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Bob Lind, Published January 10 2012

Lind: Tongue-twister of a spelling wins tickets

A Grand Forks radio station had a contest back in 1957: Call in with the correct spelling of the last name of the leader of the Six Fat Dutchmen musical group, and you’d get two free tickets for its appearance at Bachelors’ Grove, a nearby park and pavilion.

The correct answer was Harold Loffelmacher.

Doris Svaren, Niagara, N.D., who was in nurses’ training in Grand Forks, called in the spelling and won the tickets.

How did she know and remember that tongue-twisting name?

“I was writing to a serviceman in Germany whose last name was Heffelfinger, so long unusual names caught my eye,” Doris writes. Besides, she says, there was this clue, for anyone who was halfway observant: Posters for the dance included the leader’s full name at the bottom.

Now this retired nurse and great-grandmother is Doris Johnson of Grafton, N.D. No, she didn’t marry the serviceman she was writing. “He was a nice guy, though,” she says.

Doris wrote Neighbors because another writer had mentioned he liked the Dutchmen more than the popular Whoopee John group.

“I agree that the music (of the Dutchmen) was better for dancing than Whoopee John’s was,” Doris says.

On that upbeat note, Neighbors winds up today’s column.


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.