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Bob Lind, Published November 16 2010

Lind: Stories defy memory loss

Sure, aging can lead to memory loss. But not necessarily.

Talking of this recently made Neighbors think of Don Lindemann, Enderlin, N.D.

Don died in 2009 at age 88. But the year before, he called Neighbors up to talk about past days. And the man’s memory was phenomenal.

Off the top of his head, he rattled off names, dates and events from way back.

He talked of the 1930s when Enderlin was a Canadian Pacific Railroad division point, had a huge roundhouse and employed many people.

His father, a musician, had Don playing in his band when he was 12 and playing at dances when he was 15, violating child labor laws.

What really turned his crank was a 1936 murder/robbery case. Don remembered all the details.

It occurred at the Cub Service Station near Leonard, N.D.

The station was owned and operated by Henry and Shirley Biever.

One day a farmhand named Leo Cleveland, 22, walked into the station, shot Henry and Shirley, stole $5, poured gas around the station’s interior, set it on fire, and fled.

But he was apprehended the same day and confessed to the crime.

At his trial, Cleveland said he needed money so he could marry his girlfriend. He was found guilty and sent to prison for life, but his sentence was commuted in 1956 and he was released.

All this from Don, who at 87 was a walking chronicle of past events in the Enderlin-Leonard area.

Considerate engineer

Also, many people remember the Galloping Goose branch line trains, as readers of this column well know.

Barbara Burley, Oakes, N.D., writes that while her brother Idelle was attending college in Ellendale, N.D. “We had a winter and spring much like we had this past year. The road was under water, so there was no way he could get home.

“Dad talked to the engineer (of the Goose) and asked about letting him off at Straubville. But he said, ‘I’ll do one better. I’ll meet you at the crossroad south of Cogswell and he can get off there. On Monday I’ll be looking to pick him up again there.’

“Seems like too many of those acts of kindness have gone by the wayside,” Barbara notes.

But not the memories of the Goose.

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