Brush with Fame: Recalling encounter with Bobby Kennedy at presidential campaign stop in Fargo, 1968
Column | Published on March 16, 2023 at 8:07pm CDT | Author: Tom Hintgen0
By Tom Hintgen
Otter Tail County Correspondent
Rural Vergas retiree Dave Asleson is among many people featured in a new book, “Bob Lind’s Neighbors.” This book features columns written by the late Fargo Forum columnist.
Asleson is featured on Page 104. He was interviewed by Lind on June 17, 2019, with Dave recalling 1968 when he met Robert F. Kennedy while working part-time for special events at the Fargo Civic Center while attending Moorhead State College (now MSUM). The title of the column was “Brush with Fame.”
RFK, in 1968, was running for president. Asleson was in the foyer of the auditorium when Kennedy entered the Civic Center before a fundraising event.
“He entered alone, although I imagine there were Secret Service personnel behind him. I shook his hand and wished him good luck,” Asleson said during the interview with Bob Lind.
Sadly, Kennedy later lost his life to an assassin, as did Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., both in 1968.
Asleson is a U.S. Forest Service retiree who moved to Lake Seven near Vergas (northeast of Pelican Rapids) in 2014. He previously lived in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington for more than 40 years before moving back to his home area and lakes country of Otter Tail County.
“The rural setting, numerous lakes and the small town of Vergas are what drew me as a retiree to Otter Tail County,” said Asleson. “Several years ago my grandfather rented a cabin on Lake Crystal each summer, near Pelican Rapids, for a couple of weeks. Those times at Lake Crystal were very special to me, especially for a boy from Moorhead.”
After graduating from Moorhead State (MSUM) in 1970 with a degree in history and geography, Asleson obtained master’s degrees from the University of Wyoming and the University of Idaho.
Always interested in local history, he wrote “Up the Swiftwater,” a history of Avery, Idaho, and the surrounding area. The local museum in the small mountain town of Avery is named for Dave because of his contribution to preserving its local history.