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Bob Lind, Published August 03 2009

Lind: Grocery store Samaritan delivers

Neighbors was called recently by a woman in north Moorhead who doesn’t want her name published, but who wants everyone to know about Violet Lien.

The caller has a condition that gives her a low potassium level.

Her doctor told her to eat lots of bananas, a great source of potassium.

So she called Hornbacher’s grocery in Moorhead and asked if it would send some bananas to her by cab, since she was unable to get to the store.

It was Violet, a Hornbacher’s employee, who took the call. And it was Violet who said she, too, lived in north Moorhead, and would be glad to drop off the bananas on her way home from work, saving the woman the cab money.

And she did, going out of her way to do so.

The woman understandably is grateful. Violet, she says, is a very thoughtful woman. “I’ll never forget her,” she says.

And she probably won’t.

Back to the Goose

Now let’s dig into the mailbag for more stories about the branch line trains nicknamed the Galloping Goose. Or, for a change, the Harmonika.

Clem Petrick of Portland, N.D., writes that when he was growing up near Pisek, N.D., in the early 1950s, he often rode the Goose with his grandmother when she took it to see her doctor in Grand Forks.

“But people in town called it the ‘Harmonika,’ which is Czech for ‘accordion,’ ” Clem says, “because the sound of the horn sounded like an accordion.”

Maybe that train could be called the Galloping Harmonika.

Anyhow, Bill Weber of Fargo wonders about a Neighbors story from a retired railroader who wrote about his train being stalled in Lisbon, N.D., due to a “rotten boiler.”

“Few things could sound more destructive than that. But being completely unfamiliar with steam engines,” Bill writes, he wonders what a “rotten boiler” is.

Bill’s father, Art Weber, was a rural mail carrier out of Hankinson, N.D., for 42 years, back when the post office there got the mail from the Goose.

“I used to ride with him quite often,” Bill says, “but there were a couple of times of the year I couldn’t, when the baby chicks arrived, as the boxes filled all available space in the car, and when there were bees to be delivered. Dad hated them, as some would get out of the packing and fly around in the car, and he was concerned that I would get stung.

“I don’t think he enjoyed getting stung, either.”

Probably not, Bill. Probably not.


If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to 241-5487; or e-mail blind@forumcomm.com