04/30/2018 (2625)

San Haven Picture

I am really cramped for time this morning and don’t have the time to work with that picture.  I will post an updated picture with the replies I got with the next posting.


Raymond Cote; Bud and Mary Knutson
Reply from Keith Pladson (’66):  Roanoke Rapids, NC

Gary, hope all is well in the PI and that Bernadette is in good spirits.

Sorry to hear about Raymond Cote’s passing.  I worked for him the summer following my graduation in 1966.  For me, it was a step up to bigger farm equipment than the equipment I had run for Carl Melgaard the previous summer.  Most of the land Raymond farmed was flat, so was quite a change from the hills Carl farmed.  Reading of his death and his obituary brings back many memories of that summer.  Interestingly, I was not the only Dunseith alumni to work for Raymond that summer.  Randy Flynn also worked for him on an as needed basis.  I was delighted to see Randy on the Dunseith Alaskan cruise a few years ago.  I hadn’t seen Randy since he and I worked together for Raymond that summer.

And a quick comment to the reposted input from my cousin Mary Knutson.  The year I stayed with you and Bud, Mary, was the winter of 1966/67 – same year I graduated.  After working for Raymond Cote that summer and being laid off after the end of harvest, I was looking for a place to lay my head.  So, a little late Mary, but thanks to you and Bud for giving me that place.  Though I fed cattle and pigs in exchange for room and board, I always felt I got the better end of that deal.

Finally, yes, my grandfather Ulysses was killed on the little prairie by an airplane propeller – though he didn’t own the plane.  As I recall the story he was trying to help start the plane by spinning the prop.  Of course that happened several years before I was born, so details may be a little fuzzy.

Thanks, Gary.

Keith Pladson (66)


Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND


Blog (700) posted on January 30, 2010

Posted on January 30, 2010

Philippine & SE Asian Vacation tours:

The Philippine and SE Asian Vacation tours that Bernadette and I put together can be customize to your liking. Tour packages to countries and cities in SE Asia, from the Philippines, are very reasonably priced. With us living here, we feel this is an opportunity we can offer those of you wishing to visit this part of the world at a very reduced rate, customized to your liking. We are not collecting any commissions or fees from any one doing this. This is something we have chosen to do with absolutely no profits or kick backs. Please click on the Dunseith Alumni link below to see the latest updated info for these tour packages. We’d love your company too. Gary


Dan Morgan:

Reply from Bob Lykins (Teacher): Hutto, TX


Sorry to learn that Dan Morgan is not well. He and I began teaching in Dunseith at about the same time (1962) and I recall him being a rather quiet, thoughtful individual with a winning smile. He had a tendency to be a calming influence in any storm. I wish he and his family the very best.

Bob Lykins

Dan Morgan:

Reply from Toni Morinville Gredesky (68): Farimount, ND

My prayers are with Dan Morgan and his family as they go through this challenging battle. I consider myself so fortunate to have had Dan for a teacher. He and Dennis Espe were two of the best teachers I had. They were such positive influences during our junior high years. My friends and I spent a lot of time in their little office correcting papers for them. I have evoked their names so many times over the years in my high school English classroom. I have often told the story of the day President Kennedy was assassinated. We were in the big assembly room when the announcement came over the intercom that the President had been shot. Somehow two or three of us girls asked Mr. Morgan and Mr. Espe if we could sit in their office and listen to the radio. We were all sitting in their listening when we heard that the President had died.

These two men were both master teachers and knew what it meant to use a “teachable moment.” They had high expectations for our achievement and treated us as whole human beings. I know that they were very influential in my decision to become a teacher myself.

Toni Morinville Gredesky

Randy Davis (Deceased)

Reply form Denise Lajimodiere: Moorhead, MN.

For Mark Schimetz,

Randy Davis is my first cousin. His mother was Theresa Lajimodiere Davis, my father Leo’s sister. Randy’s brother is Kenny Davis, his Belcourt gas station/off sale is called LaDot’s, after a nickname he acquired in high school.

Denise Lajimodiere

Reply from Larry Liere(55): Mesa, AZ & Devils Lake, ND


Thanks Janice I had the same question a week ago (blog 1-23-10). I had a gut feeling that some of my 2nd. grade class would be on the 1955 footbal team. I was worried that the class of 55 had a beer bust and they all became ineligible to play sports. I hope some boys from the class of 55 will reply to this and send in a picture of the 1955 team! Larry Liere

Reply from Janice Leonard Workman (55): Auburn, WA

Gary, I think that football picture is from 1956, instead of 1955. Of the boys that were in the class of 1955,Barry Shelver, Gordon Neameyer, Wally Hiatt, Marlin Williams, Dennis Brennan somebody must have played football and surely Gary Woodford would have been team manager????? Janice Leonard Workman

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

Thanks to Mona for the info on the Dunseith Independent Team. Maybe
the name was just ‘Dunseith’ on the warm up jackets and the red color is
what confused me, knowing that Dunseith was always blue and white.
Thanks for the reply. I did watch Chuck Johnson play independent
basketball in the old city hall. They usually played on Sunday
afternoons, if I remember right. Les Greener was before my time but I
heard lots about him from Dad. The ‘Harlem Stars’ came to Dunseith once
too and played in the city hall. Some of the players were originally
with the Harlem Globe Trotters and then joined up with knock off teams.
Some of the craziest basketball games were the ones the Dunseith
Businessmen played against the Boissevain Businessmen. The Canadians had
never played basketball before and would run with the ball and
hopelessly try to dribble—we were rolling on the floor laughing. The
laughing changed places though when the Dunseith guys had to put on
skates and play hockey in Bossevain! Those guys could skate circles
around the Dunseith guys and the Canadian folks nearly died laughing!
Dad took me up to one game and I felt sorry for our guys!

The Randy Davis that passed away is not the son of Joyce Poitra Davis
Fandrick. This Randy is from Belcourt and is the brother to Ken Davis.
Mark Schimetz was trying to remember Kenny’s nickname—LaDot. He has
the c-store and lounge in Belcourt that is called ‘LaDots’.

Thanks to Mary Eurich Knutson for the remarkable pictures! I was
thinking about an earlier one that had Bergan, Pritchard, and very
young Bob Pritchard by a log building. Dale Pritchard said it could be a
cabin or smokehouse. My grandpa had a similar short log building with a
dirt covered roof and kept ice blocks from the lake, packed in sawdust
from his old mill. The building stayed cold enough to keep ice for the
ice box nearly until the next fall. I have his old ice saw and a couple
large sets of his ice tongs. Everything was hard work for the folks in
those days. Thanks again Mary, and Gary!


Dan Morin House fire:

From Vickie Metcalfe (68): Bottineau, ND.

Gary and Friends,

The following information came in an e-mail this morning provided by a source at Benchmark who works with Dan Morin.

“Dan Morin and his family lost their home in a fire Tuesday night. Dan and Punky and their granddaughter were living with his mother-in-law. They will be able to salvage very little from the remains of the home and have been provided temporary living quarters at the Casino and will soon be moving to a two bedroom home. Their most immediate need is clothing. The family is in need of all things for the home. Furnishings including beds, kitchen items – tableware, cooking utensils, etc.

Dan works at Benchmark in Dunseith. His wife is “Punky” Parisien the daughter of Tootsie Delorme. Toosie, although past retirement age continues to work, I think with head start. Toosie’s mother was the first Mrs. Ralph Poitra, Toosie’s uncle was Alcide Lajimodiere. Punky is also the sister of my classmate, Carole Ann Parisien Lavallie (widow of Andrew Lavalle).

I am so relieved and thankful to hear this family did not suffer any burn injuries, despite the devastation of a home fire in the sub zero North Dakota weather this past week. Vickie Metcalfe

If anyone would like to contribute to this family please contact Dan’s supervisor

John Hardy

Logistics Supervisor
19 2nd ST SE

Dunseith, ND 58329

701 244 6878 (tel)

Great snow Pictures – Click on the link below:

From Ellen Graff Myrick (58): Grand Forks, ND.

These pictures show snow collected in southwestern N. Dakota. Even though it’s not about your realtives can you post on the email.


Reply to personal message in reference to picture below

From Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA

Just a couple of comments on your email, Gary. First, the photo in question has to have been taken in 1937, 38 or possibly early 39 as Mom looks to have been around 15 or so. Since she was born in 1923, that would give us a year of 1938 – which is why I said in my earlier response that is was probably 1938. Thus, there is no way it could be Frank Stokes in the photo. Second, I don’t recall Jim Cain being called Jimmy. And as far as tracking him down, that would lead you to his grave. Jim died a few years ago. He was married and he and his family lived in Western Tenn. Finally, I’m sure it was just a slip on your part, but in your first paragraph below, you say that Rebecca (Reba) was the daughter of “Frank” and Fanny. I assume you meant “William” and Fanny.

One further comment: I’m well aware of where Reba lived as we also later lived there. I believe that is where Mom and Dad lived when I was born and though I don’t have any memory of the place, both my Brother, Floyd and my Sister, Florence do. And yes, Mom always referred to her Aunt as Aunt “Reba.”

Keith, Rebecca (Reba) Stokes Rendahl was the daughter of William & Fanny Stokes. Yes, I remember well my folks referring to her as Reba too.

Folks, This is another one of the pictures that Mary Eruich Knutson sent. I held off a day posting this while we got the identities of the folks in the picture correctly identified. Between Mary, Keith Pladson, John Tangen and myself; I think we finely figured out the correct identities of those in the picture.

I remember well, as a kid, seeing Reba Stokes Rendahl’s old house sitting on the county line, on the south side of road, below the Rendahl hill on Highway #43 also known as the Peace Garden Road. Common Sence would tell us that is how the Rendahl hill got it’s name. I’m sure Rendahl church was named after this family too? Willaim Stokes, My great Grandfather, had 2 daughters, Reba Rendahl & Alice Thompson and one son Frank Stokes.

William Stokes was 91 years old when he died in 1946. He was in his mid 80’s in this picture.

Standing L to R: William Stokes, Esther Thompson Tangen, Ulysses Thompson,Rebecca Stokes Rendahl, Lillian Thompson Cain, Ella Thompson Pladson & Lester Cain
Sitting in Wheel chair: Alice Stokes Thompson holding Jimmy Cain

Bertha Kittleson’s passing

Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (68): Bottineau, ND.

BERTHA KITTLESON, 86, Bottineau, died Thursday in a Minot nursing
home. Funeral Tuesday, 2 p.m., First Lutheran Church, Bottineau.
Prayer service Monday, 7 p.m., Nero Funeral Home, Bottineau.
Visitation Monday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to noon,
in the funeral home.

Gary, This was posted in the Minot Daily today January 29, 2010.

Bertha is fondly remembered. As, a honest hard working classy
country lady, friend, excellent school cook, grandmother and great
grandmother to many, and former country school teacher in Rolette
and Bottineau County.
Vickie Metcalfe

Bertha’s Obit is now posted on Nero’s Web site too. I have pasted a copy below. Gary

Bertha Kittleson
(May 28, 1923 – January 28, 2010) 

Sign Guest Book Send Private Condolences
Send Flowers

BERTHA IRENE KITTLESON Bertha Kittleson, age 86 of Bottineau, died Thursday at a Minot nursing home. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday at 2:00 P.M. in the First Lutheran Church in Bottineau. Burial will be in the Salem Cemetery of rural Bottineau. Visitation will be Monday beginning at 10:00 A.M. until 9:00 and Tuesday 9:00 until noon in the Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau. A prayer service will be held on Monday at 7:00 P.M. in the Funeral Home.

Bertha Irene Kittleson, a daughter of Ivar and Regina (Haugen) Peterson, was born on May 28, 1923 in her home in the Turtle Mountains north of Bottineau. She was reared and educated near her home. She was confirmed in the Salem Lutheran Church of rural Bottineau. Bertha attended Minot State and received her teaching degree. She then taught at the Happy Hill School in Homan Township for two years and then at the Strong School in Rolette County. On June 16, 1946 she was married to Milan Kittleson at Bottineau. She returned to Bottineau County and taught at Whittering #1 until 1950. Bertha remained home to raise her children and help on the farm until 1971 when she began working at the Bottineau Public school as a cook. She retired in 1977 and helped Milan on the farm. Milan passed away on June 20, 1999. In the fall of 2009 she moved to Minot where she has resided since.

She was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Bottineau. Bertha was also a member of a quilting club and was a Mission Aide member.

Bertha is survived by 5 daughters, Ann (Harold) Roseneau of Willow City, Connie (Charles) Tollefson of Surrey, Judy (John) Slater of Minot, Marla (Carl) Lee of Bottineau, and Penny (Edwin) Krumweide of Sarles; 4 sons, Donny (Darlene) Kittleson, Ted ( Kathy), Kittleson, Jamie (Kandis) Kittleson all of Bottineau and Terry ( Marilyn) Kittleson of Minot; a daughter-in-law, Lori Kittleson of Bottineau; 27 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren;

She was preceded indeath by her parents, two sons Dennis and Larry; brothers, Pete Peterson and Oscar Peterson; a sister, Dorothy Peterson.

Arrangements are with the Nero Funeral Home of Bottineau. Friends may sigh the online register at www.nerofuineralhome.net

From Wendy Strietzel, Dorothy Eurich Strietzel’s (75) Daughter: Minot, ND.


I received this e-mail from a friend and thought you might like to share it with all of the North Dakotans you blog to every day.


> > North Dakota
> >
> > Leave it to Jeff Foxworthyto talk about our beloved state!!
> > The funny part is……it’s all true…every bit of it!!

> > Only in North Dakota !!
> > For those of you who do not know, Jeff
> > Foxworthy’s in-laws live in Kief, North Dakota .
> >
> > According to Jeff Foxworthy:
> > If you’re proud that your region makes the national news at least 96
> > times each year because it’s the hottest or the coldest spot
> > in the nation,
> >
> > You might live in Fargo, North Dakota .
> >
> > If your dad’s suntan stops at a line curving around
> > the middle of his forehead,
> >
> > You might live in Butte, North Dakota.
> >
> > If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time,
> > You might live in Benedict, North Dakota.
> >
> > If your town has an equal number of bars and churches,
> >
> > You might live in Drake, North Dakota .
> >
> > If you have had a lengthy telephone conversation with
> > someone who dialed a wrong number,
> >
> > You might live in Sawyer, North Dakota .
> >

> >
> > ‘Vacation’ means going east or west on I -94for the weekend…
> >
> >
> > If you measure distance in hours,
> >
> > You might live anywhere in North Dakota .
> >
> > If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once,
> >
> > You might live in Bergan, North Dakota.
> >
> > If you often switch from ‘Heat’ to ‘A/C’ in the same day and back again,
> >
> > You might live in ,Bismarck, North Dakota .
> >
> > If you can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow
> > during a raging blizzard, without flinching,
> >
> > You might live in Minot, North Dakota .
> >
> > If you see people wearing camouflage at social events (including weddings),
> >
> > You might live in Velva, North Dakota

> > If you install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked,
> >
> > You might live in Harvey, North Dakota.
> >
> > If you carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend knows how to use them,
> >
> > You might live in Grand Forks, North Dakota .
> >
> > If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow,
> >
> > You might live in anywhere, North Dakota.
> >
> > If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction,
> >
> > You might live in Washburn, North Dakota .
> >
> > If your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue spruce,
> >
> > You might live in Butte, North Dakota.
> >
> > If Going Down South” means South Dakota ,
> >
> > You might live in Steele, North Dakota .
> >
> > If a brat is something you eat,
> >
> > You might live in McClusky, North Dakoya .
> >
> > If your idea of going out to eat is a tail gate party every Friday,
> >
> > You might live in Garrison, North Dakota .
> >
> > If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car;
> >
> > You might live in Mandan, North Dakota.
> >
> > If you find Zero degrees degrees to be ‘a little chilly’,
> >
> > You might live in Williston, North Dakota .
> >
> > *If you actually understand these jokes, and you forward them to
> > all your North Dakota friends — you might just live inNorth Dakota

04/26/2018 (2624)

San Haven Picture
Reply from Dan (’61) & Evie Kalk:  Bottineau, ND

Hi Gary,

#24 is Dan Kalk. When Rod saw the picture, he thought #21 was his aunt, Amelia Gunville Decoteau. We are working our way back to Lake Metigoshe from Alabama.



San Haven Picture
Reply from Verena (Pete ’65) Gillis: Dunseith, ND

Hi Gary, on the San Haven picture of staff members, number 23 is John Gillis, Pete’s father.

San Haven Picture
Reply from Denise Peltier (’71):  Dunseith, ND

23 sure looks like John Gillis?

San Haven Picture
Reply Joan LaCroix Lannie (’67): Olive Branch, MS

Hi Gary. My Mom Lydia LaCroix Beck is number 13 in your picture. She celebrated her 96th birthday this month.

San Haven Picture
Reply Dick Johnson (’68): Dunseith, ND


Charlene did a great job on the IDs!  The guy on the far right, number 24, I believe is Dan Kalk.  Numbers 8 and 9 are reversed otherwise I think the rest are correct.  Thanks.


Gary Stokes’ Comments
Folks, Number 21 is the only one in question. Is it Mrs. LO Peterson or Amelia Gunville Decoteau?
How many of these folks are still living?
San Haven


Raymond Cote (’48) Obituary
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND


Raymond Cote
December 11, 1930 – April 18, 2018

Raymond Cote, age 87 of Willow City, died Wednesday at a Bottineau hospital.  His funeral will be held on Wednesday at 10:00 am at the Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau.

Raymond Cote, a son of Leonard and Mary Ann (Senechal) Cote, was born on December 11, 1930 on the family farm.  He was raised on the family farm near Lords Lake and later graduated from Dunseith High School.  After high school he stayed on the farm and took it over after his father’s passing. 

He was a member of the Rural Fire District and served on the township board for many years.  He enjoyed fishing, hunting, playing cards and going uptown to have a glass of brandy with friends.

He is survived by his brother, Junior Cote of Pelican Rapids, MN; nephew, Jim (Cris) of Waianae, HI; sister, Ann Cote of Spokane, WA and nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Donald and Herbert.

Arrangements were with Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau.  Friends may sign the online register book at www.nerofuneralhome.net.


Blog (699) posted on January 29, 2010


Posted on January 29, 2010

Reply from Jim Metcalfe: AZ.

Hi Gary, About the Dunseith independent baseball team from the early ’50’s. I was the catcher in 1953 and we were the Dunseith Gardners. Junior Melmar was the playing manager and we had great times and good parties afterward.

Jim Metcalfe, I attended Dunseith HS in 1949-50 but graduated from Rollan in ’52. (Gary’s brother)

Reply from Janice Leonard Workman (55): Auburn, WA

Gary, I think that football picture is from 1956, instead of 1955. Of the boys that were in the class of 1955, Barry Shelver, Gordon Neameyer, Wally Hiatt, Marlin Williams, Dennis Brennan somebody must have played football and surely Gary Woodford would have been team manager????? Janice Leonard Workman 

Dan Morgan:

Reply Lola Metcalfe Vanorny (68): Dunseith, ND.

We are saddened to hear Dan Morgan is not well– he was one of the best teachers I ever had. He maintained great discipline and yet was very personable. He and his family are in our prayers!-Lola Metcalfe Vanorny

ps- Ole Bursinger was one of the finest persons I ever met-

Dan Morgan:

Reply from Cheryl Haagenson (71): Dunseith, ND.

Hi Gary, I was saddened to hear the news of Mr. Dan Morgan by a post by Mrs. Ardis Horner ( Bakken) I am sure that Mr. Morgan has put up a valiant battle. I recall him as our principal when the class of ’71 was in junior high. I am not as good as the others in our circle to tell a story. I simply know that Mr. Morgan cared about our education. He cared that we behaved, at least that is what I remember and that is what I believe. I would like to thank him for that and wish God’s strength to all his family at this very difficult time.
Cheryl Haagenson

Cheryl, You comment that you can not tell a story like some of the rest, but most have a hard time matching your sense of humor. We truly enjoyed your sense of humor on the cruise as well as your singing and you just being you. We truly enjoyed the great person that you are. Gary

Jeanmarie Abrahamson (65): Denver, CO

Message from Doyle Abrahamson (68): Aurora, CO


Yesterday my sister, Jeanmarie went into surgery so she can do what is called PD dialysis. She will have to wait about 45 days to heal up before they start her on this new dialysis. She will be able to do PD dialysis at home four times a day.

The surgery went well and I took her home last night.


Jeanmarie, I am so glad that you will be able to do your dialysis at home. We know these are not easy times for you. Hang in there. We have not forgotten you. Take care, Gary

Dunseith Ball teams:

Reply from Mona Dionne Johnson (48): Lake Metigoshe, ND.

Dick: The Dunseith team at the time – late 40’s/early 50’s, just went
by “Dunseith Independents”, as most of the small towns around did. Some
of the larger cities, like Bismarck had names like the “Bismarck
Phanthoms” which we played and beat . Dunseith played the Harlem
Globetrotters, and some other colored teams, and they really drew the
crowds. One colored team they played in Dunseith and the team played
them again that same week-end in Willow City. They really drew the
crowds – of course Les Greener drew crowds to watch and also some pick
up teams back home from college on break, who “thought” they could best
him, but they just embarrassed themselves in the process. That in
itself was fun to watch. Paul McCloud and Chuck were fun to watch in
their ball handling, especially when the team thought that Devils Lake
deserved to be shown how to play ball short of fellows.
Seems one year they would only let VFW guys play in the tournament –
that left Darrel Fassett, Leo Murray, and Chuck sitting on the sidelines
and — left Dunseith with only 6-7 players, and Devils Lake wouldn’t
agree to give them more fouls, so they ended up playing with only four
guys and lost. The next year the rules were changed and all could
play. In the tournament, Dunseith was playing Devils Lake, and we were
ahead. Our team convinced the coach, Kenny Morgan to let Paul McCloud
and Chuck Johnson play alone against the Devils Lake team. At that
time, the rule during the last few minutes of the game was if you got
fouled, you took a foul shot and then took the ball out at half court.
Well these two ball handlers were passing it through their legs, past
their ears, etc. and would get fouled and go throught it all over
again. Pretty soon, the Devils Lake team got so mad they one by one
went and sat down on their bench, and the game pretty much ended. So
goes it, when you take advantage in sports rather than be sportsman
like in setting up the game — it may come back to taunt you. Those
independent games were fun to watch and many followed the team when
they went to Canada and to other towns.
Mona Dionne Johnson ’48

Message from DeAnn Gottbreht posted on her Carringbridge site:http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/deanngottbreht

Hello everyone from Rochester, Mn. I got done with my appointments for the day about an hour ago and am back at the hotel resting before we head out to supper. So far the appointments have all went really well. Yesterday we met with my medical oncologist and went over my cancer treatment plan for the future. What it looks like is surgery tomorrow, followed by a few weeks of recovery and then start a different type of chemo for a couple of weeks. Then break for a couple of weeks from the chemo, deliver the baby, recover from the birth for a few weeks and go back to chemo. We would do around 12 rounds of that chemo and then recover a little and start around 6 weeks of radiation treatments. Well that is about the jest of the plan so far. It is up for change.

Yesterday we also met with the OB here that will be monitoring throughout the surgery and weekend after. He was a very great doctor and very informative. He deals with about 3 pregnant patients a year that have cancer so he had a great deal of experience with it. It was all very reassuring. I also received a steroid shot yesterday and today to help speed up the development of the lungs of the baby just in case I could end up in labor from the surgery.

We met with my surgeon this morning and went over all that. I will be heading to the hospital about 6 tomorrow morning for some pre-op and then surgery around 9 or 10. Surgery will take 2 to 3 hours and then I will be in the hospital for 1 or 2 nights. They will be monitoring the baby throughout all of this and he will be the biggest deciding factor on how long I stay in the hospital.

We also met with a doctor in the genetics department today. There is a blood test they can send away to do that will show if I am a genetic carrier of breast cancer. If I am they can test my parents and find which side of they family it came from. Those of you in my extended family reading this can certainly e-mail on your thoughts of this testing. My e-mail is over on the right of this page. I have not done the test yet.The screening tests are only done at one lab in the country and it can be quite expensive if insurance won’t cover it. No matter what I hope all of you women out there are doing at the least self-breast exams. If you think something seems at all a little odd don’t wait. If I would have waited to do something and not got it checked I probably would have been very sick or dead before I made the age 40 mammogram requirements. Please take your health seriously!

What more can I say. Tonight will be a stressful night but I and ready for the next step and tomorrow I will take it. I appreciate all of your support and caring. It really means a lot. I feels so great to know I have so many people in my life who love and care about me. Take Care Everyone!

Love, DeAnn

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

Hi Everyone:

I always get a kick out of poems about North Dakota because people here in Texas don’t have a clue about how cold it actually gets and that people can still function in that type of weather. I kept a little poem on my desk for a long time (with a picure of a snowstorm in May 2008 when we were there). It says: It’s Winter in North Dakota and the gentle breezes blow

30 miles an hour at twenty-five below.

Oh how I love North Dakota when the snow’s up to your butt;

You take a breath of winter and your nose gets frozen shut.

Yes, the weather here is wonderful so I guess I’ll hang around.

I could never leave North Dakota ’cause I’m frozen to the ground!

Hi to Susan in Alvarado. We’re in the Hurst Euless Bedford area.

Cheryl Larson Dakin

P S. It’s also fun to bring back sample crops (wheat, canola, soy beans, sunflowers) to show these city-slickers. They were especially amazed at the canola.

Randy Davis Condolences:

From Mark Schimetz (70): Rolette, ND.

The Randy DAVIS in the obituary, was a good friend of mine, his older brother Ken ran the Redman Gas Station years ago in Belcourt, he know operates and possibly owns the bar and take out at Belcourt. Just cannot think of the name of it. Randy had a beautiful flathead Harley tricycle. We did a lot of riding, in years past. He would often be called up to sing as he had a wonderful voice, He sounded like the lead singer of Alabama, well, after a few drinks any. lol, we had a lot of fun, Randy will be sorely missed by many as he was a very likeable person and oved his music. My Condolences to his family.

Message & Pictures:

From Mary Eurich Knutson (62): Dunseith, ND.

Hi Gary

Well we survived anaother winter storm in ND. We got about a foot or more of snow in the hills. I didn’t move from Friday till mid morning Tuesday. The county truck came through and opened roads and the blade came yesterday and winged open the roads really good. Sure can get the job done better and faster than 40 – 50 years ago. Maintainers are 10 times bigger and I don’t remember trucks way back when.

Made me remember a storm we had in about 1964 or 1965.It was a terrible blizzard and I was stranded at the San and Bud was stranded in Bottineau and the kids were at my folks. I don’t remember how long it lasted but as soon as highway 5 was open Bud came from Bottineau and picked me up and we went for the kids. Old number 5 was blocked but we could get as far as Chester Hill’s on the Willow Lake road where we called Dean Parrill and he came with snowmobile and picked us up and we went to Dad’s and got the kids and the cream can was full so we loaded that on the sled to take to the creamery for Dad. Bud and the kids road the sled hanging onto the cream can and we made it back to the car ok. We left the cream off with Minnie Alvin and went on home. Keith Pladson was staying with us that winter and when we got home the water was froze up at the barn The pump was in the cellar and the cellar had a dirt floor and he had been working between the barn and the cellar to get the water working. What a mess. Mud from the cellar door to the kitchen door. I can’t remember how long it took to get the water going again but they finally did.

Do you remember that Keith?

You can tell we’re getting old we enjoy spending more time in the past than looking to the future.

Pictures: I don’t know who the kids are by the hayrack. I doubt if anybody can tell me either. Notice the wheels on the hayrack and are those caps Canadian?

The people sitting on the rocks are identified as Stokes, Oscar Rendahl’s and daughter and Ulysses and wife. That’s not a real specific identification. I think theres some not accounted for. Wasn’t Ulysses killed over at old Kelvin or in the little praire area. He backed into the propeller of his airplane.

The picture with the 2 girls and the little guy are Eleanor Awalt and Marshall and the girl ??? Schwabe. Maybe Bonnie or Lloyd could fill in the gaps on that one.

The people on the stairs, again, are F. Stokes and Ulysses and I can’t find the picture and can’t remember who they are but I do think it was taken in Oregon.

The baby in the photo with the old phonograph is Esther Thompson Tangen. Must be almost 100 years old.

Just thought you’d enjoy. Thanks Mary K

Mary, These are some very precious photos to me. This is the first picture I ever remember seeing of my Grandfather, Frank Stokes. He died in 1932. Dad was 16 years old at the time. That’s a neat picture of your mother, Winifred. with all her brothers too. I’ll bet the Awalt siblings will figure out who the Schwade girl is too. I have heard of this Engalls family, in the picture below, being related to Laura Engalls Wilder too. I think this Engalls family is related to the Thompson’s, but I’m not sure how? Thank you Mary, Gary

Eleanor Awalt and Marshall and the girl ??? Schwabe

L to R: Frank Stokes, Ulysses Thompson, Keith Ingalls and either his wife or sister.

Somehow this family is tied in with Laura Ingalls Wilder but it carries off into another branch

William & Ida Thompson Pritchard’s children:

L to R: Robert, John, Lincoln, Corbin, Winifred and Norman

Esther Thompson Tangen

I don’t know who the kids are by the hayrack. I doubt if anybody can tell me either.

Notice the wheels on the hayrack and are those caps Canadian?

Randy Davis and the Davis Family:

Posted by Eileen Brudwick: Fargo, ND.

Hi Gary,

I have a Randy Davis, and his mother is Irene Joyce Poitra Davis Fandrick. I don’t have Randy’s father’s name, however I do know Irene “Joyce” married Elmer James Fandrick. Elmer died 1 October 2002 at Dunseith. Irene “Joyce” is Elmer’s 2nd wife as well.

Joyce works as a LPN at San Haven and the Dunseith Nursing Home. Son, Rocky Davis, married Bernadette Gladue and works at Turtle Mountain Mfg. Alen Lee Davis is employed by the Department of Justice in Washington, D. C. Randy Davis works on an oil rig in Gillette, WY., area. Roxanne Davis and Crystal Fandrich are at home; Donna Fandrich is in nursing school in Bottineau. Joyce has foster children: Linda, Courtny, Deland, Peter, Misty.

Apparently, according to her mother’s obituary, Joyce remarried again to a Mr. Dumont. I have no information of him either. More information below;


Source: Prairie Past and Mountain Memories, A History of Dunseith, N. Dak, 1882-1982, page 195

Ernest and Beatrice Poitra

Ernest Poitra was born in 1907 to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Poitra and was married in 1930 to Beatrice Decoteau, daughter of Pete Decoteau’s of Belcourt. Ernest has farmed all his life but he recalls that during the depression he rode horseback for 14 miles one way to work with pick and shovel on a WPA project for $2.00 an hour. In later years, Ernest and Beatrice were both employed at San Haven. They are now retired from outside employment but still are farmers. They had two children: Joyce and James.

Joyce is now married to Jim Fandrich of Turtle Lake, an independent trucker and farmer. Joyce works as a LPN at San Haven and the Dunseith Nursing Home. Son, Rocky Davis, married Bernadette Gladue and works at Turtle Mountain Mfg. Alen Lee Davis is employed by the Department of Justice in Washington, D. C. Randy Davis works on an oil rig in Gillette, WY., area. Roxanne Davis and Crystal Fandrich are at home; Donna Fandrich is in nursing school in Bottineau. Joyce has foster children: Linda, Courtny, Deland, Peter, Misty.

James Poitra married Bernice Morin, daughter of Emil Morin of Dunseith and was killed in a car accident near Bismarck in 1973 while working on a construction project in that area. Bernice now works at the Dunseith Day School. Their children are: LaVonne, a student at Wahpeton SS; Berry, Lee, Karen, Sherry, James Jr., and Tommy Joe.

Beatrice Poitra – Minot Daily News – (Mar/6/2008)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Beatrice Poitra

Oct. 28, 1913-March 3, 2008

DUNSEITH – Beatrice Deliah Poitra, 94, Dunseith, died Monday, March 3, 2008, in a Dunseith nursing home.

She was born Oct. 28, 1913, to Pete and Zelda DeCoteau in Belcourt. She married Ernest Poitra May 4, 1930, in Dunseith.

Survivors: daughters, Joyce Dumont and Cecelia Delorme, both Dunseith, Stella LaFountain, Belcourt; sons, Alex, Belcourt, David, South Dakota; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

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

Burial: St. Louis Catholic Cemetery, Dunseith, in the spring.

Rosary service: Friday, 8 p.m., in the church.

Visitation: Friday, beginning at 4 p.m., in the church. (Elick Funeral Home, Rolla)

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


04/23/2018 (2623)

San Haven Picture
Reply from Kelly (’89) & Charlene Pearson Woods (’67): lPlattsburgh, New York


The San Haven picture that was posted a few weeks back.  My mother Charlene Woods (Pearson) looked it over and came up with names for the following.

Kelly Woods (1989)

Gary’s comment
Thank you so much Charlene for doing this. You positively ID’d all but two. Remarkable. I’m sure someone will be able to ID Numbers 13 & 24 and too be a question.

 Charlene, I numbered this picture after you ID’d it. My numbers may not match your numbering. Can you please check.
San Haven 


Blog (698) posted on January 28, 2010

Posted on January 28, 2010

Dan Morgan former principle in hospice care: Edgeley, ND

From Ardys Bakken Horner (Teacher): Detroit Lakes, MN.

Gary what a beautiful office to work from….continue to enjoy the news, esp like photo of Orvin Hagen…a dear man.
We heard that Dan Morgan former principal and instructor at DHS is on Hospice care, he and Judy read your blog. Ardys Bakken Horner

Alice Vandal Leonard’s reply to the football picture: Minot, ND

From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.

Hi Gary,

I sent the “football” picture to Alice Leonard. Here is her reply: Thanks, Neola: My brother-in-law is Duane Woodford, #3, also in the front with bro Lowell Leonard. Duane is married to my sister Grace and they live in Winston-Salem, NC. All is well here and we’re keeping warm. Alice

Iver Loe and Softball memories:

From Kenny Nerpel (65): Rugby, ND.


In post 694 Larry Liere asked about Iver Lo. He at one time owned the
Gambles Store in Dunseith. In the early 1940’s my Mom worked there. They
had a hardware department and I think they also sold furniture. She worked
there briefly before she traveled to Portland, Oregon to work as a welder
during the war. Later, I think the store was owned by the Anderson family.
The photo of Dunseith’s south main street cleared up some the fog for me
about the businesses there. I knew that there was a barber shop and a
restaurant on that end of town but I couldn’t remember much about them. How
could I forget Hank the Barber and the Gateway Café. Every two weeks,
whether it was needed or not, I stopped in at Hank’s for a haircut and if
I’m not mistaken Mrs. Hackman worked at the Gateway.

Larry Hackman’s softball memories also brought back some memories for me. I
played on a team in the late sixties that also traveled to Canada to play
some of the fast pitch teams there. I remember most of the players. The
infield was Bill Grimme at first base, Allen Houle at second, and Jim Berube
third. I was the weak link at shortstop. The catcher was Eddie McCloud and
the pitcher was the legendary Leonard McCloud. We made at least two trips
to Canada and although we had some pretty good hitters I don’t think we got
a hit in any of the games we played there. We were used to the slow pitch
stuff and some of the pitchers in fast pitch softball can throw the ball
underhanded as fast as baseball pitchers and they are about 30 ft closer.
Not too many of us managed to get the bats off of our shoulders.

The highlight of those years was the tournament in Rolla. The final game was
played under the lights and one year we advanced to the finals and played
the Dunseith J.C. team for the championship. The only player I remember for
sure that played on that team was John Morgan. I remember him because I
happened to overhear some trash talking between him and Jim Berube. He was
telling Jim that all they had to do to beat us was to hit the ball hard at
the shortstop. Jim made a halfhearted attempt to defend me, but that is
basically what happened. I don’t know if it was the playing under the
lights or if the trash talking had the intended effect. I was getting hard
shots hit at me all night and Jim couldn’t pick up enough of the ricochets
to bail me out. Social activities (banquets and such) for the team
generally took place at the country home of Garrett Myers, located somewhere
along the gravel pit road north of town. I think we were much more adept at
partying than we were at softball. Great memories!


Ole Bursinger:

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

Thanks to Gary Metcalfe for the insight on Ole Bursinger’s life. He
was quite a guy. I can still hear him playing ‘Rubber Dolly’ on his
fiddle and singing ‘Little Footprints in the Snow’. You mentioned how he
liked Hank Williams. He also liked old Jimmy Rogers songs. Ole was
really lost after Glenice (Granny) passed away. He spent hours every day
just driving around in his pickup for no reason. It was sad to see. He
was pretty much one of a kind. Thanks to BOTH Garys !


Wrong Randy Davis:

Correction from Evon Lagerquist (77): Dunseith, ND.

Gary, I don’t think that this is the Randy Davis from our class of ’77 in Dunseith. Seems a little bit older than the rest of us and I don’t believe those were his parent’s names. I know his mom’s name is Joyce…..


Evon, I for sure didn’t do the math with this one. The Randy Davis from your class would be about 8 years younger. Thank you so much for this correction. Gary

School Memorabilia:

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

During all my school years, I had John Boguslawski for a constant
pal and cohort. We were at each others places nearly every day and he
and I were always doing mechanical things with cars and motorcycles.
John came along to the farm and worked with me when I needed help.
Another thing that we did was help his dad, Eddie Boguslawski, do things
at the school. We hauled out discarded junk and piled coal and other
jobs. One time we were told to clean out the storage area under the old
concrete bleachers in the old gym. To many of you, this was the area
under the temporary typing room that was built over the bleachers. In
the boxes we were hauling out, I found the old leather football helmets
we just saw in the picture of the ’55 football team. There was also a
box of basketball jerseys and trunks that Dad said were from the
independent basketball team that was from Dunseith in the late ’40s and
early ’50s. The jerseys were red and white and had a name on them. I
have tried to remember that team name for years, but can’t come up with
it. I was wondering if Mona Dionne Johnson or ANYONE else can remember
the name of this team? I think Virgil Vanorny and Chuck Johnson were
both on the team. The name wasn’t the ‘Dragons’ and that’s what puzzled
me when I opened the box. We hauled nearly everything up to the old dump
ground and gave it a toss. Also included in the haul were the band
uniforms we saw in the band picture from 1956. I kept one band cap, one
football helmet, and a box full of old papers and letters dated back to
the ’20s. Everything else got buried in the trash. This was in the mid
’60s and I still have all the stuff! There was also many feet of steam
pipes under the bleachers and they were wrapped with asbestos. The
system was changed so they told us to clean up the pipes and then take
them out. John and I cut the wrap off with linoleum knives and ripped
the covering off with our bare hands. It was so dusty from the asbestos
and dust that we could hardly see each other with the light on! They
always talk about Mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos! If that’s the
case—we didn’t even have a mask and would cough until we gagged, but
never quit until we were done. Wouldn’t OSHA and the EPA love this
deal?? Thanks Gary!


Dick, You are right. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by exposure to Asbestos. It’s an abdominal cancer that is virtually 100% fatal within a few months of detection. Asbestos was very prevalent in the insulation materials aboard the naval ships I worked on. Until 1970, there were few controls. Following my apprenticeship in the Pipe covering and insulation trade in 1974, I became an instructor in the Shipyard for asbestos controls. With my knowledge of the asbestos trade and controls, I was hired into the Production Scheduling department of the shipyard in 1978. I was a supervisor in the Scheduling department when I retired in December 2003. Prior to being inducted into the Service, from Feb 1967 to June 1968, I worked in the asbestos trade with few controls. When I returned to the Shipyard following my active duty service in 1971, there were many controls. I have minimal plural thickening of the lungs as a result of having been exposed to asbestos. I have never smoked, so my chances are 85% greater than those that smoked, for not having asbestos related problems. Gary

Allen Richard (65) birthday:

Reply from Nathan Richard (2000): Fort Greeley, AK


In regards to my fathers birthday. Some may know about his illustrious ’74
Dodge charger. This summer we went home to North Dakota and met with dad in
Minneapolis. He drove the old car to see us as we spent a couple days in
town. I had the great opportunity to take a few pictures of all of us
together. The best part however, became a gift I gave him for his birthday
this year. All in all the picture turned out great in the form of a 24″ x
36″ print. I am attaching a small sampling.

Nathan A. Richard

Ulysses & Clara Stokes Thompson

Photo from Mary Eurich Knutson (62):

Folks, I received 7 old photo’s from Mary Eurich Knutson. Karen Larson at Spectrum scanned them for her and sent them to me with a note not to publish until Mary gets in touch with me. Since this one is labeled and I know the picture, I will post this one today and wait for Mary’s reply before posting the rest.

Clara Stokes Thompson was my great Aunt. Ulysses and Clara were the parents of Ella (Eldon) Pladson, Esther (Edmar) Tangen & Lillian Bergstrom. Lillian is living Wisconsin. Ella and Esther are deceased.

Mary Eurich’s grandmother, Ida Pritchard, was a sister to Ulysses Thompson.

Ulysses & Clara Stokes Thompson homesteaded about a mile or so north of the Ackworth Cemetery on the east side of the road. When you turn west into Fauske’s from the Willow Lake road, I believe the Ulysses Thompson homestead was to the east of that turn? If not, it was in that general area.

Mary, These are some great pictures. This is the first picture I have ever seen of Ulysses & Clara Thompson. Their names were mentioned many times in my growing up years too. If Lillian does not have a copy of this, I’m sure she’d love to have a one. I’m sure Keith Pladson or John Tangen can touch base with her on this and get a copy to her.

Thank you Mary. I’m excited to see the labeling on the rest of the photo’s you sent too. Gary.


Ivy Eller Robert (74): Everett, WA

Susan Malaterre Johnson (69): Alvarado, TX

Hi Gary…….

I got this from Susan Malaterre Johnson, who lives in Texas. I though it would be great to share it with others that have experienced the great North Dakota weather…………

Ivy Robert



Floridians turn on the heat.

People in North Dakota plant gardens.


Californians shiver uncontrollably.

People in North Dakota sunbathe.


Italian & English cars won’t start.

People in North Dakota drive with the windows down.


Georgians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, and wool hats.

People in North Dakota throw on a flannel shirt.


New Yorklandlords finally turn up the heat.

People in North Dakota have the last cookout before it gets cold.


People in Miami all die.

North Dakotans close the windows.


Californians fly away to Mexico .

People in North Dakota start looking for their winter coats.



The Girl Scouts in North Dakota are selling cookies door to door.


WashingtonDC runs out of hot air.

People in North Dakota let the dogs sleep indoors.


Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.

North Dakotans get upset because they can’t start the snowmobile.


ALL atomic motion stops.

People in North Dakota start saying”Cold enough fer ya?”


Hell freezes over.

North Dakota public schools will open 2 hours late.


04/21/2018 (2622)

Principal Shane Azure (DHS ’93)
Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

A 1993 graduate of Dunseith (N.D.) High School, Azure attended college and played basketball at NDSU-Bottineau. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business education from Dickinson (N.D.) State University in 1998 and a Master of Science degree in educational leadership from NDSU in 2005.

Follow link for complete write-up


July 1996: Dennis Haakenson, Jay Vanorny
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND


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

Hi Gary, Vickie,

Thank you Vickie, for posting Todd’s event on this blog. Yes Todd is the Rolette County VSO. He has served in this capacity for a couple years now. My son Todd stays with me since my husband his dad passed away in 2016. A great son!

Yes, Vickie and I visit a lot when we meet at the Wal-Mart, I enjoy conversing with you Vickie.

Yes, my mother spoke of attending school at Hillside School. She often mentioned your dad and going to dances with dad and seeing your father and mom there as well. Mom too enjoyed dancing. She lived with her grandparents and her uncles were a musical family, Frank Poitra and his sons were very good with their instruments as well as their voices, super singer’s all of them. Mom could hold a tune pretty well herself back in her day.

Yes, your dad and my mom were classmates who stayed good friends throughout the years.

Thanks for everything Gary,

Thanks Vickie

Ginger Poitra



Blog (697) posted on January 27, 2010

Posted on January 27, 2010

Bobby Pigion (57):

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

Hi Gary,

Just wanted to tell you that I received a nice note from Bobby
Pigeon. He IS the one living in Columbia, South Carolina. It’s
always surprising when I realize that someone who never actually
shares a comment on your blog is still present — reading it every
day. That is somehow beyond amazing … I love knowing that all of
us are silently connected to one another every day.


PS. I also love it when you share something about your life in Cebu
in with us. We are all enriched when we are exposed to cultures
other than our own.

From Bob Pigeon(57): COLUMBIA, SC


Kenneth Pigeon is in the 1955 football picture. I’m sorry if I confused things. Since I’ve already erased that e-mail, I would like to see it again with all of the names. I remembered the faces but could not remember the names.

Thank you for all that you do because you’ve helped bring back fond memories of the past.

Bob Pigeon

Bob, I have reposted the football picture with all the correct names near the bottom of this message. Thanks and it’s great hearing from you. Gary

Ted Brodek:

Reply from Carmen Leonard Richard: Rolette, ND.

Ted Brodek was the photographer at our wedding back in 1954. He drove out to the Thorne church where we were married, and then drove to my parents farm where the reception was held, took lots of pictures and only charged us $10. Isn’t that unreal ? As I remember , he had been a patient at San Haven, and then was a photographer for the Dunseith news paper.

Reply to Allen Richard (65):

From Colette Hosmer (64): Santa Fe, NM

Hi Cousin,

Happy Birthday, Allen. You’ll always be younger than I am (though not by much!).



Reply to Allen Richard (65):

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

Good detective work there Allen. I had no idea that Curtis and
Kenneth Pigeon were twins. I knew they were brothers but not twins.
Thanks! Curtis called me a few years ago about old cars. I think he was
living in Utah or Nevada, or somewhere like that, at the time. We never
got together on a deal and then just a short while later I heard he had
died. Small world! Thanks Gary!


Joe Link and George Gottbreht Story:

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

I have a story that Sharron Gottbreht Shen might find amusing. When
I was in the lower grades in the old white school, I witnessed my very
first fist fight. It happened one day when we were all out for recess.
Two older guys, probably early high school age, stripped down to their
white T shirts and mixed it up over by the basketball court. The
combatants were Joe Link and George Gottbreht. I have no idea what the
disagreement was about but they smacked each other a few times before
Mr. Conroy and Mr. Jerstad arrived and ended the confrontation. They
both had a few scuffs and one got a bloody nose, although I don’t
remember which. I wonder if George remembers what they were fighting
about? Growing up in old Dunseith, I might have seen a couple more
scraps if my memory serves me right! Saturday nights were usually good
for a round or two uptown! We used to cruise Main street and watch for
fights. The wildest fights were the women after they had been in the bar
for an hour or two. ‘Cat fights’ were nasty although there was
another name (politically incorrect) that these were referred to back
then! Thanks Gary!

Reply from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

Thanks, Gary–I was doing my best to forget today–even blocked a move by my staff to take me to lunch–I have another meeting. Never fear–I planted a “bug” on one of them!

Only have one question–who the hell is the good lookin dark haired guy with Clinton?????? — Oh — sorry– I dug the picture out of a box in the basement. It was me in ’94 at a meeting at the White house. The woman in the background was my boss at National Farmers Union.

Randy Davis (77) Passed away:

Obituary posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.


As you know, I include mailing addresses along with many obituaries, so people can send cards to the family. I found this address for Christy Davis.

Christy Davis

PO Box ??

13 Third St W

DunseithND 58329

Randy Davis

PO Box 733

Belcourt, ND 58316


Ole Bersinger:

Memories from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO

Musings from Gary Metcalfe…..I am writing this story about a guy who got a lot out of his music. For the new people on the blog, we have already talked about Ole Bersinger. Ole had a better than average story to tell. So here goes, the first time I remember seeing Ole, he was backed up to the ice cream cooler at Kelvin Store along with his wife and a couple of kids. Ole was in new territory for him. This was in the hayday of Kelvin the five years that Mac Williams ran the store. Mac was buying cream, selling groceries and beer like crazy. I guarantee if oak trees were killed by too much urine, that old oak tree by the corner of the bar would be dead! Just about everybody east of the highway went to Rolla, including Ole. Ole was so far back in the woods they had to pump daylight back to him.

Now Ole was an orphan, a German kid, raised by Norweigans for which he seemed thankful. The first year he was married he told me they lived on carrots! When Ole went to Seattle in the 40’s, I am not sure it worked out for him like it did for most of the people who made that move. He told me he had gone to work out in a gym in Bremerton and that big black guy put welts from boxing, all over him. So he turned to the fiddle, lonesome for home, he learned to play.

So here he is back in North Dakota, he must have heard about Peterson’s Hall, south of Kelvin. He met old Max Peterson and his boys and Ole became a celebrity. Ole really thought he was Ole Hank Williams himself, he said when it came to Country Western, none of them compared to Hank. I’ll bet if Ole had not learned to play that fiddle, I would have missed out on three or four of the best working years of my life. He had an absolute love of life and we had a hoot. He had a high respect for our working partner, Robert Rivard. Ole called him “Rhubarb”.

Alan Campbell told me once we don’t all necessarily get to do what we like to do. Ole would have said, “I did!”

Because of the hard times Ole is in the same class as Alcide Lajimodiere….all heart…genuine.

Gary Metcalfe

Orvin Hagen: (701) 428-3125 Kindred, ND.

Folks, We got this lovely Christmas card from Orvin Yesterday. Orvin did not have our FPO address, so he mailed it to our local address. With the Christmas rush it took 5 1/2 weeks to arrive, but we got it. As you can see, at 88 years old, Orvin is still very much into flowers with all his flower gardens. I called Orvin this morning his time. It’s just like old times talking with Orvin. Orvin is very much involved with community affairs and the church. He doesn’t drive at night, but folks pick him up to take him to different events after dark. He attends lots of functions at the school. Orvin told me that when he was about 10 years old he lived with his grandparents for several years. They spoke only Norwegian, so of coarse he had to learn the language of which he has never forgotten.

Orvin would very much like to attend the Dunseith reunion in May, but he has no way of getting there. It’s too far for him to drive. Linda Gardner is picking him up for the Turtle Mountain Country School reunion in July. Orvin lives in Kindred, ND., near Fargo. Gary

Gottbreht Family picture label

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

You Gary and the readers may smile when I tell you that the Gottbreht girls are all dressed in outfits sewed by Mom. The fabric was some weird green from drapes that Sister Rose reserved for her friend Alma. Very frugal partnership there! The boys had store bought awful western the girls suffered Sears Roebuck envy.  Mom had an old pedal Singer and did all parenting and seamstress work with such care.

L-R Dale Gottbreht with Ernie on foot stool; EJ and Sharron on floor; George on stairs; baby Marc on armrest; then Alma with shy Evie at her side. Don’t tell EJ, Evie, that I posted this picture!


L-R Dale Gottbreht with Ernie on foot stool; EJ and Sharron on floor;
George on stairs; baby Marc on armrest; then Alma with shy Evie at her side

Football picture Identification:

From Bob Pigeon(57): COLUMBIA, SC


Please resend the photo of the 1955 football team with a correction. Kenneth Pigeon was mistaken for Curtis Pigeon. Also, please thank Larry for sending it in.

Bob Pigeon

Back: Coach Ray Stark, Marvin Aamodt, James Robillard, Vince Kalk, David Lo,

Gerald Anderson, Larry Shirk and Coach Lincoln Jerstad.

Middle: Lowell Williams, DuWayne Lang, Dennis Espe, Don Conroy, Kenneth Pigeon, Bob Pigeon.

Front: Val Bott, Bob Lagerquist, Lowell Leonard, Curt Halvorson, Mick Kester, Duane Woodford.

04/18/2018 (2621)

Happy  Birthday to Ellen Graff Myrick (’58): Grand Forks, ND
From Jean Nicholas Miller (’66):   Glendale, AZ

I would like to wish my sister Ellen Graff Myrick a Happy Birthday on April 16th.
Jean Miller


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

Gary and friends,

I am attaching information about Female Veteran Outreach.

Todd Poitra  is Rolette County VSO..

Todd  often accompanies his mum,  Ginger (LaRocque) Poitra to Wal Mart.

Ginger and  I always have a few minutes to visit whenever we see each other.

We made the connection through our parents.

Todd’s grandmother,  Ginger’s mom was a classmate of dad at HillSide School.

Dad  was quite fond of  former classmates.

Dad sight was taken by diabetes.   This  time was a very emotional time for our family.

After a time, Dad made a decision to attend “Blind  Orientation Training” in Grand Forks.

He had to ride the regional bus  alone from Rugby to GF.  He  lived at  old St Matthew’s  hospital.

Dad learned to navigate from this  ‘residence’ on second floor to classes  in the midst of UND.

He was taught how to use a white cane, read braille and  macrame.

While  there about 3 months.  He had to ride the bus back to Rugby to visit on weekends.

With  his  strong self – will and  the help of  relentless teachers Blind Orientation Training,

he was given confidence to live as much as he could independently.

After completion of training,  whenever there was dance music at Kelvin.

Dad , Mom and I  would go. We especially enjoyed  dancing to;

the Tommy Belgarde band and the Poitra Brothers band.

Nothing better to waltz and two-step than Turtle Mtn. music.

Lots of folks would also be there

Dad danced!

He also  enjoyed  connecting especially friends.

And he would let me guide him  to his former class mate,  Ginger’s mom.

Until later enjoy the Dance!

Vickie L. Metcalfe




19 APRIL 2018
1200  TO  1930 PM


QUESTIONS:  Contact  Todd Poitra Rolette County VSO. 701-477-5265.    tpoitra@nd.gov

Please forward, pass out to all your contacts………….



Blog (696) posted on January 26, 2010

Posted on January 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Allen Richard (65):

Folks, Today, January 26th, is Allen Richard’s birthday. We won’t tell his age, but we all know he was born after 1946 and before 1948, the same as the majority of those of us from the class of 65. It’s so hard to believe that we have grandchildren and some great grandchildren too. These daily blogs make me feel so young.

Happy Birthday Allen. Enjoy. I’ll be catching up to you in July. That SS check is nice too. It all comes with age. Gary

Dorothy Pritchard celebrated her 97th Birthday: activitynd@yahoo.com

Folks, Dorothy Pritchard celebrated her 97th birthday yesterday, Jan. 25th. The picture below was taken last year.

Dorothy, I got rushed yesterday and forgot to make note of your Birthday. I am hoping you had an enjoyable birthday. Did Darald send a cake like he normally does for you birthday? Yes Dorothy, you have a few years behind you, but you are still going strong in spirit and mind. You may not move as quickly as you once did, but again, that comes with age. I hope I’m doing half as well you are when I reach your age. I intended to get there too. I sent you a card too, of which I know has not arrived yet. Gary

Folks, Dorothy gets all these daily messages. The hospital staff prints them all out for her. I have pasted her email address above. You can send her a message using the email address posted above. Just print “Attention Dorothy Pritchard” in the subject line and she will get your message.

Reply From Ruby Krause: Dunseith, ND.

Thank you for the birthday wishes. When I approached the entrance to my church–Peace Lutheran–I notiaced the entire congregation had assembled in the narthex. I thought maybe the heat was off, but when I opened the doors, they all burst onto a “happy Birthday” song! It seems Peggy Espe had seen the greeting on your blog, so she arranged the serenade. So you are responsible for two

School Cooks – Stella Schimetz:

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

LeaRae told of the wonderful cooks at the school in Dunseith. We had
lunch for hundreds of kids that two or three cooks made on a couple four
burner stoves under the stairway. This is the most amazing part to me.
It seems nearly impossible. I think these older women were used to
preparing meals for large families and also must have known how to
‘time’ the preparation in order to get that much food out in that little
space. One thing I am personally grateful for was how Stella Schimetz
knew that our son, David, couldn’t eat some things because he would get
sick. On the days she was serving any of these items, she would make up
a plate of something that David could eat without a problem.This of
course was years later. She is a queen, as far as our family is
concerned. Dave always used to go and hug Stella whenever he saw her,
even years later. He grew out of his allergies to certain foods and now
can live on gut bomb hamburgers and whatever liquids available it seems!
We remain forever grateful to Stella for her wonderful extra help.
Thanks Gary!


Turtle Mountain Country School Reunion:

Reply form Linda Gardner: Vienna, VA

Hi Gary – The $42 for the Country School Reunion includes registration, happy hour appetizers (cash bar) and a buffet dinner (supper). Let me know if anyone has other questions.

Brodek Family & Pictures:

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

The Brodek family became our neighbors just north across the street from former Link home about 1948. Ted and Tessie Brodek were married in Dunseith about 1943, Alice Tennancour Evans was a witness. Ted and Tessie may have met while he was a patient at San Haven. I think their oldest, Ronnie, was about the same age as Ernie born 1946; Yvonne, Vonnie or Sissy was born about ’49. This great couple actually trusted me to babysit their children! I was probably 10 going on 7! These dear people would try to wake me when they returned home, put my boots on for me and set me out the door. I would wake the next morning at home without a clue as to how I got there.

Ted did WITH THE DUNSEITH REPORTER – TMS for a few years, very polished job. Then on to Rugby for a short time before moving to Pontiac, MI. Ted died in ’70s. I gather that Tessie later remarried since her name change in Mom’s address book is Tessie Meade, 580 Grand, Cold Water, MI. We had no reply from Tessie after 2001 and I tried to find Ron without success. His last known residence was Mesa, AZ. I know Tessie and children returned to Dunseith a few times when Ron and Yvonne young adults. George may have more info.

Someone was always snapping pictures around our home but quality photographs were rare. Ted changed that with the addition of his classy work – we treasured his priceless work then and today. Tessie often tinted sepia or black and white portraits. Maybe Evie will scan her’s when she was about age 3. The scans attached are Ted’s work.



This has to be the Gottbreht family.That sure looks like Evie on the far right. I believe Ernie is the

little boy on the far left. Sharron, can we get you to correctly identify everyone. Thanks, Gary

Football Picture:

Rely from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

I checked with Margret (Pigeon) Fox on this–

The Pigeon brothers in the football picture are Bobby and Kenneth. Curtis and Kenneth were fraternal twins. Curtis didn’t play that much football. Curtis passed away a few years ago and Ken farms west of Thorne.

Curtis worked for Dad one summer.

Allen Richard

Back: Coach Ray Stark, Marvin Aamodt, James Robillard, Vince Kalk, David Lo,

Gerald Anderson, Larry Shirk and Coach Lincoln Jerstad.

Middle: Lowell Williams, DuWayne Lang, Dennis Espe, Don Conroy, Kenneth Pigeon, Bob Pigeon.

Front: Val Bott, Bob Lagerquist, Lowell Leonard, Curt Halvorson, Mick Kester, Duane Woodford.


04/16/2018 (2620)

Donald Hurlbert’s Obituary.
Posting from Kaye Lystad-Kirk:  Fargo, ND

Gary Stokes’ Comment
Don’s mother was a Bjornseth. I too never met Don, but we have been Facebook friends for several years. He was an interesting guy
PS: Please click on the link below for his Obituary that he himself wrote.

Hi Gary,

You might’ve heard by now of Donald Hurlbert’s passing. I ran it by his family, and they assured me it was alright for you to post his obituary in your blog. I’m encouraging them, if they aren’t already thinking of it, to post his obituary in The Bottineau Courant, as well.

Just as a side note, this summer we are having a Bjornseth-Aasness family reunion at the Christian Center. Since Donald was a descendant of Erick and Bertha (Bergan) Bjornseth (his parents were Elnor Bjornseth and George N. Hurlbert), he and I had communicated several times about both the family history and the reunion. He expressed to me how much he was looking forward to the reunion and to see the Turtle Mountains again. So I was extremely shocked and saddened to see that he had passed away on Monday. Apparently, in January he had been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. It’s just all so heartbreaking. I never met the man in person, yet I’ll never forget him.

Here is the link to his obituary.


Blog (695) posted on January 25, 2010

Posted on January 25, 2010

Bobby Pigeon:

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

My sister, Jan (four years ahead of me in school) “went steady” with Bobby Pigeon for a few years. I possessed all the adoration of a younger sister and thought Bobby was the coolest guy imaginable. Dick is right, Bobby was “cool” twenty years before the Fonz. Anyone know where he is now?

Thanks, Colette

Colette, We have a Robert Pigeon, living in Columbia, SC on our distribution that graduated in 1957. Is this the same gentleman? Gary

Hot Lunch progam – Mrs. Knutson & Stella Schmitz:

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

I believe the “Hot Lunch” Program was started in Dunseith the fall of 1955 with Mrs. Knutson as the first cook. This was my first grade year and we did have to bring our lunch for a couple of weeks in September before the program got rolling. As far as I know she didn’t have any helpers at first, but eventually Mabel Aamodt was hired to help especially with desserts. I remember the teachers helping dish up food. I remember the 100 pound bags of potatoes sitting in that little kitchen and I believe Mrs. Knutson peeled the potatoes and kept them in water overnight. For some reason I remember the scene of mom (Mildred Parrill) and I down in the kitchen and Mrs. Knutson sitting there peeling. Now that I think about it, I suppose she would go down and visit in Norwegian as that was mom’s first language.

This was also my mother’s first year of teaching in town and she had 37 of us in first grade. The second grade class had only a little over 20 students. I wonder how many ate hot lunch.

Mrs. Knutson moved back to Norway in 1966. All of her children still lived there. I don’t know if she cooked up to the time she left. She was a great cook and was replaced by an even greater cook Stella Schmitz. We Dunseith kids and teachers didn’t know how good we had it until we tasted hot lunch in other places. Example: You should have seen Deverde Nicklaus (who taught math in Bottineau after he taught in Dunseith)- he just shook his head in disbelief. He said the two best cooks were his wife (He had to say that!) and Stella.

By the way, the price was 20 cents a meal and remained at that price until at least 1975.

Basement Cafeteria – Reply to Ron Longie:

From Sharon Longie Dana (73):MIssoula MT.

I remember that basement cafeteria……its where I got chocolate milk for the first time. You took me to my first day of school there. You probably don’t remember that Ronnie. I do it was a big day for me, my older cousin took me to school.

Sharon Longie Dana (73)

Paper Route – Doc Stickland:

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

Thanks to all the folks for commenting on the last few entries. It
really helps when those who know the details write in and fill in the
blanks. In Lee Stickland’s posting he made mention of he and his
brothers doing the paper route. I remember it well. Darrell, or ‘Doc’ as
we called him, had the job of delivering the Minot Daily News. One time
I mentioned that I wouldn’t mind having a paper route to make a few
bucks. Doc was quite the businessman. I guess he actually introduced me
to the world of subcontracting. He said that the route was actually in
his name but that the Minot Daily allowed him to have a substitute so he
would let me run the route and I could get the dollar a day payment for
delivering. That’s correct one (1) dollar a day. I did it for a long
time until one of our other buddies told me Doc got $1.50 a day! He was
getting $.50 for holding the contract, so to speak. That’s business!
Even for 12 year olds, it was a smart move. I bet Doc did well in his
future business ventures! The only real added benefit was that sometimes
the person who dropped off the papers at the post office miscounted and
had up to three extra papers. These were ours to sell for a dime each. I
figured out how and where to get the best price out of these extras. I
would go into the bars–Woodford’s, Corner Bar, or the Garden Tap and
ask the guys at the bar if they would like to buy a paper to help me
out? Lots of times they would say, “Sure kid” and throw me a quarter or
more. That was the gravy! Most times though they had the right number of
papers and we got no gravy! Live and learn! Thanks Gary!


Brodecks Family:

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

Toni Morinville mentioned Brodecks. Yvonne Brodeck started first grade with me in 1955. I believe it was Mrs. Conroy who stopped into the room the first day and said to mom , “Oh, you have twins!” about Yvonne and I. Yvonne’s dad was the editor of the Dunseith Journal which would naturally include taking pictures for the paper. Brodecks moved to Rugby part way through that school year. I believe Mr. Brodeck went to work for Frank Hornstein at the Rugby paper. I wonder how long they stayed in Rugby and what has happened to them since. Were there other children in the Brodeck family? Were they in Dunseith very long? Who remembers?

Was that the end of the Dunseith Journal? My mother said that when she was in HS a fellow by the name of Ardis Bailey ran the paper. He married one of their favorite teachers, Miss Hannah Jevne after mom’s sophomore year. They moved to Hazen. This Bailey was not related to the other Baileys from Dunseith as far as mom knows.

Turtle Mountain Country School Reunion:

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


I think you’ve mentioned the Turtle Mountain Country School Reunion; here’s a clipping about it from today’s Minot Daily. I’m sending this to my Bottineau list/Kramer list/Brudwick list/other lists, too. As you know, many of my relatives (Brudwick’s/Kofoid’s/Haakenson’s/others) attended country schools in the Turtle Mts.


This is another great reuion that I’d dearly love to attend. Linda sent this to me earlier for posting too. Linda will be picking up Orvin Hagen on her way to this reunion too.

Linda, Can you tell us what all is included with the $42 registration fee? Thanks, Gary

Corner Bar Fire:

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

Looking at the picture postcard of Main street stirs so many
memories it’s amazing. I remember the night the Corner Bar burned. Henry
LaCroix had owned and run the bar for many years. When it burned though,
I think Orlan Fuchs was the owner. He was the manager for sure, I do
know that. Dad got me up real early to go up to the Crystal Cafe for
breakfast so we could head up here to the farm to work. When we got up
on Main street we could see the commotion down by the bar so drove on
down a block to see what was up. The building was still standing but was
completely gutted by the fire. Orlan was inside looking around and
trying to see what was left. As we were standing just inside the front
door, I noticed a $20 bill on the floor. We looked further and found
more money scattered between the till and the front door. It was all
black from the smoke but was still recognizable as bills. They figured
that someone had entered through the plank covered opening in the
sidewalk on the north side of the building and then left through the
front door. The plank covered opening was there for unloading kegs and
other heavy things, according to Orlan. I never heard if it was ever
determined if the fire was a cover up for a burglary or not, but it sure
looked that way! I would have to take a wild guess as to when this was
because I really don’t remember the year. Probably mid to late 60s, but
that is just a guess. Maybe someone else has a date on this fire. Thanks


Bottineau Lutheran church Class of 58 confirmation picture:

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


I happened to see this picture and thought your readers might enjoy seeing it. Two of Abe Nelson’s daughters (EdnaMae and Vonnie) are in the picture, as is your cousin, Jean Hanson. I KNEW you wouldn’t recognize Jean if I didn’t mention her. Ha!

I should have been in this confirmation class, but I attended a few classes at the beginning of confirmation and then quit. I was confirmed with the Class of ’58.

Marlys Nelson was a cousin of EdnaMae/Vonnie. She was Lloyd Nelson’s sister. As you know, Lloyd owned a grocery store in Bottineau for many years. Marlys passed away many years ago.


Neola, Our readers know many of these folks. My first cousin and also the Morinville siblings first cousin, Jean Pladson, is pretty well know thru out the area. Yes, I would have recognized Jean in a heart beat in this photo. I’ll never forget the time that Jean visited our house shortly after she and Duane were married. Mom’s cousin and her husband from Niagara had stopped in for a visit on one of their Sunday drives when Jean came. When Jean was in the kitchen visiting with the ladies, Richard, Mom’s cousin’s husband, make the comment that Jean was one of the prettiest gals he had ever seen with her beautiful blond hair and blue eyes. I think her bubbly and friendly personality added a lot to the equation too. Jean was quite young when Duane swept her of her feet. Gary

Back row: EdnaMae Nelson, Loueen Brandvold, Jean Hanson, Vonnie Nelson,

Lynne Bergman, Marlys Nelson

Front row: Bob Vinje, Leonell Grimestad, Peter Lilligard, Dennis Monson, Pastor Estrem

Another old picture. 

Back row: Jean Pladson, Miss Vikan, Beverly Lemieux

Front row: Marlys Nelson, EdnaMae Nelson, Neola Kofoid, Margaret Wicken.

I seem to have made sure I had enough room! LOL!


04/13/2018 (2619)

Posted by Debbie Armentrout Metcalfe (’77):  dsmetcalfe@hotmail.com Mesa, AZ
Armentrout, Rodney 2606


San Haven Picture
Reply from Jean Nicholas Miller (’66):  Glendale, AZ

Hi Gary, Do we have any idea when the San Haven picture was taken? My parents aren’t in it. My Dad was a patient there and later worked there. My mother worked there too. The third man from the left in the plaid shirt I think might be Oscar Thone and the fourth man may be Red Pearson. The sixth man from the left I believe is Pete Link. The short woman is front in black is Marjorie Lilico and the woman to her left in glasses is Maxine Magnuson in the print top. Hope we can figure out more.

Jean Nicholas Miller

San Haven Picture
Reply from David Roussin (’77):   Fort Worth, TX

The San haven picture the guy in back of the nurses in white is my dad Albert Roussin. This is where he met my mom Jane Roussin who was a patient there.

Counting L to R: Not including Marjorie Lilico in front.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 Maxine Magnuson, 16, 17, 18, 19 Albert Rousin, 20, 21, 22, 23
Front: Marjorie Lilico
San Haven 2616

Courant correction/Mona Johnson
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.

I rearranged the space around my computer and don’t have my scanner reconnected, so I need to type/send the correction about Mona’s article in the Courant.

In the Bottineau Courant’s April 3 edition, the article “Johnson steps down as blood drive coordinator at 87”, the cutline with the phot stated the picture was taken in March of 2018, the photo was taken in March of 2008.  The article also noted Betty Trebas was named the new coordinator for the blood drive, which was incorrect.  The new coordinator is Betty Tratebas.


Gary Stokes’ Comments.
Neola, I know Betty Hanson Tratebas. She and I were confirmed together in Nordland church (Metigoshe Lutheran). She is sitting Front Left next to Rev. Richard Grudt in the picture below. With her good ole Turtle Mountain Genes, she will be a great Coordinator.

Blog (694) posted on January 24, 2010

Posted on January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Ruby Krause:

Folks; Today, January 24th, is Ruby Krause’s birthday. Ruby is a former Dunseith School teacher & Librarian. She was hired into the Dunseith School system in 1971. She was the School Librarian in 1982 when the Dunseith centennial book was published. She was with the Dunseith Schools for a number of years. Ruby currently lives in Dunseith.

Ruby, We wish you a very happy birthday. This is your special day, so enjoy it to the fullest. Gary

Dunseith Main Street Picture:

Reply from Dave Wurgler (64): Rugby, ND.

Gary: To Dick Johnson about the post card of main street of Dunseith. When I first saw the picture and started to identify the cars I also thought that might have been dads 57 chev, as ole Hank Johnson was his barber, but if you look up the street in front of the Security State Bank you will notice which I think is a 60 chev-biscayne which could also be dads because he traded the 57 chev in 1960 for the coppertone 60 chev-biscayne and he also done all his personal and business banking at the bank. Kind of interesting. Take everyone and God Bless and a healthy and Happy New Year. Dave Wurgler (64).

Lajimodiere Family:
Reply from Denice Lajimodiere: Moorhead, MN.

 Gary M.

Yes, my family is related to Julie Lajimodiere. We are descendant from her brother Joseph, his son Modeste, his son, Benjamin, my father Leo. Modeste and Louis Riel were first cousins. The Riel Rebellion split many familes in half, some for it and some were ‘royalists.’ Grandpa Ben refused to speak of Riel or the rebellion – were they royalists?? Our family originally fled to Pembina, Wallhalla, St. Joseph area after the rebellion to avoid prosecution. We are not sure where Joseph is buried. Some say with Riel, others say at St. Joseph church. I will go looking for him. Modeste brought us to Dunseith, and grandpa Ben to Belcourt. My father consideres Dunseith our family home, and we are mostly buried there. We have kept the original Lajimodiere spelling, as it is now Lagimodiere in Winnipeg – the priests at St. Boniface decided that the name will be spelled consistenly with a ‘g.’
I learned more about the Rebellion from my mother’s grandfathers and great uncles, the Plantes. Their grandfather, Francois Azure, fought with Riel at Batoche and I have recorded some wonderful oral stories from them about the battle, along with buffalo hunting stories and run ins with the Sioux. I have extensive files on our families geneology – I just have to sift through them to try and find Alcide’s mom. I’m now the ‘elder’ of the Belcourt Lajimodiere’s, sadly. I’m really a ‘baby elder,’ aye. But I know I need to keep our family’s story alive.

Denise Lajimodiere

School cook lady Identified:
Reply from Ron Longie (65): Yakima WA


The lady from Norway if I remember right was MRS Knudson, she was the cook when I used to eat in the “Old White School” basement.


School cook lady Identified:

Reply from Marge Landsverk Fish (57): Horicon, WI











Ted Brodeck ?:

Question from Toni Morinville Gredesky (68): Farimount, ND


A recent picture that was posted had the name Brodeck on it. I’m wondering if anyone remembers Ted Brodeck and his family. He was a photographer who lived in Dunseith for a while. I think when they left Dunseith they moved to Rugby. I don’t remember his wife’s name, but they had a daughter named Sissy, I believe. He and my Dad were friends. Ted was probably responsible for getting my Dad interested in photography. Just wondering if anyone can add more about them.

Toni Morinville Gredesky

Reply From Lee Stickland (64): Dickinson, ND.

Gary and Dick,

I nearly covet YOUR memories; both YOU, Gary and YOU, Dick.

I do not recall any of the things that YOU and others are so well-versed in.

Guess I was too busy, either trying to reduce my time for the 100/220 yard dash, or Jim Evans and I attempting to make a hole in the defense of the opponent so that Dave Shelver, John Leonard or Bill Henry could make some yardage.

Each of the three (3) Stickland boys, Darrel (Doc) and Dean and I had paper routes with 72 Minot Daily News, (I walked to Theresa Kriegs, north of town to deliver a paper each day). She was in the nursing home when I was administrator at Dunseith from Spetember of 1975 to February of 1977. Each of us had the privilege of working in Hosmers’ Store or the Red Owl,;stocking, meat cutting and floor and bldg maintenance.

I also began to be able to drive a vehicle in at 7:30 am, grind the valves, replace guides and reinstall the head by noon. I worked for Alvin Moe at the Corner Garage. Age 12 is when I began mechanics and keeping the books for the garage.

There was so much to be learned in Dunseith when I was a kid. Just needed to

“keep YOUR hat on straight”.

I see that it may be raining now in Cebu. I was in San Diego for four (4) days. Wore a dark long-sleeved shirt with black pants. It was above +70 degrees. By the time I walked to and from the Ramada to the Roadhouse BBQ establishment, I needed dry clothes and another shower.

Eric, my son, took me to Target where I bought a white short-sleeved shirt and white pants. Pants were of quality for $6.48. Eric’s wife, Kim took me back the next night to buy 2 more outfits and the price had increased, considerably.


Questions about the 1955 football team
From Larry Liere (55): Mesa, AZ & Devils Lake, ND

We had 3.25″ of rain in the last three days with wind up to 50MPH here in Mesa. I guess this was more rain then they had all last year. It was needed.

So far one death from the storm. A six year old boy was washed away from his family when their pick-up got stuck in the flooded road.

I remember the name Iver Lo. Would that be David Lo’s Dad? If so what did Iver do for a living because I am sure he was a good friend of my Dad.

Was this an 11, 8, or 6 man football team? Are we sure it is the 1955 team? I was thinking more of my 2nd. grade class would have been on the team.

I noted the old leather football helmets. This team was lucking they had face protection. Our team in Devils Lake only had one face mask. I played

end with a broken nose. I guess there were even 9 man teams back in the old days. Thanks for any information you can give. LARRY

Football Photo ID:

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

Thanks to Karen Woodford Olson for supplying the names of the guys in
the football picture. I think the guy next to Bobby Pigeon is Curt
Pigeon. Bobby is the guy that reminds me of the ‘Fonz’ on Happy Days. I
guess it’s the other way around as Bobby was cool twenty years before
the TV show came around. The football helmets on the ground are the same
ones we hauled from the school to the dump ground and one of which I
still have. Thanks Gary!


Back: Coach Ray Stark, Marvin Aamodt, James Robillard, Vince Kalk, David Lo,

Gerald Anderson, Larry Shirk and Coach Lincoln Jerstad.

Middle: Lowell Williams, DuWayne Lang, Dennis Espe, Don Conroy, Curt Pigeon, Bob Pigeon.

Front: Val Bott, Bob Lagerquist, Lowell Leonard, Curt Halvorson, Mick Kester, Duane Woodford.


Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.


This is in response to Floyd Dion’s posting from today about the Renault car bodied snowplane. It is from nearly two years ago but might be something interesting for the folks. Thanks Gary!


——– Original Message ——–

SUBJECT: Snowplanes
DATE: Sun, 11 May 2008
FROM: Dick Johnson
TO: Gary Stokes

Gary and Friends

Reading Floyd’s and Tim’s comments about snowplanes really caught my
attention! Although they were abandoned from use in the late sixties,
some have survived. State laws prohibiting hunting from a moving vehicle
basically brought about their demise. The other factor was the invention
of the snowmobile which kind of took the place of the snowplane for snow
travel. I always liked these homemade machines and about 15 years ago I
found two of them that were for sale, so I made a deal and bought them.
I was invited to a snowplane rally in 1995 at Tolna, ND, where other
guys with this same interest were gathered. We had a cross country ride
for many miles and then a chili feed and refreshments on our return. It
was one of the most nostalgic and fun days I have had for many years. We
formed a group we called the Prairie Snowplaners and have had rallies,
annually, up until the last two years when there hasn’t been enough
snow. Since then I have bought several more snowplanes and parts. If any
one is interested, I have a couple VHS tapes from past rallies I would
Floyd wrote about the Renault car body they used for one sled. John
Boguslawski and I asked Curt Halvorson what he was going to do with the
chassis, [ engine, transmission, and steering, etc. ], Curt gave it to
us! We came up to our farm and got a Model T frame off a discarded hay
rack and built a “dune buggy”. We actually scared ourselves once and
THEN built a rollcage. We painted it pastel yellow with house paint and
had quite a rig! Floyd, if I remember correctly, didn’t you break some
ribs or something while hunting in the Renault-bodied snowplane? I seem
to remember something about that, could be wrong! I have attached a
couple pictures taken of my snowplane taken at one of the rallies.
Thanks Gary!


04/11/2018 (2618)

Posted by Debbie Armentrout Metcalfe (’77):  Mesa, AZArmentrout, Rodney 2606


Ackworth School 1954-55 Attendees
From Stan Salmonson (’61):  Dunseith, ND

Hi Gary,

Regarding the students that attended Ackworth School, winter of 1954-55, I’m thinking  that another student might have been Dennis Hiatt and possibly Johnnie ?, who was staying with Norman & Irene Hiatt.  I remember the fun we had that winter sliding down the hill  north of the school at noon & recess.

I don’t remember what year it was but Geraldine and her brother Jiggers stopped by our lumberyard to visit us as she remembered me from Ackworth  School days.

We  have enjoyed your interesting blog over the years and thank you for all you have done.

Stan Salmonson, ‘61

Gary Stokes’ Comments
Yes Stan, Dennis Hiatt did attend that year. That I do remember now. The other guy you are referring to was Tom Longre. He was Margie Hiatt’s nephew from Kenmare, ND. He lived with Willie and Margie Hiatt for a number of years off and on.

Yes we used to slide on both those two hills on the north side of the school. Pretty steep hills too.  


San Haven Picture
Reply from David Roussin (’77):   Fort Worth, TX

The San haven picture the guy in back of the nurses in white is my dad Albert Roussin. This is where he met my mom Jane Roussin who was a patient there.


Dorothy Hiatt Swanson (DHS ‘1946) obituary.
Note: Dorothy was a sister to Eleanore (Stubby) Fauske and Florence Dahl.
Hiatt Swanson, Dorothy 2618


Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND
Neameyer Wall, Loretta 2618

Corner Garage
Posting from Travis Metcalfe (’76):    Mesa, AZ

We drove into Dunseith today and saw this.

It I guess it was corner garage  before my time…was it built as a garage?  I thought it was built as a bank….

Cornstone Garage 2618


Mona Dionne Johnson (’48) Steps down as blood drive coordinator
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND
Dianne Johnson, Mona 2618-1 Dianne Johnson, Mona 2618-2 Dianne Johnson, Mona 2618-3


Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (’70): d Bottineau, ND

#1 The First  Adventures

The Lamoureux Brother’s Garage was located on the West side of Main Street Dunseith.  As a kid I absolutely thought__ everything Dunseith, would always be  the same ___it would be forever there.

I recall smells of clean oil stepping into the tidy main floor area whenever I got to go inside with Dad. He’d visit while getting the vehicle filled with gas, oil checked and windows washed. The Lamoureux men held kind and courteous character traits, which Dad liked and respected.  There seemed to be several Lamoureux men in the  main garage floor area.  At that time, I was preschool age, I looked and endeavored to figure out their familial connections.

The first “new” vehicle my parents ever purchased was the black 51/52 Black Ford pickup truck from Lamoureux’s.  It was either new or pretty close to new. The Black Ford served many purposes for our family,  through the 50’s, 60’s and into the 70’s. 

The Ford was equipped with standard transmission.  The (H)gear shift was located on the mid floor. It started with a starter button.  In the dark, with a click of the left foot, a person could switch the lights to dim or back to bright. It had a running board to step up on.  The windows rolled down with little corner windows a person could push/pull slant to catch a breeze.

Oh what adventures that truck could tell! 

Sometime in  the early 50’s  on a fine summer day, mom drove with my sister and I, north on old highway #3 to Kelvin Store.  Mom parked south of Kelvin Store on the incline facing down to the Central Telephone office.  She said, “Wait here in the truck.” She got out and walked down below the hill.  She was visiting Kathy, who at the time was the current Central Telephone operator.

Whilst mom was inside visiting with Kathy, a tanned, sandy haired boy I’d never seen before__ (Kathy’s son) Terry, opened the driver side door of the truck.  He climbed in, sat on the seat behind the steering wheel where placed both hands. My stomach  bottomed out… but, he acted as if he  owned the truck and knew very well what he was doing.  He stretched both legs  as far as he coul. He pushed with both feet down hard on the clutch. To reach this he was kind of laying on his back.  I didn’t think he could see much out the windshield.

Oh NO! Away down the hill roll… roll… roll the truck. I , “Chicken Little knew the ending would not be pretty.  Frightened, Terry hollered to my sister “STEP ON THE BRAKE!” She scampered, sliding over, stretching out her legs and feet onto the brake.  The truck lurched to a slow stop. 

On another early,  warm, summer, afternoon, I recall  we girls were with mom who was  drove the truck  up from the house to the East /West , dusty gravel road at  top of the hill.  She turned the truck left toward the west. Without seat belts I was standing  on the front seat 

 (Hmm) I can’t quite recall where my older sister was sitting.
Mom shifted the truck into neutral, stepped down and walked back behind the truck  to fetch mail.
While she was opening the rural silver mailbox, Sss?somehow? the clutch was stepped on.
As truck rolled away down toward the hill it gained speed. I felt FEAR.  I don’t know if I was scared we were going to crash into the deep coulee below the big hill or  if either sisters was in T-r-o-u-b-l-e. (Many times as  kid I was called, the guilty one.)
Mom on the run, caught up and climbed on the running board, and steered the truck to a stop.  After that incident mom started using the emergency brake.

 At that time in her life with what her children put her through….our Mom, a.k.a Charlotte Harriet Lamb Metcalfe, ___could have been  a double for “Wonder Woman”!

 Thanks Gary, I am certain someone…Probably a motor head, is welcome to comment.

Until Later,

Vickie L. Metcalfe

April 2018


Blog (693) posted on January 23, 2010

Posted on January 23, 2010

Folks, Bernadette and I attended a nice wedding yesterday. The couple is from our bowling league. He is from Norway and of coarse she from here, Cebu, PI. This couple has been living together nearly two years now. They had a baby several months ago. There is a little age difference in this couple though. He is 59 and she just had her 22nd birthday. In spite of the age difference, they are a nice looking couple. Of coarse with him being Norwegian, they couldn’t be anything else but. Those Norwegian accents sure bring back some good memories of my dad’s relatives. The demeanors of the Norwegian’s that we have met here, so resembles that of the Norwegian’s I was raised around.

Another point of interest. Last week I posted the activity of our Website with a comment that the visits have been steadily increasing. Brenda Hoffman replied with a personal message that she feels there are folks following our messages that have just stumbled upon us browsing the Net. I never gave that any thought, but she may be right. It’s wonderful if there are. We’d like to hear from some of you folks that have found us with your browsing. Gary

Reply to Larry Shirk (58):

From Jim Robillard (58): WILLISTON, ND

Hi Larry good hearing from you. That is a great picture of our football team. The best dang team on both sides of Willow Creek.

I also enjoyed seeing the picture of Dunseith main street with all the old cars parked on the street. Its pretty near how I remember Dunseith.

A note to Gary Stokes; Gary I would like to thank you for this great service you provide for the Dunseith Alumni I read this Blog every day and enjoy The stories.

Snowplane reply:

From Floyd Dion (45): Dunseith, ND.

Hi Gary

Dick was saying that the Pigeon’s had a Volkswaagen body for a snowplane, Harvey Halvorson had one with a French Renault coupe body , it had a door in the roof so we could shoot out of it, but it was too heavy too, Curt Halvorson and I built one for Harvey, and we had a lot of fun with it. I remember someone (don’t remember who) had a leaky gas tank and took it out to Jim Coleman’s to have it welded, they emtyed the tank and Jim put a hose in the gas tank and the other end on the car exhaust pipe and started the car and begin to weld the tank,ant it did not blow up.

Those snowplanes were a lot of fun


Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO

Reply to Larry Hackman

That is a good story about Egbert, Larry. That is what I called him too, his dad called him Donerd. I am sure most people thought I was being funny when I said that Ade was a man amongst men when he was young. That is what my dad called him, Ade. According to Ade, he was a ladies man to the highest degree, so I guess Donald had a real hard act to follow. You should read Ade’s history in the BIG BOOK.

I have given a lot of thought about what made those old pioneers stand taller than those who came later. I realize they were much more wise to the world having come from cities and towns out east and overseas.

I was thinking about Charles and Marvin Lindberg. I thought they lived near Rose Lake somewhere. Ethel Dubois is their sister. So I looked up their parents’ story, Pete Lindberg was a twin to Ben Lindberg. Cooney McKay’s father-in-law. I loved the way Ben handled the situation when a fellow came into their house party with a gun threatening to shoot everybody. Ben took him outside, straightened him out, then had him come back in for the evening festivities. With people like that they could get by with only one cop in the area those earlier years.

I got off the track. Pete was known as a singer and a man who could keep up to two binders shocking grain. The man that had enough crop to warrant two binders working was my great grandfather, Hans Svingen down at Overly. He was my Grandma Evans father. Hans had two brothers who were pastors and one of them performed the wedding for Ben Lindberg. There was also evidence that Ben met his wife at the home of Andrew Bergen up on the Canadian border.

I have a couple things I would like to find out about the Hillside area, one is who Alcide’s mother was???

Denise tells me that old Modeste Lajimodeir had 21 kids and three wives. I think the “e” on the end of his first name changed the meaning of it. I think he was the most prolific of the whole area. His quarter of land sat between Vance Bailey’s home place and Louis Bergan’s, give or take.

I guarantee Donald was a good worker. He worked for Cliff Gilles.

I am sure when Denise finds time to research that large addition to Rolette County it could prove interesting. I am pretty sure it was one of her relatives that was prominent in Manitoba politics. Most have heard of Louis Riel and Julie Lajimodeir was his mother. Louis was well educated and charismatic.

Gary Metcalfe

Message from DeAnn Gottbreht. DeAnn’s parents are Ernie Gottbreht and Brenda Hill.

Posted on her CarringBridge Website:http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/deanngottbreht

We had a excellent turnout for my benefit up in Portal yesterday! I want to thank all of the great people who brought soup, sandwiches, dessert, and everyone who worked so hard putting it on. It was sure nice to have so much family there. Patrick parents came over along with Grandma, Mom and Bryant, My Dad and Cheryl, and Blake and Michelle. Lots of people came over from work along with some of the people that work up on the Canadian side and local friends as well. I am so thankful for all the people who donated money there and by mail. Thank You all for your generous support! Patrick and I sure appreciate it. Just saying thank you seems like hardly enough but it is the best I can do for now.

We are leaving for Mayo Tuesday morning. It is snowing steady right now with 4-5 inches by morning and a blizzard by Sunday so I pray that the weather man is right and that the storm will end by some time Monday. I will see my Oncologist, my Surgeon, Baby Doctor, and a few others on Wednesday and Thursday with surgery tentatively scheduled for Friday the 29th as long as all my appointments go well. And before you ask YES this is safe for the baby as long as I am monitored and my blood pressure and oxygen stay normal. I would not choose to do something I know would hurt my baby! Please keep us both in your prayers as we take this next step. It is pretty scary for me but necessary and I am comforted having it done in a place as excellent as the Mayo Clinic. Take care everyone. I will try to keep you updated on my progress.

Alex Pedie:

From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND


I think you/someone asked who Alex Pedie is. He’s the husband of Dianne Pedie, who taught school in Dunseith.


Art Rude Sr. recovering.

From Art Rude (71): Bismarck, ND


Great job as always! I thought I should fill you in, and I know you will share it with the group. Dad (Art Rude Sr.) has had a real tough fall and winter. Late August he fell off his bike (age 86) and had to be taken to the hospital. I don’t think it was the fall. I understand in talking to him, and a couple of other people who saw him that day, he had been quite upset, and I think he had a mini stroke. The reason I say that is, although they gave him a series of tests, and said he didn’t qualify as a “stroke”, it sure seems as if he lost oxygen to the brain for a while, because Dad has never been so confused.

After a couple of days in the hospital, he went to the Dunseith Community Nursing home for 3 weeks. As he was doing much better, he was out living in his apartment, but we had to move him to a situation where he wouldn’t be alone. Anyway, December 18th I called as usual on the way to work, and Dad wasn’t there, he had been hauled away by ambulance shortly before I called. He was eventually hauled to Minot, where they opened him up to clean out a “hematoma” (I think that’s the appropriate term) around his defibrilator, and they said they cleaned out enough blood clot to make a softball. He had to have fallen
or taken quite a blow for that to happen. Dad has had a defibrilator for almost 20 years, and a pacemaker as well.

So now he is in the Dunseith home. He has lost a lot of his mobility (Dad always walked, and liked to walk with a very vigorous step, so it was difficult to see him walk like Tim Conway) although he is making improvements. I just talked to him on the phone, and Eldon Moors (our neighbor from the hills, who moved in since many of you have left. He bought the Lawrence Wenstad place on the county line.) had stopped in, and he kept saying how much he enjoyed the visit. So that’s the point Gary, I know there are many people still in Dunseith, and around Dunseith who remember Dad, so stop in and say hi, I’m sure he would appreciate it. You probably remember how he likes to visit, and catch up with people, so if you are in town with a few extra minutes . . .

I’ll enclose a picture we took at Christmas break, when more of the family could make it up to enjoy the hills, and see Dad. I spent most of the semester break up in the cabin, so I got to see Dad almost everyday, but he sleeps a lot now.

Thanks Gary.

Art Rude


PS. In the picture, from left to right, is my daughter Hannah, her fiance Brad Wickie, Dad, my wife Grace with grandson Gavin, and myself. I’d appreciate it if you refer to Dad as Art Sr. which is a title of respect. By the way Gary, I like being Art Rude, but hated being called “Junior” (I think that’s why Pete Mellmer left town). That’s one of the things I like about Bismarck, I don’t have to be junior any more, you would think at age 56 you could leave that childhood moniker behind.

Peace and Power, Art Thanks for checking out Art Rude Productions, webpage address: www.artrude.com call and leave a message anytime at 800-XRT-RUDE

Art, Thank you so much for this update and info about your dad. I am glad to here that he is recovering well. Please keep us posted. This is a great photo of all of you. Gary

L To R: Hannah Rude, Brad Wickie, Art Rude Sr., Grace Rude W/Gavin & Art Rude.

Mel Kuhn (70):

Reply from Larry Hackman (66): Bismarck, ND


Just a few items that I have rolling around inside the old cranium that I thought I would put out there. Maybe someone has a answer or two.

I wish I would have known about old Mel having problems? I would have went up and hooked him up to a trickle charger. We could have probably saved him some gas money. Glad to here you are is doing fine Mel. Hang in there old buddy, there is life to be lived.


Folks, I neglected to include Larry’s Attachment when I posted his message several days ago. I hate it when that happens. Larry, I apologize. I have pasted your attachment below. Gary

Rambling Rumblings

Does anyone have pictures to post of the swimming area at the east end of Lake Shutte that show the sand beach, dock, and diving board that was built and used during the 50s? Remember how we use to go catch mud-puppies with our bare hands, in the northeast corner of the lake.We would carry the mud-puppies back to the beach and throw them at the girls to make them run and scream? The good old days.

Anyone remember the cook that use to make them scaloped potatoes that were served to us about once a week ( or maybe it was once every two weeks – it was often) in the lunch rooms in the basement of the old wood two story school house in Dunseith?If I remember correctly; when she retired, her and her husband sold their home in Dunseith and moved back to Norway.Jim Enno, who had a auto body repair shop on the south edge of town, bought their home?I remember them scaloped potatoes and would like a copy of the recipe if anyone has it and could post that.Remember when you came down the stairs into the basement, you had your lunch ticket punched, then you had to make a sharp right or left turn, went around either corner, picked up your tray and selected your butter, or peanut butter sandwich; (take as many as you want) from the plastic baskets with the towel over the top of the sandwichs.Next stop was the window to the kitchen where they handed you your plate or brown bowl of scaloped potatoes.You had to develope a taste for them scaloped potatoes.I guess I did cuz I would like to taste them again.Anyone have the recipe?

Did Kenny Nerpel move to Rugby?

A while back I wrote about some of the happenings that happened to some of the old people in our lives.I tried to make them entertaining and funny.I thought we should laugh at some of these situations now, because as we all know, we will be encountering some of these type happenings.So, be prepared to laugh when it happens to you, cuz it an’t gonna do much good to cry!The reason I brought this up again I thought a few would write about some of the happenings in their lives.Which a few have! Thank You.

There were a couple of particular stories I knew of, that happened to a mother-in-law and brother-in-law of a (65er) class member, that I was sure would write and give us the scoop.So Joe, “Joe is kind of a generic name so I don’t think anyone is going to figure out who I’m talking about. Joe this lady told me she was up-town in Rugby doing some shopping.She was driving home from shopping, thinking about her garden.Her and her husband always grow a beautiful, productive garden.Joe, I’m sure you have eaten a lot of vegetables from that garden?Your mother-in-law says she is coming down the street from up-town, hits the button for the garage door to open.She pulls into the driveway, the garage door is almost all the way open, and then she don’t remember anything until she opens her eyes.There she is sitting in her car, in the back yard looking at her beautiful garden.She said, she remembers driving along thinking about her garden before she entered the garage, but she never intended to drive directly through the back wall of her garage to get there.She does not remember going through the wall.Funny?You be the judge.

Joe, It always seemed to me that if something happened in high school that was funny, it usually involved a member of your family, and I don’t think it had anything to do with the amount of you guys roaming the halls.It always seemed that your family was happy and always ready to have some fun.This story is about your brother-in-law Joey.I know there are a million stories about Joey.I’m just going to tell just one.you can tell the other stories if you want too.According to Joey’s mother, Joey parked his antique auto on the street.Now you have to think about this.What some people consider to be an antique, other people consider to be an eye-sore or junk.The decision is purely in the eye of the beholder.Now this car is sitting there, and hadn’t been moved for months.Someone finally made up a sign and placed it on the antique car.The sign said one word, (FREE).A couple boys came along from Devils Lake and saw this sign.They thought they struck gold (a free old corvette).They went up to the door, rang the door bell, and asked Joey’s mom if it was OK for them to take the car.She said, you can’t take that car, it’s an antique, and belongs to my son Joey.They explained about the free sign on the car.She told them, that it is worth a lot of money and was not free.Poor boys!

A few days later somone had moved the vehicle and parked it in the alley behind the house, the sign had been removed.Joe I hope you don’t end up sleeping on the couch because of this story?

I and my wife were over visiting my brother Henry (65er) and was telling him and his wife about the above story.We were sitting in his living room.His wife jumps up and points across the street at an antique auto.Apparently the conversation had struck a nerve?She didn’t actually call it a antique.She was basiclly telling my brother to make up a sign and put it on that car.Henry being a calm guy said, why don’t we just call the police dept. and see what they do firstHe said, they made the call, explained that the car had been sitting there forever, and the next day it was towed.So simple!Personally I preferred the sign method.

The old building, located behind the building that was used as, Richards Variety Store, or Berg’s Electric and TV repair, or Sutton’s Used Auto Parts Store, or Morinvilles Grocery Store, which was located across the street from the Crystal Cafe? Does anyone remember what it was used for originally?I remember Orvile Sutton using it as a auto repair shop, and I think it was torn down after that.Itlooked like it could of been someones house at one time?

Bill (65er) do you remember the guy who kept rabbits in the building or garages located just at the north end of the Commercial Hotel.I know when we first moved to town we had a lot of pet rabbits that we brought with us from the farm.We didn’t bring them all but just what we had cages for. The rest we just released on the farm.Anyway this gentleman came over and offered to buy them rabbits. Us kids knowing about all that candy in them stores up-town, immediately sold the rabbits to him.Then when we ran out of money convinced Dad to take us back up to the farm to recapture the rest.It took a couple of trips but I think we got most of them.Did that fellow keep and sell rabbits for pets or for food or both?I remember he had a lot of rabbits.

My sympathy to all thoughs that have lost loved!

I hope and pray that you are doing well!

Remember; Laugh and the whole world laughs with you!


Football Photo ID’s:

From Karen Woodford Olson (59): Marana, Az & Bemidji, Mn

The folks in the football picture are as follows:

Back row Coach Ray Stark, Marvin Aamodt, James Robillard, Vince Kalk, David Lo, Gerald Anderson, Larry Shirk and Coach Lincoln Jerstad. Middle row Lowell Williams, DuWayne Lang, Dennis Espe, Don Conroy, Ray? Pigeon, Bob Pigeon. Front row Val Bott, Bob Lagerquist, Lowell Leonard, Curt Halvorson, Mick Kester, Duane Woodford.

Hope my memory is correct. Thank you for all of your work. Karen Woodford Olson

Back: Coach Ray Stark, Marvin Aamodt, James Robillard, Vince Kalk, David Lo, Gerald Anderson, Larry Shirk and Coach Lincoln Jerstad.
Middle: Lowell Williams, DuWayne Lang, Dennis Espe, Don Conroy, Ray? Pigeon, Bob Pigeon.
Front: Val Bott, Bob Lagerquist, Lowell Leonard, Curt Halvorson, Mick Kester, Duane Woodford.

Main Street Photo:

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.


With the posting of Bernard Morin/ Rod Armentrout’s postcard of Dunseith’s Main street, there are a couple things shown that I never in my life expected to see again. First, the car on the right is the old Nash belonging to Hank Johnson, the barber. It’s the one Marvin Kalk bought for $25. that I told about in blog message 156. The next car is a ’57 Chevy. John Wurgler had one like it and so did Zike Boguslawski. The car in front of the Althea theater is Leonard Cote’s ’59 Merc four door hard top. Eddie Bogus bought the Merc from Leonard and big John Bogus and I made a few wild trips to Rugby and Bottineau in that sled! The old Merc had a monster engine and really flew. It also had a fuel pump on top of the front part of the engine and if it got hot it ‘vapor locked’ and the car died. We had an old rag wrapped around the fuel pump and when it started having it’s fits, we would open the hood and poor cold water (or beer–what a waste) on the rag and away we went! My guess of the year the picture was taken is around 1963-64. I think Marvin bought Hank’s Nash in about ’64-’65. Hank still owned it when the picture was taken, obviously, as it’s still sitting in front of the barber shop. Thanks Bernard, Rod, and Gary!


——– Original Message posted with message 156 ——–

SUBJECT: Marvin’s car


Wed, 09 Jul 2008 22:01:31 -0500
FROM: Dick Johnson <djcars@srt.com>
TO: Gary Stokes <gws123456@gmail.com>

Gary and Friends, There was a barber in Dunseith by the name of Hank Johnson. We called him ‘Hank the Barber’, and he had a shop two doors south of the Althea theater. This is not the Hank Johnson from Willow Lake, but another guy. Anyway, for years he drove an old 1950 Nash four door car that resembled an inverted bathtub! It was dark green and ugly, real ugly. In those days Nash thought it was cool to be able to lay the front seat down and make the car into a bed, maybe for camping, who knows! Hank decided to sell his old Nash and buy a newer car so Marvin Kalk went down and bought it for $25, if I remember right. It didn’t like to start real well but he seemed to get it going most of the time, one way or another! One night a bunch of us were cruising town in Marvin’s Nash and we noticed he had a stick holding the rear of the driver’s seat up! Someone asked what it was for and Marvin said the latch was broken so the seat fell back to the bed position. He dropped us off by Fortune Berube’s house and we were standing by the car talking to Marvin, who was still in his car. Bill Berube had tied a rope to the stick that was holding the seat up and had secretly dropped it out the rear window. We asked Marvin if he could make the old Nash burn rubber? He revved it up and dropped the clutch and sure enough it squealed the tires and took off to the east! Billy gave the rope a pull and poor Marvin fell over backward in the seat and lost his grip on the steering wheel! The car veered to the left and jumped the curb, heading for Knute Landsverk’s garage! Marvin sat back up just in time to turn the wheel and miss the garage, but instead of hitting the brakes he just kept going and drove clear across the vacant lot south of Landsverk’s and then bounced back over that curb and drove off like nothing happened! We went from being scared to laughing hysterically in just a few seconds! I remember thinking, if he would have hit that garage we would have all been in BIG trouble! But we pulled off another one! Thanks Gary! Dick

Reply from Keith Pladson (66): thepladsons@hotmail.com Stafford, VA

I found this interesting.

But, first a little background. My neighbor, Dave Humphrey, four houses down the street, asked me a few years ago if I would be interested in helping to collect food for the needy. Since I was retired and had the time, I said yes. So now every Tuesday, he and I (and in the summertime two other retired neighbors also) collect food from several grocery markets. (This consists of things that are reaching there shelf life or the containers are damaged, etc., and that would otherwise be thrown in the garbage – cereals, canned goods, breads, pies, milk, eggs, meats, etc.) The operation was set up several years ago by a guy who had made quite a bit of money in life and wanted to give back so he rented a warehouse and bought a truck and got a local pastor to run the warehouse. It’s called Warehouse Ministries. So on Tuesdays, we drive down from where we live to Fredericksburg, VA to get the big truck and then go from store to store to collect before returning to the warehouse to off load. This also gives us a lot of time to just talk about anything and everything of interest.

Anyway, this past Tuesday I was driving and Dave pulled something out of a folder he had brought with him. He then asked me if I wanted to hear something funny and he started reading what he’d pulled out of his folder: “Dear Sirs: We’re writing this letter to you today because we want to help you get your money out of your Model T. It’s still as good a car…”

Does that ring a bell? Remember your 681 posting?

Dave is originally from the Boston, Mass. area and knows nothing about Bottineau or Maxbass, ND. But through the wonders of the information highway, e.g. the internet, he had somehow gotten a copy of that same post card you posted. Do we live in a small world or what?

Thanks Gary for what you do.
Keith (66)

Keith, This is so interesting. This card, pasted below, has to be on the internet somewhere. I first received it from Sharron Gottbreht Shen that I posted with message 387, I then received it from Bill Hosmer posted with message 404. Then several weeks ago Allen Richard sent it to me again that I posted with message 681.

This card is for sure making it’s rounds all thru the whole country. Last week, out of the blue, a friend of mine originally from Bremerton, WA sent this card out to 50 plus folks that he sends forwards to everyday. I am on his list. He has no idea that I am from ND, Let alone Dunseith/Bottineau. Do any of you know who actually has this card?

This story even gets better with this friend of mines daily forwards. Last week one of his forwards was of the deer feeding on the Snow mobile trail near Lake Metigoshe. I remembered seeing that same picture in the Bottineau paper last year. My friend sent it as a joke with the message folks couldn’t ride their snow mobiles because of the deer. This guy had no clue where this picture was taken. I did a ‘reply all’ to that picture too, explaining the picture and where it was taken. The next day I got a message from Jerry Olson, originally from Souris, letting me know he recognized that photo too. My reply to that picture had been forwarded him. He could not believe his eyes. Jerry is currently living in Bremerton, WA. His sister is Nadine Little, also known as the “Cake Lady” in Bottineau. His family owned the John Deere dealership in Bottineau. Gary

04/09/2018 (2617)

Posted by Debbie Armentrout Metcalfe (’77):  Mesa, AZ
Armentrout, Rodney 2606

Lillian Thompson (Cain) Bergstrom (1936) age 102: Passing of the Oldest living graduate from DHS

Message from Ron Cain:  Superior, Wisconsin

Dear Gary,

Thank you and others who left such kind words referencing my mother Lillian (Cain) Bergstrom.

-Ron Cain and Family

Gary Stokes’ Comment:
Ron, She was such a nice lady. We know you miss her dearly.

Thank you so much Ron for making the trip to Bottineau to see me too when I was there in 2015. Very much appreciated. That was a long two day trip for you too. It was so nice meeting you and your wife. The was a memorable breakfast we had at the Bottineau Bakery with the Pladson siblings too. The timing was right being able to see Keith and Alice Pladson too from Roanoke Rapids, NC.

PS: Ron or Keith, do you have pictures that were taken at our Breakfast at the Bottineau Baker? I can’t find mine.


Class of 70 4th grade Music
Posting from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND


Gary and Friends of Dunseith School,

            Dunseith’s,much beloved teacher Mrs. Florence Conroy was responsible for teaching our 4th grade class;

             “You Outghta Go to North Dakota” .

She taught us; 

Popular music sung by, Elvis, “Wooden Heart”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05ZgyoZvhgI

and country music sung by, Hank Locklin, “Fraulein”    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuzHgcp-eUI         

Mrs. Conroy connected me with other places in this wonderful world, ie. Germany and Switzerland while sharing Heidi, “Wooden Heart”, and “Fraulein”.

            Whenever, I hear a song or recall Mrs. Conroy sharing a book, discussing;

 Cuba, Polio, the smell moldy and oranges &.pennicilan,

 macaroni on cigar boxes or painting on fabric ie. art, 

 beanbag math facts, cursive writing,

 cooking Hasty Puddin on electric burner ie. history.

I continue to be WOWed by the multitude of her patience and her living  by example!

Recalling,all things she connected me to I silently think,  God Bless the memory of Mrs. Conroy.

She was a wonderful role model for my becoming  teacher.

Until later, if only in your memory, you oughta go to North Dakota!

Vickie L. Metcalfe

April 2018


Blog (692) posted on January 23, 2010

Posted on January 22, 2010

Reply to Mel Kuhn:

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

Ol’ Mel Kuhn didn’t listen to me well enough when he was buying
parts. I told him all my engines are equipped with two shafts. The first
one is in the engine and the second one is in the warranty! Mel always
asks,” What’s new?” I always tell him that nothing is new—-everything
is used or rebuilt around here. Besides that, you can’t get many
Cadillac parts to fit an old worn out Stud–ebaker! How about that, Mel
Kuhn?!! Thanks Gary!


Picgeon boys & snowplane stories:

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

As long as the snowplane reminiscing is fresh, there are a couple
more memories I could throw in. I was out at Pigeon’s farm one time and
looked at one of the snowplanes they were working on. Gary had rigged an
old double barrel shotgun under the dash and pointing forward through a
hole in the nose. He had sawed off the stock to a pistol grip and then
soldered two rods to the barrels. On top of these rods he had welded
circles so that when you lined up the circles, through the windshield
and had a fox or coyote in both circles, you pulled the trigger! I
remember how he couldn’t stop giggling while I was checking it out. He
was quite the inventor!

Another snowplane they built was made with a Volkswagen Bug body. It
turned out to be way too heavy and got stuck every time they hit deep
snow. That one went in the junk, I think. They also chased fox and
coyotes with cars when there was no snow. They took a pretty nice 1950
Lincoln four door and cut the top off so they could stand up and shoot.
Russell told me he was driving once and Gary stood up in the back seat
to shoot at a fox just when Russell hit a washout in the tall grass. The
car made a wild bounce and threw Gary up in the air. When he came back
down he was laying on the trunk lid with just his heels holding him from
falling off! They were both laughing when they were telling me about it.
I’m sure stories could be written about the episodes of the Pigeon boys!
Thanks Gary!


1955 DHS Football picture:

From Larry Shirk (58): Naperville, IL

Gary: Read your blog daily and came across this picture of the 1955
Dunseith football team. The folks might enjoy naming the players.

Larry Shirk, Class of 58

Larry, I will repost when we have all those in this picture identified. This is a great picture! ThanksGary

Dunseith Main Street Picture:

From Bernard Morin (76):Dunseith, ND

Hi Gary, I was visiting with Rod and Marlene Armentrout recently and came across this post card that Marlene had in a photo album. It has no date and hasn’t been used. Just thought it might be something you could put in the blog. Also could you add Marc Pigeon to the May reunion, he is a “75” graduate. At the current time he doesn’t have Internet access.

 Thanks. Bernard

Eldon Hiatt & John Kofoid Picture:

From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.

I happened to see this clipping when I was looking for something else. I may/may not have sent it before.


Neola, This is a great picture. Eldon Hiatt is the son of Walter & Julia Hiatt. He was also a brother to Freddie and Wallace. Eldon was living in Renton, WA. I’m not sure of his fate at the moment? I’m sure his many nieces and nephew’s on our distribution can fill us in with more info about Eldon. Gary

Dennis Haakenson’s Haflinger Horses:

From Vivian Clark: Bottineau, ND.


I received these pictures from Vivian (Mrs. Dave – deceased) Clark. These pictures are from Scott Wager, the editor of the Bottineau Courant. Scott ran a great article about Dennis (Hawkeye) Haakenson and his Haflinger horses in the January 5th edition of the Courant.

Dennis and Sharon Haakenson live in the hills a few miles north of the golf course on the Lake Road. Dennis built the covered cutter that the horses are hitched to. He’s got all the comforts inside his cutter with a wood stove and all.

Dennis’ mother was Mabel (Arnie) Kofoid Haakenson. Being a Kofoid, she was a cousin to my dad and also Neola’s Dad, Johnny. The highlight of our family reunions is going to Dennis and Sharon’s for a wagon ride thru the back woods with Dennis and his Haflinger team.

Sharon is cousin to Sandy (Rick) Gottbreth too.


04/06/2018 (2616)

I got a little busy and didn’t get a blog posted this past week. Sorry about that.

Posted by Debbie Armentrout Metcalfe (’77):  Mesa, AZ
Armentrout, Rodney 2606


Lillian Thompson Cain Bergstrom (DHS 1936) passed away at the age of 102
Lillian was the Oldest living to have ever graduated from Dunseith High School.
Thompson, Lillian 2616

 Gary Stokes’ comment
Lillian was born and raised in the Ackworth Community in the Turtle Mountains.

Her mother was a Stokes, sister to my Great Grandfather. She and my dad were first cousins.

Her dad was a brother to Ida Thompson Pritchard, mother of the Pritchard siblings. She was also a first cousin to Robert, Corbin, Winifred Eurich and the rest of the Pritchard siblings.

Lillian’s sisters were Ella Pladson and Esther (Edmar) Tangen (Bottineau).  She was an aunt to all the Eldon and Ella Pladson siblings and to John Tangen originally from Bottineau.

Lillian left the Ackworth community before I was born, so I don’t ever remember meeting her. When I was assembling class lists I called her. We had a wonderful hour long plus visit. She was sharp as a tack and remembered so much from the community in great detail too. She knew all of the senior Ackworth generation so well that I also knew very well. We had so much in common. We walked the same turf, but at different times is all.

In 2015 I had the pleasure of meeting Lillian’s son Ron Cain Also from Superior, WI. He and his wife made a two day round trip from Superior to Bottineau just to see us when I was there. Keith and Alice Pladson were also visiting the area, so was able to see them again too.

We extend our condolences to all of Lillian’s family. They will miss her dearly. She was a wonderful person.


Lillian F. (Cain) Bergstrom
February 21, 1916 – March 29, 2018
Thompson, Lillian 2616-1

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Lillian F. (Cain) Bergstrom, 102, of Superior, WI, passed away on Thursday, March 29, 2018. She was born in Bottineau, ND on February 21, 1916, the daughter of Ulysses and Alice (Stokes) Thompson.

Lillian long held a deep faith in her Lord and Savior and all who knew her were touched by her kindness, caring and love towards them.

“Grandma B” – as she was affectionately known – was a member of the former Zoar Lutheran Church.

Lillian was preceded in death by her parents, eldest son James, husband Carl Bergstrom, brother William Thompson and sisters Esther Tangen and Ella Pladson.

She is survived by her daughter, Lucy (Cain) Herrick, of Superior, WI; sons William Cain, Lake Nebagamon, WI, Donald (Gordona) Cain, Superior, WI and Ronald (Diana) Cain, Superior, WI; twelve grandchildren; seventeen great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.

Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM, Wednesday, April 4th, until the 11:00 AM service at Downs-LeSage Funeral Home, 1304 Hammond Avenue, Superior. Pastor Sarah Kerkes will officiate.

Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery, Superior, WI. Following the graveside service, there will be a gathering of family and friends at the Moose Lodge 606.

Lillian’s family would like to acknowledge the loving care and compassion shown by the staff of Villa Marina.

The Downs-LeSage Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. To leave a condolence or sign the guestbook, please visit our website at www.downs-lesage.com.



Wednesday, April 04, 2018
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Downs-LeSage Funeral Home
1304 Hammond Avenue
Superior, Wisconsin 54880


Metcalfe Geoheritage Park Spring. located in  upper Ontario, Canada
Posting from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Gary and  friends of Dunseith School,

I am Information sharing, for  anyone in the future visiting Ontario

There is another Mississippi River located in  upper Ontario, Canada.

This Mississippi flows through Almonte, Ontario

My paternal grandfather, William, the 7th son of Hugh and Jean (McLean ) Metcalfe was born and grew up in Almonte,  Ontario area.

A  family story, I was told,… my grandfather William  at the turn of the last century;

along with other siblings  pooled  little monies together to help educate their youngest  brother Archie the 9th son.

Another tale? this brother Archie studied with the young Mayo brothers.

My dad’s youngest Metcalfe  uncle, Dr. Archie Metcalfe became a long time  physician, and involved citizen of Almonte, Ontario.

A number of years ago, the town of Almonte dedicated a park on land adjacent to the Canadian Mississippi  River to  Dr. Archie.

A person; former horse trainer, wrote me about one of Dr. Archie’s horses, ‘Black Prince’  was  trained in the location of Metcalfe Park.

A few of us;  grandchildren of William visited Almonte.

Mom and I visited John’s the 8th son  grandchildren at   ” Metcalfe Park”.

It   in a  beautiful wooded area of  rolling hills,  flowing river and falls.

About 8 years ago,  several of William and John  Metcalfe’ grandchildren  were made aware  and  asked to  write  letters of  support;

Metcalfe  Park being  renamed, “Metcalfe Geoheritage Park”. We all were in agreement, that our great uncle Dr. Archie  would have approved.

Any way’s if anyone  ever visits Ottawa area, this is a place special….. for lovers of rock ( as in stone)

On a side note, who was an  Earth Science teacher at Dunseith School?


Vickie Leona Metcalfe
April 2, 2018


Nostalgia, San Haven Staff

Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND

Is Frances Hanson Morinville the lady a little to the left of the short lady in the front row?

 Gary Stokes Comment’s
Thank you Neola for this picture. Do you have any idea when it was taken?

 Folks, Can we identify all those in this picture?
San Haven 2616


The family of Michael and Josephine (LeSedo) Davis Poitra

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

Hi ! Gary,

The family of Michael and Josephine (LeSedo) Davis Poitra. My husband Anthony’s family.

The lady Virginia Poitra who’s obituary was on blog 2614 is my sister-in-law.

You might remember my husband Anthony’s family being very large, by no means the largest , counting the parents, 16. There have been 4 children who have passed on and the parents also,  now there are 6.

It began in 1986 when the father, Michael Poitra passed away at the age of 80.

27 years later in 2013 Dale Poitra, the 11th of the children passed at the of 66.

3 years later in 2016,  3 more of the family passed.

The 1st of these for that year 2016, was Anthony Poitra,  my husband,  he was the 10th child, his age was 71.

The 2nd person of this same year was the matriarch of the family, Josephine,  better known as LeSedo, she was 105,  just 2 months short of turning 106.

The 3rd of the these for this same year was Vita (Poitra) Azure, she was the 8th child, passed at the age of 76.

2 years later in 2018, Virginia, better known as Sister.  The 2nd child of the children passed at the age of 88.

You know when it rains it pours.  Dale’s wife Susie passed away March 2nd, 2018

Ina the eldest daughter fell and broke her clavicle.

Ina’s son Marlin Allery was hit by a pickup truck while cleaning snow from the yard must’ve been doing driveway,  broke many ribs, other bones , some internal injuries, he is very lucky to be alive. This was the same day that Ina fell.

I wish you and yours well,

Ginger Poitra class of 1965


Geraldine (LaFromboise’) Marcavage’s daughter,  Geri
Posting/Story from  Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65): Belcourt, ND

Hi! Gary,

Hope all is going well for Bernadette and yourself. I am friends with Geraldine (LaFromboise’) Marcavage’s daughter,  Geri. She comes over to visit 2, 3 times a month. Today school was out early so she came about 2:30. Geri is a teacher, lives in Bottineau and teaches at Ojibwa just outside Belcourt.

Geraldine tells a story to her kids about a time your father went hunting rabbits. You probably know the story.  I guess your father missed the rabbit and Geraldine said she could kill a rabbit. Your father gave her a look like, yeah right !  I guess Geraldine came back carrying the rabbit she had shot. I think Geri said there were others  in the story who were out hunting rabbits as well.

If you would like you can rewrite the story part.

Ginger Poitra ( class of 1965)

Gary Stokes’ Comments
Geraldine LaFromboise Marcavage was my 2nd grade teacher at Ackworth in the school year 1954/55. It was the first year of winter school at Ackworth, having just switched form Summer school. Geri lived with us that year too, when she taught at Ackworth. As I recall following her High School graduation in Rolla, she attended and obtained her standard for teaching at Minot State. She was a very bright pretty 18 year old gal too. That I remember very well.

The students as I recall that attended Ackworth that year, 1954/55 were:

Roger, Stan & Kathy Salmonson; Bradley Salmonson; Barbara, Harvey &  Laurence Hiatt; John & Dale Pritchared; Arnold Hiatt; Gary & Allen Stokes.

Hope I didn’t miss any. Ginger, you can ask Geri. Also Stan, Kathy, Bradley and Dale, did I forget any that you recall? As I remember, we had 14, so I’m missing two.

I don’t recall the Rabbit story. I remember we had a lot of snow that year. Geri would sometimes have a car, but not always. It was a convertible.


Re: January 21, 2010 reposted blog. Snow planes
From Don Martel (Former DHS Principal):  Rosemount, MN

I’m curious as to whether any of those snow planes are still in use. I suspect they were replaced by the snow mobiles.

Thanks for keeping us in touch Gary, it is greatly appreciated.



Blog (692) posted on January 22, 2010

Posted on January 22, 2010

Reply to Mel Kuhn:

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

Ol’ Mel Kuhn didn’t listen to me well enough when he was buying
parts. I told him all my engines are equipped with two shafts. The first
one is in the engine and the second one is in the warranty! Mel always
asks,” What’s new?” I always tell him that nothing is new—-everything
is used or rebuilt around here. Besides that, you can’t get many
Cadillac parts to fit an old worn out Stud–ebaker! How about that, Mel
Kuhn?!! Thanks Gary!


Picgeon boys & snowplane stories:

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

As long as the snowplane reminiscing is fresh, there are a couple
more memories I could throw in. I was out at Pigeon’s farm one time and
looked at one of the snowplanes they were working on. Gary had rigged an
old double barrel shotgun under the dash and pointing forward through a
hole in the nose. He had sawed off the stock to a pistol grip and then
soldered two rods to the barrels. On top of these rods he had welded
circles so that when you lined up the circles, through the windshield
and had a fox or coyote in both circles, you pulled the trigger! I
remember how he couldn’t stop giggling while I was checking it out. He
was quite the inventor!

Another snowplane they built was made with a Volkswagen Bug body. It
turned out to be way too heavy and got stuck every time they hit deep
snow. That one went in the junk, I think. They also chased fox and
coyotes with cars when there was no snow. They took a pretty nice 1950
Lincoln four door and cut the top off so they could stand up and shoot.
Russell told me he was driving once and Gary stood up in the back seat
to shoot at a fox just when Russell hit a washout in the tall grass. The
car made a wild bounce and threw Gary up in the air. When he came back
down he was laying on the trunk lid with just his heels holding him from
falling off! They were both laughing when they were telling me about it.
I’m sure stories could be written about the episodes of the Pigeon boys!
Thanks Gary!


1955 DHS Football picture:

From Larry Shirk (58): Naperville, IL

Gary: Read your blog daily and came across this picture of the 1955
Dunseith football team. The folks might enjoy naming the players.

Larry Shirk, Class of 58

Larry, I will repost when we have all those in this picture identified. This is a great picture! ThanksGary

Dunseith Main Street Picture:

From Bernard Morin (76):Dunseith, ND

Hi Gary, I was visiting with Rod and Marlene Armentrout recently and came across this post card that Marlene had in a photo album. It has no date and hasn’t been used. Just thought it might be something you could put in the blog. Also could you add Marc Pigeon to the May reunion, he is a “75” graduate. At the current time he doesn’t have Internet access.

 Thanks. Bernard

Eldon Hiatt & John Kofoid Picture:

From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.

I happened to see this clipping when I was looking for something else. I may/may not have sent it before.


Neola, This is a great picture. Eldon Hiatt is the son of Walter & Julia Hiatt. He was also a brother to Freddie and Wallace. Eldon was living in Renton, WA. I’m not sure of his fate at the moment? I’m sure his many nieces and nephew’s on our distribution can fill us in with more info about Eldon. Gary

Dennis Haakenson’s Haflinger Horses:

From Vivian Clark: Bottineau, ND.


I received these pictures from Vivian (Mrs. Dave – deceased) Clark. These pictures are from Scott Wager, the editor of the Bottineau Courant. Scott ran a great article about Dennis (Hawkeye) Haakenson and his Haflinger horses in the January 5th edition of the Courant.

Dennis and Sharon Haakenson live in the hills a few miles north of the golf course on the Lake Road. Dennis built the covered cutter that the horses are hitched to. He’s got all the comforts inside his cutter with a wood stove and all.

Dennis’ mother was Mabel (Arnie) Kofoid Haakenson. Being a Kofoid, she was a cousin to my dad and also Neola’s Dad, Johnny. The highlight of our family reunions is going to Dennis and Sharon’s for a wagon ride thru the back woods with Dennis and his Haflinger team.

Sharon is cousin to Sandy (Rick) Gottbreth too.