Do you know the schools from Noltimier, Wolford or Epping in western North Dakota? If so, Neil Wenberg hopes you can help him.
The boys basketball teams from those schools made it to state basketball tournaments over the years. Noltimier won the state Consolidated League championship in 1948, Wolford placed second in the Class B tournament in 1968 and Epping was second in 1977. Now Neil is seeking scorebooks, newspaper articles and pictures of those schools' teams. If he can gather enough material, he plans to publish a booklet about them.
"At present," Neil, Fargo, writes, "I am trying to write a book on Class C basketball as it existed from 1948 through 1963 in North Dakota. I am looking for information on Carpio 1948, Butte 1952, Willow City 1953 and Westhope 1954."
Also, he says, "I am desperately trying to find the scorebook for the 1950-51 Wildrose High School boys basketball team, as it was in 1951 that Wildrose won the Class C championship. I was told by a fellow that this still exists and was probably purchased by someone when Wildrose auctioned off its trophies, scorebooks and other sports memorabilia.
"I am also in need of more information about the West Fargo team which won the 1944 Consolidated League championship."
If you can help Neil with any of this, you can call him at (701) 799-4677.
The Cackle Sisters
On another matter, Clem Petrick, Portland, N.D., asked Neighbors' readers a while ago if they'd heard of the Cackle Sisters, who came from Royalton, Minn., sang on national radio shows and whose real last name was DeZurick.
Neighbors heard from both Harriet Holler, Hunter, N.D., and Steve Tschida, production manager for WDAY-AM, Fargo, about them, reporting that you can Google Youtube Cackle Sisters.
"There are several tunes there," Harriet says, and Steve says, "There are about a dozen DeZurick Sisters videos there."
"Some of their stuff is pretty good," Steve says.
Robeson was great
Speaking of entertainers, Neighbors has been hearing from people about taking in some big-name entertainers who appeared in the area in the past.
Roger Butler, Detroit Lakes, Minn., says a column about this reminded him of the winter of 1945 or maybe 1946 when his parents took him and his three brothers to see singer Paul Robeson "in a cold, drafty old auditorium at North Dakota Agricultural College (now North Dakota State University). He was marvelous. And whenever I watch an older version of 'Show Boat' in which he sings 'Old Man River' in that wonderful bass voice, I'm reminded of that concert.
"When the concert finished, Dad said, 'Let's see if we can meet him,' and we went backstage. Lo and behold, there he stood all alone, and he was most gracious, shaking all our hands and thanking us for coming to the show.
"Years later, it was with dismay that I read he left this country in disgust over the treatment of blacks and emigrated to Russia, where he was welcomed as a fellow communist.
"Nonetheless, he was a marvelously talented singer and a former All-American in football at Rutgers College."