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Escape scarves, barn dances and beer

Bob Lind, Neighbors columnist

"I read with great interest your article regarding Bob Haas and his silk escape scarfs from World War II in Europe."

So writes Rolf Slen, Fargo, in reference to a column about the pitcher for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins baseball team who became a bomber pilot during the war and was among those who were given scarfs on which maps of Europe were imprinted showing escape routes to avoid being captured by the Germans.

Well, Rolf writes that those escape scarfs were used in the Pacific theater of war, also.

"I served in the Pacific area in the war as a navigator of a B-24 bomber," he says. "We bombed various Japanese targets in the Philippines, China and Japan.

"I have various silk maps to be used as 'escape scarfs' if shot down over the ocean or in enemy areas in the Pacific. I also have silken flags with writing on them to identify you in hostile areas.

"I also have propaganda leaflets which we dropped along with our bombs over Japan itself.

"Also, I have printed currency that might be used along with other items in enemy territory. And I have crew pictures.

"I'll be leaving these items in archives somewhere later."

Sabin barn dances

On another matter, do you know anything about the barn dances that used to be held on Highway 52 just outside of Sabin, Minn.?

Kellie Ertelt would like to know about them.

That's because, she writes Neighbors, "My great-grandmother built and had barn dances there for approximately 30 years, dating back to the '60s into the '80s.

"Her name was Ida B. Carlson. She was born in 1892. She was into real estate in downtown Fargo.

"Does anybody have any history on her or her investments?"

If you do, let Neighbors and Kellie know.

Kellie, who lives in West Fargo, also writes that stories in this column about old Fargo grocery stores got her and her sister Vicki Hoover, Fargo, reminiscing.

"On the south side," she writes, "there were Heffners and Stickelmeyers, and on Main Avenue there was a store called Bud & Rabbits, but I can't remember if it was a full store or just a produce store."

Again, over to you, neighbors.

Item available

And now, here's a memory sent in by Howie Walser, now of Montrose, Colorado, who says when he lived in Moorhead in 1958, he and his brother-in-law "Goody" Ellwanger often took in the races at Glyndon, Minn., which were held Sundays.

During the races, Howie says, the public address announcer would say that the concession stands were now open, that many items were there to be bought, and that "reeb" was available.

The deal was, Howie says, that beer could be sold on Sundays, but it couldn't be advertised. So the announcer called it "reeb," which is beer spelled backwards.

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 email