Monday, March 31, 2008

Play Ball!

Anita ball club: Charles Sagmoen, Lars Krogstad, Edwin Sjolsvold, John Ranum, Ted Thompson, and Karl Krogstad. Front row: Edwin Sjolsvold, John Sorenson, and Peter Alby.
New Solum ball Team, 1910
Rosebank ball team of 1928" Herman Axelson, Alvin Hellquist, Emil Axelson, Stanley Ranum, Harvey Haugen, Clifford Stromberg, and Bryon Sagmoen.

The young men of New Solum Township made their base­ball team famous in the area when they played teams from Newfolden. Thief River Falls, Red Lake Falls, and St. Hilaire and won many of the games.

This team practiced once a week and on Sundays would play other teams. An excellent ball diamond was on the ridge north of John Thompsons. Other diamonds were west of Adolph Haugens where the memory of hundreds of bicycles in the grass were part of a Sunday's ballgame.

Other ball players who took their turn at playing as older brothers left and as the years rolled by were Pete, John, Selmer and William Sorenson, Alfred Rafteseth, Adolph Haugen. Charles Sagmoen. Pete Alby, Ted Thompson and Edwin Sjolsvald. There may have been many more but these have been mentioned by the old timers. Sometimes the group had the Anita players and Rosewood players for friendly competition in practices.

World War I had most to do with breaking up the teams as many of the fellows went to war and the teams never reorganized with as much enthusiasm again.

According to old newspapers, women had a baseball team in 1893!

A baseball diamond is being fixed up north of town. Thief River Falls, MN

Baseball season starts

Rosewood News Baseball team to be est. A meeting was called at John Sagmoen’s residence to elect officers and a captain. A five acre tract of land east of town a half mile will be leased from Sagmoen.

Rosewood News There will be a good time at the Rosebank school Lunch will be sold to gather funds for baseball. There will be Victoria music. Everyone is invited.

Rosewood News The lively men of Rosewood met at the bank to discuss plans for the fourth of July. They plan street attractions during the day and a baseball game in the evening. The day promises to be successful.

Rosewood News The Rosewood baseball team won 14-9. Adolph Haugen could not pitch and the catcher broke his thumb.

February 1926
Strictly old time music in the Auditorium, Monday, February 22, 1926. 8:15 Sharp. The Knight Hawks and Hens will swing in honor of the baseball club. Money to be used to finish payment of uniforms and other base ball equipment. Gentleman: 50 cents, ladies 25 cents. (This is the old auditorium which burned in 1933).

John Ranum was the brother of Benhard Ranum and Stanley Ranum is the son of Benhard Ranum.



Sunday, March 30, 2008


Thirty six seconds to play...........

Sixteen seconds to play..............


Score: Jayhawks ahead by two

Jayhawks win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See you in at the FINAL FOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Lillian Alberg's high school graduation picture
The string band from Hazel, Lillian front left with Uke

Do you know the names of your aunts? Today let's talk about my aunt Lillian. Her last name was Alberg, she went to school in Hazel at the Busy Bee School . She had several brothers and sisters and if you looked at the roster of the Busy Bee School, it almost seemed like there was always an ALBERG in class.

Lil was one of eight children born to Carl and Louise Finstad Alberg. The little bit that is known of the family of Alberg's was furnished to Old Trunks in the spring of 2003. A worksheet was sent to her and she filled in the blanks. Now, just to give you a feel for how far she would go, she took the worksheet to the church and enlarged the copy so she would be able to read it and have room to fill in the information! The worksheet volleyed between TRF and Fargo until it was right. Now that is tenacity!

Lillian married my dad's only sibling, Harry in the summer of 1939. Together with my parents and my grandparents they went to Kansas and Colorado to work on defense during the war. Benhard and Julia came back to the Rosewood area early; Harry, Lillian, and Bruce arrived in early June of 1943, Judy, their daughter, was born shortly after there return.

Lillian was a stay at home mom with three children and a husband. Old Trunks has mentioned her before; she was the maker of oatmeal cookies which we ate hot out of the oven after skating on the coulee. They lived in a house in the 700 block of Conley Avenue next to the railroad tracks. Cousin Judy said you get used to the trains rumbled by. One of the things I liked to do at their house was look at the collection of salt and pepper shakers. Uncle Harry had built a showcase for them on the wall going to the basement.

Lillian was to be admired. When Harry found out he had a brain tumor, he wanted Lillian to go to school so she could support herself and her family. She got her LPN certificate from the vocational school in Thief River Falls and began working at the hospital after her certificate was issued in the spring of 1962 from ATVI. Harry had surgery in Fargo and died on New Years Day of 1962. He had turned 51 the day before. It was believed that a fall off a barn at a younger age started the problem; for several years, he had convulsions, which our family called spasms.

At the time of Harry's death, their oldest son, Bruce, was in college at Augsburg, he was half way through his education. He was inducted into the Augsburg Athletic Hall of fame for hockey and track. The idea was once Bruce was finished, Judy would be educated, then Jim, the youngest of the three. All this time, Lillian was working and picking up extra shifts to make the mark to get her children educated.

When Judy visited in the summer of 2005, she told me about her stuggles to pass boards in nursing and in cosmtology. Although she said she was over it by now, she still wondered why she choked up. Judy married Darrell and they had a good life together. They were each other's constant companions and the best of friends.

Jim, their youngest, became a lawyer and a judge. He lives in the Minneapolis metro with his wife, Jane.

My friendship with my aunt strengthened after mother died. Along with working on genealogy, we had times together walking and having lunch. She wrote in my birthday card in 2003 that she was adopting me so I would have a mother. She was like that. She cared. Had you known her and given her a chance, she would care about you too.

The Ranum first cousins and their parents have diminished.
Harry Arthur Ranum 1/1962
Stanley Kenneth Ranum 12/1967
Gregory James Ranum 2/2002
Ella Deloris Lundberg Ranum 11/2002
Bruce Carlton Ranum 10/2004
Darrell Wick (Judy's husband) 4/2005
Judith Louise Ranum Wick 11/2006
Lillian Ranum 5/2006

Greg, Bruce, and Judy all deceased in their 63th year.
Jim and I are holding the fort!

Friday, March 28, 2008



Let’s say that someone out there had great grandparents in a big city and during that time the emphasis on a big department store in a big city went something like this

Store must be open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Store must be swept; windows, shelves, and all base cases dusted; lamps trimmed, filled and chimney’s cleaned

Doors and windows open

Pail of water and a bucket of coal brought in before breakfast

Attend to all customers who call

Store must not be open on the Sabbath unless necessary; and in only a few minutes

The employee who is in the habit of smoking cigars, being shaved by barbers, going to dances and places of amusement, will surely give his employer reason to be suspicious of his integrity and honesty

Each employer must not pay less than five dollars per year to the church and must attend Sunday school regularly

Male employees are to be given one evening a week for courting, and two if they go to prayer meetings

After 14 hours of work in the store, the leisure time should be spent mostly reading

Now, grandma lived in the country; she would’ve bought her oatmeal in bulk as did she with most other products. Vegetables were canned, meat was butchered, rabbits were snared and milk came from a cow, which she, like Tillie Jarshaw loved to milk! And the catalogs from Sears-Roebuck and Monkey Wards were her mail order dream books.

When grandma did work in town, the restaurant was open from early morning until late at night and the food that they served was expected to be of excellent quality. Everything was done by hand, including washing dishes at the café. We remember this from reading earlier posts that she was a fast dish washer. Service and quality.

Which brings me to mother. My observations as a small child showed me that places of business were truly there to help. We know that at the Woolworth stores, there was always someone behind the counter with the candy was sold. We know that if you went to a good dress shop, they were willing to alter the garment to fit with no additional charges. The stores in our fair city, were open from nine until 5:30, except on Friday nights when they were open until nine. One of the shops, called the Fashion Shop, covered their merchandise with cloths each night. The intimate garments would not put on display but rather in cases behind the counter. We know from reading old newspapers, that most of the stores had previously been open from nine to six. This changeover happened, during the early war years and may have been done to save on electricity.

Old trunks was a product of that era. When you went to buy under garments at a quality store, you were fitted. The idea of buying them off the circular display, rummaged through by others, was unheard of. If you bought a dress which was too long in the waist, it was taken up, almost to the point of being remodeled. If you had a garment that had gotten too large, you took it to the cleaners. The cleaners had a seamstress. One would stand on a stool, and turn ever so slowly while she pinned in a hem. Attention to detail.

Movie theaters had ushers to seat you. Music stores and complementary booths so you could listen to a record before you bought it. Jewelry stores cleaned your jewelry free of charge. Restaurants had waitresses look at you when you ordered and did not present the bill until you were finished. The telephone operator said number please and thank you and we learned from an early age to be pleasant on the telephone. Who pumped the gas? Who washed the windshield? Individual attention.

Imagine the shock of what would be later called a big-box store, then referred to is a discount house, where they sold seconds and overstocks and really poorly made garments for little or nothing. No one helped you. If you asked, they pointed. Dressing rooms were private. Try on garments all by yourself! But one could get an armload of clothing at one of these stores for the price of one pair of pants at a quality shop. It was an era when people didn’t have to say please and thank you. The only communication you had with an employee was when they said what your due bill was. Free roaming.

My children started their lives out with this sort of merchandising. Nobody bothered you when you were shopping. One of the few places where you actually got hands-on help is when you bought fabric. The best employee for my children to be subjected to was the man at the Kwik Shop who treated them all like real people and acted as if he knew each one of them personally.

It wasn’t until Sam Walton started his stores that the idea of saying please and thank you came back into our society. Will we begin to see courtesy once again? What will bring on this long over due type of merchandising back?

Old Trunks doesn’t like being interrupted by employees when ordering a hamburger by asking if I want cheese on that. When you are old like I am, and order at a fast food restaurant, you already know what you want and it just makes me have to repeat what I said over their annoying suggestion that I should have cheese on my husband’s hamburger. Suggestive selling.

And what’s the deal with asking if I found everything I was looking for because when you say no, nothing is done. Except of course yesterday, when the 12-year-old who was checking out my groceries, went into a spiel. And when I said no, and told him what I was looking for he suggested there was no such thing. Which really irritated me. Well, double knot my bags!

But now instead of stores being open from six o’clock until nine o’clock at night, they’re open 24 hours a day. And although it seems unique to the 40s and 50s, home delivery of groceries from local supermarkets is once again available. Does it matter to you if someone carries out your groceries? Or has a store convinced you of how much you’re saving by doing it yourself? My question, is are you?

I wonder if my 10-year-old granddaughter has ever been helped by a salesperson to pick out her size in clothes. I wonder if she selects her shoes without help of someone running to a back room to find the size. Do all clothes fit each size off the rack? What about the clothes in the back of all of our closets that, don't-fit-right, don't-feel-right, too-big here-two-little-here? What if alternating was an option?

Have we gone to Internet buying because we can learn more about a product than a weekend salesperson could ever know? Do we shop 24/7 because it’s convenient? Or because the product can be found? Never-ever tell the mattress salesman at a furniture store that the product he showing you use substandard to what you want, unless of course, you want the answer, “It doesn’t matter, it is how it feels”! He doesn’t know how many springs are in the box, he just knows he is on commission and every person that walks into that store lines his pockets. Unless of course, you have a mattress made, then you get that sort of customer service we all deserve because you really do get what you pay for.

Wait for an answer when you ask an inexperienced used-car salesman if that Corvette over there comes in 4 x 4. ( I am grinning, I hope you are too)!

When you ask a computer salesman for a mid-priced laptop with 2 GB of RAM, what you think is answer is going to be? Do we know the answer before we ask? After all, we are not great-grandmothers of a hundred years ago who had to rely on the salespeople to know what we were buying. Is that clerk going to take you to the highest dollar item because that is where he thinks your ideal might be? How many of us have made a major purchase of electronic equipment on line before we actually went to buy? What happens to the price if you have your computer built? Rather than one off the 'rack'? Ten years ago, Old Trunks had a conversation with her son. Bud wanted a computer to have specific features. Now they do and are produced mass market.

Let’s hope all of know the clerk in the produce department who will help us pick out two good avocados. Let’s hope the butcher knows his cuts. Let’s hope if we need prescriptions for medications the druggist will tell us about it or if the pill has a ‘new’ look they will point that out, rather than giving us an 8 font draft quality sheet with instructions. Let’s hope that when my grand daughter is my age, she will have examples of true service in retail merchandising.

And let’s do our part by saying, PLEASE and THANK YOU.


Thursday, March 27, 2008


A man in South Carolina wrote with a plea of help a few months ago stating he was totally overwhelmed at the landslide of information he was getting and it was all in a pile. All the families were mixed up and he couldn't remember who went with who! That is a sinking feeling!

Let's talk about this. Let's talk about coming up with some sort of a system to keep folks in groups so we have an opportunity to visualize who they are! Most of us don't have a four by six foot dry erase boards to make family trees!

It doesn't matter if you choose a piece of paper with the family name written across it, a file folder, or an elaborate notebook. They important thing to realize is this information is going to continue to grow.

For Old Trunks, zippered notebooks with sheet protectors work best for the long haul. Each family name has a notebook, which includes pictures, census, certificates, newspaper articles, and memorabilia. This is the final destination for all information for that surname.

Where does one store questions and rough research ideas? Steno books are excellent. Old Trunks writes everything in it. EVERYTHING, even when just trying to figure something out. An example of this is plots in cemeteries as seen above. Yes, it is okay if you put your sticky notes in there. Yes, it is okay if it isn't written in handwriting class penmanship. And for heaven sake, don't forget the highlighters!

Tab the pages. Keep a running list of what you have found. Invest in a genealogy program to help you store the information you find. Remember a beefy flash drive can move from computer to computer.


Remember something about an ancestor

Put a name on a folder

File something

Enter a name on the computer

Write a quick memory or send it to someone

Share your ideas

Label a photo

Mentally thank an ancestor



Enter a small family on the computer

Write a note to an aged person

Read a story


Look up a person on the Internet

Write to someone who may be a connection


Print and send an article to someone

Write a letter asking for information

Compose a memory

Make your own stationary with header

Make business cards

Write your name on everything


Install that genealogy program Old Trunks is talking about



Family history center




Go on location with two cameras.




What you are doing

That communication can be slow and frustrating, try to keep up.

Putting memories into words may be hard in the beginning, just write.

Chasing ancestors is time consuming. Try breaking the tasks down.
And most importantly, enjoy the challenge.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Curling building at the Fairgrounds west of Thief River Falls

Old Trunks had laid the idea of talking about curling aside. It was certain it was too late in the season to publish in a timely manner. Then, an article appeared in the Grand Forks Herald regarding the 2008 Men’s World Curling Championship. The contest will be held in Grand Forks during the week of April 5-13.

The contest will be held in the Ralph Engelstad building which is being converted from a hockey rink to a curling stage. All the countries that will be competing will have flags displayed. Twelve men's teams, all national champions from the US, Canada, Europe and the Pacific Rim, will vie for the title of "World Champion." Admission is sold in a package from $149 to 239.

The stones are quarried from the ocean floor off Scotland. The ton and a half of rocks where shipped by ocean freighter from Scotland to Montreal, Canada, then by ship through the Great Lakes to Chicago, by truck to the Minneapolis area and finally by truck to Grand Forks. The assigned value is $41, 200.

Curling is an old sport; its origin is Scotland. There is a stone with the date of 1511 engraved into it. The Scottish parliament prohibitted Soccer and Golf because they aroused riots. Curling wasn't endangered by this prohibition allthough the rocks were great to hit an opponent!

We are not certain just when the curling rink was built at the fair grounds in Thief River Falls; it was there in 1966. Daddy zipped up his over shoes to walk on the ice lane and push a polished granite rock with a handle down the ice, then follow behind sweeping while someone else dashed ahead and swept the ice to make the stone move into a circle at the other end and hopefully knock the opponent’s rock out of the scoring area.

The curling building in Thief River Falls had a restaurant where people gathered to eat and visit or watch the event. They seemed like a jovial group back then, dressed in their overshoes, regular jackets, hats/caps, and gloves.

In today’s market, the equipment is pro designed, let’s look at the prices, all prices rounded up to the next dollar; all Canadian dollars amounts.

Shoes: 150
Jacket: 60
Shirt: 40
Socks 15
Pants 80
Gloves 35
Brushes 35-150
Deliver and sweep tool 90
Curling rock earrings 50
Bag with holster 50
Broom bag 40
Delivery device 60 (used to push the stone)

The United States Championship was held at Hibbing, MN this winter and won by a team from Madison, WI. The USA Curling Association began play offs in 1957 with Hibbing, MN winning the title. Think about how exciting it must have been for Edmore, ND, population 250, to win the title in 1972!

An' shood ye prove stoothearted tartan-wearin', haggis-eatin'sons & dotters o' th' highlands, ye can becoom one o'our exalted noomber & help t' spread th' spirit o' ye bon·spiel, come to Grand Forks in April!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mrs. Panter tells about 1862


How would you like to of been held prisoner in an uprising of the Sioux Indians?

Horrifying experiences which occurred almost 78 years ago when she was held captivity by Sioux Indians for three weeks were vividly recalled by Mrs. George Panter of Mankato. Mrs. Panter, a half-sister of Mrs. Kindler of Stephen, frequently visits our town.

Mrs. Panter, was 82 years old when she told this story. She remembers the advance of August 16, 1862, when her father and her friend were killed and her brother cut and bruised by rampaging Sioux.

Two white man came to our house, and said the Indians had broken out and planned to rid the world all of the whites. They told my father they had just passed the June home, a short distance from theirs, and found Mrs. June in her small child laying floor of the cabin, terribly mangled and slain by an ax.

My father turned to my mother and said to take the children and leave at once for New Ulm. Mike, a young Irishman, was to drive the oxen hitched to a wagon. We had 36 head of cattle and father told us he would try to drive them to New Ulm and would be there later. Those were the last words we heard father speak. Soldiers found his body near the Birch Coulee, where he had been murdered by the Indians and buried in an unmarked grave.

We had gone but a short distance on the way to New Ulm with the slow moving oxen when Indians riding ponies came upon us. They told us to get out of the wagon. Mike helped mother and we children out of the wagon and then turned to the Indians to see what they wanted us to do next.

Without a moment’s warning, the Indian shot the Irishman down at our feet. We all cried and childlike tried to wake him up, but he was dead.

Mother turned to us and said to run to a nearby slough and hide in the tall grass. The Indians took the possession of our wagon and Took off. However, one young brave loitered behind and put my brother Pete on one of his ponies. Pete fell off, striking his head on a rock, causing severe bruises and a cut which bled profusely. The Indian, thinking people die from the injury, rode off. My little sister ran from her hiding place and tied her apron around Pete’s head and managed to stop the bleeding.

After hiding in the slough for three hours, two white men approached. We told them we wanted to get to New Ulm and asked them if they would show us the way. My four-month-old sister kept crying all the time.

We had just got started towards New Ulm when another team in possession of the Indians drove up. They had a white woman prisoner in the wagon. Her hands were tied behind her back. Two white men accompanying us were shot at once and in gruff tones the Indians told my mother and we children to get into the wagon. My mother hesitated; the woman prisoner in the wagon advised her to do as she was told otherwise there would be trouble.

Child that I was, I was terribly sickened and horrified to see the remains of an infant tied to one of the wheels of the wagon in such a manner that each revolution of the wheel destroyed the body more and more as a wagon preceded.

Mrs. Panter also remembers hearing about a husband and wife became separated and each believed the other was killed. The man went farther west and after a few years the woman remarried and had two more children.
One day the man returned, and his former wife and after finding that she was happily married said I will be on my way and you will not see me again. You have two children to make you happy. I have no one of the world to love and cherish. Would it be too much to ask you for the child we had together be mine to care for? The mother consented to give up the child and the man and his son were never seen again in the vicinity.

Regarding the uprising:

On August 15, 1862, Santee Sioux Chief Little Crow went to the Indian Agency located on the Minnesota River to ask government agent Thomas J. Galbraith to distribute the Indians' government-stockpiled provisions to his hungry people. "We have no food, but here are these stores filled with food", he yelled at Galbraith. "So far as I'm concerned, if they are hungry, let them eat grass or their own dung", reported trading post operator Andrew J. Myrick. The angry Indians left, but a few days later Myrick's corpse was found- with grass stuffed in his mouth.

The Santee Sioux had lived in Minnesota for hundreds of years before 1851, when the U.S. government forced them to give up their 24-million-acre hunting ground and live in a reservation on the Minnesota River. Seven years later the United States swindled them out of half of the reservation land. The provisions and annuities the Santee were promised never seemed to get through the graft-ridden government agency. The Santee finally had enough of the white man and decided that with the United States engaged in the Civil War, the time had come to reclaim their land. Little Crow knew the Santee had little chance of defeating the U.S. Army; however, he told his braves, "Little Crow is not a coward; he will die with you!"

By the end of September the Sioux uprising in Minnesota was mostly over, though other Sioux tribes in neighboring territories had taken to the warpath. The U.S. troops who were rushed to Minnesota contained the uprising, but not before 800 white settlers had been murdered and several million dollars' worth of property had been destroyed. Of 2,000 Indians captured and tried, a military board sentenced 303 to be hanged. President Abraham Lincoln reviewed the list and trimmed it to 38. The United States' largest public mass execution was held December 26, 1862, when the 38 Indians were hanged.

Monday, March 24, 2008


This is the anniversary of the birth of my mother, Ella Deloris Lundberg.

Ella was the fourth child of Clara Jensen Lundberg and Philip Arthur Lundberg. Her oldest brother, called Bootsy was born in 1913 and died in 1935 from a gun shot wound. Viola, her sister, was born in 1915, and a younger brother, Clifford, died at 3 days old in 1920. His certificate states: In utero, broncho pneumonia"

We do not know where Viola is, nor if she is alive; she would be 92 if she was. Mother died in 2002 in Thief River Falls, MN. The Lundberg boys are buried in Greenwood cemetery; mother is buried at Rindal Cemetery near Rosewood in the Ranum family plot.

There is something almost spiritual about leafing though mother's old elementary school papers. She loved school and according to her grades did very well.

She attended Northrop, Central, and Lincoln High School as well as a stint in Schiller Park a Chicago, Illinois suburb in her early years. Her dad, Philip, and the housekeeper, Mae, (who became the step mother). Bootsy did not go to Chicago with them, Old Trunks as no evidence that Viola did.

Philip and Mae were married there in the spring of 1929. Mother, as a seven year old would start school in the fall as a second grader.

We do know from looking at the back of report cards that mother spent part of a later school year with her birth mother near Downer, MN. We know this because, Mrs. Clara Henry signed the report card. It is also charming to know that mother circled these signatures and stated in pencil that she loved her.

We have no way of knowing just how the divorce between her parents or the gruesome death of her brother affected her. Mother was a quiet person, she didn't say much and when asked about the ancestry of her family, she wasn't willing to offer information. One had to be in her presence at the moment to catch the history, or it was forever lost.

One of the things she did talk about was having to clean the cook stove on Saturdays. This was her job. She didn't like it because it was a dirty job.

She talked about having only one dress for school and one for play and one time having to wear her play dress to school because she soiled the other. Times were tough, it was the thirties, Old Trunks is certain she was not alone.

She talked about going to Mae's family farm and playing with the animals and how a rooster wound up in a stew pot because he knocked her down and scratched her. She liked Mae's mother.

She referred to her birth mother as 'mother' and her step mother as 'Mae'.

Who knows what sort of molding 23 months in the TB San south of town did for her or to her back in the late forties and early fifties. We do know that by the time she was well, the leanest years were over for the two of them.

We do know that while in the San mother did a lot of reading. She stated that her knack for decorating came from reading magazines. Perhaps in her idle hours of rest, she conjured up all sorts of combinations of houses to be beautiful.

And when she did start decorating houses, she did, indeed, have an eye for placement and committed to color combinations beyond the normal. There were no white walls in our homes!

I will always remember her as having a closet filled with the newest styles and rummage sales to oust the old and make way for the new.

I remember her dressing up to go to the market and out to dinner. She wore dresses at home until I was in fourth grade and decided pants and shorts were comfortable.

She had an exactness about her. Her hand writing never changed from elementary school drills to the last of her letters. Her hair was never twisted in knots in the morning, and her clothes were always well fitted and she wore them well. As for the house and meals, they were well cared for and meals were promptly served at 7:30, 12:05, and 5:30.

When mother sat down to do a paint by number or a seed art design, she had a pattern in front of her and followed the pattern. Our difference was that if you had a huge area with the same seed, why not dump it in instead of using a tweezers one piece at a time? In a paint by number, why not make your own snow drifts?

Mother was not a enforcer. She did not expect me to do paint by number like she did. She did, however, expect that I had my own supplies. We could work across the table from one another but not on each other's work. I am making a hard point about this because it is important for parent's to be themselves and allow children to be so. One of the things missing in our relationship, where some necessary parameters. Or where they?

Mother didn't feel like it was the responsibility of the children to do the housework or cooking. She may have felt this way because of HER responsibilities. She felt her job was to the family and to the house. That was her job. And she did it well. When she was ill and gone again in the late fifties, the slack was picked up, once again by my grand parents.

She worked three days outside of the home once. It didn't cover the cost of the clothes she bought to work in the chicken processing plant. When she would state she was going to work, daddy would say she was going to look odd pulling up to the nursing home in her new Cadillac, wearing a fur coat and diamonds to wash dishes. If that sounds cruel to you, perhaps it is, but mother would stop ranting. And for stay at home mother's who didn't have a lot of connection with the outside world, it is understandable.

Mother was a Girl Scout leader for a few years, as well as being involved in the adult side of the program. She understood the need for the program and was a great leader. The Girl Scout laws were something the two of us agreed on. Getting her to sign off on a badge meant you really knew your stuff. More about this when we talk about planting a garden.

Mother didn't get mad on a daily basis during my child hood but what she did do was 'save it up' and every six months or so she would rant for 3 days and 2 nights about everything that had ever happened, leaving out no detail no matter how small. Otherwise, she was tolerant of what was going on around her; occasionally she would comment in a positive or negative way.

She became a widow in 1981 and managed her self very well for the nearly twenty years she would continue to live as a solo person. In the last four years of her life, I visited her often from Fargo.

I had held a mystery inside of me for years, always looking for that wave length that was identical to hers. It wasn't until the latter years when she said to my Sweet Thomas, "Do you understand her? If you do, tell me what she is all about." And Tom told her and she said she didn't know that.

If you have a child who you wish to be in pinafores and lace stockings and they prefer mud puddles and experiments, it just isn't going to change. You have to look at your child(ren) and have a clue what they are all about and try to see their vision. Fortunately for me, my three children have neon signs on their foreheads that blink and play music or I may have missed it too!

The important thing is, before she died, we did have that conversation. It had nothing to do with understand each other, it had to do with saying we were sorry for not understanding each other. It had to do with taking the opportunity to say we loved each other. Let's hope all of you who read this can say you had an adult to adult relationship with your parents, and quality, rather than quantity is there.

I was not a child left behind. We all find someone who has identifying points for us to make a connection. We will identify. For me, the saviors were my grand parents who accepted and nurtured regardless. Although I seemed like a teen without borders to Tom, (with very strict parents), I was not. I was just pushing buttons, jumping curbs, and finding out that life only has boundaries that you make for yourself.

Commit to life.


Sunday, March 23, 2008


On the back of the picture it says, “6:50 AM, Ryen has just discovered Alf on the front bumper of the truck.” Look how he is dressed. Barefoot and a beach towel for a cover. Earlier, he had been out with less on, as the Easter bunny had left baskets on the hood of a vehicle.

This picture is of Rachel, Bud, and Ryen with Alf and the Easter bunny. It is probably my favorite picture of the three of them together. It was one of those Easter’s that was ‘late’. The grass was green, the lilacs were in bloom, as were the dandelions. The bunny was sent to the children from their grandmother. What happened to Alf? The bunny? It is here in Fargo.
Easter was on April 22 in 1984.

Easter fell on March 24, previously the earliest date was March 23, 1913. The article in the paper stated that “it won’t happen again until sometime after 2,000“. And here we are, sometime after 2, 000.

Easter will be on the 23rd of March once again, according to the calculations by the Astronomical Society of South Australia.

Happy Easter
Happy Spring

the Easter bunny

Shirley writes to say: I don't remember coloring Easter eggs etc when I was a kid. We did here at my house though.
I do remember saving money after Xmas to buy Judy a stuffed bunny for Easter. I used to "do" the neighbor ladies earn money. I'd make my rounds on Sat. carrying my rollers and hairdryer to Quam's to do Lyla, cut Valeries hair, walk to Copeland's and do Liz's hair.
Liz is at the CC now and we get to talking about the Rosewood days..good memories!
We did do the new Easter dress thing etc.

Linda said by phone that she ALWAYS had a basket.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Ryen colors eggs for Easter on the deck, 1987

On Passover, greater than forty years ago, Old Trunks boiled eggs and dyed them for the oldest child. It would be the pattern during their early years.

The plan was for the mother to cook the eggs in the morning while the children were watching cartoons hoping each egg would survive the 'place eggs in cool water, bring to boil, cover, remove from heat and let stand 25 minutes'. The allotment per child was a dozen; any breakage cut down on their creativity.

By the time their favorite cartoons were over, the eggs were cool and ready for dying. There were two methods:

1. Buy the package which came with little colored tablets, an egg turner, and stickers


2. Make your own out of food coloring.

Both required vinegar. The tablet coloring fizzed in the vinegar and gave the brilliant colors, it was the choice at our house.

If the grown ups did any eggs, they generally made a pattern using a crayon on the egg before it was dipped. The children did it too, although it was common in the early years for them to press so hard the egg broke. Or, the egg rolled off the table and crushed on the floor.

They were encouraged to experiment with mixing colors. Mix red and blue to get purple, and mix red and yellow to make orange! As each egg was finished, it was time to share and admire. In thinking about it, I wonder just how many eggs turned out just like they expected and how many were accidental works of art.

Rachel would try using a crayon, try using the dipper to put gently put the egg into the bowl, and leave it in long enough to get a pastel color.

Bud simply dipped each egg into each and every color which resulted in ‘rock’ colored eggs which will really hard to find on an Easter egg hunt! His fingers were also rock colored.

Ryen liked to spin his eggs in the bowl. Later, we learned that more tablets or a smaller bowl, made the eggs a much deeper color. We also started coloring eggs outside on the deck because Easter in Kansas is a warm, springlike time!

After the eggs were dry, they were put back in the egg cartons. Their only purpose was to hide them the next morning. After the hiding and the gathering, which was done in a hurry, most of the shells were broken and the artistry of the day before was now just an image in the minds to think about as they journey back into their past.

We didn't dye Easter eggs when I was young. The only time I remember celebrated Easter with an egg was as a teenager. I was at my grandmother's house. She needed an egg for a pie she was making and I was allowed to blow the egg out; she would have the contents and I would have an empty shell. I blew til I was blue. The shell had a lipstick ring around the end of the oval. I WAS BLOWING THE WRONG END, grandma finished it.

A few years ago, I needed 30 blown shells for an appreciation luncheon. I felt dizzy just thinking about blowing one egg; how was I going to do thirty? My sweet Thomas used the Dremel tool with an engraving bit, made the two holes, the escape hole being larger and broke the yolk with a darning needle. It was just a little whiff of air that plopped the insides into the sink!

What is your take on coloring Easter eggs?

Friday, March 21, 2008


Pictured on this 1960 Prowlers picture are: L to R: Wayne Bjerken, Steve Embury, Gary Anderson, Don Ulferts, Elton Hornseth, Ron Solheim, Ron Hanson,( high point scorer @ 367), Bob Pearson, Darrel Nelson, Eddie Lietzow, Harvey Ebbighausen, and Dave Hauswirth. Kneeling are: Student manager Pete Prichard, Coach H Story, assistant coach J Mrkonich, and Student manager, Bob Benke.
Allen Field House on Naismith Avenue in Lawrence, KS

Old Trunks can not pass up an opportunity to cheer for the Jayhawks and to remember cheering for the Prowlers!

For those of us who attended Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls, we cheered our team on in this NEW IN 1940 gymnasium. In a 1940 newspaper, Old Trunks read:

January 1940
The quint will play Eveleth in the new gym which boasts a seating capacity of 1,700.

February 1, 1940
The paper states the basketball game tomorrow night with the Bemidji Lumberjacks, the only high school team to hit the Prowlers this year, should be grand in the new gym. The Prowlers will have to be up if they are to run off with a win.

March 28, 1940
Prowlers loose to Bemidji 25 to 23.

The Prowlers DID defeat Bemidji! According to the Prowler, "The Prowlers proceeded to whip the favored Bemidji team by a margin of 61-53 for regional honors! It was, for the citizen's of TRF, like winning a state championship!

Hurrah for the Prowlers!

Regarding KU....................

James Naismith was the Canadian physical education instructor who invented basketball in 1891. James Naismith was born in Almonte, Ontario and educated at McGill University and Presbyterian Cllege in Montreal. He was the physical education teacher at McGill University (1887 to 1890) and at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts (1890 to 1895). At Springfield College (which was then the Y.M.C.A. training school), James Naismith, under the direction of American phys-ed specialist Luther Halsey Gulick, invented the indoor sport of basketball.

The Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball program is the intercollegiate men's basketball program of the University of Kansas. The program is classified in the NCAA's Division I, and the team competes in the Big 12 Conference. Considered one of the best basketball programs in collegiate sports history, their first coach, was the inventor of the game, James Naismith.

You may have never heard of Danny and the Miracles. You may not know the intensity of the sport of basketball in Lawrence, KS. If you have ever been in Allen Field House as one of the 16, 300 fans when the Rock Chalk chant starts, you understand what it is like to be caught up in the magic of the game. On April 4, 1988, a Kansas Jayhawk Basketball team that had entered the NCAA Tournament unranked faced the powerful Oklahoma Sooners, a team that had twice beaten the Jayhawks during the regular season, for the National Championship. OU was picked to win by nearly everyone. But KU had Danny Manning and a stable of scrappy role players, and in one of the finest games in Final Four history, the Jayhawks won the National Championship 83-79.

Let's hope the late, great Wilt Chamberlain is smiling on the roster of Jayhawks in the March Madness of 2008!

Go Jayhawks!


The record of the state champion egg eater is a St. Cloud man, it was reported in 1865, after he ate three hardy meals that day, made a bet that he could consume six dozen raw eggs within the space of one hour. He is bet was called and he won in 20 minutes. He offered to raise the ante a dozen more eggs, but the astonished onlookers declined to call him for a second time!
Were not even going to talk about the diseases, bacteria, and viruses that may or may not come from eating raw eggs. Google raw eggs if you wish and watch young men vomit them up.
At least when Grandpa Benhard ate 35 raw eggs on a bet, he didn't urp them up. I wonder if he thought about the bacteria or the virus possibilities? As I sat on his knee as a young child and listened to him tell the story about the raw eggs, I looked him over and wondered if it was really true. The only thing I can tell you is that it was always 35 eggs and he always lost the bet.
Of the 69 billion eggs that are produced per year, Salmonella is only present in 2.3 million of those eggs. That translates to 1 out of every 30,000. Do you hear a blonde joke in this?
Check your list:
  • Hair styled?
  • Easter bonnet?
  • Hot cross buns?
  • Raw egg contest?
What else do we need?
  1. Color eggs on Saturday
  2. Easter bunny on Sunday

Anyone out there want to come and plow the new, wet snow off the drive?

Good Friday to all!


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter Bonnets Anyone?

In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it

You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade

Women had a hat hair back when my brother was a baby.

Perhaps women would have an Easter permanent wave. Perhaps they would go to Ruth’s Beauty Shop. Ruth had a special: you could have your hair specially treated with oil for dry hair, for those of you who had extremely fine hair you could have a tight, lasting curl. And then there was another one for oily hair. Any type solution to suit your own special needs the ad read, for the sum of $3.00. You could have just the end of your hair permed for $2.00. Phone 105, or write to Ruth’s Beauty Shop for an appointment. What do you think is ad meant when it’s said the shop was always open at any time?
What is your take on Easter bonnets? Do you remember your mother wearing hats? How about your grandmother's? Sift through your mental pictures and watch how the styles changed or, in the case of the sixties, disappeared.
We know that men didn't buy an Easter bonnet but they certainly wore hats. Old Trunks is sitting here with her hands in her lap, thinking about the hats my grandfather and my dad wore and how right both of them looked in a chapeau, a Stetson, a fedora, or a straw hat. They wore all of them over the years.
The mystery hat story began in the early fifties. Mother had gone to see her birth mother in the town of Downer, MN. I was my grand daughter's age and didn't know where Downer was; when I was there, it was just a long drive for an energetic, "HOW FAR IS IT, ARE WE THERE YET, I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM" sort of kid. But I didn't go this time.
When mother came home from her trip, she had several hats with her, one was a coral tam with a royal blue tassel and the other looked like a Robin Hood hat with a pheasant feather. There were six, these are the only two I remember. She told me she bought them in Downer.
Nearly fifty years had passed before I figured out where those hats really came from. One Sunday afternoon, Tom and I went for a ride. He wanted to show me where he had hunted water fowl. We drove through Downer; it is a dot in the road! But Downer is just 20+ miles from Fargo! She had bought the hats in Fargo during an era of time when the downtown area had upscale shops.
Just in out of the memories of my mind: It was the late fifties. Anita and I LOVED to go to S&L after confirmation class and try on hats! We had so much fun and when the clerk approached us, we would leave! Any one else try on hats at S&L?
Another hat story was in the early 60's. Mother insisted I wear a hat for my wedding. INSISTED. It would crush my hair which had 16 cans of hair spray on it, 49 bobby pins, and a new perm. No way I was going to wear a hat. BUT!!! Mother didn't loose. When the pictures were tinted, she had the photographer paint in a hat!
And it came to pass that the 'hat renegade' moved to Fargo and promised to love, honor, and wear a life jacket and a hat in the boat. A promise is a promise. You know from reading this blog that I am superstitious about some things. One of them is what I wear to fish, including the head covering. When my baseball cap with the bass on it was beyond wear, I switched to a broad brim and put good luck charms all over it! It is like I need a lady bug, a shamrock, a loon, and a hummingbird to catch that flippin' bass--OH YEAH!
Grandma can have her hat with the veil; mother can have her tassel and feathers but I get my lucky charms. That is my story and I am sticking to it!
Happy First Day of Spring!

Hot Cross Buns

Did you know Good Friday was the day for hot cross buns? They are the symbol of good will in England and they were sold from house to house on Good Friday. Why am I telling you this on a Thursday? Because it takes two days to make them.

Hot cross buns are typically eaten on Good Friday and during Lent.
Stories abound about the origins of the Hot Cross Bun. Yet, the common thread throughout is the symbolism of the "cross" of icing which adorns the bun itself. Some say that the origin of Hot Cross Buns dates back to the 12th century, when an Anglican monk was said to have placed the sign of the cross on the buns, to honor Good Friday, a Christian holiday also known as the Day of the Cross. Supposedly, this pastry was the only thing permitted to enter the mouths of the faithful on this holy day.

Other accounts talk of an English widow, who's son went off to sea. She vowed to bake him a bun every Good Friday. When he didn't return she continued to bake a hot cross bun for him each year and hung it in the bakery window in good faith that he would some day return to her. The English people kept the tradition for her even after she passed away.

Others say that Hot Cross Buns have pagan roots as part of spring festivals and that the monks simply added the cross to convert people to Christians. Even if this is the case, I think it was rather bright of the monks to be able to so readily tie existing traditions to Christianity!

Here is the recipe for those of you who wish to make them:

1 cup milk
2 Tbsp yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
4 eggs
5 cup flour
1 1/3 cup currants or raisins
1 egg white Glaze (you can use this one or your favorite)
1 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped lemon zest
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1-2 Tbsp milk

In a small saucepan, heat milk to very warm, but not hot (110°F if using a candy thermometer). Pour warm milk in a bowl and sprinkle yeast over. Mix to dissolve and let sit for 5 minutes.

Stirring constantly, add sugar, salt, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and eggs. Gradually mix in flour, dough will be wet and sticky. Continue kneading until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough "rest" for 30-45 minutes. Knead again until smooth and elastic, for about 3 more minutes. Add currants or raisins and knead until well mixed. At this point, dough will still be fairly wet and sticky. Shape dough in a ball, place in a buttered dish, cover with plastic wrap and let rise overnight in the refrigerator. Excess moisture will be absorbed by the morning.

Let dough sit at room temperature for about a half-hour. Line a large baking pan (or pans) with parchment paper (you could also lightly grease a baking pan, but parchment works better).

Divide dough into 24 equal pieces (in half, half again, etc., etc.). Shape each portion into a ball and place on baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 400° F. When buns have risen, take a sharp knife and cut a cross on the top.

Brush them with egg white and place in oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° F, then bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack. Whisk together glaze ingredients, and spoon over buns in a cross pattern. Serve warm

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


At age 10, most people have about 50 touch receptors per square 1/2 inch of skin. Think about that. A half an inch has 50 receptors. Someone with a calculator has to figure out just how many receptors my nearly 10 year old grand daughter has. No wonder kids can appear goosey.

At 50, we have about 10. Preliminary results show a 50 percent loss in touch acuity by age 70 or so. Well, I am not liking that at all. Perhaps I need to stretch my skin and have more!

Shame on me, it isn't a bit funny that people loose there sense of feel. My Sweet Thomas has Raynaud's. That affects his fingers; mostly his finger tips. He has lost much of the feeling. I could tell something was up when he started pulling my hair instead of stroking it.

Although our brains tell us 'old people' not to touch a hot pot, some of us never learn. We lick our fingers and touch the hot iron plate to see if it is warm enough to press that shirt. We pour coffee right out of the pot and think we can drink it. (Never do this at your soon to be parent's in law because you will swallow it rather than spit it out--manners-- DO NOT SPIT ON TABLE!) And when we go to restaurants and the waiter says, "Be careful the plate is hot", we touch it anyway.

And when we teach our grand children how to make a food dish, we say, "Until it feels right". This happened with Shirley and Kelsie while making potato Klub; it happened when my grandparents were teaching me how to make bread.

And at the end of the day, just how do those shoes feel? Do you buy your shoes at the end of the day and look for something that feels like a cradle?

Daddy didn't like to dress up. Of course not, it those days the shirts were sent to the laundry and starched so the sleeve was stuck together and one had to force their arm through it. His neck would be red from the starch. How fun is that.

What about the patterned flour sacks that Grandma made dresses and aprons out of? Where they itchy? How does wool make your skin feel? Are you one of many who feel comfort in flannel?

Do you buy clothes by feel? Is this why 20 and 30 year olds like pajama like bottoms and hoodies? How did you feel wearing organdy, can cans, and other scratchy garments because that was what was 'in'.

Our great grandmothers took an old coat, which may have been second hand and belonged to her husband, cut it down to fit her son and when the son wore it to worn, it was re cut to fit a child. By the time the wool was apparel for Greg, it was soft.

Before any of us can poo poo worn bib over alls worn by farmers, we need to feel how soft that fabric gets with numerous washings. We all know how stiff new jeans can be; apparently so do jean companies because the are offered stone washed.

Grandma had a few dresses hanging in her clothes closet. All of them were the same style. All of them were made by her. Mother had closets and drawers full of clothes when we cleaned out her house; many of them never worn probably because they didn't feel right. My children would cruise through the bolts of fabric feeling for something that felt good and didn't wrinkle, (they knew this because they crunched it in their hand).

Who picked/picks out your clothes? Why do you choose them? How do they feel after a day of wear?

If, like Mother, you had only one dress/outfit to wear to school and one for play, (in those days you changed clothes after school), what garments would you pick?
Get a hug from someone, it will use all sorts of receptors