Buy me some peanuts and Whiskey Jacks | June 17, 2021

Our nine-year-old played two sets of double-headers last Friday and Saturday.  On Sunday, we naturally decided to detox after hours upon hours of baseball by taking our two sons and a friend to a Wheat City Whiskey Jacks baseball game.  The Whiskey Jacks played the Badlands Big Sticks at Kraft Field, which is apparently known to our family as “that place with the concession stand” because the boys ate their way through the entire experience.

In the first inning, the Whiskey Jacks and Big Sticks each scored two runs.  We had come to the ballpark directly from dinner – and by “directly” I mean that one of the kids was still chewing it as we found a parking spot – and so the three boys got six two-for-$1 Freeze pops for dessert and I had a frozen Snickers because I was standing in line anyways.

In the second inning, both the Whiskey Jacks’ and Big Sticks’ pitchers hit a batter with a ball.  While getting beaned by an errant pitch is certainly nothing new in nine-year-old baseball (one of the kids on Nine’s team had the luck of being hit twice during a single game the previous weekend) the kids were beside themselves with excitement that it could happen to the big boys, too.  Shouting “OOOOOOOOH” and “THROW STRIKES, PITCHER” made our six-year-old thirsty, so Kyle stopped by the stand to buy him a bottle of water.  Six went along “to go to the bathroom” and came back with a bag of popcorn.

In the third, the Whiskey Jacks’ second baseman got a double and did a little celebration dance on the bag.  The dancing made our sons’ friend realize that if he didn’t spend the $5 his mother had given him, he would still have $5.  Fortunately, the concession stand was willing to trade it for a soda and a bag of chips.

In the fourth, a different Whiskey Jacks pitcher hit one of the Big Sticks with a wild pitch after a contentious “was it, wasn’t it” foul ball situation.  The boys’ friend had trouble yelling, “OOOOOOOOOH” with a mouthful of chips, which reminded Six that he was “starving.”  When offered a hot dog or a hamburger, Six revealed that he wasn’t that starving, “only chippie hungry.”  It was also in this inning that Nine and the friend gathered enough research to determine that the handful of fly balls that had left the playing field had tended to go in every direction except the one in which we were sitting.  When I pointed out that most people prefer to be away from the path of fly balls, Nine and Friend decided to leave the park and hang out around the concession stand in order to nab one.

“What are you going to do if you catch a ball?”  I asked.

“Play with it,” Nine said.

“But we have a whole bucket of balls at home,” I reminded him.

“Ugh, Mom,” he said.  “These are different.”

At the top of the fifth, the Whiskey Jacks took out the Big Sticks 1-2-3.  A little boy sitting in front of us was eating a giant hot dog.  The hot dog had other ideas, and slowly slid out of the bun and onto the ground.  The little boy took a look at it, shrugged, and went back to eating his bun.  Nine had returned briefly to initially announce that he, too, was “only chippie hungry” – elevating his declaration after the hot dog incident to “maybe hot dog hungry.”

In the sixth inning, the Whiskey Jacks’ batter hit a drive directly to the Big Sticks’ pitcher, who caught it for the third out.  This gave us a chance to talk about how much that must have hurt, and how dangerous it is to be a pitcher, and how maybe I was “maybe hot dog hungry,” too.

We left at the seventh inning stretch because Six had circled around the concession stand menu and was hinting strongly at both another Freeze pop and a need for sleep.  Nine and Friend did not catch a foul ball, so they had to settle for bringing home only good memories.

“What was your favorite part?”  I asked as we got in the truck.

“I liked when the catcher got to run down the runner at third,” said Nine.

“I liked the home run,” said the Friend.

“I liked the baseball game,” said Six.

“And I liked when the pitcher didn’t realize it was a live ball,” Kyle said.  “What was your favorite?”

“The Snickers,” I said quietly.

The photo above is from the game, which ended 8-6 in favor of the Big Sticks.

This week’s news is about a really big garage sale, a pride of lions, and Pie Day.  Read on.

The 19th annual “Highway 21 Treasure Hunt” kicks off today (June 18) and includes 100+ rummage sales along a 100-mile route, going through Flasher, Carson, Heil, Elgin, New Leipzig, Mott, Regent, and New England. (Dickinson Press)

Grenora’s Ron Laqua and Joanie Ledahl have put together an online record of the stories of everyone buried in the local cemetery. (Fargo Forum)

Hillsboro displays 500 flags up and down the boulevard in honor of Hillsboro Days, Independence Day, Labor Day, Patriots Day, and Veterans Day. (Jamestown Sun)

Bottineau’s Lauren Vad has lived in South Africa for the last 6.5 years, and is now opening her own wildlife sanctuary (with four new lions!), named Warriors of Wildlife. (KX Net)

The Fargo Memorial Honor Guard will be honoring Navy veteran Brian Gordon Johnson, who served between 1976 and 1980 and will be the fourth veteran to go unclaimed and buried by the organization. (KVRR)

Seven-year-old Cooper Craig got to be a Dickinson police officer for the day (and stop a bank robbery!), thanks to Make-a-Wish North Dakota and the Dickinson Police Department. (KX Net)

Hillsboro’s Elise Jacobson is headed to Arkansas to compete in the Miss College America Pageant. (Hillsboro Banner)

Pie Day is back at the Valley City Barnes County Public Library. (Valley City Times-Record)

Nice news of the week – February 27, 2020

Happy leap year week!  Speaking of upcoming events, here a few to help you meet your fellow North Dakotans:

  • Beer and Bacon Bash on February 29 from 1pm – 5pm in downtown Cavalier.  For $10, you get a beer mug, a map, and punch cards for door prizes and a poker run entry.
  • The 58th Annual Feast of Nations on March 7 starting at 5pm at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.  For $35 ($25 if you are a student), you get a five-course international meal, live music and cultural dancing, and a chance to win tickets to Folklorama.
  • The 21st Annual Fargo Film Festival from March 17-21 at the Fargo Theatre in Fargo.  There are dozens of shorts and panel discussions, as well as a number of juried categories for the movies.
  • The 42nd Annual Runnin O’ the Green on March 21 in Jamestown.  You need to be 21 years old and have a non-alcoholic drink or alcoholic drink at several bars and pubs in town.  Last year, 1,500 people participated.  Proceeds this year will support area cancer patients.
  • The 5th Annual Gumbo Cook Off in Williston.  Admission is $10 (and you must be over 21) and proceeds go to Bras for a Cause.
  • The 3rd Annual North Dakota Ice Hole Extravaganza/Indoor Cornhole Tournament on April 3 and 4 in Devils Lake.  The largest cornhole tournament in North Dakota has over $50,000 in prizes and a live band.

And speaking of gathering, the Story of the Week is all about in-person connections.  Read on for all of this week’s nice news.


This is the dictionary definition of North Dakota Nice: a Bismarck woman found an ornament in a coat pocket, and so she called the local news station to return it to its owner.  And, of course, the station obliged. (KX Net)

Crosby’s Mariah Jenkins is wearing a special dress at prom this year. (KFYR TV)

Hunter’s mom is a classmate of mine and so I’ve been following his story closely since his accident.  This is such a great article – the first in a series of three – about an amazing guy with an amazing attitude. (Grand Forks Herald)

I have an 8-year-old and a 4-year-old, and we just spent a night talking about what you do if you get stuck outside and it’s freezing cold.  Thank goodness for Fargo’s Mark Sorum, who saved an elderly woman from freezing to death. (Fargo Forum)

You’ve read about West Fargo’s Sawyer Anderson before – she’s the girl who wrote “Water Works” to bring attention to the water crisis in Africa – and now Sawyer gave a copy of her book to a group of students in Fargo and, in exchange, they donated money for water wells in Africa. (KVRR)

Thanks to a dedicated science teacher, students in Flasher now have a Level 2 lab. (KFYR TV)

This is a great story about not letting criticism get in the way of your dreams: New Rockford’s Paula Winskye has just published her 21st novel. (New Rockford Transcript)

I had someone tell me the other day that they throw away pennies.  At Lincoln Elementary in Dickinson, kids brought in those “worthless” pennies to raise $7,329.80 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. (Dickinson Press)

Minot’s Domestic Violence Crisis Center and PATH Inc. held a chili cookoff for Giving Hearts Day, which is really a win-win for everyone involved. (Minot Daily News)

Bismarck’s Emma Beverly, who is now tumor-free, is off to Disney World thanks to Make-A-Wish North Dakota. (KFYR TV)

I don’t even know how to describe this story.  You’ll need to read it for yourself. (Grand Forks Herald)

New Rockford-Sheyenne School is one of only a few schools nationwide to receive a “Molly of Denali” grant for family learning. (New Rockford Transcript)

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  I’d struggle to be one of the spectators, let alone a participant. (Grand Forks Herald)

Oh.My.Gosh.  I think the snow fort is about to become the new backyard rink. (Grand Forks Herald)

There’s a new pageant for kids – a natural pageant, so none of the heavy makeup or hairdos – coming to North Dakota, and the winner goes to Palm Springs. (Sent via email)

Students in Williston were a part of the 2,500 volunteers that packed 500,000 meals for Feed My Starving Children. (Williston Herald)

Story of the Week: At a time when people choose texting over calling and Facebook over in-person get togethers, West Fargo’s Mark Berntson took 275 opportunities to meet with people face-ot-face. (Fargo Forum)

Nice news of the day – September 17, 2019

Did you know North Dakota has more people over 100 years old than anywhere else in the WORLD?  You can learn about a pretty amazing 105-year-old in today’s news.

And speaking of today’s news, it’s also about a fantastic school custodian and the Tater Tot Titans.  Read on.

This is such a sweet little story that I almost made it the Story of the Week. (KX Net)

The U.S. has more centenarians than any other country, and North Dakota has more than any other state.  Flasher’s Clara Toman Bures is 105 and lives in the farmhouse her father built. (KFYR TV)

The Tater Tot Titans will give you wiiings. (Grand Forks Herald)