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Bob Lind, Published September 17 2013

Neighbors: A follow-up to bank robbery that wasn't

Here’s a follow-up to the story of a bank robbery that wasn’t.

It was sent in early this year by Delbert “Del” Tysdal, who died in August at age 68. But, belatedly, here’s his story.

Some time ago, Neighbors told of the night in 1964 when Del and his then-fiancee, Darlene, looked mighty suspicious.

Del’s job then was collecting parking lot fees at the old Merchants National Bank in downtown Fargo.

One night when he, with Darlene looking on, attempted to drop the bag containing the parking fees into the bank’s night deposit box, the key Del used to open the box snapped off.

Del attempted to solve the problem by unscrewing some screws that held the box in place. And just then some police drove up.

A guilty-looking Del was in deep trouble until he had the police call his boss to verify he wasn’t a crook.

This summer, Del sent Neighbors another angle to this story.

That night, John Mauer, of Gwinner, N.D., and Sharon Nelson, of Cayuga, N.D., were in a car nearby, waiting for Del and Darlene.

The two couples planned to go rabbit hunting later on. So, John and Sharon had shotguns and shells in their car’s trunk.

If the police had known about that, Del wrote, “The four of us might be getting out of jail about now.”

Both of those couples eventually married. Del and Darlene lived in Glyndon, Minn., (Darlene still does) and John and Sharon live in Fargo.

Can’t fool a sharp kid

Now, an early Christmas story.

It comes from Lance Johnson, Dilworth, of Fargo Theatre organ playing fame, who writes that when he lived in Fergus Falls, Minn., his neighbor, Spence Swenson, always carried Chiclets gum in his breast pocket.

Spence had a routine each Christmas; he’d put on a Santa Claus outfit and visit neighborhood children.

Around 1950, Lance writes, Spence came to the Johnson house to visit Lance’s sister, Soni, who was 5.

“Santa” put Soni on his lap and asked her what she wanted for Christmas.

“Got any Chiclets?” she asked.

So much for the Santa disguise.

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