Reply from Sharon Zorn Gerdes (62): Windsor, CO

Thanks so much Gary, it was a great day, grandkids love birthdays so they are fun. And you know, being old is pretty good too. Sharon Gerdes
Sharon Zorn Gerdes (62):
Reply from sister Marlys Zorn Bryan (69): Fairbury, Nebraska


Thank you for remembering Sharon’s birthday. All of you probably remember Sharon because of the way that she played the organ in church so beautifully, or you know her for her physical beauty, or how smart she was and is. But, being her younger sister, I’ve known her all my life. On her birthday, I’d like to honor her by adding yet more great information that others may not know about her: I’d like to say that I have never known a kinder or more generous woman than Sharon. A small example: even when she was fighting for her life during her battle with cancer, she was making brownies to take to the radiology department when she’d go for x-rays, and making cookies for the family down the block. I can’t think of a second in her life when she wasn’t doing something for someone else. She never ceases to amaze me because I have never seen a selfish second in her—ever!!!

Happy birthday, Sharon!!


Marlys, With the postings we have received from Sharon and with the frequent one on one email messages Sharon and I have exchanged, These are the same impressions that I have developed of her too. A wonderful, wonderful person indeed. Gary

Simeon Grenier:
Reply from Joe Johnson (77): Lindstrom, MN 

Gary, good memory, yes Simeon is my Grandfather. Neola thanks for submitting the photo, it brought back many great memories of my brother Jeff and I playing “crazy” rummy and pinochle with Simeon at his home. We took care of his yard under his close direction and of course he paid us for our work. Then when the yard was done we almost always played some cards and Simeon attempted to win some of that money back from us playing cards. Jeff and I always played together, feeding each other points, to beat Simeon and most of the time, at least in pinochle, we did. So we might have a little extra money after pinochle but we usually played at least one game of “crazy” rummy too. Playing rummy Simeon usually got some of his money back and sometimes even a bit of our yard work money, as he was a real good “crazy” rummy player. He told us we played pinochle just like our Dad and of course we learned the game from Mom and Dad, playing many games, single and double deck, on winter days at home.

Just off the bat, I thought the t-bird was a ’61 or ’62, but Allen mentioned he thought the photo was taken in the 50’s. So, since I was so sure about the year of the car, tonight I did some research on the car from the photo that I mentioned yesterday and it is definitely a ’63 bird, so now I think the photo was taken in ’63 or ’64.



Ed Milligan drove T-birds. That was probably his car.

I see your Granddad Simeon was about 89 with his death in 1978


Ed Milligan & Henry Sunderland phote
Reply frm Bob Lykins (Teacher): Hutto, TX

Gary, The two gentlemen in the photo wearing kilts look Samoan. They are definately from one of the Southwest Pacific Island groups.


Hank Salmonson (38) – Gottbreht memories:
Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND
Gary and friends,

Thank You, Sharron for another piece of the story of the 1923 photo.

I ate lunch at the local bowling alley café in Bottineau today with my friend Hank.
I told him about putting a photo on Gary’s blog of Mrs. Eric Gotttbeht, her two children with my Grandad and aunts. I told him of Sharon’s response. Hmm, the name was ” Mrs. Frank Erik Gottbreht.”

He recalled many years ago the Gottbreht family lived on the N. side of School Section Lake. We discussed how my Granddad’s first wife, Bertha, was of German decent. Often people seek out others with common interests. It is quite possible my Uncle Bill had identified the people in the photo for mom.

When Hank went attended DHS he worked at the Dairy for his room and board. He recalled although he was quite old, Frank Gottbreht was good at milking cows. Also at the time, Mr. G. lived with family members at the Dairy Farm.
Those were days before automation. Days when morning and night all the milking was done by hand! He’d heard, perhaps Mrs. G. left some time before going back east to her family, not caring for the hard life on a farm in the hills of North Dakota.

Later, Vickie
Horse hay ride story:
From Gary Fulsebakke (71): Devils Lake, ND

Hi Gary,”


Reading Larry Hackman’s story about the midnight hayrides, I am reminded of my own adventures on our farm west of the Peace Garden.

From the 50’s until the mid 60’s we used horses often to haul hay and wood. Using “live horsepower” would from time to time, create some interesting situations. On one occasion we were moving hay from a field north of our house to a feedlot. My dad would pitch the hay onto the rack and it was my job to tramp and pack the hay down. We finally finished for the day and my father informed me that he was going to cut a hole in the ice for the cattle and that he wanted me to take the team and rack down to the yard and begin to take the harnesses off the horses. Now I was only 11 or 12 at the time and had very limited experience handling a team of horses. Nevertheless, after reviewing some of the fundamental instructions

for driving a team of horses, he left me with the reins in my hand and headed for the lake. My mind raced forward to the steep winding hill that ran by the side of our house, but I pushed any thoughts of impending doom from my mind, took a deep breath, clicked my tongue a few times and slapped the reins on the horses rumps. The horses immediately sensed that a rookie was at the reins, but seemed to give me the benefit of the doubt. The sleigh lurched forward and the horses settled into a comfortable trot. Things went well for the first hundred yards or so. but as we began descending the dreaded hill, the inertia of the sleigh and the pressure from the yokes sent the horses into a wild gallop. I pulled on the reins with all my might, but it had no effect. After passing by the house, we careened sharply to the right, following a path that led to the West lake where my dad was cutting the hole in the ice. As we approached the lake, the horses veered off the path to the left, (which I believe was intentional), and headed for an area of tree stumps, some of which were over two feet high. As soon as we hit that minefield of stumps the hayrack began to disintegrate beneath my feet. Dancing frantically to find something solid to stand on, it was all I could do to keep from falling through the rack and serious injury. My dad, who saw what was happening, ran up to meet the horses, grabbed their bridles, and finally got them to stop. Now my dad had been a champion boxer in the Navy, and at that point, he began to give the two horses a beat down, punching them in the mouth ala Alex Carras in “Blazing Saddles”.(ouch!). The horses seemed to learn their lesson because they never did anything like that again, even with me driving!

Another time, we were hauling hay from our “big field” east of the farm. It was a beautiful day, several degrees above freezing, with no wind, bright sun and a beautiful cobalt blue sky. In no time we had shed our outer garments, fully embracing this rare winter thaw. As the day wore into late afternoon, it became considerably colder, dropping below freezing. My father threw the last forkful of hay on the oversized load and we pointed the horses towards home. I scrambled up to my favorite perch at the very top of the stack. I felt like I was on the top of the world! But as we approached the long, steep, winding hill on the road that led to our farm, I always got butterflies. While it was true that we had made that trip dozens of times without incident, the potential for disaster was always there. The ditches on either side of the road were steep and very deep. But, I thought to myself, my dad is at the reins, the horses have always been dependable, and so I settled into my nest of hay and tried to enjoy the ride. As we neared the curve near the bottom of the hill, the large load and slick road caused the horses to go into a slightly faster trot. As we hit the curve, I felt the load shift to the left. I rolled as quickly as I could to the right only to find myself cascading down an avalanche of snow and hay. I ended up in the bottom of the ditch, a fall of about 30 feet, but fortunately, the hay and snow provided a thrilling ride down! My dad called down to see if I was alright. I was. We then proceeded to put all that hay back on the rack. A great memory! Gary Fulsebakke
Unidentified family:
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND
Folks, Do any of you know this family? Gary