Murdo Girl…That’s the way the ball bounces



My name is Yram Sicnarf. I’m an award-winning photo journalist out of Gun Barrel City, Texas. My reputation as a crack up reporter may have preceeded me. No doubt news has spread like wildfire. I alone was able to get exclusive interviews with Mrs. Peters, and Mr. Thune, (with an auditorium named after him and a son with a sign).

I’m back at the high school today in pursuit of a 3rd exclusive. This time with Coach Applebee. I’ve asked around and I don’t think anything, unless possibly a family member has been named after him. Nevertheless, it appears he is avoiding me. That is a very bad call.

This isn’t me. This woman’s hair is now a National Monument in Draper, SD

I think I see him. “Follow me cameraman. What do you mean you don’t have a camera?  Do you at least have a smart phone? How well can you draw?”

Coach Applebee

Yram: Coach Applebee!

Coach: I was told that after your “interviews” with my colleagues Mrs. Peters and Mr. Thune, (with an auditorium named after him and a son with a sign), you were barred from the premises.

Yram: Ah, you must have forgotten..Mrs. Sanderson is my Aunt, and she’s the boss of this place.

Coach: Well in that case, the ball is in your court Miss Sicnarf

Yram: What is your point Coach?

Coach: You mean two points don’t you? Plus you fouled me.

Yram: What kind of game are you playing Coach?

Coach: Basketball, and I’m ahead by three, now hit me with your best shot.

Yram: Actually, football is my favorite sport Coach.

Coach: Really? When you were a cheerleader, I heard you yell, “Pushem back, Pushem back, waay back.” We were on the one yard line ready to score.

Yram: There’s no point in trying to settle that score, besides, the stunningly talented Murdo Girl was a cheerleader, not me. I’m Yram Sicnarf, a crack up reporter out of Gun Barrel City, Texas. Our motto is, “We Shoot Straight.”

Coach: I thought we were talking football?  We didn’t score any points on that drive. They pushed us back. Waay back.

Yram: It sounds like you hold em a grudge.

Coach: Are you kidding? You said hold em..when we were trying to advance the ball.

Yram: I don’t foul o you.

Coach: Now we’re back to basketball? You are wearing me out! I think you dropped the ball Miss Sicnarf.

Yram: Is this how you treat Miss Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow? No wonder they haven’t named anything after you.

Coach: I thought that was Murdo Girl. Did she tell you I also taught her and her friends how to drive?

Yram: Yes. Your name comes up every time she has an accident. Her father mumbles it when he pays her ever-increasing insurance bill.

Coach: The door is that way Miss Sicnarf…FYI, Mr. Palmer has “band” you. Get it? “band” you.

Yram: We’re outside Coach, there is no door. I’ll make a “note” about Mr. Palmer, but this crack up interviewer doesn’t give up easily. I can sing that old song..I’m an Alto.

Watch it Coach. We are her friends from Murdo past. In fact, we are scheduled to be on a future episode of.. This is Your Life… Her cameraman drew our pictures.

It even rains on the Queen sometimes


Murdo Girl…True confessions

I have been bitten by the green-eyed monster…more than once. Maybe even more than two or three times. Jealousy sure can suck up a lot of energy.

You know how I have talked about wanting to be Connie like and copying other people’s hairstyles, clothes, and whatever else strikes my fancy? I don’t think that’s wrong. It’s more like a form of flattery unless you become a stalker or something. Well, I’ve stolen things, and I just have to tell about it. I can’t hide my obvious wrong doing anymore.

I’m her cousin Blake with my wife Melanie. We aren’t close to Mary, but we’re not surprised

The first time, I was only five. What made my actions so bad is that I tried to make a deal first. When that didn’t work, I just stole what I wanted.

I’m Joyce Cressy, she tried to steal my barrettes

Lois Lillabridge was my friend. Actually, I was born because Mom’s friend Marse wanted to have another baby, and she talked Mom into having one too. When you think about it, I already owed Lois my life, but then…I stole her shoes.

Me with Lois before the incident

She had ballerina flats with rhinestones. I had pink canvas shoes with white stitching on them. When Lois was moving to Gregory, I asked her if she would trade shoes with me and she said no. I tried hard to accept her answer. Eventually, I just took her shoes.

I’m her son Mason..I just read about it in the paper

I was not without remorse. One day I saw the moving truck in front of her house. All their stuff was being loaded up, so I knew the move was happening soon. I thought I should do something, but giving the ballerina flats back to their rightful owner was not an option.

I’m her cousin Valerie, she’s jealous of my teeth

I took my pink shoes and laid them on the sidewalk in front of Lois’s house. Then I waited…nothing happened. No call from Lois’s Mom. No being hauled in by the scruff of my neck by Mom…just nothingness. So, when was I going to wear the stolen goods? Never of course. I never could bring myself to wear the lifted shoes.

You’d think I would have learned my lesson.

The next fit of jealously also had to do with material things. Some friends from California came to Murdo and stayed at our house for several weeks. They were in Murdo dealing with some extended family issues.

Anyway, they brought their only child Paula with them. They had to stay longer than expected, so Paula needed a few more clothes to wear. Her Mother went to Lee Beckwith’s store and bought the same outfit in five different colors.

I’m her Granddaughter Skyler ..Have you smelled her gym suit?

I stared at those outfits and almost drooled over them. After seeing Paula’s clothes, I let it be known that I hated all of my clothes. It didn’t do any good. I didn’t live in a democracy. I had no voice in my house. Ask and you shall receive, was a pipe dream.

I’m her friend Pat. Personally, I think she’s nuts

As I grew older, the objects of my envy changed. I was jealous of my friends and cousins who had brother’s and sisters to play with. They had built in playmates. I suffered through more than a few long Sunday afternoons. Most kids couldn’t play outside the home because Sunday was “family” day. I got to sit around doing nothing while my parents ate a huge Sunday dinner, then read the newspaper from end to end. Since my brother was in California, I had all the downsides of being an only child with none of the benefits. There was a sibling, which meant my parents were occasionally distracted by him and some of their resources had his name on them too.

I’m her son-in-law Scott. She thinks I’m Coach Applebee in disguise

I had learned not to express my discontent to Mom because she always said the same thing. “Everyone has their cross to bear or bare.” (I looked online and no one knows which spelling is correct.)  It took years for me to understand what that meant. Now I think of that phrase almost daily. Everyone has problems. They say if you took a group of people, threw all of their problems in the middle and let them choose someone else’s woes, everyone would keep their own. I think there is truth to that.

I can honestly say, I haven’t been jealous of anyone or anything in years. I’ve been able to curb my thievery and everything. If people start missing things, they don’t always look at me funny anymore. I’ve been rehabilitated. I’m not always as grateful as I should be, but I am sincerely happy when good things happen to other people. I also feel true empathy when someone has a heavy cross to bear or bare. I am fortunate to have some great people in my life who have helped me tote my crosses around.

I’m Mrs. Sandy. I was her 1st grade teacher. We had some things disappear but we could never prove anything


Yes, I’m a changed person. You do believe me right??

I’m her Granddaughter Charlie. I drive the getaway truck
Sorry Charlie..We’re her Aunts and we drive the getaway truck

She’s not in this lineup..What’s a lineup?..Why are we in a line?

Be careful…She has several disguises

Do you like my hat? She stole it from Camilla for me. I like to wear it sideways

Murdo Girl…Yram Sicnarf…cont.


This is your man on the street reporter with another report. You remember me…I’m Yram Sicnarf. I have been given another assignment to interview a Murdo High School faculty member. His name is Harold Thune with a bunch of other stuff.

Mr. Harold Thune with an auditorium named after him and a son with a sign.


Yram: Good morning Harold. May I call you Mr. Thune?

Yram Sicnarf before she became award winning..well, except for the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow pin

Mr. Thune: Mr. Thune is my father’s name, and also my brother’s name. In addition, I have four sons who are Mr. Thunes. I am the only Thune however, with the distinction of having an auditorium named after him. I also have a son with a sign. That’s how most people tell us apart. Now what was your question?

Yram: Okey dokey. I’m here on an assignment to interview you. I am an award-winning reporter, from Gun Barrel City, Texas. Our slogan is, “We Shoot Straight.”

Mr. Thune: I’m not quite sure how to answer that question.

Yram: What question?

Mr. Thune: So now you want me to ask the questions?

Yram: You’re trying to confuse me aren’t you Mr. Thune. I know all about your wily ways. Does the name Murdo Girl mean anything to you?

Mr. Thune: Catchy name, but I don’t believe I know her.

Yram: Can we please take a look back to an Algebra class say in,  66-67? The Murdo Girl I’m speaking of is stunningly talented. She apparently regards you very highly Mr. Thune. She said you were an excellent Algebra teacher. Fortunately, she took Physical Education from you as well.

Mr. Thune: Fortunately?

Yram: Let me explain. Murdo Girl has had no use for Algebra, but thanks to your expertise in Physical Education training, she is still able to walk and lift heavy objects. Have all your students been so successful?

Mr. Thune: Let’s dial this back a little. Are you telling me this Murdo Girl has never had to solve for X?  I think I know who you’re talking about. Her mother flunked Algebra right? Of course that was way before my time. I’m fairly certain Murdo Girl took two years of Algebra. She should be able to solve for X  AND Y.

Yram: Well, to be perfectly honest Mr. Thune with an auditorium named after him and a son with a sign, Murdo Girl hasn’t solved a problem in years, and FYI, her Mother did not fail Algebra. Algebra failed her.

Mr. Thune: I will say, having  Murdo Girl in PE class was certainly unforgettable.

Yram: (smiling), Really?

Mr. Thune: I don’t believe she ever did wash her gym suit. Four years is a long time.

Yram: I’m writing

Mr. Thune: Well Miss Sicnarf, I would really like to say this has been fun…but I can’t.

Yram: You can’t what? Oh, never mind. Can you tell me where I can find Coach Applebee?

Mr. Thune: No..because I’m going to help him hide.


Signs, auditoriums, Where am I? I need help. I have a sticker, do I need a sign?
Murdo Elementary School 1937 (All Grades)

Murdo Girl…Don’t trade kids, ever

His name is Philip Olson, he is 9 years old and I intensely dislike him.

This is Philip…I don’t remember when this photo was taken or why…When I ran across it while looking through old pictures, it reminded me of the story that follows

We have some friends who live in Rapid City. The Dad has a plumbing business. I guess since my Dad does too, that’s how we met them. The Olson’s have four kids, Philip is way younger than the others. Mom said they got him by accident.

Last summer I got to spend a week at their house in Rapid. I loved it. Their only girl, Linda was gone, and I got to stay in her beautiful bedroom. Its really big and all decorated in pale pink. One wall has a huge curved window. The house is in a hilly place where a lot of rich people live. They have some friends up the hill from them who have a humongous swimming pool. Philip and I rode bikes up there every day to go swimming. We did other stuff too. Philip’s Mom took us to the Reptile Gardens where they have turtles so big you can ride them. All the way home, I kept visualizing it. I couldn’t wait to brag about it to my cousins. I was pretty sure they would hang on my every word.

1-IMG_20150412_0001 (2)
In front of my house. Elna, Andrea, Mom with Greg, Ella, Governor, me, Stephanie..Governor is hidden in there

This year I got to do the same thing, and it was fun all over again. I bet you’re starting to wonder why I intensely dislike Philip. Here is how it all went down.

This year, Mom and Dad decided that since Philip’s parents had invited me twice, it didn’t seem right not to invite Philip to our house for a week. When Mom came and got me to go home to Murdo, Philip came too.

I don’t like this picture, but at least it is different

The minute we pulled up in our driveway Philip changed. It was an awful thing to witness. We could only eat what Philip wanted to eat. We could only watch TV if Philip wanted to, and then we could only watch the shows he liked. We only have one channel, so if Philip didn’t like what was on, we all had to do something else. Dad even gave up Gunsmoke! He was making fools out of my Mother and Father. They laughed at stuff he said that wasn’t one bit funny. Mom was acting like I had never seen before. She would say things like, “Oh Philip, your face is flushed, would you like a cold glass of kool-aid?”

I know they are hiding from us because they don’t like Philip

I could have lived with all of that, but he got to be the boss of my horse too. We have Governor picketed in a field behind Lindquist’s house. Governor put up with Philip even though he hates males. Its my job to go move the picket when Governor needs more grass to eat, and I have to tell Mom or Dad when he needs water. I had to do all that plus saddle and unsaddle Governor when Philip got a whim to ride, which was about four times a day. My cousins played with us for part of one day. I guess they’d had enough of him too, because the next day we couldn’t find them. They hid from us. I know they did. If it weren’t for Philip I would have been the Murdo kid celebrity like last year when I got home.

When Philip leaves, I’m going to have a talk with Mom and Dad. This can never happen again!

an old picture of Billy and Mom..I just wanted to use a different photo

Tomorrow is finally the last day of this horrendous arrangement. This morning when I wasn’t looking, Philip left with Governor. I went to find someone to see where he had gone. Dad was in the kitchen on the phone with Philip’s Dad. I heard my Dad say,” He’s riding the pony up to 3rd Street and back.” Philip’s Dad must have said “Murdo’s streets don’t have numbers do they?”  Dad said, “No.” Then he laughed like it was the funniest thing he had ever heard. Dad must be hard up for stories, that’s all I can say.

our house
Our house is behind this Motel, it’s blue

Well, Philip’s parents came and got him today. Mom went on and on about what an angel he had been and maybe next year he could stay for two weeks. If that happens, Governor and I will find somewhere else to live or I might slap Philip silly. I already have to ask for forgiveness, because I asked God to drop a piano on Philip’s head.

Philip and his parents backed out of the driveway and I was very happy to see him getting smaller and smaller, and finally disappear. I could breathe again. I turned around thinking this would be a good time to have “the talk” with Mom and Dad. I looked but they weren’t there, so I figured they must have gone back inside.

Mom was laying on the couch with a cold cloth on her head. She didn’t even open her eyes. She said, “Have you ever ??”

Dad was sitting in his chair puffing and puffing on his cigar. “Unbelievable,” he said.

When I shut the door, they both jumped to their feet. Mom said, “Good Lord, I thought he’d come back!” Dad started laughing his head off, for real this time.

I probably won’t be going back to Rapid City next summer, but I would rather have Governor and Murdo all to myself than a beautiful pale pink bedroom and just big turtles to ride.



I love this Queen..She’s always on my side



Murdo Girl…The food swap ladies

Mom thinks that I complain too much. That really isn’t true.

I’m happy with a lot of things, if you want my point of view.

She said if I was seated upon a pot of gold

It would take me just a minute to find the pot too cold.

I’ll give you one example, though I have quite a few,

I’ve always told my Mother I hate her homemade stew.

Tonight I had a bowl full, and I ate every drop.

I didn’t even tell Mom her recipe’s a flop.

She said it was Bonna’s stew, as I tried to get it down.

I said,” Well that explains it. It’s been all over town.”


Bonna, Kitty, Elna, and Mom make casseroles galore

They’re the food swap ladies like you’ve never seen before.

We all sit at our tables and stare at empty plates.

My brother runs the food around while everybody waits.

Will we have Mom’s beans tonight with Kitty’s southern cornbread?

Or  Elna’s tuna noodle dish that her kids have all been fed?

The food swap ladies method works , with just one small exception

One they didn’t think about upon the plan’s conception.

When Billy walks through the door with his heavy sack,

We’ve said a prayer Mom doesn’t get her own leftovers back!






I apologize that my stories have come at odd times the last couple of days. It’s my plan to post Murdo Girl between 7 and 9 each evening, beginning Saturday. I have really enjoyed writing about my Murdo memories. I hope you’re getting a smile or two as well.






Murdo Girl…The TV tray tent


I feel bad. Today I told Mom her teeth were yellow. She was getting on me about brushing my teeth, and I said,”Well, my teeth are whiter than yours!” I expected her to say something back, but she didn’t. Of course my teeth are whiter. Her teeth are 31 years older than mine. I couldn’t really tell her that now could I?

Then, I got the bright idea to make a tent out of a TV tray and a blanket, and sleep out in the yard. It works pretty good. You can actually use two TV trays if you have a big  enough blanket. You have to be able to stretch the blanket over the trays and pound a clothes pin in the corners, then into the ground. Don’t ever plan on sleeping two people in a one TV tray tent.

I got myself all set up, and I thought everything would be fun. It got dark kind of early. I have a flashlight, but what fun is it to lay there in your front yard under a TV tray tent all by yourself, without anybody to even talk to.

I don’t have a dog. Billy’s got a cat named Yappy, but she hides up in the attic above the garage all the time. She only comes down when she  brings her kittens to us. She’s friends with Pete Reese’s tomcat. Pete is the old man who lives next door. He has a tomcat we call Tommy. The cat got his tail partially frozen off one bad winter. I personally don’t think cats are all that much fun.

We kept one of Yappy’s kittens once and named him Tinkerbell. After he got bigger he ran off somewhere and didn’t come back for a whole year. Cats aren’t fun, but they must be smart to know how to get around like that.

You know, I’m just laying here thinking. I really don’t know Pete Reese very well. If he lets his cat’s tail get frozen off, who knows what he might do to a kid who’s laying outside under a TV tray tent.

The ground is getting hard on me. Dad never got around to planting grass, so I’m laying here on prickly weeds. What a dumb idea this was. Mom should have told me no. She’s probably still in there feeling self conscious about her yellowing teeth.

Maybe I should just go in and finish this night out in my bed. I sure hate to admit defeat. On the other hand how are you going to know if something will be fun unless you try it out? I could just say I tried it out and it wasn’t fun. It’s not like I just got scared and went in. I stayed out here quite awhile and I’m also without food and water.

Shoot, I forgot to go to the bathroom before I came out here. What if I fall asleep and have to go inside the house and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night? I’ll have to leave my TV tray tent unprotected.

I don’t have any idea how long it’s been since somebody changed the batteries in this flashlight. What if a snake crawls in here in the middle of the night and the flashlight batteries are dead? There’s nothing worse than hearing a snake that you can’t see.

I shouldn’t have asked Mom if I could make a TV tray tent and sleep in it while she was distracted about her teeth. What if she didn’t hear me right? She probably didn’t even think about the snakes and Pete Reese.

I feel sorry for Mom. What if something happens to me? She’ll spend the rest of her life blaming herself, because she started this whole chain of events when she confronted me about my teeth.

Do you know how long a person should tryout an idea like sleeping outside in a TV tray tent, without food and water, and a flashlight with unknown battery life?

I don’t think we have another flashlight so Mom can’t check on me even if she wants to. I shouldn’t be so thoughtless.

Oh no… I’m going to have to go in. I just remembered something. I forgot to brush my teeth.


Murdo Girl…Cabin fever


Happy Birthday Grandpa…June 30th

I dream about the cabin. When I’m awake it’s now past tense.

I seek to make it come alive in a way that still makes sense.

I’ll remember how my heart felt, when Grandpa’s car topped that last hill.

The days that loomed before me would be safe, and sane, and still.

I will think about togetherness and all the fun we had.

When we lost the stringer with the fish, Grandpa never did get mad.

My stomach started growling, I wished I hadn’t seen ’em

I think Grandpa’s got a secret. He didn’t want to clean them.

I looked to see what Grandma thought, what food would we prepare?

I looked into her smiling eyes, and could see she didn’t care.

We packed up in a hurry. Together we’re a team.

We headed for the cabin, boy I really like this dream.

The Miller family Spearfish Canyon

Right then I heard,” Wake up Mary,” I wanted to say hush.

Cause we were cozy in the cabin, cooking cornmeal  mush.

I snoozed for 5 more minutes, I had dreamed most of my wishes.

I woke up just as it was time to do the dirty dishes.

They say that most dreams don’t come true, they’re only for pretending.

They don’t know I lived that dream, with its syrupy happy ending.

Murdo Girl at the Cabin 1975


Murdo Girl…Man on the street


The following is an excerpt from an exclusive interview with retiring Jones County High School teacher, Margie Peters.

Mrs. Peters

This exclusive interview did in fact take place. Even if it didn’t, it’s all true.

Yram Sicnarf: Good morning Margie. May I call you Mrs. Peters?

Mrs. Peters: Whatever floats your boat.

Yram Sicnarf:   Let me introduce myself. My name is Yram Sicnarf and I’m an award-winning reporter out of Gun Barrel City, Texas. Please call me Yram.

Mrs. Peters: Gun Barrel City?

Yram: Yes, it’s a little town, South of Riffle Butt, and East of Slingshot, but that’s all you need to know… Mrs. Peters, out of the thousands of students who have excelled under your tutelage, is there any one particular student, who because of your influence, has risen to greater heights than those less fortunate?

Mrs. Peters: Oh, my goodness Miss Sicnarf from Gun Barrel, that’s really a loaded question. (No pun intended.) I hate to single out any one student, but I will say the whole town is extremely proud of Senator John Thune. I’m sure you must have heard of him.

Yram: Yes, yes, I’ve seen the sign. Maybe it would help if we narrowed it down a little. Let’s say the class of 1970. To tunnel down even further, think female!

Mrs. Peters: Well yes, that certainly narrows it down doesn’t it? Hmm, let me think…

The sound of crickets

Yram: I recently interviewed a stunningly talented young lady who was very complimentary of your influence. She goes by …Murdo Girl.

More crickets

Yram: Yes, Murdo Girl idolized you. She told me she credits you with the success of every one of her careers.

Mrs. Peters: Careers? You mean she’s had more than one?

Yram: Mrs. Peters, we’re here to talk about you. As an aside, Murdo Girl told me that she has never forgotten you…well there was that one time she used your name as a password prompt. The question was, “Who was your favorite teacher?” She had a momentary brain freeze and forgot. It all came back to her when she remembered how you had tricked her in speech class.

Mrs. Peters: Excuse me?

Yram: Yes the topic for the impromptu speech was, “What is an educated woman?”

Mrs. Peters: Ah yes, it’s all coming back to me. I was trying to prompt my students to be more creative. You know, think on their feet. I recall a young woman struggling. She talked about school and college, blah, blah, blah.

Yram: So you admit to setting her up?

Mrs Peters: On the contrary Miss Sicnarf. I hope it was a valuable learning experience for her. An educated woman is a great deal more than…

Yram: I hate to interrupt Mrs. Peters, but I have an interview in a few minutes with the Senators father, Mr. Thune. Let’s wrap it up with this question. Do you really feel it’s important to know how to diagram sentences? I mean, how many times is an employer going to ask you to diagram a sentence?

Mrs. Peters: I can’t believe you just asked me that. I’m sure this Miss Murdo Girl you speak of, has to know the importance of using proper grammar. Knowing how to write and speak properly is part of being an educated woman. Knowing how a sentence is structured teaches the correct usage of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Some are unable to snag a good job because they don’t know a conjugated verb when they see one. I notice you always use first person.

Yram: I see…Does it help to use a lot of pictures? Never mind. I’m off to see Mr. Thune. Miss Murdo Girl has never had to use Algebra either.

Mrs. Peters: It’s very nice to have met you Miss Sicnarf. Don’t you want to take a picture before you go? I would suggest you take several.


I don’t see the sign. Do you see the sign?

I can’t find a parking spot..even with my sticker. They told me Murdo Girl is in town…Where’s her sign?


Murdo Girl…Tell me a story


7-Loretta Gustafson's Life in Photos 002
From left: One of the Guthrie’s, Loretta, Ella, and Helen holding baby Elna

I’m not that ancient yet, but I want to tell you about the women who have made a lasting impression on this Murdo Girl. I know I’ll hurry too much, and not think of everyone. For weeks, I’ll wake up in the night, remembering someone important that I left off the list. I figure it’s okay anyway. It’s not as if I became a United States Senator, or a movie star.

There have been times in my life when I’ve really struggled and questioned everything. There’s one thing I know for sure. I have been blessed with a whole lot of people in my life who really cared.


Most of all, there have been stories.. fun, funny, hilarious, stories. I think humor is the best equalizer, and if you look for it, there is a little bit of humor in the midst of some of the most dire circumstances.

My Grandma Sanderson was 70 years old when I was born. I was only 16 when she died. Incredibly, it’s been 48 years. I can still hear her voice, I can close my eyes and remember her scent. She called Grandpa Pa, and told my Mother she should be grateful that both her children had Bill’s disposition.

Grandma was right. Mom was intelligent, quick witted, funny peculiar and funny haha. Most everything she said was unfiltered. She understood her kids. She knew that Billy and I hated to be late for anything. If our tardiness was unavoidable, she didn’t make us go at all.

She was not always careful with her reactions. That’s the nicest way I can put it. There were a few occasions when she had most of the women in town mad at her. She had to go on more than one “apology tour.”

I’ll give you an example of something most teenagers would have been mortified to experience. I had a date with a guy who was a basketball star. That’s all Mom really knew about him. When he came to pick me up, I invited him in to meet my Mother. She said, “Oh, I didn’t recognize you with all your clothes on.” I caught her joke right away, but I was smart enough not to laugh.

She dumbfounded her sisters and brothers. I’m sure they heard lots of unbelievable stories. When she was little, and they were all about to move from Horse Creek into town. Mom was bragging I’m sure, when one of the Guthrie girls, who went to the country school, said, “We’re gonna miss Helen, and Elna and Ella, but we’re NOT going to miss you!” Mom wore that to town school like a badge of honor.

She told me about falling off her horse. She was off by herself somewhere, and she tried her best to keep crying til she got home. She was furious that all the tears dried up and therefore, she wouldn’t be getting much sympathy.

I cannot remember ever seeing my Mother cry.

She sold herself as a skilled horsewoman. This came back to bite her. When I had my horse, Governor, Herman Brost let us winter him at the ranch. Mom and I would go out there a few times during the winter, to ride. Herman let Mom ride one of his horses.The first time she borrowed his horse, we took off a little faster than we intended to, but Mom held on. She was mad more than afraid. The horse shied from things and was almost impossible to rein in. When we got back to the ranch, she realized she’d been set-up.


Herman said, “Well Loretta, I’m glad you made it back in one piece, that horse bucks.”

I had another blog in mind for tonight, but It’s one that’s really important to me, (not that this isn’t.) and I don’t want to rush it. Continue reading

Murdo Girl…Fill in the blanks

“Oh here’s for Murdo Coyotes, they’re bound to win .(fight fight fight).(blank) like a stone wall, guards and forwards, all around to win for Murdo..let us cheer them forward, never give in.( fight, fight, fight).(blank, blank) for victory for we shall win.

Obie Brunskill, Billy Francis, Walt Anderson, Willard Bordeaux , Gordon Neiden, and Chris Anderson  after the 1962 State B basketball tournament. (If I didn’t get all the names correct, I’m really sorry.) They are all much older than I am.

I don’t want to write too many stories about cheerleading, but I have a couple of comments and a question about our school song. First of all, I wish we had a song with some pep to it. Secondly, it’s a weird song to sing at a football game, because it’s all about guards and forwards. Maybe I don’t like it because I don’t know all the words. Would someone please fill in the blanks for me.

I know I should be embarrassed and I am.

Before and After…You Go Queen, but next time ditch your crown for a helmet!!

The following Murdo Coyote discussion with Bob Brewer took place in 1964

Next, I want to talk about the Murdo Coyote. Remember last summer when I went out to California? Well, one of Billy’s roommates Bob, who’s not from Murdo, started talking about The Murdo Coyote. He said, “Look, they call people Finks right in the newspaper.” I said, “They’re not calling them a name. That is their name.” You know the Lindquist girls? Their Mom is a Fink. Ronni Poppe is a Fink too. They have another sister Norma, who’s a Fink, and I believe there is one Fink brother. (Norma is a real hoot.) Anyway, I told Bob that there is a bunch of Finks and they’re all really nice people. I don’t think I ever did get him to understand. He’s a ratfink.


Next he said, “The Coyote is always saying someone motored somewhere. Why don’t they say, they drove?”

“What’s wrong with motored? Instead of saying the same old drove word that everybody else uses, they say motored .”

IMG_20160606_0007_NEWMurdo Coyote
October 1969

The last thing I listened to him talk about was regarding the paper not always giving the last names. He showed me an example. “Mable and May motored to Pierre, and got their hair done, after which, they stopped and had coffee. A good time was had by all.” He wanted to know what they put in the paper if “all” didn’t have a good time?

I told him he was just being difficult. Everyone knows who Mable and May are, and I’m pretty sure they always have a good time when they go to Pierre.”  I didn’t say this to Bob, but I hope Mable meant to put the part in the paper about getting her hair done in Pierre. If the beauty shop operators in Murdo read that, it could start a real fuss.

Remember Mable? or is it May?

Further more, It would be as bad as when Mom and Kitty went to Rapid City to take Kitty to the doctor, and Doctor Murphy’s wife Florence decided to go with them. They didn’t want Doc and Florence to feel bad, so they went through all kinds of stuff so she wouldn’t find out Kitty was cheating with another doctor . It would have been a disaster if that would have hit the Murdo Coyote.

A good time would not have been had by all.

ford garage
The Ford Garage

I know something else that’s newsworthy, but certain people might not want it in The Murdo Coyote. Last Halloween night, (blank), who is a boy in the grade ahead of me, went to the Ford Garage in Murdo and let the air out of all the tires. He walked home and went to bed. He started feeling guilty, so he got out of bed and went back to the Ford Garage and started airing the tires all up again. That’s when he got caught.

Mrs. Donahue and Mrs. Kothe probably talking about the incident at the Ford Garage

The lady said I have to write 1000 words, but if you read the whole article from The Murdo Coyote about Judy Dykstra’s Mom giving a report on Africa to the ladies at the Progressive Study Club, I’ll have way more than 1000 words; besides, it’s very interesting.

Don’t miss the second write up below the Africa report.

Congratulations to Larry Weigandt, and Warren Broecher, for being named to the Southern State College marching band. I hope Judy Dykstra reads this. She won’t feel so bad that Larry kept beating her out of first chair.

**Billy told me Bob Brewer never misses an edition of The Murdo Coyote, and he reads it front to back!