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Bob Lind, Published February 26 2013

Lind: Car wouldn’t start in cold despite heat between ND couple

Neighbors wants to get this cold weather story in before winter ends (officially) in about three weeks.

It concerns a guy and a gal who got along fine, and a car that didn’t get along with subzero temps.

The story comes from F.C. “Chuck” Humphrey, of Pocatello, Idaho, formerly of Verona, N.D.

Chuck once had a 1954 Chevrolet that he says was famous for not starting when the temperature fell to 20 below.

He was a student at the North Dakota Agricultural College (now North Dakota State University), staying at the Farmers Union Co-op House and dating a girl Neighbors will just call Diane, from LaMoure, N.D., also an AC student living in the Ceres Hall dormitory. The two had dated in high school.

Well, on a cold winter night in 1963, Chuck took Diane to the ROTC Military Ball in what now is called the Bentson-Bunker Fieldhouse. Then, driving her back to her dorm, he stopped, shut off the car “for fear of carbon monoxide poisoning,” he says, and he and she began ... well, Neighbors surmises they did what guys and gals often do when alone: They discussed politics. Or something.

Well, it got late. (Politics can be pretty interesting.) Diane needed to beat the midnight curfew at her dorm, so Chuck attempted to start the car. But it wouldn’t go.

So they had no choice but to walk, he in his ROTC dress uniform, she all decked out in her fancy dress.

It was a five-block walk and it was cold, cold, cold. Both were nearly frozen, but they beat Diane’s curfew.

Well, both Chuck and Diane wound up marrying someone else.

But when Chuck saw a Neighbors story a while ago about a car that wouldn’t start, he decided to share his memory of his nonstarting car years ago.

He no doubt said then what folks still say this time of year: Bring on spring!

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