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Valley News and Views
Drayton , North Dakota
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July 8, 2010     Valley News and Views
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July 8, 2010
 

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Page 2 July 8th, 2010 Valley News & Views Dakota Tales and Trails By Dr. Larrie Wanberg i There is an old Indian saying about parenting that the mother's role is to hold the child close with nurturing and the father's role is to take the child to the highest vista and show youth the world. Such a journey by two father-son teams on a holiday road trip started at the ND Museum of Art on July 1st and ended in a floury at UND in Grand Forks on the 6th. How often is it, in today's society of iTunes and iPads... with instant messaging and video adventures on demand ... that a tal114- year-old boy from the Bay area of California had such an adventure with his dad to the "Heart of Americana," complete with dusty historic trails across North Dakota and tales to be exchanged- in-motion at each crossroad along the journey. Massimo is his name. Joe is the father. The place is a vintage RV on its first road trip since renewal as a mobile "film studio" that travels to the actual site where oral stories of pioneers originate in heritage. Another father-son team in the RV were the "scout and guide" of the venture, wheeling across time and distance of crossroads in the northeast and north central sectors of ND's rural countryside. The co mpressed journey happened while in motion over the Fourth of July extended weekend. There is something about a road trip that bonds relationships dud connects with a sense of place and communityat each stop along the way. The goal was to keep it flexible and spontaneous in "happenings," with a destination in mind but like the old homesteaders, one does not "stake it out" until you arrive. In this way, the adventure seems more real...more authentic in experience.., and more lasting in memory. Imagine this. Driving through Spirit Lake Nation of Dakota Sioux, wandering into Cankdeska Cikana Community College (aka Little Hoop Community College) and meeting Russ McDonald, the Academic Dean - who was on vacation, at work and eager to tell the evolving story of the college. From meager beginnings, the setting is now a wonderful place for students to learn in an inspiring environment that interfaces Nature and Culture through modern picture windows. For me, having been a student of cultural research on this very spot forty years before, the moment was one of remembering the extreme poverty in the surroundings then, to now realizing the tribal dream of a cultural community for the next generation. Next stop was anchoring at the "Heart of America" - Rugby, the geographic center of North America - and visiting my "stomping grounds" from youth-hood in near-byTowner, the"Cattle Capital of North Dakota." Every step at every place that day seemed to bring back a story that I had to tell, which my son Lars memorialized with a photo of the moment for our family storybook and Joe recorded the stories in digital format. For Massimo who had just attended a theater camp, the adventure was the old fashioned parade with horses, wagons, antique tractors and real-life actors as cowboys, ranchers and farmers. The hometown rodeo in its 50th year went long into the evening. When it got dark about 10:30, they drove pickups close to the high fence and turned on the headlights so that the bull riders could finish the competition by midnight. For Joe, standing at the gravesite of Sondre Norheim, the "Father of Modern Skiing" - a homesteader from Telemark, Norway - at the historic Norway Lutheran Church south of Towner, he pondered pioneer life of a world-famous skier on the prairies during the 1880s when the 'Norway" congregation was started and the first church was built. On this site, he heard the story from Vera Rom Nelson, age 93, the spry, active curator of the well-preserved church and gravesite that is honored each year by a busload of Norwegian visitors at Host Fest in Minot. Then to the vista, "Mystic Horizon," where a scaled down "Stonehenge" celebrates the seasonal solstices when the sun aligns with slots in walls for a given day only. A large sundial stands to the side with "true" time marked against Roman numerals, with no adjustment for daylight savings. At the border to Canada, the floral world of the "International Peace Garden" was a one-of-a-kind reflective time, surrounded by radiant color, a palette of flowering aroma, and a seemingly vanishing point of architectural columns reaching into the sky in the distance. At the new interpretative center under construction, we "happened on" Doug Hovenor Superintendent, who gave us an exciting preview of the facility. On to Pembina Gorge, Walhalla and Icelandic State Park, Pembina County Museum, we encountered The Meltdown of the American Economy Part 4 of 24 by K.C. Gardner Last week we saw how politicians, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street lending institutions, and consumer debt helped propagate the meltdown of the American economy, 2007-2008. In January 2006 the first crack in the financial facade jerry-rigged by the federal government after the dot- com collapse appeared when the Ameriquest Mortgage Co. settled a case involving a investigation into "deceptive sub-prime practices" for $325 million. In April new Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said that there were "signs of softening" in the housing market. The median home sale prices leveled off and then began to fall, as did housing starts. In February 2007 new- home sales went down 20.1 percent, compared to February 2006. Sales of existing homes started to fall off. As the economyweakened, thelowmonthly"teaser" rates on mortgages were replaced by higher ones. Owners began to miss payments because either they could not refinance the mortgages they could no longer afford, or they could not find buyers for their homes. The foreclosure rate climbed; the a panorama of stepping in footsteps from visual and hands-on history of immigration and the culture of the area community. And finally, Drayton, where we visited a rehearsal of "Bound for Blessing," an up-coming community theater production based on Lauraine Snelling's novels of the fictitious "Blessing ND." Lauraine is a member of the Ox Cart Trails Historical Society, which was a sponsor of a presentation at the ND Museum ofArt (MOA) on July 1, along with the Northwood Pioneer Museum and the This Old Timer Has Retired to the Farm, But Used to Fill Steamboats On the Red River Elevators Continued From Page 1 More than just a memory as described above by Ervin Schumacher, in 1956, this unique elevator used to feed steamboats, and still stands to this day. It is the on'e with the flour mill he noted, that used to sit along the Red River. Joseph Morrison, J.D. Morrison's father purchased it way back when and moved it on to the family farm, which is now owned by Mary Beth Morrison. The elevator it remains there today, some of the machinery remaining with it (See Picture Below). Drayton Farmers Union Elevator Company burned to the ground. In addition to losing the elevator and its storage capacity, about 15,000 bushels of grain were lost in the fire. The loss of the Herrick elevator created an immediate need for additional storage space. The board of directors to decided to go ahead immediately with a 50,000 bushel storage annex to the old Andrews elevator. Work started May 21st, 1956 and the annex was announced completed on June 28th, 1956, slightly more than a month later. It's not clear when the board made the decision to go ahead with the new elevator, but work began on it as soon as the annex weas completed. Instead of building a 40,000 bushel structure the new design was warehouses in Drayton. Among the memories of the old pioneers, the days when Drayton had an Elevator and Flour mill on the banks of the Red River, still remain (See Picture Above). Few if any live in Drayton today that lived here then. After the town was connected to the growing rail system these structures were moved up to the railroads and many new ones were buildt. At one time there were five or more such elevators in Drayton not including the flour mill. Some were even powered by horses which walked around in a circle all day pullin on a mechanism that transmitted power to elevate the grain to the bins. Later the gasoline engine powered them. In atddition other elevators sprung up along the railway bout every six miles or so. For our community there were three at what is now Herric, formerly called Elora, four at Cahel, two or more at Pittsburg, several at Bowesmont, etc. Red River and had water transportation we had some kind of grain handling ........ i Not sure what this piece of equipment is, but it's in the old elevator picture above. If anyone recognizes it, please let us know and I'll explain it to the group. for a 60,000 bushel capacity structure. The new elevator had it's grand opening on November 9th, 1956. When you see how sturdily they were built, it's amazing how quickly the construction folks got a structure up and running. In the November 1, 1956 Drayton Leader, they had a full page announcing the grand opening of the new elevator. On the page, Ervin Schumacher wrote a brief history of elevators in the Drayton area. History of the elevator by Ervm Shcumacher November 1, 1956 Many years ago the prairies were dotted with grain elevators, like this one, even before we had railroads in the country which began to run through here in the 1880's. Because we were on the CommunHy First - mortgage-backed securities sank in value. In February 2008 AIG and other companies that had sold insurance to cover defaults on mortgages had to pay up and take write downs. In March 2008 the investment bank, Bear Stearns, which had become a major underwriter of the mortgage-backed securities, ran out of capital and was sold to J.P Morgan Chase. In April 2008 the second largest sub-prime lender, New Century Financial, filed for bankruptcy. On September 7, 2008, the federal government took control of the giant mortgage companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which held over $5,000,000,000,000,000 ($5 trillion) in mortgage-backed securities in order to prevent bankruptcies, since their market value had fallen over half. On September 15, 2008, the Lehman Brothers investment bank declared bankruptcy. Merrill Lynch accepted a buyout from Bank of America to avoid bankruptcy. On September 16, 2008, The Federal Reserve stepped in and rescued AIG with an $85,000,000,000 ($85 billion) secured loan. In return AIG gave the federal government 79.9 percent of the company. (The Fed used power granted to it during the Great Depression to make this maneuver.) Throughout September banks raised interest rates and reduced the number of their loans in response to their bad mortgages. The Federal Reserve set a target rate for banks that charge in overnight lending (the Fed funds rate) through its Federal Open Market Committee, but each bank set its own overnight lending rate. Inter-bank loans are necessary for some banks to cover the reserve cash requirement (a reserves-to- deposits ratio) of the Fed that a certain amount of cash be kept by each member bank on its premises or in a Federal Reserve District Bank. In April 2008 the Fed's target interest rate was two percent and continued at that rate, but on September 30, 2008, the actual market-set rate went to up seven percent and then fell to three percent. That meant that banks were keeping their cash and would charge a higher rate to let it go to other banks. This slowed borrowing by certain banks, and thus slowed their lending practices. UND "Community Connect" program. On the eve of July 6th, the foursome, who presented the "Art of Digital Storytelling" at the onset of the journey, returned from a weekend road trip with a collection of memories from historic places and a connection with faces of people who daily strive to preserve rural values and heritage. Massimo, the teenager, commented, "Wow, it's trippy!" and he sent a "tweet" to his friends. 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