Harold Amundson Passed away:
Message from Susan Fassett Martin (65): Spearfish SD

Gary, Just wanted to let you know, in case you want to post it on the blog that Harold Amundson passed away last Mon morning. He was a brother to Helen Nelson, Dagny Haagenson, Ernie Amundson, Gudrun Wood and uncle to Murl Hill and Carol Carbonneau and my great uncle, plus many more in the Dunseith area. It is 4 degrees here right now and lots of new snow. Yucky!!

Susan, We are sorry to hear of Harold’s passing. Where was he living at the time of his death? Gary
Reply from Mark Schmitz (70): mschimetz@msn.com Rolette, ND

Your Grandson has the same Warm that I have seen on his Grandpa, He is a special Kid. I bet you guys have a lot of fun together. My Great Nephew has that same inviting smile. Rachael Vandal first born son Faythan, I always look forward to our visits at Kathy (Schimetz) Wood. He goes over to his Grandmothers after school, as his school is just across the street. His Mother Rachael, or her friend Damon Picks him up to go home later in the day. Best Wishes.

Thank you Mark for the nice compliment. I mistakenly posted Feb 18th as Tyler’s birthday. His birthday was Jan 18th. We called him last night too, to wish him happy birthday. He said he was going to use both his Christmas and Birthday moneys that we sent him to purchase an Ipod. I’m sure his dad will kick in the addition money, if needed, to buy one. From birth, Tyler’s charm and charisma, inherited form his Filipina grandmother, have given him a special place in a lot of folks hearts. He’s a bright boy too with nearly a 4.0 GPA. His half sister, Nevaeh, is following right along in his foot steps. Their mother Sheryl is our daughter. Gary
Horse & Mule Story
Posted by Lyle Olson (65): West Fargo, ND



With all the talk of horses lately, I thought I might add a few stories myself. Rather than work as a clerk in some stuffy law office while going to law school, I worked for the National Park Service during the summer months. I spent one summer at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, ND and three subsequent summers at Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, CO. In any event, my summer at Theodore Roosevelt National Park was spent spraying leafy spurge with Tordon pellets. My work partner was a middle-aged cowboy from that part of the country who had all sorts of experience riding horses and packing mules. My only experience riding horses was riding one of my grandfather’s work horses back to barn from the field. As an aside, my grandfather, Bill Metcalfe, actually farmed with horses until 1973.


We would typically spend Mondays and Tuesdays scouting for leafy spurge. These were all-day rides at a leisurely pace, but over some rather rough terrain in the Badlands. The next three days of the week, we would return to the patches of leafy splurge we had scouted and spray the same with Tordon pellets using a hand-held grass seeder. We would pack our mule – Bernie – with four 50-pound boxes of chemicals and head off for a day of spraying. Well, the very first day of using the mule, my co-worker gave me the reins for Bernie and Bernie was to follow behind. He failed to tell me, however, that I needed to make sure the rope to Bernie did not get under my horse’s tail. Well, of course that happened just after we left the corral and my horse bucked me off. Thankfully, I landed on my arse and not my head!! Unfortunately, I got bucked off right in front of a bus load of tourists with cameras flashing and laughter on each grinning face. I picked myself up and did the walk of shame back to my horse. My co-worker laughed until he almost pe’ed his pants.


Bernie seemed to be a trouble-making soul as he caused me to bucked off several times over that summer, always when tourists were around. I do not know if he got spooked by the tourists or he just waited for the right time to embarass me. He had a nasty habit of stopping dead in his tracks and even if I had the rope tied to the saddle horn, he would move to the side opposite the rope and I would end up getting pulled off my saddle. My co-worker cowboy took great pleasure in seeing me struggle with such a beast!


Upon arrival at the leafy spurge site, we would set about our work by filling large, hand-held grass seeders with chemical. We would then put on our snake chaps as we had to walk through tall grass riddled with snakes. Well, I have a deep fear of snakes and the clicking noise of the grass seeder dispensing the chemical sounded an awful lot like the noise a rattlesnake makes. So every day spreading the chemical was a long day for me. One day I stepped right on a snake! Of course, I thought it was a rattler and immediately threw off my grass seeder and ran the hell away from the snake. My cowboy co-worker, laughing so hard he could hardly talk, walked over to where the snake was and picked up a 6-foot bull snake! Well, I am a reasonably smart fellow so I got to thinking that perhaps I could spray the leafy spurge from horseback. Without telling my co-worker, I reloaded my sprayer and hopped up on my horse. I set off to the next patch of leafy spurge satisfied that I had this all figured out and I would never step on a snake again or have nightmares of doing so. I then put my plan into action. Tying my reins to saddle horn, I used one hand to steady the sprayer and the other hand to turn the sprayer’s handle. Well the Tordon pellets started to fly out of the sprayer and all was good, until, that is, the pellets started to hit the horse’s ears. This spooked my horse and off we went on a run – not a trot but a dead run-. Needless to say I again found myself on the ground, and the grass seeder only enhanced the pain experienced hitting the ground. I didn’t feel the pain at first as my immediate concern was that I landed in tall grass and a snake was about to strike me. Needless to say, I moved mighty quick away from that spot and only then did I feel the pain. My co-worker rode up next to me and asked that I stop clowning around as we had lots of work to do that day! He then chased my horse down and told me to go lie under a tree until I was ready to get back to work! A hard bunch, those Medora cowboys.


I have taken to a horse only once or twice since that summer. I remember Bernie the Mule with great fondness, however, and I thank him every now and then for one of the greatest summers of my life!


Lyle O.

The Great Class of 1975

Alice Kuhn Story

From Noela Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND

Hi Gary,


Thanks to your readers for info about the Demery picture. I now have the address of one of the daughters, Doris McCloud, and will be mailing the picture to her. :)


Also, thanks to your readers for the info/names about the picture that was taken at the Peace Garden (Simeon Grenier and others). It’s interesting to learn the identities of the men in the picture, but it’s also interesting to hear the stories/other info your readers contribute about the different pictures you post for me. To me, what is important about these pictures, is it brings back memories for many people. I enjoy all the pictures/stories/memories you include in your newsletter. It doesn’t matter if I know/don’t know the people mentioned, they are interesting.


A little story about Mel’s mother, Alice Kuhn. One evening this past week, I ate supper with Mom at Good Samaritan. As I walked past Alice’s table (on my way to the lounge to buy a soda), Alice stopped me and whispered to me, “You are a real lady.” I wasn’t sure what she meant, so I asked her what she meant. She said it’s because I always wear dresses. I thought that was a very nice compliment. Alice is such a sweetie; she is always smiling and pleasant. She must bring great joy to the staff/other residents at Good Sam–she always brightens my day when I see her. Alice is always dressed nicely–pretty “tops” and usually wearing a necklace, probably earrings, too. Alice Kuhn is a special lady. Alice mentioned her sister’s (the sister who also lives at Good Sam) was the next day. How special they will be spending it together. :)


I hope this makes sense. Sometimes I’m lazy and don’t proofread what I write.


Trish Larson Wild and Linda Gardner’s uncle – Jason (Jake) Gardner
Posted by Noela Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND


When I read yesterday’s newsletter, I noticed the name Jason Gardner on the Assiniboia info. I then sent this picture to Linda Gardner and Trish Larson Wild Clayburgh, asking if this is the Jason who is mentioned in the info. The picture I sent to them had different text [Jason/Jake & Agnes Norman Gardner with adopted daughter (Hjalmer)]. I asked them if they knew why I had written (Hjalmer) in the text. The following info came from them.


From Trish:
Hello Neola. Wow. You really moved me with this photo. To tears.
I have never seen this photo, but is one of my uncle Jason, his wife Agnes, and Darcy. They raised her as their own as seen here. Darcy’s father was Agnes’ brother’s child (Hjalmer Norman). Her mother I never knew.
Hjalmer was Darcy’s father’s name. He worked with Jake his whole life as far as I know. He seemed to be a very thoughtful man, quiet, strong, perhaps some might say, even brooding. But those are just my impressions from childhood. I never knew him as an adult, but I always admired his hand with horses.
My brother, Greg Larson, is an attorney in Bismark. He handled Jake’s estate for Agnes, and might be better able to tell you more, as could Linda Gardner, who is another niece of Jake’s.
Lou Anne Gardner is another one and she lives West of Belcourt. Her family lived next door to Jake for many years and shared the property line.
Trish Wild
The Equine Nomad
From Linda:
Her name is Darcy – Hjalmer Norman is Darcy’s father, Agnes’ brother. He stayed and worked on the farm with Jake & Agnes and helped work the horses.