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Bob Lind, Published November 04 2013

Lind: Poem stirs memories of large families

Last summer, Neighbors carried a poem written by Ellie Radtke, 93, Fargo, that told of what it was like to be the youngest of 13 children.

That brought a couple of responses.

Janinne Paulson, Stanley, N.D., wrote that Ellie’s poem “was about the sweetest thing ever.”

There isn’t room to reprint that poem, but you can find it in The Forum’s July 15 archives.

Janinne, by the way, grew up in Page, N.D., where her parents, Wayne and Nadine Cole, 90 and 81, respectively, still live.

Janinne adds that Fargo is still the “center of the universe for me, even though I have not lived near there for 40 years.”

Number 14

Then Howard Langemo, 87, Valley City, N.D., wrote that Ellie’s poem “stirred many memories” because he was the youngest of 14 children in his family.

His parents were Halvor and Ida Langemo, who farmed near Fingal, N.D.

Howard wrote that he has two surviving siblings: Ruth Steen, Halstad, Minn., who played golf on her 90th birthday last summer, and Lillian Jacobson, 93, who is still active in her church in Valley City.

“My nearest claim to fame,” Howard says, “would be that I was included in (Forum writer) Teri Finneman’s series on ‘Eight Over Eighty,’?” which ran in 2010.

Howard adds one more thing. “To my knowledge,” he says, “there have been no studies made about Fourteenth Child Syndrome.”

Maybe someone will use that for a doctorate degree thesis, Howard.


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