Wednesday, October 31, 2007

October 31, 2007 - Wednesday - Halloween

"Seat belts aren't nearly as confining as wheelchairs are."
The current temperature is 44°.
Yesterdays average gas price $2.89
We received .06 inches of moisture in the Tuesday evening rain event.
It sounds like winds might be blowing the little ghosts and goblins
down the street 40 MPH today. :-(
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Crews from Strata Corporation have been working on the blacktop project
at St. Johns Catholic Church. Rumor has it they are putting down a 2½
inch mat over the entire parking lot. I suspect part of the project also
includes a substantial amount of praying that heavy trucks and equipment
won't be running across the lot.
Part of McMartins construction crew is working on the foundation for
the new railroad engine building on the north end of town. The last I
checked I'm almost certain the new structure won't look anything like a
round house. It should be noted that McMartin's crew (Agassiz
Excavating) also did a considerable amount of the site preparation work
on the St. Johns parking lot as well. They also helped LaHaise Plumbing
and Heating with the trench work for the new geothermal heating and
cooling system at the church.
When I first became aware of the McMartin's and their operation, they
were farming and becoming heavily involved in the sugarbeet growing
business. It now appears as though they are becoming heavily involved in
the operation of heavy equipment as well.
Local corn piles continue to grow faster than you can shake a stick at
them. Ted Hoffman's former Trailer City trailer court will soon be plump
full, with corn popping (pardon the pun) out of the seams. Earlier,
while doing some research in the Gazette library. I started thinking
about that large pile of corn just south of Alchem and couldn't help
wondering. What if, I wondered, we could take some of that corn, glue it
to the sides of the now idle Newman's Alchem Alcohol Distillery in the
form of old whiskey bottles,... and,... poof...... we could be the first
180 proof North Dakota version of the South Dakota Corn Palace.
And,.... then people might drive in from several blocks around, just to
see it. We might even have a shot (pardon the pun) at becoming a major
tourist attraction,... of sorts.
Notes like the next one are always fun to share. Especially when they
are from, and about, great people. Susan wrote: >>>>
Subject: Can you print this in your wonderful column?
Bennie and Mildred Molde's granddaughter Kimberly was married in
Minneapolis this past week end. Her mother Susan would like to thank her
brothers and sisters and their families for making this so special for
her… She hopes the ones that could not make it from Grafton liked the
Wedding cake Lisa brought back, Love to you all.. <<< Thanks a million
for caring and sharing Susan. Congratulations from all of us at the
Gazette as well.
====== SUGAR FACTS ======
Does refined sugar contain preservatives or other additives?
No. Refined sugar is 99.9 percent pure. It contains purified sugar --
pure sucrose. It contains no preservatives or additives of any kind.
What nutritional impact does refined white sugar have on my diet?
Refined white sugar is pure sucrose, a carbohydrate. Carbohydrates
provide energy, contain no fat, and like protein contribute 4 calories
per gram in your diet (as opposed to the 9 calories per gram contributed
by fat).
Your body treats sucrose in the same way regardless of its source. In
fact, your body uses all sugars in the same way, so eating refined
sugar, or honey, or sugars from any other source has the same effect on
your body -- it is converted into glucose and used by the cells for
If you have recently requested becoming a Gazette family member and
haven't received the Gazette. Please let me know and I will try again.
Thanks. Gary

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

October 30, 2007 - Tuesday

"If you don't have a sense of humor, you probably don't have any sense
at all."
The current temperature is 47 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 64/26
Normal H/L temp for this date is 46/26
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
My mother once told me that there are two basic kinds of people. Those
that try to get to church early. And,.. those that always get there
The lesson: No-one sees the first one,... Everyone sees the last.
And so it goes with sugarbeet harvest.
While doing some research in the Gazette library last night. I got to
thinking about the small community of camper trailers parked in Ralph
Smiths yard south of St.Thomas. Gosh I sure hope the wonderful folks in
St. Thomas township can appreciate the significant economic and
environmental impact such a venture can have on a community. It is
amazing how some folks seem to be able to take advantage of such
economic opportunity. Yet there are those that endeavor to discourage it
for others.
Yesterday another piece of Grafton's residential history was converted
to kindling. The building I refer to I once somewhat related as
belonging to Jack Bannerman, but most specifically being the home of
Aunt Alice and Uncle Danny Lessard. Located just across the street from
Dr. Glaspel's home, the one Muriel Cryderman lived in for so many years.
The "Bannerman house", as I know it best, was built around 1883 by
local lumberman W.W Robertson. One of two brothers that operated
Robertson Lumber Yards throughout the area. There must have been special
materials in the home as two bank presidents and a whole line of
significant tenants and owners have been associated with it down through
the years. I haven't heard what the future holds for the property,...
Schumacher's is replacing another major chunk of cement on the west
side of their business. At first glance one might think it was going to
be the site of a new structure. If so, judging by the slope, east to
west, it could be in Ripple's Believe It or Not. Or so it seems to me.
It is true, competition can be good for the consumer. Unfortunately,
however, it really only works, long term, if there is enough business
for both competitors to exist. If not, the most ruthless competitor will
win out. And that, my friends, is the beginning of a monopoly that
allows the ruthless to rule the roost.
Or so it seems to me.
It's easy to notice there's a few more empty chairs in area cafe's. I
received the following note from Vic Johnson, a former Granny's chair
holder. He wrote. >>> Gary,
We just got our computer hooked up and had 8 of your E-Mails. We
had a good trip, got here at noon on Saturday, Oct. 20th. The weather
here has been nice 60 in the morning and peaks at 90 or so in the
afternoon. We are enjoying receiving your news letter. Keep up the
good work. Greet the coffee bunch from me. I miss the free coffee.
We went to Little Mesa Cafe for breakfast this morning. There were
only six of us. Gerald & Lois Sevigny, Howard & Darlene Johnson and
Dot and I. Vic & Dorothy <<< Thanks a million for caring and
sharing Vic. Say hi to my aunt Lois and uncle Gerald. And, after
yesterday, Doc Gaustad can tell you, unequivocally, coffee is not free
at Granny's every day. So can I for that matter.
"Be what you are and say what you feel... Because those who mind don't
matter ---- and those who matter don't mind."
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, October 29, 2007

October 29, 2007 - Monday

No one ever says "It's only a game." when his team is winning.
The current temperature is 45 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 57/22
Normal H/L temp for this date is 47/27
"profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
The Grafton girls cross country team did well at state. Chris sent the
following. >>> Just wanted to pass along a CONGRATULATIONS to the
Girls Cross Country team from Grafton on a successful state win this
past weekend.
Christopher Larson <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Chris.
We to would like to congratulate Graftons Cross Country team. Even
though the Grafton football team didn't quite get into the win column
this past week. There's no question about it. Their true winners in my
Yet another giant pile of corn has "sprouted" in Grafton. This one can
be found in Ted Hoffman's former trailer court (Trailer City) on the
north end of town. It appears that "The Storage Pros" have ventured into
the agricultural commodity storage business, of sorts. It sure is great
to see the former "Trailer City" property once again productive.
I would like to share Dr. Gaustad's message regarding Dennis Elbert.
Gary: This is a copy of the e-mail letter I sent to Dean Lebel on
behalf of Dennis Elbert.
From: J. R. Gaustad
Dean Paul Lebel:
This e-mail is being sent to you on behalf of Dr Dennis Elbert whom
I sincerely believe is one of the most qualified candidates for the
position he is seeking as President of the University of North Dakota.
I have known Dr.Elbert and his personal family for several
years. His accomplishments are tremendous not only in the
achievementshe has succeeded in obtaining for the University, but
also his military and personal lifeperformance which all
totallyindicate that Dr. Elbert is one of the most qualified
candidates for the Presidency of the University of North Dakota. Dr.
Elbert is definitely a leader in his profession.
I hope and trust that your committee will highly recommend to the
North Dakota State Board of Higher Education Dr. Dennis Elbert for the
position as President of the University of North Dakota.
J. R. Gaustad <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Jim.
The following note brought to my attention that another former
Graftonite is "in the running" for the UND Presidency.
>>> Gary, it seems worthwhile to mention another candidate for UND
president. Phyllis Johnson was born in Grafton and the family moved to
Grand Forks in the mid 50s. She is a granddaughter of the late Carl and
Mary Lanes and is related to the Russums as well. Her mother in law,
Nettie Johnson also is a resident of Grafton. Doris Johnson (Phyllis'
aunt) <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Doris. It's wonderful
having our little community associated with such outstanding
Speaking of wonderful individuals from our community. Helmer Haug is
not only a wonderful person, he has been longer than almost anyone. I
did receive the following note from Linda in a timely manner.
Unfortunately, I didn't get it sent out that way. Linda wrote: >>>
Subject: Grandpas Birthday
Gary, I would just liketo let your reading audience know that Helmer
Haug (my Grandpa) has turned 103! this past week. He makes his home at
theLutheran Sunset Home. Grandpa remains alert and orientated. if you
ever need any history on the area or the way things werehe isyour
man,he is a great historian with stories to tell. Hecontinues to
tell stories of his life from farming to driving the old township "Road
Patrol" for many years. He likes to visit. My Grandpa Haug is the
Linda (Fisher) Cariveau <<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Linda. All of us in the Moe
household would also like to wish "Grandpa" Haug the best on the 103rd
anniversary of his birth.
In the past I've mentioned the wonderful "shop at home" spots KXPO
radio puts on the air. Of course they are geared for every town in the
listening area, as they should be. That following message brings that
thought down to a more personal level. >>> Gary, just read the Gazette
today and couldn't help but agree with all the great points made. It
is not because Wal-Mart came to town that we have lost so much over the
years. It is our own carelessness that has caused the downfall. I
admit, a few years agobefore I realized what was going on I too was
guilty of adding to Grafton's woes, of course being a teenager a few
years ago I would like to claim ignorance and be deemed "not
responsible" for my actions. Of course I went to Grand Forks for
everything, I was entitled to save a few hundred dollars, besides,
if ever an emergency were to arise, all the Grafton stores would be
there for me if I really needed them right? I mean, those stores are
a Grafton citizens God given right, aren't they? They don't need my help
to survive. I am entitled to their services when I need them and I don't
need them. That is how a teenagers mind thinks, spoiled, believing
everything given them is a right and not a privilege. Well I have
since done some soul searching and realized, what a great country we
live in, what a great state and you know what, this is a great town and
nothing is free, we can't have spoiled teenager attitudes and believe we
can receive all the spoils in life and never give anything back. It
is a privilege to live in Small town North Dakota, no crime, great
people, clean air, and many other benefits too numerous to mention. I
choose to live here because I would never hang my hat anywhere else and
I will do my part to make sure the area business owners (who all
recognize the benefits of Grafton) can have a successful life here as
well, and can continue to employ other people who share my beliefs and
live here because they want to. Unless we all want to live in the big
city, we have to step up and help out the hometown if you ask me. The
world is getting a little too greedy for me these days. America is
selling its soul to China and other crazies just to make a few bucks and
many Americans seem to be following the governments lead. Well, when has
doing that EVER been a good Idea? Some things are just more important
than saving a couple dollars or "Making the Big Bucks". One being the
privilege of raising a family in Small town America, or how about being
able to meet the neighbors or talking weather and drinking coffee at the
ICE BOX, these things to me are too precious to give up and just throw
away because I just had to save some money. So,.. I am going to shop
local and I'm gonna like it dang-it. I consider it like paying rent.
I put aside a few dollars a month just to go around and shop in town to
help a brother out. Living in Grafton is a privilege and it is our
responsibility to keep it going if we want the benefits. <<< Thanks
a million for caring and sharing. Well said, well meant and well
"People are not mind readers. If you want them to know what you
think,.. you'll have to tell 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, October 26, 2007

October 26, 2007 - Friday (Early Edition)

The Mediterranean is the bluest of all the seas.
The current temperature is 51 degrees.
The high temperature in many areas of the city was 71 degrees
Normal H/L temp for this date is 50/29
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
For several days I have been watching a growing stockpile of sand on
the lot behind the city hall. At first I thought it may be our city
fathers prepairing for an early spring flood. After all, it is the spot
"we" normally put the sand for the sandbagging operation. I'll admit the
pile is a bit bigger than normal, on the other hand, I haven't heard any
firm plans for protecting our city when we get flooded. Hence a larger
pile of sand just could be the first step in a community wide flood
protection plan, of sorts.
Now then, after reading the latest edition of the Walsh County
I'm guessing that sand pile will be used during the construction of a
brand new "engine house" and offices for the Grafton branch of The
Dakota Northern Railroad Company. The new facilities will be built
behind Aida's Authentic Mexican Food Restaurant. Some may remember the
Aida's building when it was used by Gil Clairmont for Bridgemen dairy
products on the north end of Grafton.
If I understand the article in the latest Walsh County Record. The
building will protect their locomotives during the long cold North
Dakota winters, and, included in the permit is space for offices.
Construction is expected to begin this year.
What I don't understand, is why, according to our city building
official, an actual construction cost estimate isn't known. Even though
the railroad company appears to have started site preparations and a
building permit has been issued.
Maybe I misunderstood the article. I have always thought plans and
construction cost "estimates" were part of the process required to
obtain a building permit.
Maybe that's where the old saying, "It's a heck (I cleaned that up for
the kids and the clergy) of a way to build a railroad" comes from.
If you put a man on a bike without giving him proper instructions. You
might expect almost anything could happen. And, it did. While driving
through Graftons Eastwood addition I noticed what appeared to be a man
on a bicycle stuck straight into a large tree. The head appears to be
somewhere "in the tree" so identification is difficult at best. However,
a sign on a nearby tree says, "I told Lee to be more careful". Hence, I
am going to guess it's Lee Kieley. Or so it seems to me.
Who says corn stops growing after it's harvested. The giant pile of
corn on the ground east of the curling club certainly seems to keep
growing,... more and more every day.
Ryan Schuster, a nice looking young reporter from the Grand Forks
Herald stopped by Granny's yesterday afternoon looking for opinions on
the Alchem alcohol plant closing. I don't remember for certain what I
actually told him. If in fact I told him anything worthwhile at all,...
anything that makes sense that is.
What I should have told him was that when the wind was in the right
direction. The Alchem plant spewed an odor over the city that took more
than a little getting used to. However, since the announcement of it's
closing, the previous deviation from spring fresh air might not have
been as bad a I once thought it was.
I think I might have also expressed my concern that "we" the people in
town have heard precious little information about the status of Alchem,
and the ramifications of Newman operating the facility in the near
future, if at all. I may even have expressed a concern (fear) that
someone in our city government would entertain the idea of
"contributing" the half million dollar figure Newman was suggesting we
should contribute just prior to announcing it's closer.
ANYWAY,... The other day I started exchanging verbiage about alcohol.
The benefits of, detriment to, and several side issues relative to the
same topic.
To say I opened up a proverbial pandora's box would be an
understatement of the greatest dimension. I have received several, many,
a whole bunch of comments in it's regard.
So,... Because the Gazette is my party, and, I'm charged with calling
the shots. I'm going to include one "final shot" on alcohol sent in by
our good friend Bert.
He wrote: >>>>
Subject: Comments on the Ethanol controversy.
A contributor wrote"the Ethanol plants are not subsidized by our
taxes they are subsidized by tax credits"--- it takes moreof our
taxes to make up for those tax credits, nothing is paid for bythe
"Good Fairy". Here in the state of Washington they add 10%ethanol to
our gas from November through March, they say for environmental reasons.
We did mileage tests on a dynamometer at the college for this. It
dropped the efficiency 18.2% actually using more fuel and causing more
pollution as well as expense. It's all politically enforced, not decided
by common sense.
He/she commented 23.8 gallons of ethanol (expensive and tax
subsidized) can replace one barrel of oil. Thereis 42 us gallons in a
barrel of crude and only a fraction of it is used for gasoline, 19.4% to
be exact. That comes out to 8.14us Gallons per barrel.The
remainder is for asphalt, shingles, plastics, synthetic cloths and a
bevy of other distillate products.23.8 gallons of ethanolreplaces
just over eight (8) gallons of gasoline.Like the"Ole
Axiom"figures don't lie--but alot of liars figure.
Iowa State University did some economic impact studies on the
dramatically rising price of corn. (check the internet for these facts)
The average consumers grocery bill in the past year has gone up about
$47.00 per month. Mostly due to thecost of meat, eggs and other dairy
products caused by corn prices. And because corn is now the easymoney
crop it is causing shortfalls in other products, how about $7.50 for a
loaf of good multigrain bread? Mexican Tortillascost hasinflated a
whopping 100%.
The largest beef ranch in Georgia shut down 7 months ago due to
accelerated corn prices, maybe he will become an exclusive corn
And lets be honest about the now $90 crude. It's not there because
of OPEC -- it's there because of the ignorant dummies, with their self
vested interests,we elected to the government. Politicians that don't
have to use vehicles as a major part of their everyday activities to
earn a living.We have lots of oil to use until we can come up with
better alternatives and an extremely safe way to get it out of the
ground. The ethanol push and not drilling for new oil was a political
victory by Tom Dashel (S. D. senate minority leader) handing his farmers
a big windfall. I don't know anyone that says we should never drill
for our own oil, and, start right now.
Tesoro has a headquartes in San Antonio but you will be real
surprised if you find out where the real mother company is located. Bert
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Bert. Somehow I have to think
if everyone in our country would give as much thought to an issue as you
do,... pro or con. We'd all be better informed and able to make more
intelligent decisions.
Or so it seems to me.
After reading yesterdays Gazette. Wally sent it, along with the
following note, to several folks on his mailing list. He wrote: >>>
Hi every one. If you want to do some thing worth while today with
lasting rewards. Take the time and write a letter in favor of Dennis
Elbert's behalf. I will do it. When we formed our clinic at Unity he was
there to help us get on the right foot with many training work shops for
the board. We are where we are today, in large part, because of his help
Wally <<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Wally. I wouldn't have any
trouble believing every single candidate for the UND Presidential
position is "good people". I would find it unbelieveable that any could
be better.
Or so to seems to me.
Please continue to share your thoughts and ideas. "We can change the
worlds attitude, by exchanging or mental aptitude" 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, October 25, 2007

October 25, 2007 - Thursday

No man is a success for more than a minute - the minute in which he
completes a successful job.
The current temperature is 43 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 59/28
Normal H/L temp for this date is 50/29
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
The canopy over the Cenex station fuel island on the west edge of town
is getting a new face lift. Now when you stop at the "Kum&Go" you'll see
little Cenex signs from every direction.
Speaking of new things happening around town. A couple folks were
walking around the former Grafton National Bank building the other day.
If I was to guess, it would be that the north half of the building may
be getting a new tenant soon. Of course,... it's only a rumor at this
Speaking of rumors. The rumors about Wallys Supermarkets selling their
stores are starting up again. This time, according to rumor. Some folks
have been seen coming to town in hi-powered airplanes, wearing suits and
ties with briefcases stuffed full of "something".
Former Graftonite David Rogalla posed the following question. >>>
Gary, do you remember when the first diesel train engine came to town?
I think it was during Grafton Days and I think it was either 1949 or
1950. Dave R <<< I'll be darned if I know Dave. Maybe someone out there
can supply the answer.
Normally I don't like to get into discussions about anything pertaining
to elections of any kind. HOWEVER, this will be one exception. I
received the following e-mail from Ralph Kingsbury the other day and
even before I finished reading it I committed myself to forward it to
everyone I know. Personally, I hope everyone I know, will do the same.
The information I received from Ralph. >>>>
Grafton's own Dennis Elbert, Dean of the College of Business and
Public Administration, made the UND Presidential Search Committee's
first cut. There are a total of 16 applicants left. That may seem like a
large number, but this is the time to make our feelings known to the
search committee.
The addresses are:
Dean Paul Lebel
Chair, Presidential Search Committee
108 Law Building
215 Centennial Dr. Stop 9003
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9003
Or email:
Dennis Elbert deserves our support not just because he is from
Grafton. He deserves our support because he has proven his leadership.
One example: recently the business school had a $20 million fund drive.
People told Dennis that was too ambitious. Dennis raised $22 million.
Further, Dennis has brought the business school to the point it was
accredited at the most prestigious business school accreditation level.
The only business school in North Dakota to reach this level. Much of
the fund raising has been specifically for student scholarships. I could
go on, but this is Dennis. I am asking you to do what you can to help
make this happen. Dr. Elbert deserves this position, and he is highly
qualified for it.
Many of you may remember the successes UND accomplished when Tom
Clifford was president. Many of those accomplishments were because
President Clifford was from North Dakota. I believe those same reasons
are relevant today. Dennis Elbert offers answers to that same situation.
Please pass this on to anyone you think could help. Thank you.
Ralph Kingsbury <<<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Ralph. I have known Dennis and
his wonderful Mother and Father for as long as I can remember. Our
community, state and most certainly the University of North Dakota will
search forever and not find a individual with a more impeccable
background than Dennis Elbert.
I wish Dennis the very best in his latest venture. His mother and
father began providing Dennis with the skills for such a position before
he could even walk.
As promised in yesterdays Gazette, here is more of the Alchem alcohol
saga. >>>
One subscriber wrote: "Here's what happens when you convert a food
product to an energy product. Not only does it hurt the consumers with
higher food prices, it hurts the very industry it was supposed to help."
In response to this comment.... Ethanol is not the cause of higher food
prices. the price of the energy to make the food combined with the
increased price to transport the food around the country have risen
dramatically. Case in point, crude oil is now at an all time of high
$87/barrel. These increases get passed on to the consumer. Ethanol is a
blending component that reduces the price of gasoline! He continued:
"This is the tip of the iceberg, mark my words. We (Taxpaying legal
residents) will be subsidizing this industry big time somewhere down the
road." In response.... The ethanol is subsidized today, HOWEVER, the
ethanol subsidy comes in the form of tax credits, no tax payer dollars
are helping build corn ethanol plants. Further, ethanol has created a
demand for corn, raising the price per bushel giving farmers the ability
to sell their corn at reasonable prices and not rely on annual
government financial programs. He further continued: "I had the
opportunity to tour the Tesoro refinery in Mandan last spring. The
manager and I discussed ethanol and he echoed my concerns that it makes
absolutely no financial sense to produce ethanol. It costs more to
produce than gasoline from crude oil, it has less power than gasoline,
and it uses a food source as it's raw product, which drives the price of
corn up, which drives the price of everything else up, and even if every
available tillable acre of land in the U.S. was planted into corn and
converted to ethanol we'd still need to import a substantial amount of
foreign oil to keep our country going. Besides that, we'd all starve
eventually. Idiotic idea from the start!" In response..... The United
States is increasingly dependent on imported energy to meet our
personal, transportation and industrial needs. As a result the U.S. is
vulnerable to the whims of OPEC and events in unstable regions of the
world. As a domestic, renewable source of energy, ethanol can reduce our
dependence on foreign oil and increase the United States' ability to
control its own security and economic future. Today, ethanol reduces the
need to import 128,000 barrels a day of oil and the fuel additive, MTBE.
Just 23.8 gallons of ethanol can replace one barrel of imported oil. <<<
I will send out the remaining facts and figures to this issue in the
next Gazette.
And, I will include a very interesting message I received from Ryan
Johnston as well.
Welcome to the Gazette family John.
P.S. Thanks a million for your comments Joanne. "Sometimes it's hard to
see the sun, because of the sunburn."

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

October 24, 2007 - Wednesday

Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many
people a company can operate without.
The current temperature is 28 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 60/31
Normal H/L temp for this date is 51/30
It sounds like we're gonna find out what temperatures in the low to mid
twenties will feel like in a couple days.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Just in case you were wondering. Laddie Pic is not lost! He has been
spotted in Grand Forks washing dishes for the folks at the Golden Corral
Buffet. At one point Laddie laid claim to quite a number of properties
throughout Grafton. I guess Laddie traded his real estate empire for a
armful of dirty dishes.
The messenger and the message of the next note is self explanatory. >>>
Hi Dad.
I couldn't agree with you more on how beautiful Chris and Jaime's
wedding was. They did an awesome job in their preparation and I know
I will ask for assistance when I plan for one of my children (chop -
chop Kids.) The only thing missing was Grandma Demester however they
really did a super job of including her in thevideo. It was pretty
touching. Grandma and I had many talks about the wedding and she was
really looking forward to being there. Also, I really follow suit
(pardon the pun) with your opinion of the Squire Shop and Mary's. I
have shopped at both places in the past couple weeks and been very happy
with my purchases and my service. Grafton is VERY LUCKY to have
Mary's and the Squire Shop. Love you, Kelly <<< Thanks a million for
caring and sharing Kelly.
BillHaug sent this. >>>
I'm no economist like classmate Ralph, but I do know that you get
what you pay for (and I went to Davis TV for service). Discount
shoppers are generally willing to sacrifice service and even domestic
production for the "cheapest" price. Even in the "big" town of Grand
Forks, service is seldom like it used to be in Grafton. Which is why
my family has purchased vehicles, prescriptions, and anything else we
could in Grafton while living in Grand Forks for the last 20+ years!!
Perhaps the times are changing and old fashioned service will no longer
be available, but I think back to the service and advice from Bill Moe
and long for the "good old days"!
The closest I have found to that in Grand Forks recently has been
the Ace hardware store in the old South Forks Plaza. (And I have told
them so!)
Bill <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Bill. Gosh it's
great when nice folks say nice things, about nice people.
This note shares the same values as the one above. >>>
Your comments about the Squire Shop and Mary's were right on. There is
absolutely no reason either should be successful in a small town except
that Rita and Mary want it to be so. That is why they are. Successful.
What great places they both are. Grafton is so lucky to have those two
businessWOMEN. <<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing. Your comments are proof
positive that good, hard working people are recognized and appreciated.
Speaking of good people with a great idea. Nanci would like to share
the following. >>>>
Hi Gary -
I was wondering if you could place this in your paper whenever it works
I have a one year old son that is in need of some playmates and would
love to start a playgroup in Grafton!
I haven't heard of one around here and think it would be wonderful to
get our little ones together to interact and play.
I'm a mom that works a part time job and has the absolute blessing of
being a stay at home mom the rest of the day. I am home by noon and
would love to be able to get together with a few mom's that have
children around the same age as my son.
If anyone is interested, they can contact me at or they may also phone me at 352-4666!
Nanci Gale-Wilson <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Nanci.
Your suggestion sounds like an excellent idea. Unfortunately I can't
participate as my kids are all to big.
The next note speaks to the Alchem Alcohol Plant issues mentioned in
earlier Gazettes. Due to the length I am going to "try" send the first
half today, and the last half in a following Gazette. I hope it works.
>>> Subject: Ethanol
Gary, I felt the ethanol remarks made in an earlier Gazette needed
responding to so asked someone in the business for his comments. Not
sure what you would care to use in a future mailing or mailings, if you
should choose to break it up some. Also, guess you need to be
careful what you wish for when you ask people to write as this may be a
little long. I enjoy the Gazette, keep it up.
Some comments on the subject of ethanol in a Gazette earlier this
month. This rhetoric is typical and gives legitimacy to the phrase
"Ignorance is bliss" for some people. The reaction to the Grafton plant
shutting down is understandable, however, the plant is not shutting down
just because the price of corn is too high, it is just one part of the
equation. The fact of the matter is that the price of ethanol has
dropped over 75 cents a gallon since the first quarter of this year and
the price of corn has risen to almost $4 a bushel. Along with these two
facts the price of distillers grains or by products of the the ethanol
production process is not bringing the price per ton it once did due to
a number of new plants in surrounding areas creating stiffer competition
hence a lower price. These are tough times for all ethanol plants,
big and small. Only the plants with the most efficient process
technology and contracted volume based off the petroleum indexes and
strong spot market customers are making a profit. The current market
condition is difficult at best but will be short lived. Market analysts
predict a strong first quarter of 2008 for ethanol as many new markets
such as the state of Florida are just now implementing ethanol blends.
<<<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing. Of course I don't have
enough information Germain to the subject to make an intelligent
statement. SO,... let me simply say. I like Crown Royal better than Four
Roses, and, I will do my best to include the rest of this message in the
Gazette ASAP.
I'm not sure if it's old age or lack of concentration. However, I have
been receiving some notes with dark (very dark) print, and even darker
backgrounds. They range from can't read almost all of them, to can't
read them at all.

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

October 23, 2007 - Tuesday

10/23/07 TUESDAY
When a man buys flowers, perfume and lingerie he is either looking for
a greener pasture or is cultivating the one he has.
The current temperature is 32 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 56/33
Normal H/L temp for this date is 52/30
The forecast for the rest of the week is for seasonal weather.
Unfortunately, the weatherman neglected to mention what season he was
Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
The latest news in the Red River Valley is that the sugarbeet harvest,
is resuming after a several day shutdown. Growers will be allowed to
harvest all of their remaining acres.
This past Saturday our niece Jaime Rae Durand stood in front of a
church full of people and agreed she would stay with Christopher Duane
Mattson through thick and thin forever. Jaime is not only our niece, she
is also our Goddaughter. I fully expected the event to be wonderful. I
was right, it was a beautiful wedding full of beautiful people.
I'm sure most of you know that the uncle of the bride normally doesn't
have a major role to play in a niece's wedding. However, Pat and I were
"host couples" along with Melvin and Cathy Tibert. Pat and Cathy were
the designated candle lighters while Melvin and I sat back and watched
so they wouldn't burn the place down.
Anyway, aside from being one of the "host's" I really didn't have to
worry about anything,..... except the way I looked and dressed for the
wedding and following that, the reception.
Now I'll admit that I'm the kind of person that believe's Christmas Eve
day is the day the Lord set aside to buy Christmas presents. Hence, I
thought the day before the wedding was more than enough time to get a
suitable coat and matching shirt. Some might have felt I'd be sorry
waiting til the last minute. They may have even thought I wouldn't be
able to find anything on such short notice. Certainly not in Grafton,
and, maybe not even in Grand Forks. I can tell you unequivocally, "they"
would prove themselves wrong. Pat and I walked into Graftons Squire Shop
Friday afternoon - she too thought we should have been there much
earlier - and found several absolutely wonderful jackets and a full
array of shirts appropriate for the occassion.
As usual, we found the folks at Grafton's Squire Shop extremely
pleasant and helpful. As a matter of fact, I had a very enjoyable
conversation with "Miss Nordbo" (Artha Travers) my second grade teacher
at chase school. We talked about Miss Hulda Carlson and her ability to
point out my shortcomings (with soap). We also mentioned "Miss
Torkelson" (Mrs Miller) and a few of my third grade experiences.
As I walked out of the Squire Shop I couldn't help thinking how
wonderful that adventure had been. I was truly surprised and very
pleased with the total selection the Squire Shop had to offer. AND, and
I mean this sincerely. I was absolutely amazed at how wonderful "Miss
Nordbo" (Artha Travers) looks. I thought of how little she has changed
over the years, and,.... how much I have.
It certainly is true that Grafton no longer has the number of first
rate, top notch, clothing stores we once had. But I'm willing to bet all
the cheese in my mouse trap. If you check out The Squire Shop and Marys
Ladies Fashions on the main street in Grafton, you won't be
Or so it seems to me.
Bert wanted to share this thought. >>>
Subject: The way of the times
Gary; Times have changed, businesses like Wal-Mart, the "Auto
Rows"buying and selling in high volume to dominate competition are
here to stay and will keep on growing. It is hard to see a long time
friend lose his/her store but in the modern free market itistheir
responsibilityto see it coming and plan for the future.
Thecapitalist system offers the chance to get very wealthy -- it
also bears the opportunity to go for absolute bust. It's allup to the
businessman ----- not the consumer. People cry for the small town
store owner but eventually buywhere the price steers them.
It would be nice to visit the Grafton I knew on a Fridaywhen I
graduated back in 1950. The air smelling of the August harvest,
sidewalks full ofpeople, young and old,the bandmarching and
playingfollowed close by the mob of little kidshoping to hold our
marching music books while weformed a circle in front of the Ben
Franklin store.
But that type of prosperity is gone forever, times change leaving
us with onlythe memories.
60 years from now will the young oftoday look back at 2007 with
such admiration?
Bert Overland <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing Bert. There is
little doubt in my mind that 60 years from now,... this too will be the
good old days.
Among those that commented on my mailing blunder yesterday. Dan shared
the following. >>>>
Subject: Sending wrong E mail
Had to laugh at you sending the paper not complete.
Last year I opened a E mail from a friend who is a retired Bird Col.
works for Customs, takes out Docks at the lake, does odd jobs. How he
did this one I'll never know, but he sent me a copy of his income
tax. The income was substantial needless to say. He'll never live
it down either,
Dan<<<< Thanks Dan, your note gives me the confidence that I'm not
alone. Unfortunately,.... it doesn't make me feel less stupid.
The following comments include mention of my "goof" as well. >>>
I must not have been the only one to notice the lack of content to
this mornings issue.
In reading your comments I'll just say we must remember that the
"demise of small towns" isn't a new phenomenon. One only needs to look
towards Bowesmont, Alsen, or Vessleyville to see that it's been going on
for some time now. I know both Bowesmont and Alsen had high schools, gas
stations, and grocery stores at one time, and I still remember the meat
market at Vessleyville. Sad facts, but the big get bigger and the small
close up shop. Sad thing is I don't think there's much we can do about
it. Things change, smaller families, more mobile society, it's been
happening for a long time now, maybe just more noticeable lately? <<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing.
"Be what you are and say what you feel.... Because those who mind don't
matter,.... and those who matter don't mind." 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, October 22, 2007

October 22, 2007 - Monday

A bachelor is a fellow who can make a mistake without even knowing
The current temperature is 54 degrees. Yesterdays H/L
temperature was 56/33
Normal H/L Temp for this date is 52/31
We had frost on the pumpkins last night.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff.. mostly stuff.
Have you ever had "one of those days"?
I certainly have. As a matter of fact, sometimes I have two or
three in a row.
Every once in awhile - like this morning for instance - some crazy
thing happens that makes me wonder if maybe I should quit this
foolishness I call the Gazette.
This morning, in the early stages of orchestrating a normal
compilation of relatively insignificant information. I inadvertently
pushed the "send" key instead of the one marked "shift". Of course I
know better. However, for some reason the area between my ability to
think and the ability to carry out a thought got scrambled and I sent
out everything - which was almost nothing - above this admission of
ignorance to one group of Gazette family members.
Fortunately my blunder only went out to a few hundred folks and
not to the entire Gazette family tree. If anyone should run across a box
of depends designed especially for the containment of brain farts,
please let me know.
By the number of comments on my goof this morning. There's
little doubt that I'm NOT a bachelor.
It happened in Grafton in 1956. The Lloyd Gillespie Jr. home on
the south end of town had the 2000th telephone installed in Grafton in
December of that year.
I'm sure there are as many thoughts about big business and
small business as there are people. The following is one from BettyLou
>>> Hi Gary,
I remember when K-Mart came to Grafton we had our tv store,
Davis TV, and Yes it did hurt us and the rest of the stores that were on
main street, including Ben Franklin's and the Hallmark Store.
K-Mart sold everything we sold and at reduced prices. We could not
compete with them.They buy in volume and can sell for less. I have
never been a Wal-mart shopper and I doubt I ever will be one. I do
shop at the smaller stores. I thinkthe Grafton Businesses need
all the support they can get from the local people. BettyLou Davis <<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing BettyLou. You certainly are
right about Grafton Businesses needing all the support they can get. As,
I might add, do the business establishments of every small community.
The other day I included the following quote in the Gazette. I
"The biggest problem small towns have, is there's not enough
people in them to be a big town." <<< I have received a response to that
quote that added the following line to it. >>>
(And the biggest problem big towns have, is there's too many
people!) I suspect the "terms" too big, too small, too many and too few
nothing more than subjective terms, for most of us anyway. However, last
night, while walking into our local supermarket, with the note from
BettyLou still fresh in my mind, it struck me. Grafton didn't go from
three jewelry stores to one because Wal-Mart came to town. Grafton
didn't go from three drug stores to two because Wal-Mart came to town.
Nor, I should hasten to add, did we lose our three large clothing stores
because Wal-Mart moved in and took away their market. Greevers grocery,
Johnsons East Side Grocery, Hill Ave. grocery, and Gravings grocery
didn't close because Wal-Mart, moved into town.
And, it's a certainty that Wal-Mart, K-Mart or any other "Mart"
for that matter has had absolutely nothing to do with the closing of the
Heritage Ford/Chrysler dealership in Grafton.
Unfortunately, the honest to God fact is. WE are "Our" own worst
enemy. We, for some reason today, expect that every business "owes" it
to their customers to handle everything.
I have always found interesting the fact that most, if not all,
members of large labor unions believe it should be the "union way" or no
way at all. Yet,... between their shifts walking the pickett lines,
stricking for more money, they run down to the local Wal-Mart store for
items they can purchase cheaper because Wal-Mart is not unionized. Add
to that the fact that the parking lots of the "Big Three" auto dealers
are full of automobiles built buy their competition because their
competitors employees are compensated significantly less, for doing
We are our own worst enemy. It's not they, nor them, that siphon
the life blood out of small town USA. It's "US" or "We".
If we're to have any hope of existing, in this wanton world of
need and greed. We may well have to reorganize the thought process that
brought us to this state in the first place.
Or so it seems to me.
Today is the day we celebrate the anniversary of our daughter
Wendy's birth. It hardly seems possible that it was a mere 2,296
weeks ago. While Bobby Vinton was singing "Blue Velvet" over the
airwaves of KGPC, Wendy received her first spanking. She joined
179,323,175 legal citizens that day as well.
we love you very much. Mom & Dad
GOTTA - GO - WORK - ON - MY - DASH ==================================
"I believe as I do, because of the manner in which I understand
the problem. If you believe I'm wrong. It's up to you to correct my

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

Friday, October 19, 2007

October 19, 2007 - Friday

"The biggest problem small towns have, is there's not enough people in
them to be a big town."
The current temperature is 46 degrees.
Yesterdays H/L temperature was 53/49
Normal H/L temp for this date is 54/32
The "unofficial" Gazette moisture meter registered just a tad over 1
inch of a main ingredient in mud.
The normal "average" low temperature for this time of year is 32°
(freezing). That also means it's time to drag out the Shivercity
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
It's not a rumor any longer. According to the latest edition of the
Walsh County Record. Graftons Second Time Around Store will be moving
into the former Dollar Sense store (originally Elmer Bergs Ben Franklin
The Second Time Around Store hopes to be able to handle more and larger
items with the additional space provided by the new facilities. Another
benefit according to Grafton's Ministerial Association will be
sufficient room to house a long-proposed youth center.
With more display and storage room, the addition of a new youth center
and the possibility of still another business venture renting part of
the facilities. It is hoped that the STA operation will become
profitable and not have to rely on the Ministerial Association for
Who said things never happen on the main streets of small town America.
This time around, thanks to the Second Time Around, Graftons main street
will have a new look, a new home for our youth. And, one less storage
facility for sail boat fuel.
The latest edition of the Record's 10 years ago column says Ken
Demester, a 1964 graduate of Grafton High School, retired from coaching
basketball after 29 years as a head coach. I do "think" that's a true
statement alright. Although I'm guessing his wife Vesta would argue that
he still isn't "out" of basketball.
Speaking of new business in Grafton. The following note (to me anyway)
has a slight bit of "yup, nope, maybe" in it. The note said >>>>
Here is my prediction if Wal-Mart comes to Grafton: The only stores
that will close because of it are Alco and Pamida. The locals that are
still left today will survive. Will it make a difference if the W is
here and A and P are gone. Wal-Mart will probably hire all the staff at
both of those stores. Unemployment will probably not grow. It will
attract more shoppers to Grafton that will help the local businesses,
but there will be two big empty buildings and one new one. Is that
better? You tell me. <<<<
I'm wondering?
Unemployment "doesn't grow" and there will be "more shoppers" in
Grafton. What part of that is the downside?
After reading Scott Hove's message Delores wanted to share the
When I read Scott's messages, it brought back some fun memories. In
June of 1972 I loaded up the car with 4 teens Scott, a Soph in HS, Our
Don a Junior, daughter Anita and a friend Donna and along with our
pop-up camper headed for "Explo 72'" in Dallas Tex. A gathering of
80,000 teens and adults. Every nite we packed the Cotton bowl to hear
the best Christian speakers in the nation, plus the greatest Christian
musicians -- most of whom came out of the 60's Hippy movement. We stayed
at a campground between Fort Worth and Dallas. They had workshops during
the day in Dallas for different age groups. There were so many
unexpected campers that they brought the best of these out to the
campgrounds. Scott's most admired person at that time was Billy Graham
-- he had his voice down pat and could do a mean imitation. Unbeknown to
Scott, Billy was coming to the camp. We all made sure we got to the tent
early, got scott in the front row. He almost fainted when Billy walked
in sporting an Hawaiian shirt, and stood right in front of him. I had at
least as much fun as the kids, maybe more!! Congrats on that precious
new baby Scott -- bless that Mom who gave him life. memories are
great. Dody Tallackson <<< Thanks a million for caring and sharing
Thanks for the test Borge, we both passed. I think. Say Hi to Judy for
It's no secret that some folks "share" the Gazette and it's content
with other folks. I should add that Wally prefaced Pat's message with
the following note to me. Wally wrote: Hi big guy. Would you put Pat
Johnson on your list? She was Pat Mattson, her dad was Ted Mattson and
her sister was Erma Kittleson. Thanks Gary Wally <<<<
To that end, Wally sent the following he received from Pat (Mattson)
Subject: Re: SKEETERVILLE GAZETTE Hi Wally, I knew way back when
you would walk by my house, white shirt with rolled up sleeves, so
intent on what you were doing, that you would turn out to be a great
guy, successful, and a sweetheart to boot. You do, do your share to keep
Grafton in our minds and hearts and I do appreciate all your efforts.
And thank you for the mention of my Dad in such a gracious manner. He
was just like that, always willing to help to make things better for
Yes, do sign me up for this newsletter.
Farrell is now out of his last stint in the hospital and has been
placed in a nursing home for rehab. He has had\ many changes in his meds
so I hope it all works out so he will be home by the holidays.
Just a mention regarding Walmark. Yes I too think it will close many
businesses and I hope it doesn't happen. They are not good for small
communities in my opinion. Thanks again Wally / Love, Pat <<<<
We are pleased to welcome and add Pat to the Gazette family. As you
can see, certainly everyone doesn't think Walmart is the best thing for
small towns.
We are also pleased to add Debbie Walsh to our growing Gazette family
tree. It's great having a representative in Bend Oregon.
"If your views differ from mine. That, in itself, doesn't mean you are
wrong. It could be that you don't fully understand the issue."
Just like papers in big towns. If you see something in the Gazette that
should be changed or corrected. Please let us know.

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