Friday, September 29, 2006

September 29, 2006 - Friday

Todays Gazette is brought to you by Edward Claussen. 9/9, 1920 - 9/8,
The current temperature is 43 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 51/30
Normal H/L temp for this date is 64/40
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
I'm sure many remember former teacher and basketball coach Ed
Claussen. The Claussen's have spent the past several years in Kenosha,
Wis. Ed passed away Sept. 8 of this year at the age of 85. The Claussen
family left Grafton for Kenosha Wis. in 1962. He leaves his wife, in
Kenosha and a son Edward "Chip" (Audrey) Claussen Jr., Michigan City,
Ind,; brother, Robert, Houston, Texas; and two grandchildren.
I am pleased to welcome Tony Feltman and Armando Serrano Jr. to "our"
Gazette family.
===== ARDELL FORTIER =====
Ardell Fortier, 80, of Grafton and formerly of Drayton, North Dakota
passed away at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo on Monday evening, September
25th, 2006.
Ardell T. Fortier was born March 23, 1926 to Edmund and Aurelia (Bushaw)
Fortier at Forest River, North Dakota. In July of 1955 he married Judy
Fischer at East Grand Forks, Mn. Ardell settled near Drayton and farmed
in the area for many years. On July 24, 1981 he was united in marriage
to Beth Helgason at Grand Forks. Family members include his wife, Beth;
a son, Larry, Drayton; six daughters, Susan Fortier, Detroit Lakes, MN,
Kathleen (Tom) Hankins, Aurora, CO, Julie (John) Kirkeby, Oslo, MN, Kim
(Brian) Thompson, Grafton, ND, Mary Lynn (Charles) Quann, Chesapeake, VA
and Lisa (Alan) Nixon, Ithaca, NY; four step children, Terry Helgason,
St. Paul, MN, Les (Bev) Helgason, Grand Forks, ND, Craig Helgason, Grand
Forks and Roberta (David) Phillips, Walhalla, ND; 13 grandchildren; a
sister, Darlene Plutowski, East Grand Forks and a brother, Harley
(Marilyn) Fortier, Boyne City, MI. Funeral services are Saturday,
September 30th, at 10:00 a.m. in the Drayton High School Gymnasium.
Visitation will be at the Adamson-Austin Funeral Chapel in Drayton on
Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m.
Lee Bratlie would like to share the following tribute to Ardell.
----- A Tribute To A Tough Old Bird -----
A feeling of deep sadness passed over me as I read the last
paragraph of the Wednesday edition of the Gazette. The world lost a
great person in the passing of Ardell Fortier, which was reported by
his son-in-law Brian Thompson.

When I was younger I worked part time for Ardell during the spring and
fall on his farm, probably 12 or 13 years total. I welcomed the
change of working outside during the late afternoons and
evenings after working inside all day. Cultivating in the spring,
and swathing grain, harrowing stubble, and plowed in
the fall. Although I didn't know him as well as some people, I think
I knew the "real" Ardell better than many people. So I'd like to share a
few thoughts of Ardell, and if you see fit you have my permission (as
always) to print my comments.

I remembered the time he removed the broken water pump from
the engine in a Versatile swather in the time it took me to drive a
couple miles into Drayton to pick up a new one at Bondys Carquest, then
had the new one installed in the time it took me to drive the two miles
to the farm to get anti-freeze and water. We laughed about that this
summer one afternoon when we were reminiscing about "old times."

I remembered the time he brought me home a set of golf clubs from his
winter stay in California, and when I asked how much I owed him, he
replied, "NOTHING RIGHT NOW MISTER, but you'd better plan on working
for me this spring when fieldwork starts to pay them off."

I also remembered the times we'd "go for parts", and he'd talk of
nothing but his kids, and tell me how proud of them he was. I wish I had
a dollar for every time he told me he had "6 beautiful daughters, and
one lovely son." I thought of that, and hoped that he had taken the
time to tell them how much they meant to him, and how proud of them he

Then I thought about the fall my wife and I were expecting our second
child. I was a member of the union at American Crystal at the time,
and there was talk of a strike. Ardell asked how it would effect me,
and I told him if we went on strike my medical insurance would be
cancelled, and with a family to feed, a new baby on the way, and no
job I didn't know what I would do. He looked at me and said he hoped I
knew I had a full time job with him if we should go on strike. I
thanked him for the offer, but reminded him nobody knew how long the
strike would last if there was one, and I didn't want to leave him
short a person if I had to return to American Crystal before harvest
was complete. He replied that would be his problem, not mine, and
he'd worry about his problems, and I should worry about mine. He said
that in that gruff voice he had, but I understood the real meaning of
his words that night.

When the ballots were counted the vote was something like 112 for a
strike and 3 against, me being one of the three voting against the
strike. Ardell had told me to stop out at the farm after the vote so
I did, and after hearing the results he told me to be back at 7:00 AM
to work. I drove potato truck for him during the strike, and when it
would rain he would tell the truck drivers not to bother coming to work
for a few days, except for me, he'd tell me to show up the next morning
and he'd find something for me to do. I always showed up, and he always
found something for me to do. And I've thought of that generosity quite
a few times the past couple days.

Then I thought of one evening shortly after the strike had began. I
drove in the farmyard at quitting time and was walking to the shop. I
heard loud voices, actually Ardell was yelling something at the top of
his lungs. As I walked in the shop a silence fell over it, and both
Ardell and his son Larry stared at me. Larry grabbed my arm and said
"let's go" about the time Ardell yelled, "DON'T YOU SAY A WORD ABOUT
THIS TO HIM." After we got in Larry's pickup I asked him what was
going on. Had I done something wrong? Larry told me it didn't concern
me, and not to worry about it, but I knew that wasn't true. Several
years later, after plying Larry with more than a few adult beverages
I again asked him what had happened that night in the shop.
He made me take an oath of silence, and told me I'd better never
tell his Dad he told me. I agreed and heard "the rest of the story"
about that evening in the shop. I've kept my word and never told this
story before, but in light of the circumstances of this note in the
first place, I think both Ardell and Larry will forgive me for
breaking the silence.

Larry told me that a neighbor of Ardells, and a long time friend,
someone who had a stake in the place I worked, had driven into the
farmyard and asked if it was true "that Bratlie was working for him."
Ardell told him I was, and this person responded that Ardell should fire
me, because if I wanted to work I shouldn't have went on strike. If I
told you what actually was said after that you wouldn't be able to
print this, so I'll give you the "Readers Digest Version."

Ardell told this person that he would run his "DOGGONE" farm the way he
saw fit, and it was none of this guys business who the "HECK" he had
working for him in the first place. He "suggested" that the person may
want to leave his yard before he figured out a new use for a 12" Cresent
wrench. But the person wouldn't give up, and Ardell finally told him
this. "I gave Lee my word that he would have a job if he needed one,
and I won't go back on my word. Not for any reason, not to you, not to
anyone. So get the "heck" off my yard before I get really "mad."

The easy thing for Ardell to do that day would have been to tell me
that my working for him was causing problems, and ask me not to come
back. And I would have fully understood that. Or he could have told that
person he was short drivers, and although he didn't like having me out
there, he had no choice. Or he could have came up with a million other
excuses for me being there, but he didn't. He said he gave me his word,
and he wouldn't go back on it for anyone, for any reason.

Ardell and Larry probably forgot this story years ago Gary, as it
happened in 1981. My daughter Kristi who was born that fall is now
married and the mother of my first grandson. But I haven't forgot.
And I won't forget it as long as I live. I learned a lesson from Ardell
that fall, one that I've tried to live up to ever since. Say what you
mean, mean what you say, and above all make sure your word is worth

So if someone asks you what kind of a person Ardell Fortier was Gary,
tell them this. Tell them he was a man who loved his family, and he was
a man of his word. Can you think of a better means of measurement of
a persons worthiness on this earth? No wonder God left him here for 80
years before calling "the tough old bird home."

Rest in peace my friend.
Leland Bratlie
>>> Thanks for caring and sharing Lee. We would all be so blessed as to
warrant, and have, someone share such wonderful words of us someday.
The Gazette works best, when the folks that read it, write it. Or so it
seems to me.

Write if you can, call if you can't, and, tell your loved ones they are,
before it's too late.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

September 28, 2006 - Thursday

09/28/06 THURSDAY
Todays Gazette is brought to you by the 2006 American Crystal
Sugarbeet Harvest.
The current temperature is 43 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 57/36
Normal H/L temp for this date is 65/40
The low did dip to 28.9 for a few minutes early this morning.
Full stock pile sugarbeet harvest is scheduled to begin this Friday
night at midnight. (weather permitting)
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Tomorrow night at midnight. One of the most significant, and
fascinating, processes in the Red River Valley will begin in earnest,
weather permitting. Thousands of people will come together to man the
myriad of equipment needed to harvest upwards of 11 million tons of
Many area businesses will remain open extended hours throughout the
harvest, with several operating twenty four hours a day to assist in
harvest operations.
During the harvest period, literally thousands of trucks loaded with
sugarbeets will travel hundreds of Red River Valley roads to their
respective receiving stations. With many growers running twenty four
hour schedules, time to sleep often becomes a premium. Each day of
harvest, tens of thousands of tons of sugarbeets will be harvested and
stockpiled for later processing. Even though safety is always a major
concern, often long hours, sometimes during less than favorable weather
conditions, can sometimes slow ones reaction time giving cause for all
of us in the valley to be especially careful.
I am still hearing and receiving tributes to Ricardo "Dick" Escobar.
Former "Graftonite", Don Kitzman who presently resides in the Mesa
Arizona, sent the following. >>> Gary,
Your obituary and tribute Tuesday about Ricardo Escobar, was a true
description of Ricardo!
I knew Ricardo before he became a resident of Grafton, and he was
always a gentleman and caring individual. He and Delia were a wonderful
couple that raised a wonderful family of Five.
Thanks to you Gary, for the fine tribute to Ricardo Escobar! Our
prayers go out to Delia and Family! Don Kitzman <<< Thanks a
million for caring and sharing Don. Your kind comments and those of many
others add credence to the following quote. "The true wealth of a man,
is not counted by gold and jewels. Rather by the respect of family and
friends." (GLM) To that end, Ricardo was an extremely wealthy man.
I notice several SOLD signs sitting on top of Country Realty signs
around town. It appears as though Paul and Marietta Campbell's house
will soon have new occupants. The house Father John Garland built on
Griggs Avenue for his retirement also has a SOLD sign out front. Jack
and Dorothy Morgan were the last residents of that particular south end
Small town America, Use it or lose it.
It's funny how things change as we get older. Maturity is that time It
becomes easier to look backward rather than forward. A time when one
looks forward to getting up in the morning and going to the
bathroom,.... especially, if it can be in just that order.
The ageing process, for me at least, also creates a condition some
refer to as brain flatulence. For instance. The other day I received,
and ultimately sent out, a note from Lyle Anderson. A new found friend
and short term neighbor from Rocky Point. Lyle lives in Idaho. For some
reason (I suspect the cause was a brain flatulent) I confused Lyle with
Lowell Efterfield, another new found friend and Rocky Point neighbor.
Maybe it was because both names had the letter L in them. Maybe because
Lyle originates from the Warren area and Lowell north of Oslo. More than
likely, however, I was confusing my ability to write, with my ability to
think. Unaware of the ultimate deterioration of both. At any rate,
until now, only Lowell, Lyle, and I knew of my well honed ability to
screw things up.
So, if it's true that the first step on the road to humility is
admitting ones mistakes. Please consider Yesterdays Gazette a very small
step toward that end.
And, I am most grateful Lyle Anderson was kind enough to nudge me back
in the right direction with the following note. He wrote: >>> Gary, I
think you have the wrong Lyle. The Lyle who sent you the e-mail about
the Walleye, is the Lyle who met you at the resort, Rocky Point in
Warroad. Not a problem tho, I sure enjoy your news letter.
Lyle Anderson, Hailey, Id. <<< Thanks a million Lyle. I think I'm on
the right track now.
Now then, since I have Lyle and Lowell straight in my mind, and since
Lowell is in fact a sailer. I'll share the following "tidbit" on
sailing. >>> Bet you didn't know this!
In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters
carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It
was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to
prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method
devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on
four, resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30
cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the
cannon. There was only one problem... how to prevent the bottom layer
from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a
metal plate called a "Monkey" with 16 round indentations.
However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly
rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make "Brass
Monkeys." Few land lubbers realize that brass contracts much more and
much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the
temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so
much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it
was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass
monkey." (All this time, you thought that was an improper - expression,
didn't you?)
We are pleased to send Ron Thompson's name to the subscription
department today. Ron is not only a retired Grafton school
administrator, he also "offers" to buy coffee at Granny's,... when he
And,.. I'm told, can deliver a pretty darn good sermon at Grafton
Lutheran Church when called upon as well. I do know he's never short of
words at Granny's anyway.
The Gazette works best, when the folks the read it, write it. Or so it
seems to me.

Write if you can, call if you can't, and, tell your loved ones they are,
before it's too late.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

September 27, 2006 - Wednesday

Todays Gazette is brought to you by The Hungry Man's Cafe.
The present temperature is 43 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 64/47
Normal H/L temp for this date is 65/40
We received .02" of rain since midnight.
The colder it gets,.. the more humble we get.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Ryer Stark has been spending a lot of time on scaffolding lately,
giving every indication that the Westside Drive Inn will be taking on a
brand new look for the 2007 season. At first I thought maybe he was
installing a "Ma Leruds" type driveup window so we could get
WagonMasters all winter. Then I heard about the new paintup & fixup
project. I guess Rome wasn't built in a day either. It sure is food for
thought though, (pardon the pun).
P.S. I wonder what colors it will be?
It looks like gas (the kind cars run on) is back in the daily news.
Denise sent this from Washington state. >>> Hi Gary, I just wanted to
comment on the gas situation here in Olympia. It is 2.56 here at
Costco but around town it's 2.65-2.75. Dad said it is 2.27 in Arizona
and a friend of mine from Texas got it for 1.99 WOW! I sure wish it
would get down to that again all over. I just can't believe how much
difference there is between the states.
I was sorry to hear about Irene Nelson. We used to hang out around
there house when her grandson Scott Nelson would stay for the
summers. She was a great lady and I was saddened to hear of her
Give my best to Patty and the rest of the family. Denise Woinarowicz <<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Denise.
Then JoAnn sent this one from a little father south of the same ocean.
Hi Gary,
Gas is down to $2.59 a gallon in Southern California, and I think it
will continue to go down until 5 minutes after the polls close Nov.
7th... Thanks for all you do!! Hope all is well.
JoAnn (Wentz) Beale <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing JoAnn.
Does that mean you really think the price of gas is a political
I should add that the turbine heads sand squeezins (gas) dropped a dime
in Skeeterville Tuesday as well. The marquee's are showing regular at
Mary sent us a "post script" of sorts, to her note in yesterdays
Gazette. She wrote: >>> Gary, I didn't know Jenni was also a candidate,
if I had I'd have told you yesterday, she sure is a beautiful girl
Congratulations! I hope we get to hear the rest of the names in this
week's paper. Mary Thanks a million for caring and sharing Mary.
Kelly sent the following in regard to Graftons Royal Court. >>>
Subject: Homecoming
Hi Dad. First of all I would like to congratulate Jennifer on being
chosen to the homecoming royalty. We are all very proud of her. I
also know how anxious Jake was about homecoming when he worked for us
and am very happy for him.
The other candidates are as follows:
Rachel Lessard
Sammy Johnson
Melissa Blanchard
Amber Evenson
Miranda Lunski
Tanner Hills
Jordan Feltman
Jacob Houska
Steven Olivarez
Tayor Schiller
Chris Lafreniere
Congrats to all! Most of these kids are good friends with Nick
and spend a lot of time at our house so they are all winners to me.
Kelly <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Kelly. Of course they
are all winners. However, I'd be stretching the bee-gee-bees out of the
truth, if I didn't say I am extremely proud to have a member of our gene
pool in the group.
Chris sent the following short list of FOP needs. >>> To clarify what I
need, here are a few things: a horse blanket, some casserole trays,
gavel, wine bucket, etc...
Thanks Chris. That'll give the folks some idea of your needs. I'm going
to guess the wine bucket doesn't have to be full of wine either....
To fortify my feelings about "sharing" the Gazette list with others. I
received the following. >>>
Gary, I do appreciate the fact that you do not pass our e-mail address
along to others. I enjoy tremendously the "words" of advice you send
along, but I prefer not to have our e-mail address sent around. AGAIN,
thank you, Bill and Cindy <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing.
I'm sure most feel exactly the same way. It's also surprising how fast
fox hunting season is coming up.
Some might remember a while back I mentioned my first experience
fishing from a sailboat. I am pleased to share the following note from
Lyle Efterfield, the Captain of that fine sailing vessel.
He wrote: Gary, It's always good to see your name come up on my
e-mail. I don't know any of the people you are talking about, but
maybe someday I'll recognize someone, after all I didn't live too far
from Grafton.
Heading over to Washington, Roosevelt Res. on Thur. and go after some
of those Walleye they brag about there. Your news about your Walleye
fishing kind of got to me, and I think I have the fever again. They also
have some hybrid trout in that water that we will also go after, they
are in the ten pound range.
Winter here in the Wood River Valley is just around the corner, the
Aspens are starting to put on some color, and the Elk are singing their
lyle <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Lyle. Let us know
how you do, and please say "Hi" to Karen from Patti and me.
I am pleased to share the following response to my message about
Recardo in Yesterdays Gazette. Jessica wrote: Gary,
Thank you for the words you expressed to describe Ricardo Escobar in
today's Gazette. Debbie Escobar Miller was a great friend of mine in
high school and your words to describe her father were perfect.
Thank you again.
Jessica Mattson Rossow <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing
Jessica. It's always difficult speaking of, and, sharing the news of the
passing of a friend or loved one. Often, however, I find it even more
difficult not to.
To that end, I was surprised and saddened to receive the following
message from Brian Thompson, Tuesday morning shortly after I returned
from coffee. He wrote: >>> Hi Gary, sorry to add to your news today but
wanted to inform you of the passing of Ardell Fortier. He was rushed
from Graftons hospital to Fargo Meritcare where he passed away last
nite. Even the tough old birds fly home eventually! Brian thompson <<<
Thank you so much for caring and sharing Brian. Pat and I, along with my
family would like to extend our deepest sympathies to you and Kim, and
also to the entire Fortier family.
The Gazette work best, when the folks that read it, write it. Or so it
seems to me.

Write if you can, call if you can't, and, tell your loved ones they are,
before it's too late.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

September 26, 2006 - Tuesday

Todays Gazette is brought to you by Ricardo "Dick" Escobar.
The current temperature is 50 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 66/40
Normal H/L temp for this date is 65/41
The fancy electronic moisture meter outside registered .06 rain
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
It's this time of year, I think, that our trees display their greatest
splendor. A drive down Griggs, Kittson, Western and McHugh Avenues
during a sunny afternoon affords us a most fabulous array of color and
home town charm.
Throughout "our" little community, numerous trees (specimens), and
shrubs cast the spell of fall beauty. It pleases me to know that I
personally planted many of them, and, that most of the mature specimens
in the area displaying their elegant shapes and color were purchased
and/or planted by a member of the W.A. Moe, Grafton Floral and Nursery
It is, without question, this time of year that Grafton Floral and
Nursery's efforts over the past 60 years of continuous year-round
operation can truly be realized and appreciated.
Christopher Larson sent the following note.
Subject: GHS Far Off Broadway
Hi Gary, on behalf of the "prop" department at Grafton High School's
FOB production of "Hello Dolly", I am writing to the Gazette to ask if
anybody out there would be willing to lend props for the play. There are
quite frankly just too many to list here. If you would like to help out
by lending props, please get in touch with myself by e-mail
(! Thank you all for your
continuing support of the FOB program in Grafton High School.
Thanks, Chris <<< Not knowing, specifically, the kinds of "props"
required, may give some reason to hesitate to respond. I am also
hesitant to give out "members" e-mail addresses, although in this case
it appears that Chris prefers I do.
I think it's a fair statement to say that Pat and I are PROUD
grandparents, every day of the year. Then of course there are those days
we are "even prouder" (gosh I hope that's a real word). Anyway, Bev
Demers sent the following note last Saturday >>> Subject:
Congratulations Grandpa Gary and Grandma Patty on your granddaughter's
nomination to the Grafton High School Royal Court!! What an honor for
Jeni to be selected by her peers for such an honor. You must and
should be very proud!!
Bev <<< Of course, we were not home to receive it in a timely
fashion. Monday, I decided I should hold off any serious comments until
I could gather even more facts. After sending out Mondays Gazette
(without mention of Jennies accomplishments) I received the following
note from Bev. She wrote: Gary,
I guess I know where Wendy gets her modesty from. YOU! I can't believe
you didn't include something about Grafton's Homecoming in today's
Gazette. If Grandma and Grandpa can't brag about their beautiful
granddaughter, who can? You should all be very proud of Jeni. She truly
is a beautiful soul.
Bev <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Bev. Jeni truly is a
beautiful young lady. One that makes her grandmother and me very proud.
In my defense, however, I haven't written anything about the designates
to the Royal Court, simply because I haven't received the entire list. I
can, and will however, share the following note that relates to the
subject at hand.
>>> Hi Gary, I was pleasantly surprised when I drove to work those Sand
Ranchers must have thought G.F. needed a break, gas was $2.07 at the
pump here, maybe it will trickle down (or should I say up) to Grafton,
hopefully before I fill up this week. Hey, did you hear my nephew Jacob
Houska (a summer employee of Sweet Delights) was voted to be on the Home
Coming court we're all so proud of him, it sounds like a great group of
kids will be in the running....I love getting the Gazette, keep it up.
Mary LaHaise <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Mary. I should
add, that Mary called later and said that gas in the big city to the
north has since dropped another nickel to $2.02. Also, for those not
aware. Sweet Delights is the candy and confection operation run by our
Son-in-law and daughter, David and Kelly. Already, many malls,
(including Columbia Mall, West Acres and the Mall of America)
restaurants, gas stations, convenience stores, etc, etc across the
entire country feature Sweet Delights candy products.
Speaking of kids and things they can do. I received the following note
from Tanna at Parks and Recreation. She wrote: >>>
Mr. Moe:
I'm writing on behalf of the Grafton Hockey Association. Every year we
have a major fundraiser by selling tickets and giving away HUGE prizes
(Harley, washer/dryer, groceries, snowblowers, etc... MAJOR PRIZES)...
we'd like to get the word out to everybody who's been associated with
Grafton and Grafton Hockey. We sell tickets and at the end of the hockey
season we draw for about $100,000 in prizes.
Would it be possible that you would be willing to share your email
addresses with us - to be used solely for this purpose for providing
ticket info/fundraising info for Grafton Youth Hockey fundraising
I know your nephew, Casey Moe, is involved in hockey and it's possible
you purchased a ticket for this last year.
We appreciate any assistance you could give us. Thank you.
Grafton Youth Hockey Association <<<
Thanks for thinking of me Tanna. I am extremely protective of "our"
membership list, and couldn't even consider it being "used by anyone
else". I would, however, be willing to do as I have in the passed. That
being to "remind" our members of various important functions, and, if
they deem proper. I would act as the middleman, so to speak, as I have
done in the past.
A number of years ago, while Pat and I were driving around town. I
noticed everytime we past by a certain house on Hill Avenue. That person
would smile and wave. The kind of smile and wave one would use towards
someone you really knew and cared about. Shortly thereafter, every time
we would go for a ride. We would make a special effort to go by the
little pink house on Hill Avenue to smile and wave at our newfound
friend. No matter where we would see him, he would smile and wave.
For those of you that remember Grafton geographically. The little pink
house, that once belonged to Eleanor and Gene Swartz stands directly
accross the street from the old Deacones Hospital. I can't remember
driving down mainstreet and not seeing that friendly gentlman smiling
and waving as we passed by.
It is for those reasons that Pat and I are deeply saddened to share the
Ricardo "Dick" Escobar
(March 15, 1938 - September 22, 2006)
Ricardo "Dick" Escobar, 68, of Grafton, North Dakota died Friday,
September 22, 2006 at Unity Medical Center in Grafton.
Memorial Mass will be 10:30 am, Tuesday, September 26, 2006 at St. John
The Evangelist Catholic Church in Grafton with burial in St. John's
Friends may call at the Barnes Family Funeral Service,
Henriksen-Kamrowski Chapel on Monday from 5:00 pm until 7:30 pm with at
7:30 pm Prayer Service and one hour prior to services in the church.
Ricardo Escobar was born March 15, 1938 in Winter Haven, Texas the son
of Nicholas and Angela (Renteria) Escobar. Through out his childhood he
migrated to North Dakota where they worked for area farmers. On March 5,
1957 he was united in marriage to Delia Uballe at Carrizo Springs,
Texas. They made their home in Carrizo Springs where he worked at the T.
J. Rowe Packing Plant in the winters and then for area farmers during
the summers in Auburn and St. Thomas, North Dakota. In 1975 they moved
to North Dakota and settled near St. Thomas and then moved to Grafton in
1986. He retired in 1994. He was a member of St. John The Evangelist
Catholic Church. Dick enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, loud music,
going to the casino and walking with his "best friend". His greatest joy
was his family, especially his grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years: Delia; children: Jesse (Marlys)
Escobar of Grand Forks, North Dakota, Anna (Ramiro) Salazar of Grafton,
North Dakota, Mary Escobar of Grafton, North Dakota, Annette (Erling
"Yogi") Skaro of Grafton, North Dakota and Debra (Shane) Miller of
Grafton, North Dakota; ten grandchildren and one great grandchild;
brothers: Jose Luis (Aurora) Escobar of Sunnyside, Washington and Ernie
(Rosa) Aguilar of Grafton, North Dakota; sister: Marie (Gabriel) Rubio
of Carrizo Springs, Texas; sister-in-law: Juanita (Adolfo) Flores of
Grafton, North Dakota; several nieces and nephews also survive. He was
preceded in death by his parents; sister: Rosa Gonzales and nephews,
Nicholas Rubio and Ronald Rubio. The Barnes Family Funeral Service,
Henriksen-Kamrowski Chapel of Grafton is assisting the family with
>>> Unfortunately, it wasn't until I was made aware of his passing
that I learned of so many of Ricardo's virtues. He was a man that made
people smile, feel good about themselves and others. He carried his
pride, outside, where the whole world could see and appreciate it. He
was a humble man, willing to share his being with anyone that could
accept it. Some might have called Ricardo a migrant. I prefer to regard
him as a God fearing individule going where he needed, when he needed,
to raise and feed his family.
Pat and I will miss his friendly smile and his hearty wave as we pass
by. We will miss Ricardo to be sure. One thing is for certain. We will
never forget Ricardo "Dick" Escobar. He will leave this world a better
place. Can anyone ask for more?
Go in peace my fine friend, I know the Lord will use you wisely.
Sincerely, Gary & Patti Moe and family.
Welcome Jim and Vicky it's great to have you back in the Gazette
family again. We also welcome Louis Kadlec to our midst.
This weeks Firefighters Calendar Draw winners are:
9/25 Lori Schwandt $20
9/26 Dion Anderson $20
9/27 Geneva Lopez $20
9/28 Michael Blevins $20
9/29 Tom LaHaise * $20
9/30 Tony Badolato $20
10/1 Don Hutson * $20
Congratulations to all of this weeks winners.
The Gazette works best, when the folks that read it, write it. Or so it
seems to me.

Write if you can, call if you can't, and, tell your loved ones they are,
before it's too late.

Monday, September 25, 2006

September 25, 2006 - Monday

Todays Gazette is brought to you by the KINDNESS Animal Hospital
The current temperature is 56 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 68/43
Normal H/L temp for this date is 66/41
This is the first day,.. of the rest of your life.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
It looks like dropping the profanity quote was a bad idea. Tom wrote:
>>> Gary
I had a teacher in the old Grafton school that had a quote on the
subject of Profanity. He said "Profanity is used by people that have a
limited knowledge of the English language"
Next I don't know what the price of gas is in Grafton but in Spokane
it is still about $3.00 a gallon. My son is in Kentucky and he said the
price is $2.16. What is the price in Grafton?
Your doing a great job with the gazette. Keep it up.
Tom Hart <<< Thanks Tom. The sand ranchers are forcing local
"retailers" to charge $2.30 here.

-- Kaye sent the next note that also includes the mention of profanity.
She wrote: >>> Hi Gary, Thanks to Scott Hove for his great
quote,"You're building a great community online because of a great
community offline {Grafton!]" Just received the Alumni News, and if
there is any doubt about Grafton being a great community, just look at
the numbers that return each June. We were PRIVILEGED to grow up in
Grafton, and I'm willing to bet that most of us will always consider it
"HOME". As for the profanity thing—keep it up—wish there were a way
of letting the movie industry know that they CAN make decent movies
without 500 F words!! Grafton lost one of their fine citizens last
week-Louise Dusek, wife of Ben and mother of Jim, John, Tim, Barb,
Susie, Jan and Grace. Louise was a wonderful example of Grafton's
finest. Did you get the boat out??? K

Thanks a million Kaye. Your also right about "our" great little community, AND, your
description of Louise Dusek is right on track as well. As for the boat.
Yes it is back on land for the winter, with special thanks to the
Arnesen's for all there help in that regard. I might also add that the
last day of fishing (and catching) was fantastic as well.

Speaking of Rocky Point. Rick and Diane Odegard are "Rocky Point"
residents as well. I am pleased that Diane shared the following with us.
She wrote: Thanks 4 the note Gary! You are right, there is a lot of
"babble"!!! Reminds me of what my home town paper, The Berthold Tribune,
once was. It (and you) got everyone caught up on everyone elses going
ons and then some!! Sorry to say we may not be at the lake for your last
Hurrah weekend as we are going to "Why Not Minot" for a celebration of
Grandma Tutse life... She passed away last Thursday at 106 years old. I
can't image what changes that she saw ...having automobiles to carry you
to and fro (wouldn't have to go feed the horses every night), only
having a couple outfits back then and now days some have 50 times that,
even seasonal clothing and how many shoes do we each have now? All in
all she had a great life. She was a widow since 1954, and she said many
times "No one has turned my head since Rupert!" (But then she didn't
ever get to meet you Gary!!) She loved to play cards, Bingo, slots and
to travel. And when we get together in Minot with relatives and friends
we will remember the "Large Times" we had with Grandma Tutse'. I'm sure
there were some real hard times for her, but she didn't dwell on the bad
times, she made due with what she had at the time. I often said Grandma
could make a can of soup last for 2-3 meals as she was so thrifty. I
guess living through the depression she had to scrimp on alot of things.
And so we celebrate Grandma Tutse' on Saturday. Thanks for letting me
"babble" to you! (Boy this is my 1st time to babble to you on the
net!!!) Take care of yourself and look forward to hearing how fishing
was this coming weekend!! We'll catch up with you b4 the snow flys! As
ever DO <<< Thanks a million Diane, for sharing a bit of your world with
Barbara, another "Rocky Point" resident shared this note. >>> Hi, I am
receiving the Gazette! Thanks! I just returned from hiking and camping
on the North Shore for a week. The weather was beautiful and the scenery
was awesome. It was a bit chilly in the tent by morning, but it warmed
up quickly. I'm glad my trip wasn't scheduled for this week! Barb H. <<<
Thanks Barb, for caring and sharing. I'm fascinated that a retired
teacher living in a beautiful lake home, finds hiking, by an even larger
lake, and, sleeping in a tent enjoyable. Then again, what do I know? My
ancestors rowed boats and wore hats with horns on then.
Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you:
1. Jesus Christ
2. The American G. I.
One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.
AS MANY SEEM TO FORGET BOTH OF THEM. <<< Thanks a million for caring and
sharing Dean.
I too, was humbled by this thought.
Our family was saddened to hear of the passing of Irene Nelson. Irene
was a super individual and a former Grafton Floral employee. Her nephew
David Hanson (also a former Grafton Floral staff member sent the
following. >>>
Hi Gary, Carol and I recently attended my aunt Irene Nelson's funeral
in Grafton and I just wanted to share, what a celebration it was. Irene
was a common person but had so many superior qualities. Pastor Pete at
Our Saviour's couldn't have done a finer job of sharing with us the kind
of person she was and he was right on. Pastor Wayne Stark also echoed
Pastor Pete's affirmation of Irene. I know alot of clergy that could
take lesson from small town, small church, clergy. The Barnes Funeral
Home (K&N in my days there) and, the church lunch were fantastic.The
flowers, which I know mostly came from Grafton Floral, were beautiful.
I'm glad to see Grafton Floral still produces an above quality product.
That whole experience was truly a celebration of Irene's life.
I just had to share. We miss both Irene and Melvin, but were
blessed to call them family.
David <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Dave.
We are pleased to welcome Tim and Nancy Sevigny, David Rogalla, and
Arlen & Bobby Stewart to the Gazette family.
The next Gazette will include a message from Tanna from Parks and
Recreation, and Chris Larson on some needs from the local FOB program.
It's always a good idea to make sure the plug is in the boat "before"
putting it in the water. Unfortunately, I think I forgot to take it out
when "we" took the boat out of the water. I would be so happy if someone
would be so kind.

Write if you can, call if you can't, and, tell your loved ones they are,
before it's too late.

Monday, September 18, 2006

September 18, 2006 - Monday

09/18/06 MONDAY
Todays Gazette is brought to you by Carters,.. the "little" liver pills
The current temperature is 45 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 56/47
Normal H/L temp for this date is 68/43
It was to windy to pile rocks at the lake yesterday morning.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
As I sent out the last Gazette, Tuesday, Sept. 6, I decided it would,
"probably", be the last time I would use the profanity quote. As a
matter of fact, by Wednesday, I was almost certain I had "probably"
overworked it's usefulness. Then, on Thursday I was sitting minding my
own business,.. and a little bit of someone else's, when a reasonably
intelligent looking young man began speaking like a person with a mouth
full of barn yard animal excrement.
At first I wondered why, why was it necessary for him to start each
sentence with Ozzy Osborns favorite "F" word. A couple times he actually
used the "F-Bomb" three times in a row. Then, I wondered if, maybe, he
was afflicted with a stammer condition of some kind. Nope, after I ruled
that out, I could only conclude that, subconsciously,..... he wanted to
make us aware of his ignorance.
So,... I guess I'll continue to use the opening quote.
It has been awhile since the last Gazette, and, alot of water has
passed through the prop of the "old" walleye combine. Fishing has
continued super with catching almost as good. This month also contains
several very important dates. Jeff and Lonnie (Demester) Pederson's
daughters, Taylor and Jolee both celebrate the anniversary of their
birth this month. On the 7th, Margaret Demester (Ma) my mother-in-law
celebrated the anniversary of her birth for the 97th time. Ma, is a
fascinating individual and could easily pass for a lady several years
Speaking of birthdays. Micah James Arnesen was born last week, weighing
in at 8 pounds 2 ounces, and will join his parents Mark and Monique in
the south park at Rocky Point. I am also pleased to report I have
already had the honor of holding the cute little stinker.
It's already 12 years ago this month since Pat underwent cancer
surgery. I am most thankful to God and modern medicine she has enjoyed a
complete recovery.
Then too, the 22nd of this month marks the 19th anniversary of the
death of my father William (Bill) Moe.
Although I received several "where have you been" notes in the past
several days, this is one of my favorites. >>>
Subject: miss you
We haven't received the "gazette" in a long time and miss hearing from
Maybe you are fishing. Hope you haven't retired as editor!! I hope you
haven't taken us off your mailing list because we haven't been
We so enjoy hearing whats happening in Grafton. Hope you and Patty are
Your friend and former babysitter,
Duane Sondeland (and Bonnie) <<< Thanks a million for the wonderful
note Duane. One more week of walleye combining and "my" season will be
And no Lee, it looks like we'll be going into the winter, once again,
with a "fishless freezer."
Marlene sent the following. >>>
Would you please add the following to your skeeterville…
Zion English Lutheran Church will be having their annual Salad
Luncheon on Thursday, September 21 from 11:00 – 1:30pm. The
donation is $7/plate. The Salad Luncheon is sponsored by the Lutheran
Women's Missionary League.
Thank you very much!
Marlene <<< Thank you Marlene. I hope your Luncheon is a resounding
The subscription department has been busy while I was gone. I hope I
have the correct "new" address for Bill and Pat Holt. The Allmaras'
should be receiving our babble starting today, as will the Buckhouse
household. Rick and Diane Odegard will soon learn the real meaning of
babble as well.
I hope I have the right letters in the right order so Dawn's inbox gets
the Gazette. And I'll take this opportunity to say "Hi" to Lowell &
Karen Efterfield. Lowell was kind enough to take me out "sailboat
fishing" the other day and it was a fantastic experience, to say the
least. Thanks a million Lowell.
I still have some giant night crawlers left and it would be a shame
not to feed them to the walleyes. So,... I'll give them one last chance
this week. Plans are to pull the walleye combine out of the water this
coming weekend. I may need to garner the help of Eben and/or Micah's dad
for that process.
Did I mention that fishing this past Saturday was fantastic? Did I
mention the Ribeye steaks at Rock Harbor Lodge are equally so? If I
didn't, I did now.
Some have requested I "resend" the note Scott Hove sent the other day.
So I will.
He wrote: >>> Gary,
A couple of days ago you mentioned the "archives" at ... then I read about spam problems, etc.. So
that leads to a couple of things for your readers to keep in mind.
1) They can always read your writing at:
2) If they want to find something specific there is a "search" ability
in the upper right hand corner. All they need to do is type in what they
are interested in ("potatoes" for example), click on "Search This Blog",
and then all the entries for it will pop up! This is especially helpful
if they want to find something about a particular person.
3) You are building a great community online because of a great
community offline (Grafton!).
Scott Hove
It really does help, when "new" members let me know they are receiving
the Gazette.

Write if you can, call if you can't, and, tell your loved ones they are,
before it's too late.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

September 6, 2006 - Wednesday

Todays Gazette is brought to you by the popular minto dress shop, Ann
and Lorry's.
The current temperature is 58 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 86/52
Normal H/L temp for this date is 74/48
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Another rumor has come to fruition. As expected, time, and someone, has
given to rumor credence. The "rumor" that Walsh County District Attorney
Sharon Martens had resigned and would be moving to Minnesota turned
fact, for the Gazette at least, with the note I received yesterday from
Sharon herself.
She wrote. >>>
Subject: Your Characterization
I could not help but note your characterization of my resignation as
State's Attorney today. I am leaving to take a job in Minnesota doing
the same thing I am now. So the temperature of the water will not
change, only the environment surrounding it.
I moved to Grafton in 1947 and graduated from high school
here. I had a business and a law practice here and my parents had a
long term business here. I have contributed to this community and
worked hard for it in the past 35 years whether as a councilperson,
mayor, or state's attorney. I wish it and you well.
Sharon Martens <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Sharon. I
hadn't heard the part about moving to Minnesota to become a States
I must also apologize if my "babble" (Characterization) was
interpreted as anything other than amusing. The reference to watching
those in hot water, was directed at the States Attorney's responsibility
of guarding the public from those the break the law (hence,.. those in
hot water.)
I wish you well Sharon, in your new found Minnesota endeavor.
Paul DeSautel sent the following note yesterday after hearing of "the
rumor". >>> If it is that time for Sharon (Wilson) Martens to "pull the
plug" and retire, I can only wish my grade school classmate well. She
has served the community well.
The mention of Ma Lerud always seems to bring back memories. Ralph sent
us the following. >>> Ma's monster burger with made everyday homemade
buns, fresh red potato French fries, the best mac salad in the world,
and a chocolate milk shake (the real kind). What a great after supper
snack that made for us around 10 p.m., Gary. Ralph Kingsbury <<< Thanks
for caring and sharing Ralph. Ma's onion rings could easily rival
Whitey's as well.
I received the following note from Ole Aasand about the Happy Chandler
celebration. He wrote;
Dear Gary:
After reading Harvey's story on Chandler Field, about the outfield.
Reminded me of a infield story.
The night before the big game it had rained and the next days problem,
how to get the field dry before game time. Potato blight was a problem
that year. My brother Jeep & I had leased a 3 row potato vine killer,
with a hood over each row, fired by diesel oil & a power take off driven
fan. We brought it onto the outfield and fired it up. With a harrow and
the blower, the field was ready by game time. The noise attracted a lot
of people's attention, as it sounded like 3 jet engines.
Ole Aasand <<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Ole. Aren't memories wonderful?
"Thank God for the military and thank the military for giving us the
right to thank God." Lisa Votava wrote: >>> Hi Gary,
I would like to share some good news regarding our local service men and
women. A close friend of ours, Richard Schmuck of Grafton, has been
serving in Afghanistan for about 6 months now. Last week, he and his
crew hit a IED (improvised explosive device) that blew the front of the
vehicle right off. Richard was thrown from the vehicle. Thanks to GOD he
survived, but his arm is broken in three places. He is on his way back
to the states to receive medical treatment, hopefully he will come home
to Grafton to recuperate before serving the rest of his tour of duty.
Richard and his wife Alane (Dosmann) have three children. Please keep
their family in your thoughts and prayers. <<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Lisa. Rich is not only a
"shirttail" relative, (by marriage) he's a former American Crystal Sugar
harvest employee. We hope his injuries mend well, and soon.
With the weatherperson calling for fantastic walleye harvesting
weather. I better get the walleye combine out and make a few rounds
before the lake stiffens up.
The only way I know you are receiving the Gazette, is if you tell me.

Write if you can, call if you can't, and, tell your loved ones they are,
before it's too late.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

September 5, 2006 - Tuesday

Todays Gazette is brought to you by Lerud's Drive Inn. Home of "Ma"
Lerud's monster burger.
The current temperature is 82 degrees
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 83/47
Normal H/L temp for this date is 74/48
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Coming into Grafton from the north yesterday we noticed the new, very
bright, paint job on AIDA's Mexican Food Products store. It certainly
does brighten up the north end of town.
Unfortunately, something else extremely noticeable, was the lack of
people on main street. We drove the twelve (12) blocks down main street
and didn't meet one vehicle.
RUMOR: The latest rumor has it that "our" Walsh County States Attorney,
Sharon Martens, has decided to throw in the towel. I can't say I've
heard it from a 100 percent reliable source. I can say the Martens have
sold their home in Grafton and plan on spending alot more time "looking
at lake water", as appossed to looking at folks in "hot water". Pardon
the pun. I guess time,.... or someone else will tell.
I looks like the price of gas will be tickling the $2.50 range for
awhile. Rats, and I just filled up the walleye combine at $3.39 last
++++ Fishing last week, off Arnesen's reef, north of Rocky Point, was
better than ever. There's a couple walleye's, one 24 inch and a 26
incher that learned to keep their mouth shut last Wednesday. Then
Thursday four one and a half footers decided to check out Pat's fry pan.
Friday Brad and I both caught our limit of super size "good eaters".
Saturday, my grandson Dilan showed me how to land a limit of lunkers.
Actually, our son Jeff and his friend Jeff Erickson started out the day
with us too. Unfortunately, the three and four foot waves must have
confused the scrumptious breakfast they ate at the Rock Harbor Lodge
that morning and it wanted to come out "the wrong end",... if you know
what I mean.
Anyway, thanks to Brad's prowess with artificial bait, Dilan for super
sizing his limit and my stringer of "good eaters", our entire Labor day
weekend group enjoyed a fantastic walleye feed, on the shore by
Arnesen's Rock Harbor Lodge & Resort.
Thanks a million Murphy, for the cute story about a cork. It could
Ever wonder what part of "illegal" our politicians don't understand?
Did you know, that the wind doesn't "blow" a sailboat across the lake?
It "sucks" it across. Yup, I learned that at Rocky Point, over a cup of
We shouldn't have to keep reminding ourselves to "say thanks" to the
folks in the military. Unfortunately, however, we do. Thanks Mildred,
for sharing the following. >>>
The mission of Let's Say Thanks is to provide a way for individuals
across the country to recognize U.S. soldiers stationed overseas. By
submitting a message through this site you will send a free personalized
postcard greeting to a deployed soldier.
The postcards, depicting patriotic scenes and hometown images, were
selected from a pool of entries from children across the country.
All you have to do is click on your favorite design and write a personal
message to a soldier. The postcards are then printed on the Xerox
iGen3® Digital Production Press and mailed in care packages by
military support organization Give2TheTroops®.
To date, more than 12,000 postcards have been mailed to soldiers. With
the launch of, more soldiers can expect to receive
messages from home.
Xerox is committed to helping people across the nation express their
gratitude to our troops overseas. The launch of this program is aimed at
reminding the soldiers how much Americans appreciate their service. <<<
Thanks again Mildred. Maybe a few of "our" Gazette family members will
give this a try.
Speaking of giving something a try. Scott Hove sent the following
suggestion that some may want to try. He wrote:
A couple of days ago you mentioned the "archives" at ... then I read about spam problems, etc.. So
that leads to a couple of things for your readers to keep in mind.
1) They can always read your writing at:
2) If they want to find something specific there is a "search" ability
in the upper right hand corner. All they need to do is type in what they
are interested in ("potatoes" for example), click on "Search This Blog",
and then all the entries for it will pop up! This is especially helpful
if they want to find something about a particular person.
3) You are building a great community online because of a great
community offline (Grafton!).
Scott Hove <<< Thanks a million Scott. I would appreciate any comments,
pro or con, from those that try out "the search" portion of the
Speaking of "our" service personnel. I'm pleased to share the
following. >>>
Subject: would you please post this in one of your Skeeterville
Hey Gary, this is Robert Aasand, the son of Les and Liz Aasand. Would
you do me a favor, let the people of Grafton and the Skeeterville
Gazette know that I just graduated from Drill Sergeant School at Fort
Benning (he's the one the hollers and screams at new recruits in the
army). I also made the Commandants list of the top 10% of 130 graduates.
Now I will be going to Fort Jackson for 2-3yrs. to train volunteer
civilians to become soldiers and prepare them for possible combat to
help fight the war on terrorism. Next week I get promoted from Staff
Sergeant (E-6) to Sergeant First Class( E-7). For those that are not
quite sure what that means, in our chain of command, we go from E-1 to
E-9. I will be E-7 next week, who knows what the future may hold. I had
planned on retiring in the next couple yrs. but things are looking
pretty good right now.
Thanks for your time Gary. I really enjoy reading about the past,
present and future of Grafton and the surrounding communities. <<< THANK
YOU Robert, thank you for serving "our" country and, thank you for
caring and sharing a part of your world with us, and CONGRATULATIONS
from all of us here in Skeeterville.
The subscription department was busy again this week. I am pleased to
welcome Susan Barclay, Luther Meberg, and Bonnie Hooey to the Gazette
This weeks Grafton Volunteer Firefighters Calendar draw winners are:
9/4 Bob Lee $500
9/5 Del Nygard $20
9/6 Ardis Olson $20
9/7 Melanie Duncan $20
9/8 Victor L Johnson * $20
9/9 Grafton Volunteer Fire Department from Wally DeSautel * $20
9/10 Les Aasand * $20
Congratulations to this weeks lucky winners
The results of last weeks Walleye harvest indicates the need to
continue the operation of "our" walleye combine into the unforeseen
future. Hence, the next edition of the Gazette may be delayed a few
"I may not always like what you tell me. I will, however, always
appreciate it." GLM

Write if you can, call if you can't, and, tell your loved ones they are,
before it's too late.