02/25/2024 (2819)

Dear Dunseith Alumni and friends,

It’s been a while since I’ve done a posting. The last posting I posted was December 2023.

The past 18 years we have covered a lot of history doing these blogs. This is blog number 2,819. Every Blog is saved on our Website  https://dunseith.net/blog/

Within this site, located on the upper right hand side, there is a beautiful search (find) feature. Example, Finding Gary Stokes in the postings. If you type Gary Stokes in the find feature without “ “ it will find every Gary and every Stokes. If you Type, with quotes, “Gary Stokes” it will find everything exactly as printed  between the “  “.

From 12/26/2023 – 1/6/20/24 we had a beautiful 10 day SE Asia Cruise on the Diamon Princes. We sailed form Singapore with two port calls each in Viet Nam and Thailand.  It had been 55 years since I had stepped foot on Vietnam soil. We spent one day in Danang and one day in Saigon now Hoi Chi Minh City. The country has really changed in the past 55 years. It’s now a semi modern country with modern roads, freeways, cars, shopping, etc. Our tour guide told us that for them Hoi Chi Minh City will always be Saigon.

Next month Angel and I are planning a 4 night, 5 day Trip, to Hong Kong with another couple. We have tours schedules for Disney Land, Macau and Hong Kong Proper. It should be a fund trip with good friends.

Next month Angel will be scheduling another appointment with the US Embassy in Manila for a Multi entry tourist Visa. Hopefully she will get it this time around. They are afraid she will go to the USA and not come back to the Philippines. That will never ever happen, but if it did, she’d be a lot better immigrant than a lot of those currently passing thru our southern border. As long as I am living Angel will be with me and I plan on living right here the rest of my life with annual trips back to the USA. When I am gone, she will have a enough survivors benefits to sustain living right here for the rest of her life. She will never leave her family. When I pass, she will be eligible to apply for a USA Widows immigrant Visa and get it too. As long as I am alive, in their eyes, she is a risk for fleeing to the USA. I don’t understand their thinking. The real problem is, they don’t even look at her qualifications and life with her interviews. She’s just a number with a 2 minute one way interview. She is not allowed to ask questions or present any qualifications that she is required to take with her to the interviews. I now have doctors letters from Minot and from my Local doctor here that Angel must be with me with my trips back to the USA for my annual Doctor appointments in Minot. We do have a way to get those letters to the US embassy before her interview. We’ll see what happens.

We plan, hopefully with Angel, to be back in the Bottineau/Dunseith area for most of the month of July this coming summer. We’ll probable arrive there about July 10th, leaving the first part of August. From there we will spent a week in Bremerton, WA with a possible several day visit in Denver to visit my grandson, Tyler, on the way. From Bremerton, we’ll visit friends in Las Vegas for about 4 days before heading back to Cebu, Philippines. Angel is really looking forward to this trip too, as am I.



How Germans from Russia weathered the winter while homesteading
Posting from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

January 18, 2024

Hello Gary and friends of Dunseith,

My across the street good neighbor, Wesley Schneider was of German from Russia heritage.  He shared many a story  of his family of origin experiences while homesteading in Kansas.  They settled there to homestead before  relocating to rural Dunseith.

One of my friends in grad school, and three teachers I worked with in Montana  where I taught  were  also of German from Russia heritage. I believe full  2nd/3rd generation. Germans from Russia.

I marveled at their family stories, work ethic, hardy determination,  and  generous sharing  of wonderful wholesome ethnic foods!…yum  Kneiffla, Fleschkieckle & Biericks (Kansas burgers).

My friends  never did quite convince me to eat chicken feet in smothered in white gravy though they showed me how… It was apparent  their ancestors  made use of every part of the animal.

The Prairie museum at Rugby did have an excellent display which  also celebrated Germans from Russia. It was a place of interest  Mr. Larry  Haugen  liked  grade 6 field trip students  to visit  while  visiting the Geographical Center of North America.

Later, Vickie L. Metcalfe

Read more on How Germans from Russia weathered the winter while homesteading at


February 12, 2024
Posting from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

 Gary and Friends of Dunseith,

My mother got a multitude of seed catalogues in January.

By February, she was looking at  her former notes as she pored  over each catalogue, and ordering her seeds accompanied by a check signed, Mrs. Clifford Metcalfe.

If she didn’t have a postage stamp, she counted out the pennies, attached  by  a clothespin to the envelopes. One of her girls took the envelopes and carefully carried  to the rural mail box by the gravel road, at the top of the Oak covered Hill North of the house.  A rural carrier, Mr. Bob Stickland or Mr. Hosmer  would drive before noon, to deliver mail, if the mail box flag was lifted up, the letter would be taken and posted out of the Dunseith Post Office, managed by Mr. Bill Fassett.

Mom had a few standbys she ordered every year. (My younger sister remembers those favored by mom she purchases the same and is committed to her vegetable garden)

Mom made her  first garden East of our old house Dad would plow and disc  the soil each spring when it was warm, usually after Memorial Day. Then dad would help her plant potatoes in the evening when he was home from working out.  When mom planted corn it was 3 kernels to a hill.  She’d say,” One for the gardener,  one for the ? and one for the crow.

Mom  planted, labeled the  seedlings rows with heavy string,  She carried buckets of water from a well a good ways from the garden or a water barrel behind the house. She sang hymns as  she  weeded and hoed.

Mom’s garden was expanded into about an acre in spring of 1961, the house was plumbed, water  line dug from the well, and sewer line. Laid The water and sewer lines were dug by  Duane Sorben, a fellow our dad had plastered a home for from Bottineau. Then, another water line was trenched from the Seim East well to the huge garden in the evening  milk cow pasture. Those water and sewer trenches were dug scary deep! It was days after the deep trenches dug, dirt settled before the pipe  was laid and recovered with disturbed soil was put in  back in place.

That summer, Metcalfe family friend, Walter DuBois l worked for weeks and aid blocks many feet down for the  well pump worked to pump water up hill to the house.  Dad had built an addition for an indoor  bathroom, running water in the kitchen and a master bedroom….There was a baby due in September.. Walter brought a beautiful grey tabby kitten with four white socks He brought the kitten for the youngest daughter. The kitten was christened  “Twinkle Toes.”..

Dad  and mom built a woven wire fence for the  Acre garden.

Our Mom spent many  a year, planning, planting tending,  watering, weeding, hoeing, harvesting, and canning various vegetables  all the  while singing hymns like “In the Garden”, Old Rugged Cross”, Holy Holy Holy, Lord God Almighty.

“Lottie’s girls got the experience of hoeing, weeding, watering, picking and cleaning vegetables.

We got the experience of carrying potatoes, canned vegetables and fruits  down  into the  dirt cellar..

During winter months about  late February one of the  Saturday jobs included going down  the steps to the cellar to sprout the potatoes.  Whilst up stairs mom was looking through her seed catalogues deciding what to order.  Sometimes she s got brave found enough egg or cream cheque money and strayed from the standard choices and bravely ordered stuff like kohlrabi

Mom’s flowers were next to the house mostly marigolds, peonies, sweet peas; were shaded from the south sun by a row of caragana favored by pollinators; bees and hummingbirds.

Before she got running water mom watered her flowers with saved dish water and rinse water. And, water which Mom and Dad had  bucket carried uphill from the old  stock well.

side note;

Dad said ,  The Seim East Well had never gone dry during the great depression dirty 30’s drought.”

A family story, was told and affirmed by  William Metcalfe II, and Art Seim.  The East Well was the site of an area political gathering. Where Our dad’s dad ,William McLean Metcalfe I  once gave a political speech  to area Hill People….supporting William Langer. in his running for political office……

Later, Vickie L. Metcalfe