Friends and Family Part
Nineteen eigthy-two ended by giving our
dear friends a ride to the airport. Nineteen eighty-four started by picking
up our same friends from the airport. As we walked to the car David said,
"We were gone the entire year of 1983. We never set foot in America
in 1983." They had just returned from a one-year teacher exchange
also acknowledged, "It's been a tough year for you."
Gail's Dad, Ralph
In the middle of May 1983, the phone call
came that Gail's father
had died. He was a great farmer and he died climbing into his tractor.
Gail and Becky boarded a plane the next day to be with her mother and
attend the funeral.
weeks later, Denvy, Darron, Marc and their cousin, Steve, drove to North
Dakota in the new pickup they
had bought that spring. It was one time when the border inspector going
into North Dakota asked them to come into the office. Denvy asked why
we looked suspicious. The answer: a bearded man
with two young boys, one being African American, a very long haired young
man and a pickup registered to another--Gail. Yeap, that'll do it! Later
that month, Gail's family gathered again to celebrate Gail's mother, Ellen's
It was about the last day of August when
a similar phone call came. Denvy's uncle Lenhard and his sister Elsie
had died of a poisonous gas affixiation at the bottom of their silo. In
preparation for harvesting corn and storing it as silage in a dug-silo,
Elsie had gone into the silo to clean it. She collapsed and when Lenhard
went to help her out, he too was overcome by the gas. Denvy's mother found
them several days later after some time when they didn't answer their
month later Denvy flew to North Dakota to help prepare for a farm auction.
The Methodists Appear in Trapper Creek
After Saxowskys returned home from their
twirlwind trip to the Lower 48, there were comments in the community that
it would have been nice if there were a "mainline" church in
the area when the high school
math teacher died that spring. Denvy wrote a letter to the Presbyterian
executive who handed to a Methodist peer whose office was in the same
builiding. The Methodists already had a plan in action and so the letter
was handed to a minister wha was appointed to start churches along the
Parks Highway which included Trapper Creek. Jack Christian answered the
letter with a phone call and a visit the next day. The next day, Sunday,
the first service of the Trapper Creek Methodist Fellowship occured.
Denvy and Gail found a piece of land and the Methodist denomination found
a portable building a year later.