Committee plans for Miss ND visit“We’ve got to do this,” Garvey Erfald, the town’s chief security officer, bellowed emphatically as he rushed into the meeting of the Homeland Security Committee waving a newspaper.
By: Lloyd Omdahl, The Dickinson Press
“We’ve got to do this,” Garvey Erfald, the town’s chief security officer, bellowed emphatically as he rushed into the meeting of the Homeland Security Committee waving a newspaper.
“Miss North Dakota wants to come to our town,” Garvey announced as he pointed to his newspaper.
“The Observer says she will visit for conventions, civic functions, service clubs, charitable organizations, music workshops...”
“But we don’t have any of those,” interrupted Holger Danske
“Wait a minute!” interjected Orville Jordan, the railroad depot agent who stayed when the railroad left.
“Maybe we could create one of those things, like call a convention, plan a civic function, or something.”
“Supposin’ we did invite her,” Ingver Gunderson theorized. “What would she do? Give a motivational speech?”
“Some folks in this town could use a little motivation,” chirped Lizzie Danske, casting a convicting look at Holger.
“What would a town this size do with motivation?” asked Einar Torvald rhetorically.
“We’d give it to some town that could use it,” Orville suggested. He was still angry because the town didn’t do more to stop the railroad from leaving. He conducted a person-person picket at the depot for two weeks to no avail.
“OK, so she could motivate us for 20 minutes but I can’t see a lot of folks getting up enough gumption to come for just that,” Josh Dvorchek surmised. “We would need something more than a speech.”
“I wouldn’t care what she did for 20 minutes,” Little Jimmy exclaimed.
He was the only person in town not collecting Social Security. His folks had gone to the Yukon to look for gold while he stayed home and enrolled in college on the Internet. He was now on his seventh major — ornithology. He was young and lonesome.
“Well, why not have a music workshop?” asked Madeleine Morgan, who had just returned from a cultural visit to Glendive, Mont.
“I don’t know about a workshop, but I think that an old time dance with the Polka Trio from Erslyville would draw folks from miles around,” suggested Old Sievert. “We still have the original piano over there in the corner.”
“That piano!” exclaimed Josh with disdain. “It was out of tune even when it was in tune.”
“The newspaper says we need $250 for Miss North Dakota,” Garvey pointed out reluctantly.
“Where would we get $250?” asked Einar.
“I know a Methodist minister who would come cheap and he is a real motivator with his hellfire and brimstone special,” Birdie Dvorchek pointed out. “He always came for a love offering … about $25.”
“We could charge admission if we had the Polka Trio besides Miss North Dakota,” suggested Josh. “If everybody in town came, tickets would be $11.90.”
“Considering that most of us can only shuffle, it would be more of a concert than a dance,” Holger noted with a grimace. He couldn’t even lift his left leg into the bathtub anymore.
“I don’t know about bringing Miss North Dakota into a town where the average blood pressure is 170 over 80,” cautioned Madeleine. “It could be a last hurrah for some folks. The Medicare people wouldn’t like the odds.”
“We need the money before we invite Miss North Dakota to motivate our town,” Josh concluded. “I say we ask the town board to put this on next year’s mill levy and have a public vote on it.”
Indecision was always greeted with appreciation. Buck-passing was also treasured. So the committee broke up before Garvey could even move to adjourn.