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Remembering McLeod, North Dakota

July 8, 2011 - Chuck Hunt
I had known about Zach Thompson becoming an Eagle Scout for a while. Zach is the Blue Earth Boy Scout who is going to be attending the World Scout Jamboree in Sweden later this summer. There was a photo of him receiving a $700 donation for the trip a while ago in the Faribault County Register. Perhaps you remember it. Then, he also spoke to the Blue Earth Kiwanis Club about the upcoming trip. At that time he mentioned working on becoming an Eagle Scout. Since we generally try and get photos of scouts as they work on their Eagle Scout community project, I made a note to find out more. So, when I found out Zach was completing his Eagle Scout project, I wasn’t very surprised. Then I found out where it was.And that was a bit of a shock. North Dakota. My initial reaction when I found that out from Zach’s mother, Lori Frisk-Thompson, was “Say what? North Dakota? Did you move?” My second reaction was, “That might be a bit of a road trip to get pictures of his handiwork.” Then I learned it had happened in the town of McLeod, North Dakota. I had one more reaction, “McLeod? Hey, I know that town.” Fresh out of college in 1973, I bought the newspaper in the town of Enderlin, North Dakota, just a couple of miles away from McLeod. Both are located in Ransom County. That created just one more reaction. I could not understand why he would pick McLeod of all places. I have been there. As I recall it wasn’t much of a town 40 years ago. And, I can’t believe it has had any type of a growth spurt lately. We used to run the rural news correspondent column called the McLeod News Notes in our Enderlin Independent newspaper. I could never figure out how the woman who wrote the McLeod News came up with all those tidbits about who visited who, who was in the hospital and who poured coffee at the bridge group’s monthly card game. After all, there was only like 25 people living there. McLeod is located in the North Dakota Sand Hills area. The southeast corner of Ransom County is called the Sand Hills, and there aren’t even many farms there – just a lot of native prairie grasses. Think “where the Buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play” and you would have a pretty good idea of what the area looks like. So, my first question was, “Why on Earth pick McLeod, North Dakota?” The explanation was the family history, and the fact that Zach’s great-great grandfather’s house became part of a historical village which is located in McLeod. That is pretty neat, when you think about it. But, there still was the issue of pictures and information about the Eagle Scout project. That is when Zach’s mother Lori mentioned a reporter being at the event. I contacted the Ransom County Gazette in nearby Lisbon, North Dakota and their reporter and the result is the story in this last week’s Register, courtesy of the Gazette and their reporter. It was a fun story to read, and it sure brought back plenty of memories of North Dakota to this old guy. Memories of back when I was a young guy.


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