In the morning we had a very nice talk with a man watering small trees because the year has been dry. He was interesting, about 60 I would say. I told Cathie he reminded me of her father and wondered if he was of Norwegian descent. She said she thought it was Dutch. He was sensitive. He thought there were too many chemicals being used by farmers. He mentioned that there used to be more pheasant, but now there are few fences (hedgerows) for the birds to live in. He said the little chicks would take sips of dew from leaves, but now there are chemicals mixed in. It’s not working out that well. That bit was a downer but he was a pleasure to talk to otherwise. After this chance encounter, we headed of for Casselton, ND in search of an ancestral home.
Note on the sign the word coteaus. Neither Cathie nor I had a clue what it meant so she looked it up.
1. A hilly upland including the divide between two valleys; a divide
2. The side of a valley
Travel and learn.
Farther on we passed the Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge and then had lunch in Verona, ND (pop, 85). The contrasts and variations on our travels continue to amaze me.
Cathie was in touch with her cousin Linda who lives in Oklahoma and seems to keep track of members of the now extended Schipper family. She put us in touch with John Grommesh, who is the son of Audrey (her sister), who are the daughters of Geraldine, Howard’s oldest sister. Got all that? We met John at the post office and he led us to the house. John is 60 but a generation after Cathie. I guess this is what happens when three generations have large families. He seemed like a great guy, and regretted that he could not have us out to his farm for dinner but pressing business in Fargo called.
I took a picture of Cathie in John in from of the house at 1111 1st Street. It was not in good repair and is probably for sale since there was a lock box on the side door. Nonetheless, we saw where Howard spent the first ten years of his life before moving to Santa Cruz, California.
After saying or goodbyes to John, we drove through Fargo and into Minnesota. Our place for tonight is the Lee Lake Campground near Hawley, MN, about 20 miles east of Fargo. Weather is overcast and windy, but rain is not expected. Our neighbors are a group of eight or so young folk (early 20s). Cathie thinks they are traveling around selling magazines. Go figure!