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North Dakota: Nodak Flickertails

September 06, 2017

North Dakota:  Nodak Flickertails

June−This was the second campout for the Nodak Flickertails June 20-23 at Grafton, ND. It was just as cool and rainy in June as it was in May, but we are hearty campers so we endured the weather and still looking forward to summer. Our thanks to the hosts for the June events. Myron DeMers arranged all of the tours and Donna Grunett, Betty Lebrun, and Judy Leier were scheduling the meals. Therefore, with the efforts of all our hosts, the time went off without a hitch. Eleven RVs were camped at the Leistikow Park Campground including a visiting couple from MN.

We arrived Tuesday evening because we had a Wednesday appointment for touring the Marvin Windows and Doors. The company was started in 1904 in Warroad, MN. Our tour guide was Dennis Borowicz of the Grafton Plant, which was built in 1998. It is a private, family-owned business. The plant has built windows for the White House in Washington, DC and other famous people. The company employs about 6,000, but only 350 is at the Grafton plant. They are the largest made-to-order window company. The facility was clean, employees work in an air-conditioned facility, and background music is always playing. Deliveries are scheduled by their own fleet of trucks. Marvin Windows and Doors distributes products to all 50 states, plus international markets. The tour was interesting.

Tuesday we had an appointment in the small town of Oakwood, ND bar for taco night. Myron said the food was economical, difficult to find seating, a fun place, and often attended by farm guys coming out of the field—we might even see a state congressman. He also said it was a very safe and quaint setting. You see, Grafton is Myron DeMers' hometown so he knows the establishment and the people very well.

Thursday was started with breakfast and another busy day ahead. Early in the afternoon, we were scheduled to caravan to Heritage Village. The first building we entered had hundreds of dolls—a collection donated by Ora Marie Stewart that began as doll dressing. She would buy cheap porcelain dolls, change their clothing, redo their face makeup, and make clothing for them. The dolls numbered in the hundreds and from every ethnicity and many countries that you can imagine. The building also housed a replica of the U. S. Capitol built and donated to Heritage Village by Henry French (Myron DeMers' uncle). There were coat of arms from different countries lining the wall, model tractors built by hand, and more artifacts that were interesting. This village gives you a glimpse of what a town looked like in the 1800s. The main street of Jugville depicts the old school; church; clinic with a medical dictionary that mentioned modern-day diseases, typhoid mortality, treating bedsores, etc.; grocery stores; a working merry-go-round; museum; printing shop; and much, much, more.

Still on Thursday, we ventured to the Rhubarb Festival and tour at the Historic Elmwood House in Grafton. It is a vintage home built in 1895—one of the first houses in Grafton. It had maid quarters; maid entrance to a summer kitchen; summer porch; upper deck; fancy bedrooms; and windows with exquisite, intricate, and ornate woodwork. The women served so many kinds/varieties of delicious desserts, we were stuffed. Club members Harlan and Pat Rustad visited us during the days. They brought fresh-picked strawberries and homemade flat bread with butter for snacks and breakfast Friday morning.

Thursday evening dinner was at Shenanigans Family Restaurant with a buffet meal or ordering from the menu. By the time the evening was over, we were exhausted. Just relaxing by the bonfire was so relaxing before retiring for the evening.

Friday morning after breakfast, we took group pictures and had the business meeting. President Myron DeMers called the meeting to order. Our visiting visitors had so much fun with us that they decided to join the Nodak Flickertails State Club. We are happy to welcome Sandi Vee and Marks Cummings to the club.

All of us had a great time!!

By Helen Evans