Mystery sparks interest for steak fry and auction


Hill Top Heritage Foundation is kicking off its 28th Annual Steak Fry and Auction on Oct. 22 at the High Plains Cultural Center  with a mystery.  Many items for the auction have been donated and are on display at the American Bank Center.

But, one donation is a complete mystery. The cedar-lined chest appeared one day. Nobody knows where it came from or who donated it.

It came with a note – almost as mysterious as the chest itself.

Here is what the note said:


I’m on the last journey of my life.

Please help!  I hear the Hill Top Home Foundation has a fund raiser.  Can you take me to this?

I would appreciate this and thank you for your help!  There isn’t much left of me.


BY:  A Fir Tree

I grew up in the Northwestern part of the U.S. I became a stately fir tree and sheltered lots of small birds and eagles. Squirrels lived in my branches, chipmunks and other varmint lived at my base. I had a wonderful life. I grew and grew, enjoying the wild life visitors, the rain and the snow.  It was wonderful!!

Then one day some men came along and placed a mark on me. What was it? What was going to happen? My fellow friends (trees) all wondered, too.  Some of them also got marked.

Not long after I got marked, some men showed up with saws. Slowly, those of us who had been marked were sawed and fell to the ground. It was scary! What was happening? We were afraid!! We got moved to a lumber mill and I was sorted to a pile with exceptionally good lumber for finish wood. Did this mean anything? I was taken away from my friends; we felt like crying. Our sap was leaving us as we got cut up more. In the process I was made into a beautiful, large, thick fir door.

As a door, I travelled to a bowling alley in Killdeer, N.D. There I was placed as a private office door. There I was nailed into, hammered, spit on, slammed shut, kicked, holes drilled into me and in some places I cracked and other places by wood was chipped and flaked off, all from misuse.

But one day the bowling alley shut down and part of it got removed. All of us doors wondered what was next. We were moved into the part of the building that was not removed. We all stood against the wall, our faith in the future gone. Would we be rescued or were we lost forever? Some of the door got wet and were damaged. And there we stood in the dark room. One year turned into many years.

After many years, we heard a rumor that the building was sold and would be torn down. A pay loader and a dumpster appeared. The rumor was true, the building was being torn down.  Oh! Again, we were all scared.

One day we were moved into a dark wood shed right next to a pile of firewood.  Was our only use left firewood??  Were we all to be ashes? Again, we got moved. This party took off my hinges and door knobs and cut me into five pieces. I was lost for sure! My future gone … just firewood. No hope.

This man took scraps of wood – oak, plywood, pine, maple flooring, a piece of bowling lane wood for my back and used metal handles and glued this all together. I found this very disgusting! I had always been by myself and then I had to share myself with other woods! This was sad! I was disappointed. What was this all coming to? Again … no future. He then stained and varnished me with some hand-me down materials. I wasn’t sure what this was going to be. But I had new cedar inside, I smelled pretty good and my feeling improved. Maybe, just maybe, there might be a future.

Hopefully, I can be a new home for some little girl’s doll, a home for a young cowboy’s hat and spurs, a toy chest or a hope chest, even a chest for saving precious memories.

Come to the Steak Fry and Auction and see if the donor of the mystery box will reveal themselves. Until then, thank you to our anonymous donor. Tickets for the steak fry are available at the local banks.

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