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Bob Lind, Published October 25 2010

Lind: Tracking down Detroit Lakes’ can recycling man

His name is Joey. Joey Bekkerus. And he is the answer to a question run through Neighbors a while ago about the name of the man who used to pedal his bike around Detroit Lakes, Minn., salvaging aluminum cans.

Several people have written that Joey was a well-known person around Detroit Lakes.

Mark Altenburg of Moorhead writes that Joey’s family used to own Detroit Mountain.

“Joey was a great guy with special needs,” Mark says. “My family ran a resort on the Strip (in Detroit Lakes) in the late 1990s and knew Joey very well.”

Mark’s brother Jeff ran Jeff’s Resort in the 1980s and the Beachfront until 1989. Both were at the west end of the Strip. They’ve since been torn down.

Lisa Kaldahl of Vergas, Minn., grew up next to Joey. He had mental challenges, she says, but “he rode his bike everywhere and was a fantastic skier.”

Joey now lives in an assisted living facility in Moorhead. And he’s still got fans who fondly remember him.

More on the Goose

Then there are the fans of the railroads of the past. Like Mark Moore of Moorhead.

Mark, 92, used to live in Waseca, Minn., which had two railroads running through it and where trains stopped to take on ice. The Galloping Goose was one of them.

“Many nights, I heard the trains going through town while I was in bed,” Mark says. And he loved their sound.

Gayle Ahlsten of Wheaton, Minn., has other railroad memories.

Her brother, Archie “Mac” McQuade, worked in the Great Northern roundhouse in Breckenridge, Minn., in the summer of 1944. That’s because his dad worked for the GN and the railroad hired three kids of GN employees each summer.

One of Archie’s jobs was to clean the floors of the Galloping Goose engine rooms. Usually, this meant cleaning up oil and dead bugs, primarily grasshoppers.

As an adult, Archie worked for the Rock Island Railroad for 35 years. He now lives in Sun City West, Ariz.

“It’s a real pleasure reading about the experiences of others who have worked and ridden on the Galloping Gooses,” his sister Gayle writes.

There will be more, Gayle.

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