Bob Lind, Published July 14 2013
4-H reunion to reminisce
Chet Larson, formerly of Enderlin, N.D., and now of Fargo, got the reunion going by having Neighbors run this photo of a group from North Dakota who attended a 4-H Club congress in Chicago in 1952.
Chet said that anyone in that photo who showed up at the Village Inn, Fargo, one Wednesday last April would get pie and coffee; yes, the restaurant gives free pie (with another purchase) Wednesdays, but Chet said he’d cover the coffee.
Well, in addition to Chet, Joan (Johnson) Geiger and Orlan Lorass, both of Fargo, turned up, as did Al Siegle, a delegate from Montana who now lives in Pelican Rapids, Minn., where he was a coach, who isn’t in the photo.
Chet says the four found that riding the train to Chicago was a first for all of them “and was the most memorable part” of the trip. For the first time, the “kids,” as they were then, saw porters and slept in Pullman berths.
Other memorable experiences at the congress, they agreed, were attending “The Breakfast Club” radio program, the International Livestock Exposition and a dance at the Trianon Ballroom, plus the many 4-H awards banquets “with great food,” Chet says.
Orlan writes Neighbors that he lived in Edmore, N.D., at the time, and boarded the train – it was the Great Northern’s Empire Builder – in Lakota, N.D.
“I also remember lots of very nice meals,” Orlan says, “excellent entertain-ment and, since my club was the Highland Center Livestock Club, I particularly enjoyed the 4-H livestock judging at the International Livestock show.”
Orlan and Chet had not met before this trip, even though they lived less than 20 miles apart for 30 years and had similar interests. That was when Orlan served on the Lisbon (N.D.) School Board and Chet served on the Enderlin School Board.
Both also were in service clubs: Orlan in Kiwanis and Chet in the Lions.
After the congress, both enrolled in the agriculture short course at the North Dakota Agricultural College (now North Dakota State University). They both remembered having Bill Guy as an agriculture economics professor.
Guy, who later became North Dakota governor, and who died recently, “was a very good instructor and was very knowledgeable on the subject,” Chet says.
In connection with the photo, Don Nelson, Fargo, writes that the man on the far right in the back row is his father, Rudy Nelson, who was Traill County’s first county Extension agent. He later worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Pakistan, Afghanistan, St. Vincent and Turkey.
And there you have some connections generated by the photo Chet sent in.
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