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Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • Opinion: Growing up in Devils Lake: Whoda Thunk It?

  • When I was growing up in Devils Lake the world was not very big.
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  • When I was growing up in Devils Lake the world was not very big. I did get to travel out west because we had relatives to visit and that meant free rooms.
    The Far East meant going to Grand Forks.
    The world pretty much stopped at the Red River. Canada counted as a foreign country but since we spoke a somewhat similar language I just considered it north North Dakota.
    I never dreamed much about anywhere else. The past year I set foot in places I had only heard of and never thought I would ever see.
    In late August we were meeting some very close friends in Amsterdam to start a sixteen day cruise. Mary and I drove to New Jersey to see one of our daughters and family. From there we went to New York to fly to Frankfort, Germany.  There we took a train to Cologne and spent a couple days in a little Gausthaus on the Rhine River.
    We went to the train station early the last morning there to catch a train to Amsterdam.
    There Mary stood with two suitcases, a backpack and shoulder bag at her feet while I got in line for coffee and rolls. Mary turned to look at me, turned back, and the backpack and shoulder bag were gone.
    What was involved as a result of two stolen bags would be a subject for a short story or maybe a horror novel.
    Once we made our way to Amsterdam we decided to have a nice trip and worry about the stolen goods when we got home. We toured the van Gogh museum that would be worth a trip to Europe all by itself.
    And who would have thought I would be riding a boat through the canals of Amsterdam?
    Seeing buildings older than the United States was fascinating. On our third day we went to board the ship and meet up with our friends. I was a bit concerned about sixteen days on a ship. I had been on a ship for three days with half the time spent in ports.
    The sixteen days proved to be no problem. The time went so fast and I found myself wishing it would never end. After a day at sea we spent a day each at two different cities in Norway, Stavanger and Bergen.
    Then we spent a couple days at sea on the way to Iceland. We went through 70 mile per hour winds and 25 foot seas but, with stabilizers the ship was not too bad.
    A comedian at an evening show did say that if you saw someone walking straight down a hallway they probably had too much to drink.
    Page 2 of 2 - While walking around in Reykjavik Iceland it crossed my mind that this would never have shown up in my thoughts in my growing up years.
    Waking one morning as we sailed through a fjord in Greenland I saw an iceberg near our ship. I quickly got a camera to take a picture. It turned out I did not need to hurry since we saw lots of icebergs.  
    When I was 12 years old, setting foot in a little village of Nanortalik, Greenland was nowhere in my wildest dreams. I didn’t even know Greenland had cities.
    From Greenland we went to St. John, Newfoundland.
    From there we went to Halifax, Nova Scotia. I would love to get back to both Canadian cities again. Each place we went would have been a wonderful trip by itself. Throw them all together in one trip and it far beyond anything I could have dreamt.  
    After another day at sea we landed in New York. Sixteen days and I could have turned around and done another sixteen.
    Holland America provided a trip of a lifetime. When we got back to Nashville we spent months getting our home of 38 years ready to sell. We sold in May and moved to Amelia Island, Florida. It is as far north in Florida as you can go on the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the most beautiful laid back place you could find. I never woulda thunk it, but the world does go beyond the Red River and is a lot bigger than I thought when I was growing up.
    Robert Pfleiger was born at Mercy Hospital 4/10/1943. He spent his first 14 years in Devils Lake. Pfleiger attended St Mary's Academy through eight grade. His father, Casper Pfleiger, worked for Fairmont Foods and was transferred to Minneapolis in the summer of 1957. He attended high school and college in Minneapolis. After the University of Minnesota, Pfleiger was married to his wife Mary and worked for Honeywell. He was transferred to Nashville TN in 1967. In 1980 he left Honeywell and started Ener-Tech Industries which he has since sold. Now, he is semi retired but still works part time at Ener-Tech.
    The Pfleigers raised four daughters and have five grandchildren and like to travel when possible.

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