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Geez, it’s hard to believe it’s been over 5 years since my daughter, the Bear and I arrived here in Killdeer. And, in that time, we bought a place to live, started a daycare, Stephen and Samantha brought Jack “Fury” into this world and, oh yeah, you guys elected me States Attorney at the urging of my old boss (current assistant) Ross Sundeen.

By Pat Merriman
Breakfast at Nana Lil’s with the Posse, a whirlwind of court hearings, football games, and jury trials—I I look up and it’s been half a decade.
WOW! So, I want to take time to reflect on the friends I’ve made and those with whom I work every day. We should all be thankful to “the Five”—Commissioners Reinhard Hauck, Bob Kleeman, Daryl Dukart, Donna Scott and Craig Pelton.
All you have to do is look to the North to see what happens when office holders can’t get along for the common good of their constituents.
When you add Tracey Dolezal as Auditor, Lisa Guenther as court clerk/recorder and Sheriff Coker with his staff, I can honestly say it has been a pleasure to serve this last term.
Not to forget Mike Zimmerman, his road crew or the other county employees but, most of my interaction is with the “legal” and “criminal” side of stuff, so, I don’t mean to omit anybody. The problem is the time—I look up, it’s Monday and, I blink and it’s Friday…five years later!
Our martial arts program over at the Masonic Lodge in Killdeer too.
It is easy to get disheartened with young people today. I mean, if all one did is watch/read the mainstream media, white kids are protestors or opioid addicts, black kids are thugs and, everyone else is an illegal alien. Unless you take the time to actually meet people and establish relationships that is.
My “karate kids” give hope for the future. They put down their iPhone, keyboard or electronic gizmos for three hours each week to work hard and learn about the real American values of hard work, discipline, courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit.
It may not be politically correct (like sexual harassment training) but, when a kid can tell you what that term means but, doesn’t know what “honor” is—that speaks volumes.
These kids’ “parental units” give hope too because I don’t have any helicopter parents hovering in my perimeter and, we’ve always had at least one “earth mom” to sort things out—from April Schmidt, to Shila Schleppenbach and now Kaylee Garling and Shasta Patterson.
You know…old school moms who don’t lose their mind every time their kid stubs a toe.
Like my Grandma Vera—you come in with a sucking chest wound, they slap on a Bandaid, give you a glass of Koolaid and tell you to walk it off because everything’s going to be OK.
And, mostly, it’s you folks who live here too. I came up here to get away from all the nonsense we see on television.
Dunn County residents may sound like Canadians and argue with each other but, at the end of the day, they have each other’s backs and when the rubber hits the road, there is a wealth of common sense up here.
I like to say that, like Superman (who built his Fortress of Solitude at the North Pole), he didn’t put his feet up in the Bahamas, the cold keeps most of the knuckleheads down south.
So, I just wanted to take this last column of 2017 to say thank you, wish you Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

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