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Published October 11, 2010, 12:00 AM

Lind: Neighbors thanks the well-wishers

Columnist is glad to be back in action
This column is intended to be about people who live in the area or have ties to it. But today, it’s going to be personal.

By: Bob Lind, INFORUM

This column is intended to be about people who live in the area or have ties to it.

But today, it’s going to be personal. That’s because this writer has been deluged with cards, e-mails, letters, blogs, phone calls, gifts and assurances of prayer since it became known he had an illness.

To list everyone Neighbors has heard from would eat up this page. But at least, let’s send deep thanks to the folks at the Roger Maris Cancer Center and at 7 South, the oncology floor at Sanford Medical Center, for their terrific care; to the gang here at The Forum for giving such solid support; and, in general, to so many for their prayers and concern.

They include this writer’s beautiful family and the rest of the Neighbors family: all of you out there who contribute so faithfully to this column and also take the time to send in encouragement.

Each of you is special.

Neighbors sincerely thanks you.

Side note

Neighbors, incidentally, hears that many people can’t get used to MeritCare now being called Sanford. In fact, some people still call it St. Luke’s.

So Neighbors has a suggestion. To make everyone happy, how about combining all those names and calling it St. MeritFord?

As to Innovis Health now becoming Essentia Health, how about naming it Essovis?

Then again, maybe not.

Driving spikes

OK, let’s have a cup of coffee and dig into the Neighbors mailbag.

Today it includes a note from a neighbor living in Columbus, Ga.

He’s Melvin Hanson, who writes in response to a column in which Ron Fredrickson, formerly of Alice, N.D., and Fargo and now of Roseville, Calif., told of working on a Northern Pacific section crew when he was 16.

Ron had said his foreman, named Hanson, used psychology to get the young people on his crew to perform well.

Well, Melvin writes, that foreman was his father, L.M. Hanson of West Fargo, who worked for the NP for 50 years before retiring in 1952.

Melvin was only 15 when he worked for his dad.

One summer, Melvin says, “I and the roadmaster’s son were offered a job running a new machine called a spike hammer. It was a three-man crew. I was the operator, and I had two spike holders.

“This gas-run machine had a rotating hammer that was placed on top of the spike, and I drove it into place. This was much quicker and took less sweat than using a spike maul. I worked all that summer with the ‘gandy dancers’ laying new steel.”

And the Galloping Goose branchline train? Sure, Melvin remembers it. “My older sisters rode the Goose to school back when West Fargo was known as Haggart. We lived in the section house until 1945.”

Haggart became West Fargo in the early 1920s.


If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to 241-5487; or e-mail blind@forumcomm.com

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