Michael Rustad's Memories
College Sophomore - UND
1968 - 1969
I was a sophomore in college at the University of NorthDakota in 1968-69. I experienced a great deal of success that year. Ireceived a 4.00 average that year and continued that level of academic achievementthroughout my college years. I would credit Martha Roberts for helpingme develop good study habits. During my sophomore year, I began feelinggreater confidence as a student and socially. I was an officer in DeltaTau Delta fraternity, student senator, university senator, and a memberof our University debate team. During my sophomore year, I ran for studentsenator and received the most votes in our campus wide election. The studentsenate in those days was a mark of great distinction. My fraternity financedmy election and arranged for numerous speaking appearances at all of thefraternity and sorority houses as well as the dormitories.
My grandfather took me to Silvermans which was the bestclothing store in Grand Forks and outfitted me with an olive suit, yellowall-cotton dress shirt, new tie and shoes. When I objected to the expense,my Grandfather told me that he was happy to help me and thought it wouldmake a difference in the campaign.
I forged an unusual coalition of group ranging from theVeterans, fraternities and independents to win the election. The then studentbody President Rusty Drugan (later to be a Rhodes Scholar) told me thathe was picking me as a favorite for the student body president to succeedBob Crawford. Our student senate had a number of outstanding students. Harlan Fugelstan (who was accepted to Princeton for graduate school), MikeBashara, Mike Maum, Marcia Meyers, and Steve Lund were Senators.
The 1968-69 school year was during the height of VietnamWar Protests. However, the hottest issue dividing UND students was an initiativeto build a new hockey arena. The University of North Dakota fighting Siouxplayed their hockey in an old quonset hut which was the worst facility inthe WCHA. A group of alumni came up with a scheme for future students tofinance a new arena. I opposed the initiative because I thought that weneeded to improve our educational facilities not our sports facilities.
I campaigned against the initiative and appeared on state-widetelevision and debated another Senator Randy Renfrew on talk radio. Thetalk radio show had a number of nasty calls directed at me. One callerasked whether I was a wimp who never played sports. I was able to tellhim that I was on the intramural football champion team at UND and playedintramural basketball and baseball. Needless to say, I was on the losingside. The student referendum to build a new hockey arena was passed bya 60 to 40 margin. I still have some of the newspaper editorials writtenagainst my unpopular stand.
I did not then understand the financial role of athleticsin our university. UND has just received a $60 million donation to buildan ice hockey palace. The Sports pages of statewide newspapers editorializedagainst me. I wonder what will become of the hockey arena that I opposedas taxation without representation. I opposed taxing future generationsof students who might not have an interest in hockey! Boy was I ever wrongon that issue! The UND Fighting Sioux have won two national championshipsin recent years.
UND in 1968-69 was dominated by fraternity and sororitylife. We had toga parties, Pledge Princess parties, and weekend dancesin the fraternity house.
In May of 1999, I read that our housemother Mrs. Klabodied at age 93. Mrs. Klabo always attended our formal meals which wereheld every Monday evening. We all dressed in suits and ties every Mondayfor our meal and meeting. We took turns serving as waiters at the meeting.
When I was in the fraternity, we lived in the oldest houseon campus which had a remarkable resemblance to Animal House, the movie. I was one of the pledges shown blueprints for the new house that did notmaterialize until the 1980s. Much of the fraternity chores were doneby our pledge class. Many of the fraternity members became successful professionals: doctors, lawyers, teachers, psychologists, and pilots. We had a few KittsonCounty boys in the house. Ron and Daryl Matthew of Kennedy were fraternitymembers as was Don Kempf from Hamilton. Ed and Tom Hanson from Baudettewere also active members. Neil Fleming, an attorney from Cavalier, was alsoa Delt alum.
I found that the fraternity was a positive influence inbuilding friends and socializing farm boys from all over the Upper Midwest. We were one of the few fraternities to admit persons of different racesand ethnicity. I had a lot of fun in the fraternity and learned good studyhabits from many of the members. Paul Gaukler, for example, later wentto Harvard Law School where he finished at the top of his class after receivinghis Ph.D from MIT. Paul was a quite and unassuming guy who came from atiny North Dakota town and studied physics at UND. During my junior year,I ran for student council president in a campaign marred by election improprieties. I lost the election and called for an investigation of unscrupulous electiontactics. The investigation uncovered numerous cases of people voting numeroustimes. My opponent Steve Lund was a strong candidate and I have never blamedhim for the dirty politics in the election. He ran with support from theyouth for Nixon campaign plan. I lost fraternity support and Veteran'ssupport due to my liberal politics. I won a scholarship to Hamline Universityand spent the Spring of 1970 in an Urban Studies Program which would havemade it difficult to be student body president in any case. The Universityof North Dakota gave me a number of honors and a good start in my academiccareer.
My brother Tony was a senior in 1968-69 while I was a collegesophomore. I attended a few football games, Tony's graduation and a fewweekends at home. Much of my life was centered around the University. However, I could not help but feel a great deal of vicarious pride in hearingabout Tony's athletic success. Tony and his teammates were written up inthe Grand Forks Herald several times that year. Tony was an all conferenceplayer on the best team in Humboldt history. The Huskies finished the seasonwith a 6-1 record. The margin of victory was impressive. Humboldt beganthe season by beating St. Thomas 56 to 0. They then beat Fordville 50 to13. Humboldt beat Edinburgh 46 to 12. We next dispatched Badger 56 to 0and Pembina 13 to 0. We beat Midway 66 to 6.
In the championship game, we lost to Hoople 20 to 12. Hoople had a number of good players who played college ball. Humboldt hadthe most all-conference players. Four Humboldt players were on the all-conferenceteam: Mark Lommen, Tony Rustad, John Bergh, and Lee Jerome. Jim Wieseand Tim Clow were honorable mention. Humboldt had a well disciplined teamand a good line. Scott Clow was a standout lineman on the team. Humboldthad good speed, size and experience. However, I think that coaching madea big difference that year.
Bob Turner was coach of the 1968 team. Bob Turner wasa legendary football and basketball player. Bob was a member of the undefeated1968 football team and a well respected teacher and coach. The team memberswere Lee Jerome, Jerry Bernath, Jim Wiese, John Bergh, Craig Wiese, TonyRustad, Dan Finney, Marshal Hemmes, Ron Gatheridge, Scott Clow, Vermon Bahr,Mark Lommen, Craig Olson, Keith Finney, Tim Clow, Dave Wilkie, Louis Jerome,Mike Ness, Mike Olson and Clair Karol. The A cheerleaders were Jane Johnson,Denise Gooselaw, Joan Lommen, Delores Diamond and Becky Stewart. The cheerleadersfor the B team were Kathy Easter, Renee Giffen and Bobbi Jo Schulte.
The homecoming king in 1968-69 was Lee Jerome and the Queenwas Lois Armstrong. Other members of the royal party were John Bergh, DeloresDiamond, June Webster, and Jim Wiese. Ron Gatheridge, Jim Wise, Lee Jerome,Lois Armstrong, Tim Clow, Clair Karol, William Johnson, Wanda Anderson PamNess, June Webster, Denise Gooselaw, Judy Turner and Bobbi Jo Schulte aredepicted in the royalty picture as are ring and crown bearers Susan Boatzand Nathan Gillie.
As in other years, the Queen and her attendants rode ina convertible and were crowned by the football captain at the halftime. The senior skit that year was entitled, "An Interview with the Coach." Tony Rustad's costume was the most unusual mixing football equipment withother undergarments.
Bob Turner was also an excellent basketball coach turningthe Huskie basketball team into a contender. Humboldt had a number of mediocreyears and had not had a winning season since Chuck Surface's senior yearin 1963-64. Humboldt had two all-conference players, Lee Jerome and MarkLommen. Other senior huskies were Jim Wiese, Tony Rustad, John Bergh, CraigWiese, and Brad Hemmes. John Bergh had the distinction of winning 5 lettersin basketball and had started every game since he was in eighth grade. I enjoyed playing with John or JB as he was known, because he was a teamplayer and very skilled. I played with most of the A team members who weresophomores my senior year.
Humboldt began the season by beating Badger 82 to 53. He next knocked off our arch-rival Hallock, 68 to 45. Hallock had goneto the regional tournament the year before and always had a strong program. The Strandquist Warriors gave the team a closely contested game. Humboldtbeat Strandquist 67 to 63. Humboldt then beat Neche 56 to 55. We lost toPembina 64 to 46. Humboldt next beat Lancaster 60 to 44. Humboldt beatthe Nordics from Newfolden, 60 to 55. We lost to Kennedy as usual 67 to55. We next beat Strandquist 66 to 45.
Humboldt beat Stephen for the first time in memory, 70to 58. Next, Humboldt beat St. Thomas 64 to 55. We lost a close game toKarlstad 53 to 50. Humboldt again beat Lancaster 78 to 54. We beat Hallocka second time on their court, 46 to 50. Humboldt lost to the Argyle Eagles69 to 60. Humboldt nearly upset Pembina losing 63 to 61. Humboldt-St.Vincent was almost always the smallest school so it was great to finallybe a good team.
The 1968-69 class was also a solid academic class. Duringprevious spring, Lois Armstrong won first place in an Ability Counts contest. John Bergh and Jim Wiese won first place in the Red River Valley essaycontest. Humboldt-St. Vincent had spectacular results in 1968. Humboldtwas the first team ever to win every event at the sub district. No schoolhas ever sent all contestants to District 32 with "A" ratings. Mrs. Roberts received the sub-district and district tournament trophies! The members of the best speech team in school history were Lee Jerome,Jay Hoglin, John Finney, Leslie Turner, Randy Reese, Ethel Finney, Jim Ingeman,June Webster, Margo Baldwin, John Wilie, Delores Diamond, Cindy Baldwin(regional contestant, story tellinig),m Alan Anderson (regional contestant,discussion), Lois Ward and Linda Stewart. Cindy Baldwin and Alan Andersonwere captains of that team. The 1969 speech team was also extraordinary.
The School Board in 1968-69 had a number of new members. Dale Keena was Principal and C.J. Lommen was Superintendent. Mark Baldwinchaired the school board. Harold Finney, Howard Reese, Herb Easter, EarlBahr, and Robert Nordstrom were also on the Board. The faculty also hada number of new members. Wayne Westerson was the Guidance counselor. BobTurner taught history, mathematics and physical education as well as coachedHumboldt teams. Bob Turner was a member of St. Anne's Catholic Church andone of the Humboldt letterman that I greatly admired as a grade schooler. He was a gifted coach and knew how to motivate kids. I would rank BobTurner and Harold Borg as the best coaches ever to field a Humboldt-St.Vincent Team. Turner was one of Borg's former students.
Dennis Coffield, Reynold Ward, William Brown, Dale Keena,Gary Johnson Bob Asselin, Harriet Docken, Dorothy Scothorn and Mrs. Robertsrounded out the faculty. A number of long-time elementary teachers werestill active in 1969. Maribel Berg was the elementary principal and fourthgrade teacher. Velma Isely, Ruth Younggren, Minnie Hylland and Dale Finneywere still teaching elementary grades. Virginia Coffield and Sharon Asselintaught 2nd and 3rd grades respectively. The School Board was able to approvefederal grants which permitted hiring school aides. Catherine Larson, CherylJohnson, Irene Gatheridge, Lillian Lapp and Patricia Anderson played a significantrole as elementary aides.
The support staff of Humboldt-St. Vincent had always beenan important part of the educational experience. Kathy Cleem and Ann Ashwere appointed as secretaries at the school. Andy Hoglin, the long timesaxophone playing custodian, was still on the staff. Lawrence Wilkie wasthe custodian at St. Vincent. Lawrence Wilkie, Don Giffen, Lyle Clow andGary Sommerville had bus routes. Hazel Lofberg and Ann Hughes were theHumboldt cooks. Simone Cameron was the cook at the St. Vincent school forthe elementary grades.
The class of 1969 had a number of strong students. I don'tthink that there was a bully or obnoxious person in the class. This wasa friendly class. When I ran for student council President, I won the supportof the then sophomores and had lots of friends in the class. This was aclass with a strong sense of identification to Humboldt. In 1989, the classreunion brought everyone but two back to the school to celebrate their reunion.
The photograph depicts a class that had aged only veryslightly. Christina Anderson, Kathleen Finney, John Bergh, Lois Armstrong,Elizabeth ("Beth") Boatz, Delores Diamond, James Carl Wiese, CraigAlvin Wiese, June Carol Webster, Bradley Dean Hemmes, Mark Lommen, AnthonyLane Rustad, Leland Ray Jerome, Diane Phyllis Giffen, Faye Ann Turner, JaneLou Johnson, Jerald James Bernath, and Donna Jean Easter were members ofthe class of 1969. A large number of the class attended college and somereceived advanced degrees. The classes of 1967-69 represented a high-watermark for the life of Humboldt-St.Vincent school.
I think that the solid academic ethos of Humboldt-St. Vincentcan be traced to the strong family structure and sense of community. ThePTA was always a strong adjunct to the faculty. In 1968-69, Joyce Baldwinwas co-chairman of the PTA with Audrey Ash. Cathy Cleem was the PTA secretaryand Morris Webster was appointed as treasurer.
The advertisers for the Whip in 1968-69 also evidencessupport for the school. Pembina boosters that year included: FranklinBaron & Sons, Louie's Barber Shop, Margerum Apartments, McColl's FairwayStore, and Paul Brown. Edith McColl was connected to Humboldt because herdaughter was married to Max Turner. (if memory seves me right) Emersonboosters included Bayliss Motors, Mickey's General Store, The Bank of NovaScotia, Bill's Barber Shop, and Sam's Drive-Inn.
Hallock boosters included Grace Lutheran Church, Gulf ServiceStation, Lorna's Beauty Lounge, Paul Bernstrom, Tranberg Brothers, Woman'sShop, Meltz Shoe Store and Olson's Barber shop. The Getschel Brothers farmwere also boosters. My brother Tony and I worked for the Getschel Brothersweeding sugar beets one summer. William S. Ash also had an advertisementfor Ash's Greenhouse. The Ash family were legendary agronomists and hada good business with plants and flowers. Clarence Iten also had an advertisementfor Iten Trucking. Carl Gatheridge's insurance company had an advertisement: "I can place any risk which can be insured."
Pearl's Inn had an advertisement in the 1969 Whip. Heradvertiements was: "For Those Who Think Young!" Pearl Iten diedin the summer of 1998. The young men and women who ate at Pearl's Inn honorher memory and remember her cooking as well as her many kindnesses. I stillsavor her jumbo hamburgers and fries which could fill up a teenager forthe princely sum of .50! Mayme Jury's Humboldt Store also had an advertisement. Cynthia Baldwin's essay on the RRV memories page captures the ethos ofMayme's store perfectly.
I can still remember Melvie Stewart at the counter andMayme working with inventory reports at her desk. When I saw the the LastPicture Show which was based upon a novel by Larry McMurtry, my mind'seye was taken back to Humboldt. The closing of Mayme's store, like thetheatre in the Last Picture Show, was the beginning of the decline of Humboldt. In McMurtry's novel, the football team was hammered much like the footballteam in 1965-66.
I have not decided whether Humboldt resembles Andy Griffith'sMayberry or The Last Picture Show. Dave Boatz is fond of comparing thecharacter in Mayberry to Humboldt residents. Perhaps, we should do a referendumon which fictional community most resembles Humboldt.
The 1969 Whip also had an advertisement for Midland Co-OperativeServices. I can still picture Allan Lofberg and Monte Bloomquist at theservice station. The predecessor to Midland was the Brown Oil Station. Three banks advertised their financial services in the Whip: Hallock Savingsand Loan, Pembina's Citizen State Bank and the Northwestern State Bank ofHallock. Norman Jensen's custom house brokers from Noyes had an advertisement. The Pembina Red Roost Motel, Laundramat and Hartz Store also had advs. Ward Farm Supply, a business run by Humboldt shop teacher Reynold Ward,also had an advertisement.
The Humboldt Elevator Association also had a full pageadvertisement as in earlier years. R.M. Boatz was manager and R.A. "Punky"Maier was assistant manager. Punky Maier was a popular Assistant Mangerwho grew up in Pembina and was married to Gloria Iten. The St. VincentElevator Company managed by Warren Clow and assistant manager, Herb Easter,also had an advertisement.
Elmer Maxwell's little Standard station with its mechanicalpump had an advertisement. Elmer Maxwell's gas station was built before1920 decades before the design of gas stations was standardized. In thefirst decades of the century, gas stations were indviduated. In California,gas stations were in the shape of teepes, igloos, and oranges, among otherdesigns. Texaco was the first station to develop a standardized designin the 1940s. You may recall the Texaco slogan: "Trust the man thatwears the star." New franchisees were required to conform to designsdesignated by franchishors. Elmer Maxwell's Standard Service had a uniquedesign. It was in the shape of a railroad caboose. There were no indoorbathroom facilities only an out house. Elmer did not have a uniform withhis name stetched on it. His uniform was coveralls and a blue work shirt.
Every kid growing up in Humboldt will attest that ElmerMaxwell was one of the most fair-minded dealers in pop bottles in the area. We would collect the pop bottles throughout the village and along the roads. The 10 ounce bottles were worth a nickle and the 6 ounce bottles couldbe redeemed for .02. I believe that the quart bottles could be redeemedfor .08 to a dime. Elmer had an amazing cooler which kept the pop at theperfect temperature just below the temperature of freezing!
Wise Brothers and Bahr family farms also had an advertisementwith a combine unloading grain. The Wiese Brothers and Bahr farm was oneof the most highly regarded model farms. Alvin Wiese, Arnold Wiese andEarl Bahr kept the neatest farm buildings and were located East of Humboldton the Orleans road. The Wieses and Bahrs were civic minded. The Wiesesand Bahrs produced some of the best students and citizens in the County.
One of my memories is playing 4H ball at Beatrice and EarlBahr's farm. Ron Baldwin was the captain of the team and we had an extremelystrong team. Delores Diamond was a capable infielder. Jim Wiese, ScottClow and other players meshed well as a team. My brother Tony and I werehome-run hitters on that team. We beat every other team in the County. We beat Lancaster's team out at the Bahr farm 30 to 3. Our championshipgame was with Kennedy at Lake Bronson State Park. We were feeling veryconfident until we took a look at the Kennedy Team. Lyndon Langen, a 6'6" hurler, was on the mound. Scott and Florence Matthew producednumber of outstanding baseball players. Daryl, Ron, and Jon were on the4-H team as well as a couple of Lundberg boys and Roger Dziengel. We drewquite a large crowd for the game but lost 21 to 4. The Kennedy outfieldersplayed deep and what had been home-runs in earlier games were singles againstKennedy. I remember learning an important lesson in humility that summerafternoon.
In Beth Boatz's Whip, Delores Diamond writes: "Beth,I'm going to miss having you walk by my house on your way to the store everyday!" It is small pleasures of growing up in Humboldt that still having meaningdecades later for many of us. It is the enjoyment of having a cold MountainDew at Elmer's, a burger at Pearl's or buying a 7-Up bar at Maymes.
going to miss having you walk by my house on your way to the store everyday!" It is small pleasures of growing up in Humboldt that still having meaningdecades later for many of us. It is the enjoyment of having a cold MountainDew at Elmer's, a burger at Pearl's or buying a 7-Up bar at Maymes.