Murdo Girl…Let’s have a parade

 The Coyote and Lone Wolf Parade 

Writing a ticket

The Parade Grand Marshall, (sniff) Deputy Sheriff, (sniff) and Lone Wolf candidate (sniff), Barney Fife


Barney Fife’s Campaign Slogan

This is Barney Fife. I’m running for President of these United States in the 2016 election. I’ll be the one, and might I add, the only one, on the Lone Wolf Party Ballot.(Pulls his pants up and sniffs.)

I was having coffee and donuts at Fern’s Cafe, and I got wind of the Parade old Murdo girl is planning. The idea is to knock old Barney out of the running. She’s on the tired old Coyote ticket. Well I’ll have you know that a parade can’t happen in Murdo without the law involved, and I represent the law. I’m what keeps this town safe from riff raff. Yup,(sniff), me and my trusty partner (pats his holster), (sniffs again).

Now here’s what’s gonna happen. You can say you heard it right here from Deputy Barney Fife. I was plannin to nip the whole idea in the bud, but (pulls his pants up and sniffs), two can play Murdo Girl’s old game. This Lone Wolf has out foxed the Coyote. Yesiree, you got it. I’m talking about that Hillary pantsuit wearing Murdo Girl.

Poor Hillary, She can wave all she wants, but she can’t be in the parade

Hillary 2


I searched through thousands of pictures, and this is the the only one I could find that resembles a photo of me in a Hillary pantsuit. One of the advantages of being Murdo Girl. I write the stories and I choose the pictures. (There are those that think it may come back to bite me if I make it to the reunion.) It’s not as old as it looks, It’s worn because I look at it a lot. Wait, Is that me? 


(Barney sniffs and continues) I’m gonna let the parade plannin keep marching on, with one liiittle bitty change. Old Barney here is going to be the Grand Marshall . Yesiree, that’s right. I’ll also be the voice on the megaphone announcing everything in that parade from the engine to the caboose. Thelma Lou and her friend Louise are plannin to be on hand to help organize things. Thelma Lou is my girlfriend and she’s a good organizer. Yup (pulls up pants and sniffs), Thelma Lou and Louise will be hittin town tomorrow.





I’m Murdo Girl and I can’t believe Deputy Barney Fife has hijacked our Parade plans. He’s bringing in Thelma Lou and Louise too, but even if you count his gun, that still only makes a team of 4. On the Coyote team, we’ve got Murdo Girl, the Queen, Yram Sicnarf, Lav Yekcel, Jerry Elrod, and we’ve also got “an Otis in the hole.“That’s right. When Barney locks up the Jones County Jail tonight, there’s going to be a little surprise for him. More on that later.



The Coyote Bystanders




The Lone Wolf Bystanders

Will Barney Fife stop complaining and start campaigning? Will Otis make the Jones County Jail his permanent residence? Will Thelma Lou and Louise make the Jones County Jail their permanent residence? Will they even make it to Murdo, or will they get confused by all the Wall Drug signs?

How will Barney separate the riff raff from the riff raff? Will Murdo Girl keep her campaign promise to relocate Wall Drug to Murdo and offer” Free Ice Water?”  Will the nickels start rolling into Murdo Girl’s Coffers, so Jerry will have something to count? Will Lav, come up with some effective campaign stunts? Then there’s the Queen…Hmm, Long Live the Queen!

Murdo Girl…The Platform is forming


This is Murdo Girl. Today, I’m meeting with the Queen and Yram Sicnarf, the crack up reporter from Gun Barrel City, Texas. We’re going to talk about ideas for my platform, and discuss some people to add to the team.


The Queen: The Donald talks incessantly about building a wall. I have an idea that will knock him into next year! (Murdo Girl wonders if the Queen is related to her Mother. She keeps talking.) Are you ready? As all of you know, I’ve been doing a significant amount of driving around. I keep seeing signs for Wall Drug…We can relocate Wall Drug to Murdo and  voila!! We have our Wall.

Murdo Girl: Good idea, but wouldn’t we have to change the name to Murdo Drug? Enlighten us here Queen. How would moving Wall Drug to Murdo keep criminals and other undesirables out of our town?

The Queen: Well, as far as changing the name…Heavens no! We’ll file a petition to keep the name Wall Drug. It will be in the courts for years anyway. I know all about Courts. Nothing will happen until your reign is over, so we won’t have to spend a dime. We’ll Keep Wall Drug while the case is pending approval by the Parliament. And..Are you ready? Having Wall Drug in Murdo will bring even more tourists to town. Some will be undesirable. Are you following me? Barney Fife will be so busy keeping the peace, he won’t have time to be a King.

Murdo Girl: Well look at you Queen..You’re not alldumb, but it’s President not King. Speaking of petitions, which we weren’t, how many signatures do you still need on our project to change the name on the water towers to Murdo Girl Towers? (In a previous discussion, it was determined to drop the word “water”.) Some of the Murdoites say our idea won’t hold water.

The Queen is waiting in line at the Jones County Court House to file the petition to change the name of Murdo’s water towers to “Murdo Girl Towers.” 

Murdo Girl: Yram! Wake up! How are you coming with putting a team together?

Yram: What!? Oh, first we should discuss the irritating little punk running against us. What party is he representing?

Murdo Girl: I don’t know, but he’s devious. He’s trying to create the illusion that I chase truck drivers over at Fern’s Cafe. He’s looking for scandals. Do either of you have a checkered past?

Yram Sicnarf…The Queen…The opponent

Will the Baaaaarn find skeletons in the closets? Will Yram convince the voters her pink dress was just a Halloween costume? Will Fern agree to a fundraiser? Will the Vet find worms, fleas, or tics while vetting Jerry Elrod and Eirelav Yeckel ?

Jerry Elrod………………………..Lav Yeckel

Jerry has a history of bundling then bungling campaign funds. That’s good right? He’s already asked the Murdoites to dig deep. (Way to the bottom of their couches.) We currently don’t have two nickels to rub together. Eirelav, Lav for short, is being vetted for the position of Publicity Stunt Coordinator. Some other guy has volunteered to be our Disinformation Officer, but we don’t know what that is and he wants money.

Oh Here’s to Murdo Coyotes. We’re bound to win.

Next: The Parade (Sure hope it doesn’t rain)

The Parade Committee

Murdo Girl….The girls are ready to rumble


This is Murdo Girl and I’m looking for Yram Sicnarf. She’s in town trying to line up a team of people to help me with my campaign. Yes… I’m hoping to be the first woman Coyote POTUS. I’m convinced we can make short work of the Donkeys and Elephants out there. I believe you’ve got to kick off any new campaign right in your own hometown. That’s what Senator John Thune did, and look how well he’s doing. He’s got a sign you know. My cousin told me I could get a banner at Staples. Murdo doesn’t have a store called Staples, so I went to Lee Beckwith’s store. He’s got staples, but no banners.


Campaigns are tough on people. Look what happened to these women, and they only ran for the water board. They’re going to help me with my petition to change the name on the water towers to Murdo Girl Towers. Kind of like Trump tower, only I’ll have two of them.

The truth is, I’m a few years older than John, so I’ve got to move a little faster. Frankly, I’m a little worried about Yram. She’s out of shape big-time. And Queenie? Let’s not go there.

I’m in this for the long run. Where’s the Brexit?

I’m just about to walk into Fern’s Cafe. I decided I was hungry for a good cheeseburger. I thought I’d also get the temperature of the potential voters. You know, put a few feelers out.



This is Pete Penticoff when he was a little bit younger. A handsome guy with a winning smile. I like that word “winning.”

I think I’ll sit over there by that skinny guy with the pinched face, seated at the counter. I think he’s a trucker.

Murdo Girl: Hi there. I noticed a big ol rig out there, and I reckon it must be your’n. (Ya gotta talk truck driver lingo when you’re trying to make friends with a trucker.)

Trucker guy has not yet made eye contact and continues to wolf down his coffee and a donut.

Murdo Girl: Well, Mr. rig driving trucker, have you ever heard of Murdo Girl?

Trucker: What’s a Murdo Girl?

Murdo Girl: You must not be from around these parts if’n you don’t know about Murdo Girl. She’s about to kick off a campaign. She’s running on the Coyote ticket for POTUS

Trucker gets up and leaves.

Murdo Girl: Hey Pete, do you know that trucker guy?

Pete: Do you mean that guy who just walked out without paying? Yeah I know him.

Murdo Girl: I didn’t mean to run him off… I guess this isn’t a real good time to ask you about having a campaign fund raiser for me here at Ferns?  We’re Just talking a few free donuts and cookies, and free coffee of course.

Pete leans on the counter with one elbow, chews on his toothpick a little, looks me straight in the eye, and says, “No.” Pete doesn’t talk much. At least the times I’ve been around him.

3-Loretta Gustafson's Life in Photos 032
Hi, I’m Billy. I like Pete. I like his son Mick too. Mick’s my friend. He’s going to help me campaign for my sister. Well, we have to see her platform first.

Murdo Girl: How much is a piece of chocolate cake Pete? A small one.  I can’t remember which of them, but Sherri Miller or Mom Banks aka Carol Callihan Fairbanks, told me she loves your chocolate cake. I’ve never had it, but it sure does look good. Is the coffee free? (Pete doesn’t comment. I decide I will come back around when Fern is here. Pete is Fern’s son.)

As I headed for my Willys Jeep, I noticed the big rig was gone, but the driver was still there. Eaten up with curiosity, I decided to go over to him and check it out. I asked him why he was still there, but his rig was gone?


Trucker Guy: I’m not a trucker guy Ms.Woman Coyote for President. I’m Barney Fife, and this here is my patrol car. I always get free donuts and coffee at Fern’s. I heard you were coming home to”kick off.” I was hoping that meant you had some fatal illness.

And another thing! If I ever see money change hands in a situation like that back there in Fern’s, you’ll be sitting out the election in the Jones County Jail! CAN YOU HEAR ME MURDO GIRL?

Murdo Girl: Funny, I hadn’t noticed the deputy uniform and the badge until just now!

Then I saw something that made my eye start to twitch.


Barney: “People around these parts are feeling the Baaaaarn!”

Murdo Girl: You don’t have a chance, Barney Fife, because you’re alldumb!

Meanwhile, back at the crow’s nest of the Harold Thune Auditorium, Yram Sicnarf is in a chair sound asleep.

Mr. Palmer is giving some kid a saxophone lesson. He looks over at Yram and shakes his head. The next lesson is on the drums…and possibly the cymbals. Poor thing, he thought. I might just agree to that parade. First I have to see what platform Murdo Girl stands on.

To be continued










Murdo Girl…Marching to the drum of a different beater


Yram Sicnarf, the crack up reporter from Gun Barrel City, TX, is back in town. She sure is a tenacious one. (Tenacious means she’s hard to run out-of-town.) Rumor has it she’s here to put a team together for Murdo Girl. There is no word yet as to what sort of team. As you all know, she can’t play basketball or ski, and she still swims with Pink Sandy’s “rope-can” tied around her waist. The word on the street? She’s on her way over to see Mr. Palmer. The music man himself. Let’s see if we can listen in.

Mr. Palmer and a small group of superior soloists. Those 5th grade bangs just won’t go away. Elaine and I were freshmen

Yram Sicnarf: (puffing), morning (pant) Mr. Palmer, mind if I fall…I mean sit down? Those stairs are wicked. I don’t see how all of your crows can make it up to this nest.

Mr. Palmer: Well if it isn’t Yram Sicnarf. You’re late. I thought I heard you come in. It took you fifteen minutes to get up the stairs. You’ll have to make this interview quick, I’m giving someone a saxophone lesson soon.

Yram: Actually Mr. Palmer, I’m in town on a very important mission. I’m putting a team together..for…Murdo Girl!!…

Mr. Palmer: What kind of team? If I remember correctly, she went through her Murdo High School sports career like a bottle of castor oil. The last time she played a saxophone solo, she got distracted by an item of her clothing. I felt sorry for Syd Iwan. He was playing the piano perfectly. He was beside himself trying to figure out what was wrong with her. It was almost as bad as the time Terri Iwan was playing a solo. Her knees were knocking together. They made so much noise, Syd started playing the accompanying music in double time. Come to think about it, I believe she got a superior plus.

Did Murdo Girl really expect people to believe her garter belt story?

Yram: I see what you mean Mr. Palmer, but no worries. She wears “Hillary”  pantsuits now. (Note to Terri. Do not take any calls from Mr. Thune regarding speaking at a coronation.)

May I continue? Are you aware of the grass-roots movement to get Murdo Girl to run for President?

I knew her when she was just Girl

(The sound of crickets. They seem to follow this crack up reporter everywhere.)

Mr. Palmer: Just how much grass does she have in her roots?

Yram: Um, let’s see… So far, just two cousins from out-of-town, but we feel you Mr. Palmer, can be a very integral part of her campaign. I was thinking “Marching Band.” That would be right up your alley.


Mr. Palmer: Not MY alley. I doubt many of the Murdoites would want her marching up their allies either. No thanks crack up, I’m busy that day.

Yram: You’re missing the “big” picture Mr. Palmer. We’re going to beat The Donald at his own game. We are petitioning to have the Murdo Water Tower renamed. It will be Murdo Girl water Tower. We’ll march your band past Murdo Girl water Tower.By the way can you play the saxophone in the parade? A Trump(et) just won’t send the right message.

Wait!! This is even better!! There are 2 towers now…MURDO GIRL water TOWERS. Eat your heart out Donald with your Trump Tower without an s.

I’m signing the Murdo Girl for Water Tower petition. 

Yram: You haven’t heard the thing that’s going to be the headline in the next edition of: 1-IMG_20160606_0004_2

Whuoh…The platform. Murdo Girl will have to come up with a platform for her race to the top. Will she have to stand on the very same miserable piece of wood she almost fell from during her now famous “Address to the Alumni” speech? Will she have to decide if she wants to be a Donkey or an Elephant? A Coyote..That’s it, she’ll be a Coyote!

Will Mr. Palmer agree to the marching band? Will he help Murdo Girl raise some campaign funds? Will he get off that stupid platform before he falls off?

To Be Continued

Murdo Girl…Just call me Florence

Most of you know by now that my husband Kip had some pretty serious back surgery eleven days ago. It has been a tough thing to go through. Four hours of surgery followed by all the aftercare including strenuous physical therapy. It’s enough to make any grown man cry. Any of you who have undergone a similar medical emergency can surely sympathize.

I’m so worn out. Those four hours in a freezing cold waiting room were the worst. The little volunteer got downright irritable when I asked for a 3rd blanket. She only had to walk a little ways to get me coffee. Isn’t that what she’s there for?

I asked her for a glass of water..she said I suppose you want ice in it.

The days and hours since have been so excruciating, I can barely remember any of it. I really hope I will be able to get out of the house some tomorrow. Everybody keeps telling me I must take care of myself. I’m sure I look really haggard. Having to take care of someone that can barely do anything for themselves is a selfless job, and sometimes, you don’t get the sympathy you deserve.

I really feel your pain Liz and Mary. Some days you look in the mirror and say, YIKES!

I don’t mean to be a complainer, I just need a few hundred people to understand what this has been like for me. Kip has been home from the hospital, four and a half hours, and he’s only taken one much needed nap. I could have used two.

We’re the ladies in the Church basement. We cook all the meals for the family when the WOMEN get sick. She lied to us, we caught her getting her nails done.

To top it off, my brother Billy had surgery too! He doesn’t live anywhere near me, but I still had to deal with it. He said a couple of days after surgery, he caught sight of himself in the mirror and thought, “This is me in ten years. At least right now, I’m going to get better.” I wanted to tell him that he wasn’t the only one seeing the future, his wife Liz was looking at him and seeing her future too. You never know how strong you are until you’ve had to go through what Liz and I have.

I put this little piece of equipment together all by myself. So what if the handle is on upside down. It’s not like he’s going to use it forever.

It reminds me of the story about the two elderly men sitting on a park bench when one turns to the other and says, “Otto, I’m 90 years old, and I’m just full of aches and pains. I know you’re about my age. How do you feel?”

Otto says, “I feel just like a newborn baby!”

“Really!? Like a newborn baby!?”

“Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants.”

We’re here to help. I’m with the Red Cross and the one in white with a platter on her head is a nurse.


Murdo Girl…Multitasking

I don’t know which would be worse

wearing a silly hat or carrying an empty purse.

yellow purse

I don’t know what I fear the most

speaking in public or seeing a ghost.


Now who’s laughing? Ha Ha and Ha


She was in public and she was speaking! HaHaHa

I would like to be like Muhammad Ali

 Just float like a butterfly and sing like an alto bee.

“She says she’s and alto and she wants to sing at our wedding. What are we going to do Marv?”

It’s been a long week and my brain is dead

I can’t find a story in this empty head.

See? There’s Grammy Murdo Girl. She’s brain dead

I need to clean my house today

wash the clothes and put them away.

(She didn’t age as well as we did Don? I know Ed, it makes me sad)


If there is no story for me to tell

then I guess I just as well..

Wash the dishes and make the bed

and make sure all the animals are fed

Mom: Come here, I have a secret. She’s going to feed you.
Gus: You’re just going to sit here all day aren’t you Murdo Girl?

vacuum dust and scrub the floor

Oh my gosh is there more?

The bathrooms need some cleaning

I’m still sitting here just day dreaming

I’m Billy. I don’t clean toilets, I just hold them

What would Murdo Girl do I ask?

Is she up to this mindless task?

If I sit awhile longer and meditate

maybe my slothiness will dissipate

Queen Rosie
Don’t worry, I’m here to help her clean her house and change her tires..I’m Queen Girl



Murdo Girl…Homecoming is different than coming home.

I won’t make you look at my outfit.

You often hear people say, “I have a fear of public speaking,” or “I have a phobia and break out in hives if I speak to a group.” Have you ever asked yourself how people know that? I am here to tell you, they either don’t know for sure, because they’ve never actually tried it, or they did what I did.

I am only telling you Murdo Girl readers this story, because I am a person who likes to help other people. I want you to know in advance what a humbling experience it can be if you do what I did.

In the fall of 1974 (I think), my mother-in-law and I had a little ladies sportswear shop where the old Buffalo Bar had been. I was living in Draper, SD. (This happened before I snagged the job at the Draper State Bank.) I had a baby, and life was busy, but good. I lived up to what Mom always told everyone. I was as happy as if I had good sense. I don’t see that as a bad thing anymore.


One day, I got a call from Mr. Harold Thune. This was before they named the auditorium (not including the floor) after him. It was also several years before “The Home of Senator John Thune” sign was erected.  Mr. Thune’s call was in regards to the upcoming homecoming events. He said he called to ask if I would be one of the alumni speakers.

Mr. Thune asked my Grandpa and he said no.

What I should have said was, “Let me think about it no.” Instead, I said I would be very honored. Big mistake. You see, I didn’t know I had a fear of public speaking. I had been a cheerleader. One of my very favorite classes was Mrs. Peter’s speech class. I didn’t have the sense to even be a little worried. I had a couple of weeks to prepare, so I basked in the honor of being a Murdo High School alumni speaker.

I put a few notes together, and ran it through my mind a couple of times. I picked out a new outfit from the store, and bought some new black flats. Now that I think about it, those shoes were Connie Jackson like, but the outfit sure wasn’t. It was blue and green and it had big chevron shapes that zigzagged every which way. It was polyester of course. Let me put it this way. You could not look at it for more than 10 minutes without feeling a little nauseated. I hadn’t thought it through.

The night arrived and off to the “no name yet” auditorium I went. When I arrived, I searched out Mr. Thune to greet him and let him know I was there. He smiled, handed me a program and showed me where I was on the agenda. Then.. he said the words that made one of my eyes start twitching.” Oh, by the way, we’re trying to get away from everyone getting up and just talking about where their old classmates are and what they’re doing.”

“What??” I thought. That was all I had prepared for. I had been to more than a few homecomings, and that’s all anyone ever did! I privately thought the change was a good idea, but why make a fresh start with me? I had made 3 or 4 phone calls and I knew what everyone in the highly revered class of 1970 was doing. All but one anyway, and I had a pretty good idea what he was up to.

It was too late for me to protest. I will do almost anything to avoid conflict anyway. I sat there with a spinning mind and a splitting headache and prayed for a miracle. “Please give me the words,” I said.

I was in the front row that night. It aged me 10 years

My time arrived much too quickly. I walked toward the area below the stage and in front of the bleachers. There were several rows of folding chairs lined up in front as well. Next, I saw something that caused my throat to constrict. There was a wooden platform for me to stand on. I remember thinking I had to stay conscious because if I passed out and fell off that thing, I could get seriously hurt.

I looked to my left at all the high school students sitting in those bleachers. I saw my cousin Greg Miller staring at me. To tell you the truth, that was the first time I had thought about Greg being in High School. He looked stricken. Of course he did. His cousin was standing down there on the wooden platform with an outfit on that was hard to look at, and one of her eyes was twitching.

I knew I couldn’t delay anymore, so I looked straight ahead, and took a deep breath. That’s when I noticed all the people in the front row looked very nervous. I could tell they had no idea what was going to happen, but they knew it couldn’t be anything good.

My feet started shaking. I looked down at my black Connie like shoes and they were a virtual blur. Of course, thanks to the creaking wooden box I was standing on, my feet were way too close to being eye level to those already traumatized people seated in the folding chairs. The ones in the very front row looked at my  shaking feet most of the time. I guess my outfit made them dizzy. The twitching eye probably wasn’t fun to look at either. They had no place to look.

I started by saying a few things about myself. I told them after high school, I had attended Black Hills State College. My plan was to become a Journalist. Unfortunately, I had walked in the front door, and went right out the back door.

With that bit of information revealed, I went on to tell about every single classmate I had graduated with and even threw in a few from a couple of other grades.

I would like to say that in the midst of all this, I recovered my composure, but that didn’t happen. I was twitching and shaking just as bad when I left my post as when I got there. Can you imagine shaking blue and green chevrons?

I want that outfit. Camilla says Mums-in-law should wear beige and stand in the corner

I knew I had to sit there for the coronation. I can honestly tell you, I have no memory of who the King and Queen were that night. I remember a few of the people who sat in the front row. (I bet they never did that again.) I’m not going to say who they were, but if any of you front row people read this, I just want to tell you how sorry I am for what I put you through.

We were all there. It was really hard to watch. 

When it was finally time to leave, guess who I ran into? My cousin Greg. He said, “I liked your challenge.” I stared at him with what must have been a dazed look. My eye was also still twitching. He went on. “You commented that your class played the Falcons on homecoming, and you beat them. You challenged our team to do the same.”

“Really? I really said that?” I was starting to come to. Now it was his turn to look confused.”We probably won’t though,” he said.” Our team isn’t very good.” We said our goodbyes and I found my way to the door and left.

We did the right thing. We didn’t go.

I had decided to skip the burning of the M and the snake dance. My eye finally stopped twitching, but I had the hiccups all the way home.

If I did say what Greg said I did, then the audience and the students probably didn’t appreciate it. It must have sounded like I was bragging on the 1970 team. I didn’t know anything about their team, but apparently, they were lousy. Maybe I saw something in the program that was now wadded up in my hand. That’s the only way I could have remembered the Falcons.

I’m going to ask Greg when I get to Murdo for the reunion if he remembers if I really said what he said I did. Don’t anybody worry, I won’t be giving any speeches. I only know what a couple of people from the class of 1970 are doing now anyway.

So Greg, tell me what I’ve been waiting all these years to hear, but only if you want to.

Murdo Girl…OMG! It’s the real Connie like

I loved all my fellow cheerleaders, but Connie Jackson was who I wanted to be like. I told you she was beautiful!


Some of you might be wondering how I became Murdo Girl… I too. Sorry, can’t help you. The answer might be that nobody else has claimed the name, and no one loves Murdo more than Murdo Girl!

My Uncle Charles Francis wrote and self-published a book about being raised above the train depot in Murdo. He left in his early 20’s to serve his country. After the war, he lived with his family in California, then New York. He chose to be buried in Murdo. Chuck’s wife, Barbara will be buried beside him someday in the far off future. My Dad, William Francis, Chuck and Dad’s parents, Constance Francis Bowers and John Francis, and Connie’s second husband William Bowers are buried there.

L. Vava Bowers, Chuck Francis, Bill Francis, Bob Bowers, Bev Bowers, Bev’s wife, my cousin Paul Francis, and Margarete Turner. In front of Mack’s Cafe during the 75th Jubilee.

Mom’s family including, Grandma and Grandpa Sanderson, Aunt Emily and Uncle Wayne Sanderson, Uncle Jeff Sanderson, and Vicki Lane Francis, the baby daughter of Loretta Francis Gustafson and William Francis, are all buried in the Murdo Cemetary. I believe Uncle Jerry Miller is buried in Murdo too, but I’m not 100% sure. I know I have left out someone very important, but I just want to establish my Murdo roots. Just about our whole Sanderson family was on hand to spread Mom’s ashes over Horse Creek, South of Murdo.

Our Horse Creek Experience…1) Billy, Gus and me, 2) Greg Miller and Jeff H. Sanderson, tearing down fences, 3) We had a good turnout 🙂 Greg arranged the whole thing, including the 4-wheel drive trucks to get us there. Jerry Miller gave a great talk about the history of Horse Creek.

Uncle Jerry with 2 styrofoam cups of Mom’s ashes. Hey, how did he get 2 cups? from left, Harvey Sheehan, Terry Sanderson, Jeff H. Sanderson, Greg Miller, and my son’s wife April



Murdo Girl hasn’t lived in Murdo for the past 46 years. The fact that she’s only 30 years old makes it seem impossible. Let’s not dwell too long on unimportant trivia.

I haven’t spent my whole life living in the past. I’ve had jobs, kids, and grandkids, while living in other places. I have friends who aren’t from Murdo. I’m married to a guy from Laramie, Wyoming, but he has no interest in becoming Laramie Guy.

I’m just having fun. I am Murdo Girl… Where did she come from?

I’m an old cowhand, from the Rio Grande
This was a Green Acres moment a couple of years ago when we lived in the country. Since then, I’ve stopped dying my hair grey.

I have written over 70 Murdo Girl stories, and it never fails that someone will read a story and send me a picture or two. It’s a real dilemma to get pictures that validate my stories after you have already read them. I lost my high school annuals in the war, so I hope you will enjoy or endure my nostalgia. I’m seeing some of these high school pictures for the first time since 1970.


I just hit the Jack(son) pot. Ed Jackson, a fellow 1970 graduate and star athlete, not to mention the homecoming King of the class of 1970, sent me stories and photos that will keep me going, almost forever, or until you all quit reading Murdo Girl.

The only “other” thing I want to do with this story is show you some more pictures.

1-IMG_0486-001This is Coach Applebee. I wish I’d had this photo of him for the interviews, because this is how I picture him. It was years before I knew he could stand up straight. Gotta love the “Coach Stance.” Maybe he’s trying not to put too much weight on the floor they named after him.

1-IMG_0495 (1)-001

You Go Murdo Girl. I was surprised to see this picture of me, #1 no less, standing right there beside Coach Haugland. If you read my story about my athletic career at Murdo High School, you will understand the humor. Looks like Mr. Haugland is thinking, “What is she doing?” In practice, he asked me why I was dribbling the ball over in the corner? He wanted to know if I planned to peel it and eat it. It’s okay, I recovered from the humiliation. Without this photo, I would not have remembered or believed that two of my best friends Marlene Rada and Karen Ferdig, played basketball that year. I probably didn’t want to remember. They might have been good players.

The funny thing, is when my kids were in sports, I forbade them to pick #1 for their jersey.


Eddie Jackson, Mary Francis, Vicki Esmay and Dick Bradley. I didn’t fail to notice that Eddie and Dick are both swooning over Vicki. I AM MURDO GIRL!! Sorry I know that’s rude. At least my bangs finally grew out.


Here we go. You can’t see me, but I’m standing in front of these guys who are obviously swooning over Murdo Girl. (It might have been something to do with a class play.) I think that’s  my cousin Mark in back there..looks like he’s choking. The guys in front are Dick Bradley, Ron Kinsley, Eddie Jackson, and Don Edwards. I can’t see the other guys in the back too clearly, but I think the one on the left is Dennis Chambliss. If I didn’t spell a name correctly, just remember I’m slisdexic. Everyone is sometimes.


 I hope you have enjoyed myself. (Myself had to be quick today.) Take care everyone!

Murdo Girl…An auditorium is nothing without a floor


We’re heading for Galveston tomorrow where we’re hoping to spend some fun time at Jamaica Beach RV. You might recall, that’s were I celebrated my “Welcome to Medicare,” birthday. The forecast is for rain, but I remain optimistic. I did a volunteer stint at the library this morning and cleaned and packed the RV this afternoon. Therefore, I did not write.

I’ve been having some silly fun with the Ha Ha Sisterhood the last couple of days, so I thought it might be a good night for a Murdo rerun. This is one of my favorite spoofs where Murdo Girl interviews Coach Applefloor… sorry, I mean Applebee. He was our coach all four years the MHS class of 70 reigned. I hope you enjoy the re-read.


This is Murdo Girl, and I’m in Murdo. You have probably all heard there has been a crack up reporter in town throwing my good name around like an overly inflated basketball. She describes me as being stunningly talented. Although she is paraphrasing, she pretty much hits the mark.

Word has gotten to Murdo Girl, that Yram Sicnarf has (to use a popular political term), “misspoken”. Please try not to judge her too harshly. It’s pretty obvious that Miss Sicnarf worships the ground Murdo Girl walks on.

Speaking of walking on the ground, I feel I must settle the score with Coach Applebee. Yram messed up her interview with him, and I am here to clear the air ball. I have enlisted the assistance of Miss Sicnarf’s photographic drawing person. So shall we make this unselfish gesture at halftime?


Wait! The buzzer is about to signal the end of the first half of one of the most critical basketball games in the history of Harold Thune Auditorium. Mr. Thune has a son with a sign, and he also has this very auditorium named after him. Let’s see if we can catch up with Coach Applebee.


Murdo Girl: Coach Applebee!!

Murdo Girl (whistleing) WIOWHIT! Then with an outreached microphone, she rushes toward Coach Applebee…

Coach Applebee turns slowly to face Murdo Girl, and in the process, rams his head into the outreached microphone. He glares, and his face is a rather deep red. (Murdo Girl wonders if the photographic drawing person has that particular shade of red in her pallet.)

Murdo Girl: Hello Coach.. sorry about the goose egg..I have come to give you the points you need to win this game.

Coach Applebee: (His head has an indentation the size of a microphone.) Have you looked at the scoreboard Murdo Girl? The opposing team stinks. We’re ahead by 20 and the other team has a very shallow bench. Come to think of it, you must relate to the term, “shallow.”

Murdo Girl: Oh, but Coach, I am as deep as the wood on this floor. The admittedly gleaming surface, is trampled on nightly. People walk all over it whenever they find the need to stroll around in the Harold Thune Auditorium. Tell me coach, do you have to pay for the upkeep of this massive surface that bares/bears your name?

Coach Applebee: Nice try MG. I’m one step on my floor ahead of you. Do you remember the class of 1970? They taught me a valuable lesson. I told them they had to cut their bangs so the unsightly hair didn’t fall below their eyebrows. I don’t require that anymore. I let them mop the floor with it.

There is a fine line between a lot of guts and no brains (Coach quote). We are brainiacs with nerves of steel (Eddie and Don quote)

Murdo Girl: (Imagine a bubble over her head as she recalls an interview she had with a #basketball..#star..#1970 classmate.) # means hashtag

“Let me explain our haircuts. Coach Applebee told us when we pulled our hair down over our forehead, it better be shorter than our eyebrows. Being a rebel class, we all got together and reported to the locker room with hair that was definitely too long. Once in the locker room we pulled down each other’s hair and cut only the bangs with the athletic tape scissors. I am surprised anyone outside of basketball knew what was going on. And yes, it did look like we used a knife. You will be happy to know we were able to practice because our bangs passed the test. We did not care that we looked like dorks.”

I’m Eddie Jackson, she hit me in the eye with her microphone

Murdo Girl:(She whispers into the mic, which makes a screeching noise.) Look Coach, I have always thought you deserved to have the court you ruled over for so many years named after you. I know all about courts. I’m tight with the Queen you know.

I am the namesake of an entire town. I do what I can to take care of it, but let’s face it, 488 people can do a lot of damage. I’m in your court Coach. Now that we’ve tied that up, I need to visit Mr. Palmer up in the Crow’s nest. Man, all those burned out light bulbs have got to be the cause of more than a few sour notes. Light bulbs are expensive. Thanks for your time coach, You’re the best! Now go out there and shove that team right off their shallow bench.

FYI…I played for the girls basketball team named after our Coach and Superintendent, Maury Haugland. We were Haugland’s Heroes. More about that later!