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Bob Lind, Published October 27 2013

Neighbors: Can’t forget these talented entertainers

Cliff Hermes, who is retired and living in Wahpeton, N.D., writes that he “particularly enjoys articles about the old-time entertainers” from the region.

“Some of your readers will remember Hank and Thelma, Linda Lu, Charlie and Cedric and, I’m sure, the Texas Ranger,” Cliff writes.

Yes, those names have been brought up here several times. As Cliff suggests, you can’t forget talented entertainers.

One of them was George Barta, who had a band that provided music for people in the Walsh County, N.D., area for years; several have written in about him over the past weeks.

First of all, though, apologies to Fran Colby who, as retired director of instrumental music at Mayville (N.D.) State College, wrote in earlier about George’s children who attended MSC. In that column, Neighbors referred to Fran as a woman. He’s not. Sorry, Fran.

Also, Neighbors had been told one of George’s daughters was named Corrine. Actually, her name was Michelle, writes Merrie Ellen (Hewitt) Bergseth, of Park Rapids, Minn., who adds, “I lived next door to the talented Barta family for many years in Minto, N.D. So good to hear of their whereabouts,” as was reported in those earlier columns.

John Miller, director of the North Dakota State University Division of Fine Arts, writes that he taught with Dick Barta, one of George’s sons, at Eastern Illinois University in the late 1980s and the 1990s.

“Dick was a consummate clarinetist and one of the most organized and successful teachers I’ve ever worked with,” John writes. “He’s still quite active in the Charleston, Ill., community.”

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