Michael Rustad Memories

Ninth Grade

1963 - 1964

 

The assassination of John F. Kennedy youngest presidentin U.S. history occurred when I was a freshman in high school. It was heartbreaking occurrence that left our town in disbelief. I remember that weheard the word of the assassination of the President in social studies class. Mr. Borg brought a radio into the classroom so we could hear the latestreports. I remember feeling that the world was coming to an end. The nextfew days are almost a blur. I happened to be watching television when LeeHarvey Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. The magnitude of the loss of JFK wasunfathomable. I remember riding home on the school bus and wondering howI could help in catching the killer. I also wondered about whether otherleaders were safe. It crossed my mind that there was a wider conspiracy. I remember well the poignant moment when JFK Jr. saluted his fallen father. I also remember the riderless horse in the funeral procession.

One humorous anecdote from that terrible weekend occurredin Hallock. Every Friday we shopped in Hallock. The stores were open inHallock the night of the assassination. The conversation in Clay's Drugstorewas all about the assassination. It was the elephant in the room that occupiedeveryone's attention. When Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as President, wehad a great deal of local interest. There was a boy named Lyndon Johnsonroughly my age from Hallock. Apparently there was a conversation on theschool bus. One little boy told another. Did you hear the big news. LyndonJohnson is now our President. Another boy asked: "Isn't Lyndon alittle young to be President?" I did not hear this exchange but oneof my friends swears that it was true.

I was a New York Yankees fan through much of my childhoodalthough I began surrepetitiously following the Minnesota Twins after theywere awarded the Washington Senators franchise. My brother Tony's teamwas the Dodgers. My grand parents wintered in Los Angeles and frequentlysent us Dodger memorabilia. Sandy Koufax won two games for the Dogers beatingthe Yankees four straight for the World Series. This was a real surprisebecause the Yankees had been so dominant during the early 1960s. The Yankeeteam had Roger Maris from Fargo Shanley high school who was my hero. RogerMaris was friends with some of the Gooselaws and knew a lot of people fromour area. The 1964 Yankees began the long descent into mediocrity thatdid not improve until the 1970s with Reggie Jackson's teams.

One of my memories of high school was that we were permittedto listen to all of the World Series games. Harold Borg would sit withus and we would listen to baseball games in October. Borg was a good teacherand a very good natured guy. Another memory I have of Harold Borg was thathe was a person who made learning fun and helped us keep things in perspective. When I was a seventh grader, the United States came perilously close toWorld War III during the Cuban Missile Crisis. We were literally on thebrink of war and Borg knew it. I remember him let us have an extra periodof physical education and mentioning the possibility that we might be atWar.

From this gesture, I knew how perilously close we wereto war. My greatest fear as a child (after tornadoes) was nuclear war. The Grand Forks Air Force Base was a SAC Air base and would have been atarget in a first strike. I used to try to compute the impact of variousblasts on our little community. Each time I concluded that our chanceswould be slight no matter how the wind blew. I reasoned that there wouldbe a possibility that many of us would die from an initial blast and soradioactive contamination would not be the danger. During the late 1950sand 1960s, the possibility of nuclear war was always on my mind.

Another memory I have of how world events impacted theschool was the U.S. Space program. Each of the major space flights weretelevised. I remember that the teachers set up black and white televisionsso that we could watch Cooper's 22 orbit flight and the earlier flightsof Alan Shepherd and John Glenn. I can still remember the steady voiceof Howard K. Smith announcing the manually controlled re-entry.

My ninth grade year had the same rhythm of other years. There were basketball games, football games, class plays, recitals, lyceums,and graduation. The 1964 Whip was dedicated to Ruth I. Youngggren who taughtfor 40 years My neighbor Lyle Clow served his first term on the SchoolBoard that year. Dale Dirkeland was Superintendent and O.A. Roberts wasprincipal. Other members of the board were Harold Finney, Virgil Bockwitz(chairman) Arnold Wiese, Herb Easter, and Francis Ness. It seemed likewe had a new music teacher every year. In my ninth grade year, Miss BettyMasoner taught music.

We had a number of new teachers that year. Walter Petrusictaught industrial arts. Dale Wright was our new guidance teacher. PatriciaPeterson replaced Beatrice Berg as our home economics teacher. Roger Abelsonheaded the science department Abelson had graduate training from NDSU. The standard bearers who were long time stalwarts at the school includedour Athletic Director Harold Borg, Principal O.A. Roberts, English teacherMartha Roberts, Librarian and English teacher Helen Tri. Ruth Younggreen,Kathleen Dexter, Clara Nelson, Maribel Berg, Minnie Hylland, and Dale Finneytaught the elementary grades.

The 1964 Whip lists the then activities of its Alums. The class of 1960 was living primarily in the Midwest with a few exceptions. In 1964, Dean Anderson was working on a Colorado wheat ranch. Marion Andersonwas a homemaker in New Brighten, Minnesota. Lynn Babcock was in the Marines. Doug Finney was working at KCND TV in Pembina. Eileen Finney was teachingin Thief River Falls. Helen Gatheridge was working at the University ofMinnesota. Jack Gooselaw and Larry Turner were serving our country in theNavy. Ed Hughes and Jim Sylvester were studying at Bemidji State University. Tanya Klien and Ruth Ward were students at UND. David Lang was then workingfor Jensen Brokerage. My neighbor Alice Loer was helping with the familyfarm. Gloria Iten was married to my Dad's friend Punky Maier from Pembina. Willis Roberts was a manager of a lumber yard in Morris. Eunice Finneywas married and living in Grand Forks. Jim Try was managing the family'sbee business, Northland Apiaries of Humboldt. Kathy Wiese was a studentat a Chicago University, River Forest College. Bev Burton was married andliving in Oregon. Linda Easter was living in California.

The class of 1963 named Cheryl Ingeman as Valedictorianand Reggie Hemmes as Salutatorian. Junior leaders at graduate were ChuckSurface and Mary Baldwin. By November of 1963, Isley was studying at ConcordiaCollege. David Seed was a student at Aakers Business College. Sandra Finneywas also a student at Aakers Business College. Richmond Cleem was in theNavy and Reggie Hemmes enlisted in the Army. Cheryl Ingeman was a studentat Conclordia College. Sandra Knutson was a homemaker. Karen Hylland wasa student at Wahpeton State School of Science.

In 1964, the class of 1961 was also venturing out intothe world. Michelle Baldwin was studying at Long Beach State. Her twinbrother Mike was in the Air Force. Don and Marion Brown's son David wasat the University of North Dakota. Marvin Cleem was working at Pembina'sbus plant, Motor Coach Industries. Ron Cleem, Richard Olaonawski and BillyWilkie were in the Air Force. Their classmate Joan Diamond was in the Wacs. Judy Clow was married and living in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Ruth Clow wasworking at the Grand Forks Clinic. Dan Hughes was working for NorthwesternBell. Harold Kennedy was attending the Brown Institute in Minnapolos. Dorothy Griffith was a housewife in Detroit and Judy Gooselaw working inthe Nicollet Hotel in Minneapolis.

In 1964, the class of 1962 was also primarily living inthe upper midwest. LeRoy Clow was attending the University of North Dakota. Tom Baldwin was a student at Moorhead State. John Cleem was in the Armyand Mike Gooselaw in the Navy. Allen Ward was attending Bible School inBemidji. Charlotte Nolte was married and living in Brush, Coloraod. PeggySurface was married and living in Willmar. Janet Shaw was still at homein Humboldt. Carlene Gatheride was tudying medical technology in Minneapolis. Marjorie Surface was married and living in Fargo. Her classmate PatsyBouvette was married and living in St. Vincent. Rosemary Goden was workingfor Custom in Pembina. Joan Olsonawski was a student at Bemidji State College. John Seed was working at Motor Coach Industries.

The graduating class of 1964 included Bert Lang, RichardTurner, James Wilkie, Betty Cameron, Clarice Anderson, Charles Surface,Wayne Stewart, Robert Giffen, Betty Wir, Mary Jane Baldwin, Lawrence Wilkie,Kathryn Tri, Bev Dykhuis, Bob Bockwitz, Tim Hughes, andJudy Dykhuis. Chuck Surface was elected Homecoming King and Betty Weir as HomecomingQueen. The attendants were Mary Baldwin, Judy Dkykhuis, Lawrence Wilkieand Robert Giffen.

Chuck Surface and Bob Giffen were named to the all-conferencefootball team. Robert Bockwtiz, Tim Hughes Tuna Stewart and Lawrence Wilkiewere honorable mention all-conference players. The coach of the footballteam was Bill Durkop. The players included Richard Turner, Robert Wilkie,Jeff Sylvester, Mickey Boatz, Tim Hughes, Bob Bockwitz, Pete Tri, Bob Giffen,Wayne Stewart, Chuck Surface, Tom Brown, Ron Baldwin Dan Ingeman, BryanLofberg, Jeff Lofberg, LarryKnutson, Larry Olsonawski, Gary Webster, JimIngeman, Len Jerome, Gary Jerde and Ralph Giffen. The starting five onthe Humboldt Huskies basketball team were all seniors: Chuck Surface, LawrenceWilkie, Wayne Stewart, Richard Turner, and Robert Giffen. Mickey Boatzwas a big scorer and was one of the most valuable players on the team.TheA team players were Bob Giffen, Mickey Boatz, Charles Surface, Wayne Stewart,Richard Turner, Lawrence Wilkie, Arne Anderson, Robert Ward, Jeff Sylvester,Tom Brown, Bob Wilkie and Bryand Lofberg.

The "B" team was coached by Roger Abelson. PeteTri, Ron Baldwin, Dick Dykhuis, Dan Ingeman, Ralph Giffen, Tim Leitz, EdLenz, Jeff Lofberg and I were on the "B" team. Team members includedJerry Bernath, John Finney, John Bergh, James Wiese, Lee Jerome, Jim Gatheridge,Len Jerome, Jim Ingeman, Tony Rustad, and Gary Jerde I was on the trackteam that year. However, Chuck Surface was the only real competitor placing3rd in the shot put. I think I finished somewhere near in the bottom withthe 100 yard dash.

The A team cheerleaders for 1963-64 were Margie Ryan, CherylEaster, Susan Finney and Susi Stewart. The B cheerleaders were Marlys Diamond,Renee Jerome and Linda Stewart. We had the same basic activities. Ourband played its first concert in Pembina. We had our winter concern inMarch. Our fall concert happened to coincide with November 22, 1963. Theband members gave concerts and even had a skit. Jackie Wiese, Kathy Tri,Diane Loer, Mary Berntah, Clarice Anderson, Ron Baldwin, Bob Bockwitz, TomBrown, Diane Jerde, Janice Bahr, Ethel Finney, Carolyn Wiese, Judy Burton,Kathy Finney, June Webster, Deloros Diamond, Jerry Bernath, Robert Ward,Carolyn Loer, Lois Ward, Gary Webster, Hertha Klein, Cynthia Baldwin, NancyLenz, Beth Boatz, Linda Stewart, Faye Turner, Linda Pearson, Elaine Surface,Susi Stewart, Mary Baldwin, Joyce Finney, Betty Short, Lois Armstrong, SusanFinney, Marlys Diamond, Linda Turner, Carolyn Wiese, Peter Tri, amd MargieRyan were in the band. I finally convinced my parents that I did not havea future with the flute and was not in the band.

Our freshmen class consisted of Maryls Diamond, Ron Baldwin,Renee Jerome, Dan Ingeman, Michael Rustad, Tim Leitz, Bernard Knutson, LindaLenz, Carl Seed, Clara Twamley, Martha Carlson, Peter Tri, Rhoda Symington,Ralph Giffen, Diane Jerde, Jan Armstrong, Carolyn Wiese, Judge Burton, andRebecca Clow. The 1964 Whip reveals that large black framed glasses werein style in Northwest Minnesota. We may not have been chic but we survivedthe Cuban Missile Crisis and other perilous events.
Whip reveals that large black framed glasses werein style in Northwest Minnesota. We may not have been chic but we survivedthe Cuban Missile Crisis and other perilous events.