Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

I enjoyed Larry’s story about his uncle Gus. I never knew why he hauled hay at night, although we all knew he did and watched out for him on Hwy 43 if it was a late night in the winter. Larry’s story reminded me of a time in the late 50’s when I went along with Bennie Johnson to get a load of hay from a stack down south of the Willow Lake school. He had a nice big gray team and a hay rack on the sleigh. He did the loading with a pitchfork as I was pretty small, probably 8-9 years old. When he was loaded we climbed back on the hay and headed up the Willow Lake road. About half way home he gave the team some slack rein and they started to trot a bit. I moved to the back of the load and then thought it might be fun to slide down the back and maybe hold on to the rack and slide behind on my feet. Bennie couldn’t see what I was up to behind the load so he had no idea what a dumb thing I was about to do. I did manage to get down and grab the spindles on the rack and slide along for quite a ways. The next thing I knew, the sleigh passed over a bare patch of gravel and my boots stuck and I landed on my face on the road. I got up and tried to run and catch up to the sleigh but the horses were going faster than my legs could run. I ran for a long way and finally Bennie reined the team back and I caught up and climbed back on the back of the rack. He never knew I fell off and I sure never told him what a dumb trick I pulled. The other thing I remember about that trip was that when he pulled up in front of his barn he said, “Whoa, whoa, whoa–each time looking down at me–and the team kept jerking the tugs–“Whoa, whoa”, finally Bennie said,”Whoa, you sons-a-b___hs!” They stopped and just leaned on one back leg. He didn’t want to use the term they were waiting to hear while I was along, but he had no choice. Thanks Gary!


Minnesota snow song
Posted by Leland Hagen (50): BRYAN, TX
Hi Gary,
This may be too large to include in your
daily email but ay least I hope you get
a kick out of it! Everyone on your list could relate to the content of this song.
Really a catchy little number.
Leland Hagen (50)
Leland, This is a link, so it’s not too large for posting. This is great! I love the old time country music too. Gary
Reply from Sharon Zorn Gerdes (62): Windsor, CO

Gary, your house is just beautiful- looks like living in paradise but the humidity and heat don’t do much for me. Was wondering- I have only seen the steel (?? ) roofs like that where they have a lot of snow. The snow just slides off. So why do they use them in the Philippines? Sharon Gerdes

Sharon, Steel roofs are the norm for this country. Because there is no snow, the roofing is placed directly over the framing. The Galvanized steel sheets are a lot lighter than other roofing materials too, thus eliminating the need for the heavier framing required for other materials. The building practices are much different here than what I was used to. I have injected a few American practices here and there though. These folks had never seen or heard of Joist hangers that are commonly used back in the states. They were amazed with how nice they worked when I had some made for several projects. When my American friends saw those joist hangers, they asked where I purchased them.




Reply from Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA


Did you really mean to say that you have an air conditioner in your “bed”????? Hmmmmm!! I guess nothing more needs to be said about that, huh? lol :)

From the photos, your place really looks beautiful. You and Bernadette can be justifiably proud of what you have.
Keith Pladson (66)

Keith, 30 years ago maybe, but these days, the A/C in the room will suffice. Many of our EXPAT freinds in some of the developments here have much nicer and more beautiful homes than ours. Of coarse there are others that do not. There does not seem to be a lot of competition among the EXPAT folks here to outdo the others either. We have designed our home to accomodate our likes and needs.
I have pasted several pictures below of our lot that were taken in 2004 before we started developing. These are homes and not Chicken houses in these pictures. We purchased this lot (70′ X 210′) adjacent to our house after we had our house build. The new addition to our house is on this lot. There were 7 shanties on this lot when we bought it. It was a bit of a hassle getting these folks moved. We had to give them money so they could dismantle their shanties and rebuild them somewhere else. It was hard cutting down the beautiful 30 plus, very mature, tall coconut trees too, enabling us to build. Today, this lot with our house, is entirely enclosed with a combination of buildings and an 8′ high cement fence. We have our own little compound in the middle of an authentic Filipino neighborhood.












Reply from Trish Larson Wild (73): FORT COLLINS, CO


Loved Larry’s photos and Gary, your home is beeeaaaaauuuuuuutifulllll!

Love the colors.
Updated my blog for those of you who occasionally read it. I’m writing more often now about my adventures. I begin my 10,000 miles across America tour on 1/11/11 at 11:11.
I’m starting where I am, in the Sacramento area, and will be moving on to Yosemite and King’s Canyon as soon as I heal this &*^%$## sciatica. It’s getting better fast though. Good Chiropractors rock!!!
Anyhow, thought I’d give you a head’s up. I am keeping my horses on pasture for a few more days while I “Doctor” myself. Small world, the owner is a woman who was born in Rugby. I told her about Larry’s crazy “tailight” story, and she wants me to email it to her. Is that ok with you Larry?
Anyhow, I adore getting comments on my blog from my ND friends. North Dakotans are a special breed. Hope you all are staying warm this winter!