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4 senators reminisce about service in Legislature

Four former and current North Dakota District 37 senators, from left, retired Sen. Bill Goetz, retired Sen. Jack Olin current Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner and retired Sen. Howard Freed, browse through a box of legislative memorabilia Friday at Hawks Point in Dickinson. The gathering was an opportunity to renew friendships and to talk about common experiences. (Press Photo by Linda Sailer )

Four senators who have represented District 37 in the North Dakota Legislature met Friday at Hawks Point to reminisce about their work and to renew appreciation for one other’s service.

The retired senators were Howard Freed, who served from 1966 to 1978; Jack Olin, who was in office from 1978 to 1982; and Bill Goetz, who served from 1990 to 1998.

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, who has been in office since 1998, joined them.

He described the gathering as an opportunity to reminisce and to take a group photo.

“I feel honored to follow in these guys’ footsteps,” he said. “They kind of set the plate for me. I appreciate everything they did while they were there.”

Goetz, who lives in Bismarck, said the gathering brought back memories for him.

“It’s being able to reflect on the days we were able to work together and accomplish, I think, some very important objectives for the Dickinson community and southwest North Dakota,” Goetz said. “Today, we’re using the Southwest Water Pipeline. We have good legislation on reclamation and the mining of lignite. It was a team effort and I think it speaks well for Howard, Jack, Rich and myself — it really was an honor to serve the community.”

They also honored former Sen. Jerry Waldera, now deceased, who served from 1982 to 1990.