Neighbors has carried many stories about World War II, the men and women who served in the military then and the war's effect on the home front. One the major events of the war was the D-Day landing in Normandy on June 6, 1944, when Allied troops poured into northern France for the big push to free Europe. On the day the invasion began, Bertha Oman, of Springbrook, N.D., (near Williston) wrote a message to her daughter JoAnne, who then was 13, in her autograph book.
From shooting baskets to selling insurance; that's the story of Vance Bowersox. His name comes up because Neighbors has had several items about him being the star player for a powerful team for Wolford (N.D.) High School near Rugby. Bill Koering, now of Upland, Calif., writes that he used to live in Hillsboro, N.D., went to high school there, and played against Vance's Wolford team in the 1968 Class B basketball semifinals.
Early this year, Neighbors ran a photo of a sign for the Pontiac Lutheran Cemetery near Alice, N.D., on which cemetery was spelled "cemetary." Dennis Lindemann, Fargo, now sends in information about the church where the sign is located, plus some corrections on the information originally supplied for the story.
Here are more memories of the popular old branch line train often nicknamed the Galloping Goose. Doris Dibley, Wolverton, Minn., writes: "I graduated from high school in Dazey, N.D., in 1953. "In those days, most of us didn't have cars. "I moved to Moorhead, attended Concordia College and later worked for Northwestern Bell in Fargo.
The photo was of Ralph and Marie Wetch when they were married almost 88 years ago in Fingal, N.D. In recent years, Joanne Pfau had the picture. The grandmother of her husband, Richard, was Ralph's sister, and Joanne wanted to know more about Ralph and Marie. She told her friend Wanda Berdahl, Moorhead, of her quest. Wanda, in turn, sent Joanne's request to Neighbors, which published the request early this year.
Music and basketball: They're the topics that lead off today's Neighbors, thanks to David Meiers, Fargo, who writes in response to items he saw here earlier this year. One of the stories he noticed was of the Berdahl family. It told of J.A. Berdahl, who was a depot agent in Dunn Center, N.D., in 1918 and beyond, and of his and his wife, Anna's, musical family; one of their children, Archie, even played with the nationally known Tommy Tucker band
From Norway to Dakota Territory to Washington state: That's the trail carved out of an obituary carried here a while ago. It's one Betteann and Glenn Bond, Redmond, Wash., clipped from the Seattle Times because it was about a former Fargo resident. His name: William "Bill" Nelson, who was born in 1925 in Fargo. The Bonds sent it to Neighbors, thinking there might still be someone in the Fargo-Moorhead area who knew Bill, even though he and his wife, Solveig, moved to Bellevue, Wash., in 1948.
A column some time ago concerned North Dakota Highway 46, which runs from I-29 south of Fargo to near Streeter. It told of how Ralph Winge, Litchville, N.D., fought to get Highway 46 paved when he was a state legislator. Ralph said the paving finally was done in 1964. That brought a letter from a surprised Paul Madsen, Columbia Heights, Minn., who thinks this is wrong.
This is a story encompassing both the joy of Christian outreach and utter tragedy; a story that involves three countries on three continents. And a young man from North Dakota. It comes from Thomas Witte, of near Houston. "Often, as I consider the pioneer days of North Dakota and the surrounding area, " Tom writes Neighbors, "I think of hardships endured by the brave settler. Establishing homesteads, tree claims, log or sod homes, breaking new sod, and children born at home under difficult circumstances are things that come to mind."
It was an evening for two special groups: dogs and Bison. It was last May in the North Dakota State University library. There, in a cozy carpeted and book-lined reading room, were 14 dogs and their owners and dozens and dozens of NDSU students. Its aim was to "de-stress" the students during finals week by having them pet the dogs.