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Neighbors: 'Savage witch doctor' recalls time rocking and rolling at local venues

Today Neighbors welcomes a real Savage to its column.

He’s Dr. Tom Quam, Larkspur, Col., who writes, “I really enjoyed your articles about rock and roll groups from the ’60s,” referring to columns about those groups from the Fargo-Moorhead region.

“I played in the Savages, a group from West Fargo,” Tom writes. “We played in all the local Legion halls, VFWs and lakeside pavilions.

“One of our band members, Paul Rogne, went on to play with the Pawnbrokers. He is now in the North Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“The Savages were featured in an article in The Forum about 1966,” Tom says. “I was mentioned as the resident ‘witch doctor.’ Little did I know I would go on to medical school at the University of North Dakota and go on to do family practice in Las Vegas until retiring to Colorado last year.”

Tom also wonders if any of you danced at Herb Johnson’s Barn, near Arthur, N.D. “It was a great place to play,” he says, “with cows in the barn and the dance floor upstairs.”

Another local star

Other columns have mentioned area entertainers who performed on the national scene.

Ron Fredrickson, formerly of Alice, N.D., and Fargo and now of Roseville, Calif., adds Don Roseland to the list.

Don was with WDAY radio, Fargo, for a time, and eventually wound up in California and appeared as a piano player in the movies “A Foreign Affair,” “The Big Sleep,” “Here Come the Waves” and “My Reputation.”

He was the son of a widowed woman who later married Don’s uncle.

Don was married to Audrey Remme, a local vocalist who was a classmate of Ron’s at Fargo Central High School in 1944.

Initial story

Another column referred to the old school in Hitterdal, Minn., built in the early 1900s and long since destroyed, which led Bill Treumann, formerly of Fargo and now of St. Paul, to send in this story he’s been told about its construction.

“A bricklayer was erecting the walls for it, using yellow and red bricks,” Bill says.

“When he was nearly finished, the town fathers objected that he had incorporated his initials in eight-foot letters of one color.

“He claimed,” Bill says, “that he had grabbed the bricks at random.

“Someone with a little knowledge of probability replied that this was well-nigh impossible, but he stuck to his story.”

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email