Monday, December 31, 2007

December 31, 2007 - Monday

Tomorrow will be a brand NEW YEAR.
The current temperature is 17 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 18/13
Normal H/L temp for this date is 16/-3
The local beach will remain closed until the sand softens up.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
== REWARD -- $2,500 -- REWARD ==
Wally's Whimsical Wonderland Display in Leistikow Park was pillage and
spoiled again over the weekend. This time several more pieces of the
display were taken. Aside from the hundreds and hundreds of hours work
and toil invested in the display, it also represents many, many hundreds
of dollars.
The loss, in terms of dollars can only be exceeded by the frustration
that there are some buffoons running around loose in our community with
the mindless audacity to violate Wally's generous contributions to
Leistikow Parks Holiday Season Light and decoration display.
Unfortunately, because of the latest mindless acts, Wally decided to
dismantle his display and his "crew" spent several hours Sunday doing
just that. The only thing remaining is a old wagon with a few hay bales
on it and the sign that says.
$2,500 REWARD for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons
responsible for stealing portions of the display.
At this point I'm not sure what to say. Simply saying, "thanks for all
your hard work Wally", somehow just doesn't seem nearly significant
enough. I know that Wally didn't put all that effort into his display
"just for us". He also did it for his own enjoyment and appreciation.
Unfortunately, it was the "us" part of the equation, we let him down.
That in turn most certainly negated any possible appreciation Wally may
have received for all of his hard work and efforts. It's a downright
shame. Or so it seems to me.
Crews have been working all weekend on the new "longhouse" on the north
end of town. Although it continues to look more like a dinosaur than a
building. Within the next few days the roof and sides should be done.
It would be more fun
To go by air
But we can't hang
These signs up there. (Burma Shave)
I see the icicles on the walls and the stalagmite on the roof of the
house on Kittson & 3rd street are still growing. And, I understand the
heat and water issues in the former Convent on Western still exists. I
suspect someone has already given serious thought to the very real
possible that the conditions that exist in those two properties are
extremely favorable for a serious fire.
Twinkle, twinkle
One eyed car
How I wonder
Where you are. (Burma Shave)
Pat Johnson has been following the Joe Birkeland Express. She shared
this note.
>>>> Subject: Joe
Hi Gary, yes I do think that a memorial to Joe is a wonderful idea,
and certainly most deserving.
When Joe arrived upon the Grafton scene, I was in Junior High and was
already a member of the band. I played third cornet (never progressed to
second). Joe invited me to join the City Band when I was a sophomore.
What a thrill it was for me. As so many have commented, Joe was more
than a teacher and band instructor, he was part of a "family of kids"
whom he always treated with respect and patience. His classroom was
often a lecture on civil affairs, whatever happened to be in the
limelight at the time. We always benefited from those lectures,
probably a lot more than what our assignment might have been for that
day. Almost every Saturday night during the summer, one could find
Joe's car parked outside Zinke's Cafe, and we would all scramble to find
a place in his car for at least an hour of the evening. I did many
trips with the band, but by the time the trips to California and other
great events came along I was away at school and much to my dismay, I
could not get excused to participate with these wonderful trips, such a
wonderful opportunity for so many.
Joe could have madea very big name for himself by leaving to
greener pastures, but he chose to stay and put Grafton on the map
instead. He was one of the smartest and most charismatic persons I
haveknown. I can be counted on to contribute to the "Joe Birkeland
Memorial Fund" whatever it ends up to be.
Thank you for the Gazette, Gary. One of the first things I do each
morning is to pull up my Emails to see if it has appeared. Pat
Mattson Johnson <<<< Thank you Pat, for caring and sharing another
aspect of Joe and The Birkeland Years.
If you still have things on your list of "things to do in 2007", you
better hurry, there isn't much 2007 left.
Our wish for you, this coming year, is every wish you have, comes
I've only heard from one Majorette so far, and, I haven't heard from
the guy that tore the knees out of his uniform yet either

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

Friday, December 28, 2007

December 28, 2007 - Friday (another early edition)

12/28/07 FRIDAY (early)
Todays Gazette is brought to you by === Bergquam's Billiard
Parlor ===
Jim Carlson once told me, while I was delivering papers there. "This is
the only place you can find an eight ball,.... on both ends of the cue."
The current temperature is 15 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 18/12
Normal H/L temp for this date is 1/-2
It sounds like we could be waking up to a driveway full of snowman
parts, again.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Work on the new railroad "long house" continues. It shouldn't be to
long (no pun intended) before the rafters are up.
The corn pile east of the curling club is gone. The giant pile stored
on the former Trailer City property is still there, except for a few
loads removed from the center of the pile. It appears as though that
spot started fermenting (heating) before it could be taken to
For the past several days I have noticed the wonderful hand painted
"murals" in the windows of the former J.C. Penney building. I was almost
certain they had been painted, not simply by someone who cared, but also
by someone with talent.
I have since learned that two young local art class students took it
upon themselves to improve the appearance of downtown Grafton. And, at
the same time continue to "hone" their artistry skills. I would like to
thank Emily Hills and Mallory McCarty for their hard work, and, for the
valuable contribution they have bestowed upon the community that I call
Proof positive,.... kids are the most beautiful resource we have.
Winter weather isn't always bad in North Dakota. 60 years ago (WCR)
Donald Numedahl, Gorden Stark, Al Zinke, and Dr. Jaehning were pictured
shooting a round of golf at the Grafton Golf course. There was no snow
on the ground.
The mention of heat, water and electrical problems in the former
Convent. Gave former resident John DePuy reason to share the following.
>>> Gary -
Sorry to read of the upcoming demise of my first home.
You are right, my father did purchase it from the Sisters of St.
Catherine's and did an extensive renovation. Ibelieve after all
was said and done,there were a total of four apartments in the
building - two upstairs and two downstairs.
We lived in one of the downstairs unit until my father sold
the building to Perry Knauss. We then moved to an upstairs unit and
lived there until our home in Eastwood was finished. I think that was
in 1952.
I remember that the E.R. Nymans had the other downstairs
unit, and I believed they stayed there until their home in Eastwood was
also finished.
Ed Claussen and his family for a time lived therealso.
I will always remember that theplace had one of the most
cantankerous furnaces that I have ever seen. It was oil-fired and
could be counted upon to explode on apretty regular basis.
Notbig explosions, but the kind that would create soot and produce
the most obnoxious oil smell that would hang in the air for days! As
far as I can remember, none of the tenants complain. When the furnace
worked, it worked well and perhaps the tenants were willing to put up
with the inconvenient knowing that eventually they would have heat - an
crucial item on a cold North Dakota winter's night!
So many good memories of that place. After all, it was
I am enjoying the Gazette. Thanks forall your hard work and for
the good memories.
John <<< Thanks a million or caring and sharing John. The exchange
of memories not only allows us to appreciate the past. It provides us
knowledge so that we can be better prepared for the future.
Or so it seems to me.
Just this afternoon as we drove through Leistikow Park. I mentioned to
Pat how wonderful it's been, that no-one has tampered with the displays.
As we passed by Wally's whimsical world of wooden creations. I
specifically mentioned to Pat that Goofy hasn't been bothered at
all,.... all year.
Unfortunately I received the following note from Wally. >>> Hi Gary
Just came back from the park and see the vandals have been back,...
Goofy is gone. It is just a wood cut out, but it took 3 or 4 days to
draw and cut out plus the sanding and putting three coats of paint and
sealer on it. It is sad some people just can't keep from ruining others
enjoyment. We will be taking it down soon which takes four people a
full day to pack it away. If you see Goofy tell him to get home.
Wally <<<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Wally. Your work and efforts,
along with all of the rest of the folks that put decorations in
Leistikow Park this holiday season has been appreciated and enjoyed by
untold hundreds of park visitors.
It goes without saying, that the "critter" that swiped Goofy is lower
than the ground he walks on.
Speaking of Wally, he sent the following thoughts on Joe Birkeland. >>>
Hi Gary
I read with interest Bert's idea of a tribute to our friend
JoeBirkeland. I also played in the band. I played a trombone and sat
between the Moes, Darrel and his cousin, and Eddie Kopperud. It was
great being a part of Joe's band. I was never very good but I will say I
had fun. It was Joe's constant encouragement that made the difference.
One thing you won't get an argument on was it was not the pay
check, or the hours he put in, that kept him there. It was his love of
music and youth.
I will gladly work on the project if you want me, or, work with a
committee. You first must have a project and a goal to hit.
There is no person more deserving of having his name
perpetuatedthan Joe Birkeland.
I would suggest the Joe Birkeland Youth Center here in Grafton, a
project so needed. He would be proud.
I think of the Roger Maris cancer center in Fargo. It started out
small but look at it today and all the good it does. So it sounds a lot
better to have a good YOUTH CENTER with his name over having a street
named after him.
Just my thoughts.
Count me in for a donation and to work on getting this on the move
BEFORE our generation passes on, as we were the ones who knew what this
good man did for youth and our city. Wally <<< Thanks a million
for caring and sharing Wally.
Grafton, Official State Band of North Dakota was proudly printed on
Paul Bjerken's 1959 bass drum.
If you would like to share a "story" about Joe, the band, a trip, or
any such related item, and prefer your name not be used. Simply state
you prefer your note be anonymous, and it will be.

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

Thursday, December 27, 2007

December 27, 2007 - Thursday (early edition)

Todays Gazette is being brought to you by Ingwald Radford, Grafton
Municipal Power Plant Engineer.
The current temperature is 12 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 29/17
Normal H/L temp for this date is 17/-2
It sounds like we can expect another day of "winter like" weather on
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Rumor has it the Convent built by the Sisters of St. Catherines for use
as a parochial school has been abandoned. The structure, once owned by
W.T. DePuy, who converted it to an apartment building, also has been
owned by J.J O'Brien, among others.
I have recently been told by a roomer (pardon the pun) that several
weeks ago the heat had been shut off to the building. Next,... according
to the roomer (same pun, now intended) members of the GMU (Grafton
Municipal Utilities) stopped by - we think shortly before Santa hit the
local chimneys - and shut off the water supply. Unfortunately, according
to the "roomer" that didn't happen until the water created another
northern North Dakota winterland ice display all over the second floor
and the ceiling of the first floor.
Rumor has it, the last remaining roomer is looking for a new rooming
house and will be moving out as soon as he can get his furniture chipped
out of the ice.
The interesting ice formations on the house at 243 Kittson Avenue
continues to grow. The stalagmite under the chimney has now reached the
top of the chimney. It appears that it will be heading for the basement
in the next few days.
The Second Time Around portion of the old Ben Franklin building is
ready for occupancy. It sounds like the move will take place within the
next few days. Rumor has it Charlie Thompson has offered his horse
trailer for the move. The trailer should work relatively well. It's also
"possible" that some of the western wear could end up looking,......
and, smelling like it just came in, off the ranch. That I'm guessing,
will all come at no extra charge. Or so it seems to me.
Bev Demers cared to share the following story of this Christmas past.
On Thanksgiving Day Grandma D made the comment that she wished we
could all get together "one more time". So Uncle Donald, Aunt Alice,
Uncle Philip, Aunt Mary Jane, Dad and Mom started planning. Location and
menus were planned. We walked in shortly after noon yesterday greeted by
the biggest smile from Grandma D. All she could say was "I got my wish".
All three of her children, 19 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren,
spouses and significant others were there. People traveled from near
and far to make Grandma's dream come true. We traveled from Oakwood,
Grafton, Grand Forks, Larimore, Crookston, Thief River, Fargo, Moorhead,
Wisconsin, California and Dickinson to be with Grandma. We hugged, ate
too much, laughed and smiled for each and every picture that was taken.
Memories are wonderful and thankfully we all got "one more". When I took
Grandma home last night, I told her to "wish the same for next year".
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Bev <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Bev.
Memories truly are wonderful.
More "Joeism's"
Hi Gary, There is more to Joe Birkeland music-wise than the great
band he built and loved. Joe directed the best choir the Grafton
Lutheran Church ever had, it filled the choir loft area so you had to be
one of the best and most reliable to sing in it as there were no empty
And then there was the Grafton Mens Chorusalso erected and
directed by Joe. Many of us in the band sang in the mens chorus, it was
non-denominational and we sang a Christmas concert every year at the
high school auditorium to a packed house. Back in the early 40's the
mens chorustraveled to Mpls. to sing a concert over "Voice Of
America". I can still hear George Chruthers singing the solo to "King
All Glorius" and Tenor Frank Willey soloing 'Beautiful Savior". It was
an honor singing in it which I did until leaving for the military during
Korea. There are not many left nowthat sang in the mens chorus, It
would be nice to hear a memory from some others that were members. I am
looking at 76 years and I was, I am sure, the youngest active member.
Bert A. Overland <<< Thanks for caring and sharing Bert. I'm sure
there are as many stories as there are people the knew Joe. The
challenge will be to find the key that will open their past, so that it
might be shared with the future.
Subject: Joe Birkeland / Grafton Parade Band
Happy New Year to you andeveryone in Grafton. We certainly enjoy
the Shivercity Gazette.
While I never knew Joe Birkeland, I do remember the Grafton Parade
Band when they stopped in Chinook on their way to the Rose Festival in
Portland (at least I think that is where they were going.) They
paraded in Chinook, and all members of our high school band (I was the
bass drummer) were required to be there to watch, listen and learn from
the pros..Wewere able to masterturning the corners the way the
Grafton band did them that night and were quite a hit when we did those
turnsat our High School May Festival later. Of course I came to
know Al Johnson, Sr., who played in that bandwhen he and Lux lived in
Chinook for a time. (I've been married to Al, Jr.for the past 53
years.) Al Sr. continued to play in the city band while he livedin
Chinookand was also a member ofits clown band. Certainly it
would be appropriate to name something (street, school band room, or
something else) forJoe Birkeland,who meant so much in the lives of
so many from Grafton.
Al and Icome backto Grafton every year to see his sisters,
Peggy Nybo and Hope Torkelson, along withour brother-in-law, Marlin,
and other family and friends from the area. We usually try to be
there during Summerfest.
Eleanor (Anderson) Johnson <<<< Thanks a million for caring and
sharing Eleanor. Stories like yours add significant value to the idea of
"commemorating our former Band Leader Joe Birkeland".
The Grafton Parade Band has appeared in 42 states. Through the years
1949 to 1960 they were appointed by various governors as the "Official
Band of North Dakota."
I am pleased to welcome Darlene to the Gazette family tree.
If we expect Bert's "seed" to bear fruit. It must be fertilized with
copious amounts of wonderful memories.
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, December 26, 2007

December 26, 2007 - Wednesday (early edition)

Todays Gazette is brought to you by the biggest little city, North of a
daily paper.
The current temperature is 16 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 24/-2
Normal H/L temp for this date is 17/-1
We can expect normal temperatures for the rest of the year. That
doesn't mean will get it,.... but we can expect it.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Gosh I sure hope everyone had as nice a Christmas as I did. Pat and I
were able to spend Christmas eve with our entire family. Brad and Denise
graciously offered their home for this years gathering. It seems as
though our gene pool is growing faster than the pond they call Devils
Lake. This year 31 of us were sitting in a circle watching each other
open presents. And, I was told, next year I can expect one more Great
Grand Child, for sure, to be ripping wrapping paper with the rest.
As for me, I got everything I asked for, and more. All I really wanted
for Christmas was my two front teeth. I not only got my two front teeth,
I got six more to boot. And, so I don't get cold on cool summer
evenings. I also got a new fireplace for the motorhome. More important
than ivory and warmth, however, I was able to wrap my arms around each
member of my family and tell them I love them.
Work has started on the Northern Dakota Railroad shed/office building
on the north end of town. Some of the facility wall supports have been
installed. With a bit of imagination, it is possible to get a feel for
what the building might evolve into.
Right now, however, the site resembles something closer to a dinosaur
skeleton than a railroad engine warming house.
Kathee wants to share this with us. >>>
To continue about Joe Birkeland, let me emphasize that he was so much
more than a great band director. I never was in band and by the time I
hit high school, Joe was no longer the band the director. But I bet many
alumni will remember Joe getting up on the stage in the old high school
building during pep rallies to lead us in singing the Spoiler fight
song. If we did not meet his standards for volume, he stopped the band,
gave us a scolding and started again. I recall on several occasions, he
stopped the band more than once to show that he was serious about us
showing our enthusiasm.
I also was his student teacher in the history class that he taught in
a basement classroom of the old St. John's Catholic Church. It was a
great experience, and I still enjoy a good history lesson wherever I
find it.
I am sure Joe would be proud to know how much so many of those
associated with Grafton and GHS appreciate the history he helped to
Kathee <<< Thanks a million Kathee, for caring and sharing another facet
of "Joe".
Cheryl sent this. >>> Gary - I loved today's poem. We didn't know
it, but you're a poet!! This says it all for all of us.I, too, am
lucky enough to be spending Christmas Season with family and friends.
Thanks for the Gazette. I read it
every time.Joe Birkeland was my teacher, but not band leader. Back
in the days that CentralSchool was socrowded Joe andus had
class in the basement of the oldCatholic Church. I agree he should
be remembered permanently in Grafton. What a great idea.
Have a wonderful, blessed Christmas.
Cheryl Vistad <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Cheryl. If we
can create enough interest, we will create a worthwhile remembrance of
Nip sent this. >>>
Hi Gary
Merry Christmas to you and your family from sunny AZ. I think Berts
idea is great and you can count on me for a contribution when needed.
When you mentioned the trips taken, one great one was not listed. That
was to the Rose Festival in Portland Ore. I remember that one well. We
had lots of chaperones that donated cars that we all rode in and Jimmy
Thompsons Dads truck was used to haul all of the instruments. As I write
this, all I have to do to remind me of the trip, is to look at
myright shoulder and there is a tattoo with my name NORM there. A few
of us guys snuck away from our chaperones and Joe and went down on skid
row and got tattoos. Needless to say, in those days, we almost got
kicked out of the band and school. Not to mention what happened to us
when our parents seen the tattoos. That was a memorable trip with lots
of memories.
Thanks Gary for the Gazette and all the news from Grafton. Really
enjoy it.
Norm "NIP" Lykken <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Nip.
It's becoming "frightfully" apparent that there are many more stories
about "Joe" and his band, than there were band members.
Suzanne sent this priceless memory.
She wrote: >>> Subject: Joe
I read with great interest and with tears in my eyes the articles
written about Joe. I wanted to write but have a hard time finding the
words to say what Joe and the Band meant to me. I too was barely 14
years old along with Chuck Ordahl when we went to the Rosebowl the first
time in 1949. Two weeks before the scheduled date of departure I was
not in the "City" Band and all of the old band members remember how hard
it was to get into City Band. On that night upon coming home from
babysitting, lo and behold, Joe was in our living room! He said "How
would you like to go to the Rose Bowl with us?" I replied -
"Ican't go Joe. I don't have the $50.00." He said he had spoken
to my Dad and that was already taken care of. My two brothers and
sister had worked the whole summer to earn that $50.00 and I
couldn't believe that I was to be allowed to go. It was a wonderful
trip. Lila Otto Millerand Rae Meier Desautel were appointed by Joe
to "babysit" me and they took great care of me and included me in their
activities. I remember marching down Pasadena Avenue and barely
making it. I remember the wonderful sidetrips including Knott's Berry
Farm and the Long Beach Roller Coaster that my brother, Dick, would not
let me ride on. I remember the jam sessions in the baggage car
and"matching" nickels with Al Johnson. I remember the porter
who took a liking to me and shined my shoes every night.
As Gary says, aren't memories wonderful? Needless to say, I
would be happy to contribute to whatever monument is planned for Joe.
l would be happy to assist in furnishing addresses of former band
memories if I can have some help coming up with some names. Suzanne
LaBerge Burns. <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Suzanne. I
believe it's the memories just like yours, that gives those that never
even knew Joe, reason to admire him and honor his memory.
Grafton's Parade Band was Skyrocketed into national prominence when the
Passadena Tournament of Roses Association made public an announcement
that the local musical organization has been selected the outstanding
band in the 1949 parade.
I am pleased to welcome Sandra and Bob to the Gazette family tree.
Someone claims to have heard Joe say. "My band not only has the
greatest musicians from 9 to 90, it has the most beautiful Majorettes in
the country."

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

Saturday, December 22, 2007

December 22, 2007- Saturday

The current temperature is 10 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 23/16
Normal H/L temp on this date is 18/0
We are getting the snow, now we're waiting for the blow.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
I must admit my first full day back at Granny's was wonderful.
Especially the free coffee part. Paying for the privilege of drinking
it, was just as painful as I had remembered it.
Chuck Ordahl shared the following thoughts about Joe Birkeland.
Subject: RE: SHIVERCITY GAZETTE--Joe Birkeland Remembered
Bert Overland has suggested a great idea. Joe Birkeland deserves such
an honor for the legacy that he left to the Community and to many of us
individually. It has been very interesting to see the messages of
support from so many of the friends of my youth. I have thought of Joe
many times over the years and the influence that he had in that early
period in my life. I was a freshman in high school when we made the
first Rose Bowl trip to California by train in 1949. Russ Lefevre and I
bunked together. Those that were on that trip will remember parking the
Pullman sleeper cars at Union Station in Los Angeles and spending our
nights there. During the days we practiced for the parade and took bus
trips to surrounding communities and tourist attractions. One such trip
that I recall very well was to Santa Monica where we had lunch at one of
the hotels overlooking the Pacific. The park, palm trees, palisades,
beach and ocean all at once was truly impressive to a young 14 year old
boy. I decided that was where I wanted to go and that is where I did go
a number of years later after finishing college. I would not have had
the opportunity to develop that vision had it not been for Joe Birkeland
and the efforts he made as a teacher and a leader. From my perspective
he was truly one of the "Greats" in Grafton's history. I agree whole
heartedly that Hill Avenue is where Joe's footprints are most deeply
embedded in the Community and therefore I like Bert's suggestion of
renaming it in his honor. You can count on me for a financial
contribution to this or some other appropriate enduring means of
remembering Joe.
Gary, Thanks for carrying the ball on this and for your continuing
efforts to provide us with information about the Community -Past and
Best Regards,
Charles (Chuck) Ordahl <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing
I'm sure most, if not everyone is aware that we are just a few days away
from what has become known as, "The reason for the season."
Five years ago I wrote a article much like the following: >>>
It is a "catchy phrase". One I have used myself on occasion. Under
normal circumstances, when I hear the phrase, I smile, nod, and
reminisce of days, and seasons past.
In most cases I hear, or read, the term from regular folks on the
street. Or, in articles relating to the time of year between
Thanksgiving and Christmas. Every once in a while though, I have heard
or read the phrase by people that I personally regard as 'a little
closer to heaven' than I.
Hence, my reason for this note on, "the reason for the season."
One time a long time ago. In the middle of a heated discussion, that
took place at Grafton Floral, between Father Garland and Wilfred
Collette. I remember Wilfred telling Father Garland, "You know Father,
that's easy for you to say, you have a 2,000 year old book to run your
business by." To which Father Garland replied, "you know Wilfred, that
same book applies to Politicians as well as Priests." After the
discussion was over and the flower shop was quite. Dad looked at me and
with a funny sort of smile said, "son, there's two things in this world
you never want to argue about. One of them is Religion,... the other is
This article is living proof I haven't "always" listen to dad.
ANYWAY. The reason for the season, certainly means different things
to different people.
Some relate Christmas as a season, simply expressed as the time
between Thanksgiving and the day we celebrate the birth of Christ,
others celebrate Christ as a method to make more money.
Christians, celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25th. That
is, in fact,.... "THE DAY".
Merchants have, over the years, commercialized the "thought of the
Christmas season, to begin the week after we celebrate Thanksgiving.
The Christmas season is one of the few, seasons every religious,
and non religious, denomination participates in for financial gain.
Aided to a large extent by the Christian community itself.
The Christian community, includes several hundred religious groups
in the world. The reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth, the
coming of
"Our Personal Saviour."
The reason for the season, has been commandeered by the merchants
of the world for financial gain. Not the least of which have been
florists and greeting card companies.
Think what the world would be like, if everyone, would buy a
present for everyone they know, every time someone they knew had a
birthday. If that would happen. How long would the season be?
I think it is fair to say, every Merchant, Jew or Gentile, Sand
Rancher and Fan Dancer alike, rely to a significant degree on the days
before Christ's Birth, regardless of the time frame, that has come to be
known as,...
"The Holiday Season".
"For me, all the reasons, or seasons, I can see, can't take away
what Christ has given to me.
He's brought me friends and family,
without them, what would I really be?
He's held my hand when I've felt sad,
and helped fix things that once seemed bad.
He's been there when I've felt lost,
and lit the way, and, shared the cost. I've learned a lot this
past few years, some I've learned, while shedding tears. The
fact remains, until it ends,
I'm thankful for Jesus Christ, my Family and my Friends."

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

Friday, December 21, 2007

December 21, 2007 - Friday

Todays Gazette is brought to you just
The current temperature is 20 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 26/8
Normal H/L temp for this date is 18/0
Today will be the darkest (shortest) day of the year.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Some some unknown reason, It really felt funny walking into Granny's
this morning. Although It has been several weeks since I was there,
actually, it's been since my "first" tumble, whenever that was.
Anyway, once again I was reminded of the old adage, "the more things
change, then more they stay the same." I was lucky enough to win the
coffee round, unfortunately, I lost the money round so,.... my free
coffee only cost me $4.00.
I shouldn't complain though, because everybody did "welcome me back".
It only cost me a dollar for a "free" cup of coffee with the second
group. I'm looking forward to the afternoon bunch and hoping they will
be a bit more forgiving.
No-matter what, It still feels wonderful, to get back another small
piece of freedom.
The new Second Time Around store, in the old Ben Franklin building, is
getting closer and closer to completion. On can already see some paint
on the walls on the north side of the facility.
The signs in the window of the old Second Time Around store indicate
there is a moving sale going on there. If your looking for something
that's only been around twice. This would be a super opportunity for you
to visit the Second Time Around store,...... first.
Or so it seems to me.
The Joe Birkeland express is starting to gather momentum. Several folks
have sent ideas and suggestions and that's really wonderful. If, on the
other hand, there is to be any hope of getting a significant movement
going. It is going to take a lot more input and participation from those
that knew Joe best.
Ralph wrote: >>> The idea of renaming Hill Ave to Birkeland Blvd, or
Birkeland Way sounds great. Another possibility, how about Grafton High
School at Birkeland Hall? Everyone should come up with enough
possibilities that it can not be denied in some significant way.
And this is from one so lacking in musical talent that I never dared
even try out for the band. The other part of Joe was his enthusiasm as a
teacher. Never saw him get mad at a student. Never saw him embarrass a
student. The kind of man who was a teacher thru and thru. In fact it was
taking his economics class that first caused me to realize that was the
other thing I wanted to do (besides farming), that is study enough that
I could legitimately be called an economist.
Ralph Kingsbury <<< Thanks for caring and sharing Ralph.
++++ Donald Johnson wrote. >>>>
Subject: Joe's legacy
Some of my fondest memory's from my youth was from the Grafton Parade
Band. My Grandmother loved to go sit in our car on Saturday nights on
mainstreet;so she could visit with old friends who wandered by and
to be close to the Band when they formed their circlefor their weekly
concert. My brother and I would fight to be able to be first to hold the
little black books for the band members It was something that we looked
forward to all summer long. It wasn't all that long before we were
playing in the band and other "Little Kids" were clamoring to hold our
little black books. I did go to Miami for the Orange Bowl and the trip
up the East coast. What an adventure. I think ourmy cost was 60
dollars in order to go. It would never have been possible without Joe
Birkeland. Sign me up when the time comes to write the check. It would
be such a wonderful thing. <<< Thanks for caring and sharing Don.
Avis sent this one. >>> Hi Gary:
A tribute to Joe Birkeland is a fabulous idea. Hill Avenue
hasJoe's footsteps all over it as well as a lot of other Grafton
musicians and majorettes that marched in the Grafton Band all those
years. I think naming a street after him would be great! Avis
Brateng O'Leary <<< Thanks for caring and sharing Avis.
Keith sent this note. >>> In the school why don't they name the
bandroom the Joe Birkeland room + something outside the school also.
Keith Saville <<< Thanks for caring and sharing Keith.
Although the author of this one wishes to remain anonymous. The idea
and suggestion is a valid one. >>>
Hi, Gary,
If nothing else, grab the $500 and get four signs to put on Hwy 17
and 81 (I think I remember right) saying:
Welcome to Grafton, theLand of Joe Birkeland. (Pun intended!)
I was never a member of the band but I do know that they woke me up
every summer morning by practicing in front of my bedroom! If I
remember correctly, the Joe Birkeland "corners" were taught to a college
band directorwho was at the Rose Bowl at the same time that GHS
was. However, I have never seenany band turn corners like Joe's
band did.
Happy Holidays, from no name!<<< Thanks a million for caring and
Bert sent this one. >>>
Subject: Birkeland Blvd.
I realize thestreet signs would have to be changed at a cost to the
citybut assisted bythe many people actually looking forward
to donating to the cause, instead of how sometimes we donate out of
a sense of not wanting to look cheap, I don't think money should be a
problem And I am sure any benefit drive set up would be a resounding
success as well. This is the time to say "anything I ever got or did
that was really worthwhile, didn't come easy".
As for business address changes that would be their participation
dues and we all know it does not have to be done overnight. When their
stationary, and printed advertizingmaterial runs out just change the
address then, Grafton is not so large anyone will end up with mail or
product deliveries.
Peopleresiding inand those just rememberingGrafton --
The change is only as big as your own mind can inflate it to be.
Accomplishingbig challenges take big persons. Who from the
areawill step up to the taskof bringing this outpublicly to
feel out the entire city/countyto seek widespread area backing for
such a project. At the least, we that knew Joe Birkeland and how he,
greater than anyone else without asking, deserves such a legacy.
My final comment unless things start happening. "Lets get'er
done". Bert A. Overland <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing
Bert. Certainly your challenge is no greater than the man we want to
The mention of Pederson's Jewelry gave Carol (Pederson) Abrahamsen
reason to share the following note. >>>>
Good Morning from Mesa -- We enjoy reading news from Grafton. Thanks
for the reminder of Pederson's Jewelry . We enjoyed our years in
Keep writing and Merry Christmas.
Carol Pederson - Abrahamsen
PS Art Abrahamsen was the Precious Moments Salesman for the store. <<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Carol. Unfortunately, the former
Walsh County Bank building that you and Alvin refurbished into a
significant part of the downtown business district. Now stands empty and
"It is the need to care, and, the desire to share. That separates us
from lesser beings." 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, December 20, 2007

December 20, 2007 - Thursday

= Five shopping days til Christmas =
The current temperature is 16 above.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 25/-3
Normal H/L temp for this date is 19/1
It was 58 degrees on this date in 1900
It looks like Mother Natures going to send us another trainload Snowman
Gas for the snowblower? --- $2.90
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
The corn pile, east of the curling club, is getting a little smaller
every day. The way it looks, the whole pile could well be converted to
"holiday spirits",.... before the holidays.
While the "Curling Club" corn pile is getting smaller. The pile of
construction materials, for the new shortline railroad storage/office
building, continues to pile up. They're waiting for the weather
conditions to improve before they can build the facility to protect
their equipment from bad weather.
Dr. J. R. Gaustad cared to share the following. >>>
Subject: Mennonite Testimony
Hi Gary:
What a wonderful and deserving testimonial about the Mennonite
Youth Singers and the total Mennonite Community that you gave in today's
Gazette edition. We are so fortunate to have themnear us because
of all the services they have given and are still giving to the Grafton
Community. We are also so fortunate to have them as our neighbors and
as our friends. I have total admiration and respect for the entire
Mennonite Community.
Jim Gaustad <<< Thanks a million Jim. I strongly believe that "just
knowing we have neighbors, doesn't make us a valuable member of the
community...... Caring and sharing does."
This weeks Walsh County Record 50 years ago column says the Grafton
Parade Band was en route to Miami, for the Orange Bowl festivities.
== (Aren't memories wonderful?) ==
The 10 years ago column of the same Walsh County Record reported.
Alvin and Carol Pederson were part of a family jewelry business that
lasted more than a century in Grafton. The couple planned to close the
Pederson Jewelry store on Hill Avenue at the end of 1997.
== I still have the watch I purchased at Pederson's quitting business
sale. ==
Joe Birkeland left so many memories. Betty Lou shared the following.
Hi Gary. I think that Bert Overlands idea of having something
done in memory of Joe Birkeland is a Great idea. All four of us kids,
Brekke's, played in Joe's marching band. Harlan, Earl, Ruth and myself.
It was a wonderful time. I did go to the Mardi Gras, with the
band, when I was in 10th grade. Joe was also my History
teacher.Joe gave a lot to thecommunity. Betty Lou (Brekke)
Davis <<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Betty Lou.
I "borrowed" the following from the 1982 "hundred year look a Grafton"
The Grafton Parade Band brought national recognition to the city by
it's many appearances at famous events. Under the direction of Joe
Birkeland the band members raised funds and were greatly supported by
the merchants of the city to finance trips to these places.
1946 Range Riders Rodeo in Montana.
1949 Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena.
1950 Winter Carnival in St. Paul.
1951 Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena.
1953 Orange Bowl Parade in Miami.
1955 Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
1957 Orange Bowl Parade in Miami.
1960 Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
All, I might add, from a town (at the time) without stop lights.
It looks like Bert is a bit surprised at the early response to his
"Birkeland seed".
He wrote; >>> Gary, it is nice to see the responsetoseeking
permanent recognition to Joe Birkeland. That band he built from scratch
played alot ofgreat locationsover the years but the location that
it played most often and regularly was Hill Avenue. Every time we played
it seemed the entire town of Grafton was downtown. No other gathering
brought as many people out at one time, not football, basketball, hockey
or baseball.
Who knows where the main street got it's name, was it named for the
old railroad tycoon "Jim Hill"? Jim Hill has many many places, an entire
suburb in Spokane is named "Hill Yard" that was a rail center.
I propose that it be renamed and dedicated for the man who every
week, spring to fall, gave to the people of Grafton entertainment of the
highest caliber and was The best Ambassador the city has ever known.
Lets re-name it "BIRKELAND BLVD." I will toss in the first five
hundred dollars to have the signs changed.
You subscribers and old band members --- Give me somesupport on
this. Joe deserves something permanent.
A scholarships for music sounds nice and traditionalbut this
needs to effect more than just a couple people and scholarships soon
die. I have seen to much ofthat at the college I taught at.
Bert A. Overland <<<< Thanks a million Bert. It will be interesting
to see the suggestions and what kind of support this idea can generate.
Loren Lundberg shared this idea. >>>
Any reason why the block between 5th and 6th street now
known as Hill Avenue can't be least signed and sub-titled as Birkeland
Way or some such?
Happy Holidays! Nice to see that Grafton has snow..... LL
<<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Loren. I can see significant
merit in your suggestion.
As I see it. A major issue with renaming an existing street is that all
of the stationary, letterheads, and advertising data, to mention just a
few, would also need to be changed.
Anyway, I really believe the "recognize Joe Birkeland" idea has
significant merit. If it is to be successful, however, it's going to
take the ideas and input of a good many people to make it happen.
Or so it seems to me.
"Thinking, simply won't make it happen."

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

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

December 19, 2007 - Wednesday

Todays Gazette is brought to you by
=== The Mennonite Community ===
& their youth group's fabulous singers.
The current temperature is 1 degree.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 18/-1
Normal H/L temp for this date is 19/1
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Last night proved to be a another memorable evening for Pat and me. It
started with a fantastic, Fillet of Sirloin, steak at Market Place on
8th. After which we stopped at Denise & Brad's house. That's when we
heard that Crystal - the beautiful young lady that takes care of B & D's
kids - would be coming over with her youth group to sing Christmas
The Mennonite Youth Singers stopped by our house last year and at that
time, I would have found it hard to believe it was possible for them to
sing more beautifully.
Anyway, Denise, along with Pat and I, also invited Pat's sister Shirley
to enjoy the Crystals Carolers.
Shortly after 8:00 a half dozen vehicles stopped in front and 2 dozen
or more members of Crystals youth group came to the front steps, and,
(for lack of a better description). "The heavens opened up and we heard
the Angels singing."
As we stood there in the open doorway, watching those beautiful people,
singing fabulously wonderful Christian, Christmas music. I realized that
it wasn't "just the sound" they were singing. Nor, was it "just the
words", they were singing. It was their sincere display of love for us,
and all of mankind, that was emanating from their hearts and souls.
Through tearfilled eyes, I noticed Jerry Unruh, (Crystal's father)
singing from the middle of the group and then the lump, - whenever I get
emotional, - appeared in my throat. I was thinking of Jerry's personal
contributions to the community and to the Grafton Volunteer Ambulance
and Rescue Organization. And, I thought, whenever there is a fire,
flood, or any time of real need, the Mennonite Community is always
If only the rest of the world could have been there last night. Maybe
there'd be no more reason for nations to fight. Their work, and their
efforts is not for glory or fame. It's not even important that we know
their name.
What is most important, can be heard in their voices, as they thank God
for their lives and their choices.
The "seed" Bert planted to recognize Joe Birkeland is beginning to
sprout. If everyone that reads this message, only reads it. Then,....
more than likely, nothing more will ever come of it.
However, if everyone that has ever been "touched", by Joe Birkeland, in
one way or another actually does something. Bert Overlands seed could,
and, would emerge into something as wonderful as the recognition and
memories Joe gave to Grafton for all of those years.
If Bert's suggestion is going to grow. Everyone must get "on the band
wagon". (that pun was intended.) People, places and things are what's
needed. The exchange of verbiage and the willingness to participate
To that end, I will be happy to share everyones comments in the
Gazette. I should also remind everyone. If you would like to send in
something you "do not want shared in the Gazette", please tell me and it
will remain confidential.
Joe Birkeland came to Grafton in 1941 and reorganized the City Band
into the Grafton Parade Band.
Shortly after "planting Berts seed" I received the following note from
Russell. He wrote: >>> Gary
I strongly support Bert Overland's suggestions. There should be some
remembrance of Joe Birkeland and his impact on the city. I was on every
band trip I could make from my Freshman year in high school until I left
UND and the good will and support of the people in the city are among my
best memories. I was at most of those Detroit Lakes summer festivals but
I didn't recall Bert's note about Pride of the West until now. I wasn't
aware there was a DVD about the band. I would really like to get a copy.
Are they available? Russ Lefevre <<<< Thanks Russ, I hope we can get
your DVD question answered as well. I'm, almost, certain Tom Kutz can
add value to that. Right Tom?
Subject: band stuff
What a great idea to honor a man who put Grafton on the national map by
encouraging music in so many of us AND giving Grafton a chance to shine
in parades small and large. Since he was a teacher of economics as
well as band director, how about a Joe Birkeland scholarship to
encouragefuture musiciansto excel. Bet you could get a lot of
alums to help fund that. I love the idea of Birkeland Drive also,
although I don't remember ever marching through there. I do remember
freezing my tail off practicing marching (in March and April) behind the
school. Brrr! Alice
Dear Gary,
I certainly do think Bert Overland has a great idea and will bring
it up for the Palm Desert bunch to mull over and if we come up with
something will run it by Ina Raumin when her & Jerry arrive and with all
the Gazette subscriber's along with the Graftonites I'm sure some good
ideas will be presented. Thanks to you and the Gazette - things like
this can reach a lot of people. Lea (Amond) Fairbairn <<<< Thanks a
million Lea. I probably should fess up. I haven't actually talked to Ina
Raumin or Donnie LeBerge about the idea. I'm hoping that enough people
will respond so that they will simply "want" to volunteer. People like
Lynn Thompson, Dean Bjorneby, Larry & Bob Collette, Ron Sando, Richard
Thompson and a whole parade of people.
It be great if we could get some of the hundreds (thousands) of people
Joe Birkeland touched to submit stories or tidbits of their associations
with Joe and The Grafton Parade Band.
Or so it seems to me.
===== HAPPY BIRTHDAY =====
Today is the day Jeff & Yvette's eldest daughter Krystal, celebrates
the anniversary of her birth. Although girls don't always like to have
their age divulged. Young girls, it seems always want to "appear" a
little older. So, today Krystal, you are 9,467,202 minutes old.
Billy Joe was singing "We didn't Start the Fire" on the radio that day.
(Appropriate for a firefighters daughter don't you think?)
It could also be said that Krystal is, very strong, a bit self-willed,
independent, does not allow contradiction or arguments, loves life,
family, children and animals, a bit of a butterfly, good sense of
humour, likes idleness and laziness, of practical talent and
Happy Birthday Krissy. We love you very much. Grandma Patti and Grandpa
Please remember Joe, and, share what you know.

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

December 18, 2007 - Tuesday

Todays Gazette is being brought to you, in part, by == Kelly's Country
Market. ==
A super little Super Market on the Main Street in Drayton, North
The current temperature is, "nothing".
Nothing above zero and nothing below.
Most long term forecasters still call for "winter like" weather for our
entire area,.... for the entire winter.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
The giant corn pile east of the curling club is starting to shrink.
Partly because all the area birds have been feasting on it, and mainly
because the elevator has started hauling it away.
The one in Ted Hoffmans former trailer court is still there however,
collecting equal parts of snow and bird droppings.
According to C-Span, our overworked politicians are still arguing about
whether or not the term illegal really means illegal, or, if it's just a
word used by politicians to win or lose elections.
Anyway, I received the following "tidbit" about our neighbor to the
north in yesterday's mail.
>>>> Canada passed a law, in 1907, that prohibited poor people from
entering into their country for any reason. <<<<
I guess that pretty well resolves the question about me going to visit
the Winnipeg Zoo. I'm so poor, I can't even afford to pay attention.
I suppose some folks have noticed that every once in awhile in the
Gazette I mention Arnesen's Rocky Point Resort. Lea Fairbairn must have
read one of those Gazette's as she sent the following. >>>
Dear Gary,
On TV this morning there was a program called "Midwest Outings" and
it featured the history of Arnesen's Resort at "Lake of the Woods" along
with comments by the owner. Also, fishing at Devils Lake. I do
hope you caught it as it was very interesting. They have an ad in our
paper periodically also so let them know it has been noticed.
We'll be heading to Palm Desert to reunite with my Grafton
classmates and friends. Thanks much.
Merry Christmas and Happy New year
Lea Fairbairn <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Lea. The
Arnesen's will appreciate knowing their message is heard in the Green
Bay area.
It's always fun sharing a positive message about "our" little
community. Barb Dusek shared the following. >>>
I just love the Strand Theater - took my kids yesterday and it was a
full house again ! I am very thankful we have it in town. Barb.
<<<< Thanks a million for the kind words Barb.
I read the next note several times. The first time my only thought
was, gee, I wonder if Bert hasn't come up with a super idea. The second
time I was almost sure he had a good idea. Then, by the third time I
read it I was absolutely positive. Bert has "fostered" a fantastic idea.
please read his message and see what you think. Bert wrote: >>>>
Subject: Just remembering
Today in the mail along witha Christmas card from Rodney Nelson I
received an anniversary DVD of the Grafton Parade band. Remembering the
old band of the 40's and early 50's is something very dear to my heart
as it is to so many other members that played during that era. I made my
first trip with the city band in the fall of 1947 as sophomore in
High school to Winnipeg, Canada. With the exception of military service
time during Korea Iplayed any time I could make ituntil I left the
area in 1960. The historians missed one very important march however.
James Henry Filmorewrote big time marches rivalling John
PhillipSousa. After the summer ofthe2nd Rose Bowl we attended
(50/51) Filmore dedicated one of his marches to the Grafton
Paradeband. He personally dedicatedit to us and directed itat
the Detroit Lakes summer festival the following year, June 1951. It was
named"Pride Of The West". Mr Filmore died in 1956. It would be
interesting for someone to look it up in "theold black books". Those
that played inJoe Birkeland'sband all know what "the old black
books" are. I don't know if it was anoriginal marchor if it was
re-named for the band.
What a wonderful era those years were for us. If there isn't
anything in Grafton yet named in memory of that wonderful man everyone
called "Joe". It should be done soon!Not to many people left that
really knew him and his impact on the community. If there is ever a
memorial fund raised seeking donations to get it doneplease put my
name on the list.
Bert A. Overland <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Bert.
Now then, It's time to plant Bert's seed and watch it grow. We must
have someone in our midst that knows about "the old black books" that
can find the "Pride of the West". Then, there should be several among us
that would be willing to "foster" a idea of recognizing "Joe"
permanently. To the same extent and In the same manner that Joe brought
recognition to our community.
I have visions of a street, or maybe a cul-de-sac called Birkeland
Drive. Maybe, just maybe, the road through Leistikow Park could bear the
name Joe Birkeland Lane.
Bert's idea certainly has merit. I must also admit, after reading
Bert's note. Names like Don LaBerge and the members of his musical
family. Ina Raumin and her tenacious ability to orchestrate (no pun
intended) a group of former Grafton Parade Band members in the proper
direction toward fruition, might also accept the challenge.
Wouldn't it be absolutely wonderful to have "something" in Joe's honor
ready to dedicate during the 2008 "Summerfest"?
Maybe the bunch from Palm Desert can come up with some ideas while
they're sitting under the palm trees.
The latest survey shows that three out of four people make up 75% of
the population.
I am pleased to add Hugh and Irma Robertson to the Gazette family tree.

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

Monday, December 17, 2007

December 17, 2007 - Monday

12/17/07 MONDAY
Todays Gazette is being brought to you, in part, by Drayton ND Piano
Virtuoso, ====== JON BROSSEAU ======
You haven't heard real Ragtime, Blues and Boogie music until you've
heard it played on Jon Brosseau's piano.
Jon's recently released CD can be purchased in Grafton at Henry's
Countrypolitan. It would make a fantastic Christmas gift, as would so
many of the things you'll find at Henry's Countrypolitan in Grafton's
down town "Strip Mall".
The current temperature is + 12.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 15/-10
Normal H/L temp for this date is 20/2
It was + 57 on this date in 1900
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Work on the new Second Time Around store / Youth center / & whatever
the third proposed tenant will be, is going really well. I think. Peter
Holand and his hard working crew of students from the North Valley
Career Tech Center have already started hanging sheet rock on the center
It sounds like it won't be very long before they'll start painting.
And, shortly after that, the folks from the Second Time Around Store
will be moving into their brand new home in the old Ben Franklin
I'm sure most of you have heard the "old" saying, "It's not how many
times you fall, It's how many times you get up, that really counts."
If that's true,... then I am two for two.
The first time I fell, I thought it was fitting, and appropriate, to
thank God that I didn't knock out more teeth than I did, or that I
didn't hurt anything other than my pride. I was also very lucky the
first time to have unusual (that's what I said anyway) circumstances to
blame for the fall. After all, I was outside, and,.... there were leaves
on the ground, and a box of rocks to fall on.
This time, I found myself thanking God I had already knocked my teeth
out, so that it couldn't happen again. (I don't have the new ones yet)
And, I'm fortunate that the carpet on the floor of our hallway is much
softer than that box of rocks was.
Now then. I have a knee that is swollen larger than Al Gores head was
when he accepted the Nobell Peace Prize for discovering global warming.
A leg that's stiffer than a wine-o on Saturday night, and a hand that
feels like Mrs. Burtt just whacked it with a ruler after catching me
scratching my initials in a study hall desk.
So far I haven't been able to come up with a long list of benefits to
my latest aeronautical miss-adventures. Other than the fact that it's
becoming more and more apparent that hand rails are a good invention,
and, that I won't be trying out for the New York ballet anytime soon.
Gosh I really regret my recent encounter with our hallway floor kept me
from attending the Alvin & The Chipmunks movie at the Strand Theater.
Originally Pat And I were going to take the twins and their younger
brother. Fortunately, Aunt Shirley Durand took my place.
After the movie Tyler called me and said, "It was really, REALLY GOOD
++++ PLUS,.... I received the following from Phil about the
He wrote: >>> Gary,
Rachel and I took our little "chipmunk" to the "Alvin & the Chipmunks"
movie last nite. The Strand was packed with people of all ages which was
very nice to see. The movie was very good and the popcorn was even
Phil <<<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Phil. It is
especially heartwarming to see so many folks utilizing the Strand
Theater, one of Grafton's oldest entertainment centers. Tom runs a good
show, (pardon the pun) his popcorn is every bit as good as I remember it
was when I was 8 years old,.... the cotton candy is every bit as good as
that at the Shrine Circus, and, the dill pickles aren't bad either.
It does happen I know. Actually, It happens way more regularly in the
Gazette than it should.
Oops, I'm speaking about errors, omissions and misrepresentations of
people or entities. Of course it's always best, when mistakes are made,
to correct them ASAP. Often, unfortunately, ASAP can't happen unless
someone identifies the error.
Identifying a person or a business by using the wrong name falls into
the "it shouldn't ever happen category".
While talking with a close friend yesterday I was "reminded" that when
I mentioned, in the Gazette, that Zebbie (DeSautel) Hoenke was the
recipient of this years Grafton Teacher of the Year Award. I
inadvertently used the wrong "Hankey". (No pun intended.)
Zebbie not only deserves the Teacher of the Year Award, she deserves
to be recognized by her rightful name, and, she deserves my most sincere
apologies for not identifying her properly in the first place.
Then, on the same, but different subject. It's been brought to my
attention, by more than one person, that our local radio station, KXPO
1340 has been referred to as KXPO 1310, more than once, in previously
printed local news events. I'm almost certain, however, that that is
nothing more than a unfortunate oversight.
I received the following note from former Drayton & Graftonite Duane
Kargel. >>>>
Merry Christmas Gary and all who read the Shivercity Gazette. I
enjoy every issue and although I have been away from the area for many
years, I visually walk down the streets to the places you reminisce
about. Thanks for the memories.<<<<
Duane also attached several "tidbits" he refers to as fodder for the
Gazette, calling them Half-Witticisms. This one seems especially
appropriate for me.
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Duane.
I am pleased to welcome Julie H. and Larry L. to our Gazette family
"No-one can learn, til someone, or something, teaches them."
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.

Friday, December 14, 2007

December 14, 2007 - Friday

12/14/07 FRIDAY
Todays Gazette is being brought to you by Elmer and Josephine
It was 47 years ago last fall that Elmer taught me how to operate the
city's motor grader. Josephine was one of the kindest gentlest ladies I
have ever known.
The current temperature is -6 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 34/-10
Normal H/L temp for this date is 20/3
The forecast for the next several days is close to normal temperatures.
Normally we don't normal temps this time of year.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Today is a relatively slow news day. The sand ranchers of the world
have allowed their local representatives to drop the cost of filling our
snowblowers once again this week. A quart is presently going for a tad
over 72 cents.
According to Principal Lawrence Panek, as reported by the WCR 50 years
ago column. James Loos, a senior at the Grafton High School, was named a
semi-finalist in the National Merit Scholarship competition.
Speaking of the WCR. Wouldn't this be a super time to send your loved
ones a subscription to the Walsh County Record?
The extent of residential decorations around town range from almost
nothing to presentations that could only be described as wonderful and
very significant.
Homes like Shane & Margaret Kaste at 539 Western Ave. with three
stories of lights, numerous wreaths, a giant evergreen and much of the
yard covered with decorations and lights.
Wally & Ione DeSautel's home at 1023 Kittson is extensively decorated,
including a beautiful large evergreen all of which are displayed in the
same color "soft gold" lights.
Tim & Jan DeSautel have also entered the gratifying world of extensive
holiday season decorating. Their home south of St. Johns church on the
south end of Western Ave is another Grafton home worth driving to see.
Although I have only identified three of the many wonderful displays
of holiday season decorations throughout the Grafton community. There is
one other home that really caught my attention in just the past few
days. A display that could best be described as unusual, unique, and,
some might even regard as "really cool".
I'm speaking of the home at 243 Kittson Avenue. The residence that Ray
& June Capouch once called home. Although the house presently appears
empty, and, the Country Realty "house for sale" sign out front seems to
indicate that the house actually is on the market.
Anyway. It seems someone has developed a method by which they can get
water to literally pour out of the house siding and freeze as it runs
down the walls creating the most unusual icicle formations. The
spectacular formations appear down the south side of the house. In some
spots the water even "seems" as though it is coming right through the
window sills.
Now that is true imaginative ingenuity. It also leaves one with the
impression that
the last occupant may well be the last occupant. Or so it seems to me.
OPRAH'S in the NEWS again.
Gosh, I sure hope Oprah is better at picking people to run "our"
country, than see is at picking folks to run her schools.
Earlier I mentioned Elmer and Josephine Sondeland. I forgot to mention
that tomorrow, December, 15 their youngest son Lewis will be celebrating
the anniversary of his birth. Some of us can still remember well Lewis'
exquisitely maintained Ducktail hairdo's of the late fifties. HAPPY
from your life long friends, Pat & Gary
==== It's that time of year again. ====
The time for KrumKaKa, Lefse and Lutefisk. I could eat a truck load
of Lefse. smothered with butter, sweetened with American Crystal Sugar,
rolled tight and devoured with a glass of ice cold milk. Then a
cup of coffee with KrumKaKa for desert. Yah, you betcha.
Those who are looking for the best tasting Lutefisk around. I
understand that Grafton's Country Smokehouse handles the exact same
Lutefisk that is served at the Park River Bible Camps annual fall
It may just be my imagination. However, it seems like more and more
people, are writing less and less.

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

Thursday, December 13, 2007

December 13, 2007 - Thursday

Todays Gazette is being brought to you by Oliver Ordahl. One of the
most wonderful people I've ever known.
The current temperature is 21 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 26/-1
Normal H/L temp for this date is 21/3
We are witnessing the more "testy" side of Mother Nature again today.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Have you heard the news? The Alvin & CHIPMUNKS movie is in town! I'm
pretty sure this news won't create much, if any, controversy. I first
learned of their "visit" from our daughter Wendy, when she cared enough
to share the following note. >>>
Subject: hi my daddy
In regards to your DON'T go to the movie warning... I have one that I
am DYING to see come to the Strand Theatre here in town so I can "take a
child" to it.... I can't wait for the Alvin & The Chipmunks movie....
Nana (me) will even take Kylie (as a cover of course) and, I am going to
try bend the arm of my little brother (Brad) to bring his little
"chipmunks". I wonder which one would be considered more like "Alvin"...
The previews are just so darn cute I am excited for it.... Maybe you and
mom want to go to??? <<<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Wendy. AND, if I read the
Strand Theater marquee correctly. The Alvin & The Chipmunks movie is now
playing. I should tell everyone that Wendy is our first offspring to
become a grandparent. Hence, she is the first of our litter (Pat & I) to
appreciate the value of a afternoon nap.
So,... I hope everyone will take a nap, then take your wives out to
dinner, and then, take your kids to the Strand Theater to see the movie
Alvin & The Chipmunks.
======= DAFFYNITION: =======
Predicament (pre dik' e ment) When two people have four hands, a mirror,
a ice pick, a suction pump, a drill motor and a garden hose all in your
mouth at the same time. AND, then one of them asks. How are we doing?
That my fine friends, is a predicament.
And I don't care what Webster calls it.
By now most, if not all, know about my fall. (unplanned trip to planet
earth.) It was that trip that gave cause to visit our local Dentist.
It's not that I don't like dentist's. per-se. It's that I never really
acquired a taste for the work that they do.
Prior to this episode. The last time I visited a dentist was several
years ago, shortly after midnight, when I had a toothache with pain that
would have rivalled that of giving birth to a baby,.... with a very
large head.
As best I can remember it. First I tried cloves, then I tried salt,
then cloves and salt together. Then I packed the tooth with snuff while
holding ice cubes alongside. Jumping up and down didn't help. Hollering
and blaming Pat for my problems didn't work. So,.... I finally gave in
and begged Pat to call a dentist.
First she called Dr Cuthbert, Doc's wife Dorothy answered and was a
little reluctant to let her talk to Dr. Cuthbert. However, after Pat
explained my dilemma, Dr. Cuthbert came to the phone. After Pat
described the pain I was in, he said he was sure that the tooth was
"impacted" and that he would be extremely reluctant to extract it, for
two specific reasons. First of all, he said, it is never a good idea,
nor is it prudent, to extract an impacted tooth. Secondly, he said, that
he had just returned from a two day dentist's convention, and
consequently wasn't in the very best condition to be digging around in
my mouth. (Evidently, dentist's use a different type of novocain at
their conventions, than they do when they're in their office.)
Anyway, Dr Cuthbert did offer to provide me with a pain killing
subscription that "might" get me through the night. Or, he said, "maybe
you can find a dentist willing extract it while in it's present
Being almost certain I wouldn't live through the night, I begged Pat to
call our good friend Dr. Jaehning. By this time it was late, very late,
but Dr. Jaehning answered the phone on the second ring. Pat explained my
situation, and, all the while she was talking I was moaning and groaning
with a mouthful of every spice we had in the house including a half a
can of snuff.
When Pat told him we had already talked to Dr. Cuthbert and that we
knew full well that the tooth shouldn't be pulled in this condition, but
that I was extremely desperate. Dr. Jaehning said,... "meet me down at
my office in five minutes and I'll see what I can do."
We were standing by his office door while Dr Jaehning was unlocking it
and already I could smell the "anesthetic". As we entered his office he
told me to sit in "The" chair. He put his hand on my forehead and pushed
my head back saying "open as wide as you can". I did, and, the next
thing I knew, something I related to a pair of channel lock pliers was
going in my mouth. Even before I could realized that the "anesthetic" I
had smelled at the door wasn't novocain at all, my lower right wisdom
tooth was out and in the little sink by "The" chair. As Dr. Jaehning
handed me a glass of water he said, "rinse your mouth good, spit in
there, stick this chunk of cotton in the hole in your mouth, and lets go
home and get some sleep."
As we were leaving his office, with a mouthful of bloody cotton. I
asked Doc. why he hadn't been to the Dental Convention. He said, "I was,
as a matter of fact," he said, "we just walked in the house when Pat
called." He said, "I would have been home sooner but we decided to stop
in Grand Forks for a stiffener".
Aren't memories wonderful?
The first thing I noticed when I walked into Dr Daby's was the absence
of the neat little "spit sinks" Dr. Cuthbert and Dr. Jaehning had in
their offices.
The next thing I noticed,.... was the lack of pain. For some reason,
going to the dentist doesn't seem to hurt like it did the last time I
was there.
Gosh the Cuthbert's and Jaehning's were wonderful people. I truly
wished they still lived in town.
I sent the following note yesterday to welcome a wonderful person to
our Gazette family. Sense today is a relatively slow news day. I decided
to share that note with everyone. >>>>
Gosh I'm pleased to welcome you to the Gazette family. I view the
Gazette as little more than a compendium of babble. My commitment is to
do the very best I can, as often as I can, to provide a forum that tests
ones thought process giving memories and reality a chance to commingle.
The only guarantee is that the information gained through the Gazette
will not be worth less than the price of the subscription. If at some
point I should fail to accomplish that goal, I hope someone will bring
it to my attention.
"If you don't tell me, I won't know. If I don't know, I can't put it in
the Gazette."
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, December 12, 2007

December 12, 2007 - Wednesday

12/12/07 WEDNESDAY
Todays Gazette is being brought to you by the National Flood Insurance
The current temperature is 3 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 12/-7
Normal H/L temp for this date is 21/4
It sounds like we're going to need the snowblower again soon. It's a
good thing gas dropped a nickel a tankfull yesterday.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Carpenters are busy installing some very interesting partitions in the
former Ben Franklin Variety Store. Some might remember that store, in
the center of Grafton's downtown strip mall, has two doors to enter the
building. From the street it appears as though the north doors will be
used to facilitate the north half +/- of the building. The south
entrance doors will be used for whatever will be going in that portion
of the facility. Presently, only the plumbers know for sure, however,
I'm guessing both sides of the building will be sharing communal
"libraries". If you know what I mean.
Still no word on the status of the J.C. Penney store, although, I
understand there is one.
From the looks of the intersection by our house, and, several others in
town. One might draw the conclusion that the management of our GMU is
trying to supply the needs of "our" community with less people than the
job requires.
We should never lose sight of the fact that it is the little things
that bring people to small towns. If people don't like what they see,
when they drive through town. They won't stop & shop or raise their
families here either.
It's that time of the year again. The time when we get our tax
statement from the County Auditor. Although I would certainly like them
to be lower, much lower. I am pleased there not as high as other
communities, relatively speaking, that is.
It must also be the time when every insurance company in the world is
trying to sell FLOOD INSURANCE in Grafton. In the past week we have
received information from no less than four flood insurance companies. I
sure hope they don't know something about this spring that we don't.
I wonder if our community leaders are presently working at protecting
"our" community from the perils of flooding. The kind of flood
protection that would eliminate the need for all of those insurance
companies to pester "our" community residents.
I suspect most of the folks in Warren, Roseau, Winnipeg and Grand Forks
are pleased they are protected now. Although I'm sure many protested the
process before and even during construction.
The fact is there really isn't much sense worrying about building or
even maintaining a long term infrastructure, if we don't, or won't
protect it from the ravages of flood. The question is not, "will it ever
flood?", because it most certainly will. The real question should be.
Will the leadership of this community be able to act in time to stave
off a major flood disaster? Winnipeg did, Grand Forks, Warren and Roseau
did not and only after suffering dearly, have they learned the hardships
of procrastination.
Or so it seems to me.
When McCain was asked if he thought global warming was a real threat,
his answer was a resounding, yes.
I certainly agree with that answer. Then he was asked. What is
keeping "us" from resolving the (global warming) problem? McCain's
answer in a nutshell was, (paraphrased) special interest groups,... and
big business, he said.
Well dog bite my unit, I thought. If we could take a x-ray picture
(maybe today that would be an MRI) of big business, we would find those
big businesses are plump full of wealthy stockholders. Folks such as the
Gore's, Bush's, Clinton's, Cheney's and the likes. They are the folks
that make the big money, on both sides of the issue. However, with their
influence, and cash, they can harvest "Carbon Credits" and continue
living their life of luxury while those in the middle class, and below,
pay the fiddler.
Or so it seems to me.
Subject: A drive through the Park
Tuesday, December 12th. In driving through the park this evening it
was a spectacular ride. All the pretty decorating done and all the
labor of love put into every moment. Was so gladto see the new
addition (smaller version) of the Country Smokehouse. It was a good
addition to the rest of the park. Everyone needs to be commended on
all the work involved in this fine work of art.Also, a special
"thank you" to Wally for his many hours of work to put together his
exhibition. And, I was so very delighted to see that things are all
in order. No one is messing around with any of the decorations.
May this expression of The Spirit of the Season continue on for many
years to come. May everyone have a Merry and Blessed Christmas and a
Happy Prosperous 2008. Marian
Today is the day we celebrate the anniversary of Leona Sevigny's
Leona, is a lovely lady from Lankin. When I was little Aunt Leona would
make me "the worlds best" tomato and macaroni hot dish. As I remember
the first time I had it, I called it "croni & mato's". How well I
remember heading down to 326 Summit Avenue, busting in through the front
door hollering. "DA-ONA" you got croni & mato's? I don't ever remember
her turning me down.
However, I do remember once in a while she would beller back. "Take off
your shoes, were you born in a barn?" Oh yah, once in awhile she would
refer to me as a little ---- animal excrement. (I cleaned that up for
the kids and clergy) but only because she really, really loved me. Right
Anyway, from the bottom of my heart, to a lovely lady with a giant one.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEONA You have made my life so much better. And, you
have made this world a much nicer place to live. :)
We love you dearly,
Pat & Gary and our entire family
If your message is meant just for me and you don't want it in the
Gazette. Simply state that and your message WILL remain confidential. I
will guarantee it.

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

December 11, 2007 - Tuesday

Todays Gazette is being brought to you, Out of Kathy's Kitchen. Minto,
ND. If your looking for baking that's "out of this world" give Kathy
Gudajtes', "Out of Kathy's Kitchen", a call at 701-248-3575.
The current temperature is 2 degrees.
Normal H/L temp for this date is 22/4
Although, normally the weather isn't very normal this time of year.
Todays Skeeter Meter is "zero".
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
The following note from Karen gives us reason to believe the senseless
atrocities of the past week are never really very far away from home.
She wrote. >>>
Hi Gary,
I'm sure everyone has heard about the terrible shooting at the YWAM
(youth with a mission) base out of Denver on Sunday morning. I was quite
frazzled when I first heard it on Fox news. Our son Paul is with this
same mission organization and just went on his first outreach to the
Philippines for two months. It's quite ironic that I feel more at peace
with Paul being overseas than in our own country where we are free to
express our Christian values and ideas. Everyone please pray for the
families involved. Thanks, Karen and Vance Anderson
p.s. If any of your readers have info and would like to email me about
the Philippines please feel free to do so. <<<>>>
Hi Gary,
'The Golden Compass' is a wildly imaginative tale with colorful and
interesting characters engaged in grand plots and battles with many
fabulous special effects.
It is not a documentary. It is a movie. Meant to entertain.
George Clooney is not really a corporate lawyer bringing down a
poisonous corporation in 'Michael Clayton'; Jerry Seinfeld is not really
a bee; Patrick Dempsey is not really a single dad in New York who falls
in love with a princess from a blissful cartoon world in Enchanted;
(Patrick Dempsey is not a doctor either); and believe it or not Arnold
Schwarzenegger is not really 'The Terminator'; and Nicole Kidman is not
really an evil-doer in the real world.
Like 'The Golden Compass' (adapted from a book), they are all stories
that spring from a writer's imagination. Meant to transform us for a
couple hours from our sometimes tough personal worlds into a place where
we forget our troubles and are entertained. Many times this simple goal
has proved to be hugely successful for many people. Wanda
PS 'Quo Vadis' was released in 1951 and is available on DVD. I was
lucky to have known the director, Mervyn LeRoy and his wife, Kitty. <<<>>>
Subject: The Golden Compass response..
Movies, television, music, and so forth are not only for entertainment
value, but they get society to think beyond what they are used to &
know. You can take away whatever you want from any media
outlet...that's the beauty of the whole process. Is it really that
detrimental if what you see or hear doesn't sync with all of your values
& beliefs? Mentally stepping outside of your proverbial box doesn't
equate with having to wear a huge foam finger in support of a differing
view point. It's not about being in agreement, it's about listening
and being open-minded.
If people solely relied on their stances on faith, sexuality,
politics, abortion, etc. to strictly guide their lives... they
drastically limit themselves to an interesting array of ideas this world
& it's people have to offer. Opening your mind doesn't make you a
traitor to your faith, doesn't make you anti-America, doesn't make you
(fill in the blank). When people are unwilling to try & see where
someone else is coming from...that's when major problems arise, be it
war, hate crimes, etc.
For those who are naysayers re: educating themselves on varying view
points...listening doesn't equate with agreement, it equates with being
a compassionate being. Plus, you can't expect to, nor should want to
agree with everything! Close mindedness causes strife & hatred.
Why are people so surprised at the discord around the world?
Understanding & peace go hand in hand. <<<>>> Go to the
movie WITH your kids and grandkids. Then afterwards discuss what is
wrong with the movie. I know you have the faith and that faith will give
you the wisdom to discuss the movie. Also, your kids/grandkids know the
strength and wisdom you have and they will listen to you, more so than
any movie producer. If they don't, well this one movie will not be the
only reason they would abandon what they have been taught by their
parents. Anyone who has watched the way you have lived your life,
especially your love of family will know who is right.
Don't be afraid, my friend. The Lord will give you that strength and
Ralph Kingsbury <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Ralph. You
not only flatter me. I think you are right, AND, I think I finally get
the picture. (Pardon the pun)
It still "only" costs $3.00 to fill a small snowblower with gas in
I'm interested in purchasing some "carbon credits" (cheap). If anyone
has some swamp land that General Electric and Al Gore haven't already
bought up.
Still no "official" word on the new owners of the home at 343 Cooper
Avenue. I have heard a rumor though.

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

Monday, December 10, 2007

December 10, 2007 - Monday

Todays Gazette is being brought to you, in memory of the Josh Napper
family. Josh was one of the first landscapers dad worked with when he
came to Grafton.
The current temperature is -9 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 3/-22
Normal H/L temp for this date is 22/5
Saturday morning when I woke up it was 95 degrees warmer in our living
room than it was outside.
No-one is complaining about "Skeeter-bites" although getting a
frost-bite is becoming a real possibility.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
The Spoiler hockey team beat the Firebirds 5 to 1 last Friday night.
Speaking of sports, I thought for a minute I smacked one out of the
park when I mention "not" going to see The Golden Compass movie. The
next thing I know I received the following note from Beverly.
She wrote. >>>
Gary RE : Movies. How many of us can still recall Fr. Garland
ordering us NOT to go see the movie Quo Vadis. He said, from the
pulpit, it would be considered a mortal sin! I think it was one of
the all time best attended shows at the Strand in history! Now it don't
even show up on late night. So much for censorship! <<< Thanks a million
for the memories Beverly. Now you really have me thinking. Not more than
a few minutes later Ralph shared the following words of wisdom.
>>> Gary, if you are strong in your faith you can survive watching The
Golden Compass.
There is one good reason to watch it. That is so you know what "they"
are trying to do to your kids and grandkids. I don't believe in a lot of
conspiracies, but there is a coordinated concerted effort by many
"elites" to destroy the Christian faith, and they are going after your
kids. It may help that you understand what these people are trying to
do. Don't let them succeed.
Ralph Kingsbury <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Ralph. So
now I'm wondering what to do. Should I go to the movie so I can tell the
kids they shouldn't..... Or,.. should I send the kids to the movie and
have them explain to me why I shouldn't. Or, should we all just say
"what the heck, everyone is going to see it one way or another anyway."
Maybe we should take a political approach to the issue,..... and just
not do anything and hope the problem resolves itself. Or so it seems
to me.
When I mentioned work going on in Elmer Bergs building and that I
hoped someone better informed than I would share that story with us. I
was really impressed how fast it come to past. First Marian sent the
following note. >>>
Subject: Old Ben Franklin store building
Just a short note to let you know what is happening there.The
Second Time Around is moving into half of this building with the
remaining half to be rented out in the future. Also in the future,
next summer, thesecond floor will house a Christian Youth Center.
The Grafton Ministerial Association hasbeen working with The Second
Time Around in making this venture possible. The building has been
purchased by them and hopefully they can get someone to rent the other
half downstairs. I am very excited about Grafton getting a place for
the young people to "hang out" and will be a great asset for the
youth. Just thought I would let you know what's happening. Keep up
the good work on the Gazette, Gary. A very Merry Christmas and Happy
New Year to you and Pat. Yours truly, Marian <<< Thanks a million
++++ Not long after Marian's note came in I received this message about
the project from Ron. Although the general idea and information in Ron's
note mirrors Marian's. I found the last 22 words of his note most
exiting. He wrote. >>>
Gary, The Grafton Ministerial group purchased the building and are
remodelling it to be occupied by two groups for now. The Second time
around store will be relocated there with more room and the other part
is going to be a Christian Teen Center. There are at least 5 or more
churches sponsoring this adventure. I will inform you of updates on the
progress of both when I get more details. I am really excited about the
idea of the teen center. Grafton needs a place where teenagers can go
and have fun, be safe, and yes be free to talk about Christ in their
lives, without be afraid of being put down.Ron Thompson <<< Thanks
a million Ron. We will look forward to the completion of this very
worthwhile project.
Every once in awhile someone mentions how much they appreciate getting
the weather report in the Gazette. I must admit, I too, enjoy getting
weather reports from the rest of the world as well. Mae sent in this
note at about the same time my thermometer hit -15 degrees in
Shivercity. She wrote. >>> Hi Gary, Greetings from Arizona where at
this time it is raining in most of the valley and snowing in the high
country. Last week we, in Rancho Mirage (Apache Junction) had 3 inches
of rain the only real moisture in 8 months.
I enjoy reading the "Gazette". Good to hear what is going on back home.
Keep it coming and thank you. Merry Christmas and all things good in
the coming year.
Mae Whelan <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Mae. We run
snowcats and toboggans on the kind of rain we've been getting lately.
The "for sale" sign out front of the Almer & Irene Bjerke home
(formerly the Elton Ringsak Residence) on the corner of 4th and Cooper
has a brand new SOLD sign on top of it. I haven't heard who the new
owners are but "maybe" one those folks that really should know will
share that information with us.
The "Pot-Thought" of the day.
Permanent teeth are only permanent until they hit something harder than
they are.
ie. Rocks,... are harder,.. than permanent teeth.
There's a couple good ways of getting news. One is to be in the news
yourself, the other is to have the person making the news, share 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.