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What was name of Amenia, N.D., grain elevator?

Bob Lind, Neighbors columnist

Today, Neighbors has a couple of requests for information from you Forum readers.

First, stories out of the past about farmers hauling grain that appeared here led Vicky Held, Fargo, to write about the grain elevator in her hometown of Amenia, N.D.

Vicky thinks it was called Chaffee Seed and Grain in the 1950s.

"I remember as a child all the trucks waiting in line to unload their grain," she says. "Sometimes it would take hours."

Vicky believes Life magazine did a story about the Amenia elevator in the 1950s.

Now she wonders if someone has memories and information about the elevator.

If so, pass it along to Neighbors and Vicky, OK?

Watching the skies

Secondly, do you remember when people were volunteer skywatchers?

If you do, John Hougen would like to hear about it.

John lives in Bismarck, but he grew up in Larimore, N.D.

"When I was young, probably in the late '50s or early '60s," John writes, "my dad (the late Jim Hougen) took me out of town a few times to a wooden tower that had been built by Cemetery Hill just north of Larimore.

"A group of men had organized to man the station and look in the skies all night to monitor for Russian planes.

"I'm not sure what they would have done if they'd seen anything."

This was during the Cold War, when war with Russia was a possibility, and many communities had skywatchers.

"I asked around Larimore a bit," John says, "but the only one remembering this was Henry Ouradnik, who said yes, his wife had been a volunteer.

"They did six hour shifts looking in the skies for anything suspicious."

Maybe you were a skywatcher back then, or at least, maybe you remember when others did it. If so, let Neighbors and John know.

L'Amour's death date

Now, to correct an error in Neighbors' Jan. 1 column, Jamestown, N.D. native Louis L'Amour, who wrote and sold many books, died in June 1988, not in 1958, as Neighbors incorrectly stated.

Those catching that error were John Pierce, of Concordia College, Clyde Allen, Moorhead, Dennis Olson, Bismarck, (who, by the way, says he has subscribed to The Forum since the early 1960s), and Tim Flakoll and Marlene Christenson, both of Fargo.

Marlene is the wife of the late TV personality Boyd Christenson, who Marlene says interviewed Louis several times. She has an autographed copy of one of Louis' books.

She adds that the first chapter of a book Boyd wrote, titled "Boyd Christenson Interviews," is devoted to two encounters Boyd had with Louis.

"Boyd was a real fan of his," she says, "and they maintained contact for many years."

Neighbors apologizes for getting the year of Louis' death wrong.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 241-5487 or email