Murdo Girl…Little Murdo Girl steals things

I ran across one of my favorites…

The pharmacist guy, who owns Murdo Drug Store, and his wife live next door to me. They have lots of crab apple trees in their backyard. Well, one day, my friend Suzanne and I were thinking, and we came up with a plan to get as many of those apples as we could. First, we checked to make sure Mr. and Mrs. Mowell’s car was gone, and then we each took two paper bags and climbed up two of the trees. We both had one bag full when we saw Mr. Mowell come out his back door. He caught us red handed with his red crab apples.

I figured out that Suzanne wasn’t going to say anything, so I said, “Mr. Mowell, we are picking these apples for you.” Well, he told us to get down out of those trees and not to ever come back. He didn’t say to drop the apples we’d already picked, so we took the sacks we had full, and ran all the way back to Suzanne’s house south of 16. We ate so many apples we were sick. Come to think about it, almost every time I play with Suzanne, I get into trouble. Once we smoked a whole pack of Mom’s Salem cigarettes. I was sort of sick then, too.

This is our backyard. Mr. Mowell’s backyard is behind us.

I guess I can’t blame Mr. Mowell for not wanting us to steal his apples. Imagine if every kid in town did it. Mrs. Mowell couldn’t make crab apple jelly or anything.

A while back, Mom took Billy and me to Rapid City to get our eyes checked. I really wanted to wear glasses, but my eyes are perfect. Billy’s eyes are the opposite of cross-eyed so he got glasses to keep them straight. I noticed that he never wore them so I took them and warmed the ear pieces with hot water and bent them so they would stay on me… sort of. I thought I looked good in those glasses. I wore them in school for a couple of weeks. My second grade teacher, Mrs. Louder asked me if I was supposed to wear my glasses all the time, and I told her, “yes.”

I was in 2nd grade when I stole the glasses. I was missing some teeth.

One day, I was playing with my friends at recess, when I saw Mom drive up in her car. I was so used to wearing the glasses that I forgot, that I had them on. Mom stormed over to me and said, “Mary Constance Francis…Billy has been looking all over for those glasses!” She was really mad and she said it was a wonder those glasses didn’t make me go cross-eyed. I don’t know who told on me, but they are NOT my friend. Billy never did wear those glasses.


Murdo Girl… A good time was had by all

We had the best seats on the lake last night as we enjoyed a spectacular fireworks display. One of our neighbors provides an unbelievable show every year.

Jim and Ruby Laney invited us to bring some lawn chairs and watch from their backyard. We enjoyed some delicious burgers with all the trimmings, visiting with other neighbors, and this amazing display which must have gone on for over thirty minutes.

It was a great celebration!

I remembered the 4th of July parades the kids in Murdo put on back in the 50’s? I, of course, got to be the queen of the parade…mainly because I had the red formal that Kitty Reynolds made for me. We also fashioned a stunning crown from cardboard and tinfoil. I rode on a kid’s folding chair sitting in a little red wagon and pulled by my Shetland pony, Governor.

The other kids all dressed in different red, white an blue outfits, carried batons, and rode on horses or their decorated bikes. We marched up and down all of the streets south of Highway 16. Our only regret was we couldn’t afford to have pieces of candy to throw to the crowds that lined the streets to watch. (I remember very large cheering crowds.)

I figure about sixty years separate these two celebrations. In both cases, a good time was had by all!

Murdo Girl…Do I smell food?

Our twelve year old golden retriever, Cyndie, has been having some serious health issues. She was at the vet for three days last week being treated for pancreatitis and kidney problems. She’s home now, and though not quite as spunky as usual, she seems to be enjoying life and all of the attention she’s been getting.

She’s on a special diet.

Yesterday, I made scrambled eggs with little pieces of chicken I had boiled, and sweet potatoes for her breakfast, lean ground turkey with rice, peas, and carrots for lunch, and for dinner, she got round steak that I had been slow cooking in the crock pot all day with some low sodium beef broth and rice as a side dish. Kip caught me eating a chunk of the roast. I told him I just couldn’t stand it any longer. (We had microwaved pizza.)

I haven’t cooked so much since 2010. I fear our two cocker spaniels are plotting to leave home. They have drooled so much, we now have them stand on a towel while their sister eats like a queen. (It’s okay, I stand with them unless it’s my turn to hand feed Cyndie.)

We went back to the vet yesterday to get some canned dog food a friend reccomended. It’s specially made for dogs with Cyndie’s problems. We were told they would give us a couple of cans, but when she was there, she wouldn’t eat it. “Did you try throwing it on the BBQ grill for a couple of minutes first?” I asked.

My refrigerator is full of Cyndie leftovers packed in little plastic containers. We bought ten in different sizes and labeled them with what they contain, the date, and how long they should be warmed in the microwave, only to discover that Cyndie doesn’t really like leftovers.

Oh well…you do what it takes, right? I have started to feel guilty about making my youngest child survive on Kraft mac and cheese his last year at home. We did take him out to eat occasionally, but how do you take your dog to a drive-up and order low sodium pizza, hold the spices and cheese?

I have to run to the store for eggs, now. I hear Cyndie stirring and she’s going to want breakfast.

Murdo Girl…Yram and Crazy Horse

Murdo Girl

Hi! This is Yram Sicnarf. I’m filling in for Murdo Girl for a few days. She’s resting. You probably don’t realize this, but I’m quite a bit younger than Murdo Girl. I reside in Texas near Gun Barrel City, where our motto is, “We Shoot Straight.” I’m a traveling crack-up reporter.

I just got to Rapid City. I’m going to the Crazy Horse Monument this morning. I snagged an interview with Crazy Horse, himself. This interview was hard to get, but it will put another feather in my cap, and an arrow in my quill.

The Crazy Horse Monument is far away from the Harold Thune auditorium and the Jerrald Applebee floor, so how much trouble can I get into, right? Can you see Crazy Horse putting a restraining order on me? I don’t even like to ride horses.


We are back at the Crazy Horse Monument where Yram…

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Murdo Girl…The star spangled banner

It’s five o’clock in the morning and this is the fourth of July.

After 243 years of freedom, our flag now struggles to fly.

Celebrations are now controversial. Our independence causes some to feel shame.

The men and women who have fought for our freedoms, are now part of a juvenile game.

I think of those soldiers who waited to see the dawn’s early light. Would our flag still be standing? Had it survived through that terrible night?

They were proud to fight for our freedoms. Some walked bootless through the cold snow. Now we fight over Nikes. I’m so grateful they didn’t know.

Respect was not guaranteed. Their honor is often denied. Why must we go through this nonsense? Why is it wrong to feel pride?

I don’t care if you are left or right. Fly that star spangled banner high. Celebrate that we’re all still free and then, ask yourself why.

photos are from my dad’s Army album.

Murdo Girl…On the road…The Queens and the commoners

rerun of a Queen tour Queen Lav and I made a couple of years ago…

Murdo Girl

20161026_090620A rerun from our Queen tour a couple of years ago…

Val and I wanted to show you a typical day in the life of a Queen. It’s not always about crowns and red convertibles. Sometimes we have to participate in the same activities as you commoners. We do however feel compelled to wear our crowns whenever possible. We are Queens..and Queens have to do what Queens have to do.

wp-1477545998628.jpgGus wanted to show off his royal family to friends attending one of the Ontario Senior Center’s exercise classes. Gus is working out behind Queen Lav.

20161026_091228-1In this photo you can see others in the class looking at us. We tried not to be too much of a distraction, but of course that proved to be impossible. 

20161026_114843We really worked up a sweat during the facial exercises. If you do these, be sure and follow-up with some facial stretches. Otherwise…

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Murdo Girl…A hometown poem


By Mary Francis McNinch

I’ve been sitting here for five long minutes, wondering how I should begin this.

Now I’ve written four short lines and nothing that I’ve written rhymes.

I guess it’s close enough for me. Until I have an epiphany.


I’ve got my crown on. I’m good to go. I know the words will begin to flow.

Why oh why is my brain so slow. Nothing much rhymes with Murdo.

I think I’ve thought of a better way. I’ll start by describing Mack’s Cafe.

Macks Cafe

Linda Kerns..inside Mack’s Cafe 1969

Breakfast, dinner, supper, snacks…The food was always good at Mack’s.

Doris made yummy cinnamon rolls..served ham and beans in great big bowls.

Hot beef sandwiches were a favorite. Don’t eat too fast, you must savor it.

I ate so much my stomach hurt, but I always had room for a big dessert.

Sanderson’s Store is on Main Street, and everyone there is really neat.


If you’ve read all I’ve written about. You know this store inside and out.

Groceries, produce, they’ve got it all, and mounted deer heads on the wall.


Grandpa Sanderson after a successful hunt

Uncle Jeff, Uncle Al and Great Aunt Tet..Just a second I’m not done yet.

Billy, Jeff H. and Eldon Davis, thanks for the service you all gave us.

The post office, Ford garage, Mr. Kell…Laundromat, Gambles, and the Gem Hotel.

The Murdo Coyote keeps us in the know, even 25 and 50 years ago.

Maybe they know what rhymes with Murdo.

If the Ford Garage sells you a car, and you celebrate at the Buffalo Bar,

The Hotel owned by Alice Tornow is the place you probably ought to go.

Still nothing rhymes with Murdo.

My dog Berferd got to go, uptown to the picture show.

He was as quiet as he could be, (unless a dog barked in the movie).

If you want to change the way you’re livin, or maybe you need to be forgiven,

We’ve got churches everywhere, so you can go and say a prayer.

Go to Dr Murphy if you’re feeling sick and Doc Bork will fix your teeth real quick.

Joy Payne sells the ladies their dresses and Evie McKenzie curls their tresses.

Down on the highway called Old 16, there’s a lot more to be seen.

Fern’s Cafe makes a great hamburger, or maybe dessert is what you’re there fer.

Chocolate cake with lots of frosting. (Writing a poem is so exhausting)

Head to The Pioneer Auto Museum. Old cars and buildings..Wait til you see em.


Together our motels sleep 800. (Just in case you’ve ever wondered).

Super Value and Cafe 16, have goods and food fit for a Queen.

Karen Lindquist and Mary Francis a few years back…

If you’re low on gas, don’t get nervous. All our gas stations are full service.

Dean’s Philip 66 will fix your tires, and Dean’s really good to the guys he hires.

Now we have a drive-in and a diner. Their food and milkshakes taste diviner.

Than food you usually get “to go”.Still nothing rhymes with Murdo.

I wouldn’t be in such a frenzy if they would’ve named Murdo..MacKenzie.



My cousin Valerie Leckey with two friends shortly before she and her parents moved to California. I’m sure many of you recognize the other two cute girls. The photo was taken in 1963.

Old picture of the Murdo Water Tower

Murdo Girl…Mystery solved

W Spade came to town hoping to spend some quality time with his daughter, MG and niece, Lav. A strange turn of events got them all involved in the Click Case.

We knew from the beginning that W Spade wasn’t MG’s Dad and Lav’s Uncle Bill’s real name. At first, he was just going to teach MG to drive the El Camino, but thought better if it. He quickly realized MG and Lav weren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer when they were confused by the phone calls telling them what they already knew. W Spade was really MG’s dad and Lav’s Uncle Bill. He just happened to have gum on his shoes.

Along came the three Click brothers and their sister, Friday. They were part of one of the bad Clicks that every town has. They were really struggling financially due to the seaweed problem in their swimming dam, the loss of an oar, and the increasing cost of Friday’s hats. They saw the shiny El Camino and extortion came to mind.

The police came up with the idea to preemptively get MG’s dad to call Jim and ask him for $500.00 to free Friday which confused Jim Click. He became stressed because now he needed $1000 smackaroos which caused him to die from a natural cause of some kind. (Most Clicks lead an unhealthy lifestyle.)

The bad Clicks left town, but Friday redeemed herself by heading up a community effort to build a public swimming pool. The town buried the basement, though if you drive by slowly, you can still pick up the scent of a stale cigar. MG and Lav were very grateful the washer and dryer were buried with the basement.

Mystery solved…oh, Dad, (aka Uncle Bill) and Berferd were last seen headed west in the El Camino. They got word that MG and Lav wanted to ride in some parade seated on the back of a red convertible and wanted no part of that. They did, however miss the rhunarb shakes they had grown so fond of.

Now…can I write an exciting yet intriguing mystery or what?