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Bob Lind, Published May 12 2012

Lind: Miscommunication didn’t stop couple from happy ending

This is a story of a time in the lives of a young couple when the lack of good communication facilities led to a major disappointment.

Harry Fuglie, of Ulen, Minn., and Lorraine Swenson, Lake Park, Minn., met at a basketball game in the 1940s, dated and became engaged.

But with World War II upon them, Harry joined the Navy and Lorraine got a job with the Internal Revenue Service in Fargo. Their wedding had to wait.

About a year after they were engaged, Lorraine received a telegram from Harry saying he’d be traveling through Fargo on the train, heading from the East Coast to an assignment on the West Coast. His train would be stopping in Fargo for 30 minutes. Could his fiancée be there so they spend a precious half-hour together?

You bet she could, and she excitedly arranged to leave work so she could do so, with the enthusiastic support of her


Fargo had two train stations then, but Harry’s telegram specified where his train would stop. So Lorraine zipped there.

And she waited. And waited. And waited.

But no train. And no Harry.

Change in plans

A disappointed Lorraine finally gave up and went to her apartment, where her landlady handed her another telegram from Harry.

It said the train’s route had been changed and Harry would be at the other station.

So Harry was at one station, Lorraine was at the other, and neither knew why the other didn’t show up.

It was some time before they were able to communicate and see each other again.

But this story has a happy ending. When the war ended, Harry and Lorraine were married April 12, 1947, at Cormorant (Minn.) Lutheran Church. And Lorraine can celebrate Mother’s Day today because she and Harry have four children: Ron Fuglie, West Fargo; LeAnn Grabow and Lynn Schram, both of Detroit Lakes, Minn.; and Lori Mayfield, Maple Grove, Minn.; eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

The Fuglies have lived in Lake Park for all 65 years of their married life: Harry managed the Community Co-op there for 45 years.

Their daughter, LeAnn, sent in this story, noting how modern technology, such as cellphones, would have allowed the couple to connect that day despite the change in plans.

But this story was 66 years ago and that, neighbors, was another era.

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