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Published April 15, 2009, 12:00 AM

Pride shines through sand and grime

Flood fashion saturates local stores
Call it Fargonomics. With community pride rising right along with the Red River, Fargo-centric and flood-focused merchandise has found its way into stores and into customers’ shopping carts.

By: J. Shane Mercer, INFORUM

Flood fashion saturates local stores

Call it Fargonomics.

With community pride rising right along with the Red River, Fargo-centric and flood-focused merchandise has found its way into stores and into customers’ shopping carts.

Some of the most visible flood merchandise carries the “United We Sand” slogan that has come out of Old Lutheran, a Moorhead-based online store (www.oldlutheran.com). The store has produced “United We Sand” sweatshirts and stickers as well as three T-shirts bearing pictures of sump pumps on the front. The shirts are available at various locations in the area.

Dean Hornbacher, president of Hornbacher’s Foods, says they’ve sold nearly 700 of the T-shirts that read “United We Sand! Fargo Moorhead Flood ’09.”

“I think everybody from all over town – not just the people who live on the river – have been putting their heart and soul into trying to hold back this river, and much of that has been with sandbags,” says David Hunstad, Old Lutheran president. “And so I just think that it’s a way that people can identify that they’ve been a part of it.”

Hunstad says the proceeds from all Old Lutheran flood merchandise will go to Impact GiveBack and Lutheran Disaster Response.

Flood shirts have been all over the place: Ace Hardware in Moorhead, True Value in Fargo, Scheels All Sports in Moorhead, etc.

Cash Wise Foods is also in on the floodwear donation action, giving proceeds from the sale of the “Sandbag U ’09 Alumni” shirts to the flood effort. They’re $7.

And the flood is inspiring more than just clothing. Members of the Fargo-based band Tucker’d Out are lending their talents to help out charity. A CD of the group’s song “The Flood of ’09” is available for a donation of $10 to the Salvation Army. It’s available at Hornbacher’s locations; and The Winery, The Spirit Shop, Lee’s Gold Crown Hallmark in West Acres mall and at the KVLY TV station, all in Fargo.

John Trelstad, who plays guitar and mandolin and sings with the band, wrote the song. He was moved by the human spirit that he saw at work in the community.

“And when you come away from something that difficult and that intimidating, it really does make you stronger,” he says. “You know, you saw people just weary to the bone and so tired, and, you know, there was no letting up. Everybody had to keep on going. And, boy, you saw everybody doing it, and that’s just a powerful thing to witness.”

Trelstad isn’t the only musician moved by the flood-fighting efforts. Shaun Schipper of Fargo has written a tune called “Old Red” in honor of the city’s ability to come together and hold back the rising water. It also borrows from some of the flood T-shirts.

In it Schipper sings, “Through rain the snow and mud, we’re going to fight this flood/Divided we’d fall united we sand, divided we’d fall united we sand.”

He’ll perform the song Saturday evening as part of the Fargo Star finals at The Venue at The Hub. Schipper is one of 10 local singers competing for the title of “Fargo Star.” The event is free.

Fargo pride apparel

It isn’t just flood-specific merchandise that’s flying off of shelves right now. The “I love Fargo” (“love” being represented by a pair of heart-shaped lips)

T-shirts are hot at the SHANNALEE women’s boutique on Broadway.

Fargo merchandise always sells well, says owner Shanna Lee, but it’s “absolutely” hotter than usual right now.

And speaking of hot, you can also snag one of the shop’s hot pink hats that read “Fargo.”

There’s a little Fargo bling, too. SHANNALEE recently got in some necklaces with pendants that read “fargo girl” on one side and “yah you betch ya!” on the other. Another necklace has a map of Fargo-Moorhead in the pendant. The neck sizzles are $29 and $49 respectively.

It’s just part of the rising river of love as folks battle the Red.

People are feeling a sense of community pride, Lee says, “or trying to convince themselves they still love it here.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Shane Mercer at (701) 451-5734

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