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Michael Rustad's Memories




Each year from 1958 through the 1970s, I remember Humboldt-St.Vincent's

Homecoming Parades. In the weeks prior to the HomecomingGame, each class

would build a float for the parade. We would generallyconstruct them from a

shell of chickenwire stuff with Kleenexs. We were in competitionand would

try to keep the theme of our parade secret although thesecrecy was never as

tight as for let's say a Rose Bowl Parade.


The cool autumn nights brought boys and girls togetherin each class to build

their float. In the early grades, the challenge was tokeep the boys from ruining

the project. One of my recollections was Linda Lentz losingher contact lens

while building a float. It is funny how that memory sticksout over 30 years.


The other memory I have was always buying a pop to sustainme during those

float-building days. Pop was often sold in glass bottlesas aluminum cans were

just coming into being. In the early years, the kids wouldgather in the It Cafe

and later at Pearl's Inn. Pearl'sInn proved to be the most popular resturant

in Humboldt's history. In any case, Pearl would offer upbig baskets of fries

and burgers to countless numbers of float builders.


During the homecoming parade, we would frequently go byP.N.Tri's apiary in

the late 1950s and 1960s. There were frequently swarmsof bees that frequently

descended upon the parade.


Homecoming was highlighted by a bon fire and pep rallythe night before the big

game. The Homecoming King and Queen were crowned that nightand led the

bon fire rally which was frequently livened up by DavidBoatz's fireworks.

Dave would buy very big sticks of fireworks in Emerson.The fireworks sold

over the counter would today probably qualify as explosives.In any case, I can

still remember the bon fire being punctuated by Dave'sfireworsks and the

cheerleaders in their purple and white outfits dancingaround the fire. The

homecoming queen was presented with flowers by the footballcaptain at

half-time. The refreshments were generally served by thejunior girls with treats

being made by the Letterman's Club mothers.

Homecoming games were always better when we played a patsy team like

William. We typically won most of the games in the erabetween 1958 and 1963.

At one Homecoming Game against Badger, I remember one ofthe Badger

players being seriously injured and was taken to hospitalin the back of a station

wagon. He suffered a ruptured spleen and I still rememberhis look of utter

terror as he was being loaded into the back of the stationwagon. He did recover

and I don't believe that there were any serious devastatinginjuries other than

trick knees etc. from the experience of football. I shouldadd that Humboldt

played 8 man football. If memory serves me correctly, therewere even teams

that played 6 man football. I often wonder why the 8 mangames did not

employ more sweeps! If you broke through the initial perimeterof defense,

you would very likely score a touchdown with so few defenders.As I recall

there were no announcers for the game and no scoreboard.You had to ask the

guy with the clipboard about the score. The scores werenot even publicly

announced. It was a pretty amateurish affair but the gamesalways drew good

crowds. The best times were in the old football field nearDennis Diamond's.

You could get a good view of the game from your car andit was like going to a

drive-in movie. There was a food stand, a band, cheerleadersand you could

cheer Humboldt-St. Vincent touchdowns by honking the horn.During those

first years of football, we enjoyed great success and therewas lots of honking. I

remember that the homecoming floats were parked near the field as well soyou

could admire the beautiful toilet paper and kleenex designsdone by those young

high school artisans.


could admire the beautiful toilet paper and kleenex designsdone by those young

high school artisans.