Marilyn Hagerty: The tough times bring out the good people

Marilyn Hagerty

The weekend arrives with most everything listed on calendars for the weekend on hold. Or canceled.

And we cower in our homes – waiting and watching for signs of reprieve from the plague of coronavirus.

It seems at times like this, the best of people come to the surface. They do not cringe. They rise to the top. They help others.

One of them is Margo Bergene. She grew up in Grand Forks, but she now lives in Minneapolis. During the flood of 1997, she was back in Grand Forks. She came here to help out, she said because she grew up here.

When she came to my house during the flood, she loaned a hand at moving and fixing. At that time I gave her the name of “Margo the Hammer.”


These days she is sewing masks and sending them to people she knows in Grand Forks. On the one she sent to my house, there was a note saying she sews for love.

The mask is 100% cotton, so it can be washed and dried on hot to remove virus particles. And it is reversible. Margo says, “So you can add two patterns to your wardrobe.”

And of course right now, people don’t worry about their wardrobes.

On hold

If things were moving ahead according to the calendars, it would be a much different weekend. The Wacipi powwow had been scheduled at UND.

There may have been more weddings this April. But only eight licenses have been issued at the Grand Forks County office building which is closed to the public. The office is reachable by phone at 701-780-8251.

Need to eat

In spite of the coronavirus, there is the basic need to eat. Along with care taken at supermarkets, there are restaurants rising to the occasion. They are delivering food to homes. There are friends sharing freshly baked bread.

There is the long history of challenging life events all over – and here in the Red River Valley. It was the fall of 1918 when an influenza epidemic forced suspension of classes and a quarantine on the campus of UND.

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