Marilyn Hagerty: UND games keep life interesting

Marilyn Hagerty

Dear Dave,

You are home free after the scare of Hurricane Dorian down there in Florida. I suppose it won’t be long before your winter people will be showing up. I know, I know. You say no one has ever frozen to death in Florida.

So far, September has been beautiful here. This week the first home games for volleyball are scheduled Thursday and Friday at the Betty Engelstad Arena.

The UND football team will have the weekend off. I think they really need it, Dave. They squeaked out a win by one point in the Potato Bowl game with Sam Houston State. I could hardly watch, Dave. I just stared at the time clock and wanted the game to end with UND on top.

The next game at the Alerus will be during UND homecoming on Oct. 5. It’s with University of California – Davis. For me, the sports at UND as well as the city and area schools keep life interesting during the long winter.


Some people dig a little deeper for athletic scholarships at UND. Many of the donors were gathered at the Chester Fritz for a reception Monday evening.

I never realized how many people contribute for scholarships. The reception was for the Champion Builders Club. And Paul Ralston led four students through a light-hearted interview. They were Hunter Pinke, football, Andrew Peski, hockey, Ashley Brueggeman, volleyball, and Mikayla Reinke, basketball.

Basketball fan

UND basketball players lost one of their best friends with the death of Audrey Burfening. She and her late husband, Russ, were devoted fans. Russ sat by himself up high. He wanted to study the games because he was a former referee. “Aud,” as friends called her, sat closer to the playing floor. She watched every move.

Anytime the referees made a call against the UND team, she would give them a “bah humbug” sign with her hands. She would stretch her arms out with thumbs pointed down.

Services are set for 10 a.m. today at Mendenhall Presbyterian Church in East Grand Forks. That’s where she grew up.

I guess you know she was the daughter of the late Whitey Larson – long-time operator of Whitey’s café. And she was full of good-natured stories about her dad.

For many of us, UND basketball won’t be quite the same without “Aud.” But we will carry on and let the refs know when they make poor decisions.



I know you play golf. And you are into photography. You and Kathy have a lively lifestyle down there in Florida. I really enjoyed it when we gathered friends together for cookies here in July.

How many grandchildren do you have here in Grand Forks?

Well, go ahead and spread out your welcome mat for winter travelers. Meanwhile, the rest of us will keep the home fires burning around Grand Forks. First, we will enjoy the fleeting days of September and relish pumpkin time in October.

Your friend, Marilyn savoring September in “the Forks.”

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at or 701-772-1055.

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