"Ode to the North "

With apologies to Longfellow, and acknowledgementto the Franssens.

Author Unknown (Written about 1938 ?)

This poem was found by Jamie Rustad Meagher amongst thehistorical files of Ruste Rustad.


In the old Red river Valley, (Seeessays on Carts, Floods,Ox Carts, Rebellion,Ox Cart Era)
Near the muddy, rusty, River
There's a town by the name of Humboldt
(HumboldtEssays)
Little town, quite far from St. Cloud
Up, far up into the Northland
Where the people are dirt farmers
Strong and handsome sidewalk farmers.
Farm one farm and then another
Farms the whole dam country 'round them
Rent the land by sections, even
When we farm only 100 acres.

Much the things they do there different
All use tractors 'stead of horses
Trucks and trailers 'stead of wagons
People there are great on motors,
All got cars and big machineries
Packards, Plymouths, Dodges Chevies
Buicks, Fords what got the shimmies
Deering, Farmalls, Allis Chalmers,
Bradley, Deere John, and Missus Harris
All own combines, lusty swathers,
But they don't have cultivators
Cause they don't grow corn way up there.

In the springtime comes the rainstorms
Rains and rains and comes the gumbo
Slippery, slimey, black and dirty
Charlsie scrapers and calls it cowshit
Cause its all so smooth and stickey
Trucks get stuck must be pulled out
By the fat man's caterpiller
Gumbo gets tracked in the houses
Housewives have to clean and scrub them
But they do these little labors
Think not much of little labors
Glad to live up in the Northland.

Up from St. Cloud comes the girlies
Stay to sport away vacation
With Aunt Pearl and Uncle Ollie
Tear around with neighbor laddies,
Goes to shows with Wimp and Gordy
Vamps around and goes to Bronson
Have themselves a plenty good time
Play the checkers and the ping-pong
Drink the root beer and eats the pop corn
Rides in trucks and on the combine
Drive Joe Diamond's "Master Chevie
And with his beloved, Jerry!

In the town there are the people
Leonard, Herband Lawrence Diamond

Big B'S-ers, them three fellows
Like to tease and tell big stories
All in fun does Ikey do it
Him the Cop - the Chief of Police
Him the Fire Sergeant also,
But not the Mayor, Him is Tom Brown.
Squirty little duck, the Mayor,
All for work and money getter.

Bumped his head on Bud's truck mirror
Wondered what the hell had happened
Looked around and pulled his whiskers
Bud and Donnie blowed a tire
Knocked the cap from Uncle Bud off
Blew the cigarette from his mouth out
Donnie Brown rolled over backwards
Laughed & laughed and rubbed his stomach
Him the kid that can fry 'burgers
Juicy, greasy, hot hamburgers
He displayed his art one winter
At Aunt Pearl's and Bud's Household

Also for Tom, works Sylvester
Fat and happy
Slim Sylvester
Went with teacher from
the "Hoc Schule"
Drives himself a pretty Chevie,
Scoots around with old "Shell" gas truck
Round town and in the country
Bringing gasses to the farmers
Much he teases little Mary
Also Pete and sassy Jerry

In the town is Mama Irving
Runs a store with Pappa Irving
(Him a fogie, her a fidget)
Handles stuff from food to hardware
Groceries, hair pins, combs and dust pans
Brooms and brushes, hankies, clothes pins
Diapers, buttons, shoes and stockings
Cough drops, meat and under clothing
Salt and sugar, ladies panties
Slips, brasiers, and even nectar
Hats and hardwear, candy, aprons,
From this stuff she makes her money.

Other store is owned by Florence(also see Essay on Florance Era)
Sells as much as Mrs. Irving
Employs more folks than Mrs. Irving
Works in store is Johnnie Easter
Maymie Jury and Ruth McEwen

Talking much and selling little
Back in store is the Post Office
Where they sell the stamps and postcards.

On the corner is the restaurant
Edith, Andy, own the eat shop,
Sell the beer, the pop and candy,
Make the lunches, fine and dandy!
Sell the gum, the coco cola,
Make good money buy the Packard.
Just before they own the V-8,
How you like for making profit?
Here they have a nicka-lodean ,
Play the records that are famous.
Much the people like these people,
They are nice and healthy people.

Cross the street is Humboldt garage,
Owned by Schantz, Bob and Ollie.
Sell car parts and fix the tractors,
Sell gasoline from pumps on the corner
Ollie sits and reads the stories,
Keeps the books and darns the stockings.
Bob he all the time is busy,
Fixing the kick-offs, motors, loaders.
Sells the spark-plugs and the gaskets.
Fixes horns, the pistons, tires
Makes the cash and builds a house
For himself and little Ollie.

Down the street is competition
called
Ben's Standard Service station
Run by
Benand Lottie Matthews.
Ben on Sunday wears the apron
Lottie knits and scarves embroiders
Crochets doilies, scarves and runners.
Sells them to the many tourists.
Those old timers had but two kids,
One was Annie, one was Lomas.
They are married, have their own kids
Lomas lives right next to parents
Has two boys named Deane and Dennis.

Next to Lomas lives a blowhole,
Big & Burly Billie Johnson.
Once had rheumatism badly
Now is healthy as a bed bug.
Little woman was a Diamond
Pretty, charming Amey Diamond,
Had the baby little Gary
Cute and fat the little Gary
No big blow-hole like his daddy,
Ride the walker, spill the groceries
Mama say "No, no dear Gary
Musn't eat the butter darling
Lets go over, see Aunt Marva.

Also in the town are preachers,
Two big women preachers, mind you.
Live alone in buff and white hut
Rent paid by the congregation.
Dog they got and Chevie also,
Go to Cass Lake on vacation
Leave the house alone with chickens
Do their preaching and their teaching
In the white church on the corner.
Keep a garden in the meantime
Raise themselves nice red tomatoes
to be swiped by naughty girlies.

Next in line comes Grandma Matthew
Lives in her nice little teepee.
Raises flowers in her garden
Up to snuff she keeps her household
Nice old lady, kind to neighbors.


This poem was found by Jamie (Rustad) Meagher in her father'spapers and first submitted to this website in 1999. For some unknown reason,it does not seem to have been linked into the site at that time and wasre-submitted to site by Mark Baldwin, 28 July 2001.

If anybody has any clues to the author of this poem, itwould be appreciated if you would kindly contact the website.mitted to site by Mark Baldwin, 28 July 2001.

If anybody has any clues to the author of this poem, itwould be appreciated if you would kindly contact the website.