Lloyd Omdahl, a retired University of North Dakota political science instructor, proposes a suspension of political intolerance during the Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday season.

“We need a special season of love and charity, replacing polarization and hatred,” said Omdahl in a column that appeared in the Nov. 22 issue of the Fargo Forum. “If we try it for a season, maybe some of it will stick.”

He says that if people continue to put all their energy into intolerance, anger and hate, there is little hope for moderation in the year ahead.

“Polls show that the polarized Republicans and Democrats hate each other more than ever before,” Omdahl said, “and polarization is trickling down into the citizenry more and more.”

He said many church leaders believe that love is in short supply these days.

“Decency and love are on the run, and many of us are part of this,” Omdahl said. “We need to shed our grudges and hatred.”

Omdahl said that during the Thanksgiving-Christmas season it would be well and good to see people having less political intolerance and instead focusing on people who are being tossed about without compassion or care.

“Keep in mind that hundreds of children in North Dakota and Minnesota get only a small meal at Christmas and few gifts under the tree,” Omdahl said. “The same is true for many elderly folks who are fearful in their fragile days.”

He reminds people that during this year’s holiday season hugs and acts of kindness will do us better than hate, anger and intolerance.

“We need to abide by faith, hope and love,” Omdahl says, “with the greatest of these being love.”


Some winter fun on 

West Cavour Avenue

This is the time of year, while connecting with family and friends, when people look back on their growing up years.

Such is the case for 1960 Fergus Falls High School graduate Ed Darby who lived four years on West Cavour Avenue before moving with his family to South Whitford Avenue.

“Regarding West Cavour, I have two vivid memories and Mike Sigelman (FFHS Class of 1957) was a major player,” Darby said.

In their back yard, Mike and his younger brother, Paul, built a large two-tower snow fort with the towers connected by a tunnel. “Hours of fun,” Darby said.

The Sigelman brothers also collaborated to build a snow ramp, estimated by Darby to be 3 to 4 feet high. 

“I remember the ramp allowed a kid to gather significant sled speed when accessing Cavour Avenue,” says Darby who currently lives in Colorado.

Mike Sigelman resides in the Twin Cities and Paul Sigelman lives in California.

Neighbors included Jan Pratt, now Jan Pratt Nelson, and Lynn, Steve and Charley Johnson. Charley lived in Fergus Falls through ninth grade and later became a TV anchor in Fargo.


Downtown Fergus holiday

shopping in the ’50s, ’60s

During the Christmas holiday shopping season, in the 1950s and 1960s, model trains ran behind the show windows of places such as Montgomery Ward, Gambles, Our Own Hardware and Frankoviz Hardware in Fergus Falls. 

In the evening hours, parents often shopped in downtown Fergus Falls while their kids skated at nearby Lake Alice.

“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” recorded by Brenda Lee in 1958, was a favorite of kids when ice skating at Lake Alice during the Christmas holiday season.

While kids skated, their parents shopped at Arneson & Larson clothiers, Norby’s Department Store, O’Meara’s Department Store, St. Clair & Rovang clothiers, the S&L Department Store, Pushings’ Klad-Ezee which later became the children’s store and other downtown business establishments.

For reprieves while shopping, people could grab a cup of coffee at Skogmo Café, the Normandy Café, Osterberg Café which later became the Viking Café, City Café and Bakery, Elton’s Café, Lincoln Café, Western Café, the Log Cabin restaurant, Nelson’s Café, Bus Depot on Washington Avenue and other dining establishments.


Tom Hintgen is a longtime Daily Journal columnist. His column appears Saturdays.

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