Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 21, 2009 - Special Edition

It's the time of the year to put the Skeeterville Gazette up on the
shelf and to drag out the Shivercity Gazette.
To exchange "Skeeter bites" for "Frost bites",....... if you know
what I mean.
Now then, having said that. Please allow me to digress just
a bit.
The following "thoughts" were originally sent out in the
Friday April, 28 2006 edition of the Gazette. Because I truly believe
the message it conveys is an important one, and because we have added
several hundred new members to the Gazette family since then, I thought
it would be acceptable to share those thoughts once again. And, at the
same time supply an answer to the oft' asked question. "What the heck do
you guys talk about at Granny's every morning?"
(((((( Friday APRIL 28, 2006 ))))))
I found Thursday morning coffee at Granny's considerably different than
normal. First of all, Granny's opened at 6:00 AM that's 10 or 15 minutes
earlier (different) than normal. Then too, we found, the front door had
been left unlocked all night. That isn't exactly normal either.
Anyway, as we, Jerry Raumin, Roger Stark, & Richard Thompson
and myself,
walked in and sat down we told Norma we would have "the usual". That
part too, was normal. We covered the normal, "weather sure is nice" and
everyone wondered if and when it was going to rain. Then came the
"different" than normal part.
As more and more guys came in, the conversation would
switch from Georgette LaHaise and her recent funeral, to Lee Almen and
when and where her funeral would be. Then someone mentioned that there
would be three funerals Friday. Someone said, three? Harley's is at 2:00
and Lee's is 7:00 Who's the third one? Connie someone said, remember
Connie from Wally's and Vally-Jo's. Her funeral is Friday morning.
Then someone mentioned that Jim Midgarden was finally
starting to get better and that he would be home soon. That was fallowed
by someone else wondering how Hank Martens was doing after his encounter
with a surgical medical plumber. Just then he walked in looking good and
feeling better,... according to him anyway.
Next Billy DeSautel mentioned that Aurel had fallen the day before
and wondered how he was doing. Yup, a couple minutes later, Aurel walked
in, almost, without a limp.
In case you've missed the point, with the exception of a
casual mention of the weather. The entire morning conversation was about
people. True concern for the well being of those that make up "our
little corner of the world".
Those who have recently left this world for a better place,
and those that will stay behind to work on improving it even more.
I left Granny's this morning with a really wonderful feeling that
the people I break bread with, truly do understand, and practice the
philosophy of empathy.
Then a bit later,... when I returned home and turned on my
computer I was greeted by another pleasant surprise. I had received a
note from Bill Kingsbury. He was responding to something I had written
earlier about his father Harley. I was especially pleased because I know
at a time like this, there are dozens of things running through ones
mind, and, that taking the time to respond to a simple note in the midst
of it, certainly shouldn't, nor couldn't be expected, yet Bill did.
Given the time and circumstances, Bill's note meant more to me than if
he had written a full page letter. He simply said, "thanks" Bill.
I should add, that Bill actually did telephone me
earlier and we did speak about his father then too. He shared with me
the specifics of Harleys funeral arraignments. He also asked if I would
convey the Kingsbury families appreciation and gratitude to everyone and
thank them for all their acts of kindness.
Then..... later on that same day, Pat and I went for a ride.
As I approached the
intersection of Hill Avenue and 12th street I was again moved by a sign
at the BP gas station on the corner. "HOLY SMOKERS", was my first words.
Followed by, "I'll be darned, do you see that sign Pat?" Then I turned
the corner and spent the next several blocks thinking about what I had
just seen. I pulled over for a minute and wondered, Would I, or could I,
ever expect to see such a thing anywhere else.
I thought of "our" discussions at Granny's, and then, about
the sign again. I said to Pat. "That has to be one of the nicest, most
compassionate roadside messages I have ever seen. (she agreed)
It was then that I realized, that maybe, a stranger passing
through town might not truly appreciate that sign nearly as much as I
did. Only because,... they might not
understand the people it speaks of.
You see the sign said. "Our deepest sympathies, to the LaHaise,
Kingsbury, and Jimenez families."
WOW I thought,... A roadside sign for the Kingsbury's,
wouldn't really be that unusual. After all, the family is not only
prominent hear in Grafton, but throughout the entire state. Harley and
several members of his family have been very active in politics both
locally and in Bismarck.
The LaHaise family too, is prominent throughout the area.
They have built, owned and operated numerous businesses and franchises
here and on Georgette's side of the family tree, the LaBerge's are
equally prominent and certainly as deserving.
The last name on that roadside sign is the one that separates "our" part
of the country from the rest of the world.
The Jimenez family. You see, Maria Concepcion "Connie"
Jimenez was born
December 6, 1929 at Dolores, Texas the daughter of Juan and Antonia
(Sanchez) Jimenez. She worked as a laborer in Sugar Beets and Potatoes
in the Red River Valley. Connie also worked at St. Joseph's Hospital,
the Dakota Supper Club as a dish washer and Wally's Supermarket for
twenty years and also Vally-Jo's food market in Grafton.
Connie's family came to Grafton as Migrant Labor to
work Red River Valley fields. Connie has never earned, nor I suspect,
has she ever had a great deal of money. As a matter of fact, it's
entirely possible that the car she drove wasn't worth the price of a
good pair of shoes. Still and all, there she was, on the same roadside
sign with the LaHaise's and Kingsbury's. Time, space, and a lack of
sufficient, intelligent, mental capacity keeps me from writing all of
the things that sign truly said to me.
First of all, what it said about the people that actually
put the sign up, and second, that it speaks volumes for the people that
call "our" area,.... Home.
I hope the Walsh County Record can get a picture of it and if we're
really lucky, Sue will write a story on it. One thing is for certain, it
is a story worth writing.
"Gosh I'm proud to live where I live. Gee, I wish everyone could. And,
thank God that the people that have come and gone before me, made it
just the way I like it."
Or so it seems to me.
"Life is to short for long answers."

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

October 21, 2009 - Wednesday

Todays Gazette is dedicated to all small towns across the entire
The current temperature is 40 degrees. It goes without saying,
especially this time of the year, that "wet" is a four letter. When
words like wet and freeze are used in the same sentence, especially this
time of the year, it often creates a dialog that jam packed with
That being said only adds credence to following oft' used quote
Gazette quote.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
It's my understanding that the Polarcomm Telephone "dialup"
computer system will end on October 31. That is to say, I think, that
all email addresses, among others, will no longer work
after the end of October. I suspect most folks, certainly those folks
that are using a full blown computer, and those using the old polarcomm
system do plan to upgrade their system to something else.
Unfortunately, I am one of those folks using the Polarcomm
"dialup" system (msn ie. web-tv). Until now, the "little system" I have
been using has certainly worked very well. That is to say that it has
not been significantly complicated and has been virtually trouble free.
Since finding out the system I have been using (web-tv) soon
will be terminated. I've been struggling with the ramifications of
upgrading (purchasing) to a full blown computer of some sort. Or, maybe
at this stage of my life, given my present state of mind, I just may be
better off simply writing the Gazette's "Swan Song" on October 31. I
must admit, I have spent more than one sleepless night pondering the
issue. Unfortunately, I am reasonably sure I will spend many more before
the issue is resolved.
Or so it seems to me.
Folks caring and sharing is what the Gazette is all about. Who is
where, and how long will they be there? What really is going on in the
world of folks we that we might know, or simply those we may have known.
Even more important, in my opinion, is knowing the people we care about,
truly care about the same folks we all know. Or so it seems to me.
Most folks know the weather here is cooler than down south. It is
cold here, however, it is a dry cold you know.
Anyway, it is always fun hearing from someone enjoying the weather
in the sunny southern states. Verna shared the following note. I should
add that it is 73 degrees here today as well. he only difference is,....
here it is 73 "In the house". Verna wrote: >>>>>
Hi Gary;
I just want to thank you for all your effort to get the gazette so
often. I live in Arizona but lived in Grafton for many years so I
know a lot of the people you bring into your gazette. I truly
appreciate getting it. Verna Hegranes Peterson from sunny Mesa Az.
75 right now on my patio.
== Scrumptious Walleye Fish Fry ==
==== Graftons Heritage Village ====
-- This Friday, October 23, 2009 --
Serving from 5pm-7pm Adults $11.00 Child under 10 $5.00 Take
out orders call 701-520-1273, 701-360-4096 or 701-520-1207
The Heritage Village is a significant addition to the
Grafton community and the surrounding area. It can only exist if the
people in the community support it.
Heritage Fish Frys are always fantastic. If for some reason you
are unable to attend this very worthwhile fundraiser, please consider
making a direct monetary contribution.
==== Profound Paragraph ====
"You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating
the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working
for, another person must work for without receiving. The government
cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take
from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do
not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them,
and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work
because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear
friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply
wealth by dividing it."
----- Adrian Rogers, 1931 -----
==== May his sole rest in peace ====
Fred M. Stark, age 77 of Grafton passed away Monday, October 19,
2009 at the Unity Medical Center of Grafton. Fred was born February 7,
1932 in Grafton the son of the late Alfred and Christine (Mohagen)
Stark. He graduated from Grafton High School in 1949. Following his
education he served in the United States Navy from 1951-1955. He
returned to Grafton and was united in marriage to Betty Ebert on Dec.
26, 1955. The couple moved to Culver City, CA. He attended Santa Monica
City College for two years and worked for Anderson Cabinet Company. The
couple returned to Grafton in 1958 where he managed the Robertson Lumber
Company. In 1970 he went to work for Highland Homes in Grand Forks, ND.
In 1973 he went into partnership with Paul Brodeur in the Brodeur Stark
Lumber Company. He later worked for Dynamic Homes and took care of the
Grafton Living Center for 25 years.
Fred was a member of St. John's Catholic Church. He served as past
commander of the Grafton American Legion Post #41, was a member of the
Grafton V.F. W. #9367, the Grafton Eagles, served on the board of the
North Dakota Lumberman. He played in the Minnesota American Legion 9th
District Band for 20 years. He served on the Grafton City Council for 22
years and served as Mayor of Grafton for 8 years. He is survived by his
wife Betty of Grafton; children Susan (Bob) Frias, Virginia Beach, VA;
Tom (Caroline) Stark, Minneapolis, MN; six grandchildren: Jamie Donovan,
Nicholas Frias, Christine Sosonko, Brandon, Rachel and Elizabeth Stark;
sister Doris Molland, Fargo, ND. He was preceded in death by his parents
and brother Gordon. FUNERAL SERVICE Friday October 23, 2009, 10:30a.m.
at St. John's Catholic Church <<<< God's speed my fine friend Fred.
You have left our town a better place.
If you work as hard in heaven, as you did down here on
earth. Heaven too, will be a better place, because it now has you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October 20, 2009 - Tuesday

Todays Gazette is dedicated to all the wonderful men and women
that make up the Grafton area law enforcement organization.
The current temperature is 41 degrees. We have received .10 inches
of moisture over night.
Unfortunately, most if not all, harvesting has once again come to
a standstill.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Even though Grafton is a relatively small town, with relatively
small town issues and problems the norm. Once in a while, our local law
enforcement personnel face circumstances that are every bit as serious
and dramatic as those experienced by major inner city law enforcement
Such was the case a few nights ago when local law enforcement
officials responded to an incident involving the firing of a shot gun in
From my prospective, the possibilities of serious danger, to our
law enforcement personnel and all those involved with the call was
significantly real and grave. I am pleased to report that the incident
was handled with the kind of professionalism that many big city law
enforcement organizations would like to emulate.
To all of the wonderful people that work so hard to make living in
Grafton a safe and healthy place to live. THANK YOU, FOR EVERYTHING YOU
Our son Jeff, as a citizen and in his capacity as Assistant Fire
Chief, has had numerous occasions to observe the our local law
enforcement organization in action. Regarding the latest incident, gun
shots on 6th and Cooper he shared the following thoughts. >>>>>>
I think we should all to be very impressed
with our local law enforcement after last night episode. Anyone who
might have thought they could have done a better job than our local law
enforcement did last night, MOST definitely should think again. They
truly handled the situation with professionalism. I would like to
applaud them. GOOD JOB GUYS.
Jeff Moe
I am pleased to share the following note I received from Todd
Burianek, Graftons present Mayor. Todd wrote: >>>>
I suspect you heard that my predecessor, Fred Stark, passed away
Fred was a great public servant who dedicated 30 years to the City of
Grafton 22 years on the City Council and 8 years as Mayor. It is easy
for people to sit on the sideline and be the Monday Morning Quarterback,
but Fred got into the game and gave up a lot of time to serve his
community. We can all be grateful for his dedication and service to
I hope all readers will remember Fred and his family in their prayers.
TB <<<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Todd.
Hi Gary,
It sure is nice to see you back, we really missed the Gazette. We
take things from time to time for granted..... that being the Gazette. A
smart person once said, "you never miss the water til the well runs dry.
So true. Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the
end the faster it goes. That too, is so.
We lost a friend and a great citizen in our town, that being
Fred Stark. Being a mayor in a small town is a very hard job. Fred did a
good job and most of all red tried so hard to make Grafton a better
place to live.
Fred and I were in Boy Scouts together. We both earned our Eagle
Badge,... great memories.
Do you know Bert Overlands address? I just may take a bag of
potatoes to him and stay for the winter. Bert is one of those friends
you never forget.
Have a great day Gary... When are you buying coffee??? Wally
I have always considered Fred Stark a friend, for many years
he was "my" Mayor and for the past several years a significant
contributing member of Granny's afternoon coffee group.
Fred leave's our community and our world a much better place. Pat
and I, along with our entire family, extend our most sincere
condolences to the many Fred has left in mourn.
I have "copied" the following from the pages of KXPO's walsh
county daily
10/19/09 - Former Grafton Mayor Fred Stark Dies He was
someone who loved Grafton and promoted it. That's how Grafton City
Auditor Connie Johnson remembers former Mayor Fred Stark. Stark died
Monday at age 77. Johnson says Stark was a very good liaison for Grafton
to anyone and everyone, including state and federal offices and the
state's congressional delegation. Stark was a gentleman and easy to be
around. He like a good laugh and his humor was contagious. Stark was
mayor from June, 1998 to June of 2006, when he was defeated in a
re-election bid by current Mayor Todd Burianek. Before that Stark was
first elected to the Grafton city council in April, 1974. He was off the
council two years, from 1990 to 1992. But Stark ran again in a different
ward and was elected in '92 and served six years before running for
Stark was a leader and was a respected city official and person. Stark
was a Korean War veteran and an active member of the Grafton American
Some might remember I mentioned having a problem with my leg
this summer. The following message comes from one of the Rocky Point
Residents responsible for my "willingness" to seek professional medical
help. Lina, a retired Rochester Medical Center Nurse, during her career
dealt with issues much like those I was experiencing. I must admit, she
is not only a wonderful lady, and a wonderful nurse. She also scared the
living bee-jee-bee's out of me as well.
Thank you Lina, for everything you did for me, and,... for
Hook at the same time. Lina wrote: >>>
Hi Gary and Pat,
Many thanks for the free Grafton Gazette. What a pleasant surprise
to hear from you!!!. Hope all is well with you both. Hook and Dennis
were up North a week ago to finally pick up the RV. They did some
fishing over in the river and got some fish but had some very cold
All is well with us, trying to get the RV winterized and some minor
repair before we leave for Texas sometime after Christmas. We truly
appreciate your thinking of us to share your column of the paper. Our
weather too has been very cold since early October but quite sunny
and warm today.
Our best to you and Pat. Stay well until we see you in 2010. Please
stay in touch.
Hook and Lina <<<<
Thanks again Lina and please say hi to Hook from Pat and me.
"Life is to short for long answers."

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

Monday, October 19, 2009

October 19. 2009 - Monday

Todays Gazette is coming to you as tax free as it will ever be.
The current temperature is 45 degrees.
The "unofficial" Gazette rain gage has recorded .39 inches of rain
during the last rain event. The "unofficial" Gazette thermometer
registered the lowest temperature during that same period at 16 degrees.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
It's the time of year when almost any rain is to much and it is
also the time of year when any frost is to cold. When both of those
conditions come together at the same time,.... this time of the
year........ It's a bugger, and there is no better way to put it.
Leaving a crop, or any part of it, in the field is never a good
thing. Folks outside the agricultural community may be able to better
understand the dilemma by trying to determine what portion of their
income they would like to forego because it rained or got to cold.
On the other hand, from my perspective, simply leaving ones crop
in the ground may well be insignificant, when compared to the
ramifications of the impending "CAP & TRADE" legislation. That, (Cap &
Trade) in my opinion, is a proposal that will not only shrink, but in
many cases, it could totally eliminate the profit margins not only for
the agricultural industry, (that's the one that feeds our nation, among
others) but also a great many other industries as well.
So what, you might wonder. So EVERYTHING we eat, and everything we
do, WILL become "significantly" more expensive. Our electrical bills for
instance, and this comes from the folks that run our power companies,
could almost double. I simply can't imagine that anyone who pays a light
bill would want to see it doubled.
Maybe this would be the place to share a email I recently
---------- This is probably the 5 best sentences you'll ever read.
This is one paragraph that should be in every book in every school room
in every city in every state in our great Union . Our educators
should make a lesson plan on this one statement and beat these words
into every head in every class in every state in these United States
of America.
==== Profound short paragraph ====
"You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating
the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working
for, another person must work for without receiving. The government
cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take
from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do
not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them,
and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work
because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear
friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply
wealth by dividing it."
----- Adrian Rogers, 1931 -----
I really would like to think that the Gazette is geared for
the caring an sharing of information. However, once in awhile, I will
admit, I sometimes take advantage of a thing called literary license.
Having said that, the next three "notes" I received recently tend
to give me even more reason to care and share with our Gazette Family
The first one comes from Joyce J. >>>>>
There is an article in the Press that Ordean Oen wrote concerning the
"Tea Party " meeting in Park River Sept. 24th. I enjoyed reading it
and Mr. Oen doesn't brag, but his job was a nuclear physicist and
hold a doctor's degree. He is also the berry picker who donates all
profits from the jellies and jams to the Bible Camp. Joyce
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Joyce.
I received the next note from the folks that owned and
operated the Oldsmobile Dealership in Grafton, back when it was in the
brand new brick building on Wakeman Avenue. The structure Harvey Nelson
constructed for the Rindes.
Bernice wrote: >>>>
Subject: glad to have the Gazette back in circulation
Hi Gary, Just a note to let you know how much Dean and I enjoy
getting the updates of the Grafton area. We've been gone from there
for over 40 years but we still know a lot of the people you write
about. We have been having some snowy, rainy weather here, too, which
seems much too early, but we really can't do much about it but complain.
Thanks again for continuing to send us the news. Sincerely,
Bernice Rinde <<<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Bernice, it is
always a joy to hear from members of our "extended family".
It's no secret that lots of folks find the temperatures
south of here more conducive to short sleeve shirts and swimming pools.
It's always wonderful to hear that they made the trip without incident,
and of course, that they are still interested in getting the Gazette as
indicated in the note Frances shared: >>>
Subject: Address change
Hi, Gary, we are in Arizona now getting here Thursday
Really enjoy your Gazette so are hoping that you are willing to send it
to us at the same address as last winter. We surely appreciated your
having Rita Lessard's address as we gave it to Lila who does not have a
computer. Thanks for the great work you do with the Gazette. Ole
and Frances. <<<<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing
Francis. I hope your winter in the land of sand and prickly bushes is a
fantastic one.
"Life is to short for long answers."

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

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 15. 2009 - Thursday (2nd edition)

Todays Gazette comes to you with the complete confidence that
health care costs will not increase nor will our taxes. On
the other hand, we may have allowed ourselves to be conned because we
are to dense to understand the true agenda of our Washington
Or so it seems to me.
Wednesday the nations Weather Service issued our first
winter weather warning of the season. At least we have one consolation,
as opposed to the politicians in Washington, the National Weather
Service actually is right,.......... once in a blue moon.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Most folks in our area woke up to see their lawns had turned snow
white over night. We've been told that it (the snow) won't last long but
I'm thinking time will probably tell that story a bit more accurately.
Rumor has it our city leaders are revisiting the possibilities of
protecting our community from the ravages of flood. It even appears as
though the issue may come up for another city wide vote in the near
future. I'm thinking time will also tell that story more accurately as
It doesn't sound like sugarbeet harvest will be able to resume
WIth Halloween just around the corner more and more "seasonal"
decorations are starting to pop up in the community. Troy and Cindy
Senger, on the corner of 12th and Western Avenue, may have been among
the first to begin decorating their property for the festive spooky
season of orange.
It's a fact, all birds do not fly south for the winter. Some of
them ride in Cadillacs. It is also true that all turkeys do not fly
south. Some of them get there by way of refrigerated truck,... just in
time for Thanksgiving. Which I might add, is the latest date I've heard
for the opening date of Shananigan's.
I have been told by a very reputable resource that the term "Trick
or Treats" did NOT originate in Washington D.C. (although it certainly
does seem like a very real possibility)
The same person I might add, assured me our taxes would not
Wash your hands,... as often as you can. It is the flu season you
Speaking of the flu season, and the things we should or shouldn't
do. Scott Boura shared his thoughts in that regard. He
wrote: >>>>
"Sneeze in your elbow,... it's flu season." I'm not sure that is good
advice for you guys that "rub elbows" during your morning coffee at
Granny's. <<<<
Thanks for caring and sharing Scott, I'll share your thoughts with
the group in the morning.
OKAY Richard,... it's your turn to buy breakfast at Granny's so
hurry up and get back home.
After reading about the recent problems the Strand Theatre has
been experiencing and the scheduled Chili feed to be held at the
Federated Church. Christine Jensen shared the following thoughts. >>>>
Hi Gary,
Nice to have you back, I missed getting the Gazette!! I just want
to say a few words about the Strand Theatre in Grafton. My younger
brother and his wife refuse to go ANYWHERE else to watch a movie because
he says the Strand is the BEST. In his words, "They have the most
comfortable seats, the best popcorn, and the nicest people working
there." I hope to attend the fundraiser in November and I think it is
AWESOME the community is pitching in to help such GREAT people and
business owners. Whenever my husband and I get the opportunity to go to
a movie, we come to Grafton!! There really is no better place!! You have
a great day and thanks again for the Gazette!!!! Christine Jensen lia
sophia advisor
"Just because you have all the answers, doesn't mean you will be
asked all the questions" Or so it seems to me.
"Life is to short for long answers."

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

October 15. 2009 - Thursday (early edition)

10/15/09 THURSDAY (early)
The daffy-nition of "confidence" will not be found with a
government that insists it become involved with it's nations healthcare
system,.... simply to keep private healthcare providers "Honest".
When, on the other hand, that very same government uses a private
(independent) mail carrier (Fed Ex) to deliver government documents
regarding it's latest citizen census.
The current temperature is 40 degrees.
Sneeze in your elbow,... it's flu season.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
Morning coffee at Granny's includes discussions about almost
everything one might imagine. This morning we even touched on the
retirement plan that I shared in the Gazette several days ago. One I
copied and sent it out just as I received it. I was aware of the
erroneous mathematics involved in the plan however I wondered how many
others would catch it, or, take time to "calculate" the facts.
I was surprised that only one individual took the time to respond.
That made me wonder. Do you suppose that's the same kind of response we
might expect from our Washington politicians when they're exposed to
similar facts? Anyway,... Wanda shared the following thoughts regarding
the plan. She wrote: >>>
Dear Gary,
Here is what's wrong with the Patriot's Retirement Plan you shared

What it doesn't say is give 40 million people $1.00 each...that would
equal $40 million dollars.

If you give 40,000,000. people (40 million) $1,000,00. (a million
dollars) each....
it's a million times 40 million...and that's $40,000,000,000,000.
(40 trillion dollars)

Even our totally incompetent government hasn't spent quite that
much....... yet.
(And the St Petersburg Times editor should be fired for no fact
checking!) <<<<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Wanda. I'll
bet everyone in the entire Mandt school district had it figured out too.
AND,... I am also pleased that you added the YET part as well.
The areas potato harvest is virtually over save a few growers with
a few remaining acres to harvest.
Sugarbeet harvest on the other hand, due to the freezing
temperatures of the past few nights, has been put on hold. I have heard
sugar contents ranging from the upper 15's to over 18 percent. Yields,
depending on what order you enter the watering hole, ranges from 18 to
25 plus ton per acre. Although some growers have completed their
sugarbeet harvest, others are little more than half done.
However no matter how you look at it American Crystal Sugar is
Pure, Proud & Sweet AND only 15 calories per teaspoon.
Dear Gary:
Thanks for the Grafton Construction update. I'd like to hear more about
when the beet harvest will begin, where the best numbers are (sugar%,
lbs. per acre, etc.), and more about the potato harvest, but that's
I certainly hope y'all remember Carol Yeager is an Air Force reserve
chaplain. She's deployed to "an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia"
until January, and if you email me, I can probably tell you more, and I
wouldn't "have to kill ya" or anything cliche like that. As you can
imagine, we all want to 'support our troops,' which for most people
means putting magnetic ribbons on the backs of their cars. Big deal. If
anyone really wants to support their troops, Carol's got some real needs
that need to be addressed.
If you've ever been in the military, then you know what "Hurry up and
wait" means. Well, lots of folks hurry up and get to where Carol is, and
then wait. They wait without sundry items that the rest of us take for
granted - toothpaste, shampoo, whatever.
So the Chapel where Carol works maintains a closet full of travel size
personal items - everything from tooth brushes to after shave. You can
find these things at Walgreens or Rite Aid, and I certainly hope at
Wally's as well.
So if anyone wants to put some grit into their patriotism, I would
humbly ask on behalf of the soldiers, Marines, Airmen, sailors and
various civilian folks that go through Carol's base, that y'all put
together a package full of such items and send it to: Ch Major Carol
379 AEW/HC
APO AE 09309
There. That doesn't disclose anything top secret, and it does send the
word out. Your country needs you, Grafton, North Dakota, and just as you
sent your sons to battle in the great war, (more than one of which I had
the profound honor of burying during my time in the Northland), please
send your shampoo and mouthwash to Carol. She will get it to those young
folks who are bearing the burden of defending freedom and fighting
terrorism in a very unfriendly and strange land. Other than that, Gary,
know that I love you, and think of you all the time. The folks at
Grafton Lutheran, and in Grafton at large, are some of the finest people
I have ever had the privilege of knowing, and both Carol and I remember
with unfading fondness our time in the land of flatness, coldness,
windiness, and indescribable fertility and liveliness.
God bless you all,
Rev Gregory Yeager
Salisbury North Carolina
Three and one half years citizen of Grafton, and proud former clergy of
Grafton Lutheran Church. <<<<<
Thanks a million Rev Greg, for caring and sharing. Wouldn't
it be wonderful if some of your former parishioners could put together a
"Folks from Grafton Care about you too" package?
"Life is to short for long answers."

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October 14, 2009 - Wednesday

10/14/09 WEDNESDAY
I know I should be thankful that our Politicians are willing to
take over the health care system. I can honestly say that I pray to God
they might actually know what they're doing.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, God is so worried about loosing his status
to the President, that even He doesn't have time to figure out what
Politicians really are trying to do,..... with our health care.
The current temperature is 32 degrees.
It is the flu season, get a flu shot!!!! And, wash you hands,.....
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff
Kathee shared the following message after reading yesterdays
Gazette. She wrote: >>>>>
What a wonderful edition of the
Gazette. Thank you and Kelly for digging into the archives to share
that former article again. I was lucky enough to be in Grafton on
Sunday to attend the fall supper at St. John's Church. I remember the
former fall suppers, the ones at which my mother worked over 30 years
ago, starting in the basement of the old church and then in that
much roomier parish center. My husband and I attended the meal with
Dorothy Wentz who celebrated her 89th birthday this month and her
daughter Mary who is the same age I am so we won't mention the birthday
she and I celebrated this year. I reconnected with several other
folks who were part of the village that raised me back in the 1950's and
60's. We also checked in on the Carlson plot at Crescent Cemetery
where my mother was laid to rest on an October day 32 years ago next to
Axel and Ernestine and where she was joined by Ray in 2002. The plots
look good, thanks to the keepers of the cemetery who fixed Ernestine's
sinking plot a few years ago. Our visit was all too short, but gee,
it is nice to go back to Grafton. Thanks to all who keep it vital.
Kathee Carlson <<< Thanks a million Kathee, for
caring and sharing. Kathee also responded to the message Nanci shared
the other day about the benefit for Strand Theatre.
In that note she wrote: ....
As an update on the harvest here on our west central
Minnesota farm, I tell you that the kidney beans are all harvested, and
we are presently rained out of soy bean harvest. Work continues on
getting the corn combine ready for corn harvest later on.
Is there an address to which donations can be sent for the Strand
Theater? There are too many good memories floating around that
building to let it stay closed for too long. Kathee Carlson <<<< Thanks
for the harvest update Kathee, and for your gracious words about the
Strand. I have heard several suggest the "Strand benefit idea" is a
great one. I'm thinking any donations, and/or words of appreciation, can
be mailed to the Grafton Federated Church and I suggest they be clearly
marked and directed to the Strand benefit.
For those that may have missed Nanci's note from a few days
ago. Here it is again, one more time. >>>>>
Hi Gary - I was wondering if you could
post this! :)> Our Local theatre underwent some unfortunate Smoke Damage
when the popcorn machine decided to go on strike. This is our only
theatre and a landmark in Grafton. We want to help Tommy and Tammy
get the strand back to normal and perhaps even better than before!
We can do this with all of your help! Donations of any kind
for the chili feed will be very much appreciated!! :)
The chili feed is set for November 7th at the Grafton
Federated Church - Fellowship Hall. In the Basement.
----- The time is 11AM to 3PM -----
The price is only 5 dollars a bowl!
We are in need of bowls, spoons, crackers, and chili makings.
Anyone wishing to donate to this can contact Nanci Gale-Wilson by
email at
Or Call at 352-4666 - where you may leave a message! Thank
You!!! ---------
It's flu season,.... wash your hands.
Speaking of notes and messages. I received the following note from
Dianne a week ago, and, for reasons only a computer genius could
understand, I am just sending it out today.
I might add, for those that may not know. Former Graftonite Rita
Lessard is the mother of Dr. James Lessard who practices medicine in
Grand Forks.
Dianne wrote: >>>>
Gary and Pat
I want to tell you how HAPPY you have made a couple of people that the
Gazette is back. I am one and Rita Lessard is the other. I print the
letter every day it is out there and mail them to her and she looks so
forward to the Gazette envelope in the mail.
I go see her as often as we can and she is doing so
good and loves her new place and she is closed to Art and her two
granddaughters. I want to send her address in case any one wants to send
her a note she loves mail.
Rita Lessard
Woodland, Wa. 98674
Keep up the good work and it sounds like you had a great time at the
Thanks Dianne Molde Urbauer <<<<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Dianne. The next
time you visit with Rita, please tell her hello from Pat and Gary and
give her our very best wishes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 13, 2009 - Tuesday

Todays Gazette, and recent weather conditions, reminds me of a
wonderful old saying, "If it wasn't for, good luck and bad luck, I'd
have no luck at all."
The thermometer in front of my house hit 16.6 degrees early this
morning. That is not good luck. The present temperature is on the rise
(20.3) and, I suspect, that is a lucky thing.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
A trip down main street this morning gives me every reason
to believe we are lucky to be living in a community that continues to
show evidence of economic growth.
Granny's is getting a brand new paint job. The Tollefson
Funeral Home is in the process of adding new space to their Grafton
facility. Construction crews are adding a brand new addition to the
north side of Simonsons Station Store. The building that once held the
former LaBerge & Stenso auto dealership has a brand new front facade.
The former Nelson Drug building will become home of the new and improved
Shenanigans eatery, among other things. The former Walsh County Bank
building already has a new roof and ( with a bit of luck) could become
the home of multiple tenants. All that and the fact that the back end of
the building Grafton's Greatest Deals operates out of has been totally
All I might add, has little, if anything to do with luck (of any
kind) rather from serious thought and commitment of those most directly
Just last night I was in the Gazette library thinking, I've
heard the term "luck" or lack of it more in the past several days than I
have in a good long time. Then, after a somewhat longer "research
session than normal, when I returned to my computer I noticed I had just
received another one of those dog gone, bugger, heck, shucks emails
telling me that if I would hurry up and forward it to all of my friends
I would soon be the recipient of a bunch of "Good Luck". Unfortunately,
the note also informed me that if I didn't forward the message I could
expect a whole year of "Bad Luck". RAT's, dad burn, gee willikers
anyway. Now what do I do, I thought.
Then, I remembered a response I sent out in a Gazette
several years ago. No, not because I could remember an event that
happened almost 8 years ago. Rather because just the other day my
daughter Kelly dug it out and sent it to me.
Kelly added her own personal title to the message I
sent out so long ago. It truly was "from the heart" then and it
certainly is just as true today. Kelly wrote: >>>.
Subject: "Message from Dad's Heart"
Hi Dad. I have been at home working on bookwork and
had to go into
my saved files. I thought I would share it with you again just for
old time sake. It was date Oct. 29, 2001, as you can see. It
certainly jerked a few tears again today.
Love you, Kelly
Sent out in the Monday, October 29, 2001 Gazette ----------- I
I would like this note to go to everyone I know, or, knows me. It
is not intended for one, two or three, but rather for the WHOLE WORLD TO
If up above there's a name you don't see please do me a favor and
forward from me.
The note that accompanies this memo says (in part) "don't be
afraid to express yourself" OKEE DOKEE!! It says, I MUST send it to 10
people OR I will face DREADFULLY bad luck.
WHO, IN GOD'S GREEN EARTH dreams up such dribble!!! WHY, on
earth, if it had any value at all, would you only send it to
10 of your family, and/or friends.
LUCK, if there is such a thing (in my opinion) is man made,
created by actions and deeds with a specific end result in mind. If one
aims for good results, often one will experience "good luck". On the
other hand, if one's intentions are negative, "bad luck" will almost
aways be the end result.
Life is full of both good and bad luck.
If, I were only to look at bad luck.
I would see Mother, dying 50 too soon.
I would see Dad going before we could have one last talk. I would
see Peggy leaving before her children were grown. My Uncles Leonard,
Norman, Adrian, Harold, and George all left before I could return the
favors they gave me. Uncle Woodrow passed on before I could even get to
see him.
My Aunts, Theresa, Winnie, Fabiola left me/us before I could
properly thank them for helping raise me.
My FATHER in-law Ray could have stayed around for another 90 years
and we would still have things to talk about.
Are you starting to get a picture?
If I were to only look at BAD LUCK...... LOOSING CHUCK would be
right up there at the top of the list. As I see
it, we can ALL say we've had our share of bad luck. H O
W E V E R ! ! !
From Mom and Dad I learned how to live, and, love to live. From
Peggy I learned of compassion, and to deal with issues I didn't
always understand.
From my Uncles I've learned most of what's gotten me where I am
today. My Aunts, to love and respect people, to stick together and tell
the world to "go to hell" when it needs it.
From Ray I was lucky enough to spend over a third of a century
learning everything from sweeping streets to taking care of his
From Chuck I learned life isn't always what we want it to be, but
rather what you make it be. I worked in one form or another with Chuck
for over 40. He spent his entire life making "luck" for others. If, he
had a fault, it would be working overtime so others could be lucky.
M E L U C K Y ? Y O U B E T !!!!
The list of names at the top of this "memo" is only a fraction of
the luck I have known in my life.
I have all of that, my family and most important of all, I have my wife.
I'm working very hard trying to be positive. Letters written by insecure
individuals, threatening "dreadfully bad luck" does not strike me as
"Life is to short for long answers."

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

Monday, October 05, 2009

October 5, 2009 - Monday

It is much better to sit tight ---- than to drive that way.
Recorded rainfall amounts around the area last week varied
from .75, in my gage, to well over an inch in others. Several area
growers were able to resume sugarbeet harvest Sunday and it sounds like
many more will be able to resume beet harvest today. Most bean
growers that I talked to say they will need several days of sunshine
before the bean harvest can resume.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible.
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
In case you haven't noticed. The exterior walls of Granny's
restaurant is being repainted. It' not really a red color, nor is it a
maroon color, so, until I hear different I'll call it Mogan David wine
It is my understanding that the administrative costs to run
medicare is a mere 3 percent. If that is true, I suspect that's a
relatively low cost of administration for any major business. On
the other hand, if it is based on the total cost of medicare, which I
suspect it is. Then it follows that the 3 percent is also spread over
the 10's of millions (and I suspect it's much greater) of dollars
Medicare pays out each year for illegitimate goods and services.
Or so it seems to me.
Anyone that has ever purchased a box of popcorn while
attending a movie at the Strand Theatre will tell you. "There just isn't
any better popcorn anywhere in the world." Unfortunately, a few
days ago, the popcorn popper at the Stand Theatre overheated and filled
the theatre with smoke. Those of you that have ever experienced serious
property damage. Insurance just never seems to cover all of the cost
involved. Somehow, someway, a myriad of small, normally insignificant
things pop up (no pun intended) and the cost of resuming normal business
suddenly begins to escalate. With that thought in mind, received the
following e-mail. >>>>> Hi Gary - I was wondering if
you could post this! :):
Our Local theatre underwent some unfortunate Smoke Damage when
the popcorn machine decided to go on strike. This is our only theatre
and a landmark in Grafton.
We want to help Tommy and Tammy get the strand back to normal and
perhaps even better than before!
We can do this with all of your help! Donations of any kind for
the chili feed appreciated!! :)
The chili feed is set for November 7th at the Grafton Federated
Church - Fellowship Hall _ In the Basement The time is 11AM to 3PM
The price is only 5 dollars a bowl!
We are in need of bowls, spoons, crackers, and chili makings.
Anyone wishing to donate to this can contact Nanci Gale-Wilson by
email at
Or Call at 352-4666 - You may leave a message! Thank You!!!
It seems like everyone has a solution for saving the world
these days. When I received the following e-mail, I pondered the idea of
sharing it's message. Then, suddenly I realized I too am part of the 40
million. So,..... here's hoping the powers that be will implement the
idea posthaste.
- - - -- - - -
This is from an article in the St. Petersburg, FL. Times Newspaper
on Sunday.
The Business Section asked readers for ideas on "How Would You Fix the
Dear Mr. President:
Please find below my suggestion for fixing America 's economy. Instead
of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money
on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You
can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan: There are about 40 million
people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance
for early retirement with the following stipulations:
1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.
2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered - Auto
Industry fixed.
3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing
Crisis fixed.
It can't get any easier than that!
(Maybe we should add that everyone would have to purchase one
ticket to the Strand Theater - Giving us the grandest Strand Theater
every) If more money is needed, have all members of Congress and their
constituents pay their taxes...
If you think this would work, please forward to everyone you know. If
not, please disregard..... Then shoot yourself!!!! 1 job opening.
"Life is to short for long answers"

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

Friday, October 02, 2009

October 2, 2009 - Friday

Todays Gazette comes to you, in part, by the miracles of modern
The current temperature is 47 degrees.
The unofficial Gazette rain gauge recorded .72 inches of rain
during the last rain event. A rain gauge just 4 blocks east of mine
recorded an inch.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
It was relatively easy to tell the status of harvest this morning.
Granny's was full of harvest workers and empty trucks could be seen
standing idle in several parking lots around town.
Sugarbeet harvest should be able to resume with a couple days,...
assuming no more rain hampers the area. Bean harvest on the other hand
might well be idled for more than a week.
Sucrose (sugar) is used as a food and sweetening agent. It can
also significantly enhance the storeability of numerous food products.
The check engine light came on in my jeep the other day. When I
asked a repairman what he thought it might be. He told me it "could" be
something relatively simple, or, it could also be something more
involved. He said the last jeep he worked on needed in new catholic
converter, which he said cost several hundred dollars to replace.
It might be cheaper for me to just take my jeep to a synagogue.
"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of
Everything comedians say or do are not necessarily always funny.
As was evident on last nights David Letterman show.
It is the flu season. Please keep in mind that there is only two
kins of people during flu season. Those that have it,.... and those that
don't. Sometimes, unfortunately it is not possible to know that that
do,...... until they have given it to you.
Wash your hands, cough into your elbow, wash yours hands AND
cough into your elbow..... Oh yah, if you haven't already done so ----
get a flu shot.
Lloyd,... did you lose the pictures?
Although the following event is a full 3 weeks away. The
importance of the event, relative to the fund raising projects at
Heritage Village and the fact that Heritage Village requires a
significant amount of "outside money" from either fund raising projects
such as this or from outright monetary contributions to facilitate the
ongoing operation of Graftons Heritage Village. PLease mark you
calendars and plan to attend. >>>>>
Walleye" Fish Fry at Heritage Village -----
Friday, October 23, 2009 ----- >>>> Serving
from 5pm-7pm <<<<<
Adults $11.00 Child under 10 $5.00 Take
out orders call 701-520-1273, 701-360-4096
or 701-520-1207
The Heritage Village can almost always use volunteer help
for a multitude of function that go on at the Village. If anyone has any
spare time available, OR if you are able to help the Village with a
contribution of any sort. You can contact Verna Sherek at Heritage
Village and she will be very pleased to assist you.
"Life is to short for long answers."

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

Thursday, October 01, 2009

October 1, 2009 - Thursday

Somewhere it is written, "what goes around comes around".
It's 44 degrees (outside) with light rain.
"Profanity makes ignorance audible".
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity."
L O C A L news & stuff,.. mostly stuff.
I took a short road trip to Fargo Yesterday and from the hiway it
seemed evident there was still a fare amount of beans left to harvest
also some potatoes and to a lessor extent small grains. All I suspect
are some of the reasons for, what seems to me, a slower than normal
sugarbeet harvest startup.
I stopped by the local news stand yesterday and picked up a copy
of the Walsh County Record. I could have, and probably should have,
waited for our subscription copy to come in the afternoon mail.
I look forward to the Record, and most often I find it very
interesting. I noted that 50 years ago Suellen (Ringsak) Bateman turned
over her crown as the North Dakota state Potato Queen. I'll admit that
it has been awhile since I saw Suellen, however, the last time I did she
was just as pretty as she was as the ND State Potato Queen.
Beverly Berg was mentioned as being elected president of the
student council 60 years ago and 10 years later, Auburn's Billy Hansons
name was mentioned.
Small town papers, better than any other venue, affords us the
possibility to look at local news today,.... and, by way of the "Turning
Back the Clock" section in the Record, recalling those days we often
refer to now at as nostalgic.
Then of course there are those issues I refer to as "what
goes around, comes around". For instance, in the latest edition of the
Record. In the Mailbag section, I read with interest a letter drafted by
Arch Simonson. I will leave the bulk of the letter for you to read and
simply say it starts out in bold print SIMONSON QUESTIONS BID. It
appears as though Arch (Simonsons) submitted a bid to the Grafton School
District for petroleum products that he believes was the lowest bid and
for reasons he doesn't understand (according to the article) the bid was
awarded to a "local business". Throughout the article Arch mentions the
importance of the bid process. In the letter, addressed to the President
of the Grafton School Board Dan Gaustad, Arch suggested that his
organization (Simonsons) may well not submit any further bids if they
will be handled in the same manner.
WOW,.... I am "almost" surprised with Archies frustrations
with our local school boards decision. On the other hand, you may
recall, I was equally surprised, as was numerous local residents, with
the seemingly arrogant manner in which Archie Simonson's out of town
contractors handled the construction of his new Subway Sandwich shop in
Grafton. Mind you, the work and workmanship, to the best of my
knowledge, was excellent. The appearance of arrogance stems from the
seemingly lack of local contractors (bids) and it seemed apparent that
some out of town contractors were using the most prominent corner in
town to spot their large "billboard style trailers".
One might say, so what that's just business, and I certainly agree
it is to be sure. It is large town business without question. Small
towns try, or at least they certainly should, do business in the same
community they get their business from. Hence, "what goes around comes
around". Another word Arch used in his letter is the word "ethical".
Some folks define the word ethical very simply as, "you scratch my back
and I'll scratch yours". Obviously, for a multitude of reasons, it isn't
a very good term in the field of politics. However, one would be amazed
how well it works in a small town business community.
Or so it seems to me.
From the aren't memories wonderful department. Burt shared the
following thought. He wrote: >>>>>
Gary, Every time I sit down to a dinner with potatoes
memories of Red River valley "Pontiac potatoes" come to mind. They can
brag about Idaho russets as the best but thats because they never ate
a Red River Valley Pontiac". They were so tasty I and my brothers
would eat a plateful with just butter, salt and pepper and even
spread them on bread like an open-faced sandwich, you never put gravy or
toppings on a "Pontiac". Any one visiting here from Grafton that brings
along a sack of "pontiacs" will receive room/board and a generous
Bert Overland <<<<
Thanks a million for caring and sharing Burt. If I can find
a bag of Pontiacs I just may come and spend the winter at your house.
"Life is to short for long answers"

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