The Best of Bob: A look back at recent hits from 'Neighbors' with columnist Bob Lind
FARGO — With a Forum career spanning over half a century, Bob Lind has seen and written about many things in his day.
Lind's career began in early 1969, and since then he's served as a copy editor, night editor, assistant city editor and features editor. Currently, his days are filled with bringing the communities of Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo memories from days past through his thrice-weekly "Neighbors" column.
"I get my topics from what the readers send in," Lind says. "They're so good about this! Every week I get emails and postal mail about all sorts of things. Then I just pick one or two topics and go with it."
Lind's topics range from trees being planted near McCanna, N.D. , to a Carrington, N.D., man who was detained during WWII as an "enemy alien."
In this look back at "Neighbors," Lind shows readers a few hits from Sept. 2020 — and shares a bit of what goes into making this memorable Forum mainstay.
'Shots and sugar cubes'
In Lind's Sept. 14 Neighbors column , readers remembered the shots and sugar cubes that kept them safe from another virus that ran rampant through the communities.
"It's no question that COVID-19 is the illness story of the year," Lind wrote. "But several decades ago, it was polio."
The mid-Sept. column brought about several responses and stories from readers around the region — all sharing their experiences with Jonas Salk's lifesaving vaccine that eradicated the dangerous disease from naturally occurring in the wild.
"I've had so many shots over the years I don't remember one from another," Lind says, when asked about his own experience with the polio vaccine. "But I don't recall any of them hurting."
Causing problems on the farm
Laughter is the best medicine though, and in the Aug. 31 rendition of "Neighbors" a reader shared a funny story about a hired hand on his family farm many years ago.
The hired men became part of this reader's family, back then — living in the same home and turning into a role model for the children. So it's no wonder this reader remembered a rather humorous story about one of the hands causing their combine to malfunction one day on the farm.
"'He thought he had solved the problem by soldering the overflow shut — except it blew up,'" writes Lind, quoting the reader. “'Mechanics at the implement store at Page, N.D. nearly died laughing when that hired man carried the radiator from the combine in, complaining that it had malfunctioned... exploded!'"
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn't been the first to barrel through the region in history. In Lind's Sept. 19 column , readers hear about the pandemic that infected one out of ever five people in the entire world: The Spanish flu.
"I feel sad over those past pandemics," Lind says. "Because I know my parents and grandparents and other relatives and friends went through them."
Several readers wrote in to share their stories of the Spanish flu that rocked the world from 1918 to 1920 — including the all-too-familiar closings of schools and public places.
Memories of Snakey Creek
The Bee Man, exploring Snakey Creek and homing pigeons — sounds like the Sept. 21 "Neighbors" that followed memories from the 1950s in North Moorhead.
A recently published "Neighbors" had a former Moorhead resident reminiscing on their days of yore by Snakey Creek.
“Many of us in those fun ‘50s who resided in north Moorhead explored the creek from 17th Street North to past where the American Legion hall now stands,” the reader wrote.
This rendition of "Neighbors" also had another piece of business to take care of. A note urging drivers to use their turn signals while they drive. Lind says he's definitely a believer in signal use.
"I always use my turn signals when turning or changing lanes," he says. "It's the logical thing to do to let drivers around me know what I'm going to do, saving them and me from colliding. Hey, it's just common sense and courtesy!"
Still some good
Although we're finishing up month No. 8 of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., and it seems that things keep getting worse, it's important to remember there are still good things happening in the world.
In Lind's Sept. 28 column, readers get the opportunity to see some of the good people are doing for their loved ones. Like Fargo resident Lois Hofmann, whose friends, family and neighbors took care of her grocery needs and treated her with more kindness than she ever imagined.
Like many, Lind has been working from home during the pandemic, doing things around the house when he's not busy reading stories and bringing up memories for the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo communities. But stories like Ms. Hofmann's are definitely fun to read. "I enjoy seeing all the good things our neighbors are doing," he says.