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Children arrive for SPA

Dear Shirley, This old house is really rocking. Annie is here from Bismarck, going to Summer Performing Arts for four weeks at South Middle School. The twins are here for two weeks from Colorado along with their brother, Curtis, and their mother....

Dear Shirley,

This old house is really rocking. Annie is here from Bismarck, going to Summer Performing Arts for four weeks at South Middle School. The twins are here for two weeks from Colorado along with their brother, Curtis, and their mother. The twins are in SPA for fourth-graders at Red River High School.

They arrived with bikes, cell phones with texting gadgets, computers and movies in their car. It's not like the olden days, Shirley, when we used to count telephone poles and read Burma Shave signs when we went on trips.

Like everyone says, Shirley, these kids are growing up too fast. Annie is the youngest of the Bismarck crew, and she is 13. The twins just finished fourth grade at the school in Merino, Colo. They are 10 already. Annaliese was telling me what you do if a bull charges you. You spread out your arms to make yourself look bigger. Or you get a stick and hit the bull on the head. I am not sure I could deal with a bull. But Annaliese once got in a ring of bulls without knowing it. I guess it was at the county fair in Sterling, Colo.

Mariah is more interested in fashion than bulls. When I went down to Fargo to meet them, Mariah was wearing a lavender dress and a soft, furry white hat she got at a rummage sale. She looked so sweet and demure.

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They traveled from the ranch in their Scion car that is Sioux green. We call it the Green Machine. There were three bikes on top and three kids with luggage for two weeks inside. And all the electronics. Annie came with a bike that had the front wheel off. When I met her in Fargo, we got the bike in the back seat of the car and the wheel in the trunk. Thank goodness she could put it together. I would have been of no help.

They have about 1,000 students involved in SPA classes and activities around here this summer. There are more than 400 in elementary groups. At South Middle School, there are 152 participating. And the High School SPA involved 185 students. There are 152 taking elementary and middle school instrumental lessons. And the Grand Cities Children's Choir has been holding auditions.

SPA is focusing on the 1950s this summer. People already are making reservations at (701) 746-2411 for three high school shows in July. They are "Bye Bye Birdie," "Girl Power" and "Damn Yankees."

What with SPA and all the park district programs, the youngsters haven't yet had time to sit around and feel bored. Elks Swimming Pool is open, but I think only the bravest are using it. This week has been on the chilly side, Shirley. Do the kids in Tucson hunker down for the summer? I suppose by now the exodus of people going north is complete.

Well, there is nothing so rare as a day in June in North Dakota. I look out the window and can fairly see the grass growing.

Love from your sister, Marilyn, smelling the lilacs now blooming in the Red River Valley of the North.

P.S.: I wish you were near enough to take some of the rhubarb now growing in my backyard!

Reach Hagerty at mhagerty@gfherald.com or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.

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