Red Cross Letter

to

Alfred Rustad, Jr.

12 October 1944

Dear Alfred,

It's still two months from Christmas, here, but Old JackFrost and Old Man Winter have contrived to drop a few hints of the comingseason already. We are now having a spell of that famed "October brightblue weather," (which, incidentally, we believe was an exclusive Minnesotainvention), with days between blown in by a cold north wind that sweepsdown the streets like Old Man Winter himself. Always the old familiar signsof the fall season are at hand: St. Vincent held its annual fair; the ladiesof Humboldt are making pies and frying chickens for the fall church supper;one sees "brown wigwams of corn shocks," as one writer aptly putsit; storm windows are beginning to appear; Ikey Diamond is hauling woodand coal, and Rev. Wagner, who is as good a carpenter as you'll find anywhere,is making the open air front porch of the parsonage winter-tight by installingglass windows.

Duck hunting season is in full swing; the only thing thatstumps the hunters is, "Where are the ducks?" A goodly numberhave been reported seen "way out east in the swamps, but northeastof town where Johnny Easter and Bill Sylvester sat waiting for the fowlthe other day, all they spotted was a pelican, cavorting among the decoys,having the time of his life. Several deer spent the summer in the brushnear Levi Diamond's farm. They were so tame they pastured with the cattleand ate up most of "Tootsie's" garden. One morning on his wayto work, Cliff's Ford had a race with a doe and her fawn near Carl Gatheridge'sfarm, right on the highway. Who won, Cliff?

Harvest has been awfully late this year, thanks to theheavy rains right smack in the middle of the threshing season. In fact,some farmers are still combining tgheir wheat or flax, but the weather isfinally getting too cold even for the mosquitoes.

Every year brings its changes, of course - - even in Humboldt.Some of the population has moved to that great metropolis, Hallock, namely:"Bub" and Mrs. Reese, the Henry Gatheridges and Carl Wieses, and,oh yes, Ben Matthews and his "little woman." Mrs. Hilda Eastermoved this fall to St. Vincent, as did the Ted Meyer family. Ben and his"little 'ile' station" had become almost a permanent fixture intown, or so we thought; but Ben had an auction sale this summer at whichhe offered for sale sundry items including beds, tables, chairs, dishes,stoves and various other items too numerous (and too ancient) to mention.R. L. Kempf bought a highchair. Nope, no more boys - - this time it's forthe the grandchildren! (Overheard at the sale, "What are you goingto do with all that junk, Roy?") Meanwhile, Elmer Maxwell has takenover the filling station. Don Brown joins the ranks of armed forces October15, while wife Marian and kiddies sojourn at her home in Embarrass, Minnesota,for the duration. Jim Bell received his "Greetings" this monthtoo. Fidelis Tri Wolters' house looks poised ready to take flight at anymoment. It's been up on stilts for some time now, ready to be moved to Orleans.

Even though the population seems to have been decreasedby the above exodus, such is really not the case. The stork brought severalnew arrivals to these homes during the past year; to Walter Loers and theBilly Gatheridtges, boys, and to Wilbert Hemmes' and the Bob Schantzes,girls. The first girl in the Kempf family in half a century was born atEau Claire to Sgt. and Mrs. EmRal. The Leslie Reeses have a baby Louiseon the west coast. Lt. and Mrs. Warren Matthew also have a new girl. KalvinSylvester, honorably discharged from the army, is the dady of a 10 poundbaby boy. Boy!

George Finneys have moved into Vida Knowlton's house, swellingthe population by five. Eldon Turners, who now have the town milk route,have moved into the old Balderston cafe. Joe Diamond and his wife came backfrom San Diego this summer. Mrs. Diamond is home again after being veryill at the hospital for several months. And here's proof that the populationmust have picked up: Humboldt has three grade teachers again this year,Miss Sanner, Miss Swanson, and Miss Gunnarson, all from the Lake Bronson-Kennedydistrict. They board and room at Virgil Bockwitz'.

Now for news of the young fry. Fourteen kids are transportedto Hallock to high school by Garfield Easter in the big yaller bus. Greenfrosh are George and Donald Easter, Billy Easton, and Lucille Diamond. Bythe way, Mr. Tri is teaching math in Hallock this year, so the Humboldtkids feel right at home in that class. Kay Miller and Ruth Matthew are cadetnurses now, and expect to be placed in army base hospitals in December.Sarah Baldwin enrolls as a cadet nurse this month. Margaret James is atSt. Cloud T. C., Henrietta Tri at Moorhead training to be a teacher. DorisReese is employed at the Hallock AAA office. Alyce Easter is a medical technicianat Litchfield Hospital (she sticks needles into her victims!); Dennis Matthewsplans to be a telegraph operator and will train in Grand Forks. Jane MatthewHayes is teaching in Park Rapids; Margaret Knowlton Fuhrman is in Miamiwith husband Lt. Bill; Gwen Easter Vowles, back from California, is hereat home while Ens. Vowles trains in amphib. on the west coast. Dorothy Sylvesteris working in Washington state; Ann Marie Whalen (Merck) was employed inthe Noyes depot till very recently, and is now in Grand Forks. Einar Rustadcame back from his defense job in Washington to help his dad with the harvest.

At the present time Humboldt is without a cafe and creamstation. Mr. Patchin passed away this summer, and Mrs. Patchin moves outthis week. We sure miss a good coke n'coffee place - - treats from the "oldfleabit," Harry Clow, have noticeably fallen off. He's still the bestnewspaper Humboldt ever had, though. Mrs. Gill is keeping house up therenow.

After holding church services in the church hall for severalSundays, the redecoration in the church was finished and the furniture movedback in by October 1. Both the interior and exterior look mighty fresh andclean since Bill Sylvester wielded his brush. And, you should have seenthe women struggling with the sander as they cleaned and scraped the floortill they lost count of the sandpaper they cut for the darn machine. Theshiny floor credits their efforts, though.

Jack Bell was a war casualty of this past year. He waskilled when his plane was shot down in the South Pacific.

Swish! Bang-bang! Put-put-put-put! x**//x!blankety-blank- - "Hey Charlie, get off and give this crate a push, will ya?"Don't get excited - - it's only Bobby Miller on his new reconditioned (1930vintage) motorcycle. The vibration experienced by the rider when the thingspeeds up to 20 m.p.h. must be terrific.

Surprise marriage of the year: Ruth McEwen hopped a busto Oklahoma and married Sgt. Lloyd Moose of Donaldson. She is back at herjob in the Treasurer's office at Hallock, having survived such quips as,"So you got your moose out of season?" and "Sure you hada hunting license?" Vera Gatheridge was married at Hallock to DonaldLaude, and Luverne Stewart and Warren Swan tied the nuptial knot on theeast coast this summer. Marine Sgt. Robert Clow, who recently spent hisfurlough here, married a little southern gal from deep down in Carolina.

Latest aviation news: Paul and Nadine Torgeson flew infrom Minot in their private Piper Cub plane 'tother day. Humboldt will soonhave to build an airport to take care of present and post-war aviation !!

This n'that department: A move to provide an adequate fire-fightingunit for St. Vincent, Clow, and Hill townships has been made, and some equipmentpurchased. Fire trucks aren't available now, however - - - - Rev. Engelbretsonis still on the "mending list" after her long illness. She isslowly but surely gaining complete use of her left arm again - - - - JohnFink, recent depot agent here, moved to Manvil, North Dakota (did you knowthey had adopted a little boy?), and Warren Isley took over his job here.While Warren divides his time between the Humboldt and Noyes depots, wifeVelma takes over depot duties here. Incidentally, the depot was recentlycompletely redecorated, and the old iron pot-bellied stove that used toglow with a red-hot heat on those stormy winter nights is no more. A modernheater has replaced it - - - - Mrs. Hare fell while in Libby, Montana, andbroke her hip. She is at home again now, somewhat improved - - - - GrandmaMatthew has the best kept yard in town. Her summer flowers were numerousand beautiful, and this week she is having her comfortable home repainted- - - - In Shinnston, W.Va., Art and Esther Sylvester had a harrowing experiencewhen a tornado struck within three blocks of them this summer. They assistedwith the rescue work and clearing up the debris. Don Giffen, who was inan army camp near there at the time, had the pleasure of seeing his sergeantbeing disrespectfully picked off his feet and set down elsewhere - - - -Since bears are noted for their strong affinity for honey, Prof. Tri's beeshave come in for some meddling. A bear hunting expedition in the dark ofthe night composed of Don Brown, Quintin, "Jelly" Smith, Art Borneman,Tom Molley, and game warden Alfred Blid, promised to be a success untilArt suddenly gave out with a loud sneeze. That, along with the unquotableimprecations that followed, served to scare the bear away for that night.P.S. - How Art got away without a few rifle shots in him we'll never know.To quote D.B. "If ever I wanted to shoot anbody - - -!" Couldthe presence of the game warden have saved him?

In the absence of a Humboldt Chronicle, we hope this hashelped you catch up on the year's goings on in the old home town. We arehoping that wherever you are you will have your share of the usual Christmasfestivities and that all your mail will catch upo with you. We are hopingalso that the next Christmas will be happier for all, due partly to whatyou have done and the sacrifices you have made. We at home are followingall the various movements and you in particular - - we miss you everyone.

When you hear the Gospel story once again and think ofthat Inn where the Son of God could have been born, but it was too busy,too crowded, remember that people today can be lie that Inn. People canbe over busy with life, things can clutter up every minute and the bestof all can be crowded out. We'd like you to keep your head up, your eyeclear and make room in your heart for the highest and the best - - Jesusthe Son of God.

Sincerely,

Local Red Cross Chapter


Source: Alfred Rustad, Jr. Historical File, submitted byJamie Rustad Meagher

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Source: Alfred Rustad, Jr. Historical File, submitted byJamie Rustad Meagher