When I was younger, I went on the 17-hour drive from Illinois to nearby Stanley, North Dakota, every summer to spend some time at my great grandpa's farm. Since his death in 1996, I have only been back two or three times. On this visit back to North Dakota for my great grandma's funeral, we decided to stop at the places in and around Stanley to take pictures of some of the places that represent memories. For me it was important to bring photos back to my little brother, who never really experienced Stanley, and is always asking for pictures to go with the stories we tell.
Our first stop was to take photos of the family farm outside of Ross, near Stanley. Here was where we always stayed. We reminisced about the time spent there from watching the calf branding to the postman that always stopped for his coffee break and pass the latest news on to Great Grandpa, who by that time did not leave the farm much. Also, nearby we took pictures of a small old deteriorating barn that my cousin wanted to use as an example of where Vincent R. Moser lived, as I had inherited some newsletters mailed to this neighbor of my great grandma and we forgot to take a picture of the actual still standing shack he lived in near Williston.
The most important stop in town was the Dakota Drug Store, where we stopped after taking pictures of the Old Brick House that our Great Great Grandmother once owned and sold the front yard to a now abandoned gas station. At Dakota Drug they still have their original soda fountain. It is also home to the only surviving Whirla Whip machine that is still being used. For that large crowd that has never had or heard of a Whirla Whip it is an ice cream treat that has candies or other things mixed in it. It is similar to a McDonald's McFlurry, but much better. You can have the base ice cream as chocolate, vanilla, or rainbow sherbet (this produces what seems to be more ice cream because it allows more air in to it when mixed. Just a few items you can mix into the ice cream are peanut butter, dill pickles, watermelon candies, and Oreo cookies. After our delicious Whirla Whips and purchasing "I had a Whirla Whip in Stanley, ND" t-shirt, which must be a relatively new item, we headed back on the road.