Like an elephant. Or a single white otter tail?

They say an elephant never forgets. I wasn’t really sure who “they” were.

So I did a little research.

Turns out “they” is a lot of people.

Like Dr. Orville Jenkins. And James Ritchie in an article in Scientific American. There are more too, but at this point you are probably wondering what elephants have to do with My NDFB Life.

Nothing really. Except that’s how my mind works.

I know. Scary.

Why am I thinking about elephants? Because I just finished putting together the April/May issue of Focus, NDFB’s official publication. I haven’t been the editor/writer/layout person for Focus in a long time. But my coworker, Lisa, just had a beautiful baby boy and is on maternity leave, so I said I’d git ‘er done and to the printer.

As I was writing and editing and placing photos, it all came rushing back. Ahhh, the memories!! Deadlines! What should stay? What should go? Did I spell everything right? Did I use it’s instead of its? Do I know what the acronym SWOT stands for?

Well, I sure do now. But back in 1992, I didn’t. So being of  unsound mind, I put in parenthesis (Single White Otter Tail) because of COURSE I would see that and remind myself to find out what it actually meant when I had more time.

Here’s the photographic proof.

My greatest gaffe

From the September 1992 issue of NDFB’s official publication. In the Summary of the State Board Minutes article, for cryin’ out loud! That went to about 25,000 Farm Bureau members.

I even remember WHY it happened. I had recently watched the movie Single White Female. Notice the “West Side. SWF seeks female to share apartment.”

SWOT reminded me of SWF.


But why “Otter Tail?” That I don’t remember.

I just remember the moment John McGauvran, who was the Executive Vice President at the time, told me about the error. He laughed. I thought I was going to get fired.

Still, to this day, I can’t believe I actually did that.

And for those of you who don’t know what SWOT stands for, it’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

It’s something I will never — like an elephant — forget!



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