Michael Rustad Memories

Fifth Grade

1959 - 1960

 

My 1960 Humboldt Whip is dedicated to the memory of Elaineand Alice Fitzpatrick who were members of the Class of 1960 until they werekilled along with Martin Gardner in a tragic accident in St. Vincent. Amotorist reportedly from Winnipeg lost control of his car and killed thesethree dear little children in 1954.

Another little Gardner girl was seriously injured in thisaccident. The deaths of Elaine, Alice and Martin are etched in my memoryalthough I was only five years old in 1954. We attended Church in St. Vincentand these children were members of our church. Mrs. Gardner was a lovelywoman and the grandmother to my good friend and classmate Renee Jerome.My Mother was always worried about us attending cathechism in St. Vincentafter the accident. We were given strict orders never to walk along thehighway which created moral dilemmas for Tony and I. George Sylvester'sstore was located along the highway (and main street of St. Vincent). Itwas necessary to walk along the highway and cross it to purchase treatsfrom Mr. Sylvester.

I want to mention another memory rekindled by Beth BoatzAldinger. Our parents attended Church at St. Anne's and everyone parkedtheir cars between the trees adjacent to the church. This was our parkinglot There were de facto parking places for every family. There was the Baldwin,Hunt, Boatz, Rustad, Stewart, etc. trees. I often wonder how each parkingspot between the trees were initially located. In New England families owntheir own pews and have little gold markets with their name on the pew.In St. Vincent, we had unmarked parking places for each family between trees.I mention our parking scheme because it was in 1959-60 that our Church hadthe most members and was really the apex of St. Anne's Catholic Church.

My fifth grade class was taught by Minnie Hylland. I wasno stranger to Mrs. Hylland because she had also been my third and fourthgrade teacher. When we graduated from the 3rd and 4th grade combined class,Mrs. Hylland followed for some unknown reason. Perhaps, it was that Mrs.Hylland was the only teacher capable of the iron hand needed to controlsome very active boys. In our class picture, I am tow-headed with my handsin my pocket standing next to Clara Twamley. I look slightly worried asI am within an arms length of Minnie Hylland who would sometimes give theboys a knuckle if we were too fidgety etc.

The fifth graders that year consisted of Pete Tri, EarlHunt, Janice Armstrong, Carolyn Wiese, Marlys Diamond, Carl Seed, Dan Ingeman,Glenn Odberg, Diane Jerde, Renee Jerome, Barbara Sinclair, Rebecca Clow,Ralph Giffen, Ronnie Baldwin, Judy Burton, Martha May Carlson, Rhoda Symington,Michael Rustad, Clarra Twamley, Patricia Siguaw.

In the fifth grade class portrait, I am standing between Rhoda Symingtonand Clara Twamley. Clara had very long hair that went well beyond her waist.She frequently wore pig tails. I sat behind her and often wondered whatit would take to cut off one of those pig tails. I never succumbed to thattemptation. Clara and I remained good friends throughout high school.

I am also standing next to Rhoda Symington. Rhoda was oneof the brightest (perhaps the brightest) person that I've ever met. I ama graduate of Harvard Law School, Boston College, etc. and have never metanyone that I thought was brighter than Rhoda Symington. She was remarkable.I think that our academic prowess can be explained by a combination of goodgenetics, no television and a genuine love of learning.

One of the most endearing traits of Rhoda was her willingnessto help those with less intellectual fire power. Rhoda was later to becomea National Merit scholar. Carolyn Wiese was also a superb student and aNational Merit scholar semi-finalist. I think that Rhoda and Carolyn werethe pace-cars of our class. Our class achieved a great deal of success atUniversity and beyond. I am going to give some credit to Rhoda and Carolyn.Jan Armstrong, Marlys Diamond, Ralph Giffen and myself were in the secondtier of that class.

Our fifth grade class portrait shows Ralph Giffen makinga very a mischievious face. On the other hand, Ron Baldwin, Renee Jeromeand Dan Ingeman look serious and distinguished. I looked nervous. The classthat year consisted of students from Humboldt and St. Vincent. St. Vincent'shigh school had closed in 1938. The plan for consolidation was to providefor 3 grade rooms in Humboldt and 3 in St. Vincent. In 1960, however, grades1, 5 and 6 were moved into the Humboldt building and grades 2, 3 and 4 wereshipped off to St. Vincent. I am sorry that I never had the opportunityto go to the St. Vincent school which was lots of fun from all accounts.

My little brother Tony was attending St. Vincent School in 1959-60. Oneday he went out into our pasture and came upon a huge pile of cow bones.He cleaned them up and boxed them up for "show and tell." Dadwas skeptical about the value of displaying cow bones but assisted him inputting together a very impressive cow bone collection. Tony, ever the salesman,told his class that he had found the remains of a dinosaur in our pasture.He did the research on dinosaurs and has a credible account of the vegetable-eatingdinosaur from N.W. Minnesota.

The fifth grade basketball team was one of the best elementaryschool teams in the area. The Humboldt merchants sponsored a tournamentin which Pembina, Hallock, Kennedy, Lancaster, and Lake Bronson entered.Humboldt won the first place tournament. This was the first year that DeanRitter and I were not teammates. Dean was playing for the Pembina Wildcats.Our basketball team had Ralph Giffen, Ron Baldwin, Dan Ingeman, Glenn Odbergand myself as the starting five. Peter Tri
and Earl Hunt were also on the team. I still remember the sense of triumphwhen we
accepted our trophy. Basketball was my favorite sport in those days. Dadhung a
basketball hoop on the top of our garage and I would shoot baskets or play1 on 1 with Dad until it was dark every night. I remember visualizing takingthe last shot in the game and counting down 4, 3, 2, 1, buzzer! Sometimesthe snow drifted in so that I could dunk the basketball.

One of our noon-hour activities was to challenge the highergrades to basketball. We nearly always beat the sixth grade and were frequentlyable to beat the seventh grade. The sixth graders best player was LelandDexter. Lee was the son of Don and Olive Dexter. Thelast time I saw Lee was when he was visiting us from West Point. Other membersof the 6th grade team were Tommy Brown, Dickie Dykhuis, Jeff Lofberg, DaveBoatz, and Robert Ward. Russ Symington and Rick Anderson did not play oftenwith us despite having a great height advantage over the rest of us.

The Fifth grade girls actually had some of the best athletesin the class. Renee Jerome was by far the fastest runner in our class andan extremely talented athlete. In those days, there were no organized sportsfor women. I think that the world may have lost a potential world classathlete if Renee had received the proper coaching. Marlys Diamond was alsoquite a good player as well. The girls would frequently play sports suchas baseball with the boys in the Spring.

The sixth grade class was taught by Dale Finney. Studentsincluded Barbara Norberg, Linda Anderson, Cheryl Easter, Tom Borwn, JamesWard, Robert Ward, Richard Anderson, Russ Symington, John Hunt, Margie Twamley,Elaine Surface. Katherine Storey, Lee Dexter, Dickie Dykhuis, Margie Ryan,Ruth Seed. Joyce Finney, Janice Bahr, Jeff Lofberg, Dave Boatz, Sharon Short,Linda Johnston, and Jane Clow. As I recall, the sixth grade girls seemedto talk non-stop about boys and I can assure you not the fifth or sixthgrade boys.

Dave Boatz created lots of mischief that year. There wereseveral times that he convinced cohorts to launch cherry bombs into theschool. Dave was always the instigator and seldom the actual perpetratorof these tantics. I guess he would have been a good international terroristor at least a good sales representative. Dave Boatz was probably the mostwell liked kid in the Fifth and Sixth Grades. Everyone liked Dave exceptthe teachers. Dave was always welcome at parties for kids of all ages andcould easily converse with adults as well. Today, Dave is a successful salesrepresentative in the Fargo vicinity and I am not surprised by his success.

We did not have much to do with the fourth graders sincethey were bussed off to St. Vincent. Mary Ann Bernath, Ethel Finney, BettyShort, David Twamley, Larry Olsonawski, John Finney, Allan Cleem, RandyReese, Jay Hoglin, Paul Symington, Linda Pearson, Carolyn Loer, Leslie Turner,Linda Stewart, JoEllyn Clow, Cheryl Twamley, Linda Symington, Deb Siguaw,Mary Boatz, Cynthia Baldwin, Gary Webster, John Wilkie, Len Jerome, JimIngeman, Bobby Hunt, Charles Bouvette, Jim Gatheride, Virginia Seed, andLois Ward were all in the Fourth Grade under the able tutelage of MaribelBerg. This was one of the largest classes in Humboldt-St. Vincent history.Apparently, class size was not negatively correlated with academic success.This class produced a number of outstanding professionals. Leslie Turner,now a successful CPA, practices in Minneapolis. Linda Stewart has had asuccessful career in teaching. Cynthia Baldwin received a Ph.D at the Universityof Iowa and became a distinguished professor at Wyoming and Nevada. Manyof the other members of the class enjoyed great professional success.

The third grade class in St. Vincent was taught by BelleGregoire. Beth Boatz, Delores Diamond, Jim Wiese, Craig Wiese, John Bergh,Tony Rustad, Hertha Klein, Diane Giffen, Christie Anderson, Fay Ann Turner,Denise Demars, Donna Easter, June Webster, Darrell Siguaw, Robert Bouvette,Roger Dexter, Brad Hemmes, Lee Jerome, Jerry Bernath, Lois Armstrong, KathleenFinney and the late Gary Jerde were class members.

The second grade class taught by Kathleen Dexter included:Terry Demars, Layne Turner, Scott Clow, Ray Hunt, Wayne Gregoire, DuaneFisk, Becky Stewart, Pam Ness, Linda Diamond, Margo Baldwin, Deb Gooselaw,Marylyce Cleem, Cynthia Olsonawski, Marshal Hemmes, Dan Twamley, Ron Gatheridge,Ralph Babcock, Dan Finney, and Kenny Ward.

The first graders were kept at Humboldt and taught by RuthYounggren. The class included Bill Ash, Patrice Docken, Karen Lang, AdeleHoglin, Larry Seed, Larry Jerde, Keith Finney, Teresa Hunt, Bette Giffen,Vanessa Reese, Denise Gooselaw, Don Nelson, Tim Clow, Lois Diamond, DorisGiffen, Craig Olson and the late Tony Tri.

I still do not have a year pass when I think of Tony Tri'stragic death. Tony was the youngest of the Tri kids and frequently cameto our birthday parties. Tony was killed in a tragic accident on highway75 near the Mark Baldwin farm in June of 1963. The memory of Tony's deathis still painful. Tony and Keith asked my brother Tony and I to take a bikeride out to Baldwins to do some frog hunting. We had strict orders not toride on the Highway and dutifully obeyed them. Tony and I wanted to go butdecided not to disobey my Mother. When I watch Rumpole of the Old Bailey,I think of my mother as an attractive Hilda: "She who must be obeyed!"In any case, we learned of the tragic unfolding of this accidentwhen we bicycled home. Tony and Keith were riding their bikes along thehighway. Jacob Loer, father of our next door neighbor Alfred, was drivingbehind the boys. Jacob sounded his horn to warn the boys that he was behindthem. I was told that Tony swerved onto the road and was struck and killed.The whole community was stricken by Tony's death. I remember my Dad hadthe uneviable task of telling Jim Tri about his little brother's death.Helen,Tony's Mother, was cleaning the Church with the ladies aid societyin St. Vincent. When she heard the news, she was so shaken that she lefther purse in the Church. Dotty Boatz gathered Helen's things for her.

My Uncle Mike was then a reporter at the Grand Forks Heraldand happened to be near the Associated Press wire. He turned white whenhe read the report out of Humboldt. Child Killed in Humboldt. When he sawthe first name was Tony, he thought immediately of my brother, Tony Rustad.I still remember how the entire community backed the Tri family. Time stoodstill for the town and the county that was in mourning that June of 1963.

The 1959-60 school year was in the golden age of the Humboldtschool. The teachers included Donna Olson, Helen Tri, O.A. Robert, HaroldBorg, Rueben Ohmann, Gloria Martinson, Dale Finney, Martha Roberts, OttoSchultz, and Mrs. Josephine Arkadie Bunton. Mrs. Bunton was the first African-Americanteacher and perhaps the first African-American to live in Humboldt. Theonly other African-American was the great inventor, Casey Jones. Mrs. Buntontaught Home Economics and was a lively woman very popular with the otherteachers. Mrs. Bunton returned to Humboldt in 1991 for our all-school reunionand was reunited with her many friends and former students.

Andy Hoglin became the custodian in 1960. Andy was notonly a talented custodian but a talented musician. Andy had a magical abilityto make woodwork really shine.

Our cooks at Humboldt were Pearl Iten and Leona Gooselaw.The cook at St. Vincent was Winnie Lapp. Janet LeMasurier was the schoolsecretary. Pearl Iten and Leona Gooselaw were popular cooks and just plainpeople. Pearl and Leona were a good team.

My favorite meals at the lunchroom: 1) fried chicken; 2)BBQ pork; and 3) chili and rice. In later years, I have looked far and widefor the chicken recipe that Leona and Pearl used. Their chicken was deliciousand always moist. I remember that it had lots of garlic and was it evergood. Another dish I loved was their BBQ pork. The sauce was exquisite.My kids always complain about the cafertia food in their school. I thoughtthat the cafeteria food was good and somedays great.

Another meal I loved was BBQ hamburger! I still rememberthe taste of those buns. I think that Pearl learned about how to give hungrykids huge portions later in her Pearl's Inn from her days in the cafeteria.Another feature of the cafeteria was the unlimited milk, cheddar cheese,peanut butter, jelly and milk. Milk never tasted better than out of thosespigots! Harvey

LeMasurier was the custodian at St. Vincent and very niceto the kids attending school there.

The bus drivers were Kenneth Lang, Joe Giffen, Rodney Webster,Herman Loer, Gene Ward, and Willis Finney. After all of these years, I canstill remember Herman Loer giving us all very generous treats on holidaysand on the last day of class. I did not always enjoy riding the school bus.I did the farm chores and if you were not very careful, you could give theentire busload a whiff of raw manure. I remember being teased on the bussome days. I also remember fights on the bus. Becky Clow gave me a bloodynose after some serious dispute. Herman did his best but his route had theirshare of rowdies. Gordy Franks was one kid in particular that I rememberbecause he destroyed my "tuke" or stocking cap. We were the lastkids on the bus route to be picked up shortly before the Loer girls. Somedays,it was difficult to find a seat. There were days when the bus ride was ahighway to hell.

The school was administered by Otto Schultz (Superintendent) and O.A. Roberts(Principal). The school board was chaired by Virgil Bockwitz. Other memberswere Arnold Wiese, Roger Ward, Art Clinton, Albert Clow and Harold Finney.

The 1959-60 was the first year I took an active interestin 4-H. In 1958, Marion Anderson won the 4H-dress pageant for the entirestate of Minnesota. We had a great chapter of 4H. Our chapter was calledthe "Stick To It" Club. That motto has always been a good oneto emulate. Helen Gatheridge was another leader of the 4H club. Kathy Wiesewas another leader of our 4H club. Our club also included Dennis Diamond,Nancy Diamond, Carlene Gatheridge, Janice Bahr, Jackie Wiese to name justa few. Becky and Scott Clow became leading contenders in raising sheep.Dennis Diamond was also a regular winner in that category.

Our 4H club had some outstanding adult leaders such asMrs. Carl Gatheridge, Mrs. Earl Bahr and Mrs. Arnold Wiese. One of the activitiesI remember was releasing thousands of ballons from our school. Some of theballoons had prizes. Today, this would not be permitted because of the environment.I remember seeing the marvel of hundreds of balloons above Humboldt. I neverreally distinguished myself in 4-H but it was a good experience. My GrandpaRustad helped me with my garden and built me a glass case to display myinsect collection. The 4-H club always had one-act play or skits which werelots of fun. We would also have garden tours sponsored by the 4H club whichwere fun. Each garden we toured was topped off by refreshments.

The senior class of 1959 included Helen Gatheridge, LarryTurner, Gloria Iten, Dean Anderson, Marion Anderson, Jim Sylvester, LynnBabcock, Jack Gooselaw, Bev Burton, Alice Loer, Eileen Finney, Eunice Finney,Tanya Klein, Jim Tri, David Lang, Kathy Wiese, Edward Hughes, Willis Roberts,Linda Easter, Ruth Ward, and Doug Finney

The football team from 1959-60 was the only Humboldt teamever to beat Kennedy in any sport. Humboldt beat those Kennedy Rockets inthe 1959-60 Homecoming Game! This was a sweet victory for Harold Borg whopreviously coached at Kennedy. Borg always told every team that they hadto beat Kennedy.

The only other team to come close to beating Kennedy was the 1962 Humboldt-St.Vincent basketball team that lost to Kennedy in four over-times. Humboldthad a good home-coming in the Fall of 1959. Doug Finney was crowned Home-comingking and Eileen Finney was the queen. The homecoming royalty included: KathyTri, Peggy Surface, Larry Turner, Dean Anderson, Denise Gooselaw, Tony Tri,Ruth Ward, Bev Burton, Judy Easter, Alana Smith, Jacquelyn Wiese, Ed Hughes(co-captain), King Doug Finney, Queen Eileen Finney and Dorothy Griffith(page).

The home-coming parade was one of the best that I can remember.The seventh graders float was entitled: "Put the Rockets in Our Rockets.This was the beginning of the Space Age before John Glenn. However, theeighth graders knew that we needed to "harness the rockets." Theninth grade float was an archery display with no apparent connection toour space program: "We aim to win!" The tenth grader's float wasthe fair-minded: "May the best team win."

The eleventh graders had the unimaginative title: "Win Huskies Win!"Queen Eileen and her many attendants rode in the lead float, the Class of1960.

The Humboldt-St. Vincent band was also in the parade. The game was at theold field near Diamonds. Cars lined the field. Like a drive-in movie, youcould enjoy the game from your car. The seniors sold cocoa, hot dogs, candybars and pop to finance their class trip.

Humboldt had a good music program. John Seed, David Seed,David Lang, Dean Anderson, Michael Baldwin and Harold Kennedy were singersin the boy's group. In the Whip, there is a picture of Ron Baldwin, PeterTri, Ralph Giffen and Michael Rustad with their instrument. I am awkwardlyholding the flute, a telling indicator of how well I did with the instrument.Ron and Pete look quite professional with their trumpets. Ralph is havinga good time with his drums. The fifth grade grade had a number of representativesin the school's baton twirling team. Judy Burton, Marlys Diamond, and ClaraTwamley were twirlers. Margie Twamley, Susan Finney, Ethel Finney, MaryBernath, Diane Giffen, Linda Stewart, Lois Ward, and Delores Diamond werealso on the team. The girls all wore white blouses and purple skirts whichwere the school colors. Purple and White: Fight, Fight, Fight.

The football team was a good team. That year they beatPembina, Lake Bronson, Kennedy, Greenbush (I think), and Williams. I donot remember them losing a game but I could be wrong. A young Harold Borgwas the coach. His assistant was a young Rueben Ohman. Humboldt's footballteam had lots of fight.

First, the team had a good number of tough St. Vincent kids on the team.In the first years of the school consolidation, the St. Vincent kids andHumboldt kids had a rivalry. It was the tough railroaders against the farmers.Dan Hughes, Jim Tri, Doug Finney, Willis Roberts, Ed Hughes, Richard Olsonawski,Mike Baldwin, Richmond Cleem, Dean Anderson, Johnny Cleem, LeRoy Clow, DaveBrown, Tom Baldwin, Jim Sylvester, Chuck Surface, Bob Olson, Duffy Feick,Jack Gooselaw, Tim Hughes and Bobby Giffen were team members of the 1959-60Huskies.

The 1959-1960 Huskies were coached by Harold Borg. LarryTurner, John Isely, Jim Sylvester, Dean Anderson, Willis Roberts, Bob Giffen,Bob Olson, Lorne Lofberg, Bill Wilkie, Dan Hughes and Phil Gooselaw playedon the A team. The B team was composed of 24 players. It must have difficultto find playing time for Richard Turner, Jim Hunt, Lorne Lofberg, DavidWard, Allan Ward, John Isely, Chuck Surface, Bob Olson, Paul Hunt, Bob Bockwitz,Gordy Franks, Orlin Bergh, Wayne Stewart, LeRoy Clow, Lawrence Wilkie, BrianLofberg, Francis Gooselaw, Mickey Boatz, Bob Wilkie, Bob Giffen, Jeff Sylvester,Billy Gatheridge and Reggie Hemmes. The A cheerleaders that year were CharlotteNolte, Mary Ryan, Eileen Finney and Michelle Baldwin. The B team cheerleaderswere Alana Smith, Verna Cleem, Sandra Finney and Susan Finney.

Miss Eliza Moore retired from teaching in 1959-60. Shetaught 56 years and 19 in District 352. Mabel Evers also retired and receiveda gift from Grades 1, 2, 3 and 4, but not from our grade. Eliza and hersister Mary were also honored at a St. Vincent open house. Ms. Moore's formerstudents attended this event. Virginia Seed, Mrs. Willis Ward, Mrs. GeorgeFinney, Mrs. Lawrence Burton, Carl Seed, Mrs. Ernest Turner, Mrs. Swan Anderson,Mrs. Stanley Younggren, Miss Ruth Younggren, Stan Lang, Willis Ward, AndrewAnderson, Roger Ward and Ruthie Ward represented the thousands of studentstaught by this distinguished teacher.

Advertisers to the 1960 Whip included: Noyes Standard (RayMalaski) Short's Cafe (Mrs. Gail Short and Fred Stranger); Noyes Store,Cal's Junction Service, Iten Trucking, Northwestern State bank, HumboldElevator Association (Bob Boatz and Maynard Docken), St. Vincent Elevator(Warren Clow, Herbert Easter), Citizen's Bank of Pembina, Willie Clow'sMobil; Junction Drive Inn, Sylvester's Store Independent Insurance (WarrenIsely); Mayme's Fairway Foods, Northland Apiaries (P.N. Tri); Elmer's StandardService of Humboldt, Bockwitz Farms, Baldwin-Miller Co, and Brown Oil Company.ssociation (Bob Boatz and Maynard Docken), St. Vincent Elevator(Warren Clow, Herbert Easter), Citizen's Bank of Pembina, Willie Clow'sMobil; Junction Drive Inn, Sylvester's Store Independent Insurance (WarrenIsely); Mayme's Fairway Foods, Northland Apiaries (P.N. Tri); Elmer's StandardService of Humboldt, Bockwitz Farms, Baldwin-Miller Co, and Brown Oil Company.