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MARILYN HAGERTY: Ribs, bible camp and constant change

Dear Bernice Flanagan,

You were at a ribfest in the park up at Edinburg, N.D., when I tried to call Saturday. You had someone else tending your general store.

I didn't get a chance to call back because I was on my way to help judge the ribs and baked bean contest in the park at Reynolds, N.D. They have a great park, and it was full of people and their children having a good time.

So I am sending my weekly letter to you today — before summer gets away from us. I know you have been on the board of nearby Park River Lutheran Bible Camp. And some of children from Grand Forks are up there this week.

It's been a few years since I have visited your general store in Edinburg. I want to get back. I know you always say if a people can't find what they need in your store, they don't really need it.

You've been around the block a few dozen times since you weighed in between 2 and 3 pounds when you were born in 1937.

Lately, I have been re-reading your life story in your book, "On Golden Wings." It's an inspiration! Especially about your life with two sons after your husband, Jim, died in 1982. That was the end for you of life in Nash, N.D., where he was manager of the grain elevator.

At that time you said, "When God shuts a door, he opens a window."

Well, a visit to your store is a summer adventure. I have been fascinated by the trains and the bird room. And I love the flowers along your main street. Edinburg is the cleanest and neatest of all little cities.

The grass is greener than green here in Grand Forks, Bernice. My recent setback with an arthritic hip has given me a chance to sit back and read more. I especially like the part in your book when you reminisce:

"We didn't have electricity, plumbing, telephone or radio; but we always had the Grand Forks Herald. I have never in my life been without the Herald."

Well, we know there is nothing more constant than change, Bernice. I guess we have been around the block enough times to know that.

We wouldn't want to go back to the days when we didn't have radios. In towns like ours, we know each other. We want to know who got married, who died and what happened in court.

So I guess the newspaper will be around. We couldn't get along without the radio. But life is forever changing. We can't sit still.

One thing that never changes is the gentle art of letter writing.

With all best wishes.

Your friend, Marilyn hanging out on the west side of the Red River of the North and eating too many Mr. Goodbars.

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