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Bob Lind, Published November 09 2012

Neighbors: George Barta was a big part of Walsh County music scene

Neighbors recently carried a story about the George Barta band of Lankin, N.D.

Now George’s niece, Joan (Barta) Michalski, formerly of Voss, N.D., in Walsh County, and now of Devils Lake, N.D., writes that, “Uncle George added to the music scene in Walsh County and other areas for many years. His starts included the Veseleyville band and the Barta Brothers band.

“Grandma Barta, his mother, was a Houdek

(Dusek) before her marriage; the Dusek name goes back to Prague.

“One of my first memories of Uncle George’s band was a Sousa recital by the brothers in Grandma’s living room.

“As a polka band, he played old-time music. A cousin, Matt Houdek, plays now.

“My favorite,” Joan says, “was his (George’s) big band music during my dancing years – what fun!

“A special memory is of his kids playing all-brass church music at a family reunion.

“All of his family played with him while growing up, and the girls sang. As adults, they both taught and played music and still do. The oldest, Don, lives in Gold Canyon, Ariz., and is still playing.

“The Walsh County music tradition is alive and well.”

Glad to hear it, Joan.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com