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Bob Lind, Published August 11 2013

Neighbors: Halstad’s Legion Recreation Center bears happy memories

Jack Fuller, West Fargo, asked (via Neighbors) for information about the Legion Recreation Center, usually referred to simply as the LRC, in Halstad, Minn., where he, then of Hope, N.D., and his buddies used to go to dances.

Leave it to Forum readers to provide the information.

One of them is Mildred “Millie” Busse, of Halstad. She is an LRC widow. (But don’t shed any tears over this. Read on.)

Millie sends in a clipping that reports the LRC has been completely restored.

The clipping from an unidentified publication says the LRC “was a famous dance spot and community gathering place for decades that once hosted such famous acts as Bobby Vee and Duke Ellington.”

“The LRC has a lot of happy memories for me,” Millie writes. “I remember when Tommy Dorsey played there. Members of his band would dance with the women. I was lucky enough to be chosen.”

The LRC was built by veterans returning home from World War II. “They had the foresight to see there was a need for it,” Millie says.

When she and her husband, one of those veterans, moved to Halstad in 1949, she says, “We wives called ourselves ‘LRC widows,’ because our husbands would go down there after work and work on building it.

“Today, though the City of Halstad owns it, the name remains the same. A display of local deceased veterans’ pictures is in the entrance hall.”

Bob Johnson, Fargo, and his wife, Leatrice, both grew up in Halstad.

Bob understands that the LRC was built on a site where a roller skating rink under a tent was located.

He says Clayton J. Hastad, Halstad, who headed an engineering firm, was instrumental in getting the LRC project started.

In the late 1970s or thereabouts, Bob says, Bardulf Ueland was in charge of lining up bands for the LRC. Bardulf had retired and moved to Halstad after teaching art at Agassiz Junior High School, Fargo.

Bob, incidentally, was with Straus Clothing in Fargo for many years.

So there’s some information about Halstad’s LRC, which is still going strong and is, according to the clipping Millie sent in, “one of the Valley’s premier community centers,” even if it was built at the expense of the LRC widows.

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