Class of '53
April 2000

Dear Classmates,

Guess that you haven’t heard from us for a while. There’s a reason for that. It involves a bit of human error. I’ll explain.

It has become the practice of the Gustavus Alumni Office to have class agents secure a guest editor for the January class letter. This year I asked Marv Larson, winter resident in Arizona, frequently found on the golf course in his development, if he would be a guest editor if the weather got cold enough to keep him off the golf course. He agreed.

Marv is a computer fanatic, having made his fortune peddling printed circuits for the machines in his youth. So he did the letter and sent it to the Gustavus Alumni Office via email rather than using the U. S. mail as I had done all of these years. As best we can figure it out, the Alumni Office, so astounded to have gotten the letter electronically, immediately posted it on the Gustavus Alumni web page, but promptly forgot to send it to the conventional presses and thus out via the slow mail to all of you subscribers.

So that you are not deprived of Marv’s editorship, I’m going to reprint most of his letter in the part where the Alumni Office inserts some capsule comments about life at the college. Hopefully this will keep Marv happy and reinvigorate his interest in doing this again some time.

After a brief fling with spring back in February when an early melt wiped out even the Birkebeiner cross-country ski race in Hayward, we Minnesotans have returned to winter. Last week strong winds whipped across the state with such intensity that it blew down the cross on the steeple of Christ Chapel (again). As you recall, that steeple (or spire, if you are more up-to-date on your church nomenclature) went down in the great tornado of April 1998 and was restored the following year.

Let’s talk about money just for a moment. This should be a good time because by the time you get this letter lots of you should be getting a bonus from the government. Some of you will be getting your tax refund back. Some of you will be getting a big check from the Social Security Office refunding all that they had been withholding because you were still earning more than the $17,000 limit on earnings that were set back in the 1930’s. And, of course, many of you are doing just fine because you put your stock holdings in Oracle or GE or Viagra (whatever company that produces that product).

I read a book a while back titled, Die Broke. The author’s thesis is that we should plan our finances so that the last check we write is to the undertaker and it should bounce. He suggests that we should live well, plan well, and give away our assets well so that the government doesn’t get anything at the end except a notice that they can stop our social security checks. So in that spirit, I hope that you consider leaving a percentage of your vast estate to the College when you pass on to your great reward.

In the meantime, while you are still hale and hearty, consider sending off an annual gift to the College in those familiar gold envelopes. Those annual gifts, even if very modest, count a lot because the big foundations that give away gifts in millions, are impressed when high percentages of alumni contribute back to their alma mater. Besides, your annual contribution helps our class of ’53 (Bobby Krig, co-agent) beat out the class of ’52 (Barb Eckman Krig, class agent). Bobby loves to have the edge over Barb. Helps him keep his tee times when she wants him to repaint the kitchen.

There’s a smattering of news:

Charles and Marilyn (Anderson) Jacobson, are usually from Cannon Falls. Chuck was serving as interim pastor at the International Evangelical Church in Helsinki, Finland, from September through March, 2000. Chuck did the same stint back in 1995-96. Hey, good deal, you can keep all of your salary now that congress eliminated the earnings limit for social security.

Fran and Betty (Ness) Dale have been living in the beautiful Ozarks for the past one and one half years. They live at Holiday Island, just north of Eureka Springs, AR. He says they haven’t met any Gusties yet. Shucks, we were in Eureka Springs just last year and didn’t know you were there (or near there). Next time.

Charles Hart, the perpetual motion science teacher and actor, is still doing his science shows for all the little children out there. Way to go, Charlie. Keep it up. Bet you’ll still be doing those shows when you hit 90.

Jim Ford has certainly created a dilemma in the U. S. Congress by resigning as chaplain of the House of Representatives. According to an article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press (the same paper that just won a Pulitzer Prize for one of its reporters who uncovered the mess in the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis athletic department), Jim was the ultimate chaplain. To some he was "Dr. Ford, to Tip O’Neil, who was sure he was a catholic, he was "Monsignor," to others he was "Rabbi Ford." When asked about the difference in serving a small local parish in Ivanhoe, the U. S. Military academy, and U. S. House, he replied: "From the chaplain’s point of view, there’s no difference. There’s only about three issues in life. Faith, hope and love. People cry the same way, people laugh the same way, people miss the mark the same way…"

That’s pretty powerful stuff. A good place to end my part of this letter.

Greetings Classmates:

Well, now that you have finished reading all of your Christmas letters, its time for that familiar yellow letter from your Alma Mater.

Let’s get one thing clear before you get into this letter and notice something seems different. You have a guest writer for this letter, so if the humor doesn’t sound quite as sharp as our faithful writer, Tom Boman, don’t be alarmed and cancel your subscription. First, Tom is in good health and is doing this at the suggestion of the Alumni Office. Secondly, this is a slow time between Phonorama calls and the class information well is pretty dry as far as comments so he knows this is a good time to hand it off to an unsuspecting guest writer.

When I pointed this out in one of our e-mail conversations his comment was that he’d make most of the stuff up anyway. Third, he is still busily employed trying to set the record as the last full time employed member of the class of ’53 while he bounces grandkids on his knee. As I write this from our winter home in Mesa, AZ, I have a hard time identifying with someone still working and, on top of that, in that zenith city of the unsalted sea, Duluth.

I’ll begin with the Class News:

Rod Hokenson (rodhoke@earthlink.net) reports that he is a volunteer PR worker for Habitat for Humanity in Lenawee County, MI (PR, is that for paint remover, plumbing repairer?). He also co-chairs an annual hymn-fest there that he started in ’97. His wife, Helen, and daughter, Stina who sings professionally, help out with solos.

Dave Hauck, who you will recall went on to fame as the swimming coach at St.Olaf reports that this year was the first time that the Gustie swim team have beaten his team since 1981! Sounds kind of fishy to me. His son now coaches the team and Dave keeps busy as his assistant.

Art Dale had a nice write up in a newspaper article that was included. Unfortunately the name of the paper and date are not shown. He is serving as co-interim pastor in his home congregation of Immanuel and St.Paul’s Lutheran Church in Tower-Soudan, MN. He makes his home at Lake Vermillion’s Pike Bay. Nice article about his 50 years in the ministry and working with Operation Bootstrap in Tanzania.

Well there you have it. Dan Borg did send a nice long letter to Tom regarding reunions, but despite my pleas he is holding on to it so he will have something for his next letter.

I hope we can come up with some good ideas based on our high school reunions this summer. I enjoyed a two and a half day reunion for the Class of ’49 from Excelsior High with our fellow Gustie classmates, Jerry Goldschmidt and Jean Berglund Case. Jerry is busy building a home on the shores of Lake of the Woods in Canada. We were a class of only 64, so I don’t know if what we did would work for our Gustavus 50th. Come to think of it, three out of a class of 64. I wonder if any other school can claim that high of a percentage attending Gustavus in ’53.

Now that you have skipped to the end of the letter to see who is writing this, I will inject a personal note. The Marv Larson’s and their travel mates enjoyed a nice dinner with the Dwight Jaeger’s and their travel mates in Vienna, Austria in early November. While discussing our mutual travel plans this summer we realized that we would be in Austria at the same time. Who could have imagined we would be doing such things back in ’53 when a trip to Chicago seemed like a big deal. We had both spent a couple of weeks touring Eastern and Central Europe.

I had fun checking out the Gustavus web sites in looking for things to write about. You can find them at gustavus.edu if you are interested. Very nice web site. For one thing it lists those in our class that are "missing". If you know where any of these people are, the Alumni Office could use their addresses. Just think, these poor souls are going without Boman’s class letters. Here is the list:

  • James B. Cho
  • Colleen Davidson Heltemes
  • John S. Lee
  • Shirley Hoyt Ryser
  • Irene Wallner Throckmorton
  • David Kobe

If any of you know their whereabouts or are into using the web to find lost friends, here is a test for you.

One thing that we did do at our class reunion was to collect all the e-mail addresses of those who were using computers. I have enjoyed some e-mail conversations with classmates that I haven’t seen for many years. The Gustavus Web Page has a place for us to list your e-mail address if we are interested. At the present there are only two names, Tom Boman at TBoman@d.umn.edu and Elaine Nagel Nelson at ejnelson@deskmedia.com. To have your name added send your e-mail to Ron Timmerman at ront@gustavus.edu.

Some classes even have their own web page, which are linked to the Gustavus site. Anyone interested in setting one up for the class of ’53. I will have to add that some of the ones that I looked at were in need of updating.

Among other things that you can find on the Gustavus Web Page are the recent class letters from other classes if you are interested. I printed out Tom’s last letter for ideas and reread his overdose of Swedish boasting. I have been hunting in vain for some counter propaganda―for all of the non-Swedes that are in our class. As the Norwegian citizen told me, Sweden has one thing that Norway doesn’t have. Nice neighbors.

Well, short of creating some pure fiction that might get me in trouble, that is about all that I have for this guest appearance of class letter writing. I will close with some copy from the Alumni Office that may be of interest to some of you. Sorry if this letter became overly electronic for some of you non-computerized classmates, but I hope some of you are keeping up with your grandkids. I hope this finds all of you looking forward to a great New Year and New Century.

Marv Larson

1953 Guest Letter Writer

2162 No. Middlecoff Drive

Mesa, AZ 85215

MarvLarson@juno.com

Campus news:

International House Being Built - Ground was broken during the first week in March for the new international house. The residence hall will house Crossroads, the Swedish House, and the Office of International Education. This new facility will support the mission of bringing an international perspective to the curriculum and preparing students to communicate and compete in the new millennium. The 80-bed, 30,000 square-foot facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2000. The $5.4 million building is going up west of Olin Hall.

Reunion Weekend for the 50 Year Club (including The War Years), Class of 1950, and V-12/5 is May 26 & 27. A schedule of events and registration material will be sent in mid-April. Homecoming 2000, September 29 & 30, will feature gatherings for anniversary classes from 1955-2000. Class reunions will be in the Twin Cities Friday evening, and events will return to campus on Saturday. A schedule of events and registration material will be mailed in August.

Everyone is invited to an hors d’oeuvres supper and tribute to retiring Chaplain Richard Q. Elvee on Tuesday, May 16, 5:30 p.m. at the Hotel Sofitel in Bloomington. A program will begin at 7:00 p.m. The cost of the event is $25 per person. RSVP to the Alumni Office by May 12, 800-487-8437, e-mail alumni@gustavus.edu, or in Alumni Events at gustavus.edu.

Eckhoff Memorial Sculpture – ORBISC, a Granlund sculpture in memory of Emeritus Vice President for Alumni Affairs Cecil F. Eckhoff ’56, will be dedicated on campus, Saturday, May 27, 3:30 p.m. near Hello Walk.

Forensics Team Earns International Awards ― The College speech and debate team captured two championships and six other awards at the recent International Forensics Association tournament in Paris, France. Both Gustavus debate teams compiled a 3-1win-loss record. The team's strong overall performance earned Gustavus a fourth-place Sweepstakes Award. Gustavus attends international forensic competitions every other year.

Men’s swimming and diving team completed its most successful season in Gustavus history finishing undefeated in both non-conference meets, with a record of 7-0, and conference meets, at 6-0. At the MIAC Championships, Gustavus placed first for the first time since 1960. They beat conference power St. Olaf, who had won 20 consecutive MIAC titles before this year. Earlier in the year, the Gusties also handed the Oles their first conference dual meet loss since 1981, breaking an Ole streak of 96 straight wins. Please read the Spring Quarterly for complete winter sports recaps or visit the athletics site at gustavus.edu.

Upcoming campus and Alumni Association events:

  • MAYDAY! Conference/"Vietnam: 25 Years On," April 26, Campus
  • Arbor Day Celebration, April 28, Campus
  • Chicago Chapter, May 6, Chicago Cubs baseball game and barbecue picnic
  • Tribute to Richard Q. Elvee, May 16, Hotel Sofitel, Bloomington, 5:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m. program
  • ORBISC dedication, a Granlund sculpture in memory of Cecil Eckhoff, May 27, 3:30 p.m., Campus
  • Reunion Weekend for 50-Year Club, Class of 1950, War Years, V-12/5, May 26 & 27, all events held on campus
  • Homecoming/Reunion Weekend for Anniversary Class 1955-2000, September 29 & 30, Friday night events at the Hotel Sofitel, Bloomington, Saturday events on campus
  • Gusties in Volunteer Endeavors, October 7, Twin Cities and national chapter locations

For more information contact the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437, e-mail at alumni@gustavus.edu, or gustavus.edu.

Members of the New Millenium: Knowing that we are in a technological age, we want to encourage all alumni to get involved and get online. If you have access to a computer and the Internet, we hope you will check out the Gustavus Alumni Association homepage regularly. We publish information about upcoming events, post class letters, provide information about the Alumni Office, list e-mail addresses of alumni and more. Check us out under the alumni section at gustavus.edu.

We are planning on corresponding on a regular basis with all alumni who have e-mail addresses. Please send a message to alumni@gustavus.edu so we can get you on the list. (Also, be sure to keep us posted on any e-mail address changes.)

Keep in touch. Drop a line about your travels, your successes, your dreams.

Tom Boman

1953 Co-Class Agent