Center Republican Opinion

Giving Season

It’s officially giving season. Harvest season, I mean. Zucchini and squash are exchanged between friends and coworkers, boxes of tomatoes and cucumbers appear on our church table every week, and our neighbor stops by on Monday mornings to offer corn and cantaloupe. My mother has long since learned not to grow certain vegetables herself, since we’re bound to be given […]


Royal Reception

October 2, 2023 — Today, in 1941, the Ward County Independent reported on royalty here in North Dakota. Formerly King Edward of England and American-bred Mrs. Wallie Simpson, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were traveling through North Dakota on their way to the Duke’s large E. P. Ranch in Alberta. He bought it in 1919, after falling in love […]

Editing enjoyment

I enjoy editing. Not everyone does, and that’s understandable. It’s a difficult, daunting task to edit any piece of writing, be it an article or a novel or a poem or a column like this. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re trying to transform a messy first draft into something amazing. It’s also my favorite part of the writing […]


Accordion Virtuoso

September 25, 2023 — What do Abe Lincoln, “Wierd Al” Yankovic and John Lennon have in common? They all played the accordion. Among the great men who played the accordion, one North Dakota man did it exceptionally well. Carl Mathisen, dubbed Norway’s first accordion player king, was born this day in 1870. The accordion became popular in the late 19th […]


We interrupt our regular column...

This is not the column I thought I was going to write this week. Had a really funny one planned about the TV news coverage of Hurricane Idalia. (Why do they find it necessary to put their news people outside during these storms, instead of keeping them safe inside a hotel or whatever? Do they think that unless they show […]

So long, Summer

Well here we are. At the end of summer already. Time flies, doesn’t it? It seems that every year we tumble into the warmer weather with relief, glad to put the snow and cold behind us. We lay out our calendar pages and talk about pool days, afternoons at the lake, hikes, playground play dates, visits to the zoo, picnics, […]


The final hoop has been jumped. I think.

I believe I have jumped through the final hoop in my months-long effort to get the VA to set a service-connected disability percentage for my Parkinson’s disease. To review: I was diagnosed with the progressively degenerative neurological condition on Jan. 31, 2000. I learned late last year that the VA — thanks to the PACT Act — decided that PD […]


Lifesaving Whiskey

September 7, 2023 — North Dakota is home to many types of snakes. The largest is the bullsnake. It averages 83 inches long. The record length is 93 inches. They would rather escape than attack. If cornered, a bullsnake will open its mouth, hiss, vibrate its tail, and appear ready to strike. Fortunately, bullsnakes aren’t venomous, but they’re often killed […]



My life is cat-controlled!

Now that I’ve been retired for awhile, it has become clear how little control I have over my own life. Most everything I do during the course of the day is managed, observed, scrutinized or controlled by three furry overseers. Using the bathroom, taking a shower, cooking and eating a meal, watching TV, even going to bed at night. All […]

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