RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:
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.
Asking questions till it grows late;
Old men, we find no answers yet,
Dark clouds cover the sunset.
Afraid to reach out, touch the Ark;
There's Mystery and Holiness,
And Greatness too that grows no less.
When angels fear to tread this way?
O Lord! Press a coal to lips impure,
Let us see through Your shed tear.
It formed a crystal glory glow
Round tree and branch at Arthur's birth,
A scene more paradise than earth!
Sisters till you broke the line;
Your Mama called for a doctor,*
The family waiting at her door.
Mama's prayer was heard at last!
Not for herself had she prayed,
Regard for neighbors was repaid.
Amidst the flats, and rolling Plains;
A boy to run with, or to roam,
Share the chores, and growing pains!
Baptized into the Church's roll;
"Stadem" too, from Norway came,
His heritage of solemn toll.
That never faltered or went lame;
Leaving homeland--this is why:
AMERICA! was their heart cry.
Christmas past, the Three Kings left;
Yet one more gift did no one harm,
And with his birth the cold was cleft.
The tear, it turns from crib to school;
Arthur! tell us why--tell us why!
We each seem such an empty fool!
Average was not his goal;
The future was just one black lie,
Yet Winter's Child gave all his soul.
It's hard to hold him in this view;
Steady pressing toward the mark
That will but vanish in the dark!
And stretches limits of belief;
How cruel can the winter be
To cast a boy adrift at sea!
You grew in honor first to last;
Prince and Kate,# the sheep and lambs,
Cheeping chicks and butting rams!
Plain View Farm or Bryant's boast;***
Yet learned, you did, your lessons all,
You took each test without a fall.
Years of childhood, precious few!
Tall, and quiet in your ways,
Come twelve, you've spent nigh half your days.
That Winter's Child would fare homeless;
Safe and snug in Stadem cheer,
What was there to stir up fear?
Unknown forces gathered might;
They struck a blow that shook our core,****
A nation staggered in the night.
The call of Duty was then clear;
Defend our liberty and land,
Each child, each woman, and each man.
And Arthur, no less, saw the foe;
Plain View Farm 'gainst Tyranny,
He was of age and chose the Sea.
Why can't we tell it in words few?
The answer still is the tear shed
Upon the child that winter bred.
Arthur felt the same Dark Wave
Of fear that strikes the heart and mind
Until all sense grows dumb and blind?
And soon saw things he loathed to view;
The acts of unleashed, carnal man
Surrounded him like countless sand.
Unless he knew Divine Resource?
Navigating by God's Word,
His destination was assured.
Winter's Child knew how to win;
Resolved to tread God's narrow path,
He did not heed the cynic's laugh.
And won respect from bridge to bay;
And when he slipped off in the sea,
God plucked him from death early.
It was not dreamed nor even willed;
Dark and tangled in the night,
Known only to God's deep, deep sight.
Yet comrades called, "Where is he? Art?"
And then they glimpsed you, far, wave-tost.
Yet comrades called, "Where is he? Art?"
And then they glimpsed you, far, wave-tost.
So many thus were lost at sea;
But Winter's Child, he came home safe,
His duty done, and grown in faith.
The troops marched home as millions waved;
Much blood was shed and young lives lost,
But that was reckoned worth-while cost.
"IN GOD WE TRUST" was then no crime;
No shame attached to patriot,
They loved this land, her good they sought.
It wasn't really hard to find;
Folks, you see, took nothing cheap,
What cost their blood and lives to keep.
When Plain View Farm rose to his sigh;
Mama, Papa, sisters dear,
Hugged Winter's Child in Navy gear.
What of snow upon the ground!
For in each eye a tear shone bright,
Love's Chain unbroken to their sight.
And what the innocent must pay.
The house and land, the dark tilth loam?
But yet when death comes, we depart,
The place lies bare, no warming heart.
A raccoon moves into the house;
A window breaks, down falls the loft,
It's soon the domain of the mouse.
Though Mama, Papa, looked their age;
As soon as Arthur did arrive,
He looked to ways to earn a wage.
But income-outgo were close peers;
Art saw their need and bought more land,
It meant a boost to provision.
Studied hard, his friends acknowledge;
A fine student he always was,
Disciplined in all he does.
Faithfully, as he was taught;
Sparing nothing of himself,
He treasured only his Folks' health.
The world's stain, it reaps grim toll!
When someone shines, we can't believe
What darkened minds will not perceive.
As carnal-hearted, lost as we!
Oh, Winter's Child! Your life is proof
You're founded well, from ground to roof.
You made the Tempter tear his hair!
And back home again you look for ways
To add some good to future days.
Bob Ginther, brother-in-law!
"Hunt with me from my new plane!"
So off you went, still thinking plain.
And study for my Final Test";
But forces beyond eye or ear
Conspired darkly to arrest.
Evil born of grasping greed
Woven with dear Papa's need?
Who can melt a bitter heart?
Two it took, both Bob and Art.
The widow prayed when she was wife.*****
"Take my babe, O God, her life;
Snatch Papa from the Devil's lair!"
How judging others cankered him?
It's hard to say, just how to rate,
Old men's eyes grow weak and dim.
The fliers stepped into the craft;
The seller thought of his own sake,
He let them go because of graft?
It was sheer joy to be alive;
What could there be for them to fear?
In thirteen minutes the plane would dive.
The plane plunged into hard ground;
The flames burned fast, with little sound,
But at Plain View a door would open.
A man stepped free by Grace of God:
Those he loved had played their part,
Such deaths were myrrh and rarest nard.
You bloomed whiter than the snow.
Long-stemmed rose that winter cast,
farming and rented his acres to other farmers
this birth would be different.
anniversary of Arthur's death.
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
Harbor, Hawaii, destroying U.S. ships and dragging America
into all-out war in the Pacific.
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
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.