STADEM FAMILIES SAGA CONTINUES,

RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:


"THE WINTER'S CHILD"

Note: At first thought, it seems strange to put Arthur Stadem's page on this Stadem Saga Continues Page, yet it isn't so strange to Christian views. A life lived for Christ will have a legacy that continues, and so it with Arthur Stadem's life. It is continuing, even with his passing, to bear good fruit on earth. A memorial sign was ordered from a Minneapolis company by the family, and erected outside Bryant. This sign beside the highway was a message exhorting motorists to consider their brief lives and to turn to Christ for salvation. Who knows how many people responded positively? We shall see the saved ones in heaven that this sign brought to the Lord, a sort of heavenly signpost bought with the memorial money given in memory of Arthur Stadem. No doubt some people affected by this sign are already in heaven, after all these years since his death. Another part of his legacy was the Bogen chimes set donated to Augustana Academy in 1952. At that time a memorial service and commemoration of the godly life of AA 1941 graduate, Arthur Stadem, was held before the whole student body, and it is likely it too gathered souls into God's kingdom.

It certainly must have spoken to quite a few who were not sure of their standing with God, and they may well have taken the opportunity to improve their relationship with Christ the Savior. So, even through his going, there had to be real, meaningful fruit for the kingdom of Christ. This is the way of a Christian's legacy--it will always be fruitful, and will not pass away very quickly.

Even today, this legacy continues in the pages of Plain View Farm, Stadem Saga Continues, and other places where Arthur Stadem is mentioned or featured. What if he had not striven to please God with good grades, a clean and moral life, and a zeal for the Gospel? What if he had been carefree and sloppy in his Christian walk like so many in his generation were? Certainly, there would have been no enduring legacy. But as everyone testified, at AA, in his family, at Augustana College, and at his public school and church in Bryant, and in the Navy, Arthur Stadem's young life was lived righteously and lovingly toward all; truly, it was always a life pointing toward God and heaven. We are thankful for his life--everyone who knew him was grateful they had known him. He made a difference in his short life. As is evident from pictures, people (including the opposite sex) enjoyed him despite his very quiet personality.

When a student at Augustana in 1957, I was startled one day to hear a beautiful hymn being broadcast across campus from somewhere, coming to us from various loudspeakers (one or two were on the gymnasium). I asked around and found out that students had gone up to the Old Main tower and played the Arthur Stadem Memorial Bogen system. I am privileged to have heard it that once. It may have been used other times, but that was the only time I heard it. It was a experience for me.--Ed.

Arthur Donald Stadem: Born February 22, 1922, Died January 9, 1947

Part I, Childhood

Old men come and sit by the gate,

Asking questions till it grows late;

Old men, we find no answers yet,

Dark clouds cover the sunset.

Forgive our stumbling in the dark,

Afraid to reach out, touch the Ark;

There's Mystery and Holiness,

And Greatness too that grows no less.

What on earth can old men say,

When angels fear to tread this way?

O Lord! Press a coal to lips impure,

Let us see through Your shed tear.

Your tear was dropped so long ago!

It formed a crystal glory glow

Round tree and branch at Arthur's birth,

A scene more paradise than earth!

The Seventh in a quiver's nine,

Sisters till you broke the line;

Your Mama called for a doctor,*

The family waiting at her door.

"A boy! A boy!" The news spread fast,

Mama's prayer was heard at last!

Not for herself had she prayed,

Regard for neighbors was repaid.

A brother now would grace the home

Amidst the flats, and rolling Plains;

A boy to run with, or to roam,

Share the chores, and growing pains!

"Arthur" was his Christian name,

Baptized into the Church's roll;

"Stadem" too, from Norway came,

His heritage of solemn toll.

Godly forebears passed the Flame

That never faltered or went lame;

Leaving homeland--this is why:

AMERICA! was their heart cry.

Winter's Child on Plain View Farm,

Christmas past, the Three Kings left;

Yet one more gift did no one harm,

And with his birth the cold was cleft.

Now old men must pause and sigh.

The tear, it turns from crib to school;

Arthur! tell us why--tell us why!

We each seem such an empty fool!

The lad did well--achieving high;

Average was not his goal;

The future was just one black lie,

Yet Winter's Child gave all his soul.

God of Jacob, Joseph too--

It's hard to hold him in this view;

Steady pressing toward the mark

That will but vanish in the dark!

It fills old men like us with grief,

And stretches limits of belief;

How cruel can the winter be

To cast a boy adrift at sea!

Twoscore and ten years have passed,**

You grew in honor first to last;

Prince and Kate,# the sheep and lambs,

Cheeping chicks and butting rams!

It's hard to say what taught you most--

Plain View Farm or Bryant's boast;***

Yet learned, you did, your lessons all,

You took each test without a fall.

Arthur, lad! How quick they flew,

Years of childhood, precious few!

Tall, and quiet in your ways,

Come twelve, you've spent nigh half your days.

Part II, Youth

No one still as yet could guess

That Winter's Child would fare homeless;

Safe and snug in Stadem cheer,

What was there to stir up fear?


Art, his Many Sisters, and Little Brother Leroy in Happy Days


But far beyond our Western shore,

Unknown forces gathered might;

They struck a blow that shook our core,****

A nation staggered in the night.

But when the day dawned cold and drear,

The call of Duty was then clear;

Defend our liberty and land,

Each child, each woman, and each man.

We all were faced with mortal woe,

And Arthur, no less, saw the foe;

Plain View Farm 'gainst Tyranny,

He was of age and chose the Sea.

Is this long tale wearing you?

Why can't we tell it in words few?

The answer still is the tear shed

Upon the child that winter bred.

Or...like Joseph sold a slave,

Arthur felt the same Dark Wave

Of fear that strikes the heart and mind

Until all sense grows dumb and blind?

To sea he went, a Viking true,

And soon saw things he loathed to view;

The acts of unleashed, carnal man

Surrounded him like countless sand.

How could he keep his godly course

Unless he knew Divine Resource?

Navigating by God's Word,

His destination was assured.

Where others fell enslaved to sin,

Winter's Child knew how to win;

Resolved to tread God's narrow path,

He did not heed the cynic's laugh.

He kept his honor all the way,

And won respect from bridge to bay;

And when he slipped off in the sea,

God plucked him from death early.

His purpose yet was not fulfilled;

It was not dreamed nor even willed;

Dark and tangled in the night,

Known only to God's deep, deep sight.

Farm from home and land dark-loamed;

Yet comrades called, "Where is he? Art?"

And then they glimpsed you, far, wave-tost.

A miracle, it had to be--

So many thus were lost at sea;

But Winter's Child, he came home safe,

His duty done, and grown in faith.

Part III, Early Manhood

The war was won, and freedom saved,

The troops marched home as millions waved;

Much blood was shed and young lives lost,

But that was reckoned worth-while cost.

How strange they seem back in that time!

"IN GOD WE TRUST" was then no crime;

No shame attached to patriot,

They loved this land, her good they sought.

Arthur too was of that mind,

It wasn't really hard to find;

Folks, you see, took nothing cheap,

What cost their blood and lives to keep.



Oh! What heaven met Arthur's eyes

When Plain View Farm rose to his sigh;

Mama, Papa, sisters dear,

Hugged Winter's Child in Navy gear.



Winter's "Child"? A man full grown!

What of snow upon the ground!

For in each eye a tear shone bright,

Love's Chain unbroken to their sight.

Old men, pardon them, we pray;

And what the innocent must pay.

It makes us wonder, "What is home?"

The house and land, the dark tilth loam?

But yet when death comes, we depart,

The place lies bare, no warming heart.

The barn sags in, the paint flakes off,

A raccoon moves into the house;

A window breaks, down falls the loft,

It's soon the domain of the mouse.

Yet Plain View then was still alive,

Though Mama, Papa, looked their age;

As soon as Arthur did arrive,

He looked to ways to earn a wage.

The Folks had farmed for many years,

But income-outgo were close peers;

Art saw their need and bought more land,

It meant a boost to provision.

Next he enrolled at college,

Studied hard, his friends acknowledge;

A fine student he always was,

Disciplined in all he does.

Winter's Child, he built for naught,

Faithfully, as he was taught;

Sparing nothing of himself,

He treasured only his Folks' health.

How could it be? This noble soul?

The world's stain, it reaps grim toll!

When someone shines, we can't believe

What darkened minds will not perceive.

We think that others all must be

As carnal-hearted, lost as we!

Oh, Winter's Child! Your life is proof

You're founded well, from ground to roof.

Your life withstood all stress and wear,

You made the Tempter tear his hair!

And back home again you look for ways

To add some good to future days.

While in school there came a call:

Bob Ginther, brother-in-law!

"Hunt with me from my new plane!"

So off you went, still thinking plain.

"I'll hunt today, return back here,

And study for my Final Test";

But forces beyond eye or ear

Conspired darkly to arrest.

Elements of God's design,

Evil born of grasping greed

Woven with dear Papa's need?

Who can melt a bitter heart?

Two it took, both Bob and Art.

Now we hear the answered prayer,

The widow prayed when she was wife.*****

"Take my babe, O God, her life;

Snatch Papa from the Devil's lair!"

Did Arthur guess his Papa's state?

How judging others cankered him?

It's hard to say, just how to rate,

Old men's eyes grow weak and dim.

Assured the plane was right to take,

The fliers stepped into the craft;

The seller thought of his own sake,

He let them go because of graft?

The day they flew was vibrant, clear;

It was sheer joy to be alive;

What could there be for them to fear?

In thirteen minutes the plane would dive.

Instant death was both their end;

The plane plunged into hard ground;

The flames burned fast, with little sound,

But at Plain View a door would open.

No more imprisoned in his heart,

A man stepped free by Grace of God:

Those he loved had played their part,

Such deaths were myrrh and rarest nard.

Winter's Child--rest at last!

You bloomed whiter than the snow.

Long-stemmed rose that winter cast,

Old men salute and turn to go.




#Papa's beloved work horses, kept years after he finished

farming and rented his acres to other farmers

*The first time that she did so; she told Papa she knew

this birth would be different.

**1997, when this tribute was written, was the 50th

anniversary of Arthur's death.

***Bryant boasted one of the Midwest's finest elementary and

high school systems, and South Dakota's schools are still about the

best in the nation, despite South Dakota paying less than almost all the states for education

****The Imperial Japanese Air Force and Navy bombed Pearl

Harbor, Hawaii, destroying U.S. ships and dragging America

into all-out war in the Pacific.

*****Pearl (Stadem) Ginther, wife of Bob Ginther. Over seventy years

later, she still exclaims about the incredible scene that confronted

her when she stepped outside the day of Arthur's birth. An unannounced ice storm had transformed the trees and shrubs into a shimmering scene of ice and snow that draped everything, trees and house, creating a

wonderland out of Plain View Farm in the dead of winter. This impressed her as a sign of the specialness of his birth day.



Some Bible Verses Illustrating Arthur's Life, Character, and Manner of Death:

"Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who gendereth it?" Job 38:29

By the breath of God frost is given." Job 13:15a

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him in His hand." Psalm 37: 23-24

"He sent a man before them--Joseph--who was sold a slave." Psalm 105:17

"The wicked watches the righteous and seeks to slay him. the Lord will not leave him in his hand." Psalm 37:32.

"Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright, for the future of that man is peace." Psalm 37:37

"Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am." Psalm 39:4

"Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me." Psalm 42:7

"For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth. By You I have been upheld since my birth; You are He who took me from my mother's womb. My praise shall be continually of You." Psalm ?:5-6

"M heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise." Psalm 57:7

"Yet for Your sake, we are killed all day long; we are accounted sheep for the slaughter." Psalm 44:22

"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me. For my soul trusts in You, and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by." Psalm 57:1

"Of whom the world was not worthy..." Hebrews 11:38a

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!" Romans 11:33

Inside the book cover is printed: This book belongs to--"Arthur Stadem" followed by "your friend Alva."--both in blue ink. Alva must be one of the girls in the class picture above who admired Art (what girl did not?). The Little Bible contains the Ten Commandments, various Psalms, the Lord's Prayer, The Love Chapter, Illustrations of Bible Characters, a Verse from Every Book in the Bible, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Grace at Mealtime, A Child's Creed, A Playtime Creed, the Little Bible ends with a song, "O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go."

O Love that wilt not let me go,

I rest my weary soul in thee;

I give thee back the life I owe,

that in thy ocean depths its flow

may richer, fuller be.

O Light that followest all my way,

I yield my flickering torch to thee;

My heart restores its borrowed ray

that in thy sunshine blaze its day

may brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,

I cannot close my heart to thee;

I trace the rainbow through the rain,

and feel the promise is not vain,

that morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,

I dare not ask to fly from thee;

I lay in dust-life's glory dead,

and from the ground there blossoms red,

life that shall endless be.

--George Mathison

Links to other sites on the Web

PAPA'S LETTER


Oaring in the River Master Directory


"PLAIN VIEW FARM, The Musidrama


RON'S WRITINGS


NEW PAGES AND LINKS FOR RETURN VISITORS


PLAIN VIEW HERITAGE FARM HOME PAGES: THE INTRODUCTORY (or FRONT DOOR)


The Trumpet Call: Bryant Pastor's Eulogies for Arthur and Bob, 1947


Central for Road Maps



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