Bob Lind column: Neighbors: Cleaning out the Neighbors mailbox

On this, the first Sunday of the new year, here's feedback on items Neighbors talked about in the last weeks of '02; items such as: The F-M Road Angels -- This was about a local car club in the 1950s and 1960s, which closed when it lost m...

On this, the first Sunday of the new year, here's feedback on items Neighbors talked about in the last weeks of '02; items such as:

The F-M Road Angels -- This was about a local car club in the 1950s and 1960s, which closed when it lost much of its membership to another interest called "marriage."

Neighbors listed those who it learned were members, but acknowledged there were many more.

So Ron Baker of Leek Lake, Minn., who was mentioned, sends in some additional names of those car addicts: Tom Knoll; Larry Christle; Phil Bakke; Gary Bjerke; Jim Robideau; two Ron Olsons, one of Kragnes, Minn., one of Fargo; Dick Pierce; Don Heintzman; Craig Jacobs; Gene Highness; Joe Melby; Jim Langford; Duane Loffenberg, Dave Rosenberg; Dave Lindaas; Gene Cosgrove; Ron Stave and Joe Cane.

Ron adds, "Thanks for the memories of a great group of guys who were privileged to grow up in a time when cars were the main thing that occupied our time until we moved on to those 'wedding bells' you spoke of. For me and my wife, Jerri, it (was) 40 years Dec. 16."


Neighbors then received another message. It was from Paul Baker of Moorhead, the son of Ron and Jerri.

"What my dad probably did not tell you," Paul wrote, "is that, according to my mom, dad sold his Chevy Corvair to buy her an engagement ring."

Now, that is a beautiful example of sacrificial love.

Paul also says he has his dad's old Road Angels shirt. He says the sleeves are gone and the collar is frayed, but you can still read the logo.

Better yet, his parents' 40-year marriage is still in high gear.


Homer Wallin -- He is the World War II Navy officer from Washburn, N.D., who was in charge of salvaging ships damaged at Pearl Harbor and in the South Pacific.

An anonymous reader, now of Fargo, but a Washburn native, sends in copies of pages from a book about military service personnel from Washburn published by the Washburn American Legion and Auxiliary.


It includes a story of Wallin, listing the many decorations Wallin received, including the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit.

But the book also points out that Wallin was not the only hero in the family.

His brother, Victor, was a first lieutenant in the Army during World War I who was killed in 1918 in France.


Lewis and Clark -- Neighbors reported, based on information it had received, that the temperature fell to 45 below Dec. 17, 1804, when Lewis and Clark were at Fort Mandan in what is now North Dakota.

But according to "Undaunted Courage," the story of the expedition written by the marvelous author Stephen Ambrose, who died recently, the date for that temperature fallout actually was Dec. 8, and Neighbors trusts Ambrose to have it right.

Regardless of the date, however, 45 below is a mite chilly.



The USS Fargo -- This was the story of the light cruiser named for Fargo that sailed during the height of the Cold War.

Did you know there is an association of people who served on American cruisers? Not destroyers, battleships, anything else -- only cruisers.

Ronald Maciejowski is a director and membership chairman of the U.S. Navy Cruiser Sailors Association. He writes it has more than 4,000 members who represent virtually every cruiser that served in America's fleet.

But he's looking for more. Ronald says membership is open to "all ship's company, Marine detachment, aviation division, flag personnel and midshipmen who served aboard cruisers," whether the Fargo or any other.

For information on the association, write to Ronald Maciejowski, 55 Donna Terrace, Taunton, Mass. 02780-2824, or

e-mail him at .


The math problem -- Few of the Neighbors items published in '02 received as much reaction -- favorable reaction, Neighbors is relieved to report -- as that of the man who wrote an article on a mathematical problem published here.


One reaction came from Allen Osmundson of Binford, N.D. Allen, who says numbers fascinate him, and who said the item therefore got him wondering how many direct ancestors he had.

Knowing that his father and mother each also had two parents, as did they, and so, the number of direct ancestors doubles each generation.

Allen says the number becomes astronomical, and it all began after the Great Flood from which only eight people survived.

"I cannot but marvel at our heavenly Father," Allen writes, "who can keep track of all the past, present and future people who have trod this earth. Just imagine it, seeing everything I have done or should not have done, and then multiplying that by millions of people.

"It really staggers the mind."

Right on, Allen.


More Neighbors feedback will be run Tuesday.


See you then.

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 e-mail

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