Class of '53
March 2003

Dear Golden, Golden Gusties and Spouses,

Have you made your reservations for the 50th class reunion on campus, May 30-31?  For details, log onto gustavus.edu.  From the homepage, click on “Alumni and Friends.”  From there, click on “1953 Class Reunion Website” on the left toward the bottom.  If you want to call in your reservations, you may call the Alumni Office at: 1-800-Gusties (or 800-487-8437).  The postal system is an option, too.

Gusties and spouses will be guests of Gustavus.  Besides receiving the red carpet treatment, we will receive bed and board.  Mary Edlund Rehwaldt, Vynnette Hanson Perkins, Roger Erickson, Jack Graber, Janet Christenson Carlson, Dick Lindholm, Jim Malmquist, Val Barlau, Pat Price Baxter, Marianne Colberg Keswani, Dwight Jaeger, Dick Engwall, Tom Boman, Bobby Krig, Del Anderson, Rod Hokenson, Chuck and Marilyn Anderson Jacobson, and Marvin Larson, comprise the ’53 reunion committee.  They have planned an impressive, significant and unforgettable agenda.  No one will be bored.  Tired, maybe, but not bored!

Among her reminiscing, Mary Rehwaldt recalled Mrs. Evelyn Anderson’s dictum for theater protocol, “You will not miss rehearsal except for weddings and funerals, and, then, only if they are your own.”  Paraphrasing Mrs. Anderson, “You will not miss the golden anniversary celebration except for weddings and funerals, and, then, only if they are your own.”  Its great—you won’t need Visa or Mastercards.  Make your reservations, check in on arrival, and cash in on all the festivities.

During our residency in the “city on a hill,” there was a sundial by the Auditorium building.  Robert Browning’s words were inscribed on the face, “Grow old with me the best is yet to be.  The last of life for which the first were made.”  I don’t know if the sundial is still on the beam, but, thankfully, we are.

One senior citizen commented about “the last of life.”  “I don’t mind being over the hill, I just wish that I had more memories of the ascent!” she cried.  Wanting to share memories of the ascent and life on “the hill,” 1949-53, I asked the reunion committee to palaver and share some memorable events with our class.  Their observations involved:  1) Why he/she picked Gustavus as their college of choice; 2) Events and anecdotes from life on the campus; 3) Campus personnel; 4) Life changing events experienced at Gustavus.

Reasons for attending Gustavus included:  inheriting the Gustavus legacy from forebears, relatives, friends, Gustavus representatives, or high school teachers.  Some had no choice; they were congenital Gusties—All are congenial.  There is a plethora of notable events and anecdotes—some are humorous, others are poignant.

Wahlstrom Hall was home, 1949-51, where twelve women were crammed into a section where the six rooms were smaller than cells on death row.  In Section 204, our freshman year, we had a front row view of people entering and exiting the dorm.  It was front and center when the frats came to serenade us.  A favorite oldie was “Tell Me Why the Stars do Shine” and other sentimental charmers.

Our section feasted on fresh watermelon, compliments of Ruth “Inga” Carlson Nelson the fall of ’49.  In the lunch counter, located in the basement of Wahlstrom, I worked for Evelyn Young.  I turned out zillions of slices of cinnamon toast, which were economical and tasty.  My daily food budget was about $1 so I was sagacious with the “bread” that I spent.

            A popular gathering place was the Ranch House, which housed one of the few televisions on campus.  With the post-war influx of veterans, housing options burgeoned.  Poorly constructed, the Ranch House had natural air-conditioning, compliments of gaping holes in the walls and windows that didn’t close properly.  It was a barracks type building with four wings that were inhabited by 96 male students.  In the winter, toilets froze—it was the pits; however, it was a great place to congregate to watch the World Series and other sporting events.

Located in the basement of Uhler, the cafeteria’s favorite entrees included meat balls and big bologna.  One of the committee members recalls learning how to eat, and enjoy, liver during her residency on campus.  When Evelyn Young took on food management, the menus improved in variety and flavor.  Her perky, optimistic personality gave a person the courage to try anything.  She was and is the queen of cuisine.

Her husband, Gus, was the king of the basketball court.  At the basketball games, Coach Young yelled on one side of the court, Evelyn on the other side.  Players ran down the middle of the court so that they couldn’t hear them.

Holy Cow!  On the way home in a snowstorm after a Hamline basketball game, Luverne Jaeger hit a bovine.  Multi-colored basketballs were used before the GlobeTrotter’s game, another blast from the past.

Lee Carter rallied the pep band by directing it with a plunger.  Sounds like a downbeat experience.  Pre-meds had to take a year of German.  Figuring out ways to pass the course, the resourceful students had a prescription for passing.  Marvin Larson recommends checking on this method by asking Dick Engwall.  They can still recite the German poem they had to memorize.  With those fantastic memories, it’s easy to see why the pre-meds from Gustavus were the best in the state of Minnesota in our era.

Gustavus was famous for it outstanding athletes and the exciting games they produced.  Many were scholastic standouts, too.  What was more fun than going to a football game when the air was cold and smelled of burning leaves?

Uhler Hall also housed a canteen on the opposite side of the basement from the cafeteria.  It should have been called “Food Central.”  The employees were a mix of locals and college kids.  One was a dear older man whose speed was “below slow.”  It was a favorite gathering place; however, it, along with all the other buildings closed during chapel.  Good strategy to boost the attendance!  However, they overlooked locking the powder rooms where one could go to brush up on one’s studies.  This fact is not hearsay, as this writer experienced it for a short time; attending chapel was compulsory.  After three cuts, a kindly faculty person would conduct a benign inquisition, using the word “why?” frequently.  (Is it any wonder that Lutherans have perfected “guilt trips” to such a degree that they need a travel agent to book them?)  During my sophomoric year, Charles Hamrum, the chapel checker who monitored the “S” section, kindly inquired about my absences.  I told him the powder room scenario.  He encouraged me to be faithful in occupying the seat between Ann Storholm Aird and Pauline Steinke Meyers in Section “S.”  Chastened and embarrassed I vowed never to take three chapel cuts again and I didn’t.  This is most certainly true!

Do you recall the time a fraternity brought to chapel “time release” pigeons secreted under their jackets?  Releasing the birds on cue caused quite a flutter in the congregation.  No only did it shorten the service, it precipitated righteous wrath from one of the faculty.  What a fowl prank!  I won’t give the names of the turkeys involved.  (Actually, I don’t remember!)  Do you wonder how they were able to talk the pigeons into being accomplices?

Among the guest speakers was Dr. Karl E. Mattson, president of Augustana Seminary, Rock Island, IL.  He had a distinctive, resonant bass voice that could crumble marble.  As he cranked up the volume and became more emphatic, Pauline Steinke leaned over and whispered, “He sounds just like Digger Odell, the friendly undertaker.”  This comment triggered convulsive laughter that we somehow managed to smother until chapel concluded.  It would have been deadly to have erupted into blasphemous hilarity.  Just think of our trying to explain that one to Mr. Hamrum!

For non-radio fans, Digger was a regular on the “Life of Reilly” show.  He always greeted the star with, “Hello, Reilly, you’re looking fine―very natural.”  His farewell was always, “Goodbye, Reilly.  Remember I’ll be the last to let you down!”

A favorite hymn in chapel was “Stand up, stand up for Jesus, you soldiers of the cross.”  Some army, we were!  We sat on our duffs while our voices were proclaiming “Stand Up!”  One day, one of us got the message literally and figuratively.  A young boy stood up for the whole hymn.  Some people pointed at him and scoffed.  Well!  Who ever heard of an army advancing by the seat of its pants?

The piano in chapel was the target for minor pranks such as adding paper clips or popcorn to hinder the strings.  It was the fortè of several pranksters and pianovissimo to the piano.

Old Main was and is the crown jewel of the campus.  Many of us have vivid memories of examining the innards of worms, frogs, snakes, etc. which had been marinated in formaldehyde in its labs.  Well, legend has it, that many years before our residency, a cow was led and pushed up the steps to the top of Old Main.  The ascent went; but when it was time for the descent, the pranksters learned that cows “do up” but don’t “do down.”  It must have been quite a feat to return the confused creature to terra firma.  The rascals had a great learning experience in the laws of physics.

Do you remember the hilarious Saturday night “Pepper Pots” in the auditorium?  When Haldo Norman ’52 played the violin we were amazed.  His rendition of “The Flight of the Bumblebee” brought the house down.  Milton Olson ’52 gave a tipsy rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” a stellar performance.

Faith “Cello” Chell Gose good-naturedly starred in a skit with her maxi violin at one happening. 

Kitty-corner from Johnson Hall was a former home converted into a duplex.  The bookstore was in the front.  My roommate, Verlaine Edquist Riek worked there.  One day a freshman boy came in wanting to buy a New Testament.  Verlaine asked, “What version do you want?”  He pondered and finally said, “I want the reversed vision.”  Actually, he wanted the revised version.  Boy, the Christian profs had their work cut out for them with that candidate.

The duplex in back was the post office―one of the most beloved places on campus.  Word has it that the old mailboxes are still in use in the newer post office.  If those boxes could talk, think of the stories they could tell!

The Little Theatre was multipurpose for plays and classes.  Outstanding Thespians from the class of ’53 were Vynnette Hanson Perkins, Mary Edlund Rehwaldt, Joyce Westin Redfern and Bill Nye.  Members of the National Collegiate Players were all the preceding and Ann Louise Johnson Swanson, Jim Ford and Glen Sandquist.  Under Mrs. Evelyn Anderson’s talented direction, they created polished, professional performances of Greek tragedies and contemporary plays.  Greek legends “lived” and gave meaning to all stories of superhuman men and women.  We were entertained by Pygmalion in 1950, before My Fair Lady was staged.

Family Portrait was a fictionalized drama of the life of Jesus presented from His family’s perspective.  Mary Edlund Rehwaldt was Mary, His mother.  Shortly before the end of the play, she and Judah, a brother of Jesus, talk of Judah, and Deborah’s expected baby.  Mary asked, “If it’s a boy, will you name him after your brother?  After Jesus, I mean!”  Judah agreed and said he’d talk to Deborah.  Mary’s parting words were, “It’s a nice name.  I’d like Him not to be forgotten.”  Talk about ecclesiastical goose bumps!  Wow!

In 1950, the movie “Martin Luther” was shown in the Auditorium.  Based on Roland Barton’s “Here I Stand,” the movie is a graduate course for Lutheran confirmands.  At the diet of worms in 1521, Luther was on trial to defend his life and writings.  Ordered by the ecclesiastical and legal mimic of the Roman Empire to recant and repudiate his practices and his books, Luther replied, “Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason, I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other, my conscience is captive to the Word of God.  I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.  God help me.  Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise.  Amen!”  Talk about holy boldness―

What a heritage!  Christians whose consciences are captive to the Word of God!  Heartfelt thanks to Dr. George Forell for sharing the largess of our inheritance in “Works of Martin Luther.”

After 1945, there was a great influx of veterans called the G.I. Bulge; it presented the college the challenge of providing more housing on and off campus.  Among the additions were sixty-five trailers, recycled from a military base.  Sixty men were housed in the basement of the armory downtown one fall.  Many of the veterans were married and lived in the trailer houses.  Several of our married classmates lived there.

Recently, I was visiting via phone with a classmate who shared some of his experiences as a teenager in World War II.  He, along with many others, had his youth and its normal pursuits taken away.  While most of us were navigating though adolescence and high school, the veterans were on the front lines where real life and death challenges faced them everyday.  What we considered to be overwhelming was trivial in the light of their jobs.  Because of them, we had the freedom to go to college and to prepare for life’s work.  The veterans had already lived life.  Thanks to my friend and our phone call, I became acutely conscious that we as a generation owe all veterans in general and the veterans in our class particularly, heartfelt thanks and honor.  Thank you!  I apologize for being 54 years late.

Does seeing a Gustie sticker in a car or someone wearing a Gustie sweatshirt give your spirit a lift?  There is an immediate spark of kinship.  The Gustavus experience fosters a sense of belonging to an extensive, inimitable family.  Friends made at Gustavus are lifelong companions who love with an unconditional love, “What can I do for you?”  This love is demonstrated by words and deeds.

Romantics would be delighted to know historically the number of couples who met on campus, became engaged and were married.  It would take a CPA to compute the number of offspring generated by those unions, and beyond that, the number of their heirs who carried on the Gustavus legacy.  Gustavus is an heir raising experience.

Each of you has a list of professors and friends who made Gustavus a “living, lasting heritage.”  Think about all the many Gusties from the whole professional spectrum who were and are a blessing to you in your life since 1953.  Is it time for you to let them know what they mean to you?

Please send in your favorite memories of Gustavus for the anniversary booklet.  March is the deadline.  May is looming large.  Your unique yarns are needed in weaving the rich tapestry of Gustavus past.  Among the memories sent for this letter one slated “Dance Band-Myrum stage-Sam Gault.  Piano fell off the stage.”  “Didn’t spill a kernel” (popcorn in the piano).  My efforts to find out the “how” and “why” have been futile.  Hopefully, the mystery will be solved by May 30.  Dance Band at Gustavus!  Sounds like an oxymoron.

Mr. and Mrs. King Porter were truly Gustavus patrons.  They were owners and managers of Porters Café and Hotel.  In addition to a few full-time employees, the Porters provided “part-time” work to many Gusties. Scheduling for all of us must have been a royal headache, but it was a real blessing for all the p.k.’s, preachers’ kids and/or poor kids.  These jobs provided income and food while on the job.  Among the Porter House Crew were Milt Olson ’52; his sister, Helen ’55; Jonathan ’55 and David Nelson ’56; Corrine ’55 and Emma Nelson ’56; Bernice Hecht ’54; Forrest Chaffee ’54; Duane Johnson ’54; Dale and Dennis Holt ’52; Virgil Westlund; Jessie Schmidt ’52 and Mary Stollenwerk.

One snow stormy Friday night, Jessie and I were stranded at the café.  Staying at the hotel, we were amazed to see the fire escape.  It was a long, thick rope ready to be thrown out the window for one’s descent to safety in case of fire.  It would have been a tricky escape.

Personnel on campus; leaders, professors, workers, and laborers were great role models of stewardship and servanthood for us.  The Reunion committee listed many noted individuals who worked in various capacities to provide for our physical, mental and spiritual needs.  Many received far less compensation for their work than their peers in the public sector.  Ann Louise Swanson said that she was amazed to discover that her salary as a new teacher for an eleven-month teaching contract in Rochester was higher than veteran professor John Lindeman’s annual Gustavus salary.

The English teachers nominated by the Reunion Committee, were J. Luke Creel, Gerhard Alexis, E. E. Erickson, James Douglas and Don and Lucy Fryxell.  “Twig” (Roger Erickson) recalled that Dr. Creel supervised the residents of Uhler Hall and checked on them regularly.  He didn’t want any “flub dubs” to occur.  After Dr. Creel gave a lecture on Chinese writers, Chuck Jacobson said how much he enjoyed it.  Dr. Creel prepared a sequel to the lecture, which Chuck missed unfortunately.  Dr. Creel told Chuck that he was sorry that Chuck missed it.  (See, another Lutheran guilt trip!)  The Reunion Committee gave Dr. Creel high marks for being very sensitive to the needs of his students.  One said he fell asleep in Creel’s 8:00 a.m. class.

The science department received accolades along with Dr. Art Glass ’43, Dr. Arne Langsjoen ’42, Dr. P. M. Skartvedt and Charles Hamrum ’47.  Mary Rehwaldt commented, “I remember Art Glass being a fine teacher.  I felt I had to write down every word he said in class, “Dr. P. M. Skartvedt inspired his students by reciting poetry and urging them to be “furthering ourselves.”

Karlis Kaufmanis rated high in the math department.  Giving Kaufmanis rave notices, pre-meds and others said that he invited them into his home to tutor them in math and calculus and for suppers.  His program, “Star of Bethlehem” is legendary.  Mary Rehwaldt remembers his taking the astronomy class to Chicago to visit the Planetarium, the Aquarium and the Museum of Science and Industry.  Seeing Chicago was a first-time experience for some of the students.  Mary recalls standing outside Old Main and lying on the ground while looking at the stars to identify constellations.

A culprit put blackboard erasers, which were loaded with chalk dust, over the doorway to Professor Albert Swanson’s class.  When Dr. Swanson opened the door, the erasers cascaded down powdering him with a cloud of chalk.  Wordlessly, Dr. Swanson picked up the erasers, walked over to the prankster and blew dust in his face.  Chalk one up for Swanson!

Foreign language favorites were Dr. Ted Conrad ’25 and Dr. Nels Langsjoen ’11, a laid back Spanish professor.  What’s wrong with mañana?

Dr. Logan was credited with having “dry humor.”  Teaching economics and business were not funny.  Dr. Alwardt, teacher in the music department, was always nervous about chapel pranks.  Hoping to thwart the cliptomanics, Dr. Alwardt checked the piano conscientiously.  He saved the day for Marilyn Jacobson by finding the clips, before Chapel time.  Dr. Ove Olson mentored “wanna be” teachers.  Lois Kruger Tureen worried about his oral exam but all went well for her.

Holding down the religion department were Dr. Hall, Dr. Bob Esbjornson ’41 “Esbj,” and Dr. George Forell, who also taught philosophy.  His humanities class was like a mini liberal arts education, exhaustive and exhausting.  The history department was represented by Doniver Lund and Mrs. Margaret Earmuth.  Dr. Winfield, philosophy professor, prefaced roll call with, “Is everyone here?  Good.  I don’t like to waste time on those who are not here.”

The speech department anchors were Evan and Evelyn Anderson.  Not only were they a handsome couple, they were refined classy people who exuded charm.  Evelyn had the gait of a Power’s model.  When her eyeglasses were not in use, they were parked on top of her head.  Never raising her voice, she gave informative, fascinating lectures.  She was a big factor in raising the self-esteem of her students.  She put them in roles when they didn’t have a clue that they could do it.  After a play closed, her students loved to go to Andersons for “wrap” parties.  Mary and Red Rehwaldt met in her oral interpretation class.  Would that make Mrs. Evan, your yenta?

Evan was an outstanding speech teacher and debate coach.  After Evelyn was widowed, she was presented on honor from the college.  After her gracious acceptance speech, she waved her arm as if embracing all there and said, “all this and Evan, too!”

Stellar lights in the athletic department were Lloyd Hollingsworth ’36, Gus Young and Vic Gustafson ’42.  President Edgar Carlson received accolades.  Chuck Jacobson was asked to report to his office for excessive cuts in his Greek class, which was a three-credit course.  If you exceeded three misses, you were dropped from the class.  The cuts came as a result of Chuck’s having written and directed the Homecoming Show.  Dr. Carlson welcomed Chuck warmly, had a twenty minute talk, and in Dr. Carlson’s “using the right words at the right time” informed Chuck of his being dropped―Chuck left feeling great about the visit.  He picked up the Greek class the following year and accelerated his commitment to all his classes at Gustavus and later at seminary.  All’s well that ends well!

Dr. Carlson gave thoughtful, scholarly, interesting chapel talks.  One anecdote (he didn’t use many) he shared was a trip he took in desolate Northern Minnesota at night.  After going for many miles, he saw a sign that said, “Where will you spend eternity?”  He thought, “Maybe, in Northern Minnesota.”  He knew that his phase of life is temporal and short, but the next phase is eternal and never ending in a state different from Minnesota.

Plaudits to Jean Larson ’54 the bookstore manager.  Balancing work, college and a small daughter, she excelled in all these areas and she was and is a beautiful Christian lady.

For many of us Folke Bernadotte Library was our second home.  A custodian, Oscar Lindquist, became a wonderful friend and mentor.  He was a gifted people person, who brightened many students’ days with his kind words. 

Following are a composite of special memories of life changing, life defining moments and events.

Roommates, Del Anderson and Marvin Larson, married Augsburg roommates.  For their wedding Del chose Marvin as an attendant and Betty chose Ruth.  Sparks were generated and a year later Marvin and Ruth became Mr. and Mrs. Larson.  There were several Gusties in the wedding party.  Both couples are living happily ever after.

It would be fun to know how many Gusties were attendants in our classmates’ weddings.  There were eleven in our wedding in ’53 so it was well Gustified.

We were steeped in Swedish culture, from St. Lucia to smörgasbords.  In 1951, our classmates comprised the court with St. Lucia and her attendants.  The 1951 annual reported, “The Christmas season is opened every year at Gustavus with the festival of St. Lucia, traditional Swedish ceremony.  Chosen from five blonde sophomore candidates, Lucia is crowned before an early morning breakfast of pepparkakor and Lussekatter (and coffee!) in Rundstrom Lounge.  Crowned with the Swedish crown of candles and huckleberry leaves and dressed in a robe of white tied with a crimson sash was Evelyn Swenson ’52.  Her attendants were Marilyn Anderson, Marcia Sodergren, Ruth (Inga) Carlson and Betty Ness.

The candidates had to be “blonde” to be St. Lucia.  St. Lucia was adopted from the Italian legend by the Swedes.  What are the chances that the original Lucia was blonde?

Another adopted Swedish custom was the love of coffee―it was a good substitute for NoDoze when a student burned the midnight oil.  We drank so much coffee it was rumored that we didn’t have blood in our veins, we had caffeine.  No decaf for us!  Coffee perked us up perceptively and nervously.

Each of us has a treasure trove of experiences from the classrooms, dormitories, activities, and events.  Fraternity and sorority parties generated a lot of celebration and fun on campus, we were limited to folk dancing.  At banquets, social dancing was permissible.  Some of you were Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers clones.  You danced the light fantastic.  I danced gingerly.

One unforgettable frat banquet for me was the Gamma Phi Omegas recreation of Canterbury Tales.  They transformed the basement of Porter’s Café into medieval England.  Geoffrey Chaucer would have been proud, and that’s no tale!

Wahlstrom Hall residents, do you remember Mrs. Hokanson, our dorm mother?  She looked like the All-American grandmother, but she was not to be bamboozled by rule breakers.  Particularly militant about smoking, she beat the bushes looking for miscreants.  One of her chastened captives announced, “Ma Hokenson said that I was wanton.  All I was wanton was a cigarette.”

College leaders arranged for famous people to share their talents with us.  Among the great personalities was Ogden Nash, humorist and poet.  Bringing the house down, he sent his audience into convulsive laughter.  Old Aud shook as he recited gems like, “candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”  “I admire Barbara Fritchey.  I bet she scratched when she was itchy!”  In Oral Intey’s class, we studied poetry of consequence―Ogden’s consequently were trivial, but thoroughly enjoyable.

Politicians, Hurbert Humphrey and Orville Freeman, gave chapel talks.  How many Democrats were on campus, 1949-53?  Who was gladly for Adlai?  Bennet Cerf, king of the puns, and author of the Surfboard, was a great hit.

A historic visit was Carl Sandburg’s.  He talked in Rundstrom Hall in January 1952, to a rapt, quiet crowd.  Having a shock of husky white hair and piercing blue eyes, he reminded one of a prophet.  He commented that only two things in life are certain:  taxes and death, “From the womb to the tomb; from the cradle to the grave!”  He is right.  This part of life is short and taxing; the next part will last an eternity and will be rewarding.

Having the opportunity to get Carl Sandburg’s autograph, we bought tomes of his.  Choosing his Remembrance Rock, I had him write, “To Donald Berg from Carl Sandberg.”  On Valentine’s Day, Don gave me a diamond ring.  I gave him the book.  We gave each other a “remembrance rock!”  By the way, I wonder, is the book a candidate for “Antiques’ Road Show?”

The final assignment in Mrs. Evelyn Anderson’s dramatic production class was to direct an act of a play.  Choosing the third act of Cyrano de Bergerac, I asked Bill Nye to play Cyrano; Ruth Norberg to be Roxanne; Marjorie Kaus Jenkins and Beverly Peterson Frisk were nuns.  All fulfilled their roles graciously and well.  What do you know?  By and by, Bill and Ruth became Mr. and Mrs. Nye.  Hurray―Cyrano won Roxanne after all!

To give the stage the ambience of autumn, I made and painted a huge tree.  A good sport, Verlaine Edquist helped me lug the ungainly, heavy prop all the way from Rundstrom Hall to the little theatre.  Hernia city!

A trip to downtown St. Peter was always a fun break from books.  St. Peter is reminiscent of Thorton Wilder’s Our Town.  Designed originally to be the capital of Minnesota, the wide streets reflect that plan.  It was another instance of robbing Peter to pay Paul when the capital idea changed.

Do these establishments stir up memories for you?  Movies at the State Theatre; baked goodies from the Rolling Pin Bakery; hamburgers at Grandma’s Café; coffee at the Polar Maid Café; “Upscale dining at Keene Café which advertised “keen food at moderate prices;” fine gifts from Schleuder’s Jewelry and Gift Shop; flowers from Sunnyside Florist; pharmacy needs from Faust’s Drug Store; buying natty clothes from Nutter’s; and eating at the blue ribbon establishment, Porter’s Café.

A foray to Mankato was a big time outing.  Penny pinching students often hitchhiked.  Guardian angels deserved combat pay for those reckless occasions.

Gleaming important information from the Gustavus Weekly, picnicking at Robart’s Glen and scrumptiously cooking in the dorms added excitement to the day-by-day academic adventure.  Dick Engwall said that the most memorable day for him was going to the post office to find his acceptance to medical school.  His future was a gas.

Marilyn Anderson Jacobson felt that the whole Gustavus experience was life changing.  She hadn’t planned to go to college.  Three weeks before school, the school superintendent, a Gustie, told her, “I am a friend of Dr. Gibson, and I’ll take you there to meet him.”  Talk about providence with a capital “P.”  “Graduating is life changing, “reported Lois Kruger Tureen, “It opens doors and relationships.”

Mary Edlund Rehwaldt said she feels as comfortable walking across the campus now, as do the current students.  She wrote, “Many graduates feel that they have a stake in Gustavus―a lasting feeling of ownership that is precious.”

Two avenues of giving which acknowledge a stake in Gustavus are monetary gifts to the alumni fund and to the class of ’53 scholarhsip fund.  As Tom Boman encouraged, “consider a contribution for 2003-04 and a major gift, either of real assets or a deferred gift, to create a significant endowment.  Dwight Jaeger and Dick Engwall are the endowment co-chairs so they have all the details as does Teresa Harland ’94 in the Advancement Office at Gustavus.”

Confusion and pessimism are rampant in countries all over the world today.  World leaders are between Iraq and a hard place.  A posted notice read, “Because of recent cutbacks, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.”

Standing on the rock, we are optimistic about the future.  Because Jesus is the Light of the World, we don’t have tunnel vision.  Captives of hope and not prisoners to fear, we believe our future will be bright and safe and that Gustavus’ future will be secure, too.  Help secure that future with your generous gifts and prayers.

Please make your reservations for our anniversary.  Charles and Marilyn Bloom Taylor plan to motor all the way from Cave Junction, Wyoming.  No matter what state you’re in or where you’re from, near or far, come!  The Minnesota River Valley in May is the 8th Wonder of the World!  You’ll have to see it, to believe it!

With “pun in cheek,”

Mary Stollenwerk Berg

1953 Guest Letter Writer (March edition)