Murdo Girl….Murdo

I had been in Murdo a couple of days before I finally had the opportunity and the time to drive up and down the streets of my beloved hometown. I had worried about coming home. They say most people are disappointed when they come back to their hometowns because it will never be like it was. It will never be like you remember it, and it won’t feel like home.

The minute my cousin Valerie and I left Rapid City, I knew I had nothing to worry about. Whatever the next days held, I knew Murdo would feel like home to me. For several months now, I have relived my  life in Murdo. I have written almost every day about friends and family, childhood and high school years. Many of those I have written about are no longer walking this earth. They no longer live in the houses I remember so well.

Some of the buildings like Sanderson’s store are no longer there, but all the streets are the same. The Courthouse hill, Main Street, the walk to school, the road by the auditorium, the parade route, and Old 16, are all paths I walked countless times. They still require the same number of steps. It all looked wonderful to this Murdo girl.

The day I drove around Murdo, I ventured South of 16 where all the cousins lived. I could have been disappointed by all the changes, but I wasn’t. The feeling of being home was still there. Being in this place that held such wonderful memories, gave me tangible evidence that My Murdo was real and it always will be.

I spent time with old friends and made new ones. I saw some of my teachers and the girls I used to babysit. I drove all over town, and more and more good memories came flooding back to me. I talked to people who read my stories and are reminded of more or different fun times. We are all unique, yet in many ways we are all the same.

I saw my family

I was often too excited to remember to take pictures. Valerie and I saw our cousins Terry Sanderson and his wife Kay, Jeff H. Sanderson and Emily. We spent a lot, but not enough time visiting with cousin Mark Sanderson and Dave. On the night before we left SD, Valerie and I stayed with Cynthia Edwards and sang Karaoke for hours. We met Kevin, who was such a good sport and somewhat willing audience.

Greg and Carma Miller, Matthew and Renee, our two aunts Irma and Elna, and Angela along with her fiance Chad, were at a family dinner hosted by Andrea Miller Sheehan. ( Andrea took us to see her incredible doll collection.)  We saw countless classmates and friends.

You can go home and it can be really, really fun. Like this:

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Thanks to all the above, and a special thanks to the Lindquist girls and Dean for taking such good care of me and arranging for Murdo Girl and the Queen to be in the parade. Valerie and I had a wonderful time hanging out with Don Edwards, Eddie Jackson, and his beautiful and wonderful wife, Mari.

Stephanie Miller-Davis 

Tammy Lindquist Van Dam, got a proclamation from Murdo Mayor Kelsey Nash to establish Stephanie Miller-Davis Day. The first of April, Murdo honors Stephanie for her contributions to the school library. Stephanie’s desire was to instill a love of reading in each child.

There he is… SD State Senator, John Thune…(Mr. Thune’s son with a sign, and Murdo Girl, who now has a mobile sign.)


Our beloved Jeep…It belonged to our Uncle Jeff Sanderson, and now sits in the Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo

The Grand Marshalls of the Reunion Parade…Mr. Harold Thune and Irma Sanderson in front of the Harold Thune Auditorium. Both are graduates of MHS. Aunt Irma was the Business Manager at the high school for many years and Mr. Thune taught and coached there for over 20 years. (I just noticed it looks like the sign says Old Thune graduate. It says Harold Thune.) 



Harold Thune led Murdo to the 1937 state Class B tournament finals, where he was named captain of the all-tourney team. He was the top scorer in the tourney with 35 points. Our Dad, William Francis was also on the team. They are center front in this photo.

Some of the class of 1970..Mary Francis, Eddie Jackson, Josephine Jost, Mark Sanderson, Don Edwards, Marlene Rada, Danny Koester, and Karen Miller..

I saw Dick Bradley, Ron Kinsley, Ella Elrod, Wally Elrod, and Guy Anker

From Judy Dykstra Brown and Patti Dykstra Arniere. The Betty Crocker Homemaker of tomorrow pin, Saxophone, The meal I couldn’t cook, $ to represent my banker days, the music to “Our Director”

Who says you can’t go home!!

Thanks to Patti, I now know the words to the school song.

Oh here’s to Murdo Coyotes, they’re bound to win; line like a stone wall, guards and forwards, all are out to win for Murdo. Let us cheer them forward, never give in; boost, boost for victory for we shall win.

I heard at one time that Mrs. Kuhrt wrote the lyrics. The tune is “Our Director.”

It’s now the Jones County Coyotes.

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I missed Billy

Bye Murdo…You’re the Best!!




15 thoughts on “Murdo Girl….Murdo

  1. countrygirl57 July 21, 2016 / 1:57 pm

    Love the story- love all the pictures. Great memories!

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch July 21, 2016 / 3:18 pm

      You’re going to have to hear it all again at lunch tomorrow bestie😉


  2. sanjuan831 July 21, 2016 / 12:58 pm

    Okay,this one made me cry… totally with you on all you said. Home is where the heart is and Murdo will always be there. Love it to the moon and back.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Patti July 21, 2016 / 11:48 am

    Let’s hope this isn’t age-related, but I left out a couple words when I sent you the school song. It should be “guards and forwards, all are out to win for Murdo.” There will not be a test later. It was wonderful getting to know my friend Billy’s little sister and cousin Val. You made this reunion a special one.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mary Francis McNinch July 21, 2016 / 11:59 am

      If you don’t make mistakes, it means you aren’t doing anything, and we’re both busy people right? We voted you and Jim the most beautiful couple!

      Liked by 1 person

    • sanjuan831 July 21, 2016 / 12:56 pm

      Not age related because you look fab and I told Mary that you were the best looking gal and handsomest couple ever. We kept saying that truly!!


    • sanjuan831 July 21, 2016 / 1:58 pm

      Thanks, Patti! You and people like you are why we love Murdo! You’re beautiful inside and out.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. scoper07 July 21, 2016 / 11:37 am

    What a fitting tribute Murdo Girl!! The people Murdo certainly do not forget do they? I especially like the picture of you and the Queen waving from the convertible. It is good to hear Stephanie is being honored. How fitting! Thanks for the memories!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mary Francis McNinch July 21, 2016 / 12:04 pm

      I’m so proud of you Eddie Jackson. It was so great to get to know Mari and spend that special time together. I will never forget it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • scoper07 July 21, 2016 / 12:17 pm

        It is permanently burned into my brain for sure. The town’s response to Murdo Girl must have been very humbling to you. You have certainly earned it. Keep up the great writing! Can’t wait to see where your imagination leads us!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Sherri Miller July 21, 2016 / 11:33 am

    What a nice tribute to your hometown and old friends, Murdo girl. I, too, am a firm believer that there is no place like home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch July 21, 2016 / 12:01 pm

      I hope to meet you someday Sherri, but until then..I count you as being a very special friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri Miller July 21, 2016 / 4:27 pm

        I feel the same way. So happy to have crossed your path!

        Liked by 1 person

    • sanjuan831 July 21, 2016 / 12:53 pm

      Have to meet you! Pick a time and Mary and I will go wherever you want!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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