Lind: One link between the horrific 1966 blizzard and today's coronavirus pandemic

In today's "Neighbors" column, a reader says both events represent a "storm" that will end, eventually.

Bob Lind
Bob Lind, Neighbors columnist. The Forum

Earlier this year, “Neighbors” ran a story about the March 1966 blizzard which swept through the Upper Midwest . That column featured the memories of that storm as recounted by Hal Sillers, Moorhead.

Hal now writes that he received many “wonderful responses” to that column from family and friends. “I even received an email from a high school classmate with whom I have not had contact for over 50 years,” he says.

Hal goes on to write that telling of how the region made it through that storm is the kind of encouragement everybody needs to lift our spirits in these days of dealing with the coronavirus.

“Back in March 1966, we thought that being isolated on the farm for four days was quite an event, and it was at the time,” he says. “We knew, however, that sooner or later the storm would end, and it did.

“We are living in a very different reality today, but sooner or later this ‘storm’ will end, too; we just do not know when.


“When we were in college back in the ‘60s and ‘70s,” Hal writes, “my wife, Leonor, had a large sticker on her notebook with a popular saying at the time that said, ‘Keep the faith, Baby.’

“These days, our oldest son, Steven, who with his family also lives in Moorhead, has his own take on things, in that no matter what happens, his response is, ‘It’ll be fine.’

“These two related ideas will go a long way in getting us all through the current ‘storm’: ‘Keep the faith, Baby. It’ll be fine.’”

Right on, Hal!

And heads up, you folks who, like Hal, went through the ‘66 blizzard; more memories of that storm will be coming up here in a few weeks.


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  • Lind: A poem for the singing meadowlarks In today's "Neighbors" column, a reader shares an original poem about his yearly ritual of listening for the first larks.

Old Joe

On another matter, there’s been some confusion about where the man known as Old Joe, who used to clean windows in downtown Fargo, lived. Some of you said it was Fargo, while others said Moorhead.

Today, "Neighbors" has more emails about this.


Pat Nelson, Moorhead, writes, “It is true he lived in north Fargo, but in his later years he lived above Kirby’s Bar in Moorhead.

“The owner of Kirby’s bar, Ray Kuklinski, rented to Old Joe and kept an eye on him.

“He used to come into the bar daily,” Pat writes. “After a couple of days of not seeing him, Ray went to check on him upstairs and found him expired.

“Ray, also known as Kirby, would tell us stories about how he’d drive Old Joe to different banks in town where he had many savings accounts. I believe he had a sister who inherited his amassed fortune.”

Darlajean Harlow, Sandy Lake, Manitoba, also writes about Old Joe, noting that a person who in an earlier "Neighbors" column said he lived on North Terrace is partially correct. Joe did live there until his mother died, she says.

“Sometime after that he moved to the rooming house above Diemert’s on the corner of Main and Fourth Street in Moorhead,” she writes.

“I worked for Diemert’s for a few years in the mid-’70s. I know for sure he lived upstairs.

“Joe always shoveled the snow for me, many times more than once during the day, and he cleaned the windows. On days he didn’t do that, he would stop in to have a draught with some of the other older gentlemen who lived upstairs.”


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If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email

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