It's always a big deal when the ice on the Red River breaks up each spring, as it did weeks ago this year. Shirley Anne (Smith) Little certainly remembers it. Shirley now lives in Indianapolis, but she says she was a Fargo school student from kindergarten through high school. She recently composed a poem which she sent to Neighbors. It is titled "Ice Break on the Big Red:" When the ice breaks up on the Big Red And the water runs under the snow, My heart leaps with excitement For the river on its northerly flow.
This column carried a story a while ago about young guys from Iowa hitching rides on railroad boxcars to get to Minnesota and North Dakota years ago to find farm work. Well, so did the father of Kathleen "Kay" Siebert, Wahpeton, N.D., only he took the rails to find work in the wheat fields of Montana. This was an adventure in itself, especially when the only thing he had to eat for lunch was stolen. Kay's dad, Urban Benewicz, 85, passed away in 2002. But he left many stories his family remembers and Kay passed some of them on to Neighbors.
Neighbors carried this house picture earlier this year. Jean Comita, Fargo, found it in the belongings of her late husband, Dr. Gabriel Comita, a zoology professor at North Dakota State University, and she wondered if someone could supply any information about it.
Howard Bellmore has had some kind of life. He fought in World War II, was an engineer for a railroad and he shoveled coal as a railroad fireman. And along the way, he became the father of seven children. Howard lives in an apartment in Fargo. He lives alone; his wife Irene died in 2015. They'd been married 67 years. On his wall is a framed picture of him and his six brothers. He's proud of it. Because he and all of his brothers served in the military Fighting in Europe Howard knows about large families; he was the oldest of 14 kids.
It was some day for the Moorhead High School student; he got to shake the hand of a presidential candidate. And he did it by breaking through security. Brian Kramvik now lives in Lisbon, N.D. But in 1968, he was 15, and he was a junior at Moorhead High. And on April 15 that year—just about exactly 49 years ago today—Robert "Bobby" Kennedy was making a stop in Fargo.
The University of North Dakota sports teams now are called the Fighting Hawks. But prior to that name change in 2015, they were the Sioux. You probably knew that. But did you know it was a journalist who led the campaign to change the original name of the teams from the Flickertails to the Sioux? He was Alvin "Al" Austin, a longtime employee for the Grand Forks Herald.
Today, let's take a peek at a creek: Snakey Creek, that is, which runs under 15th Avenue North in Moorhead by the American Crystal Sugar beet plant into the Red River. MIke O'Day, Dilworth, writes Neighbors of his and his pals' adventures along the creek when they were growing up in north Moorhead. "Around 1960," Mike says, "most north side boys visited, explored and enjoyed all the wildlife at Snakey Creek for years.
Earlier this year, Neighbors carried a story about Treadwell Twichell, a Republican state legislator from Mapleton, N.D., who, in 1915, is supposed to have told a group of farmers complaining about the lack of legislation they wanted to "Let the farmers go home and slop their hogs and leave the lawmaking to us." That alleged statement became a rallying cry for the Nonpartisan League (NPL) in North Dakota. The column about this brought an email from U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson, Fargo.
Last fall, Neighbors ran a photo of the old Fargo Cycle Service store in Fargo. The man sending it in thought it was located on 13th Street South. But sharp-eyed Donnie Olson, Fargo, spotted the address on the sign reading 1225 Front St. Does that help anyone remember this shop? Trains, Fargo movies And now, here are some other memories, starting with the old branch line train nicknamed the Galloping Goose.
If you know a player named Tracy who played for the F-M Twins in the late 1940s or so, there's another ex-baseball player out there looking for you. He's William "Youngblood" McCrary of Hot Springs Village, Ark. This story comes from Tamra Gullickson, also of Hot Springs Village. Bill is a member of her church there, Village Bible Church. Bill, who is black, is one of the few men still living who played in the old Negro Baseball League. He also played for the semi-pro Omaha Rockets and the minor league teams of the New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs.