In Memory

Maylon Kruger

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12/27/10 10:22 PM #1    

LDee Cramer

Maylon Kruger passed away January 2000 in Mesquite Nevada.

02/10/11 03:25 AM #2    

Carroll Rasch

Fred and Maylon Kruger

It is really sad to see that Maylon is gone now too.  There are not many of the Manor Park baseball team left.  We were sponsored by Northern States Power: Fred Kruger, Maylon Kruger, Eddie Ziebarth, Norman Erickson, "Butch" Jacobson, Gary Jacobson, Charlie Van Grinsven, and me along with Westlie Ehlke and Paul Heinrich and sometimes John Hecker.  Excellent pitching was imported from 4th Avenue with Bill Cain and from the West Side: George Sharkey.  Have I left anyone out?  Ron Larson was always around but a year older and, at that age, distantly adult.

Maylon and Fred were brothers and powerfully supportive of each other and protective of Eddie.  Many of us worked at the Minot Municipal Auditorium for Charles Stenerson over the years.  We used to call Maylon and Fred "The Everly Brothers."  I am not sure who gave them that nickname but it was either Gary Jacobson or Charlie Van Grinsven.  They were at the fore in giving us all horrendous and funny and occasionally very politically incorrect nick names.("Freddie Fire Eyes," "Charlie With the Glasses," "Toomie," and some unrepeatable... )  It was the era of nick names.  Some were hated and most were funny with a sliver of truth. We all came to outgrow them.

"Pulling Funnies..."  imitating parrots, squawking at the mothers in the neighborhood who kept and eye on us because of our unpredictability, endless and energetic combat and rough and tumble sports in which we made up our own rules to assure that there were enough to play.  Football became "kick back" so that four our eight could participate.  "Work Up" rules allowed three to play baseball and, the game expanded as additional people showed up and were folded in.  It was a tough neighborhood but it was unforgettable and fun and always on the edge of legality.  My individualistic contrariness was not appreciated... and often I was "disciplined" by Fred and Gary for my stand-off-ish-ness.   "Charlie with the Glasses" was also a kind of individualist who was aloof and on his own agenda (romance, cars, Oldsmobile V8 engines and transmissions)... Maylon and Fred were powerful forces for neighborhood conformity.. and I was often on their list of reluctant participants who needed to be brought into line (chuckle).  The Auditorium and the State Fair and the Minot Mallards were a huge part of our lives as were the Great Northern Railroad tracks and locomotives, Roosevelt Park, the Erickson skating rink each winter, Kick the Can, a particularly violent kind of hockey in which we flattened a beer can into a puck and sought to injure... The annual flood danger, fishing in the Souris below the Valker dam, endlessly watching the Hobos, bindle stiffs, transients camped across the river in the "hobo jungle...."  Rootless men seeking a new life somewhere and using the rails to find a life for themselves and possibly contact their abandoned families... We used to hope they would... Speculating about "The Passer-by" who would emerge around midnight and haunt the neighborhood dressed in a sheepskin coat even in August...The endless amusement of watching the Kenneth I Knutson construction company guys with their deliciously obscene humor that kept third graders giggling.. The amazingly accurate sex education lessons given by Gary and Fred... We grew up to realize that they had not steered us wrong....  chuckle.  The slowly vanishing Fink Motor Park cabins.. a way of life fading.. the paddocks decaying... our baseball field being overrun by new Capp Homes and housing... The US Marine style barracks slowly vanishing... and the granaries converted to housing that was quickly made to meet the huge housing shortage right after WWII... "King John" Ziebarth making a home for Fred and Maylon... nephews I think... There was no place in the neighborhood we would rather have been... except for the front steps of the Jacobson home or "putting on a show" in their garage in the back yard... Molly Gamp in a hula skirt singing "Blue Moon... I saw you standing alone... "   A couple of abandoned cars behind the Ziebarth home at the edge of "The Woods" ... with those wonderful velour seats that were so pre WWII... Those cars became like club houses.. where we talked endlessly and explored "Mad Magazine" and the earliest editions of "Playboy" and I first read "Payton Place"... with the "good parts" dog eared to make them easy to find.  All of this in the near back area behind Fred and Maylon's home. ("De-Pants-ing" was another activity... grabbing someone and forcing off their pants under the First Avenue and 18th street light.. holding him as the others ran from door to door.. ringing door bells and pointing out the semi naked person and then dissolving into laughter.. being grabbed once myself and putting up one hell of a fight until I wound up and kicked Fred in the crotch...Everybody dropped their grip on me for I had done something that was was equal to messing up Fonzie's hair.. I had kicked the Godfather of the neighborhood gang in the balls... I turned and took off for home... running at a sprint but hearing Fred's long legged gait gaining on me... I reached my doorknob and porch of safety but felt his hand on my shirt as he pulled me off onto my own lawn and beat the crap out of me to my uncontrolled delight.. laughing as each punch landed and Fred.. glowering over me: "Rasch...If I can't have children someday I am coming back to find you and beat the hell out of you.... Many years later.. married and older.. maybe in the late 60s or early 70s.. by accident.. we all passed each other on 3rd avenue and maybe 16th Street.. we screeched to a halt.. maybe five cars.. stopped at all angles on the street.. blocking traffic as we all recognized each other and laughed and shot the breeze the way we had so long before... before driver's licenses and wives and kids... grinning from back seats as introductions came around... and looking into Fred's car and seeing his lovely wife and clearly noting the kids in the back seat... I guess I had not prevented his becoming a father. I remembered... Fred may not have.  I grinned.) ... flirting with death with the rafts and flotsam duck boats that swam into the trees and were caught during high water in the spring... The Minot Police driving the road in "The Woods" along the river bank to find our rafts and destroy them.. the old, abandoned river beds refilling at high water to become dangerous "sloughs" which we were warned against but always sought out... the baby in the suitcase.. Ted K. murdering his children and himself and Fred and Maylon having marked him early as a man with a moral rigidity that was beyond normal behavior... and that we should give him wide berth... The panel trucks.. finishing cleaning up after "Holiday on Ice" or the Harlem Globe Trotters or even Ray Charles.. and piling into their panel truck for a run up to Big Boy for their amazing pizza burgers at midnight or even later...  stuffing friends into the trunk and under our feet to go to the Outdoor theater... eight in the car and buying four tickets... or "Buck Night" and peeking into the cars of couples practicing becoming lovers... or hiding in the deep cover of "The Woods" to spy on other couples who had come to practice love making parked deep in the trees... None of this can be recalled without remembering Maylon and Fred... their unique walk.. rising up on their toes a little at the end of each stride... a walk we all adopted slightly due to continually walking on the gleaming waxed floors of the Minot Municipal Auditorium and the halls and gymnasium of the National Guard Armory next door... which we also learned to wash and wax with the large machines.. and learning to handle the huge buffers that made the floors gleam..   I miss knowing Maylon and Fred and Gary esp are gone.  They were the Captains of our own very special Manor Park Mafia... We shared growing up on the biggest target in the USA in the deepest hours of the Cold War.... Fonzie was a piker.. Maylon and Fred and the rest of us were the real thing.  My circle of friends grew as we entered junior high and high school to include Jack and Gene and the aristocrats of Washington Elementary who we began to meet in the halls of Minot High... but, Fred and Maylon... and Gary Jacobson and, of course, Norman Erickson, were the first friends.

I miss them.  ... hours of playing catch with baseballs and discussing girls as thoughts of them took over more and more of our lives...

Carroll Rasch

(or: "Mr. Clean," "Mad Scientist," "Mad Russian")  They always thought we might have constructed a bomb shelter in our basement and believed it to the end... or pretended that they did.  We did not have a bomb shelter... but, it was fun to imagine we did.)

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