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Lind: Fargo couple love to share long-distance walks

The two Sabetha, Kan., farm kids were good friends in seventh grade. But they were much more in adulthood. Don and Glenna Scoby will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary in June.

Glenna and Don Scoby
Glenna and Don Scoby prepare for a walk in Augusta, Maine, which was the 50th state capital they'd visited. The couple are avid walkers and members of the American Volkssport Association. Special to The Forum

The two Sabetha, Kan., farm kids were good friends in seventh grade. But they were much more in adulthood. Don and Glenna Scoby will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary in June.

Now they're retired. Don just turned 80, and Glenna will be 80 in August. They live in a Fargo condo and, Glenna says, "We do everything together."

That includes doing a crossword puzzle every morning, reading, bragging about their family, putting souvenir books together and walking.

Boy, do they walk.

In 1990, the Scobys became members of the American Volkssport Association, which sanctions 10-kilometer walks throughout the nation.

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Their first such walk was from North Dakota State University to Hector International Airport and back. Then they began walking in as many states as they could.

"Along the way," Don says, "maybe around the 45th state, we realized we'd already walked in many state capitals, so we might as well do them all."

And they did. In 2006, a walk in Augusta, Maine, completed their goal as they walked in their 50th state capital plus Washington, D.C.

All in all, the Scobys are closing in on walking 7,500 kilometers.

Flying, cookies

But let's backtrack to Sabetha, where Glenna initiated their first date by asking Don out when they were in junior high.

More dates followed. But their romance was interrupted when Don joined the Air Force from 1951 to 1954.

The Korean War was on, but Don was assigned to non-combat duty. "He was glad," Glenna says. "He didn't want to fight anybody. He's a very kind person."

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He had his thrills, though. A plane he was on had an engine fire, and another plane he was on slid off a runway. Don escaped injury, "but my legs were kind of shaky," he says.

Then he came home and married Glenna. "It was," he says, "the best thing I ever did."

Now the Scobys have a daughter, Melodye, married to Kim Brewster, Moorhead, a grandson and two great-granddaughters who love Grandpa Don's cookies. "He's a very good cook," Glenna says.

Teaching, farming

Both Scobys taught school in Sabetha and in Colorado Springs, Colo., and after moving to Fargo, Glenna taught in Washington, Longfellow, McKinley and Madison elementary schools while Don taught environmental biology at NDSU, teaching an estimated 20,000 students from 1996 to 1990. He also taught at Minnesota State University Moorhead and Concordia College.

But walking is in their blood, too.

During the winter, they walk in the Fargo North High School gym. But when the weather allows it, they'll be out hiking the streets and countryside again.

They are two of the 20-plus members of the Red River Valley Sports Association, the local arm (and legs) of the American Volkssport Association.

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The AVA-sanctioned walks in state capitals always take them through the capitol buildings.

Among their other favorites walks:

  • Along a Pennsylvania canal that had a sign reading, "Mules have right of way."
  • Honolulu, where they had their toughest walk, involving a hike through a dark tunnel of lava and considerable climbing.
  • Montgomery, Ala., where they saw a huge monument to Martin Luther King and where 100-some British airmen who were killed while training there during World War II are buried.
  • Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, "a gorgeous town," Glenna says.
  • Oregon, along the Oregon Trail ruts pounded out by pioneer wagons.

"I was fortunate enough to marry my best friend," Don says. "We're soul mates."
"Yes, we are," Glenna says emphatically.

And they gear up to take another walk.

Together.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com

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