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Bob Lind, Published August 24 2010

Lind: Bill Langer takes a stand

The stories about Bill Langer, North Dakota’s late governor and senator, seem to be endless.

Like the one about him speaking from atop a farm implement.

A Forum story about Langer that ran in June led several people to send in their memories of him.

This story comes from Samuel Kautz Jr. of New Leipzig, N.D.

Sam remembers the time Langer was to speak at a town meeting in Mott, N.D. But so many people showed up that the building couldn’t hold everyone, so the meeting was moved outside.

The governor needed something to stand on, so someone rolled a new manure spreader over from a nearby implement dealership.

Langer, a Republican, got up on the spreader, Sam says, and said, “This is the first time I ever stood on a Democratic platform.”

Note: In an effort to remain politically neutral, Neighbors will accept comebacks from Democrats.

Finding good water

Now, back to the so-called “good old days” of years ago.

Neighbors has carried many stories about them. Here’s one more.

Merril Reinhiller of Moorhead, grew up near Elgin, N.D., on a farm that had no running water, telephone or electricity until he was 11.

“We did have a soft-water spring in the pasture, and that was good water,” Merril writes. “Some neighbors would come and get some water from it for their batteries.”

Would you believe …

Then there’s this yarn about those rugged times from Mike Vandrovec of Fargo, who writes: “In my day, we couldn’t afford shoes, so we went barefoot.”

What did you do in the winter, Mike?

“We wrapped our feet with barbed wire for traction,” he says.

Note: Neighbors can’t believe any of its contributors would stretch the truth. But in this case … .


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