JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Happy Birthday, Sheila Schafer

wow what a great birthday I am blessed to make it to ninety this morning a serenade by the musical cast cards flowers a dinner a hug from my two of my favorite young men I am so blessed Sheila 

That was the Facebook post from my friend — our friend — Sheila Schafer a year ago today. As many of you know, Sheila left us to join Harold in Heaven two months ago Monday.

I’ve thought about her often in those two months as spring arrived in her — and our — beloved Bad Lands. Sheila, as many of you also know, was an actress. She acted like she was healthy most of the last year — most of the last three or four years, actually. Leukemia, diabetes and some strange digestive system diseases failed to keep her down. She carried on.

I asked her one day last fall how she was feeling.

“Just fine,” she replied.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Well, I’m a darn good actress, you know,” she said.

It was that actress in her that led her, 50 years ago, to join the cast of a couple of local theater productions, starring in both “Hello, Dolly!” and “Mame!” She could have starred in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” the last 10 years or so because as times changed, even though she was passing through her 70s and 80s, she kept up to date with all the latest advances in technology.

Unlike lots of people her age who sit and stare at a television set all day, she was constantly on the go, cell phone at her side, texting her family and friends, hauling her laptop computer back and forth between Medora and Bismarck, checking her e-mail four or five times a day and even opening up a Facebook account, which is where she kept her Facebook audience entertained almost daily with her posts.

And that’s what I want to share with you today, on what would have been her 91st birthday. I looked back through her posts, and here are some of my favorites. No punctuation, sometimes no capital letters, sometime small capital letters, all part of her charm.

March 16, 2015

a new great grandmother Cody and Megan Sletten had a 2nd little girl today actually not so little 9 lbs 13 oz

Sheila used Facebook as her own personal research library, as demonstrated in these posts:

December 31, 2013 

i would like a short biography of author William Least Heat Moon

Tweed Roosevelt responded


William Least Heat-Moon – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Sheila responded to Tweed: Glad you are in my life

September 15, 2015

i need some information on neuropathy

October 14, 2013 

About how much money does the us borrfow each day and who are the top places we borrow from

 August 19, 2013 ·

what is the formula for sugar water for hummingbirds

Robb Boyd responded: 1 part water. 1 part sugar. Boil. Add bees knees and the juice of a Dakota sunrise.

 September 9, 2014

what are the names of organization in North Dakota that are about conservation

 August 28, 2013 

Who stars in the british t v series “As time goes by”?

Roger Rettig replied: Judi Dench, Geoffrey Palmer. Some of the best writing and acting on TV anywhere! We rarely miss it on Public TV….

 February 1, 2014 

what women have been nominated for best actress for an Oscar Wilde

 my computer added wilde dumb

September 9, 2014

last night of the musical we both came early a magical final show i will be proud to cry on my way to Bismarck best year ever I made my 89th year of life full of beautiful days sheila

May 19, 2014 

dear friends thank you for all the kind messages it was a most glorious day i climbed buck hill with help from not only the busiest man in N D but a beloved friend buck hill then Wind Canyon a gourmet dinner joining us were Dr Larry Skogen and Charlotte Olson and back to my house for cake (made by Clay} and champagne and a fire blazing to warm our souls so many good blessings friends medora cards yellow roses calls this beloved place e mails i did not look in a mirror all day i knew in my heart i was young what a birthday gift thank you Clay sheila

May 10, 2014

get ready tonight Kat is in the semi finals what a great job she has done remember after the show and you find out her number ten times on your home phone ten on your cell phone please find two people who can join you in voting thanks thanks thanks sheila schafer

 One of the few “political” statements you’ll find on Sheila’s Facebook page:

April 30, 2014 

a strange thing just happened to me I got a call from a {well known news agency} the man asked several questions political business etc etc and then asked what did i think about China becoming the leading economic force etc i finally said I was a republican but not a Tea party member and hung up now when i went and sat down \to finish my “Killing Crazy Horse” book i looked at my wounded War blanket it said made in China

January 18, 2014 

what makes me happy i have not missed one day of walking a minimum of 1 mile every day not so happy about christmas gift to wounded warriors the tag says made in China alas sheila

Probably my favorite Sheila Facebook post of all time:

February 22, 2014 ·

on my way to buy a new dictionary under Badlands it lists a barren eroded region in south western South Dakota and north western Nebraska no mention of North Dakota hope this is changed since my 1980 book time to update sheila

October 18, 2013

knock on my door how fun there stands Jim Fuglie and Tweed Roosevelt looks like a good day sheila

October 30, 2012 ·

if you are in bismarck west of the capitol quick go look at the moon sheila

Medora Slettten responded:  I’m looking at the same beautiful moon in St. Paul!

May 19, 2012 ·


March 23, 2012 ·

hi this is sheila schafer i do not like the idea of a pretend hanging in Medora Doug Ellison is a really nice guy and a good mayor but this is not a good idea if you agree call him 701 6234345 

March 26, 2012  

hi this is sheila schafer again Yeah the mayor of MedorA HAS WITHDRAWN THE REQUEST FOR PRETEND HANGINGS IN mEDORA GOOD FOR HIM thanks
September 23, 2011 

I am packing up to move back to Bismarck. This is a hard thing to do. Especially when today in Medora is absolutely gorgeous. But of course I’m thankful that I had one more summer in Medora.

And Sheila’s very first Facebook post. Sound familiar?

November 29, 2010 

Hello all you nice people!


Happy 91st Birthday, Sheila.

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