A Very Busy Weekend

by Helen Nolden

The following article was written by Helen Rice Nolden for The Valley Star, Velva

November 11 ,1998

Last weekend was a very busy and pleasant one for me.  John, Ardell, Barbara, Jacque, Sean, Aimee, Jessica, and Beth came to do some errands for Grandma.  The older group shingled the roof.  The young ones helped clean the yard of old shingles, nails and paper that was tossed down.  Jacque and Barbara were kept busy with the cooking.  Thank goodness for them. 

They kept dear old Mom busy being the gofer.  Constantly I was asked if I had a philip’s screwdriver.  I don’t even know anyone name Philip.  Do I have a level?  The roof has two peaks on it.  Why would you want to level it?

We went through the old silver roofing nail bit.  I know what they are now.  They aren’t pure silver!  They didn’t fool me this time with that darn extension ladder.  I know that it grows and shrinks. 

John was plugging little holes along the foundation of the house.  He renamed my hollyhocks that were, also, growing along the foundation.

Sean put in a water purifier in the  basement.  It catches all the gunk in the water  before it gets to the water heater, washer, faucets, and coffee maker.  That should be a plus in the near future. 

While Sean was working on the water purifier, absolute panic struck the household when he announced he would have to shut off the water for over an hour.  The old adage, “you never miss the water till the well runs dry,” never rang truer than at that moment.  Seemed liked everyone had to have water or needed the biffy.  However, we survived.

Most of the children left on Sunday.  Jacque and crew left on Monday.  I had just settled down a bit when Howard Hall called.  He was on his way to Anamoose from Bismarck.  He is from Brisbane, Australia.  He owns the old Walker building on main street.  Most of us know it as the old post office.

He stopped at my place.  We had supper at the café, then toured his building.  It needs a lot of repair.  The wiring and plumbing is bad.  But it is still a sturdy building.  The roof was repaired a few years ago. 

We were talking about using the old building as a museum.  So many small towns are doing that.  We need something to preserve our history.  Drake is in the process of deciding to use the old print shop as their museum.  I was told Bowdon has a nice museum.  Their population is smaller than Anamoose’s.

There are three apartments on the second floor of the old Walker Building.  All three need a lot of work, but wouldn’t it be nice to make use of them instead of letting them deteriorate into oblivion as we have with so many of our buildings on Main Street.

As Howard said when he was at my place, “If you had a room or an apartment for people who are traveling through or visiting her in Anamoose, these travelers wouldn’t have to seek rooms out of town, and they wouldn’t have to trouble the local citizens for lodging.” 

Howard wasn’t really any trouble for me.  We had some very interesting conversations.  He stayed at my place the three days he spent here in Anamoose. 

I never realized just how much we were the same and, yet, how different our English language was.  He asked me if he could “ring up someone”.  He meant he wanted to use the phone.  We laughed a lot.  I can’t remember when I drank so much tea.  Some with lemon and some with orange juice.  No sugar, but a touch of cream was allowed. 

I do think it would be nice to have a museum.  I believe it would be a credit to the city.  A place to keep our history and a place to keep our lodgers, all in the same building on main street.

I know it would cost money, but wouldn’t we all benefit from it if we could slow down the demise of our community?  Too many buildings have been left to die on main street.

Our bank building was left to the ravages of time with no help or repair.  My father, an immigrant from Russia, came in 1908-09 and helped build that beautiful structure.  Will nothing of our early settlers remain?  Must it all be left to ruin and torn down?  I keep thinking, there must be a way.  Somewhere, somehow, there must be a way to preserve a bit of old Anamoose.


Back to History Page