and I am attaching a copy for you along with many thanks for your help. I actually am thinking about publishing it. . Or perhaps include it in a book of short stories I have been working on. At 83 years of age, I guess I better do something before I begin to get elderly. I do spend a lot of time with my music. I play the guitar, both classical, and popular favorites along with Latin American and of course a smattering of rag time just to keep the audience from walking out too soon. Its been a great life, and now I can do some things I always wanted to pursue. Thanks again Gary for your most welcome help and kind words.

Kindest Regards


Erling, Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful well written story of your childhood school days with Harry Larson as your teacher. You bring back many memories to those of us a little younger too. You mention Florence Christianson in your story too. She married Vernon Williams. Several of her children are on our distribution. Lori is married to Ray Lagerquist, whom I know well.

Folks, Janice Myhre is Harry Larson’s daughter. She lives in Spokane, WA. Janice returned my phone call last week. We had a nice chat. She said her dad was dedicated to his teaching an absolutely loved every minute in the class room. Teaching was the love of his life. Until Erling got in touch with her, she had not known that her dad had taught at Loon Lake school. Harry Larson is listed in the Dunseith book as being hired to teach in Dunseith in 1937.

Folks, I have attached, in a Word Document, Erling’s story. I have also pasted a copy at the very end of today’s blog.

San Haven

Reply from Jeri (Fosbert) Neameyer wife of Gordon Neameyer (55):Moorhead, MN

Seeing my aunt and uncle Grace and Benny Frovarp mentioned in Brenda Hoffman’s article I just have to share a little about the time we would visit with Grace and Benny. My sisters and I would spend a couple days every year with them and playing with Sharon and Charlene Pearson. They knew where to go and we would go through the tunnels and remember them being very hot. Had lots of treats at the commissary and ate in the dining room. I thought the apartment that the Pearson lived in was the greatest, it was at the top of the one building and could look out and see all over the area. It was fun times at San Haven. I remember the Hoffman name but Brenda was much younger. I think they lived in one of those green houses along the tunnel sidewalk. I thought those people had it made–they never had to clean house or cook meals.

I read about all of you having had Don Johnson as a teacher and I should have wrtten about how we in Rolette also had Don as our choir director when he taught at Rolette High School in the late 50’s. He was very well liked and remember he always closed his concerts with “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.” He alwys had everybody singing there best.

Jeri Neameyer

San Haven

Reply from Bob Hosmer (56): Lynnwood, WA

Hi Gary and all,

All the memories of San Haven and Mona Johnson’s remarks on the Laundry spurs me to comment as well.

One summer (or part of a summer) in the ’50s, I worked with Chuck and Mona at the Laundry as a teenager.

I remember the steaming of the prepared soap in the barrels used in those big washing machines. It was an amazing experience working with them–watching Chuck dump those bloody gauzes in the floor sink and running cold water over them to get all that blood washed out before washing them and getting them ready for use in OR again. They both were so gracious and patient with me during that summer. And seeing how husband and wife worked together as a team made a deep, lasting impact on me; so that my own marriage operates as a husband and wife team in all our work.

I miss the beauty of San Haven. I loved to go there whenever I could. We used to bicycle there, run in the tunnels and enjoy the freshness of everything. Once in a while the family would go up to have dinner on a Sunday in the dining room. It’s hard to go back and see the destruction done to the facility. But the memories are precious. Bob Hosmer

San Haven

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

I found Brenda Hoffmans memories of the San interesting. It’s like it was a little suburb of Dunseith,with it’s own stories within it self. I never realized so many families lived up there.

I worked night shift at the San for like 2years with my cousin David Casavant,and Gerard Barbot,after moving back to N.Dakota when my brother Jimmy got burned at his graduation party. I remember it being alot of fun,playing cards all night and telling ghost stories.You could really get attached to some of the patients.

I remember from where we lived on the farm,at sunset during the summer months,the sun would hit the windows of the San,and it would look like the whole place was on fire. I remember us kids would come running in the house hollering,”Mama!Mama! the Sans on fire! The first time we said it, it startled her,but after that she was like “whatever”.

Brenda,don’t worry about your spelling,no one can be as bad as me. It was the only subject in school I was good at,but as the years go by it looks like my spelling has gone the way of my “math,and history” grades. LOL …you know it’s bad when the computer age even offers spell check…and I still can’t get it right….don’t know how to use… Oh but lifes Great! Ms.Aggie

Brandon Halvorson

From Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND.

Hey there Gary and all,
Its Saturday afternoon in Bottineau town. I just rang up Ed
Berg, maternal Grandpa of Brandon Halvorson and inquired how that
cowboy is getting along. Grandpa Ed told me, Brandon is out of the
hospital and under the TLC of his mom Becky.
I said, “I suppose if I asked Brandon how he was doing he
would have, responded with a doing fine and shrugged it off.
Grandpa Ed said, “Yes, he would but, Brandon will have a long,slow
recovery probably up to three months. He’s in a lot of pain, as his
muscles were severely damaged. The doctors told him broken bones
would have been far less painful , taken less time to heal, and he
needs to also recover from that concussion. ”
Lets all continue sending warm thoughts and get well
wishes to Brandon the Halvorson cowboy who hung on in the saddle as
long as he could, then survived many of pounds of horseflesh rolling
over, squishing him in the muck and says……… “doin fine”.
Thanks. Vickie


Reply from Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA

Like you, I’m far from being a great bowler. But I enjoy the game regardless of what my average is. We are a money league, but also a fun league. The difference is that on the real money leagues, the players are very competitive, the prize fund is higher (thus it costs more to bowl) and many bowlers carry averages of well over 200. I’ve bowled on some of those and never really enjoyed them — too competitive. In contrast, our league is all about having a good time, and if you win some money at the end of the season, great! That doesn’t mean our bowlers aren’t competitive, they (we) are, but it’s just not the same. We have bowlers with averages of 220 or higher, but we also have many who carry averages of around 100. As for me, I’m somewhere in the middle. Last year I finished the year with a 172 (which is right around where I usually am). Unfortunately, this year (through week 6 of 32) I’ve been in a bit of a slump and am struggling to stay above 160. Oh well, there are many weeks to go. Keith Pladson (66)

Keith, It’s nice to be competitive, but having fun is the name of the sport. I inquired about the bowling fees for pleasure bowling here in the Philippines and one can choose to pay by the game or by the hour. By the game it’s $1.20. The hourly lane rate is $3.00. Our league collects $1.00 per game from each of it’s players and then pays the hourly rate. Our league makes money on the deal.

Reply to Angelina Metcalfe, Gary’s Granddaughter

From Ele Dietrich Slyter (69): Dunseith, ND.

A few years ago I heard of a diet that helps with some seizure patients. It is called the Ketogenic Diet (spelling?) and has done wonders for a lot of people. Johns Hopkins hospital was in charge of this diet, but that may have changed. Apparently, this diet can actually stop the seizures, but it is very strict and must be done very carefully under doctors supervision. If it works the patient does not have to be on it for the rest of their lives either. Johns Hopkins published an article that stated even those who did not stop having seizures at least were helped in that the episodes became less severe and did not happen as often. They said no one has regretted trying the diet.

Just a thought that may help Angelina, or at least be something that they may want to look into for her.


Erling Landsverk’s Story



The ensuing story is an account of my experience with an unforgettable individual who was also my teacher during my first year of elementary school.

It is important to remember that although I relate this story as a young boy, much of my understanding and comments about him, came later as a result of my vivid memory of what he did as a teacher and why. The setting of this story is equally important, because it reflects the economic conditions of our country,the feeling of distrust of our elected officials, and the banking industry, coupled with a drought so severe as to challenge that ofOklahomaduring the same time period. It was a beautiful area that at times was uninviting due to extreme cold, and unpredictable weather.However this same area wasinhabited by strong willed and determined high plains people that looked for ways to solve their problems, and did so with resolve.These same people had a high regard for education, and were determined to ensure a proper education for their offspring’s.My own parents were among those great folks for which I am most grateful.Many of the young students in this area went on to perform a great service to their community, their State and our Country.I am certain that the teacher in this story must have had an influence on many of these during his teaching career.

The year was 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt had just been sworn in as our new president, and the country was in the depths of a severe depression.This story takes place in theTurtleMountainsregion ofNorth Dakotathat was suffering a drought that was causing indescribable damage to the land and its inhabitants. This all sounds quite grim given the immediate outlook at that time, but to a 6 year old boy beginning his first day of school, nothing seemed to matter except the new adventure of attending school.The hot dry days of summer passed slowly it seemed, but finally the day arrived, and I trooped off with my three older siblings (Rolf, Borghild, & Ossie) into the next chapter of my life.

We walked on wagon trails that wound through deep woods, around meadows and over dry creek beds for a mile and a half until we caught sight of the little school.There were children playing near the building and then I saw a tall man waiting on the steps of the school. I asked my siblings who he was, and they said that he must be the new teacher they had learned was going to teach us this year.As we drew near he calledouta greeting to my older siblings, and asked their names, after looking at a note book he had in his hand, he turned to me asked them , “who is this young man? They told him that I was their younger brother and that I was just starting my first year. He smiled shook my hand and asked, can you tell me your name?I stammered my name, Erling, and he smiled and said “you must be Norwegian”.I nodded and he directed me inside to a seat. After a few minutes he took a small bell from his desk, went out on the porch and rang it summoning everyone inside to begin school. He began by calling out names and asked the pupil what grade he or she was in, then he seated them at appropriate desks. This took only a short time, but at the end of the seating arrangement he noticed four boys who looked older than my oldest brother Rolf, and Rolf was 14 years old.The teacher asked them if they wanted to attend classes.They told him that they were just going to watch.The teacher said that this would not do, and they should leave.The leader of the group stepped forward a few paces towards the teacher and said that they did not have to leave and that they were going to stay. After hearing this the Teacher took a couple of quick steps toward the leader, grabbed him by his shirt front and loudly told him, “I said leave”, whereupon he gave the boy a shove that sent him sprawling in the aisle.There was a dead silence in the room, and the big boys looked at the Teacher in astonishment and quickly left the school.The Teacher turned to the students in the class room and said, “Those bullies won’t bother you any more and you are here to learn and I intend to see that you do”.I learned later that the boys that the Teacher had directed to leave had been bullying students and intimidating lady teachers for the past couple of years, and so the school officials felt that it was time to stop it.That was quickly accomplished by our new Teacher, Mr. Harry Larson! That was his name and as he stood at the front of the room he wrote his name on the blackboard, repeated his name and told us that we could address him as Mr. Larson, or Teacher, and that he was there to help everyone learn and ask him questions anytime except for the time he was conducting a class.

Mr. Larson began with my two classmates and myself, by giving us instructions on how to write our names. And to keep practicing until we could do it well. He continued by giving us an encouraging word, he must have known how surprised and fearful we were after the initial scuffle that took place. His manner with us was entirely different and we began to look at him with admiration and wonder, as I believe all the students did. The morning recess came and ended to soon we thought. Mr. Larson continued to assign work to each class until the noon hour.We all had our lunch and began playing when Mr. Larson came out to the small playground and called everyone to gather around.After all were near, he asked how many of us would like a place to play ball. Everyone held up their hands or shouted yes.Mr. Larson pointed out an area east of the school and said, we will have to clear that land right there and we will begin tomorrow, and I expect you to all help during your morning and noon recess. The very next day, Mr. Larson brought an axe and at the morning recess instructed the older boys to pile up the small trees and brush as he cut it. He gave the girls a rake and a basket and told them to haul the leaves and twigs to a designated place off the playground.Everyone had something to do, and after about two weeks of hard work, the area had been cleared of the undergrowth and small trees.A nearby farmer brought a horse drawn disc over and leveled the ground so the players could run without stumbling.Mr. Larson gathered us all together at the new ball field and told us that we had a new ball diamond because we were willing to work and build one.Then he said the same applies to your school work, if you want to learn and have good grades, you must work for it. We all grew quiet; I will always remember that lesson. Looking back, onecould say it was basic, but I think it was more than a simple basic lesson, consider how we learned to set goals, we learned creativity and planning, we learned working cooperatively for a common goal, we learned consideration and compassion for each other as we moved towardsthe final outcome. Mr. Larson was more than a teacher of reading, writing and arithmetic.He taught human values that would sustain us for a lifetime.

We had given up some of our play time to achieve a ball field, but we had not given up class time, and with the encouraging words from Mr. Larson, the classes forged ahead with surprising result. Report cards that we all compared before bringing them home for our parents to inspect and sign began to show better and higher achievement signs.Deportment was also considered quite important by Mr. Larson, and the improvement in that area was also evident. I remember listening to older classes recite, and at times Mr. Larson would use a competitive quiz to spark more interest, and just when one would think he would only ask those who were waving their hands, he would walk down to the silent student and quietly ask for an answer, to the question he had just posed.Most times the student knew the answer but was to shy to enter into the noisy portion of the quiz.By going down to the student and receiving a correct answer he would say loudly, “that is correct” I know this helped the shy student build up self confidence.I know, because Mr. Larson also used this practice on myself, for which I am most grateful.He seemed to have an uncanny way of increasing a students desire to learn.

In those early days, there was no PTA, but Mr. Larson, simply visited the homes of the children that attendedLoonLakeSchool# 2.This gave him the opportunity to discuss the child’s progress with the parents, and to get an understanding of the child’s home life and get acquainted with the parents. As I reflected on these visits, it became increasingly apparent that he was accomplishing more than a single purpose, he began a friendly relationship with the parents, he looked for anything that might be the cause of a behavioral problem, if there were any and also find ways to improve the students study skills. By late October he had completed his visits to the families, and of course he had also visited our home.On that day, he walked home with us, and mother invited him to stay for supper.He accepted, and as the meal progressed, he discussed each of us with our parents.It went quite well for all of us and after the discussion, he looked around at us and said, they are doing quite well, but there is always room for improvement.I believe that was his way of saying that we were all doing O K. but he always encouraged us to do better.WhileMr. Larson, Mother and Dad were finishing their coffee, Mr. Larson mentioned that he had learned of our parents talents for music, and asked if they would play a couple of numbers for him. Mother and Dad never refused a request if they had time, so Mother seated herself at the piano and Dad took down his Violin and they proceeded to play a couple of classical numbers. Then Dad turned to me and said why don’t you get the banjo and show Mr. Larson how you can play.I had pestered my Dad for the past year to help me learn some simple chords on the banjo, and Dad was more than happy to do that, but I was pretty nervous when it came to playing for Mr. Larson, but Dad asked me, and I knew better than to disobey.We all three played some folk tunes, with my brother Ossie chiming in with his harmonica.When we finished Mr. Larson applauded and said he enjoyed the entertainment, then he excused himself and said he had to leave. After he left, Mother and Dad remarked that he certainly appeared to be a good man and surely was interested in our education,

Mr. Larson had innovative skills in dealing with nearly everything he was faced with.As winter came on snowy and cold, the recess activities were addressed in the most unusual ways. Because of the depression, the school district had no funds for playground equipment, so Mr. Larson proceeded to invent team games, using whatever materials were at hand, such as fire wood, logs, and an imaginative mind.The result was a game called by steal stix. A very exciting game that gave all the students an opportunity to participate.The game provided great physical exercise, good balance and quick decisions on the part of the players.This game was played outside only when weather permitted.On bad days, Mr. Larson organized tic tac toe contests between teams of players, and they used the two large blackboards at the front of the room. He used the little board on the east side of the room to teach us younger folks how to play the game. Sometimes he even let us make paper airplanes, and then he instructed us about air currents by flying a paper airplane over the warm air register atthe front of the room, explainingthat warm air rises and cold air falls toward the ground, and how it affects airplanes. A short physics lesson to think about.He applied learning to virtually everything including our recreational time. Attendance was very good, and reflecting on it years later, it was because he used many unusual ways of teaching that opened up new worlds for the students, and the students found themselves eager to learn more.

The days passed quickly and soon we found ourselves preparing for the annual Christmas program. Mr. Larson approached the program with the same enthusiasm as other academic work.He handed out dialogues, for the Nativity scene, then he listened to trial readings, and chose the participants by their ability to perform well, giving other parts to those who preferred less exposure. Everyone worked hard on their parts, and Mr. Larson was very determined to teach all of us the true meaning of Christmas, in the Christian sense, and avoided chatter about Old Saint Nicholas, or Santa Claus, although he never objected to students talking about it on their own time.The Christmas Carols were rehearsed and rehearsed until Mr. Larson was satisfied with the performance. On the day before the program, Mr. Larson asked me to bring my banjo to school. During our final practice, Mr. Larson asked me to play the banjo and then he assembled about 6 boys and told them to sing Oh Susannah, while I played the Banjo. Everyone knew the words because the song was heard a lot and was heard on many records of vaudeville entertainers.After he heard us, Mr. Larson said he was going to have us entertain the next night. The evening of the Christmas program was a beautiful and somewhat warmer evening, and our little school was filled to overflowing with parents and neighbors. The Program was an important part of the school curriculum, and about the only live entertainment in our little neighborhood, given the state of the nation, and the distance to the nearest town. The program went well, and just before the closing Carol, Mr. Larson trooped out myself and the 6s boys including my brother Ossie, and with a smile announced to the people gathered in the school room that he had a special treat for everyone, where upon he signaled to us to begin.He had placed some old straw hats on our heads and we sang Oh Susannah at the top of our lungs with me doing my best to play the banjo.At the end of our number the applause was deafening.The closing carol was Silent Night, Holy Night, and Mr. Larson asked everyone to join with the students in that beautiful Christmas song. The response was immediate as if the whole world were raising their voices to Heaven. Whenever I recall that particular Christmas, I believe something special happened that night and the entire crowd sang as one that brought a sacred aura into our little school. Somehow, Mr.Larson had managed to reach the people witha message of hope that Christmas that brought them peace of mind despite the many problems that prevailed, and also to give theman opportunity to laugh and enjoy our little act, all in a way that must have given anxious parents a more positiveand optimistic outlook. Harry Larson distributed the bags of candy for all the children, including yours truly and when he handed me my bag he whispered a thank you for the banjo music. Everyone there exchanged Christmas greetings and enjoyed a good old fashioned visiting session.Then it was a ride home on the bob sled and enjoy the two weeks of vacation ahead.

When we returned after our Christmas vacation, we found that we had more snow to walk through and the temperature seemed determined to stay below zero most of the time.No Matter, Mr. Larson continued to urge all of us to improve in our particular grade, and make every effort to make the last half of the year just as good as or better than the first half.I found myself and my classmates doing work in the second grade, Mr. Larson also encouraged us to memorize many things because he said when you have memorized them you will always remember them when you need them the most. I also remember his lesson in honesty and ethics very well.One of the students in a higher grade was caught cheating on a test they were taking.Mr. Larson asked the student why he hadn’t studied the text book so he would know the answers to the test questions.Then he said, “If you got away with cheating, do you think it would be fair to deceive your parents by having a grade you didn’t deserve”.Then he turned to the rest of the class and said that if you cheat on a test you are only cheating yourself, because sooner or later you will be found out, and then you would be considered not trust worthy and undependable.He explained further that if you fail to get a top grade, at least the grade you got was an honest one and that if you really want to you can improve by studying harder. The school year ended with all of the students maintaining a great attendance record, and a marked improvement in their grades,learned this from my older siblings.Mr. Larson did not return to LoonLakeSchoolthe next year, and we missed his way of making learning an interesting way of life.I saw Mr. Larson 4 years later when our family moved to Dunseith for one winter, and our 5th grade class had a math class across the hall in an adjoining classroom.I walked into the class room and looked at the front for the teacher and there was Mr. Larson. He noticed me at about the same time, and he came to my desk and called me by my name, shook my hand and asked about myself.I was delighted to receive so much attention from him, but then I remembered that he treated all his students that way.I never saw My Teacher after that, but I am often reminded of him and have never forgotten the way he taught, and great lessons he taught us all

He made our schoolwork an adventure in learning, which only encouraged us to study harder and learn more.We also learned about Ethics, Honesty, Compassion for others, Fair Play, Courtesy, working together respect and Belief in Deity, Help one another.I am sure that many teachers work very hard to help their students in similar ways, but to me Harry Larson is the epitamy of what a teacher should be. Finally I would be remiss if I didn’t relatethis humorous incidentthat aptlydescribeshim as a teacher; My sister borg had the good fortune or seeing him at one the earliestall school reunions held at Dunseith, wherein the course ofdiscussing old memories she asked if he remembered how embarrassed her and her class mate Florence Christianson were when he had them demonstrate some foolish prank they weredoing when Mr. Larson caught them, andthen suggested firmly that they should perform this prank in front of the entire school, which they did.Yes he said, however he said, “you deserved it didn’t you”?He laughed and gave her a hug.

Most of us have a teacher or someone special whom we remember with fondness and respect.I am certain that Harry Larson has many of his former students including those who are not with us now that number in the hundreds as someone we all remembering with fondness and respect.

05/26/2017 (2527)

Cemetery Trip
Posting from Don Martel (DHS Principal):  Rosemount, MN

Hi Gary,

Around this time, every year, Colleen and I make our annual trip to the Dunseith-Rolette area to decorate and take care of the graves of our loved ones.

We have her parents graves, Ed & Florence Conroy, at Riverview cemetery near Dunseith.

Her paternal (Conroy) grandparents and  aunts and uncles at the Crary  Cemetery, east of Devils Lake.

My parents, Albert & Irene Martel and brother Rick, at Sacred Heart cemetery near Rolette.  My paternal grandparents, Arthur and Martha Martel, and several great aunts at St. Mary’s Cemetery (Maryville) south of Belcourt.

Some years it entails a lot of work, filling holes, pulling weeds, trimming trees or bushes, etc.  Most years it involves only decorating the graves, because the cemeteries are in immaculate condition.  Congratulations and thank you to the local people and caretakers.

It is a labor of love, but not all work.  We usually encounter some of our friends from years gone by and enjoy a good visit, maybe even have lunch together. (Can’t wait for my annual “Dales Burger”, and yes I can eat the whole thing).

Thanks again Gary for keeping us all connected.

Don & Colleen(Conroy) Martel


Blog (601) posted on October 24, 2009

Condolences to Raphael Poitra and his family
From Ron Longie (65): Yakima WA


It is with great sadness that I write this, my heart goes out to Raphael and his family for their loss. The reunion of 2007 was so much fun seeing the class of (65) especially Pete and Raphael, I will always keep those few days very near to me. May the good Lord keep you in the palm of his hand, and help you through your time of sorrow.

Ron Longie

Class of 65 reunion – July 12, 2007
Raphael Poitra and Pete Gillis


Janice Metcalfe Poitra’s funeral
From Ele Dietrich Slyter (69): Dunseith, ND.
Vickie is very right..it was a very beautiful day today, one too nice to say good bye in. The congregation was very diverse and a testament to a
very well loved and respected lady. Hillbilly’s, prairie dogs and city dwellers alike shall not forget her. The pastor said something about her dying of a weak heart and then went on to disagree with that. Oh how right he is. Janice had one of the strongest hearts I have ever had the pleasure to find. She was so loving, giving, humble and strong. Elaine mentioned that Janice was also a take charge type of person and that she, at the age of 2, was ‘bossy’ and unafraid to put people in their place when need be. We should all take a lesson from her. I am also reminded today of the poem ‘Foot Prints In the Sand”. There were many prints left in the sand today, but none were left by two people. HE carried us through this day, so there is only one set there for all to see.
Perhaps I have not written this very well, but I think all will understand how special Janice is/was, and what a change her passing will make in all of us.
Thank you so very much for all you do for all of us Gary.
Janice Metcalfe Poitra’s funeral
From Geri (Metcalfe 59) & Chuck Munro:
Hi Gary and friends,
We have just returned from Dunseith today after the visitation/funeral of our cousin, Janice (Metcalfe) Poitra. What an amazing two days it has been, to see so many of our old friends from the Kelvin and Dunseith community. Dick, Brenda and Ron, it was wonderful to hear your music and to hear you sing, Dick, “The Wayfaring Stranger” at my cousin’s funeral. We had a warm and loving visit with so many from the area–we love those dear hearts and gentle people. The people of Peace Lutheran Church did a great job of preparing food, and ministering to those of us who were present in their church. As Lea Rae said this week, we are grateful for those who give so much of themselves to keep the church going and make it available for funerals/weddings.It was great to see so many of you from the Cruise, and we hope to gather with many more in 2012. Gary and Bernadette were so totally organized and everything fell into place for such a smooth reunion in Seattle, and the cruise that followed. Bernadette is the beautiful lady behind the successful guy that Gary is—we appreciated you all so much. It was fun to see pictures of your home and improvements that have been made to the area surrounding you.

Sincerely, Geri (Metcalfe) and Chuck Munro

Geri, Thank you so much for the very nice compliment. Yes we are gearing up for another cruise, Presidents Day week in February 2012, in the Caribbean. Phyllis McKay and Bill Grimme will we working with us putting this one together. As soon as the cruise schedules are published, we will be deciding on a cruise line and a cruise. At this time we know the date and that it will be a Caribbean cruise so folks can start making their plans. With this being the 2nd cruise and being in the Caribbean and in the Winter months, we are anticipating a larger group with this cruise. The Caribbean Cruise prices I think are less too. Feb. 2012 is only a little over two years away.
About our home and those pictures I sent last week. We are currently in the process of installing Ceramic Tile on the upper area between my workshop and our office and also on the wall below the recently installed railing. When it’s finished, I’ll send another picture. Gary
The Morgan’s
From Kay Hosmer (77): Crown Point, Ind.
Reply to Dick and Gary Morgan from Kay Hosmer (’77) – I had warm fuzzy feelings after reading the messages from Dick and Gary. I grew up a block away from Kenny and Margie; they were significant members of the “older generation” to me. Also, I enjoyed a wonderful relationship with John Morgan’s family in that I baby sat for his children for many years in Dunseith. Mike, Greg and Beth were special children and I was even invited to attend a summer vacation with them in MN. The whole Morgan family was dear to me.
Reply from Sharon Zorn Gerdes (62): Windsor, CO
Gary, I don’t know Trish Clayburgh, but she sure has a beautiful horse. Also wanted to mention some of my most favorite memories of San Haven was the excellent food. The baker up there was amazing !! Lots of good people, and a very unique and beautiful place. Its very sad and unnecessary that it could have been destroyed it was. Thank you for the tremendous job you are doing, this blog is my number one priority daily
Sharon, Yes that is a beautiful horse with a beautiful rider that Trish Larson Clayburgh has. Gary
San Haven History
From Mona Dionne Johnson (48): Lake Metigoshe, ND.
Gary: Brenda Hoffman asked me to give a little history of San Haven, so —

Re: A little history regarding my husband, Chuck & the Laundry, etc. at San Haven

Chuck was working under his brother, Bud, when Bud decided to go to Alaska, and Chuck got the job and Dr. Loeb sent him to Laundry Mgt. School in Iowa. Chuck was living in Bismarck before coming to San Haven. His dad started up laundries in Bismarck & in Montana and elsewhere. When his dad came to the San in ’38, he started making all soap used in the laundry. It was made in big barrels, with a pipe (steam) down the middle to cook it. That was carried on with Bud and Chuck doing it until in the late 50’s or early 60’s. Saved the State a LOT of money ! I continued to work at the San for about 6 months after we moved to Bottineau, then began work at St. Andrew’s Hospital in Bottineau in Mar. ’66. When I headed the Dietary Dept. just prior to going to work in Bottineu, I had about 33 people under me. Chuck continued on and in the years prior to closing, he was also Safety Officer and Housekeeping Dept. Head in addition to Laundry Mgr. He was there for the closing in Feb. ’88.
Chuck and I attended all our high school years together in Dunseith and graduated in ’48. My Dad farmed in the early years of my life, and in ’38 when he got hailed out, he bought the store and it included the post office in Thorne, ND (village between Rolette & Dunseith) and retired in Rolette. I kept store (worked) for him a lot during the World War II years when he helped his brother harvesting. I even got to help him shocking the grain bundles.I probably wasn’t much help, as you can imagine little old me with a bundle, but I was game and we all did our part during the war.
I will try to give a little history (don’t know if people will be interested) of the care and progress in the treatment of TB at San Haven after I began working March ’51 , at a later time.
Mona Johnson ’48

San Haven History
From Brenda Hoffman (68): Greenville, SC
First, I want to apologize for not spelling names correctly. I remembered seconds after sending my original emails to Gary that Dr. Loeb is the correct spelling, not Laub. And I had no idea how to correctly spell the Boguslowski’s name. So if anyone notices errors, please help me correct them!

I believe San Haven was founded in or near 1912. The original campus consisted of the Administration Building (Ad building which later housed the Commissary and Post Office and the most – I thought- upscale apartments at the San – Barbara Schlat (Occupational Therapy and former patient), Marjorie Lilico (office); Clifford (power house) and Maxine (office) Magnuson; Benny (Commissary/Post Office and former patient) and Grace (nurse) Frovarb and Edna M?
Prior to the discovery of the penicillin family of antibiotics, there were no certain cures for the strain of TB prevalent at the time. Many doctors felt that cold, crisp air and fresh, wholesome food was the best solution. North Dakota selected the Turtle Mountains as their sight for obvious reasons, not the least being the ability to isolate the TB population. In addition to the nude sunbathing and sleeping on the outdoor porch in the winter, doctors often removed a patients lung – that particular treatment required removing some ribs also. I believe Barbara Schaalt had that treatment. When I was a very little girl, I remember Mom having pneumo treatments – deflating her lungs. I’m guessing that treatment was an offshoot of the treatments prior to penicillin and just retained for whatever reason. I remember either Herc Nicholas or Benny Frovarb laughing about how a group of male TB patients all lived in the cottage that ended up being my family’s home in 1959. All of the patients had to provide sputum for a daily or weekly test. They started getting a dog to provide sputum for one of the guys and yet the test always remained the same!
The Children’s Building was a the children’s building. A number of families had both the mother and father hospitalized for TB and their children lived in the Children’s Building. Also guessing that those patients who were school age were housed there or received schooling there. In the mid 1950s, the school part was closed down and all of the books thrown – large rolling laundry carts of them. My Mom managed to save series like the Bobbsie Twins, Pollyanna and even All Quiet on the Western Front. I read everyone of those books at least once and I still love artwork from the early 1900s because of them.
Somehow, and I never questioned it at the time, the San Commissary seemed to receive a large number of comic books and paperback books without covers. Benny would sell us a package of 10 coverless comic books for a quarter and an extremely reduced paperback rate. Superman, Archie, Batman and Katy Keene were comic book favorites and paperback mysteries. I pretty much read anything I could get my hands on – including True Story and magazines about the US West – someone always seemed to be cutting their foot off to escape a trap!
A number of San patients were upset because they could see the cemetery near Lake Shutte from their windows. As I understand it, the bodies were finally moved. But then, that might have been a false piece of information as my buddy, Brian Johnson and I loved to take our peanut butter sandwiches and hike to the cemetery and eat those sandwiches near a remaining tombstone with a little lamb and a girl’s name contemplating what happened to that little girl. I know – odd but true!
I don’t know about other parts of the world but both the United States and Europe created TB Sanatoriums – a couple of books were written by TB patients in the Switz Alps sanatoriums in the late 1800’s and early 1900s.
Eating at the dining room was awesome. Granted the food was bland (I used to love airplane food because it reminded me of home!), but the setting was lovely. We had linen tablecloths and each family had their own table – the tables were square and seated four people. I remember Mom’s horror the day she discovered that someone had sat at our table and eaten our peanut butter. The most spectacular dining experience of the year was Christmas Eve. Everett Olson was the head of the dietary kitchens when I was a little girl and he set the standard for the Christmas Eve feast (all Scandinavian of course with a name like Olson!). So every Christmas Eve we had ludafist, lefsa, rosettes, oyster stew and krumcaca. There was a huge Christmas Tree in front of the food service area, lit candles on the table, Christmas decorations throughout and Christmas music provided by Eva Trafford’s record player. My family always dressed up and I considered that meal the start of Christmas.
Meal service started at 6:00, 11:00 and 5:00. Dad always needed to be early to everything so every evening our family paraded through the tunnel, when we lived in the Children’s Building, or down the sidewalk to the Dining Room to ensure that we were there at least 15 minutes before the doors opened. I had many great hours talking to San employees as they also waited for the doors to open.
My first summer job at age 16 was working in the hospital kitchens. I met some wonderful people working there, but it was not the most interesting job – washing dishes in such hot water with so many chemicals that the skin on my hands peeled. At 17, my summer job was working in the employee kitchen reporting to Eva Trafford. Whoa. Did she run a tight ship. K. Flynn, Jenny Bouche (sp?) and I (esp. K and I) tried to maneuver around her but that was not an easy task! That’s when I also worked with Cynthia Johnson, Alice, Natilie Kalk and so many other nice women. Eva Trafford’s brother ended up marrying Veona Schocker – my Dad’s cousin who was hospitalized at the San for 13 years.
In the 50s and 60s, we kids must have been the bane of our parents existence! Down the hill from the Chuck Johnson cottage was our cement swimming pool and outdoor grill. Charlene once decided that we should have warmer water in the pool so she used all hot water to fill it. Guess that when she used up all of the San’s hot water, Chuck Johnson at the laundry and the power house guys weren’t exactly pleased with her!
When I was very young, some of the adults converted the unused barn (the San used to have horses to haul garbage and I think milk cows) into a skating rink. I think the barn was eventually torn down.
Summer and fall nights, we would roast marshmallows and cook hot dogs in the outdoor grill. In the winter, we would use that hill to slide down. It was absolutely perfect especially the large bump halfway down! Across the sidewalk leading to the doctors house and down from the Pearsons, was our playground – slide, swings, sand box and merry-go-round. And Halloween! Everyone at the San handed out complete candy bars, not that penny candy stuff – we made some hauls!
Gary Metcalfe’s (57) granddaughter, Angelina
From Vickie Metcalfe (67): Bottineau, ND.
Gary and friends,
How many of you have “hearts delight”?
Yesterday, I e-mailed all my Metcalfe Kith and Kin and told them of the Dunseith communities fond farewell of Janice yesterday. I also shared and expressed wonder at Janice’s two grandkid’s; I refer to them as her “hearts delight”. They are just so loving, kind, polite, fun and healthy.
I, the cousin was warmed and delighted with their joyful exuberance!
As many of you know, my Metcalfe cousin Gary Metcalfe and his wife Sue went to Alaska on the cruise this past summer with their daughter Leah and granddaughter Angelina.
Angelina is Gary’s “heart’s delight”. His little Lina lives each day with health issues including juvenile diabetes and Pitit mal seizures.
I received a heartfelt e-mail from Sue today and with her permission am sharing with you, our eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeex-tended Dunseith Community. As ever. Vickie

from Sue Metcalfe.

Today we are requesting prayer for Angelina, my granddaughter. She is seven years old and in first grade. She has been having petit mal seizures for about a year and a half, but since mid October they have increase dramatically. We would like to have prayers covering her today for wisdom in knowing how to control the seizures. She has “stare offs” and comes right back to where she was before it started. She is going to school this week, but it is difficult. Prognosis is that she will outgrow these seizures in time, but until then we need to know how to control them so she can function. She is a fisty little girl, so I am certain that she will overcome this situation. Our desire is for it to happen soon. For God to protect her and heal her and lead her parents and drs. to the right treatment for her. Thank you all for your prayers. Sue
Angelina Metcalfe with
Gary & Sue above
Maryann Casavants Boucher’s (67) email address: Rolette, ND
Posted by Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC
Hi Gary
Just got a message from my sista Maryann,she would like to be connected to the Dunseith blog. I’m not sure if you have her old e-mail but this is her new one,just a tad bit of a change. It is as follows: Thanks Gary for all your hard work keeping us all connected. Ms.Aggie
P.S. The count so far is 10 for the mini-reunion.
Folks, Please let Aggie know if you are interested in attending the Mini-Reunion that she and Verena Gillis are planning in the Dunseith area. They would like to know before December 1st so they can make all the plans. The place will be determined by the number of folks interested in attending. I’m sure hoping there will be more than 10 that plan on attending. I’m not sure of the allowance for growth once they’ve determined a location, so if you are the least bit interested in attending please let them know. Gary
Date: May 22,2010
Time: Social Hour 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Cook Out: 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Music & Hanging Out : 8:00pm to Midnight
Band: Hwy 43…AKA Dick & Brenda Johnson & Ron Hett
Reply from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.
I too, received a message on Facebook from you, but because I hesitated to open it, according to your message here, I was lucky. I deleted it as soon as I saw it. I didnt think it was from you. For one thing, you are too busy to send out invites to have your name placed on our friends list. Thank you for the alert. Sybil Johnson
Sybil, I did not realize that the person who sent me that message on Face Book really didn’t send it. When I opened that message I was asked if I trusted the source because there was a potential problem. I trusted that is was OK and opened it. When I opened it, it down loaded a file that sent weird messages to all my friends listed in Face Book. I played hell getting that out of my computer too. What I ended up doing was restoring my computer to a previous state earlier in the day. The message I opened with the virus was from a Dunseith Alumni too. I got messages from several other folks in Face Book too with weird messages that are not part of the Dunseith Alumni that I did not open. I think this was a ramped virus that affected many Face Book folks. Gary
George Gottbreht & K.C. Sine hunting story
From Sharron Shen (59): Everett, WA.
A few weeks ago I told George that the 1930 census made a record of veterans; those that had served in the first world war are indicated by “WW”. I was amazed and edified to see our well known friend K.C. Sine had stepped forward to serve although he had come to this country so few years before in 1912. George knew this. I had just failed to note it in the Centennial book. George told me he had stopped to see Grandpa George one afternoon, looking for some small change for retail activity at KC’s. Grandpa had only two pennies; he told George to go ahead and ask for his “best” deal. “Tell K.C. your grandpa sent you!” That is exactly what George did. K.C. studied his candy shelves making this and that selection – not too much, not too little. I think we all received a splendid and more than fair deal with this absent friend and Vet.Loved the story of K.C., the marksman; thanks for that. George said that K.C. and Dale were quite the duck hunting buddies. K.C. would travel north to the hill lakes in his small pickup and dad would meet him there. On one occasion George the boy was with dad, he said K.C. stood about 100 ft in front and would get off one shot with each flight of ducks; dad always fired 3 shots in succession. If the ducks were pushed up by the first blast, all the better; Dale’s favorite target was the high flying blue bills. George, about age 8, was their retriever and he had been directed to make small piles of 5 or 6 ducks near surrounding trees. After an hour of serious shooting it was time to leave. Dad then quietly told George to load up the bed of K.C.’s pickup; dad and K.C. would tell their tales and other lies and have a few laughs. K.C. pulled out first and stopped at the first rise, looked back into the truck bed and shouted “Gosh darn, Dale!” George is certain that K.C. must have made several stops on the way home to distribute a few ducks here and a few there of the 50+ kill. Dad would often do this as well and the next day 5 or 6 very fit carcasses would arrive at mom’s door for her attention. Everyone had large families and welcomed the game meat whether fish, fowl or venison.

Game laws and limits were approved of by Dale, but often observed in the breach. Today, the blue bill population is far less than in the 40’s and 50’s. Studies show that the warming of the tundra where they breed is responsible. This is just a CYA disclaimer! I do not want you to be scandalized by the two esteemed men in this story.

The picture attached is of Ernest Boucher and Dale Gottbreht taken after August 4th, 1943. Uncle Ernie had a good laugh when he saw this old picture and remarked about dad’s love of fishing and hunting. Alma would not have allowed Dale to take his wee son in that shallow bottomed boat. He was pictured on shore and at their cabin taken at Lake Shandy, MB. George and Ronnie joked about needing good a bailing can and emergency wire with that skiff! The tail of the pickup shown reminded me of Kassam C. Sine.

Oh God! Your sea is so great, our boats are so small! Not my words, but a fine prayer. Sharron

Dale Gottbreht & Ernest Boucher

05/24/2017 (2526)

Good day folks,

I don’t have any posting this morning, so I will share this picture of our Twin Grandson’s with you.

The picture of the twins was taken this past January.

The Picture with Bernie and Lorelie with the twins was taken on their first Birthday in September last year.

Face Book posting
Stokes 2526-1 Stokes 2526-2 Stokes 2526-3


Blog (600) posted on October 23, 2009

Posted on October 23, 2009

Warning -Face Book Virus

Folks, I got zapped with a virus from Face Book. My McAfee Virus software warned me, but I trusted the source and opened it. In doing that, the virus sent weird messages to all my friends in Face Book. I learned my lesson. I seldom, if ever, send messages via Face Book. Please do not open any messages in Face Book that have come from me. I have not sent them. Gary

Janice Metcalfe Poitra

Farewell from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND.

Gary, When we said farewell to Janice today we were reminded by her
daughter Kelly,of how much she loved the lyrics of The Mull of
Kintyre. Fitting lyrics to see her off. Love and fond farewell my
dear cousin. Vickie

Archie & Shan Metcalfe, Jay Vanorny, Chris OlsonKevin St.Clare & David
Fugere were pall bearers. Elaine played the guitar and sang “This
Little Light of Mine”. Inside the funeral program were the lyrics to
“The Mull of Kintyre, a favorite song of Janice.
Travis, Debbie, Jake, Mike and Melissa Metcalfe flew in from Arizona.
It was a bright cool but sunny fall day. She and Kathy rest side by
side now. Her grandson, Joss kept everyone entertained. After the
church luncheon, We cousins, gathered at Kelvin Clinic, hosted by
Raphael, Jaime and Kelly. Where grandson, Joss kept everyone
entertained. Oh for the heart of child! He and and his sister
Kennedy were Janice’”hearts delight!” Vickie

Oops I cannot forget Dick & Brenda and Ron Hett who also played at
todays funeral. Ron played the mandolin which Janice also played,
among other instruments. V.

Reply from Glen Williams (52): Missoula, MT

Gary….I do not use facebooks much and will use it even less after your warning…

The account was set up by one of my daughters….and I seldom use it…

So would guess that the messages on facebook were not from you…

Thanks for the tip..

Keep up the good work…enjoy reading about the old gang from the former Dunseith…It is not the same place today…Someone said the the San Haven has changed a lot…and I would say the same about Dunseith…

Glen Williams class of ’52 one of the old codgers…..

From Lynn Henriksen (64): Tiburon, CA

Dear Gary,

I haven’t responded to the batch of emails you sent to me and those on Face
Book, since I think there’s a hoax (or worse) going. So if you really sent
those emails, please reply to this email with what ever it was you said.
Kinda crazy stuff going on – several from Jim Kester, too, and others.

By the way, can you get any information on the DHS play that I know Colette,
Evie, Dale, and I (to name a few) were in. I think it was “Fun on the Run”
or something like that – should have been 1963 or 64. I wonder if anyone has
the script.

Thank you so much. I had the chance to look at some of the pictures you all
took on your cruise – looks like you had a whale of a time!

Keeping Spirits Alive,

Lynn Henriksen, The Story Woman(tm)
President, Women’s Nat’l Book Assoc-San Francisco

Ph: 415.435.5969 Cell: 415.435.6000
Blog: www.thestorywoman.com <http://www.thestorywoman.com/>
www.telltalesouls.com <http://www.telltalesouls.com/>
Red Room Author, Where the Writers Are

From Sharon Longie Dana (73): MIssoula MT

To the Robert Family,

I am so sorry for your loss. I always remember how kind your mother was to me growing up.

Sharon Longie Dana (73)

San Haven

Reply from Don Martel (Former DHS Principle): Rosemount, MN

Brenda Hoffman, what a wonderful story that was about living at the San. Being a kid from Rolette, we would usually make a tour through the San on our way to the Peace Garden. This would happen only about once or twice a summer. It was always a mystical place to me as we were never allowed to get out of the car, for fear we might catch TB. As I recall it was always so neat and well groomed.

I have always had a fascination with it, but never had the opportunity to actually visit any of the buildings. Several pictures of San Haven can be found by googling ‘San Haven’.

I wonder how many people on the blog were connected to the San, either as a patient or employee.

Don Martel

Pictures form Margaret Seim Lawston (54): Citrus Heights, CA

Sent by Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

I will send some of the pictures sent to me by Margaret Seim Lawston.
These were some of her mother, Eva Seim’s collection. There are several
pages and I will post more as time allows. I think these are cute and
really brings back early school memories from our days in the old white
school building.These are from 1958.

Top: L-R Crystal Fassett, Rod Hiatt, Arlinda Fauske.

Middle: Randy Flynn, Randi Fuchs, Clarence Azure

Bottom: Tim Martinson Allen Cote, Not sure of this girl–thought it was
Lola but ???


Pictures from Trish Larson Clayburgh (73): Fort Collins, CO.

Hi Gary! Here are the Elk Hunting photos as promised – what a great time! Trish

Provided by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND

05/22/2017 (2525)


Our Grandson arrived Yesterday (Saturday) Morning from Tacoma, Washington.

 He had a direct flight from Seattle to Taipei, Taiwan. That was a long 12 hour flight. He actually flew over the Philippines in route to Taipei. He had a two hour layover in Taipei. It was a 3 hour flight from Taipei to Cebu.

 Tyler is very happy to be here and we are very happy to have him too. He will be here until June 14th.



Blog (599) posted on October 22, 2009


Posted on October 22, 2009

From Lynn Halvorson Otto (75): Seoul, Korea

To the Halvorson family! I’m so sorry to hear of Brandon’s accident. He is in our prayers and thoughts. Lynn Halvorson Otto

Does anyone have an address to send memorials to for LaVonne Getzlaff Allard? I’d appreciate it very much. Thanks, Lynn Halvorson Otto

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

This is a very sad week for our entire community. I think I’ll send
condolences to nearly everyone as most are related to, or at least
friends with someone who has left us this week. This has to go down as
one of the worst times of losing neighbors and friends in many years. I
believe the last count was at seven deaths from the local area in just
over a week. I hope we have seen the last for a long time. Thanks Gary.


Obituary Provide by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND


March 25, 1933-Oct. 18, 2009

ROLETTE Dorothy Ardis Rober’t, 76, Langdon, formerly of Rolette, died Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009, in a Langdon hospital of injuries suffered in an automobile accident near Langdon.

She was born March 25, 1933, to Elmer and Isabella Hjelden in Minnewaukan. She married O.J. Rober’t on Dec. 2, 1950, in Dunseith.

Survivors: daughters, Carol Braun, Osceola, Wis., Darla Armstrong, Rolette, Dianne Johnson, Rolla; sons, Duane, Hiawatha, Kan., Russell, Wahpeton; 10 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; brothers, Burton, Greenbrier, Ark., Lloyd, Leeds, Ronald, Deer River, Minn., Sydney, Two Mexico, Mexico, Vernon, Grove, Okla., Larry and Paul, both of Minnesota; sisters, Helen Stalvik, Binford, Barb Solberg, of Dorothy, Minn., Marlene Petri, Langdon.

Funeral: Friday, 2 p.m., Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Rolette,

Burial: Island Lake Cemetery, Rolette.

Rosary service: Thursday, 7:30 p.m., in the church.

Visitation: Thursday, one hour prior to the service, in the church. (Elick Funeral Home, Rolla)


Reply from Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA

Gary, It amazes me how much difference there is in the cost of things there versus here. I, too, am a bowler. Alice and I have been league bowling for many years, though Alice decided to take this year off. We (just me this year) bowl on a money league and with the lineage fee, the prize fund fee and the league secretary’s fee, it costs $16.00 dollars per week. Our league bowls Thursday nights and we have four person teams of which at least one member must be of the opposite sex. On our team (Osima, which stands for: “Oh s#@%, I missed again.”), we have a lady and three men. This year we lowered our overall team age. Since Alice decided not to bowl we were able to find a lady to replace her and she is only fifty. I’m next at 61 and our other two guys are 76 and 77 respectively. But we do pretty well. Two years ago, our team finished in third place out of 30 teams. Last year we finished in 22nd (a real let down). And so far this year we are in 5th. Its a fun family type sport and a good night out. Just to set the record straight, my average is a bit higher than yours. But who’s counting, ha, ha. Keith Pladson (66).

Keith, I know our League has a bank account with a considerable amount of money that has been collected from the $1.00 per game that they collect when we bowl. I’m not sure how much of that they give to the bowling alley for the use of their lanes though. I’m not sure what the lane costs are for individual pleasure bowling, but I’m sure they are less.

I forgot to mention that we have several Norwegians and Swede’s in our league too. Their accent’s sure brings back memories of being with my Dad’s biological relatives and a whole lot of the older Bottineau County Turtle Mountain folks too.

Keith, What is your average? You won’t make me feel bad. Our high bowler has a 210 average. I’m near the bottom of the rung. Some of the guys are competitive, but not to the point of being bothered with their buddy having a higher average. Several of the women on the other hand are quite bothered not being on the top. The guys wife with a 210 average is also one of the top Lady bowlers. She gets very upset if someone tops her score. They are a nice friendly couple too, both being retired medical doctors from Florida. She, like Bernadette, is originally from here. Gary

Lawrence and Eva Struck

Folks, I forgot to post this message of Paulette’s that went along with the Lawrence & Eva Struck Newspaper article that she provided yesterday. Gary

From Paulette LaCroix Chisholm (68): Newark, Delaware


Here’s the last part of the entire one page article about these two fine business owners in our little Dunseith community. I had the pleasure and privilege of working for Lawrence Struck in Hosmer’s Store after school and Saturdays during my high school years. I felt he had high expectations of me and I tried to live up to them. Helen Nelson and Evelyn Pladson were long time working partners and were just the best. It seemed they knew every family, name, and face in and around the town..unlike me. It was great fun though to meet and greet all the interesting characters and patrons in the town. These people bring many warm memories.


Fortune & Alice Berbe
Article provided by Paulette LaCroix Chisholm (68): Newark, Delaware
Question: What year was this article published? Gary

Obituary provided by Neola Kofoid Garbe: neola@min.midco.net Minot & Bottineau, ND.

05/19/2017 (2524)

Good day folks,

I don’t have any posting this morning so I will just go with the reposting of prior postings from 2009.

Tyler, our grandson, will be arriving tomorrow morning from Tacoma, WA. He will be here until June 14th. Everyone here is excited for his coming. He spent a week with us just before Christmas too. He liked it so  well here and asked if he could come back in May/June for about a month. He is a people person and especially likes kids, very much the same as his Great Grandfather, Bob Stokes.  He is very mature too, easily mingling with the old as well as the young too. He just finished his freshman year at the University of Puget Sound (UPS) in Tacoma.

Needless to say, Bernadette is in cloud nine for his arrival.




Blog (598) posted on October 21, 2009

Posted on October 21, 2009

Janice Metcalfe Poitra (71) Obituary

Janice PoitraOct. 4, 1953-Oct. 18, 2009

POSTED: October 20, 2009

DUNSEITH Janice Leigh Poitra, 56, Dunseith, died Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009, in her home.

She was born Oct. 4, 1953, to Emil and Elizabeth Metcalfe in Seattle. She married Raphael Poitra in September 1978 in Valley City.

Survivors: husband; son, Jaime, Dunseith; daughter, Kelly Olson, Bottineau; two grandchildren; sister, Elaine Metcalfe, Grand Forks; brother, Travis, Meza, Ariz.

Funeral: Thursday, 10 a.m., Peace Lutheran Church, Dunseith.

Burial: Little Prairie Cemetery, rural Dunseith.

Prayer service: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., in Nero Funeral Home, Bottineau.

Visitation: Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., in the funeral home.

Condolences to the Robert and Metcalfe/Poitra families

From Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC

To The Dorothy Robert & Janice (Metcalf) Poitra Family

So much saddness right before the holidays…My thoughts, prayers, and sympathy goes out to both families. Sincerely, Ms. Aggie Casavant

DOROTHY ROBERT, 76, Langdon, formerly of Rolette, died Sunday in a Langdon hospital. Funeral Friday, 2 p.m., Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Rolette. (Elick Funeral Home, Rolla)

Lucille Strietzel was Don Johnson’s (Dick’s Dad’s) Aunt.


March 25, 1924-Oct. 17, 2009

POSTED: October 20, 2009

ST. JOHN Lucille Louise Strietzel, 85, Rolette, formerly of St. John, died Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009, in a Rolette nursing home..

She was born March 25, 1924, to Ernest and Rose Dawson in Rolla. She married Carl Strietzel on June 27, 1943, in Portland, Ore.

Survivors: sons, Ronald, Anaheim, Calif., Carl, Huntington Beach, Calif., Donald, Lakewood, Calif; daughters, Carlette Timm, Anaheim, Sheryl Aird, St. John; 14 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; sisters, Louella Timlick, Issaquah, Wash., Evelyn Albright, rural Rolla.

Funeral: Wednesday, 10 a.m., St. John Presbyterian Church, St. John.

Burial: Rolla City Cemetery, Rolla.

Visitation: Wednesday, one hour prior to the service, in the church. (Elick Funeral Home, Rolla)

Memories of Janice Metcalfe Poitra

From Daina Honsey Fiebiger (71): Cooperstown, ND

What a schock. I have great memories of playing with Janice when we were younger. The fun we had sitting around singing with her sisters. Our prayers go out to the famiy. Janice was a beautiful person and will be greatly missed.
Diana Fiebiger (71)

Update on Florence Pladson Sime (62)

From Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA

Response to Neola Kofoid Garbe, Re: Florence Sime. Thank you for the web site to send messages to those in ICU at Trinity. I use it daily to send short messages to my sister. She has had surgery on her elbow, her shoulder and her hip and will have surgery on her wrist on Wednesday morning. She is doing pretty well, but has a lot of pain. Her wrist is the most painful, but she also has trouble breathing as she suffered eleven broken ribs in addition to all the other broken bones. I would not want to ever go through what she is going through, but she is a very strong person, so I’m sure she will meet each challenge she will have to face going forward. Thank you again, Neola. Keith Pladson (66).

Repost of Neola’s message

Reply From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.


I was shocked/stunned/etc. to read of Florence Sime’s accident. I’m including a site where emails may be sent to her. I think the emails are read once per day (probably morning)/the messages are printed on card, along with who sent them/delivered to the patient later in the day. Wally received several of them when he was hospitalized. I’m sure Florence would enjoy hearing from friends/family/etc.



San Haven

Reply from Mona Dionne Johnson (48): Bottineau, ND

When you were hospitalized at San Haven, the capacity was 350 !, and at
that time, we had them in the halls – I believe about a
367 census ! That was top for all the years that San Haven was ! If
only North Dakota had listened to other states that had tried out group
homes for the mentally challenged (retarded at that time), San Haven
would never have closed, the residents wouldn’t have been moved out of
their home, and possibly part of it could have become a nursing home.
But then, the” powers that be” would not listen to all of the people
affected. What a beautiful place it was. And, I really enjoyed
learning of some of the doings of our children back then, Brenda.
Mona Johnson ’48

Brandon Halvorson, Curt & Denise’s grandson, injured

From Vickie Metcalfe (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and friends, I just spoke with Amy (Berg) Hanson, she said it is quite alright to share and print information about her nephew, Brandon Halvorson’s recent accident I shared with her you, Gary are very careful about getting information out to share with concerned people, no sensationalism,and that makes you, such a great creator/editor of this Dunseith blog. Thank You.

The weather conditions last week in this area of ND were much less than perfect. As you all have probably heard for a time there was snow, wind, sleet, freezing rain, snow and icy road conditions creating hazardous travel.

The hills and foot hills were covered with between 5-8 inches of snow.

Under the snow was muck. Toward the later part of the week conditions changed. An autumn warm up began and folks started wearing the muck on their shoes.

Fall is gathering time on a cattle ranch, everyone who can helps out. Be it the one who stands patiently waiting at the gates, to the cowboy bucking the brush. The drive is on as folks begin first steps of the gathering to bring herds closer to home. Riders of the foothills-hills, including Brandon were rounding em’ up.

As I understand, the ground was nasty; it twas slickery over all the muck! Under Brandon, his mount slipped, slid, and had dirty fall battling, scrambling,trying to regain it’s balance……finally, rolling over Brandon’s head. The cowboy did his best, the horse did it’s best. The slickery mucky conditions were just too much!

Brandon was taken to the Minot hospital intensive care, with a very severe head concussion. He’s in a lot of pain as his cowboy body is very sore. Now, because of the head injuries he’s having some trouble with his short term memory. However, visiting with Amy, she said, yesterday was a break through when he remembered twice which horse he was riding….Was it the black or the buckskin?

Further note; Brandon has lots of Dunseith-Bottineau hills and prairie connections. He’s loves and lives the cowboy way. Son to Brian, Son of Becky (Berg), brother of Cory, Grandson of the Curt Halvorson’s and Ed Bergs, Great- grandson to Tillie, nephew and cousin . He’s a friend to many young and old.

Please join us all in wishing the best for Brandon and keep him in prayer as his body heals.

Thank you. As ever, Vickie

Gary and friends,

I sent my… Metcalfe Kith and Kin the exact same info regarding Brandon, in today’s + a personal note.

Within a few hours I received from Laverne our Canadian Cousin,(her father was.. a James Alexander Metcalf) We met Laverne only once in person at our 1980 Metcalfe reunion. Her response I’d like to share with all family and friends of Brandon.

Thanks for the unfortunate news about Brandon Halvorson. Sorry to learn about his accident. I have placed him on our intercessory-prayer list. He’ll be prayed for every night.Would you keep us up to date on his progress?

We’ll believe for the best for this young man. We’ll see a real blessing worked out in his life!!

take care, love , Laverne.

Reply from Pam Lagerquist (68):Minneapolis, MN

Thanks so much Gary, this morning knocked me over! I’ve tried to go to classmates to find someone I went to school with and there was no information, I can remember from it. thank you again and God Bless you. Pam Lagerquist

Folks, It’s taken me two years to find Pam Lagerquist, but I found her. I first located her mother and she was able to give me Pam’s phone number. She remembers her Senior year well at Dunseith. She was only in Dunseith the one year.

Note: Pam is not related to the John Lagerquist family. Gary

Pam Lagerquist & Dan McKay

DHS Class of 68 pictures & Lawrence/Eve Struck Article

From Paulette LaCroix Chisholm (68): Newark, Delaware

Hi Gary,

Got your email the other day suggesting I send some pictures of us 4 classmates who try reunite on a regular basis. While going through boxes of old photos, I found a picture of our ’68 class and one of the Grimme twins taken at our 25th HS reunion ( more than a few years ago.) Thought it would be nice to see the two of them together. Betty Hackman, Beverlie LaValilie, and Janet Parril were at the union, but somehow we missed getting them in the picture. I’ll send more of “us girls” later. For now I’m almost literally knee deep in photo albums and don’t know how I’ll put these back!



Gwen & Greg Grimme

This is a great photo. I recognize a lot of you folks in this photo, but not nearly enough of you to start listing names. I need some help. I will repost with names. Thanks, Gary

Bowling in the Philippines


Today is Wednesday, our Bowling day. Bernadette and I Joined a bowling league. Everyone is for themselves. Their are no teams or team competition. It’s all for fun. The league consists of about 30 guys and 15 women. We guys are mostly all foreigners, in our mid to late 50’s & 60’s, and from English speaking countries (England, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia & USA). Most of the gals are Filipina. This league was organized in 2001, so it’s been around for awhile. The facility is a modern 48 lane Bowling Alley. The league cost is $1.00 per game and $0.50 shoe rental. We play the normal 3 games and of coarse our games and averages are recorded and distributed to us via email. My first game last week was 81 and my second game 181. What a come back. I’ve got a whopping 125 average.


05/17/2017 (2523)

Good day everyone.

I hope all is well with most of you. It’s a nice partly cloudy morning here in Cebu with 82F temp.

 Bernadette had a rough night last night and isn’t good this morning. Her balance and mental state of being are really affected. We are still taking her for her scheduled therapy for her left arm following the healing of her compression fractured shoulder.

 Tyler, our grandson, will be arriving from Tacoma, Washington, this Saturday, for nearly a month long visit. He just finished his freshman year at UPS (University Of Puget Sound) in Tacoma.



Rendahl  Cemetery News
From LeaRae Parrill Espe (’67):  Bottineau, ND

The spring cleanup and annual meeting for Rendahl is scheduled for Saturday, May 20 at 1 PM.  If it rains it will be held on Wednesday, May 24th at 4 PM

Current board members are Robert Bott, President,  Allen Pladson and Darin Nelson, directors, and LeaRae Parrill Espe, Secretary-Treasurer.

A few years back an extra half acre was purchased on the West side. We will have expenses to clear brush and fence that area in addition to regular upkeep expenses..   All donations and memorials are greatly appreciated.. Lots are available for $100 for four. Bob Bott has the map.

Kim Bott has been doing a fine job with the mowing and upkeep for a number of years. Floyd and Luella Dion have placed US flags on the graves of Veterans for Memorial Day. Allen Pladson has volunteered his time and Bobcat to move dirt to fill in sunken areas.  Oliver Nelson (Darin, Darcy, and Darlene) family has painted some of the older tombstones. Jim and Sharon Hanson were quick to get up and start the cleanups. Floyd and Pat Pladson served as directors for a many years  All of these folks and others spent time putting up new fence and a new gate a few years back. Thanks to all of them for their dedication over the years. It looks so nice.

A special thank you to the families and friends of Ralph Johnson and Arthur Rude, Sr. who gave memorials to Rendahl this past year.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

LeaRae Espe, 401 Alexander St., Bottineau, ND  58318   701-228-2911

It would be great to hear from other area cemetery associations on this blog.  I believe Joan Salmonson is Treasurer for Little Prairie and they traditionally have their clean up day the first Saturday in May. Gary you probably know about the Ackworth.

I don’t know who currently looks after Riverside in Dunseith.


Blog (597) posted on October 20, 2009

Posted on October 20, 2009

Janice Metcalfe Poitra (71) passing

Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (70): Dunseith, ND

Janice (Metcalfe) Poitra passed away at her home north of Dunseith,Sunday October 18, 2009, yesterday morning. She leaves behind her; her husband Raphael, son Jaime, daughter Kelly & son-in law Chris Olson, Grand children Kennedy and Joss, her sister Elaine, brother Travis & sister -in law Debbie, and Melissa, Morgan and Mike her nieces and nephew.

She will be dearly missed by,many Metcalfe and Oswell Cousins.
and Many friends including, Kelvin Patrons and folks who shopped at Wayne’s Jack and Jill years ago when Janice worked there.

Janice’s funeral Is Thursday 10 AM Peace Lutheran in Duseith.

Veiwing 12 noon Wednesday.


Condolence’s to the Janice Poitra and Dorothy Robert Families

From Bernard & Robin Morin (76): Dunseith, ND

To the families of Janice Poitra and Dorothy Robert we offer our sincere condolences. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all in this time of sorrow.
Bernard & Robin Morin

Thanks. Bernard

Condolence to the Metcalfe/Poitra family

From Pete (62) & Verena Gillis: Dunseith, ND

We are sending our condolences to the Metcalfe/Poitra family. If there is
anything I can do to help, please call me at 244-5249 ext. 122. Raphael is my cousin and Janice was a good friend of ours.

Verena & Pete Gillis

Memory of Janice Metcalfe Poitra (71) from Laverne Christianson:

Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND

My sincere empathy to all who are related or friends of Janice
Poitra,who’s early death occured on October 18th.
Words always seem so futile at this time but may all reading this
E-mail be comforted knowing that she is ill no more, she is free of
any discomfort she experienced and that she loved all of you dearly.

She been taken far too soon but no doubt she has left a “Beautiful
Legacy” for all who knew her, to follow.

with love to all you,

Laverne Christianson, your Canadian cousin.

Condolences to Janice Metcalfe Poitra’s family

From Paula Fasset (71): North Branch, MN

It was a shock and I was very, very sad to read that Janice (Metcalfe) has passed. Janice was a great person – always friendly, always smiling. She was my classmate and I considered her my friend. I know she will be missed. My condolences to Raphael and her children – and her entire family. God bless.

Paula Fassett-Pfuhl

Condolence’s to the Metcalfe/Poitra and Allard Families

From Lynn Halvorson Otto (75): Seoul, Korea

To the Metcalfe family: I’m so sorry to here of Janice’s passing. I’m sure she’ll be missed terribly by her family and friends. May God give you some comfort during this difficult time. Lynn Halvorson Otto

To Duane Allard and family: I’m so shocked to hear of LaVonne’s passing away. I spoke with her and Duane at the all class reunion in 07. LaVonne and I worked together many long hours at the music camp when we were in high school. She was so fun to be with and I’m so sad to hear of her death. I’ll pray often for her family and friends. Very saddened, Lynn Halvorson Otto

Message to Vickie Metcalfe from Sally Knutson Metcalfe ( wife to Archie and Daughter of Mary Eurich Knutson):

Vickie, should we do flowers from the family ?
I am assuming arrangements will be made today so if you hear when the
funeral is let me know. I am going to make some potatoe salad and ham
but I thought I would take it over the day before the funeral.
I saw Raphaels car at the house and the place was all lit up this
morning. Looks like it might have been a hard night.
Let me know.Thanks

Arnold Zeiler Family memories

From Helen Metcalfe Barden (62): Fargo, ND.

What wonderful memories I have of Arnold Zeiler in my growing up years. We were neighbors about 1-1/2 miles apart. His daughter, Sandy, and I were classmates, starting in “town” school in our sixth grade, having gone to different country school our first five years. Arnold drove our bus and he loved it that we loved to sing on his bus, especially those 50s songs. He said it kept things peaceful. Arnold was like a second dad to me, always so good natured. Just as Lorna was a second Mom as Sandy and I would stay over with one another.

A fond memory was when they had TV before us and invited us over to watch professional wrestling. That was something!

Helen (Metcalfe) Barden


Gary, Our new address for our Class Directory Record is:

4336 37th Avenue S.

Fargo, ND 58104

San Haven Memories

From Brenda Hoffman (68): Greenville, SC

Even though I hadn’t lived at the San since 1969, I was devastated when the San closed in the early 80s. I couldn’t attend the auctions – I started crying whenever I thought of all of that history and beauty gone. Fortunately, Dad bought a few pieces for me – some Dining Room silverware, a tray and a chair. The first time I went back after the barbed wire went up, I tried closing the windows – so the snow and rain couldn’t destroy the buildings. The next time I toured, many of the roofs were gone. I don’t think I want to see it as Allen Richard recently described it. Thank you Allen for your political assessment of the San’s downfall. I didn’t know that part of the story.

Brenda 1968

Part two from Brenda Hoffman:

In 1952, both my Mom and I were diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) and that’s why my family moved to San Haven. I was discharged in 1953 (at the age of three) and my Mom the following year. When I was in the hospital, someone gave me a nickel which I promptly swallowed and needed to be rushed to Minot wearing Jay Vanory’s clothes and being held by Cynthia Johnson, Dick Johnson’s Grandmother. I survived that incident as well as climbing the hospital wall pipes and “breaking out” of my crib so frequently that I was written up in the San Piper(I think that was the name), the San Haven patient newspaper. The hospital was filled when we were patients – 200 beds? and we were discharged so soon because of the discovery of the penicillin family of drugs shortly before WWII. My Dad had a cousin hospitalized at the San for 13 years – from the time she was 13. Prior to the discovery of the penicillin drugs, all sorts of odd treatments were provided including sun bathing nude on the lawns (men and women separated of course) to sleeping outside as the last phase of treatment before being sent home – those lucky winter patients – they were provided with a hot brick to place at their feet.

Mom’s first job following her discharge was babysitting the Chuck and Mona Johnson’s boys. Brian Johnson quickly became my best friend. Mom, Dad, Dale and I lived in the Children’s Building and shared bathroom facilities with the other people on our side of the hall. The building telephone was also in the hall and only provided service until ten o’clock at night. Charlene and Sharon Pearson lived in the Children’s Building Penthouse that had both bathroom and a kitchen. The Boguslowski’s (sp?) (Alice and Eddie, Allen and John) had the first television in the Building – maybe at the San and the kids would gather in their living room to watch those great cowboy shows. Carol Jasper and her family also lived in the Children’s Building. By this time, Dad had shifted from working in the hospital kitchens to the San Haven baker – the bakery was located in the basement of the Dining Room.

My family walked the block or so to the Dining Room for all of our meals. In the winter, we gratefully used the tunnels that ran throughout most of the San. Charlene and her family eventually moved to a large private house accessible by the tunnels – I still remember her answering the tunnel door to her house when I knocked (how odd is that!).

My brother, Dale, and Jay were playing with matches in the woods behind the Children’s Building one summer and nearly burned the San down. I don’t think that was a good day for either of them! But then, with Jeanne Nicholas, John and Allen, Brian, Charlene, Jay, the children of Dr. Laub – Karen and Robert and eventually the Caudrado’s, something was always going on. Roller skating (clip ons with a large metal key) and bike racing (always putting playing cards in the spokes for that special sound!) on the high and low sidewalks, croquet in the large open field beside Charlene’s house, wading in the fishpond (making Francis Baker the gardener crazy), anti-I-over (sp? over Charlene’s house seemingly always when her mom was trying to take a nap) and paper dolls. Charlene and I saved our money to buy the large Katy Keene paper dolls – I think they cost a dollar. And then of course the Kool-Aid stands strategically placed so that all of the hospital employees needed to walk by our stand BEFORE they arrived at the Commissary for their afternoon coffee. Jay, ever the businessman, brought extra stuffed animals to ensure that we caught the eyes of the workers.

Lorraine Pearson and Benny Frovarp ran the Commissary located in the basement of the Ad Building. Benny and Arlene Sand were responsible for the post office (zip code 58371) located in the room next to the Commissary. The third floor of the Ad Building had a number of empty, fully furnished apartments that were unlocked. Talk about having a great place to play house! Of course, we had to be extra quiet when we snuck in though – Mom was Executive Housekeeper by that time and was responsible for the apartments. Oh and the water balloon fights. Poor Benny F. We used the Post Office bathroom (always unlocked also!) to fill our water balloons and he had to clean up our mess.

Jeanne and her family lived in a large apartment above the Dining Room. On the second floor of the other Dining Room entrance was the movie theater that was used up until the early 50s I believe because TB patients were not allowed to interact with the public. We kids loved sneaking into the projector room and playing with the old equipment. I had my 16th birthday party in the theater room.

As Jean stated in an earlier blog, we had a pretty ideal environment. It was a bit like living in a country club – everything was done for you. San Haven staff planted our gardens, fixed our television set and delivered our Christmas trees.

Brenda Hoffman 1968

San Haven Reply

From Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.

Thank you, Dick and Allan’
I was saddened to learn the outcome of San Haven. Like I said, it has been years since I was up in the Dunseith area. To me, one cant call that progress, it was greed and lack of interest from the government. There were many buildings like San Haven that had been remodeled, after all the asbestos was removed. That was another cop out by the feds! I also remember when you were in office Allan.
Dick, that building was called Old Main. I remember it will, since I had gone to MSU in 1989, only to leave Minot, in 1992; being transferred down to CSU in Fort Collins, Co. Old Main had been a day care for those who were going to MSU at the time. During my time there, they began rennovating all of MSU and it was an experience I will never forget.
Sybil Johnson

Dorothy Robert’s accident

Article from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.

Ivy Eller Robert’s (74) reply:Everett, WA.

Yes, that is about Dorothy Robert. They couldn’t release her name until her family was notified. She was living there in Langdon with her sister Marlene.


DOROTHY ROBERT, 76, Langdon, formerly of Rolette, died Sunday in a Langdon hospital. (Elick Funeral Home, Rolla)

Wesley Schneider Story

From by Vickie Metcalfe (70):Bottineau, ND

Gary, I go for a walk and I seek out friends when I’m sad
and today was one of those days.

The furbabies and I were on our quick walk this afternoon
when turning a right, Buie zipped up Ovidia and Wesley’s driveway.
I thought he was heading in that direction for one of Wes’ dog
treats. A quick rap , Ovidia opens the door and Buie hurriedly moved
around her into the Schneider sitting room. I soon realized that
Buie was clearly on a mission.
Yesterday, when Wes tried to entertain Buie with a little
stuffed orange pumpkin toy (about the size of a small basket ball)
which when turned on, rolls around and makes a buzzing sound. He
acted quite scared and decided he didn’t want to play with Wes’ new
toy anymore (fickle dog). But today, the little dog with some new
found courage took a most ferocious aim at the living room intent on
finding Wes’ pumpkin.
Once happy that he had faced down the dreaded enemy, he
strutted and turned his attention on Wes’ treats, dancing on two
feet and begging until he got his allotted one! We three do try
to be polite neighbors!

Settled down at the table with Wes scratching the dogs, I
prepared myself for a Wes Tale. I was not disappointed. I’ll
summarize it best as I can to share with you.

Years ago when Wes was a young lad, about 15, his dad gave
him a gun. Wes would take that gun out and move around the hill so
he would come in from the south of his favorite hunting place. He’d
lie on the ground on his stomach intent, patient, take aim and wait.
Fire. Oft times the impact of the firing gun would send him back a
few feet. But he loved the feeling of being able to sometimes hit
what he intended.
Often, a well known Dunseith store keeper, would come out to
the Schneider farm because he too enjoyed hunting. One day, the
guy pulls up his rifle and says to young Wesley, “Take off your hat
and throw it up in the air and I will shoot it.” Wes says to the
store keeper , “You show me how….you go first, throw your hat up in
the air.”
So the guy did and BOOM with one shot, Wes hit the hat
before it hit the ground! Well the guy says to Wes. Now it’s my
turn.” So worriedly Wes takes off his old hat, his only hat, and
throws it up high into the air. High into the air it sails….The
storekeepers gun fires… boom, miss, the hat glides down and lands
in the dirt without a mark.
Disgruntled. The store keeper stomps over to the hat …
“BOOM, BOom, boom…. Wes’ hat destroyed.” And there he was Hatless
and unhappy Wes. Nothing more was said.
A few days later… Hatless Wes goes to town and into the
store. The storekeeper had seen Wes coming, and from under the
counter pulls out and gives Wes a…….. fine new hat.
And that is a tale of K.C.Sine and young Wesley Schneider.
Later. Vickie

Message from Vickie Metcalfe

Yes I stayed up and here it is in print……the Minot Daily.
What a thing denial is. For me, news has to be in newsprint to be
My little dogs do not think I should be up in the middle of
the night and keep prowling around my feet, pacing back and forth to
the bedroom. Those little Westies,are good mood sensors,which I
call my Pair- of -Dice. Sven, the cockatiel has been making
sounds like he’s fighting some creature in his cage. We four…. a
molting…motley grieving crew.
While I wind down I’ll tell you of my latest crawl space adventure.
This summer I purchased an antique oak buffet, really
neat, except it seems to have brought with it an unsavory smell. In
a discussion with friends, one advised charcoal placed in an egg
carton would extinguish the smell. It was a miracle Wal-mart
yesterday bags of charcoal were on sale at 1.00!
Great Scot! What a bargain! Suddenly I had a flashing
brilliant idea….would charcoal take care of the musty smell in my
crawl space? So, I haul out 15 bags, packed them in my car…drove
home and threw them down that wretched smelly space, then crawled
around opening and placing them.
However, nothing in Bottineau goes unnoticed. This morning
as I was reading the Sunday paper at our local bakery, the cook comes
out of the kitchen and commences to comment that he witnessed me
with so many bags of charcoal. He says to me, “What are you doing
with so much charcoall, Vickie are having a barbecue?”
I told him I’m winterizing my crawl space and for 15.00 I am
using the charcoal, instead of air freshners. The guy has to be
more Scot than me because he replies. Oh, that will work and you
can haul them up the spring and barbecue then…… Hmmm. Now that’s
an idea!
Wound down. Vickie

05/15/2017 (2522)

Thanks to the Dunseith Alumni Blog Reader
From Keye K. Lystad-Kirk: Fargo, ND

Hi Gary,

I wanted to thank everyone who responded to my query about why my great grandmother was possibly hospitalized at San Haven for a short time in the 1940s. The consensus is that she most definitely had TB, but a very mild case.

One explained that San Haven had too many people needing care to provide hospitalization for anything else. From Brenda Hoffman I found it interesting to learn that, “Each state had a TB sanatorium in the highest, coldest part of the state as the original cure was plenty of fresh food and cold, fresh air.” So even though my great grandma was already living in Bottineau, they moved her to San Haven as they had the addition of the medical facilities. (Thank goodness for her family that she didn’t have to go far!)

I also found out from several others that many people found their spouses at San Haven–whether they were patients or employees!

And in the end what is so sad is that they let the beautiful building and grounds go to waste. Even though there was asbestos in the tunnels, it makes me wonder if they could have just closed down the tunnels and still kept up the buildings and the grounds. What a waste of a stunning setting up there.

Kaye K. Lystad-Kirk


Aasness & Bjornseth Reunion
From Keye K. Lystad-Kirk: Fargo, ND

Hi Gary,

I have another message for your Dunseith blog I’m hoping you’re willing to post for me:

Greetings to All Aasness & Bjornseth Relatives and Descendants,

This is a “Save The Date” message to let you know of an upcoming Aasness / Bjornseth Reunion on Saturday, July 28, 2018, at the Christian Center at Lake Metigoshe; with an optional breakfast on Sunday morning, July 29, 2018!

There will be more details to come regarding the venue, places to stay, meals, etc.  So that you receive further reunion communications, may I ask you to PLEASE…

  • Forward your email address to either me, Kaye Lystad Kirk, or Benda Berseth, so in the future we can communicate with you via email (our email addresses are at the end of this message)
  • Forward this message to as many other Aasness and Bjornseth relatives and descendants as you can
  • Forward to me or Benda all of the email addresses that you just used above, because we need to be sure everyone receives future communications from us regarding upcoming reunion details

Thanks everyone and we hope to see you in 2018!


Reunion Organizers:

  1. Benda Berseth, daughter of Della & Clarence Gronneberg, originally from Cooperstown, ND, now in Brookings, SD. (Descendant of Inga Bjornseth)    EMAIL: berseth2@gmail.com
  2. Kaye Lystad-Kirk, daughter of Joyce (Emerson) & Willie Lystad, originally from Bottineau, ND, now in Fargo, ND. (Descendant of Clara Bjornseth)    EMAIL: klystad1@gmail.com


Blog (596) posted on October 19, 2009

Posted on October 19, 2009

Janice Metcalfe (71) passed away

From Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND


Gary my siblings had been trying to reach all am. When I connected
with them by telephone……..
They told me,our cousin Janice Metcalfe Poitra died this morning.
Raphael is her husband. Jaime Metcalfe is her son. Kelly(Poitra)
Olson (daughter in law of Terry Olsen) is her daughter.
Travis and Elaine are her surviving siblings.
Kennedy and Joss are her grandchildren.
Emil and Ann were her parents
As of right now I’m in strong denial so need to sign off……I
think this news ….. will end up in the Minot paper then when I read
it in print I will have to believe …….what was told to me is

Vicky’s reply when asked about posting:

Yes Gary, I think by now Travis and Elaine have been notified.
Janice passed away today at her home, Sunday October 18, 2009. I
spoke with Shan who was in the area today when emergency vehicles
were in the area. He’d spoke with her son Jaime who told Shan that
his mom had passed away.

I understand she had been seeing doctors for a heart condition. We,
the Metcalfe Kith and Kin will miss her deeply. Our hearts ache for
Raphael, Jaime, Kelly and Kennedy and Joss. Vickie

Vickie, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Janice. Raphael was in our class of 65. What a super person he is and I’m sure Janice was the same. My condolences go out the Raphael, his family and all of the Metcalfe family with the loss of Janice.

Folks, Raphael and Janice have been the owners of Kelvin for a number of years now.

Dorothy Robert was Killed in a car Accident.

From Ivy Eller Robert (74): Everett, WA.

I just got a phone call from my son, Jonathan, who lives in Minot, North Dakota, letting me know that Dorothy Robert was in a serious car accident and died this morning. She is the mother of Carol, Duane, Russell, Darla, & Diane Robert, was married to Orphula Robert, who died about 10 years ago. Jon didn’t have any of the details of what happened yet, other than saying that, the accident was near Langdon. Orphula & Dorothy were like second parents to me all of my life, and I will miss her!

Ivy Eller Robert (74)

Ivy, our condolences are with you, and the whole Robert family with the passing of Dorothy. Gary

LaVonne Getzlaff Allard passed away

From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND

WILLOW CITY LaVonne Allard, 52, Willow City, died Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009, on arrival at a Rugby hospital.

She was born March 1, 1957, to Norman and Margaret Getzlaff in Bottineau. She married Duaine Allard Oct. 24, 1975, in Willow City.

Survivors: husband; daughters, Jessica Allard, Bottineau, Lindsey Lorenz, Williston, Brittany Allard, Bismarck; sons, Riley and Tyler, both Willow City; four grandchildren; parents, Bottineau; brothers, Jerome and Ardell, both of Cleveland, N.C.; sister, Sherry Bullinger, Gillette, Wyo.

Funeral: Tuesday, 10 a.m., First Lutheran Church, Willow City.

Burial: Memorial Park Cemetery, Willow City.

Visitation: Monday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Nero Funeral Home, Bottineau.

To the Allard and Getzlaff families, our condolences are with you with the loss of LaVonne. I did not know LaVonne personally, but I knew her aunt Gloria Hagen very well. Carol & Larry Allard, her husband Duanine’s siblings were in my class of 65. Gary

San Haven’s fate

From Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

The San came under attack not long after it began serving an overflow of residents from the Grafton State Hospital for the mentally handicapped. The Association for the Mentally Retarded (ARC) Had won class action suits in several states when they filed against ND.

The legislature fought long and hard but lost in the end. The San was closed in favor of group homes scattered through out the state. I was in the ND house and Senate from 76 through 90, so being the only legislator that could see the hospital from my home south of Dunseith, I was up to my ears in the issue.

The state put a few million dollars in upgrades, but that went nowhere. The ARC won the case and a number of larger cities across the state began planing and promoting group homes in their communities. Eventually the votes we had from these cities began to fade away as other places saw ways of making economic gains at the expense of Dunseith and the whole Turtle Mountain area.

After that, the state tried to sell the property — or rent parts of it to a number of business entities. The turtle Mountain Tribe expressed an interest in taking it over and turning it into a casino/hotel. I’m not really sure what happened, but the idea never flew. I think the facility was too big and the older parts or of it were packed with asbestos making remodeling very costly. Maybe a few other things..

I only drove by on HWY 3 when i was back in 2007 and didn’t have the heart to stop in. I drove through and risked ruining my tires in the late ’90s and the big buildings and housing were gone. The main hospital was partly demolished ad what remained was a shell of the building with no windows. It was being gutted for the value of the structural steel — so I was told.

I still have trouble driving up HW 3 from Rugby. I was so used to seeing the building as I came over the hill that is the Rolette County line. Now I hear that most of the site is a cow pasture.

That is about all I know. That is my perspective. I’m sure that those who lost their jobs and others who had more direct ties to the place have other ideas. I just know that a lot of friends, neighbors and relatives got hit very hard in the pocketbook.

Allen Richard

San Haven Memories

From Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.

Good morning Gary and all,
I remember San Haven and how it overlooked the wide open spaces. Augie’s sister Barb had resided there for years, until the order came down
to relocate all the residents. I thought it wrong then and I still think it was wrong. We use to go up and see Barb, everytime we came up to
Dunseith. She worked up in the nursery and several times, she would take us up there. It was sad to see those babies in their cribs, but I knew with Barb, they got good care; for she loved each and everyone of them.
I also remember Kelvin and all of the memorabilia that was there. Also, many times going up there with mom and Pa Johnson, to listen to the
band. There was one gentleman, Tiny, that I use to dance with; even though he wasnt very tiny. I also had a couple of showings up there with my Parklane Jewelry. It was alot of fun. Sybil Johnson.

Don & Bernice Johnson pictures

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

One evening last month Elouise Boppre gave me a picture she had of my
folks just after they received their teaching standards from Minot
State. This was in 1946 and I think she had also received hers that day.
I took two of our pictures out of an album that were taken that same
day. The building behind them is Old Main on the Minot campus ( I think
they call it Old Main). With this 6 week certificate, you were allowed
to teach school. Dad taught on this Standard until 1964 when he got his
Bachelors Degree in Music Education. He received his Masters two days
before he died in 1980. I just thought these pictures may be of some
interest to so many who had Dad for a teacher. Thanks Gary!

Lorraine Olson’s obituary reposted with picture

From Eileen Brudwick:Fargo, ND


Funeral Services will be held Monday, October 19, 2009 at 2:00 pm in Trinity Lutheran Church in Binford , ND .

Visitation will be Sunday from 5:00 till 7:00 in the Church and one hour before services in the Church.

Family Service at 7:00 pm in the Church

Interment will be in the Trinity Cemetery , rural Binford , ND .

Lorraine Olsen, 84 of Binford , ND , died Thursday, October 15, 2009 in MeritCare Hospital , Fargo , ND .

Lorraine Pederson was born March 21, 19 25 on a farm five miles north of Binford , ND , the daughter of Palmer and Julia (Hoffich) Pederson.From infancy she was raised by her grandparents John and Sina Pederson.

Lorraine married Melvin Ingvold Olsen July 2, 19 43 in Binford , ND . The couple farmed in the Binford area.Melvin passed away February 2, 1972 .She left the farm and moved into Binford on the east side in 1976 where she resided until her death.

She worked many years as a cook and baker at the Red Willow Lake Resort.She was well known for her baked goods, bread, Norwegian “Goodies” and thousands of yummy lefse rounds.

She was very active in her Church.She enjoyed music by performing organist duties and singing in the choir.Bible study and Ladies Aid were important arms of her spiritual life.Social friendship was enjoyed many years through the Willow Homemakers Club.

Lorraine is survived by three children: a daughter, Joan Richard, Dunseith , ND ; son, Barry (Faith) Olsen, Moorhead , MN ; son, Neal Olsen, St. Louis , MO ; nine grandchildren, six great grandchildren with one expected in February, two step great grandchildren and many others that called her Grandma.

She was preceded in death by; her parents, husband, grandson, John Melvin Richard.

05/12/2017 (2521)

Victoria Bouvier: Reply to Scott Brady: sbrady.hfd@gmail.com
From Floyd Dion (’45):  Dunseith, ND

On your blog May 2 # 2518 a Scott Brady from Vernon Connecticut said
he thought he was related to the Dion’s . Scott is a 3rd cousin of Victoria
Bouvier. Victoria is my Grandmother who died in 1900 ten days after
giving birth to a daughter. She is buried in Tarsus cemetery.



Dunseith Memories
From Bill Hosmer (’48): Tucson, AZ

 Gary and all my friends of long ago who may still be with us.

Every time I see one of the episodes of this legendary document about people I spent time with in our unforgettable town, and people who I grew up with, swam naked in the creek  with  just off the old road to Bottineau, and other scandals that came with growing up in the late thirties and early forties in Dunseith, I get so deep in memories that I forget to punctuate, but never forget the people that were part of my past.

Gary, the gift of your post is a valuable and important recording of many generations of us, which  has been a gift and miraculous treasure of memories of those who helped me be  whatever I turned out to be.

I will be 87 later this year, but I still remember all the people in Dunseith who encouraged me to do what I wanted to do and gave me hope to reach my personal goal, which was to be a career Air Force guy and fly fighter airplanes and do what I could do in the service.

When I look back on this, I conclude that the whole Dunseith community kept encouraging me to do it and do it better. In any case, I just want to express a gratitude I feel about the community we all came from and the encouragement they gave me to do what I needed to do.

I am blessed with what you do for us all, Gary. Thank you for doing what you do, and being who you are.

Also, please hug your bride and remind her of our rendezous on the streets of Bottineau some time ago.

Cheers, Bill Hosmer

Gary’s comments
Thank you Bill for these nice comments. I really enjoy doing what I’m doing. Over the years doing this I have learned to know so many folks whose names I only knew in the past. Bill you were one of them too. In the past 10 years we have learned to know each other and have become good friends. I’m hoping these blogs have done the same for others too. The neat part about these blogs is when they are posted, everyone knows that all the rest of the folks on the distribution have seen them at the same time too.


San Haven Reply
From Sharon Zorn Gerdes (’61):  Windsor, CO

 In reply to Kaye- at that time the only way you could be a patieint at the San was to be diagnosed with tuberculosis.  They had patients with TB of the bone, but most I think were lung patients.  I know they did lung surgeries up there .  Wasn’t it build there because of the cold clear air?   Someone else will know far more than I do- my memory  is missing.  Sharon Zorn Gerdes


San Haven Patient records
Reply From Mel Kuhn (’70):  St. John, ND


This is for Kaye Lystad-Kirk looking for her great grandmother at San Haven. We have all those old record books of patients at that time at the Museum in St. John. If I had a name I would gladly look and see if I could find her listed in either patient or employee.

Mel Kuhn


Reply to Florence Pladson Sime’s Accident
Reply from Jean Took Berger (’75): Mandan, ND

Hi Gary I thought she was in another one by Rolette?

 Gary’s Comment
I have not heard of Florence being in another accident, but maybe. I sure hope not. I’m sure someone can tell us.


 Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND


Blog (595) posted on October 18, 2009

Posted on October 18, 2009

Memories and Condolences to the Arnold Zeiler family

From Gary Fulsebakke (71): Devils Lake, ND

Hi Gary,
Kelvin was a wonderful place for those of us who lived around or north
of Hwy.43 and a considerable distance from Dunseith or Bottineau. It
was a place to get groceries and supplies and to catch up on the
latest local news. Midge was a great storekeeper and a wonderful
person. She and her family lived in a nice apartment in the back of
the store. Even though Hal was a few years younger than me, we played
together often and I envied him because it seemed he had access to an
endless supply of candy, popicles, pop and ice cream. I thought he
lived in paradise! The “store” had a good supply of essentitial
groceries and general merchandise, much like a modern “C” store and
had a small bar connected on the south side. Midge was not only
bartender, but also an effective bouncer if the situation called for
it. She was an amazing lady. There were 2 Mobil gas pumps outside
where my Dad would often get his “2 bucks worth” of gas to carry him
thru the week. It was a sad day when Midge decided to sell the store
and move her family out west. One of my favorite memories was when
our bus driver, Arnold Zeiler, would drop us off at Kelvin while he
made his western route on 43 and then would swing back and pick us up.
While we were there we feasted on nickle candy bars, dime pop and a
game or two of bumper pool. When the weather was nice, he would drop
us off at the corner of 43 and 281 and we would walk all the way to
the top of Peace Garden hill picking up empty pop bottles along the
way which we redeemed at Kelvin for 2 or 3 cents a bottle. Those were
the days! We all thought Arnold was the greatest bus driver and one
of the nicest people you will ever meet. Arnold and Lorna were our
closet and dearest neighbors, and the entire Fulsebakke family offer
our deepest condolences to Lorna, Lyle and Sandra on your great loss.
Gary Fulsebakke

Condolences to the Arnold Zeiler family

From Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA.

When I walked into the Rugby nursing facility attached to the hospital in mid August, it was so right to find Arnold and Lorna Casavant Zeiler seated in the sunroom, Arnold in a wheel chair all bright and cheerful and Lorna dressed for company quietly by his side. I so admired their devotion to each other. My condolences to Sandra and Lyle, both such a source of pride to their wonderful parents. Some years ago when I visited them at their apartment in Dunseith, Arnold went into great detail telling me about Lorna’s restored cardiac health; no other place or thing was more important than Lorna. Sharron

Arnold & Leona Zeiler

From Vickie Metcalfe (67): Bottineau, ND.


At 10 of 10, I ventured over east this morning to attend the funeral of an always kind,honorable man from the Peace Garden hills of Dunseith. When I got to the Catholic Church, I tugged on the doors, I found them securely locked. Baffled. Hum. I decided I must have read something wrong and I am here early.

Ah ha. I spy a couple cars to the side of the church. So, marching around to the side door, Yes! It opens, and bounding down stairs I go, to find Lorraine Peterson and Helen Boguslowski busy preping for lunch. Say I confidently, “What time is the funeral? Am I early?” Lorraine replied, “The funeral is in Bottineau at 10:00.” “Un oh.” Embarrassed. I think, “Boy, I really hate it when kids don’t read directions.” Lorraine and Helen kindly let me place forks on the place settings, make the lemonaide, and butter buns which was a fitting penance for this (Lutheran) teacher who apparently didn’t read facts and “assumed”.

Smells of scalloped potatoes and coffee filled the air when Bob and Supan Brennan arrived. Supan headed for the kitchen. Yep. Penance had been served and the St Michael Archangel Ladies came with more cakes. We three,Connie Peterson Lagerquist, Bob and I sipped decaf coffee and reminisced about the Zeiler team, “Arnold and Lorna“. As kids we recalled, where one was, the other was close by…….unless it was on Arnold’s bus. Bob said, “While riding school bus one afternoon, years ago Arnold told him he had to hurry and get home because it was he and Lorna’s anniversary.” Donna Fugere told us later that Arnold and Lorna were a married pair of about 67 years.

Fair well and God Speed Arnold.


Condolences to the Arnold Zeiler family

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

My condolences to the Zeiler family on the passing of Arnold. We had a
lot of fun with Arnold and Lorna back in the early days of snowmobiling.
Good people.


Joan Richard’s mohter, Lorraine Olsen, passed away

From Vickie Metcalfe (67): Bottineau, ND.


Stopping by the Family Bakery early this afternoon, I saw Joni Richard and was saddened to hear from her of the passing of her dear mom. Joni is currently teaching at Dunseith High School, each of her three children are Dunseith High graduates. Joni, is quite active in leading the Bottineau women’s choir and also lends her talented musical gifts to playing for Peace Lutheran Church.


Today’s in_forum obit;

Lorraine Olsen
Binford, N.D.
Died Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009, at age 84 in MeritCare Hospital, Fargo.

Survivors: two sons, Barry (Faith) Olsen, Neal Olsen; and a daughter, Joan Richard.

Services: Visitation will be Sunday from 5 to 7, with a prayer service at 7, and Monday from 1 to 2, followed by the funeral at 2, all in Trinity Lutheran Church, Binford. Burial: Church ceme-tery.
(Quam-Plaisted-Cushman, Cooperstown, N.D.)

Repy to Doreen Bailey’s picture posted yesterday

From Lloyd Awalt (44): Bottineau, ND.

Reply to Doreen. I know every one on that picture. Mrs. Joe Cota is right I think my mom had a picture like this one Lloyd.

San Haven Memories

From Jean Nicholas Miller (66): Glendale, AZ.

Regarding San Haven, it is truly a shame what happened to it. I have many wonderful memories of it and history as well in my family. Back when it was a TB sanitarium my parents met there and fell in love and were married. My father(Herc Nicholas) was a TB patient there in the mid to late 40’s and my mother (Aggie Nicholas) was a nurses aide. When my father got out he worked there as an orderly. He and my mother got married and then he ended back in as a patient after I was born. My mother used to take me up to the grounds as a baby so he could see me through the window. Later we lived in Dunseith and move back there when I was around 10 as my parents both worked there then. It was a great place to grow up. Charlene Pearson, Dale Hoffman, Brenda too, Jay Vanorny, Ramona Thiefoe, the Cuadrado family and the other Cuban families too. Anyway it was great!!

San Haven

From Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

About the San–I’m sure there are literally hundreds of opinions on what should or should not have been done in those last years. We all have different perspectives. I’ll give mine in a note to Shirley to begin with. It is still a major sore spot with me going back to ’76 when I was first elected to the legislature.


Answer to Gary’s Question

From Shirley Olson Warcup (49): Ivans, UT


Both of our sons were dentists–one still is. Our second son sold his practice about 10 years ago. His great love is golf!! He has some other business investments that don’t need daily “looking after” so he now can golf whenever he wants to. Next week he’ll be here in St. George to play golf. We have a multitude of golf courses. (We also have a grandson who is a senior dental student at the U. of Ohio.) Personally, I tried playing golf once and that was enough–I’d much rather read a book or watch a basketball game. I developed a love of basketball at Dunseith High School–watching, not playing. We had some very good teams. I’m a big NBA fan and have been known to not answer my door when I’m watching a close game and don’t want to miss the action.

Once again, Gary, many thanks for keeping us all connected!! I may have lived in California for 47 years, but I still consider myself a North Dakotan!!

Shirley Olson Warcup

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

To Ele Slyter& Richard:

Quite a hansome grandson that Devin is. You are both so blest to have a grand son that age who wants to serve his country,and not go the way of so many teenagers today in the grip of drugs. I especially liked the picture of Richard and him together saluting. That was priceless. Your daughter Sherri sure enough looks like her Mama. Thanks for sharing the pictures. Can never get enough pictures. Looking forward to seeing you and Richard at the mini-union. Ms. Aggie

Reply to Dick Morgan’s letter

From Gary Morgan (54): Garrison, ND.

Gary & All,

It was a bit of a surprise to see a letter from my brother, Dick, yesterday. Since he probably won’t see it for a month or more, I’ll attempt to answer your questions: I faithfully make copies of all your blogs and every month or so Dick stops by and picks them up. He then reads them in chronalogical order, one or two a day. Since he is uncomfortable with and distrustful of anything “new” he will not touch a computer. He can type, (he was assigned Postal Clerk in the army because of his typing skills) however he prefers to handwrite his correspondence because it is more warm and personal. He disdains ballpoint pens as they have no personality. He has my son-in-law special order ink. Unfortunately, the resulting correspondence is sometimes a little difficult to make out. More so in recent years. With this in mind, I’ll attempt to correct a few errors in your translation: It should be “phenomina” rather than pneumonia; he beat his head against his “crib” rather than “circle” and his grandparents were Harriet & Charlie Watkins. Other than that, you did really well.

Some members of my family think Dick is just a tad eccentric.His afore mentioned characteristics coupled with his preference to sleep in the back of his pickup under his trusty buffalo robe rather than in a bed sort of lead to this conclusion.In recent years, his bodily functions have compelled him to sleep in the house in the winter time.He confessed to me that he decided that was the prudent thing to do one winter night when it was like 20 below and he found himself debating with himself whether it was worth it to crawl out of his warm nest to “take a whiz” which he urgently had to do.

He is a wonderful brother who has always looked after me and has kept my family entertained all of these years.

Gary Morgan

Gary M, I have made the corrections to Dick’s letter posted below. Thank you so much for this reply. We’d love to hear more from Dick too. Gary S

Corrected copy

20 Sept. 09

Yet another perfectly beautiful day in North Dakota.

Hi Gary,

You could not have conceivably anticipated the incredible phenomina you would generate and create with your project to compile a directory of DHS graduates.My wife is baffled and bewildered by the outpouring of loyalty and love expressed in your dispatches.Some months ago, Jack Flynn telephoned to inquire why I was not contributing.Jack is well aware that I am a professionally trained and experienced historian and story teller, absolutely dedicated to truth and accuracy. So the following is for “Uncle Jack”.

Few know or care that the Morgan’s, Marjorie and Kenneth lived in Dunseith during the early 1930’s. That is how I came to be born in Bottineau.The first glimpse my mother and of her beautiful lovely boy, my head was covered with blood.Nurse said I was beating it against the crib, no doubt about that.I have not spent a night in the hospital since.Mother always contended that the nurse had dropped me on my head.Mother said that explained a lot.

As soon as I could walk I commenced to run away.Consequently I was tied with a piece of clothes line to the clothes line behind my grandparents, Harriet & Charlie Watkins.As I was straining against my leash, around the corner of the house came an older boy running at full speed.He caught my leash across his throat, which stopped and dropped him.I was projected up into the air.As Billy Jack Hosmer observed my graceful arc across the sky, he determined then and there to become a world class flier and pilot. I landed on my head.Mother said that explained a lot.

Dick Morgan (52)

Supt. “Big Ed” Conroy used to say the class of 52 was the “Quality Class”, well of course!We had both Don Hosmer and Kick McKay.

1987….at lake Mirond Canada…Note who has the fish….
Gary Morgan, Glen Williams and Dick Morgan

Gary Morgan’s family:
Standing L to R: Laurel, Pamela, Stacy, Mark & Rob
Sitting: Mary Lou & Gary

05/10/2017 (2520)

San Haven
Reply from Jean Took Berger (’75): Mandan, ND

In reply to Allen Richard I totally agree with you I worked there and it so refreshing when I went to work driving in to see how beautiful it was and the state sold it and just let that beautiful place go to hell. So sad.

I  so sorry to hear about Florence I pray for a speedy recovery  thoughts and prayers are being sent to her and her family

Gary’s Reply
Hello Jean,
Great hearing from you.
Because we have so many new folks and because I don’t always have things to post, for the past several years I have been posting previous blogs. Florence Pladson Sime was nearly killed in that horrible car accident she had in 2009. It’s a miracle she survived. She recovered very well and is doing fine today.


Reply to Margaret Metcalfe Leonard Casavant (’65)
From Ramona (Mona) Dionne Johnson (’48):Bottineau, ND

Margaret –   The Commissary (grocery store you spoke of) along with the

Post Office was located in the basement level of the “AD Building”.

There were apartments above- where we once lived at the beginning of the years we spent at San Haven until we moved our family to Bottineau.

Ramona (Mona) Johnson -’48


Reply to  Kaye Lystad-Kirk’s question
From Theresa Sivertson Delikat:  Box Elder, SD

In answer to Kaye’s question re: hospitalization at San Haven. San Haven at that time was only for cases or  suspected cases of Tuberculosis.  More than likely if the stay was short she did not have active TB.  She was lucky not to become active when in close proximity to other patients.


Blog (594) posted on October 17, 2009

Posted on October 17, 2009

Arnold Zeiler pasted away

Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.

ARNOLD ZEILER, 89, Rugby, formerly of Dunseith, died Wednesday in a Rugby hospital. Funeral Saturday, 10 a.m., St. Mark’s Catholic Church, Bottineau. Scriptural service today, 5 p.m., in Nero Funeral Home, Bottineau. Visitation today, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., in the funeral home.

Sandra & Lyle, We are so sorry to hear of the passing of you dad. He was a wonderful man. He will be missed dearly. We are so glad that you guys have been able to spend time with your folks the last while. Sandra & Mike, I know you guys have been making a lot of trips to Rugby. It’s so wonderful that you have/are able to do this for your parents. Gary & Bernadette.

From Lynn Halvorson Otto (75): Seoul, Korea

To the Pladson family! I so sorry to here of Florence’s accident, she will be in our prayers. We pray for a complete and speedy recovery. Lynn Halvorson Otto

Update for Florence Pladson Sime (62) from her daughter Becky Sime Coles (83): Spokane, WA.

Florence remains in ICU. She has had a few surgeries to date. The latest was to place rods in her shoulder and hip. She will have to have another surgery, perhaps next week, to fix her wrist which was severly crushed. She is in a lot of pain, understandably so, but ocassionally feels well enough to give the nurses a bad time.

Letter from Dick Morgan (52): Washburn, ND

20 Sept. 09

Yet another perfectly beautiful day inNorth Dakota.

Hi Gary,

You could not have conceivably anticipated the incredible pneumonia you would generate and create with your project to compile a directory of DHS graduates.My wife is baffled and bewildered by the outpouring of loyalty and love expressed in your dispatches.Some months ago, Jack Flynn telephoned to inquire why I was not contributing.Jack is well aware that I am a professionally trained and experienced historian and story teller, absolutely dedicated to truth and accuracy.So the following is for “Uncle Jack”.

Few know or care that the Morgan’s, Marjorie and Kenneth lived in Dunseith during the early 1930’s. That is how I came to be born in Bottineau.The first glimpse my mother and of her beautiful lovely boy, my head was covered with blood.Nurse said I was beating it against the circle, no doubt about that.I have not spent a night in the hospital since.Mother always contended that the nurse had dropped me on my head.Mother said that explained a lot.

As soon as I could walk I commenced to run away.Consequently I was tied with a piece of clothes line to the clothes line behind my grandparents, Harriet and Harley Watkins.As I was straining against my leash, around the corner of the house came an older boy running at full speed.He caught my leash across his throat, which stopped and dropped him.I was projected up into the air.As Billy Jack Hosmer observed my graceful arc across the sky, he determined then and there to become a world class flier and pilot. I landed on my head.Mother said that explained a lot.

Dick Morgan (52)

Supt. “Big Ed” Conroy used to say the class of 52 was the “Quality Class”, well of course!We had both Don Hosmer and Kick McKay.

Dick, Thank you so much for sending me this letter. I hope I have typed it all correctly. Please let me know of any mistakes I may have made. I have a question for you. With what you say in this letter, you are getting these daily messages. I don’t have an email address for you in my files though. Gary

Question from Dick Johnson’s Aunt, his mothers sister.

Shirley Olson Warcup (49): Ivans, UT

Gary, Allen Richard or??

What has happened to San Haven? I haven’t heard anything about it for quite some time. I always thought it was such a beautiful place.

Shirley Olson Warcup

Shirley, It has been a long while since San Haven has been discussed. Many folks have been added to our distribution since that topic was discussed. I will let Allen or someone else re-address this subject. I will tell you this much, it’s a shame what has happened.

I got a personal reply from Brenda Hoffman to yesterday’s message telling me her husband is a retired Periodontist (Doctor of the Gums). I’m thinking you have a son who is a dentist as well? You have never said, but I think that is what I heard a while back with something that was said. Gary.

Ricky Kuhn’s address in Kosovo

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

Howdy Gary,

I remember a while back that someone wanted an address for the guys when they get to Kosovo and my son called from Germany this morning with this address for him.

SPC. Kuhn, Ricky


TF Falcon-Eng

Camp Bondsteel

APO AE 09340

He said they are really getting into some intense training and will leave Germany for Kosovo next week.

Mel Kuhn[70]

Reply from LeaRae Parrill Espe (67): Bottineau, ND.

Someone mentioned Mr. Lykins yesterday and I, too, had been thinking of him yesterday as I was substitute teaching in the “keyboarding” class. They have to use cardboard keyboard covers so they can’t peek at the letters. I shared with them how our old Royal typewriters did not have the letters on the keys so we did not have any chances to peek. (One kid said he had seen one those typewriters and knew what they looked like!) So where have you been hiding Mr. Lykins. You haven’t been attacked by a Side Hill Gouger, have you? Does anyone else remember celebrating Side Hill Gouger Days? They were introduced to us by Mr. Lykins.

LeaRae, you need to wonder no more with Mr. Lykins reply below. Gary

Bob Lykins (DHS teacher in the mid 60’s) reply: Hutto, TX.


I am still alive and very busy. I have been doing a great deal of traveling and just returned from visiting my young son and his mom in Germany. My son took golf lessons through his school. Since golf equipment is so much cheaper here than in Europe I bought him a nice starter set and bag and took it with me on the plane to Germany. We played in a tournament in Garmisch as well as several times at a course near my wife’s home. Most of the time my son played alone with me driving the cart as it was so expensive ($75.00 for one for 18 holes). Since “Dad” was paying it was better for my pocket book not to play. At a municipal course near my home in Hutto seniors only pay $22.00 for 18 holes, a cart, breakfast and lunch. My son and I also spent 4 days in Vienna, Austria touring the sights as well as attending the opening of a major Impressionist art exhibit and an evening concert by the Vienna Mozart Orchestra. Surprisingly, my 13 year old thought the concert his favorite experience in Vienna. One day, while my son was in school, I thought I’d get more culture so I rode the bus down the mountain and hopped a train to Munich and the Oktober Fest. That is always a fun time. While there I was interviewed by a major German TV channel, ZDF. It seems that day the American Government had issued a travel advisory against traveling to Germany because of threats issued on TV by Al Quida to create “incidents” if the German electorate did not vote for political candidates and parties, in elections that next week, that were advocating the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. The reporter asked me how I felt about the advisory. I told her that it did not bother me and that I had full faith and confidence in the German security agencies to handle any threat. (I wanted to say that nothing, not even threat of bodily harm, was going to keep me from drinking the finest beer in the world. But, that might have been too flippant). She also asked me if I was taking any precautions. I told her that I wasn’t going to sit next to any un-attended packages. I forgot all about it until latter that night, after I got home, my wife asked me if I had done an interview for TV. It seems relatives and friends had been calling asking my wife if she had seen the interview on TV (she hadn’t) and so there went my 15 seconds of fame.

I am now back in Hutto enjoying the fall Texas weather. I keep busy by working around the house as well as working part-time with Pearsons Education. They called me back to work and I will be doing a solid 3 weeks starting next week. I need to make enough to pay for my flights to Washington, DC and back to Germany in December to visit family. In the spring I plan to head up to Alaska to visit my daughter and her family at Elmendorff AFB. I’m also working for the University of Texas Athletic Department as an events usher. I work the football games which allow me to see a good deal of the home games. It’s fun and I enjoy joshing with the fans.

By-the-way, I remember buckle overshoes and the long string of yarn that connected both sets of mittens and ran up one arm, across the back, and down the other arm in my coat.

Sorry to learn about Gregg Grimme. My condolences to the family. I remember well the Grimme children in school. It wasn’t difficult to tell who was a Grimme as it seems they all looked alike and they were all good students.

My best to all.

Bob Lykins

Reply from Vickie Metcalfe (65): Bottineau, ND.

Gary, A few e-mails ago Ivy (Eller) Robert asked about Hal Dupee. Was she referring to Hal, the son of Midge Cook Henrikson the proprietor of Kelvin Store? Didn’t his older sister write in a while back about him. I relayed that tidbit of info to my sister, Cyndy who recalls him as a nice kid.

Ivy, my sister Cyndy, Connie Peterson, Jesse Marion, Emil Dubois, Alexis Machipiness, Lorraine Cote, and Hal were just some of the kids in the same early grade classes together. At the our supper table every night, Cyndy would exuberantly talk about their wonderful teacher, Mrs.Fortune Berube. Cyndy would also entertain us with talk about her classmates ….. we’d hear tales of exploits of (some) kids. None of the comments were bad, just amusing to my dad. Cyndy thought the world of Mrs. Berube and of her classmates.

Later, Vickie

Vickie, You are so right. What a memory. I am pasting Lynn Henrikson’s message below that she posted with message 367 on February 10, 2009. I have highlighted in bold blue what she has to say about Hal. Gary

Previously posted with message 367 – 2/10/09

Reply from Lynn Henriksen (64):

Yes, of course I remember Dot & Tommy Hagen! Mom loved you both so much. I always remember you as being so nice & fun. The names you just brought up & even the mention of the cabin behind Kelvin bring up so many wonderful memories – it actually brings tears to my eyes and tightens my throat, so I’m glad I can type, not have to speak right now, since I’d break down bawling. Seems like a million years ago – and the stuff we each have tucked inside can be triggered so easily by just the mention of a name. Thank you for think of us!

Briefly, Dana and Rick and families are all happy & healthy – Dana in Idaho, Rick in Oregon (1/3 of the time in Baja developing his “casa” project).

And yes, all the play time & boyhood memories between Markey and Hal. Hal had a horrible, crippling accident about 20 years ago – he is amazing, doesn’t let quadriplegia stop him – has a beautiful “saint” of a girl friend, writes, etc. I’m sure he’d love to hear from Markey & from you two – don’t know if I should put his email address in this reply, so please email me at & I’ll give it to you.

Keeping Spirits Alive,

Lynn Henriksen

Website: http://www.telltalesouls.com

Blog: http://www.thestorywoman.com

Folks, this is a personal message that Vickie Metcalfe sent to me with some of our one on one correspondence. I have her permission to share this wonderful message with you.

Alcoholism is a devastating disease. There are quite a few folks I know who lived in tough home situations. After leaving Dunseith, while attending graduate school I came to understand the disease and realized I would have been a perfect enabler. Whooeee. Insight.

As an elementary counselor in Montana, I was fortunate to work for a school board and administration that encouraged all certified staff to gain further education in understanding the disease concept of alcoholism to help children in prevention.

I owe so much to that school system who enabled me to continue growing as a person. But, I owe even more to those kids who shared with me their pain.

This another lesson of life, any time a kid shares emotional pain with me I am humbled and honored.

Particularly kids who live with their unspoken family rules, “don’t trust, don’ feel and don’t talk” . As each layer of education from classes and lessons from kids who’ve walked the walk. I automatically start recognizing family roles; ie “The active alcoholic, the charming alcoholic, the dry drunk, the co-dependent, the perfect child, the lost child,the troublemaker, the family clown.”

I strongly believe in the power of hope. I found through this life journey parents who got involved in their recovery through the 12 step process and ended up in being the most awesome healthy parents I’ve worked with.

Children of alcoholics need to believe in hope. And kids need to learn there’s a genetic pre- disposition in this disease. If they can recognize they are at risk so much can be prevented. Oh boy, here there I go again into the teacher mode bandwagon and you are playing the violin by now. When I start with that business of judging others, I remind myself to STOP, take a deep breath and say to myself,”But for the grace of God , there go I.”

So enough said. Thank you for sharing, it does make one stop and marvel at a life miracle, “some folks change their destiny”

And Justly reaffirms. HOPE. Later. Vickie

Message/Picture from Doreen Bailey (Vance Bailey 46 deceased): Tempe, AZ

Gary Metcalfe Mention the Cota family that lived across the road from the Old Bailey farm on the hill. Vance has this picture of a Picnic at Carpenter Lake 1912 of Bailey, Anderson, Cota, & Wagner ladies and children. I remember him mentioning he was not positive about Mrs. Cota’s husbands first name, he has Joe on the picture. Also that they were neighbors of his Grandparents.

Doreen Bailey

05/08/2017 (2519)

San Haven Memories
From Margaret Metcalfe Leonard Casavant (’65): Rolette, ND

Hi Gary,

I think about you and Bernadette fondly and often.  Thanks for keeping us up to speed
on our activities.  Always enjoyable to hear how things are with you.

Looking at those old, beautiful pictures of San Haven makes me sad when I remember how immaculate the lawn and gardens were back in the 60’s when I spend many fun days there with Carol Jasper.  Such great adventures and memories of the people who lived and worked there:  Red and Lorraine Pearson, Sharon and Charlene, Marjorie Lillico, Edna Mohagen, Mrs. Conroy’s brother, don’t recall his name, Marlys Fitzvold, Bennie & Grace Frobarb, Maggie McGee, Harvey & Alice, Dale and Brenda Hoffman, Virgil and Beane Vanorny and Jay, Mike and Olga Jasper and Carol, Pete and Clarice Link and Joe and Ronnie, Dennis DuBois parents, Jean Nicholas’s family, I think her sister’s name was Ellen Graff, Karen Loab’s family, Thiefoe’s, Andy & Arlene Sand, just to name a few that I remember.

We babysat for Chuck and Ramona Johnson’s boys, going door to door trick or treating at Halloween, eating in the dining room was a new and fun experience, (first time I ate a black olive).  Exploring the old theatre and the tunnels brings back special memories, closing the dairy and the sale at the barn, Lake Shutte just down a little road, the old golf course on the north and a cemetery on the south; it was a lovely campus.

I can’t place the grocery store.  Thanks for sharing these pictures and the trip down memory lane.  Can’t thank you enough for creating this amazing communication tool!!

Wishing you the best,  Margaret Casavant


San Haven Patient Question
From Kaye Lystad-Kirk:  Fargo, ND

Hi Gary,

Is this the right email address I should use if I ever have something to contribute to your blog? Or should I use your aol address?

My query is this: 

One of my great grandmothers was in San Haven for a “short period of time” (sorry, I don’t know how short) in the 1940s. She would have been anywhere in her mid-50s to mid-60s.  Can anybody give me any reasons why one would have been in San Haven then? As of right now, I can’t find a family member that can tell me why. And as far as I know, she had no health issues prior or after her stay. Thank you.



Blog (593) posted on October 16, 2009

Reply from Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA
just a brief follow up to my niece’s (Becky’s) notice on her mother Florence Sime. I’ll let Becky keep you all updated on her status.However, Becky didn’t mention much about the accident — probably because, like me, she hasn’t heard that much except to say it was a horrific accident. What we do know in that others were also badly injured and I would like to ask for your prayers and best wishes not only for Florence’s recovery, but for the recovery of all those injured in the accident. Thank you in advance for your prayers. Keith Pladson Class of 66

From Verena & Pete (65) Gillis: Dunseith, ND.
> Re: Florence SimeWe are so terribly sorry to hear about her accident. I hard about the
accident after work yesterday. The roads were so terrible throughout
Rolette County and Bottineau County. As I understand she was hit by
another car who was trying to pass her, as she was out doing her rounds.
You would think people that have lived around here all their lives would
know enough to slow down and not try to pass in these conditions. We will
be praying for her recovery. She is a wonderful lady!

Pete and Verena Gillis

Reply From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.
I was shocked/stunned/etc. to read of Florence Sime’s accident. I’m including a site where emails may be sent to her. I think the emails are read once per day (probably morning)/the messages are printed on card, along with who sent them/delivered to the patient later in the day. Wally received several of them when he was hospitalized. I’m sure Florence would enjoy hearing from friends/family/etc.
From Bobby Slyter (70): Wichita, Kansas
I just wanted to add to Ele’s message about my great nephew Devin Millang, I am so very very proud of this young man that the buttons on my shirt popes off when I see him in uniform,he is not only a brave young man but a very respectful, passionate and courteous person, we all wish him well in his next adventure in the marines, it is a great pleasure to be his great uncle
Reply from Allen Rickard (65): Midland, MI
Just two things: First the date you picked would have been Dad’s 90th birthday. Second, seeing those pictures of the San makes me both angry and near nauseous when I think of what became of it and how all that history and beauty turned into a pile of rubble.
Allen Richard
From Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND.
Do you recall having any “wayward” horses back on the farm? I figured you might feel the need to lighten up and grin at this piece of info out of WY.from the Billings Gazette. That bit of cowboy humor got me thinking about those who get together and jam. My sister in-law Sally’s aunt Shirley and uncle Carl are a couple of folks with music in their bones and Carl’s compositions….make one think he’s got the soul of a cowboy poet. VickieCowboy cited after horse wanders away from bar

Click on the link or Copy and Paste the address into your internet browser window.

Reply from Cheryl Larson Dakin (71): BEDFORD, TX
HI All
In reply to Bonnie Awalt Houle, I do remember those overshoes…..mostly when the buckles would become packed with snow and it was hard to unhook them with frozen fingers. And they would melt all over the floor when we did get them off. Mom was constantly having to mop up after us. I don’t remember wearing them in the rain as much as I do in the snow. The good old days when we could be out in it for what seemed like hours and not be as miserable as we would be now.
Cheryl Larson Dakin
Reply from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.
Good morning Dunseith and Neola,
It was my cousin’s husband from Virginia, who sent the update of Reachelle Smith. I had forwarded the Amber Alert to them and Chuck did
some checking on the story. Maybe and this may sound like a fluke idea, but some of the law enforcement shows on TV have run past cases like hers’. Maybe, this is a way to go. This is just an idea. Thank you Neola. Sybil Johnson
Folks, After sending yesterday’s message, I realized I had forgotten to answer Dick’s question that I have highlited in blue below. Gary
Bonnie Awalt Houle–I sure do remember the 4 and 5 buckle overshoes. I
always new when the kids from the hills got to school in the
morning—-ka ching ka ching down the hall. The amazing thing to me was
that shoes and overshoes were all we wore in the winter. My feet got
numb after a half hour and stayed that way all day! If we would have had
pack boots and Thinsulate liners then, most of us wouldn’t have
arthritis now. Let me try a guess—I seem to remember Gary Stokes
always wore zipper overshoes to school. Am I right Gary?

Dick, You are so right about those zipper overshoes. I had totally forgotten about those too. When I started high school I graduated from the buckle overshoes to the zipper type. Those were my Sunday overshoes too. I had earned enough money working the summer months for Norris/Bud Knutson and Carl Melgaard to be able to buy those too.
The last winter I was back in ND was in January 1971. The Army granted me 2 weeks convalescent leave at that time following corrective surgery that I had on my Jaw. I was very fortunate to have been in a dental unit with one of the best Oral surgeons that recognized I had a petruding jaw that could be surgically corrected. He cut my jaw bone on both sides, in the back, completely off with an angle cut and slid my whole jaw back nearly a half inch. I was wired shut for the next 6 weeks for the healing. I ate thin strained foods through a straw. At the time I was working for a Periodontist (Gum Dentist) who was very good friends with the Oral surgeon. Being a periodontist, he was very concerned with the alignment of my teeth, so he assisted with the surgery to make sure things got aligned correctly. He also took pictures (slides) of the whole operation of which I have. To this day I have had zero problems. I was so fortunate to have had such wonderful caring profession folks in my life at that time. Needless to say, my facial features were considerably altered/corrected with this operation. It was fun going back into the civilian world following this surgery with folks wondering if that was really me. I was stationed at Fort Riley Kansas, following my year in Viet Nam, at the time.
Reply/Pictures from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary,The picture posted by Gary Morgan of Billy Wright’s grocery store had
to have been taken the same day as the Post Office picture with similar
hail storm damage. The history book says the storm was in 1943. My
grandparents bought this store in 1947, according to the Dunseith
Journal. I remember the building when Joe Morinville had his store there
in the mid 50s and before he moved to the building north of Said (Sy)
Kadry’s pool hall. For those who don’t remember this building, it stood
across from Woodford’s Bar in what is now the parking lot for Wayne’s
grocery store. Attached are two items–first the Journal article and a
pencil I have from when my grandparents had the store in the late 40s.
Thanks Gary!


Dick, Speaking of the Morgan’s, When I picked up my mail from the FPO office yesterday, I had a letter from Dick Morgan (52). Dick does not have email that I know of. I will utilize the valuable typing skills I received from Mr. Lykins class and type his letter into tomorrow’s message. Speaking of Mr. Lykins, we have not heard from him in a while. Gary

05/03/2017 (2518)

Dion relative seeking information
Message from Scott Brady: Vernon, Connecticut


My name is Scott Brady and I recently came across your blog while doing family research.  I believe I am related to the Dions from Dunseith through Victoria Bouvier who was a 3rd cousin of mine.  If there is anyone you know who may be interested in contacting me to share family information please feel free to pass this email on.


PS Your blog is a truly wonderful use of social media to foster community unity and preserve local history.


Letter from Lee Stickland (’64):  Dickinson, ND


We ALL know that you are an enduring gentleman but unless I missed it, I do not recall an earthquake reference in any of you SENDS ?

All is well in SW ND, little rain would always go a long way, most crops are in.  We took a bus ride thru the TRNP north of Medora last week and it is wanting to “green”  up.  Saw so new wild horse foals, many buffalo, more mule deer than white tail.

Just returned from a week in Boston with my son Eric, his wife, Kim and my 9 year old Gson, Sam.

Walked the “Freedom Trail”. saw the house where Paul Revere raised 14 children, over time, in one bedroom.  This home was built in 1650.

We also visited the Old North Church where Paul Revere hung the famous lantern(s).

Eric and I drove thru a corner of New Hampshire and into Maine on one day.  This leaves only Vermont on my “bucket list” to visit each state.  When I drove an 18-wheeler for 11 months in 1998, I went around America 4 times but missed a few states.

Near forgot: We took a subway/trolley/narrated bus ride for a few hours one day.  The driver took that bus around corners where I was very surprised it would fit; His name was Little Mike and he weighed over 300 pounds so possibly he has good practice getting where others would not attempt to go?

I wanted to see the corner that my favorite author uses as the placement for his office in each of his books.  It is right across the Boston Commons from Interstate90 which runs from Boston to Seattle, thru Rapid City, SD and Billings, MT. NO stop signs

Interstate 80 is the Ho Chi Ming Trail of America as it runs from Sacramento, CA to NY City.

SNUF babble.  Good to see YOU, Gary.  Hello to ALL   LEE

ps I have one more trip, to SC   A fella moved to Dickinson from Penn to work in the oil patch for four years.  His company paid him very well, paid his rent in Dickinson, gave him a new PU each year to drive, paid the gas and the time to drive to work.   He wants me to come see him in Sumter, SC where he works for his brother in the concreter business.  83 degrees there, right now,  60 degrees here at 12:58 am MT  May DAY

Gary’s Reply
Thanks for this nice letter Lee. It’s wonderful hearing from you. In regards to your question about the earth quakes. In the past several months there have been several, but small. I really only felt one when the closet doors rattled in our bedroom at 4am in the morning.


Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND

Funeral Service
Monday, May 08, 2017
10:00 AM

Richard Lindquist

May 23, 1951 – April 27, 2017

Sign Guestbook|
Send Sympathy Card

Richard Lindquist, age 65 of Thief River Falls, MN died Thursday at Thief River Falls.  His funeral will be held on Monday at 10:00 am at the Eagle Heart Cultural Center in Dunseith.  A wake service will begin Sunday at 4:00 pm at the center.

(Nero Funeral Home – Bottineau)


Blog (592) posted on October 15, 2009

Posted on October 15, 2009

In reply to Aggie’s message posted below:

Folks, I know that this reunion Aggie Casavant (69) and Verena (Pete 65) Gilles are planning will be a smashing success. I know that whenever you have Verena involved with an activity it will be a success and I know Aggie is right in there with her. The only thing they are asking from you folks is a reply letting them know you plan on attending so they can make their plans accordingly. I’d suggest letting them know even if you are not quite sure. An occasion of this nature does not come along often. For all of you both far and near, please make your plans accordingly and plan to attend this reunion if at all possible. Think of the fun you will have seeing so many folks from the past. To top things off, your entertainment for this event will be Highway 43 with Dick & Brenda Johnson and Ron Hett. I’ve got their CD playing as I speak. It’s great!!

It’s not often an event of this nature is held, so take advantage of this great opportunity and attend. Please pass the word to those that do not have email.

I told Aggie they will have to get some stick on name tags too for this event so folks know who you are and you know who they are. We do change over the years.

Please let Aggie know your plans.


Dunseith Alumni Reunion plans posted by Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC

To: The Dunseith Bloggers:

Just got off the phone with Vereena Gillis,(and yes Gary she is as nice a person as you said she was…sweet as can be) this is what we have so far with plans for the Mini-Dunseith Reunion:

Date: May 22,2010

Time: Social Hour 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Cook Out: 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Music & Hanging Out : 8:00pm to Midnight

Band: Hwy 43…AKA Dick & Brenda Johnson & Ron Hett

I’m sure by now your wondering about the location…So are we…. LOL. What we need from all who are interested in attending, is an e-mail or phone call to me by

December 1,2009 so Vereena has an idea of what size of facility to get,so we have more of an idea how much to charge.

As for the food,all we know so far is that it’s going to be a cookout…Dick has a grill that he built,that can cook up to I think he said 35 to 40 steaks and/or hamburgers at a time.(Thank you Dick!) Some have suggested pot luck, some have suggested catering, Please put your preference down when e-mailing me,that again would give us more of an idea also, what the cover charge would be. The whole concept is to keep it, Fun,& Simple and to keep the cost down,so as not to pose a hardship on anyone who would maybe like to attend,but short on funds… I would rather give up the frills,and be able to sit and chat with an old classmate.

We will update you with info as we get it….Right now we just need a head count. Again Please let me know by Dec.1,2009 if you plan to attend.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please give me a holla at…

Florence Pladson Sime (62) was in a bad car accident

Posted by her daughter Becky Sime Coles (83): Spokane, WA.

Florence (62, Keith (66) & Bechy (83)

Mom (Florence Sime) was in a car wreck today. I just got off the phone with the hospital. She has a compound fractured wrist, broken shoulder, broken ribs, punctured lung, broken hip, tear in her spleen and many scratches on her face. All this was on the left side. The doctor is putting a tube in her lung to keep it from collapsing and when she is stable from that they will be taking her into surgery to repair her wrist. She will be in ICU from there. When she is able they will be performing additional surgeries. No contact number for her yet. She is in the Minot Hospital. Drop me a note or call if you have any questions. I’ll keep you posted on her status. My phone number is


Reply from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND

Hey Gary, Dick, and my dear KITH and KIN,

Another response from Ardis Metcalfe Steggall, to my earlier questions about the Cota’s.

Hi Vickie,

George’s brother, Alfred, was a good friend of my parents. He lived in the Tri Cities in eastern Washington and would go to Seattle every year for a check up on his throat. He had throat cancer and the voice box removed but communicated very effectively with burps of air. He and his wife would always get together with my parents when they came to Seattle. My parents also visited them a few times in eastern Washington. Very nice people.

Have a good life,


My pondering reply.

I remember Alfred Cota coming to Uncle Emil’s when they lived in the big green two story house surrounded by fields of strawberries at MARYSVILLE, WASHINGTON in the fall of 1963. This was whom the Cliff Metcalfe family lived with in Marysville, until our mom found the Hanson rental house on Schultes Road.

Later, when my folks were back living at the farm north of Dunseith , Alfred Cota stopped by and visited there too. He and dad would talk about times past and about his travels visiting people. Mom would brew coffee and put together a lunch.

The feeling of “true fondness and warmth”, come back to me as I recall the strong emotions evoked when George and Lela Cota were around Jim and Ella Metcalfe. That feeling was also there when Dad , Uncle Emil and the uncles and aunts were visiting Alfred Cota, as the record player was playing Uncle Emil’s Johnny Horton LP at the big green house.

I don’t recall meeting Alfred’s wife. I just knew he was a special adult friend the “Metcalfe’s ” held in high regard (He was up there with a few others. I think the our folks expected us to call him Mr.

I recall warm cozy feelings of true affection and happiness of old friends who were fondly together again.. The clinkings of moms making a lunch, jolly laughter and voices some like a smooth creamed coffee, another gruff, another quite different but ok because he was an old friend. I know what I experienced was true AGED friendship, comparing that to an AGED fine cognac (smooth and easy.) Special kind of friends, that knew each others weaknesses but focused on strengths and loved each other as friends.

Later, Vickie

Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO

Hello, Dick I think that little girl that Mae is holding is Joy, her granddaughter and Alfred Cota’s only child. Alfred Cota was full of vim and vigor, we were neighbors in Spokane, Wa. He had to have a voice box due to cancer, but that did not slow him down a bit. I would guess Vance Bailey would have been able to identify with this Cota family as they were near to the old Bailey farm.

Another guy I should mention is Art Seim’s brother, Morris. My dad’s age. He and his wife Victoria, and daughter Dorothy, used to visit us back and forth in Seattle. Morris sold insurance and he always carried milk with him for his ulcers.

Bonnie I was trying to forget them!!

Aggie some people can live a full life in a short time, you are one of them, don’t settle down….keep on making memories. They are so useful when you get older, and unlike most everything else, no one can take them away from you. We went over that Estes Colorado Mountain in 1978 in an old camper on our way to Phoenix.

Gary Metcalfe

Reply from Dick Johnson68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

And so the plot thickens! I contacted my aunt, Shirley Olson Warcup,
and she looked up the year George and Lela were married—1936 for sure.
This means that 1961 was their 25th and 1976 was their 40th
anniversaries. The picture must have been in the camera for a couple
months because it was developed in 1977. I’m sure this is of no interest
to most of you, but Geri and Vickie had some question about it. It
seemed to me the anniversary at Rendahl was in ’61 so I asked my aunt
for the right information. Now everything lines up.

Bonnie Awalt Houle–I sure do remember the 4 and 5 buckle overshoes. I
always new when the kids from the hills got to school in the
morning—-ka ching ka ching down the hall. The amazing thing to me was
that shoes and overshoes were all we wore in the winter. My feet got
numb after a half hour and stayed that way all day! If we would have had
pack boots and Thinsulate liners then, most of us wouldn’t have
arthritis now. Let me try a guess—I seem to remember Gary Stokes
always wore zipper overshoes to school. Am I right Gary? Thanks!


From Ken Striker: Dayton OH


I have noticed recent issues of Dunseith Alumni that the pictures do not come up.

Ken, If some of the pictures come up, my guess is that it could possibly be a server problem. Sometimes if you do a reply or forward to the message, the pictures will appear. I have not had a problem with the copies of these messages that I send to myself. If all else fails and you are still having problems, I post all these messages and pictures on the Dunseith Alumni WEB sitehttp://garystokes.net/default.aspx

Folks, please let me know if any of the rest of you are having these same problems. Gary

‘Amber Alert’ reply from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.

Hi Gary/Sheryl/Sybil,

I see Sybil sent info about the missing Minot girl, Reachelle Smith. What Sybil wrote is right; the “person of interest” killed himself. Since then, as far as the public knows, there have been no “breaks”/leads in the case. I have not seen updated pictures of Reachelle; I don’t know where one could be located. It’s as if Reachelle/the case are off the radar, so to speak. Except for receiving the amber alert email occasionally, I have heard nothing about Reachelle.

Sad/bewildering case. She’s a cutie.


Devin Millang the New Marrine

From Ele Dietrich Slyter (69): Dunseith, ND.

Here is a couple pics of our grandson Devin Millang…we are so proud of him and yes tears were flowing at the graduation ceremony. The second pic is Cam, Sherri, Tanner, Alyssa and Devin. The third pic is two generations of Marines, grandpa Richard Slyter and Devin.

Thank you Vickie for your comments about Devin going to school for lunch with Alyssa.

Ele’s reply to Gary’s question:

Yes, you have the relationships correct.

Graduation was held at Marine Corp Receiving Depot at San Diego, CA. We flew out of Fargo on the 7th of Oct, had family day with Devin on the 8th and he graduated on the 9th. We had an awesome time in CA. and were able to bring Devin home with us for a 10 day leave. He returns to Camp Pendleton on the 20th for his infantry training for about 3 weeks, then off to MOS training. We are not positive just where yet.

I have included his graduation photo with this email in case you want to add it to the others I sent this morning.

Thank you for sharing our pride in this wonderful, brave young man.


Devin Millang

Devin Millang

L to R: Sherri Slyter Millang, Cam Millang,
Alyssa Millang, Tanner Millang & Devin Milliang

Richard Slyter with his Grandson Devin Millang

Folk, This is the way I remember Richard Slyter in the picture below. I knew Richard and his brothers well in my childhood days. I have not seen any of them in nearly 45 years. We all change, but one always has a mental picture of folks from the way you saw them last. Richard, I must say that the ladies would probably say you are still the handsome looking guy your were back in the days. Gary

Richard Slyter

Request from Marshall Awalt (51): Newport, NC

Gary, Please add Harlyn Oppeboen to the daily blog as he went to Dunseith school through the sixth grade before moving he now lives in Colorado.His e-mail

is hco@aol.com. He sent these pictures of the hail damage in Dunseith and pictures of the San Haven.

Thanks Marshall 51

Harlyn, I am assuming your were in the same class as Marshall, class of 51. For now I will include you with his class. Please let me know if this is incorrect. Gary

Bill Wrights – Hail damage

Oppeboen Home – Hail damage