We still have a lot of independent retailers around. Earl Listul, Detroit Lakes, Minn., used to be one. He ran Earl's Super Valu grocery store in Dilworth for 35 years. During that time, a company newsletter from Super Valu headquarters in Hopkins, Minn., carried a tongue-in-cheek piece titled, "What is an independent retailer?" Earl recently dug it out of his papers and sent it to Neighbors. Here's what it said (and note that while the item says the retailer is a "he," there are many female independent retailers, too):
OK, all you teachers out there, take heart. You do have a positive impact on your students. Case in point: Russell Kronberg. Jean Mahlum, Glyndon, Minn., writes about him, following a couple of Neighbors columns about the use — or misuse — of grammar. "The students at Monango (N.D.) High School were fortunate Russell Kronberg was their English teacher. He was an expert grammarian," Jean writes. Russell, who grew up in Forbes, N.D., taught at Monango from 1959 to 1971. "It was my good fortune to be one of his students," Jean writes.
When these kids gathered in Bismarck to have their picture taken some years ago, little did they know that one of them would become famous; not just locally, but nationally. He was Carson Wentz — front row on the right — who became the star quarterback for the North Dakota State University Bison football team and now is the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles pro football team.
This could be a Christmas story, since we're in that season. While it has no link to Christmas, it does concern a wonderful gift for a boy named Jomar. He was born in the Philippines 11 years ago with a tumor on his face, leaving him with a severe disfigurement. On top of that, his mother abandoned him when he was 5, leaving him with a note saying she was gone forever. So he was raised in an orphanage, with hopes he would be adopted. But the chances of that were slim; most adoptive parents want babies or toddlers, not school-aged children with facial deformities.
Here's a story out of Detroit Lakes, Minn. It's about a tree there known as the "lone tree." The story comes from Ruth Olson, of Detroit Lakes, who, with her family at a family reunion, read an article about it. The tree was planted by William Boutell in honor (perhaps in memoriam) of his wife. Ruth believes it was at the corner of Orr Road and Highway 18. "When William sold the land," Ruth writes, "he stipulated that the tree must be left standing, and it is still there."
It was their mother who inspired the founding of Jasper's Theater in Park Rapids, Minn. Lynette Guida, owner of the theater, told about the theater for this column a while ago. Now Lynette's sister Kathie Brekke, director of the theater's shows, tells Neighbors about their mom Dee Johnson and more. Dee did something special for her family: "She taught us the love of music and the joy of sharing it," Kathie says. In her later years, Dee came down with cancer. But that didn't keep her from fulfilling her heart's desire.
Two Forum readers have written poems for this special day. No. 1 is from Larry Munson, New Rockford, N.D. The Thanksgiving Poem Turkey, turkey on the table, let us eat 'til we're not able ... Pass the taters, pass the peas, pass the gravy, if you please ... Save some room for punkin pie, Topped with whipped cream; makes me sigh ... I'm stuffed so full that I can't move, Of this fine meal, I do approve! Now it's time to shed my shoes, Lay on the couch and have a snooze ...
Today you readers are stirring up memories of Fargo's past. First, Don Homuth, formerly of Fargo and now of Salem, Ore., asks about the Fargo Cycle Service Co. All that is known about it was that it was located at 6 13th St. S., was owned by Lars Lohn, and that it existed in the 1930s and maybe longer. Anybody out there know anything about this business? DQs and DWs Also, last summer, Neighbors had several items recalling the Dairy Queens and Dairy Whirls in Fargo-Moorhead in years past.
Sometimes a small town that few people have heard of becomes known because of its high school sports team. Such was the case in 1968 for Wolford, N.D., a little town northeast of Rugby, when its boys basketball team won the state championship. Its star player was Vance Bowersox, who has been mentioned here previously. A story about Vance was sent by Roger Sorenson, Fargo, to his friend Creighton Gustafson in Hampton, Va., because Creighton was on that team.
We're well into November, neighbors. That means the heat of summer is long past, and soon we'll be in the cold and snow of winter. Well, this area has seen some dandy winter storms over the years. Case in point: a storm that hit the area during the winter of 1946.