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Sunday, August 15, 2004
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The Gathering of the Berndt Clan at the old Berndt Farm

by Elaine Wold

On Sunday, August 8, ten of the cousins were able to gather at the old Berndt farm site, along with the matriarch of the clan, Lollie Berndt Grob, who was here from Mesa, Arizona. A number of other descendants were in attendance also, making about thirty in all.

Now for those not there, just imagine a number of tables in the shade on the south lawn of the farm site. A nice breeze is softly blowing away any mosquitoes along with our cares as we spend a wonderful time together. Look closer to the house and you will see several long tables of food piled high ... many delicious calorie-laden dishes! Close to the barn is a group of youngsters playing croquet, along with feeding grass to the ponies, and watching the antics of the guinea hens and the bantam roosters in the pastures.

Granddaughter Sandy Thiele and family are the present residents at the farm site. How nice to see the buildings and fences all in good paint and repair, grass mowed so neatly, and the pretty vegetable and flower garden flourishing. All is preserved with all the memories, when today so many of our old farm sites are razed and trees torn out. Thanks to Sandy and crew for hosting this event.

Art Mitzel brought a box of old photos for families to take, and many had cameras for the picture taking event that followed.

In closing, the invitation went out from Sandy to reserve the second Sunday in August in 2005 for another gathering of the clan, and we hope others will be able to make it then, also.

Cousins at the 2004 Berndt Reunion

Back: Tom Berndt, Don Anderson, Dwight Anderson, Art Mitzel, Delwood Berndt. Front: Debsy Vogt, Elaine Wold, DeLoris Anderson, Mavis Morgan, Sandy Thiele.

Andersons at the Berndt Reunion

Back: Don Anderson, Donna Johnson, Janie Anderson, Dwight Anderson, Tom Morgan. Front: Dorothy Anderson holding Jayce Chap, Becky Chap holding Caity, DeLoris Anderson, Elaine Wold, Mavis Morgan.

Caity & Sara Play Croquet With Great Grandpa Don Anderson

Berndt Reunion Day Fun
by Donna Johnson

Becky, Dave, Caity, Jayce and I made a trip to North Dakota on Sunday to join in the Berndt family reunion, my Dad's mother's family (Cleo Berndt Anderson). We had a delightful time. We appreciate cousin Sandy and her husband, Larry, hosting for us, once again!

Even the kids ended up having fun; they weren't too sure at first. (I can remember taking that initial "warm up" time myself, as a child.) Caity enjoyed her game of croquet with Great Grandpa and Sandy's two granddaughters, Sammy and Sara. (Brought back memories for me of the many times Dad would play croquet with us.)

Jayce and his sidekick, Tom's grandson Reese, really loved pulling grass, placing it in their "bucket" and feeding the two, very willing to comply, horses. That kept them entertained for quite some time. I was impressed with how good the horses were with the young boys. Caity commented that the horses were much braver with the "little boys" than they were with her and her new found friends, as they'd been feeding them first.

Jayce and Reese Feeding Their New Friend

On our way out, we had to stop and wait for the turkeys to cross the driveway. Both Caity and Jayce thought that was very interesting and wanted me to wait until they were into the woods before we took off for Wahpeton.

We made a short stop, visiting with Muriel and Meryl, and got a tour of her home (formerly our Grandma Cleo Anderson's home). It was fun to see how she has it decorated and yet recall memories from Grandma's time. Next we stopped by Melinda's to take a picture of her home. (She had an errand to run, so was not at home, but we did get to see her for a few minutes at Muriel's.)

Left: Turkeys Go Into Hiding; Right: Melinda's New House

by Shari Schweiger

Whew! We are glad to be past Hurricane Charley. It was an emotional two days for those of us on the Gulf Coast. First we watched the hurricane form, travel across Cuba and head for Florida. It was on a direct path for the Tampa Bay area, with the storm surge always hitting just south of the direct landing of the hurricane. That would have been exactly where we live, with a storm surge of anywhere from 8' to 17' of water. Yikes! We are only three houses in from Sarasota Bay, and as almost everyone here, are very close to sea level ... so that amount of water would have covered our home.

We were in a mandatory evacuation area, so we put everything in the house (a lot of people just put their lawn furniture in their pools) and disconnected all the electrical items. We took our computers with us, packed an overnight bag and headed inland to Jim and Kristi's. They are in Minnesota and Wisconsin for their summer vacation, but their friend Jeff was at their house.

Kelly took her boys (Nathan age 3 and Devan age 2) and crossed the state to Daytona Beach to Mike's Mom's house. They live in an area A, where the authorities shut off the power and water, so there is no choice but to leave.

And then ... the storm took a right hook and landed at Punta Gorda (near Ft. Myers), which is about 1 hour south of here ... so we were totally missed ... not even heavy rain ... The sun was shining by 7:30 p.m. And that is the nature of hurricanes ... With all the technology we have, they are still unpredictable ... and will make drastic turns at the last minute.

And poor Kelly ... when the hurricane took off so far south, it cut a path right through the middle of the state ... through Orlando ... and then to where??? You guessed it ... Daytona Beach. Luckily, it was just very heavy rain and strong winds by the time it got there. Kelly is on the way home with the boys right now, but a 3 hour trip is taking her about 6 hours so far ... and she is still a ways out...

Thank goodness, all is well. Our thoughts are sure with all the families that live in the middle of the state, with lots of devastation and loss of life. I am still trying to get in touch with Linda, a woman I work with. She, her husband, three children and 16 dogs (yes 16, she raises English Bulldogs) were in a mandatory evacuation area, and moved inland to her Mother's home at Bartow ... which is where some of the worst damage is... How ironic...

Sending Love,
Shari & Ray

by Brandon Hellevang

A week ago Wednesday, I did one of the more spontaneous things I've done in a while. Rachel Henderson called me up on Tuesday morning, wondering if I wanted to do something with her and Kim Johnson. We live something like four hours apart and don't see each other often, but she and I had talked quite a bit at Emo and I think she just wanted to keep in touch. We couldn't think of anything to do that would be between Fargo and the Twin Cities. The Internet boasted Alexandria's great antique shops, but we didn't jump on the invitation. I did end up finding a few things like an amusement park there and I had heard of the bike paths down there, so I figured we'd do this. Around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, the three of us all happened to be on line at the same time so, in confusing manner, we planned our day of fun with the cousins, firsts and seconds.

I ended up arriving at the Hardee's ten minutes early, before Rachel and Kim got there. They pulled in and drove right past me and over to the complete opposite side of the parking lot before coming around and finding me. We got out of our cars and talked for a few minutes, deciding to go rollerblading first. Well, that was the only easy thing to do all day.

Alexandria isn't a very big town, but when someone in the car gets their directions mixed up, it's hard to "go north on the main road, take a left, take a right" and find "a bike shop by a grocery store." Despite the confusion and condensed directions, 30 minutes later we found ourselves a bike shop and the bike path that runs in front of it. And off we went, three people, 24 wheels carving up the bike path. Some of us left a little of our tires on the road, and some of us left a little skin, or maybe after the second time there wasn't much skin to be left, Kim. Five miles in, we decided we weren't getting anywhere fast, so we turned around and went back. A fun and scenic route, nonetheless.

We again had difficulty finding our next destination, Casey's Amusement Park. Good directions must be scarce in Alexandria, because a person who worked at the park gave us directions that led us to nowhere even close, but did put us conveniently close to a group of people to ask directions from. But those directions had us heading out of town, maybe a sign we should have heeded. Eventually, after some deep thought, we asked ourselves: "If we were going to have an amusement park, where would we put it?" We found the park five minutes later. We played 18 holes of miniature golf and yours truly won, despite some tough competition with three holes-in-one by Kim and great consistency by Rachel. I guess good competition just helps motivate the best players.

In the afternoon we went to the mall for an hour or so, got some supper at Hardee's and went over to Don and Dorothy's to group together and go to meeting in one car. Meeting was good and afterwards we went out and were treated to Culver's shakes, malts, and burgers. When we got back to Don and Dorothy's, Kim and I got out our digital cameras, both new enough that we had taken probably 300 pictures between us of some pretty random things. Then, as the night tarried on, we got in some good conversation about some pretty deep stuff; but around 12:30 we figured 5:45 a.m. was going to come soon enough, so we hit the hay, or living room floor for me, and started our REM.

We got up and stumbled out the door after a great breakfast, compliments to the chef and General Mills, and off we went. Home by 8:00, I had time to use my mother's credit card, still in my possession, to top off the tank of my car.

The Seconds (cousins, that is): Brandon, Rachel, Kim

Ardis and Charlie Quick Celebrate 32 Years
by Ardis Quick

Aunt Dorothy - you asked me to share what exciting things Charlie and I did to celebrate our32nd wedding anniversary. I'd say it was more relaxing than exciting.

Last year, Charlie and I got an annual membership for the Guthrie Theater. The Theater is located at the Walker Art Center. (Outdoor artwork with a big spoon with a large red cherry in the spoon??) As part of the membership, different special presentations are offered, including tickets for the Guthrie Lab. The Lab is located north of the Dome in a renovated warehouse/ loft apartment/ jazzy area of Minneapolis.

We decided to eat dinner at a trendy little coffeehouse type restaurant several doors down from the Lab. Shortly after we were seated, we realized that the party of about 20 women seated behind us were trying to out talk each other so loudly we could barely hear each other. We suggested to the waiter the evening would be a lot more enjoyable if he could move the party to another area. Much to our surprise, the waiter led the group out about five minutes later. Needless to say we were impressed. (Of course at the same time, we realized the group was headed for the Comedy Club show that was about to start across the hall.) We were able to enjoy a very nice dinner before heading down the walk to the Lab.

This was our second visit to the Lab. After being to the lavish performances at the Guthrie, the Lab is a bit of culture shock. Take yourself back to the high school play, replace the school bleachers with slightly cushioned chairs that are linked together. Props are chairs, boxes and movable screens. The costume budget was forgotten as most of the clothes look like what you might find in your closet. Add a stage and you have the Guthrie Lab.

What the Lab brings to you is aspiring actors and actresses. We saw four short, energetic, and thought provoking plays. The performers were students who had been attending the Lab for 5 weeks, this being their performance in front of an audience. From one that ranks acting in front of a group right up there with jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, I found the performances very enjoyable. Even Charlie stayed awake during the entire production.

We marked 32 years of marriage with a quaint cultural experience, good food, and good company.

by Wyatt Johnson

It seems Jolene, Rylie, and I got the best of Lori, Chris, and Jessy for Weston's birthday. We whizzed right past the $50 steaks, left the barbequed meats in our dust, and went to Paradiso, Fargo's home of the free Mexican meal on your birthday.

Weston came to Fargo for the weekend to play in a softball tournament with my regular softball team. Since Saturday was the actual day of his birthday, we figured we'd go to Paradiso for supper. There was even some sentimental value to dining at Paradiso. When I was in college, while Weston and Jolene were both still in high school, my mom would occasionally come up to Fargo with Weston, Ben and Jolene, and Paradiso was almost always the supper of choice. I've eaten there somewhere near 50 times in my life, and I've had the ground beef chimichanga 45 of those times.

A side note, there's another Mexican restaurant in Fargo, Mexican Village, that also gives away a free meal on your birthday. Lately, for lunch, some friends from work take me to Mexican Village for my free birthday meal (usually NOT a chimichanga), then for supper, Jolene and I go to Paradiso with some friends (the wife of a guy I work with shares my birthday!). My only advice is not to hang around me the day after my birthday. Two huge Mexican meals in one day ... I've said too much.

Happy birthday, Weston; maybe by next year that little black book will have paid off and you'll get more birthday presents!!!


P.S. To Lori, Chris, and Jessy -- Ha ha! I only had to pay for something for Weston to drink for his birthday! (What a cheap big brother! The honor of my presence was enough.)

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Caity's New Friend: Midnight Black

Caity has tamed a kitten from the barn, the first tame outdoor cat we've had for a while. She's named her Midnight Black. Midnight seems to feel as fondly about Caity, as Caity does her. She enjoyed getting to be in the house during some of those hot days we had last week. We gave her some water and some cat food soaked enough to make it soft. Beaver treated her one little eye and she's looking very healthy now.

Travelogue t

Dad and other relatives at The Lookout

California, Here We Come! P

The Johnson Family Reunion, Day 3

By Kim Johnson

Thursday: Hmm...I don't think I did one thing on Thursday. A good portion of the gang did go up to "The Lookout." This place would be where a person tries to spot lightning strikes and such. I think it would be a pretty boring job until it gets too exciting. From what I heard it isn't just a little guy looking for lighting in a cardboard box. They actually have quite the stash of knobs and gizmos.

When they had enough of that place, they took off for the woods. The Johnson squad ended up at one of John's* jobs. He's a logger, so he had to show off his machines a little bit. It was pretty neat seeing pictures of what he does, it just made me thankful I don't have to do it! Their motto is "Alive at five." This would mean if everyone is alive at five, well then they had a pretty good day! John's dad was a logger at one point as well; that's why we had the lodge to stay at. He bought a piece of land to log off what he needed, and Oak Bar was just a perk that came with it.

The lodge is actually the only thing that is left of a quaint little town called "Oak Bar." The town burnt down when a forest fire came through the area quite a while ago. The lady that had this place built, way back when, was quite the lady, indeed! One fact about her is that she brought her 63 cats along on her honeymoon as they sailed out to Hawaii! I would say she was an odd duck, but others might categorize her as unique.

I don't have much else to add about Thursday, so I'll let this be it.

Editor's Note: John* refers to John Crawford, who is married to Rich's sister Sue.

Oak Bar Lodge came with the territory ...

The Matriarch Speaks W
by Dorothy (Dake) Anderson
Alexandria, MN

Lollie (Berndt) Grob

Lollie is the only living child of Gustav and Rose Berndt -- the original owners of the farm where the Berndts met for their reunion. After her parents were deceased, Lollie and her husband, Carl, became the owners of that farm. They raised their family there and in later years she and her husband moved to Mesa, Arizona, because of Carl's health problems. She is now a widow. She usually spends her summer in North Dakota on the home farm. We want to express our appreciation to her and to her family for hosting the Berndt family reunion. Here is a little more of the story of Great Aunt Lollie, youngest sister of Grandma Cleo, as told to readers of The Bulletin last year...

from The Bulletin #23 - Sunday, February 27, 2003

Aunt Lollie's Story

Carl and I were married June 27th, 1941. Carl was drafted into the army approximately 11 months later. He was in Louisiana a short time and went overseas in about three months. I never got to see him before he left.

I started working at the Twin Cities Arsenal at New Brighton, Minnesota. I lived with another friend whose husband also was gone to service. After about a year and a half, another friend and I decided to go to Seattle where Carl's aunt and uncle worked in a shipyard. We got jobs there putting up bulkheads in the ships. It was easy to find jobs then. It was cold working on the sheet metal in the winter, so we decided to go to California.

Ruby got a job at an army depot and I got a job with the East Bay Transit Company. I made out the application and found a job driving streetcars. It was a challenging job as I wasn't familiar with the streets. But after a little while I learned a lot of them. I really liked it and met many people. It was hard to find a place to rent so we had one room which was not heated but the landlady told us to turn on the light bulb, which wasn't much help. Later on we found an apartment. This was in Oakland, California. My company had the "A" train over the Bay Bridge to San Francisco. It was beautiful there and we liked it.

Carl came back in 1945. He had been gone a long time so he was anxious to go back to Minnesota and North Dakota, so we left California. (Ruby stayed there and got married and later returned to Minneapolis.) Carl loved farming, so that's what we did on my parents' farm. We were fortunate to save some money together and bought a brand new pickup (which was very hard to get).

Carl developed Multiple Sclerosis but kept working as hard as he could. With the help of the children and neighbors and me, we continued farming for several years. We moved from our farm to Arizona in 1969. I went into the real estate business, and Carl helped me as much as he could. I am still an agent. (If you are looking for a house with a beautiful view -- see me!)

Several things were different during the war years. Rationing was a must. Now it's almost unbelievable how our stores are so packed with everything at your fingertips. Jobs were plentiful then and it seemed everyone wanted to work. Everyone seemed to care about their neighbors and was ready to help in time of need and still had time to visit, even though we didn't have all the modern and time saving things we have now.

Love to you all from Aunt Lollie!

This and That
by Elaine Wold
Wahpeton, ND

Remember When?

"Remember when?" Those might have been the most often mentioned words at the gathering of the clan at the Berndt Reunion last Sunday.

As a child, the old house seemed so humongous, with all the Thanksgiving meals, the weddings and funerals, along with the numerous relatives and friends and neighbors that visited at the house. Looking at it now, finds it not as large as my childhood memories, yet it always had room for one more! The barn was full of cows and horses in those days. The windmill is gone, but the well remains where we pumped that tank full of water for Uncle Alton for a stick of gum!

We reminisced about when one of Irby's boys fell into the cows' watering hole in the river while Thanksgiving skating. And about how in the summer we often crossed that river to Grandma's big garden, where we got prickly fingers helping her pick the bushels of cucumbers for her pickles. A Compass cherry tree there offered some treats for our labors. Her little garden was nearer the house.

We missed the vine covered porch where we would swing in the hammock. I remember the summer shanty, where the cream separator and the washing machine were run by a gasoline engine, with its PUT PUT PUT PUT and the blue, gassy fumes that emitted from it.

I remember the back closet, where Grandma kept her purse, and each year we each got 25 cents for our birthday from her little black coin purse. How rich we were! And one year she forgot, and we started to cry as we got into our car to return home, so Mom had to go and remind her! The 25 cents was not much ... but a lot in those years.

We are most grateful for all the good things our hard working grandparents and family have left for us to enjoy today -- not in dollars and cents, but in family values, honesty, hard work ethics, loving and caring for one another and all the other good things in life.

Old Fashioned Politics
Contributed by Larry T. Dake

LeRoy Dake remembers when Grandpa Mellon was campaigning for election. He stopped by the farm with two musicians and their guitars and sang this campaign song --

"Down on the farm they all ask for Mellon
Down on the farm they all ask for Mellon
The birds and the bees, the flowers and the trees
And the horses -- ask for me!"

Alonzo Shaeffer Mellon (born 1873, died 1956) was elected Minnesota State Senator for two, two-year terms, 1935 and 1937. He was State Representative in 1940 and 1941.

Editor's Note: Alonzo was LeRoy's Grandpa (mine, too) and Larry's Great Grandpa. I guess this one gets by our no politics edict :-)

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Birthdays:

August 16---Jason Ouick
August 16---Darryl McNeill
August 16---Roddy McNeill
August 19---Chris Chap
August 19---Jordan Nicole Indermark (1 year old)

Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries:

August 15---Diana and Russ Martin (28 years)
August 15---Dorothy and Don Anderson (54 years)
August 16---Eric & Leona Anderson (1 year)
August 19---Vonnie and LeRoy Dake (56 years)


More August Birthdays:

August 7---Weston Johnson
August 7---Melanie Lehtola
August 11---Mitchell Miller

August 24---Becky Chap
August 26---Donna Richards
August 30---Jessica Myron
August 30---Ethan Horne (2 years old)
August 31---Devan Alexander Seaman (2 years old)

More August Anniversaries:

August 5---Mitzi and Sheldon Swenson (27 years)
August 5---Wes and Jo Anne Sigman (15 years)
August 28---Merna and Ken Hellevang (22 years)


Miss Hetty Says

Thanks to Donnie for reminding me that Eric & Leona Anderson are celebrating their first wedding anniversary on August 16th. And belated congratulations to Wes and Jo Anne Sigman who celebrated their 15th anniversary on August 5th.

Thanks also to Ardis Quick for the Anniversary Update and to Wyatt Johnson for the rest of the story about Weston Johnson's birthday celebration.

And thanks to Donna Johnson for all the photos of the Berndt Reunion and to Merna Hellevang for the name of Ryan Hellevang's new friend Jessica and a photo of them together on a boat ride. You all made my day!

Ryan Hellevang & Jessica

Lori Chap celebrates 2 years at Benfield

Keep Us Posted!

Please drop Miss Hetty a line and tell us who, and what, we've missed. And how about a report (photos welcome) of YOUR special celebration?

'Many Thankse

Miss Hetty


Thanks Aunty Dorothy for sharing a recent copy of The Bulletin. I would enjoy being added to your mailing list. As you might expect, I certainly enjoyed Doug's short story "The Danger Rangers" [Voyageurs!].

To the author: Doug. My memory of our trip down the St. Croix was paddling into a strong south wind, racing to reach our destination before nightfall. What you remember as -- drifting downstream like a leaf in a rain gutter -- I remember as hours of paddling for speed and endurance. Interesting! Thanks for sharing your good memories. Great story!

How we see the world depends on which seat we are sitting -- in the big canoe.

Happy Paddling,
Larry T. Dake

Thanks for another great Bulletin. I was thrilled to see the picture of Doug and Brianna's new house. It's darling.


It was interesting to read The Bulletin again... It keeps one up on the family news, both good and bad. I was so sorry to read about Becky's accident. We wish them a good recovery. Congrats to Doug on his new home ... And congrats also to Jerrianne for all the good photos and articles that she's in charge of.

Kimberly ... missed your article! Will be watching for it.

When I read about the pickle recipe, this thought came to my mind. After a meeting of our county historical society and we were having lunch, numerous ones mentioned how good the pickles were. The ladies in charge shared this with us and I have really enjoyed doing it myself.

--Drain a quart of dill pickles, slice them and quarter them. Add a cup and a half of sugar. Put in a bowl for a day or two, refrigerating and stirring often. Return to jar and keep refrigerated. So good and simple!

Thanks for the email card Miss Hetty sent on my birthday! Sorry it has taken me so long to write back -- I haven't had much time for e-mailing this week. My birthday weekend went pretty well. On Friday night after work I headed up to Wyatt and Jolene's house. Wyatt's softball team had a tournament in Grand Forks and was short players, so I went up and filled in at first base for the weekend. We ended up only playing one game on Saturday and one on Sunday, so we spent more time driving across the wheat fields of North Dakota than we spent actually playing softball, but it was still pretty fun.

On Saturday night, Wyatt, Jolene, Rylie and I went to Paradiso, a Mexican restaurant in Fargo that offers free birthday meals -- so I definitely got my money's worth! After returning from our game on Sunday, I headed to Ashby, where I stopped at the farm and my dad took me out for dinner. Another free meal! It's a good thing my birthday only comes once a year or I'd have to join a gym!

Thanks again for remembering me on my birthday. And thanks to Wyatt, Jolene and Rylie for your hospitality and to Dad and D for the birthday card and dinner!


Somehow, I got removed from The Bulletin mailing list. I'd love to be re-added. Even though I'm not blood family, I love you all like kin.

Nothing new happening. Enjoying the mostly cool summer. My "new" job is now 7 months old and going well. I was VERY lucky to get this position at this agency.

Hope you are well. I'll get to your neighborhood soon. It has been too long since I came to visit!!

Donna Richards

You are reinstated -- sorry as it was not removed on purpose! --The editors


While escorting Chessie, 4, to her grandmother, Sandra noticed Chessie was pulling at her tights. Sandra asked her what was wrong and Chessie replied, "My 'fanny-hose' are falling. I hate 'fanny-hose!'"

Ann has seven grandchildren. The two youngest live in Connecticut. Last spring their parents took them to Scottsdale, Arizona, to a theme park. Since they were so close, they rented a car and drove about three hours to the Grand Canyon. The boys would rather have been at the water park. When they finally got there, Mike, 7, said, "You mean we drove all this way just to see a hole in the ground?"

To search a name in Who's Who: use CONTROL F on a PC or COMMAND F on a Mac. To search for a second occurrence of the name, use CONTROL G on a PC or COMMAND G on a Mac. (This works on ANY web page with text, unless the text is converted to an image. Chances are, it works in your e-mail, too. I know it does in mine.) HINT: Search by first name only, as most entries list the family name once but do not repeat the last name for each family member.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. --Teddy Roosevelt

EDITOR'S POLICY: If you wish to subscribe to The Bulletin, simply send me a statement of that fact. If you wish to keep receiving it I hope you will contribute to one of the columns that are running in this family epistle (at least occasionally!). My e-mail address is

This Bulletin is copyright Dorothy M. Anderson; the contents are also copyrighted by the authors and photographers and used with their permission, and the contents are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the explicit consent of the creators.