The Bismarck High School Class of 1981 quarterly update

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide a positive, safe and supportive environment for all classmates in which we can share our personal lives. The staff reserves the right to publish only information that we feel is within the supportive spirit of this newsletter. Information which we feel is intended to be negative, class polarizing, mean-spirited will not be published at this site. That is not the avenue we want to take with this newsletter. The staff.

Volume 70, April 2009

 Hi everyone, lots to share this month, very busy at home, everyone is just trying to stay dry, warm and sane!   I wish I was home to help and to support the community that we are so proud to be from, but we are not, so instead, we send our prayers and positive thoughts your way!!  We have great hope that this will soon end!  In the meantime, keep yours head high, help each other, and know that many are supporting you!

Lauri, Dan and Wendy



As many of you know, our Bismarck and Fargo classmates are experiencing many water issues due to flooding from the Missouri River.  Here are some of their stories, some of personal, some are relative accounts.


The following is from Larry Kessler’s sister-in-law, received on 3/26/09

Some of you may have heard about the predicament we are in here in Bismarck.  I thought I should send a message.  We're fine, but things have sure been turned upside down for a lot of people here. 

The school I work at in on the south side in the potential flood area, so it was closed today.  The teachers who work there (who's homes were not in danger of flooding) were to report to the admin office this morning to be assigned as subs in other schools.  It was interesting....  I ended up spending the day in a different elementary building subbing for the reading specialist.

Tomorrow and Friday they are sending kids from three elementary buildings to other schools....the classroom teachers will be paired up and given 45 kids per room.  It should be LOTS of fun.  Here is the link to the Bismarck Tribune with the main headlines. 


Below are some pictures taken on the south side of Bismarck on Tues. March 24th. 


Please keep our cities in prayer today. We are experiencing flooding in the Bis/Man ND area,  as are several other smaller cities. Many families had to leave there homes and more to come today. All are being asked to help sand bag at this point.   Please keep all in your prayers, Our home should be safe. Many are not so fortunate.


The following is from Liz (Wicks) Kramer, received on 3/26/09

Hi Lauri,

The situation here in Bismarck is nothing like I have ever seen.  My mom and dad live in Tatley Meadows, as does my brother Tim and his wife Angie.  They were knocking on doors yesterday afternoon and telling them to leave, last warning, or they would be on their own.  They are all safe and sound at the moment staying in a hotel in North Bismarck.

My husband and I, unfortunately faced flooding on Sunday.  We live SE of the city of
Bismarck, not near a river, lake, or creek and in an area not known to flood.  We were told that a dam broke to the east of us, which sent water directly to us surrounding our house.  Our family, friends, and neighbors rushed to our aid.  We sandbagged and pumped water through the night until well into Monday.  We have water damage in the lower level of our home and still quite a lake in our back yard (where the septic tank is) preventing us from using too much water, so unfortunately not the best place for mom and dad to come after being evacuated.  

We are all doing fine at this point.  I just want to say that we come from a great community.  All the people volunteering, students from our schools, from everywhere.  I heard last night on the news that a group of students from Grand Forks that were stranded here were down at Sandbag Central volunteering.  I know that John and I would have lost the two lower levels of our home if not for the help we received, Northern Improvement donating about 9 pumps, friends and neighbors filling, loading, and hauling sandbags.

What we are going through is awful, but we are blessed to live where we do.  

I hope your family and friends in the area are safe and sound.  I know many who live in the area from Fox Island to S 12th Street in Bismarck and we are just hoping and praying everyone gets through this with no major injury or harm to property.


The following is from Chuck Glaser, his nephew is actively involved in solving the ice dam problem.  Chuck’s parents have water up to the fence line and are hanging in there.  Received on 3/26/09

We just heard from Eric and found out why he was in the Blackhawk. He was dropped down on the ice wearing a life jacket and safety line and was drilling holes for the dynamite for the first blast. Joe just talked to him a little bit ago and asked what he was doing and he was making more dynamite at the Guard helicopter site for the next blast which they want to be tonight. What a day at work, Huh? Yesterday he did sandbags but I bet this was a little more exciting. Joe went and talked to the sheriff that is blocking traffic behind our house and the water is down about 1 foot from yesterday so we are not doing any more sandbags or anything. We'll just wait and see. Still in a voluntary evac condition. Later.


The following is from Wendy (Fuller) Christy, 3/26/09

Hi Lauri,

Laurie [Zacher] Savague is in Fargo, but it looks as if they are going to be okay, for now.

Riverside Elementary was evacuated today. Anderson is higher than Garden Dr., Meadow Ln and the other streets near there the park. The house I grew up in is likely having water issues, so I know how you feel.

The last report I heard the Expressway bridge has been closed due to high water. It boggles the imagination. I wonder what they are doing with the zoo animals.

The following is from Mary (Schmidt) Hulm, 3/26/09.

Speaking from someone who lives in Bismarck, but is not in danger of flooding, everyone should be PROUD of the Bismarck spirit!   It is alive and thriving.  Middle school and High school kids turned out by the hundreds to sandbag at the Civic Center.  People volunteered to sandbag and move individuals’ belongings to higher ground.  It has been a great community effort.  I even heard the FEMA guy say that they don’t need as much RMAs (?? Correct  acronym??) in ND as other states since they know we take care of our own.  It’s a difficult time, but a time to be proud to be a North Dakotan.  Of course, keep the prayers coming.   We are not out of the woods yet!


The following is from Sheri (Nordstrom) Stastny, 3/26/09.

Here is me, Sherri Nordstrom Stastny.  My arms are ready to fall off (from sandbagging) and I wish the keyboard were a bit lower.  We starting filling sandbags on Saturday, and with the 5 of us (Leon, Alison age 21, Alec, age 16, and Emily age 14) have probably filled about ? 10,000 bags.  We have helped our friends in the mud, rain, blizzard! and lightning building the dikes.  We are at about 41-42 feet but I think they need another foot of height and 12 miles long.  I have a couple friends with water in the neighborhoods at least a foot high (south of town) and the river hasn't crested yet.  Today, we will move everything upstairs, plug all holes in basement, and then go fill more sandbags.  With 3 college campuses, and plenty of high schools, there are lots of laborers building the dikes but the city is struggling to not only fill sandbags, but logistics:  get them to where they need to be.  They send them on flatbed semis, sometimes 3 butt to butt with police escorts front and back, sirens whirring, cruising to where they need to go..quite the site!  and no, they are not picking up garbage, nor plowing streets, nor sanding streets (we are running out of sand I guess)....face book has helped lots with communication of where help is needed...blackberry has also been very helpful to get help where it is need NOW.  My milk was delivered this morning...meanwhile my sister (Walths) and mom was asked to leave their neighborhoods in Bismarck andwe are all worried and feel their pain.  Off to fill and throw bags.   The river is supposed to crest Saturday eve.  We are in fear but a little fear motivated people to get off their duffs!


The following is from Dennis Hopfauf, received on 3/27/09.


HI Lauri, yes it is all true, I live on Wachter Ave and am about 2 blocks from the water and thank god the river has gone down 5 feet now but we are not out of the woods yet, there is a ice jam helping us by double ditch.. They did turn off garrison dam for 3 days to help out with the flow of water. The first time its ever been turned completely off. It was ugly for a while on Wednesday

but we had more than a 1000 people volunteer to fill sand bags and when we had enough we filled another 1,000,000 bags for Fargo. So it was good to see the community come together in a time like this. If double ditch would have broke we would have had another 2 feet in south Bis. But the only ones that did get water in there homes were along the river. The drainage ditch by Wachter middle school was overflowing and that’s why the trailer court east of Wachter completely flooded and it flooded as far as 12th street. I never thought I would have ever seen that. I will try to keep you updated. Dennis


My thoughts are with my fellow Bismarck-ians as always.  I am finding it very hard to concentrate at work while
 refreshing the Bis. Tribunes's coverage constantly
Corrine (McLean) Zerr


Flood Follow-up

As many of you know the waters are receding in Bismarck.  Now they need a nice slow melt and no more ice jams.  Fargo is also beginning to see the waters begin to receed, though they will have many concerns in the days to follow.  Many of you may not know that Dan Raszler is in the flood recovery business and is in the area.   Here is his blurb!

All of the flooding in the Fargo area can be overwhelming.  If you are in the Fargo area and need help drying out your home, FloodMasters (Dan Raszler) is in the area to remediate (dry) your home or business.  FloodMasters provides the following Flood Restoration Services for both Commercial and Residential property.

Emergency Drying
Water Extraction
Carpet Removal
Drywall Removal
Antimicrobial Application (to prevent mold growth)
Certified Technicians
Complete Insurance Claim Service 
For more details you can call Dan Raszler @ 409-332-2919 or Doug Reedy @ 409-748-9302 or 888-520 TEAM (8326)




Recently another one of our classmates became a published author.  I believe very strongly in promoting all of you and your successes!  Here is Sara (Jensen) Fritzs first book and some news of their new company!

My colleagues and I  have formed a company that focuses on our passion for helping kids.. We believe children should be allowed to enjoy life, free of
worry and stress. However, we also understand the substantial challenges for children in today’s world. Our products and services are designed to
encourage children to discover their own personal strengths and learn how to use them in their daily lives.

Our first fully developed product -You and Your Military Hero- was just published in March!  We are proud to be endorsed by the National Military
Family Association and the Military Child Education Coalition.  OUR WEBSITE IS  www.uflipp.com

You and Your Military Hero helps children learn positive coping skills during a loved one’s deployment.   A friendly dog named Flipp guides the
child on a journey towards positive thinking.  Flipp encourages children to appreciate the moment even during challenging times.  Through solution-focused, and instructive activities, this activity journal makes building positive skills fun and effective. By practicing the activities in this book, children develop coping competencies that they can apply throughout their lifetimes. .
Special Features:
  a.. Includes original games and activities to foster positive thinking
  b.. Records and monitors feelings over time
  c.. Provides opportunities to express feelings in a variety of ways
  d.. Incorporates strategies that focus on positive solutions
  e.. Preserves memories and reminds child of how to use coping skills
  f.. Commemorates the STAR Hero’s service



The Big Debut

Just wanted to let you know Tessia will be performing in her first play with the Minot Mouse River Players next weekend. The play is called "Bed Bugs".  Break a leg Tessia  (Not really!!!)  She has performed with signing in the Western Plains Jr. Choir, on piano, viola and now her big acting debut.  Of course, we are very proud of her!  Connie (Wiedrick) Samuelson




Don’t forget to check out our Kodak site.  We always have new photos to share.  Dan and I are researching this issue, and I are working on taking all the photos to a new pass worded link on our BHS web site.  Once this is finished and ready to go, we will let you know! 



OMG!   We got great news last week.  Our oldest daughter Kayleigh got accepted into med school at Rocky Vista University College of
Osteopathic Medicine, in Parker CO.  So she doesn't have to leave Colorado !!  Yeah! Or not yet, anyway.  Corrine (
McLean) Zerr

The following is from Liz (Wicks) Kramer, it was sent on 3/17/09.  Many of you may have noticed that she also has a flood story above,
life can change in a heart beat!


Hi Lauri,

I can't remember if I have sent you anything over the last 6 months, but I became a grandma on 10/03/2008.  My oldest son Lee and his wife Amanda had a little girl - Kamdyn.  She is just a little peanut.   

Life has been very busy, my son Lee was called up from the Reserves and was set to deploy to Iraq for a year in February, but he got to base and they did some medical tests and they found a few things wrong that prevent him from going at this time so he has returned back home and will be needing knee surgery, surgery for a herniated disk in his neck, and some testing for a tremor he has developed in his hand.  I am thankful that he is back home (was not looking forward to a year of worry), and am hopeful that all of his medical issues will be treated and nothing major shows up.

We have been busy getting ready for my folks' 50th wedding anniversary coming up in April so needless to say it has been busy, busy, busy around here for us.  I would rather be busy than idle so I'm  enjoying the chaos.

Hope all is well with you and your family.  I can finally see spring around the corner.  It has been so nice here the last few days so also enjoying that (although they say possibly another snow storm in our future).  Gotta love North Dakota!


My son Kaelen Kosse is on a curling team and they won the U-18 Boys Bantam Tournament in Grand Forks last weekend. 
He has been curling for several years and loves the sport.  Dorothy Reisenhauser Kosse



The following is from DeAnn (Stack) Berreth.

I got married last June, my name is now DeAnn Berreth.   My daughter got married last year as well, and I became a grandma on January 29, 2009. A beautiful baby girl "Kara Marie Lundberg". She is the light of my life. I try to see her at least 3 times a week, glad they live close.


On the Road Again….

Hi Lauri, We departed New Delhi 1 Mar. Family & I endured grueling gauntlet of medical & psychological  tests and passed by Gods grace. So now we are slated to depart for my final assignment Astana Kazakhstan 25 Apr 2009.  Currently in ND, SD, MN & WS visiting family & all.  Drove 300 miles through blizzard from ND to SD on Moday. It was eerie how we were alone on the interstate for hours. Lord kept us safe.  We had some chilly nights in the RV, some nights the temp fell to -12F with strong wind. All survived with no frost bite.  Enjoy Tom & Kim Gerhart



Vacation Highlights

The following is from Dan Raszler, he recently took a cruise and wanted to share his “cruise tips” with all of you.

The cruise was ok.  Nothing to brag about.  If you have never went on a cruise before, this cruise would be ok but I have been spoiled by other cruise lines and so this cruise was actually terrible.  The weather and the destinations were ok but the food,  service and the ship itself were not the best I have ever experienced.  I think I would have rather sat at home on the toilet with diarrhea and had more fun than going on that cruise.  The Carnival ship I went on has two stabilizers on the bottom of the ship to keep it from rocking from side to side.  Most ships have six.  We were rocking like grandma watching television.  It just would not stop.  Over all this cruise sucked.

Now to put a positive spin on this for the newsletter In mid February I went on a cruise out of Galveston, TX.  The cruise line was Carnival on the ship was Ecstasy.  Five days of not having to make your bed and not having to worry about where or what to eat was kind of nice.  Our destinations were Progeso, Yuca
tan in Mexico and then the always awesome Cozumel.  When in any of these cities you can't help but notice the entrepreneurial efforts of the community to make a living.  Hurricane Wilma in 1996 changed the way people do business there.  Pre-Wilma it was reported that taxi drivers were rude and very unfriendly.  They would not give you the time of day let alone put your luggage in the car for you.  The city leaders had so many complaints, it could not keep up with them as well as trying to fix the problem.  Tourism is the main source of income for these cities.  After the devastation of Hurricane Wilma, things changed drastically.  Wilma shut down the tourist industry for up to six months.  Many businesses were leveled because of the poor workmanship of the structures.  The sale of diamonds, gold, silver and pearls are prominent in these areas because they are so much cheaper than in the USA.  The hurricane wiped out about ninety-five percent of the jewelry stores along with their product.  When cleanup from the hurricane was going on, people would find these valuables buried in the six feet of sand that was brought in by the hurricane.  People would pocket these items and make a run for the house to unload them.  Finally the city leaders started searching everyone involved with the cleanup process.  After being without tourists for six months, the people started to realize that there was no money coming in without tourism so after that point the service to the tourists became some of the best I have seen in a long time.  Now the cabbies will treat you like you are in a limousine. They will go out of their way to please you no matter what it takes.  They also seen the payoff in tips.  People are more prone to tip if the service is good.  The rudeness stopped because of their realization that without us, they would have no income which meant they had a limited life style.  We had heard that the reef  just outside of Cozumel was damaged by the Hurricane but in all actuality it is still in pretty good shape.  A small part of it was damaged but it looks like it may come back.  It is still something one must see to believe.

For all of you who are thinking of a cruise and it is your first time then Carnival is alright.  If you want something better then I would recommend spending a little more money and cruise on Royal Caribbean.   There are large differences in the two.  Carnival is oriented more towards partying.  Royal Caribbean is more oriented towards first class entertainment and fine dining with flavorful foods and a wonderful atmosphere with first class room service. There is  much more to do on Royal Caribbean as well.  More activities are planned for the cruisers to get out and enjoy.  If any of you parents are cruising Disney Lines then we all know that their entertainment is designed for kids.  I hope this helps any of you who had questions and are thinking about taking a cruise.  The cruises are only as fun as you make them out to be so get out there and enjoy.

A Walk Down Memory Lane

After I wrote an e-mail asking for prayers for our classmates, Larry Kessler sent back this e-mail was in response to the float building project in the house on Easy Street.  I thought I would share it because it is a great memory for many of us!!

Oh, c’mon.  You have the memory of an elephant.  It was the fall of 1980, after which we graduated in spring of 1981.  To this day, that is one of my most vivid memories.  Though, I’m certain your parents didn’t forget either with the egg mess.  I think we moved that thing three times to thwart attacks before we actually finished it.  At your place it was managed largely by the Wachter side of our class.  The final place was Mike Schiermeister dad’s work shop (at least, I think that’s whose shop it was).  Once there, it was managed by the Simile side of our class, which was about 75% of the state championship wrestling team and 50% of the football team. At that point, the idiots from Century weren’t going to be stupid enough to launch an attack. There was one way in and one way out, along with a large open area around the building, removing all “drive by” opportunities.

I still tell senior year stories to this day.  The building our float fiasco (starting with your poor parent’s house).  The vintage maroon pick-up truck some of us road in the parade (again, Schiemeisters?), later flipping around the running board (tail gate) onto which Sowka had written “Eat Me,” not making Rudy Steidel happy. But hey…Animal House made its debut that year and influenced that lack of genius in all boys at that time.  If only the things kids do nowadays were just as innocent and harmless.

The following is from Phil Leer

Funny tidbit: At some point in junior high or high school, we were down at Shaumberg Arena skating for gym class.  Some of us were playing a little pick-
up hockey, while little Mike Peluso (now the head coach of BHS and a former pro hockey player!) was out skating with us, since his dad ran the arena; he
was about 5 at the time.  At one point, he went one way, I went the same way and we had a HUGE collision that ended up sending him across the ice onto his
butt and then BAWLING to tell his dad.  I felt so bad...plus, I thought Jim was going to KILL me!! :-) But, luckily, I lived to tell about it!  I enjoy
telling people now that I once checked a pro hockey player and sent him crying to his daddy!! Ha ha.



Prayers and positive thoughts are needed for the following -

Jim Larsen as he continues to recover from lung cancer and a brain tumor. 
Jane (Huckeby) Dacosta’s husband Russ and he continues the fight against cancer.


My daughter is doing well; even played hockey this winter!  She still is
doing follow-up MRI tests at Mayo every 6-9 months, but so far so good – Phil Leer.



I wasn’t sure about humor this month, because of the troubles at home.  But, I decided to go for it, sometimes humor is what gets you through a terrible day!   The following is from Connie (Wiedrick) Samualson

North Dakota per Jeff Foxworthy

If "vacation" to you means going shopping for the weekend in Bismarck or Fargo (while the kids swim at the Comfort Inn),
You might live in North Dakota

If parking your car for the night involves an extension cord,
You might live in North Dakota

If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling Through 8 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping That the food will swim by,
You might live in North Dakota

If you're proud that your state makes the national news Primarily because it houses the coldest spot in the nation,
You might live in North Dakota

If you have ever refused to buy something because it's "too Spendy",
You might live in North Dakota

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through March,
You might live in North Dakota

If someone in a store offers you assistance, and they don't Work there,
You might live in North Dakota

If your dad's suntan stops at a line curving around the Middle of his forehead,
You might live in North Dakota

If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time,
You Might live in North Dakota

If your town has an equal number of bars and churches,
You Might live in North Dakota

If you know how to correctly pronounce Bottineau,
You might live In North Dakota

If you measure distance in hours,
You might live in North Dakota .

If your family vehicle is a crew cab pickup,
You might live In North Dakota

If you know several people who have hit deer more than once,
You might live in North Dakota

If you often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day and Back again,
You might live in North Dakota

If you can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a Raging blizzard, without Flinching,
You might live in North Dakota

If you see people wearing hunting clothes at social events,
You might live in North Dakota

If you've installed security lights on your house and garage And leave both unlocked,
You might live in North Dakota

If the largest traffic jam in your town centers around a High school basketball game,
You might live in North Dakota .

If you carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend Knows how to use them,
You might live in North Dakota

If there are 7 empty cars running in the parking lot at Wal-Mart at any given time,
You might live in North Dakota

If there are more people at work on Christmas Eve Day than On Opening Deer Rifle Season,
You might live in North Dakota

If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a Snowsuit,
You might live in North Dakota

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are Filled with snow,
You might live in North Dakota

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still Winter and road construction,
You might live in North Dakota .

If you can identify a southern or eastern accent,
You might Live in North Dakota

If your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer Next to your cottonwood,
You might live in North Dakota

If the sunbelt to you means Hettinger,
You might live in North Dakota.

If a brat is something you eat,
You might live in North Dakota .

If finding your misplaced car keys involves looking in the Ignition,
You might live in North Dakota

If you find 0 degrees a little chilly,
You might live in North Dakota.

If you actually understand these observations, and you Forward them to all your North Dakota friends,
You Must Live In
North Dakota !