It was in the middle of winter with the temperature minus 25 degrees and wind gusting between 20 and 25 mph. Bruce Smith, dean of the UND Odegard School of Aviation for the past 14 years, writes that he was sitting at his desk long ago wondering. Asking himself if this school could be as successful anywhere else. His conclusion: It couldn't. Thus, "Nowhere but North Dakota" became the title of his recently published book. In it, he describes events of the past 14 years while he has been at the helm of the school.
The days dwindle down. The calendar on the wall has only six days left until Christmas. Unless I get cracking, I will not get my annual letter off to Santa Claus at the North Pole. So here goes. Dear Santa, The people around Grand Forks have been mostly good this year. Would you please bring some Widman's Chippers to Lynne Roche and her crew from the park district who are welcoming people to Santa's Village this weekend? And could you bring apples and oranges to all the Lions Club members on hand every night for Christmas in Lincoln Park.
Dear Shirley, Mary and Joseph were seated by the manger in front of the church when the wise men and shepherds came down the center aisle. At our church, they were wearing tennis shoes under their robes. It didn't matter. We get the idea year after year about the big gathering in Bethlehem and the baby Jesus. In those days, they had no smartphones or cameras. I don't know how they handled all the pictures. But then, this is the season of wonder, Shirley. It's a blessed time that falls upon us. And here in Grand Forks, the milk of human kindness overflows and runs down the Belmont Road.
It's 600 feet long, 40 feet wide and 85 years old. And the few people who attended a public input meeting earlier this month in Grand Forks City Hall were told the Sorlie Memorial Bridge needs maintenance. (Not replacement.) Engineers are recommending a scaled-down project of concrete repair, crack sealing, rivet replacement and painting. And written comment will be accepted until Dec.19. The address is Box 1157, Bismarck, N.D. 58502.
When you have two or three grandchildren, it's usually a breeze to shower them with Christmas gifts. If you have 27 grandchildren and 47 great-grandchildren, it isn't all that easy. So Ralph and Delores "Dee" Stocker of East Grand Forks just keep family pictures and scrapbooks for their vast family. They are living now at Good Samaritan apartments where the walls are alive with pictures of the family. And on the kitchen table, there is a wooden Christmas tree painted green.
The Herdmans were the worst kids in the whole history of the world. And their story, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," is being told once again this weekend at Red River High School Theatre. And Central High is presenting "Snow Angel" this weekend. There is so much going on around the Forks this weekend that the squirrels in my backyard have gone into hiding. The UND women won their rivalry game with North Dakota State University in Fargo. They showed up pretty well against Minnesota Tuesday. And fans are following the men hoopsters down to Fargo for a game at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
Dear Shirley, We are surrounded by the jolly Christmas season here, but there is a somber feeling around the University of North Dakota. Out on the campus, the students are into finals. I suppose it is the same down there in Tucson around the University of Arizona. Winter graduation here is coming up Dec. 19. After that, almost 15,000 students will be hunkering down for the holidays here or taking off. I always worry about the roads and the certain feeling of security some students have.
They are serving lutefisk and lefse dinners now at North Side Cafe on Gateway Drive. It's that kind of a place. It has an extensive menu and is one of a few places around Grand Forks where lutefisk awaits this Christmas season. The traditional Norwegian lutefisk also is available at the Big Sioux Cafe off 32nd Avenue South, near Interstate 29. Some restaurants have shied away because of the rising cost of the lutefisk — really dried cod from Norway by way of the Olson supplier in Minneapolis.
Some things never change. In December 1889, there were problems with the costs of proposals for public institutions, including North Dakota’s colleges and universities. There also was concern over when...
Those people you met on the cruise. The friends you knew in college. The cousins who live in Topeka. They all come back on Christmas cards. And along with the shopping, the programs and the parties, most people take time out for the annual ritual of Christmas cards or holiday greetings. Without them, the season would seem rather shallow. So while the music of Christmas fills the air, many people find time to send out Christmas cards and letters.