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
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
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.
GOTTA GO WORK ON MY DASH
"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.