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My Interview With

Frank Surface


Andrea Mackay


6th Grade 1998, Lancaster School, Lancaster,MN


Frank Surface was born at Northcote, Minnesota, in a sectionhouse in December of 1918. Because his father worked for the Soo Line,they lived in one of the section houses owned by the railroad.

When Frank was about 19, he started working for the railroad,just as his father and brothers had. His first job was working as a gandydancer. He worked at the job for about four years. The railroad food wasvery good, but the work was hard. For about the first three years, he livedin a bunk car and then moved into a boarding house in Noyes owned by Mrs.Leathers. He lived there with Mrs. Leathers and her son, San, for justa little over a year.

In October of 1941, Frank got his second draft from theU. S. Army. He was sworn into the army that October. Before serving hiscountry as a second lieutenant, he was required to have some training. It started in December of 1942 and ended in February of 1943. He was knownas a "90 day wonder." He was discharged from the service February20, 1946.

After World War II, Frank worked on the section for anothertwo years. He then went to work as a railroad agent, and had that positionuntil the passenger trains stopped running.

Frank and his wife, Grace, bought a Ma & Pa store calledthe Noyes Grocery. They made most of their money by selling candy, souvenirs,and Lee overalls. They owned the store for over ten years. After theysold the store to K. L. Keller, they went to work for him and worked therefor 19 years before retiring.

After Frank retired, he continued to live at the southend of Noyes. Because he enjoys the outdoors, he has always kept his yardlooking nice and his garden weeded.

Frank has lived in Noyes for many years. He has seen goodand bad times. Some of the bad times include the flood years of 1948, 1950,1979, 1996, and, of course, 1997.

Frank and Grace moved to Walhalla, North Dakota, in thefall of 1997. They have a nice apartment. Each apartment has its own designon the front which makes it look more like home.

Besides taking care of his yard, Frank likes to collectteddy bears. He put them all in the common room at Christmas time, andis now known as "the teddy bear man" because he has over 40 ofthem.

Even though they like their new home, Frank and Grace missliving in Noyes. They trains are one of the things they miss the most.

Frank has lived a truly inspiring 79 years. His life hasbeen very exciting. He has watched the world change in so many ways. Iadmire Frank and enjoyed doing this essay.

I got my information from an interview with Frank Surface.

t my information from an interview with Frank Surface.