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Marilyn Hagerty: Big changes for two Grand Forks favorite sons

Luther Bjerke is leaving Beaver Creek. And Tom Brosseau got married.

This is only the first week of August. Who knows what will happen next?

So far, we know there is summer commencement at UND this afternoon. We know the fishers left a few catfish in the Red River last weekend.

But it will take a while to realize that Luther Bjerke and his wife, Joanna, are leaving Beaver Creek. That's where they settled in when they moved out of Grand Forks in 1980. They have been living on the place where his grandfather started farming when he came from Norway.

There will be three auction services working to sell everything the Bjerkes have on their place at 1349 135th Ave. N.E. That's 10 miles east and a mile and a half south of Hatton, N.D. They will begin at 10:03 a.m. on Tuesday. And once it's over, Luther and Joanna are moving into Hatton.

The ladies at Beaver Creek Lutheran Church already have started baking so there will be food at the sale.

At 87, Luther still is going strong. Claims he never had a pain in his life. When he says everything has to go, he means it. He knows he has to part with things. And they include the 1938 Ford V8—a two-door standard.

"Henry Ford knew what he was doing," he said the other day.

Fond memories remain. The days they raised their five children in Grand Forks. The days Luther toured the country with Norwegian humor. And Joanna owned and operated the Magic Lantern in Grand Forks.

Luther traveled around the country with his Wild Norwegian humor. He also was associate dean of the UND University College. And along with all of their belongings at Beaver Creek, the Bjerkes collected 17 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.


While Luther, the humorist looks back, a singer with roots in Grand Forks looks ahead. Tom Brosseau is returning to the musical scene in August with a new collection. It's called "Treasures Untold." It features six songs from the Great American Folksong book and four Brosseau originals.

Brosseau recently gained a life partner when he and Elizabeth Davenport were married recently in Salt Lake City.


Jeanette and Mike

Cheerful people of the week: Jeanette Lindquist and Mike Brown.

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.