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Bob Lind, Published January 18 2011

Lind: Langer’s legacy lives on

Bill Langer was “a character.”

So says Don Aird of Fenton, Mo., in the wake of other stories about North Dakota’s late governor and senator.

Don says his father told him Langer “had people stationed in every North Dakota town to tell him who people were so Bill could walk up and shake some person’s hand and address them by name.”

David Ringstad of Minnetonka, Minn., contributes two more Langer stories as told to him by his father, the Rev. Johannes Ringstad.

Johannes served both Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Northwood, N.D., and Zoar Lutheran, Hatton, N.D.

“He owned a 1941 Ford that was damaged in winter by deep ruts as he traveled between the two communities,” David writes.

“When auto production began after World War II, Dad appealed to Langer to pull strings for a new car.

“In 1946, a telegram arrived saying that Dad could pick up a new car in Bismarck. What he got was a yellow Ford coupe, not befitting for leading the hearse from church to cemetery or for five people in our family.

“Dad sold the car, kept the old car and waited until 1948 for a new Plymouth.”

The second story:

“In 1947,” David says, “Dad traveled to the Bronx, N.Y., for special meetings. He was paid with a check drawn on a Bronx bank.

“After that he extended his travel to Washington, D.C., to sightsee. (But) he ran out of cash and no one would cash a check from the Bronx or Northwood.

“He dropped by the Senate and had a page call Langer out of the chamber.

“Langer took Dad to the congressional bank, and the Bronx check was cashed.”

If you have more Langer stories (or stories about anyone/anything in the region), send them in to one of the addresses below. Phone calls are tough, because it’s too easy to misunderstand information. And Bill Langer isn’t here to bail Neighbors out of trouble.


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