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Michael Rustad Memories

Sixth Grade

1960 - 1961

My sixth grade teacher was Dale Finney My sixth grade classwas winnowed

down from previous years. Ralph Giffen, Michael Rustad,Dan Ingeman, Martha

Carlson, Carolyn Wiese, Linda Lenz, Peter Tri, Marlys Diamond, Roda

Symington, Janice Armstrong, Carl Seed, Diane Jerde, RebeccaClow, Judy

Burton, Patricvia Siguaw, Ron Baldwin, Clara Twamley, ReneeJerome and

Barbara Sinclair were in the sixth grade class.

The fifth graders are depicted in the inside cover of the 1961 in the Playground

at the St. Vincent school. Carolyn Loer, my next door-neighbor, is holdingthe

two rings. Cynthia Baldwin is holding a bar swing. All of the fifth gradersare

photographed poised for fun. Mary Bernath and Ethel Finneyare at the top of

slide. My cousin Leslie Turner is right behind Ethel. JoeyClow, Linda

Symington, Virginia Seed, Mary Boatz, and Lois Ward arestanding in line

ready for a slide. All of the girls are ready to go forwardon the slide.

All of the boys are ready to go on the merryground. CousinsJay Hoglin and

Randy Reese are sitting together. John Finney, Jim Ingemanand Lenny Jerome

seem to be planning some mischief. Jim Gatheridge and GaryWebster are

having a chat. A sociologist could do an analysis of thebifurcated gender

roles depicted in the photograph. There is "His Worldof the Fifth Grade"

and "Her World."

The Sixth Grade was a very different world where the boys and girls

were beginning to notice each other and there was muchless of a gender


The 1961 Whip is dedicated to the children of the spaceage. I guess Otto

Schultz must have been referring to the fifth and sixthgraders as much as

any group. The faculty in 1961 included Harold Borg, O.A.Roberts

(Principal), Otto C. Schultz (Superintendent, Reuben Ohmann,and Music

Teacher Del G. Voiles. Martha Roberts, Helen Tri, GloriaMartinson,

Elizabeth P. Westergard, and Josephine M. Arakadie Buntontaught in the high

school. The elementary teachers were Ruth Younggren, KathleenDexter, Clara

Nelson, Maribel W. Berg, Minnie Hylland, and Dale Finney.

My Sixth Grade year was a happy year thanks to Dale Finney. Dale

Finney was the first teacher to reach me. There were fewdiscipline

problems in our sixth grade class unlike the earlier yearswith the combined

classroom. I think that it was because everyone respectedMrs. Finney. I

became a terrific reader thanks to the SRA reading methodshe instituted.

The program played to my competitive sense. Rhoda Symingtonand Carolyn

Wiese were reading at a 11th or 12th grade level to beginthe SRA program. I

quickly passed my grade level and also tested at ninthor grade level. It

was the first time that I realized that I was a good student.Although my

grades in effort were only 0, I was present 167 days thatyear. I was not

tardy a single day. I think it was because I enjoyed school.I received an

"A" in reading every term. My handwriting graderanged from a C to a C+.

My handwriting never got better. Physical education wasanother favorite

subject that year. My art grades continued to be mediocreranging from a C

to a B-

Mrs. Finney taught us a great deal of history about our state of Minnesota.

Minnesota history was a mandated part of the 6th grade curriculum

in those days. She would augment the formal history byreading to us from

Norse Mythology. I have vivid memories of her lectureson the ruinstone that

was supposedly found in Alexandria. I also remember readingabout the ox

carts, fur trade and the Indian massacre at New Ulm. Ourmusic class was

under the direction of Del Voiles.

Del Voiles concluded that I was a hopeless flutist andI did occasionally

frustrate him with my inability to play that instrumentwell. He was a big

guy with big rings and it was not unknown for an errantmusician to be shaped

up on occasion. We had combined music classes with thefifth grade. One of

my most vivid memories is playing Name That Tune with theFifth Graders and

Cynthia Baldwin winning every point. I could not name asingle tune.

Cynthia beat both classes 100 to 0! Later, in life I teamedup with an MIT

professor in trivial pursuit at a Maine resort and we amazedour kids by

winning every prize and every point. In 1961, Cynthia Baldwinwas already

an exceptional musician.

In 1961, Ann Hughes and Pearl Iten were our cooks at the Humboldt

school. I always remember that they would be sure thatall of the hungry

boys were well fed. Ann's son, Tim, a member of the footballteam, was a good

eater and it was fortunate that he had Ann for a mother.

The class of 1961 was the first class where I knew some of the seniors well.

Michelle Baldwin and Michael Baldwin were in that class. Michelle was oneof

the prettiest girls in the school and one of the nicest ones especiallyto younger

children. She deserved to be Homecoming Queen. Marvin Cleem was the

Homecoming King. Marvin was also a very popular senior.I remember getting

on Marvin's wrong side by having a scrap with his youngerbrother Allan.

Another memory I have of Marvin Cleem was an actor in theone act play, The

Bishop's Candlesticks. When I saw Les Miserables laterin London's Old Vic

Theatre, I took my mind's eye back to Humboldt and recalledMarvin in the

role of Jean Val Jean. Allan and I were childhood friendsbut apparently that

day I bothered Allan. Marvin told me that I was never to fight Allan againand I

never did.

Judy Clow, Dorothy Griffith, Harold Kennedy, David Brown, Ruth Clow, Daniel
Hughes, Joan Diamond, Ronnie Cleem, Judy Gooselaw Richard Olsonawski, Mike
Baldwin, and Bill Wilkie were the other members of the class.

The 1961 football team was a good team. Humboldt beat Badger 32-7. The

football team had some good seniors. However, LeRoy Clow, John Cleem,

Allan Ward, Lorne Lofberg played supporting roles on thisteam. There were

also good sophomores and freshmen players on the footballteam. Richard

Turner, Bob Giffen, Bob Olson, LeRoy Cloy, John Cleem,Dan Hughes, Dave

Brown, Bob Bockwitz, James Feick, Ronnie Cleem, Tim Hughes,Mike Baldwin,

Mike Gooselaw, Charles Surface, John Isely, Richmond "Grouch"Cleem, Marvin
Cleem, Richard Olsonawski and Allan Ward were team members. Rueben

Ohman was the assistant coach and Harold Borg was coach of the 1960-61

Huskies. Danny Hughes and Johnny Cleem co-captained theteam. Richard

Olsonawski and Johnny Cleem were two of the toughest tacklers on the team.

This was a team that could intimidate their opponents. One memory

that I have is of a Badger player being injured and cartedoff to the

hospital in the back of a station wagon. In those days,Kittson County had

no ambulance. The only ambulance was Andy Larson's hearse.It would have

bad form to have a hearse on hand at a Humboldt game. Wewere very worried

about the Badger player because he did not shake off theinjury. It turned

out that he had a serious kidney injury.

I do not believe that there was any intent to injure bythe team. They were

just a tough bunch of railroaders and farmers! This wasthe first year

Humboldt had a losing record. Humboldt lost to Pembina33 to 20 that year.

This was the first year that Williams beat us, 30 to 14.Lake Brownson beat

us 33 to 19. We lost to the Middle River Skippers 46 to6 and the Drayton

Bombers 41 to 12.

The election of John F. Kennedy on November 8, 1960 was a sweet victoryto

this life-long Democrat. My Dad benefited from Kennedy's election and was

appointed as Postmaster from Humboldt. I remember going to bed after

watching Howard K. Smith on ABC announce that the election was too closeto

call. I prayed that night that John F. Kennedy would be elected. The Loergirls

next day prayed just as hard for Richard M. Nixon. When I awoke on November

9th, a Wednesday morning, Kennedy was the President. JFK was the first

Catholic President and during the election I heard many disparaging thingssaid

about what would happen if a Catholic were elected.

I think that every member of our Church voted for Kennedy and most

Protestants supported Nixon. We had mock elections in theelementary school

and our results mirrored religious lines. The electionof Kennedy was a

sweet victory to most young Catholics of my era. HilsonStewart was the

acting postmaster and appointed by Eisenhower's administration.The election

of JFK meant that my Dad was appointed postmaster in placeof Hilson. Dad

and Hilson remained friends despite being in the throesof politics. In fact, Dad

considered Hilson Stewart one of his best friends until his death. I thinkthat this

incident illustrates how Humboldt had a sense of community larger than national


The 1960-61 basketball team was also coached by Harold Borg. This was a

young team with only one senior member of the team, BillWilkie who had

limited playing time in his junior year. The 1960-61 teambecame the nucleus of

the best basketball teams in Humboldt-St. Vincent history. Rick Cleem, Chuck

Surface, John Isely, Bob Olson, Lorne Lofberg, Bob Giffen, Rick Turner,Allan

Ward, Bob Bockwitz, and Reggie Hemmes were on the A team. In those days,the
A team had warmup jerseys and the B-team did not have them. The "B"team had
some good players especially in the ninth grade class. Team members wereBob

Giffen, Bob Bockwitz, Rick Turner, Wayne Stewart, Lawrence Wilkie, and

Reggie Hemmes. The seventh and eighth graders on the team were Dickie

Dykhuis, Bob Ward, Jeff Lofberg, Mickey Boatz, Tom Brown, Bob Wilkie and

Bryan Lofberg.

Humboldt's young basketball team in 1960-61 fared much better than their

veteran football team. Borg played a young starting lineup many games

of principally freshman and sophomores. Chuck Surface wasa star as a

Freshman. Bob Giffen saw significant minutes spelling JuniorLorne Lofberg.

Sophomore Bobby Olson started most games. Sophomores JohnIsely and

Richmond "Grouch" Cleem were standouts on the team. The 1960-61Huskies

ultimately had a losing season but were better than expected. The back courtof

Lorne Lofberg and Bob Olson were good ball handlers. Lorne could hit the

outside jumper. John Isely had a smooth shot from the side. Chuck Surface,the

best athlete on the team, could score from nearly anywhere and could thatkid

ever jump. Richmond "Grouch" Cleem was a toughrebounder.

Borg did a great coaching job. Humboldt began the season beating Badger41 to

37. Next, they took care of Greenbush 50 to 37. The Pembina Wildcats ledby

former Humboldt player, Bob Ritter, dispatched Humboldt 60 to 43. This

started a tail spin. We lost to Hallock 75 to 57. Then, Karlstadt beat us57 to 37.

We were beaten by Lake Bronson 49 to 37. Humboldt beat Greenbush a second

time but dropped the most of the other games. The nucleusof the 1960-61

team was formed.

The "A" team cheerleaders were Sandra Finney, Mary Ryan, LonnieSmith, and

Charlotte Nolte. The B team cheerleaders were Cheryl Easter,Margaret Ryan

and Joyce Finney.

The 1961 Whip notes that my Dad was President of the PTA. That year thePTA

raised money to buy a Punch Bowl and 125 sherbert cups. Dad organized a

Men's night. His friends Bob Boatz, Wilbert Hemmes, Maynard Docken, Harold

Borg, and Joe Giffen participated. Humboldt-St. Vincent had an active PTA

throughout my school years.

Humboldt continued their domination in speech. The 1961 Whip notes

that speech awards the previous years were given to CarleneGatheridge,

Regional alternate, Helen Gatheridge, Kathy Wiese, DavidLang (drama) Jim Tri

(speech and drama) Willis Roberts (4 year chevron) andReggie Hemmes

(regional contestant).

In 1960 Carlene Gatheridge, Eileen Finney, Helen Gatheridge, Lynn Babcock,

Willis Roberts, Bill Wilkie, Reggie Hemmes, Bob Olson,Harold Kennedy, Verna
Cleem and Kathy Wiese were district contestants. Humboldt may have been

beaten in football and basketball, but we could sure beatthe other schools

in speech and debate.

The Whip indicates that the 1960 Homemaker of Tommorow was Helen

Gatheridge. Dorothy Griffith was Homemaker of Tomorrow in 1961.

1>Willis Roberts, Bill Wilkie, Reggie Hemmes, Bob Olson,Harold Kennedy, Verna
Cleem and Kathy Wiese were district contestants. Humboldt may have been

beaten in football and basketball, but we could sure beatthe other schools

in speech and debate.

The Whip indicates that the 1960 Homemaker of Tommorow was Helen

Gatheridge. Dorothy Griffith was Homemaker of Tomorrow in 1961.