Letter to the Editor: Ruth Hoglund

Recently (1-12-18) the Forum reminded us of the blizzard of 1984 where four individuals lost their loves. It is especially memorable to me as my husband and I were involved in an incident about the same time and place. It was late Saturday afternoon when my husband called and said he let his helpers go home from Northport Clothiers and that he would be on his way momentarily. He drove west on 19th Avenue North, then turned north on #81 to get to county route #20. A mile or so later he noticed a van in the ditch.

Upon investigating he found eight young students huddled together. They were on their way to Grand Forks as an outreach team from Concordia to present a program for a church. Their driver had been picked up earlier by a neighbor on #20. What their plan was we were never informed. Several of the young people had put their bathrobes on under their jackets to help keep warm. The van was out of fuel.

Meanwhile, I was at our living room window waiting for two headlights to turn in our driveway. Finally, they came. I went to open the garage door. To my surprise, eight faces smiled at me. After getting settled, one of the students called the individual in charge of the college team and said everyone was okay. After supper, we enjoyed part of their musical presentation then they went to the family room to visit and watch TV. The boys used the guest bedroom and bath upstairs while the girls had the lower level containing a bath, twin beds, bunk beds, and a pullout sofa. Everyone was comfortable. Around 2 pm on Sunday, Phil (my husband) determined the roads were passable. They got in the club cab pickup, stopped for the driver at the neighbors, and drove to Concordia with no problem. As Phil was a farm boy growing up, he always made sure our pantry and freezer were supplied as an additional 24 meals went fine. Let me remind you that these students were stranded just a mile or so around the corner where four people lost their lives. Nine students were involved, their parents plus Concordia teachers and administrators. We hear not one word. During these 34 years I often wonder where these students are. Have they ever realized that the toll of lives that day could have been greater? I just pray that they have enjoyed a wonderful life.

1 Comment

  1. I was one of those eight students. I too have often wondered about the miracle couple that saved our lives by their unbelievable generosity. Unfortunately over time, I had lost track of their names. I hope they are doing well and would love to connect with them.

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