Travel Across America
From Trish Larson Wild (73): FORT COLLINS, CO
Hi Gary,

I haven’t given you an update on my travels recently, so thought I would send my Equine Nomad holiday greetings to all, with best wishes for good times and warm gatherings with friends and family.

Since returning from from my travels to Europe and Cozumel, Mexico, in early December, I have been living on the road with my 3 horses again. We are traveling with my truck and trailer, on our way to San Francisco. Tonight we are in Bakersfield, CA after camping for three days in the high desert of Joshua Tree National Park, where we had some very scenic rides in the high desert. My youngest son, Zak, is traveling with me, and it has been wonderful having his company along the route.

I decided against travel through Mexico for now, as conditions there are dangerous and getting worse, depending on which news report you happen to catch. The deciding moment for me was the recent deadly firefight in the streets of the very border town I was planning to cross into Mexico. A reporter and many others were killed in the cross fire.

So my ride to South America is postponed for now, and I’ve gone to plan B, which is to ride my horses at least 200 miles in every US state. I picked that mileage because it’s the same distance as riding to South America – 10,000 miles. I’m very happy and excited with the new plan, and my sons and friends are relieved. I reserve the right to quit if it ever stops being fun, but so far, I’m having the time of my life!

I’m making plans to change my blog format, and currently trying to find a new host. The site I have been using is not user friendly enough, so I decided to change. I’ll let you know when I decide on a new provider, but in the meantime I’m just updating with photos and text on Facebook.

Anyhow, I enjoy reading your blog, and admire your commitment to the Dunseith folks who read it daily. Thank you again for all the work you do. It is a special a gift to so many, and as I am well aware, a lot more work than many people realize. So Thanks!

To Paula Fassett, I would like to say that I sure remember your piano playing during my choir experience. Seems like you were just ALWAYS there, and patiently playing so well! I was in awe of how you could just play anything perfectly, the first time and every time. What a talent, and so casual and humble about it. I hope you still find the time to play….

Any time I think of Choir, I also think of Concert band. Cheryl Haagenson on 1st chair clarinet, Stephanie Evans wailing on sax, and Gary Fulsebakke on trumpet, sometimes in duet with Don Berg or the Henning boy, or my brother Greg. How about Larrett Peterson and was it Lori Williams on Drums, and of course Peter ? on the bass. Who was on that French horn? And I believe Greg Hill played the tuba – am I right? And although Muzette Berube played the clarinet very well, didn’t she switch to oboe at some point? Brenda Hiatt and I sat near each other for a while, trying to squeak a good sound on those awful clarinets, and Pam Fugere, Lynn Gillis, Myra Henning, and Edith Struck played their hearts out on those flutes. I’m sure someone has a photo of the band from that era – there were many more teens playing their brains out during that era. Don Johnson sure knew how to get a lot of people practicing and attending music camp, didn’t he?

And does anyone remember seeing Cheryl belt out the songs in the summer Music Camp production when she played a preacher? It was something. I was there, although I believe I played a minor flower in a field or something….maybe a weed? The director had the idea to have us peons play the landscape – very avant garde! There was no question who the stellar talent was. I remember standing outside the cabin as Cheryl was auditioning, and someone turned around slack jawed, saying “My God, what a voice!”.

We had a wonderful week together, walking the path from the Music Camp dorms to the amphitheatre several times a day. The Peace Garden back paths were so beautiful. I used to ride my horse at a gallop from my house to the Music Camp and back again on the trail through the lovely woods. Like my son does now, I often rode bareback at a gallop, and I can easily recall every turn and dip in that beautiful trail. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to live at the Port and have the Peace Garden as my playground.

Happy memories from good old times.

Best wishes to all for wonderful new memories of this holiday season!








Saturday before Christmas Memories
From Sharon Longie Dana (73): MIssoula MT

Hi Gary, I wish you and Bernadette a Happy Holiday Season !! I wanted to share a christmas memory I have of Dunseith. I remember on a Saturday sometime before Christmas, Santa Claus would show up. This particular time he was in the back of a pick up truck and he gave all of us kids goodie bags with oranges, apples, candy(I always thought the bags were big and even if they weren’t they were FULL). and said he would be at our houses christmas eve. I just remember the excitement and we sang christmas carols and wanted for Santa to show up. It was always cold but we never noticed it. It was such a happy time. I think of it now and it makes me smile. I remember telling my friends to come to make sure we all had goodie bags to take home. Those were the days.


Sharon Longie Dana(73)

Dunseith Community Christmas Concerts memories

Reply from Sharon Gerdes (62): Windsor, CO
Paula, I remember those Christmas eve programs so well. Didn’t matter how cold it was outside, that program had to go on. I thought those bags of peanuts and candy were just awesome, but we seldom had ” store bought” candy. Then we would go home and open presents, which in those days were pretty meager, but oh so special. Again great memories. Thanks, Sharon Gerdes.
Dunseith Community Christmas Concerts memories

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

Paula brought up the Community Christmas concerts from the ’60s. She mentioned the solo by Diane Hill at age 4 or so. Here are the pictures and Dad, Diane, and Paula are together in one. It bears reposting this time of year. Those were the days! Thanks Paula and Gary!


From Dick
Gary and Friends,

What a great memory, Paula! I do remember the Sunday School Christmas programs at the old Dunseith Lutheran Church. The lights were turned down except up front where the kids did their parts, usually dressed like shepherds and wise men and the rest. The other thing I remember was that the old church was bursting at the seams with standing room only. I remember how Carl Grimme would quietly and diligently care for the furnace and the appearance of the church building. He could often be seen walking across the street to check how things were over at the church. I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think he was given enough credit for his continued monitoring to be sure everything was in order, which he made sure it was. Another thing I remember was the rope that came through the ceiling in the entry that we pulled to ring the bell. When we were older, maybe 14-15, we used to get to ring the bell before church. We always had younger kids hanging around wanting to ring the bell so we played a trick on them. It was the same trick the older kids played on us. If you pulled the rope down slowly, it would come down about 6-7 feet without ringing the bell. We would stand on the rope and hold it down and tell a small kid, “Well, OK you can ring the bell. Now grab on and don’t let go whatever you do.” They would hold on tight and when we were ready to ring the bell, we would let go of the rope and the little kids would go up half way to the ceiling. We would grab them and set them down and then ring the bell. You could only get a kid to fall for that ONCE! In the old church there were floor registers for heat. Nearly every Sunday some kid would drop his nickel or dime that he brought for the offering and we would hear it go through the register and roll down the duct work toward the furnace–and then usually hear a little kid start crying. I think Paula is right about the program in the old days being on Christmas Eve and I KNOW she is right about what was in the bag of treats that was given to each kid as they were leaving the church at the end of the program.. Good memory Paula! Thanks for stirring the old memories. Thanks Gary.


Previously posted on July 10, 2009
Message/pictures from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

Paula Fassett brought up the Community Christmas Concerts we had back
in the mid 60s. I think Dad was encouraged to direct the choir made up
of all ages of folks from the area. I remember I was also ‘encouraged’
by Dad to be in it, although at the time I was one of the only kids my
age involved. The school choirs were also involved in the Christmas
programs, again under his direction. The pictures below are of one of
these concerts and were taken in the old city hall. The little girl by
Dad is Diane Hill. Next to her are Paula Fassett and Gail Henning. My
guess is Christmas 1965. Thanks Gary!



I looked back to July 2009 and in the message Paula correctly dated the concert to 1964 rather than ’65. Thanks.