Volume 126, Number 17
Taxidermy shop in Sheyenne is more than meets the eye
BY SARA J. PLUM
If you’re going to have a lunch counter in a taxidermy shop, the name becomes very important.
You want a name that reflects the quality of food being served and the atmosphere of the establishment.
Or, if you have a wonderful sense of humor, you give it a name people think you would not dare give it, "Spicy Road-Kill Cafe."
Before everyone gets in a tizzy and all grossed out, let me assure you road-kill, though plentiful, is NOT being served. And the taxidermy part of the shop is totally walled off. Even if it wasn’t, it’s cleaner than some restaurant kitchens I’ve seen over the years.
The Spicy Road-Kill Cafe was originally the brainchild of Greg Kolstad of Wild Things Taxidermy and Larry Brenno of Brenno Meats. It can be found along US Highway 281 in Sheyenne in the west end of the taxidermy shop. Or for those who haven’t been to Sheyenne in awhile, go to the building that used to house the grocery store and bank.
The guys got a limited restaurant license when they decided in February of 2008 to serve noon meals. Greg had a custom serving counter built and installed by a construction company in New Rockford; Larry started making soup; and Bek Meredith, who works part-time for Greg, helped with serving and details.
Things were rolling along just fine until Greg realized that come September he wouldn’t be able to help much because he’d be guiding. Larry also realized his business was going to be very busy when deer were brought for processing.
But people in Sheyenne enjoyed having a place to gather for their noon meal and some visiting.
So with a "can do" spirit and tidbits from Horizons training reverberating in their heads, the women of Sheyenne took over the reins of the Spicy Road-Kill Cafe on a trial basis.
Coordinated by Bek, anywhere from 10 to 15 women have pitched in to make soup, bars and cookies; help set up, serve and cleanup; and make sure the coffeepot is full. Those in the community who are unable to cook or work have donated money or other items necessary to running a cafe.
All cooking and baking is done on-site. Behind the counter is a 3-compartment sink, a portable dishwasher, a stove, a refrigerator, and a full-size water heater. On top of the counter is a microwave, restaurant-sized coffeemaker and the computer system the city received for completing the Horizons program.
With Senior Meals service in Sheyenne being discontinued, the noon meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays are especially popular with the senior citizens. A flat fee of $5 helps make it affordable. If you only want coffee or a bar, they are 50? each.
The cafe is set up buffet-style. You may pay for your meal first or fill a tray and pay when you’re done — just in case one piece of dessert, one sandwich or one bowl of soup wasn’t enough.
Heaven forbid if you leave hungry. Grandmothers and great-grandmothers would turn over in their graves if they thought that was happening.
As stated before, the soups are made on the premises and always made from scratch. Just a few of the choices are Alyson’s Mom’s Knefla Soup, Brittany’s Chili, Chris’s Turkey Noodle Soup, Marge’s Split Pea Soup, Paula’s Potato Soup and Sandi’s Stuffed Pepper Soup.
And if your mouth isn’t watering yet, some of the sandwich offerings have been grilled cheese, ham salad, shredded beef and roast turkey.
Let’s not forget the sweet tooth. Birthday cake, Bek’s Boogie Bars or double dip brownies should help with that.
Seasonal meals and treats are also featured and the cafe is decorated accordingly. (Let me take a moment to apologize to those who are trying to lose weight or have to watch their sugar intake. Just grab a Kleenex and dab your eyes so you can keep reading.) The seating arrangements are family-style with four tables that seat eight people and two that seat four. Lots of visiting gets done with this arrangement. Family recipes have also been known to appear on napkins and passed to whomever is working that day. We all know how wonderful family recipes are.
A daily average of 27 people eat lunch during the 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. serving time. The best day at the cafe so far is 49 hungry souls. The ladies working behind the counter have also been known to make home deliveries.
Groups such as the Eddy County Housing Authority, ND Game & Fish and Red Hat ladies from Harvey and New Rockford have made arrangements in advance to have lunch meetings there.
Last winter some of the gals volunteered a couple evenings a week during the weeks Harvey Solberg and Greg were teaching an archery class. They kept it simple with pizza and pop (the mainstay of most teenagers) and had a blast. Bek and the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Crockpots" will even consider serving evening meetings, just call her at Wild Things, 996-2282.
Overhead at the cafe is minimal. Since cooks and waitresses are volunteering their time and talent the only tax to be paid is the state sales tax. Greg is paid a nominal rent and all the sandwich ingredients and beverages are purchased. School bus drivers from New Rockford deliver fresh buns from the bakery there and the ladies are always on the lookout for sales on pop, juice, bottled water and other high ticket items.
Originally the food and beverages were served using disposable plates, bowls, cups and cutlery. While that method saved time, it wasn’t very cost effective or environmentally friendly. The Sheyenne Senior Center agreed to loan its dishes, helping keep that operating cost down.
This summer Brittany Kolstad will be working at the cafe. She currently attends a culinary art school in Moorhead, Minn. and her experience at the Spicy Road-Kill Cafe will be beneficial, not to mention an eye-catcher on her resume. She plans on next attending a special pastry school in Arizona. Imagine the desserts she’ll be able to whip up after that. (Grab another Kleenex and keep reading.) Menus are created a month in advance and volunteers are contacted. There have only been a couple of times when someone has forgotten it was their turn to make soup or bars, or something came up that prevented a person from working. A few quick phone calls and disaster is always prevented.
The regulars know that the menu is subject to change and, of course, you can always "Take It or Leave It" as stated at the top of the menu.
The day I went to check out the Spicy Road-Kill Cafe Bek Meredith, Paula Myhre and Patty Larson were working. While they were finishing up a couple of things behind the counter I was able to take pictures of customers.
The display area of the taxidermy shop borders the cafe area. When asked if the animal mounts bothered them I got mixed responses. Some said they have learned to ignore the animals and others claim it’s like eating outdoors at a national park. Either way, all agreed they are there for the food and company. (And, hey, if the health inspector likes the ambiance, who are we to judge?) Soon Bek, Paula and Patty joined me at one of the smaller tables. As we talked about the cafe I couldn’t help but hear the joy and pride in their voices.
They told me how all the proceeds are going to Sheyenne’s big community development project — making the school into a bed and breakfast. Involvement in the Horizons program has jump started this town and the right mix of people is in place to keep it going.
The fear of forgetting someone kept us from trying to name everyone who has been involved in the cafe so far, but you know who you are and hopefully how much your contributions mean.
Sheyenne celebrated its 125th anniversary last year and its residents are determined it will be around another 125 years.
With an great eatery called Spicy Road-Kill Cafe, anything is possible.
Volunteering at the Spicy Road-Kill Cafe in Sheyenne are, left to right, Patty Larson, Paula Myhre and Bek Meredith. They are joined by many others who give of their time and talent to provide a place for residents and others to have lunch and visit two days a week.
These customers enjoy the family-style seating and good homemade food. Left to right are Quentin Georgeson, Charlotte Larson, Lois Swenson, Arlene Benson and Rodney Ebenhahn (a/k/a Burt Reynolds, or so he said). All are from Sheyenne. When asked about the animals mounted in the background, they said the animals could stay as long as they leave the food alone.
Gov. Hoeven visits again
Gov. John Hoeven made a second visit to Minnewaukan in less than a week. He was here May 13 to view Minnewaukan’s situation in relation to Devils Lake flooding. Hoeven’s schedule was tight that day and at a meeting that afternoon in Devils Lake, Mark Motis, a member of the Minnewaukan City Council told Hoeven that students at the school were disappointed he didn’t enter the school on that trip. They had made a welcome banner and were hoping to see him. Hoeven told Motis he would be back. As a result Hoeven stopped here Monday, May 18 on a helicopter trip to Devils Lake. He took time to visit with the students and was enthusiastically greeted by the students and school staff. He is shown here visiting with some of the students in the school gym.
The school presented Gov. Hoeven with a Minnewaukan High School T-shirt. Making the presentation was Joey Robertson. In the background is Principal Ron Carlson.
Students and staff wait at the south end of the school for the arrival of Gov. Hoeven. They were able to witness the landing of the National Guard helicopter which transported the governor.
Gov. Hoeven walks away from the National Guard helicopter after it landed on the softball diamond south of the school.
On the left is Mark Motis of the Minnewaukan City Council, Vicki Maddock, a school staff member and Gov. Hoeven, who visited with pre-kindergarten students. In the background is Supt. Myron Jury.
On the way into the school Gov. Hoeven visited with some sixth through ninth graders.
As Gov. Hoeven walked into the gym the students greeted him with enthusiastic applause and cheers. On the right is Supt. Myron Jury.
A group of students from the fourth grade, with Debbie Dyste at the piano, sang the National Anthem. Before they sang Gov. Hoeven showed a card he received from the second grade.
Students study Egypt
The second and third grade classes at the Leeds School studied ancient Egypt recently. They learned about the Nile River, the pyramids, hieroglyphics and the clothing and customs of the time. The students made the double crown of Egypt to signify the unity of Upper and Lower Egypt and the crook and flail, symbolizing authority and fertility of the land. The third graders also made their own model of a sarcophagus, the place where the mummy was laid to rest. Luke Pepple and Hailey Gunderson pose with their double crown and their crook and flail.
Declan Ritterman points to his hieroglyphics.
Arnikka Thompson stands beside her sarcophagus.
Braydon Follman stands with his sarcophagus at the elementary art show.
Leeds music students
Leeds Elementary Music Students of the Year were awarded music trophies the last day of school at the elementary awards program.
Left to right, back row, are Kaylee Lybeck, Andrea Jorgenson, Adam Fischer and Keaton Nelsen. Front row: Arnikka Thompson, John Fischer and Madi Dulmage.
Elementary Band Students of the Year are Paige Johnson and Joe Silliman.
Wildcats girls take second at Class B state track and field meet in Bismarck
BY SARA J. PLUM
At the end of the events on Friday, May 22, the Benson County Wildcats girls’ team had accumulated 32 points and were 11 points ahead of their nearest competitor, Velva-Drake, for the No. 1 spot.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the Panthers of Rugby scored 54 points in Saturday’s events to take top honors for Class B girls at state.
Benson County still impresses at the Community Bowl in Bismarck, though. With seven girls qualifying, there was enough power to place well in the events that mattered.
Junior Sharisa Yri of Maddock took the long jump state title, flying 17’3.25" before her feet landed in the sand.
Alyssa Anderson of Leeds, Krista’s and Lyndsay’s sister, won the 3200 meter run, much to the dismay of those who thought they had a chance now that the Anderson sisters are at college. Sorry girls!
Alyssa and Sara Schwanke of Maddock crossed the finish line of the 1600 meter run with only 0.34 seconds separating them, earning second and third place honors.
The girls’ 4×800 meter relay team (Sara Schwanke, Alyssa Anderson, Erin Leier and Katelynn Engh) was only five seconds behind Watford City. Ms. Engh gave it her all, but just couldn’t overtake Kara Johnsrud.
Meghan Jorgenson of Leeds qualified in the high jump and even though her mark of 4’9" was tied with three other eighth place finishers, the scoring system at the state level place her tied with others for ninth place. Three girls leapt 5’2" for first place, but the scoring system separated them out into first, second and third place.
On the testosterone side of things, the boys’ team had been performing extremely well during this springs’ short track season, placing second in the Region 3 meet the week before state. Try as they might, the boys couldn’t get anything going in Bismarck and scored a disappointing two points.
Maybe there’s truth to the sayings about winning attitudes. While the girls are used to being in the top three at the state meet, the boys haven’t had that success and need to realize they have the talent it takes to achieve the same marks as the girls do on the state level.
So boys, take the challenge to have that winning attitude next year at state. Wouldn’t it be neat to have a Benson County sweep in 2010?
Here are the state meet stats for the Wildcats athletes who placed in the top eight in the event:
Friday, May 22
Girls’ 1600 meter run: Alyssa Anderson 5:19.36, 2nd; Sara Schwanke 5:19.70, 3rd.
Girls’ 4×800 meter relay: Sara Schwanke, Alyssa Anderson, Erin Leier, Katelynn Engh 9:57.18, 2nd.
Girls’ long jump: Sharisa Yri 17’3.25", 1st.
Boys’ 4×800 meter relay: Beau Buehler, Derek Engh, Andy Backstrom, Jason Smith 8:47.29, 8th.
Saturday, May 23
Girls’ 100 meter dash: Sharisa Yri 13.39, 8th.
Girls’ 200 meter dash: Sharisa Yri 27.22, 5th.
Girls’ 800 meter run: Erin Leier 2:24.18, 5th.
Girls’ 3200 meter run: Alyssa Anderson 11:34.48, 1st.
Girls’ triple jump: Sharisa Yri 35’3.5", 3rd.
Boys’ 4×100 meter relay: JD Schmid, Matt Knudson, Blake Darling, Daniel Luhman 46.04, 8th.
The Benson County Wildcats girls’ team earned second place at the ND Class B State track meet held in Bismarck May 22-23. This is the seventh straight year the girls’ team has been in the top three at the state meet. Members of the 2009 team are, left to right, Allison Manley, Katelynn Engh, Sharisa Yri, Erin Leier, Meghan Jorgenson, Alyssa Anderson and Sara Schwanke.
Students visit zoo
Leeds Elementary students enjoyed a field trip to the Roosevelt Zoo in Minot the last week of school. Students pose in front of a golden eagle. Left to right, front row, are Trisin Burtchell, Katlyn Bingham, Macy Engstrom, Jarrel McGarvey, Madi Dulmage and Alea Manley. Back row: Dani Schwanke, Rochelle Hansen, Arnikka Thompson, Jacob Pfeifer, Timothy Thayne and Shelby Follman.
Students raise $600
Mrs. Holly Retzlaff, the Warwick School’s phy ed teacher, organized a jump rope for heart health with her elementary classes. More than $600 was raised by 12 students, who are pictured receiving their awards. Left to right are Markie Shaw, Phoenix Joramo, Sage Bertsch, Megan Joramo, Shastene Lambert, Madison Leaf, Hailey Tollefson, Weylin Azure, Seanna Georgeson, Shania Georgeson (top fund-raiser with $132.26), Jordan Bertsch and Mrs. Holly Retzlaff. Not pictured is Emily Rainbow.
Four receive Minnewaukan Education Scholarships The Minnewaukan Education Association awarded four scholarships this year. Each year the faculty and staff at the school donate money to wear jeans on Fridays to fund the Minnewaukan Education Association Scholarship.
Scholarships are awarded based on the applicants’ academic and personal successes, as well as the students’ goals of pursuing post-secondary education. This year $500 scholarships were awarded to Jacquelyn Armentrout, Elizabeth Beecroft, Gregor Schmid and Dallas Welch Jr. All four winners were accomplished students and involved in numerous extracurricular activities. All winners were honored at graduation on Sunday, May 24.
Jacquelyn Armentrout is the daughter of Kelly Armentrout. She plans to attend Lake Region State College at Devils Lake and obtain a degree in nursing.
Beth Beecroft is the daughter of Nicole Beecroft and the late Tony Beecroft. She plans on attending UND and pursuing a degree in medicine.
Gregor Schmid is the son of Annette and Ed Schmid Jr. He is planning on attending Lake Region State College and eventually pursuing a degree in video game design.
Dallas Welch Jr. is the son of Dallas Welch Sr. He is planning on attending Lake Region State College in the fall. Later he plans to go into the National Guard and obtain a degree in personal training or physical therapy.
Recipients of the Minnewaukan Education Association Scholarships are, left to right, Dallas Welch Jr., Jacquelyn Armentrout, Elizabeth Beecroft and Gregor Schmid.
Class experiences history in Bismarck
BY LINDEE HESER
Fourth Grade Teacher
On May 7 Mrs. Heser’s fourth grade class traveled to Bismarck for the day. The trip capped off a year of studies centered on North Dakota. On the way to Bismarck the students were entertained by playing "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire North Dakota?" a game based on the popular game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" The game allowed the students to complete trivia questions based on what they learned when studying the state of North Dakota.
The first stop in Bismarck was at the Heritage Center. There students explored the various periods in North Dakota’s history. The students’ favorite exhibit was of the mastodon skeleton. They also completed a Heritage Center scavenger hunt that allowed them to answer questions on the various exhibits like the mastodon, Native American life, steamboats in North Dakota, homestead life and life in North Dakota during the Great Depression.
After playing games on the Capitol lawn, the students headed to the State Capitol where they had a tour. Students were able to see the Theodore Roosevelt Roughrider Hall of Fame, the Memorial Hall, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Supreme Court, the Monkey Room and the 18th floor observatory. The students’ favorite stop at the Capitol was in the Supreme Court and riding the elevator to the 18th floor. The Monkey Room is actually a fire exit and the room features California walnut walls. The wood is very rare and the Capitol building accidentally received one third of the world’s supply. The wood is known for its wild animal veneer. When the students looked closely they could pick out monkeys, horses and other animals in the grain of the wood.
The last stop of the day took the students across the Missouri River to Mandan and to Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. While at the park the class stepped back into the 1870’s and became guests at the home of General George Custer. The class marched up to the home and the boys even escorted the girls up the steps. After visiting Custer’s home the class marched on to see what life was like in the barracks. They were even able to lie down on the hard wooden beds and feel what it might have been like to be a soldier at Fort Abraham Lincoln.
The field trip continued on to see the On-A-Slant Indian Village. There the class received a tour of two earth lodges that were reconstructed to show how the Mandan Indians lived.
The day ended with a quick supper stop of pizza and then back on the bus to Minnewaukan.
Minnewaukan fourth graders are pictured on the steps of Custer’s house. Left to right, back row, are Miss Hakanson, Thad Schlotman, James Lovejoy, Shaylynn Martin, John Charging Crow, O’Shea Redfox, Stephon Littlewind and Mrs. Heser. Middle row: Brandon Alberts, Kendrick Pearson, Austin Crosswhite, MaKayla Leaf, Shania Longie, Talissa Ami and Tayea Thomas. Front row: Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park tour guide, Angela Young, Paul Azure and Dominique Brien.
Minnewaukan students are pictured in front of the State Capitol. Left to right, back row, are Miss Hakanson, James Lovejoy, Thad Scholotman, John Charging Crow, Tayea Thomas, Shaylynn Martin, Kendrick Pearson, Austin Crosswhite, O’Shea Redfox, Mrs. Heser and Stephon Littlewind. Front row: Paul Azure, Dominique Brien, Brandon Alberts, Talissa Ami, Angela Young, MaKayla Leaf and Shania Longie.
Holding the Spirit Lake Nation flag at the Heritage Center is Paul Azure.
In front of the sign at Fort Abraham Lincoln, noting that after that sign you step back in time to 1875 are James Lovejoy and Stephon Littlewind.
Minnewaukan students are pictured in front of an earth lodge at On-A-Slant Indian Village. Left to right, back row, are Mrs. Heser, O’Shea Redfox, John Charging Crow, James Lovejoy, Dominque Brien, Paul Azure, Shania Longie, Talissa Ami, Austin Crosswhite and Miss Hakanson. Middle row: Thad Scholotman, Anglea Young, Brandon Alberts, Kemdrick Pearson, Shaylynn Martin and Tayea Thomas. Front row: Stephon Littlewind and MaKayla Leaf.