Class of '62
Editor's Note: In the last class letter, several errors were made in the introductory paragraph of Judy Hill's class letter. No, she hasn't lost her literary gift. The errors were made in the processing of the letter on campus when converting and editing the file. Judy is a most gifted writer and we apologize to her and her readers.
It's spring, when all things start to bud, and all of us good old Gustie buds start thinking thoughts of picnics, barbecues, tomatoes from the garden, and touching base with friends we haven't seen for too many winters. Like the daffodils and tulips we see sprouting up everywhere, memories and long time friendships beg to be enjoyed and appreciated.
I've been seeing a plethora of war movies lately; all the rage after September 11. So many lives were lost in those wars, and so many heroes never got to see another spring, another tulip. But I came away from the theater not depressed, but eager to be one of those people who appreciate life, give much, and ask little. I've got a lot of work ahead of me if I'm to be one of those people, but I was able to identify with those soldiers in one important respect: the reason they gave for fighting so valiantly. It was not just to save their country, but to save the men standing, lying, and dying next to them.
I have come to realize that I owe the life I love to many of you. One doesn't just waltz alone through failed exams, failed marriages, and failed careers, you know. The upcoming forty-year reunion would be a perfect time too say thank you to those who, though probably unaware, changed our lives for the better.
Joan Rahm Roy came to mind. She eased me back into the dating scene after my divorce by handing down to me the boyfriends she had outgrown, while sharing the rent on a beautiful Telegraph Hill apartment. It was quite a leap from my former dingy fourth story apartment in St. Paul, eerie in its resemblance to the house in the movie Psycho. The continuation of the curse my life had become was evident when I inadvertently flooded the place before evacuating and skipping town. At that low point in my life, when all my clothes had been stolen, I had just been in an automobile accident, and I had no visible means of support, I really needed a friend. Thanks, Joan, for saving my life.
Linda Johnson Blanding and I faced death together on a wildly swaying gondola on a suddenly stormy Switzerland mountain, then faced it together again when my father, husband, and brother died. She was there each time my life took a turn for the worse. Thanks, Linda.
Sharon Maurer Edberg spent one entire summer trying to teach me to swim. And how to gain ten pounds on a cottage cheese diet. I still can't swim, and I haven't been able to look cottage cheese in its pasty white face again, but I did learn how tenacious a friend can be when she wants something for you, not from you. Thanks, Sharon.
Mary Johns Miller invited this unhinged widow lady to visit her in Chicago and managed to take my mind off my grief by replacing it with total frustration. Standing in line for two hours at a department store with squirming, screaming two year-olds, waiting for Santa to take them off our hands, if only for a moment, tends to dull one senses -- even a sense of grief. She did so much in that one weekend to make me realize that my life was not over. When I reminded her of that recently, she said she hadn't remembered being a good friend to me at that bad time -- until she too lost her husband. Good people are often oblivious to their own good deeds. Thanks, Mary.
I just learned that Joan Eckberg has joined the Peace Corps and will for the next two years be in Lesotho, which is south of Johannesburg, South Africa. That didn't surprise me one little bit. Joan was and is the most joyful liver of life I have ever known. Her enthusiasm is contagious and her salesmanship is legend. At her urging, I agreed to write the script for an aquatic show, and then narrate it while wearing a makeshift sarong and faking a knowledge of breaststrokes and butterflies. She also convinced me that I would be the perfect Davis house counselor, a few weeks prior to her being the first and only friend I had to evict --under the narrowed eye of Jackie McKenna Gimse, who failed to see the humor in one of Joan's pranks. Pranks were Joan's specialty. How could anyone possibly believe our irascible Joan could stop pulling and practicing them? Thanks, Joan. They're gonna love you in South Africa.
I'm hoping these remembrances brought back tender memories of the classmates who stood shoulder to shoulder with you; first in the freshman class registration lines, then Chapel, then in the graduation processional, and again in the real world, where we found we were graded far more harshly. Those remembrances, those everlasting friends, are what keeps Gustavus on our minds and in our hearts. Here are some of those friends now!
Pete and Judy (Anderson ’63) Lindell are seriously recruiting five future Gusties: their grandchildren. Being a grandparent might provide the necessary leverage, especially if you can divvy up some tuition money. Pete not only congratulates himself on his grandchildren, but also on making the decision to settle in Minnesota. He says that after September 11 Gustavus and the state of Minnesota are looking even better. At the risk of pulling the covers off your comfort zone, Pete, you may want to avoid doing your Christmas shopping at the Mall of America. I understand it looked pretty tempting to terrorists gleefully making out their wish lists.
Harvey Hanson visited Egypt in 2001 and said it was a great experience to visit ancient sites of the Coptic Christian Community. Thanks, Harvey, for forcing me to leave my comfortable chair and head for the ancient set of encyclopedias I prefer to browse instead of the Internet. Coptic Christians: The Copts are descended from ancient Egyptians who were converted to Christianity in the AD. 100s and 200s. They developed their own vocabulary and symbols. A dialect of this language is still used in the church liturgy, although Arabic is the dominant language spoken today. They originated Monasticism. Monasticism is… Forget it, I'm not going to do all the work for you.
Craig and Diana (Jacobson) Martens are enjoying retirement in Rochester. They have four grandchildren to love. And to buy birthday, Christmas, Easter, and Valentine's Day gifts for, as advised in "75 Ways to Spoil your Grandchild," a prescient present from my pregnant daughter-in-law. After a long season of golf in Minnesota the Martens said they were ready for snow and skiing in Montana and Colorado.
Jan Grack Eggersgluess is an adjunct instructor/research project coordinator at Concordia University in the CSAL Program. (How many of you have had a title with so many words in it? I was lucky to have more than one syllable!) Her hubby, Gene, is vice president sales & marketing at Hanson, Spancrete, Inc. in Maple Grove. They have three grandchildren: a granddaughter in Minnesota and two grandsons in Colorado. Visiting their daughter, Jody, in Longmont, Colorado about four times a year makes life even lovelier.
Nan Forsman Buchanan of Poland, Ohio, had photographs at two juried shows this year: The Butler Institute of American Art and the YWCA Women's Artists show. She will have no problem finding things to photograph in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, where she and her husband usually spend the month of March and half of April. About a month during the summer they are at their summerhouse at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York. They've made several trips to Boulder, Colorado to see their new grand baby -- Jacob Timothy Peterson. Right about now they are spending two and half weeks in Paris and Florence. Talk about great photo ops for your next showing, Nan.
Dennis L. Anderson is retiring as professor of history of the College of St. Scholastica this summer and will be living in Birmingham, England for two years commencing August, 2002. He will be associated with the UMD study in England Program, of which his wife is the program director. No, nepotism did not rear its ugly head. Anyone who knows Dennis knows he is an achiever. After all, he was president of the Republican Club at Gustavus. However, his success means that he will miss the 40th reunion.
Gerald Swanson is still working as a staff component engineer at Honeywell, FM&T, in Kansas City, MO. This is the same plant that, through mergers, has gone from Bendix Corporation to Allied to Allied Signal to Honeywell, but didn't quite make it to General Electric. This spring his youngest son, Steven, will graduate from Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. His oldest son, Matthew, is engaged to be married in August. You can see his wife, Julia, in her current role as Marion the Librarian at Grandview Middle School.
Anne Peterson Sorensen and her husband, Bob, are both retired but have kept busy -- too busy, she asserts. She still loves to quilt, and no doubt the Children's Cancer Research Fund loves her, since she donated a queen size quilt for them in honor of her niece, who died of a brain tumor 25 years ago. She and Bob love to travel, visit grandchildren, go "up north" fishing, and go sight seeing and antiquing. They were planning a trip to London, Stockholm, and Germany to visit exchange students, but September 11 forced them to postpone the trip. They are doing something even more worthwhile: helping to rebuild an old opera house and an historical church. It's obvious Anne and Bob are two of those people who give much and ask little.
Ted and Carla (Johnson ’64) Stoneberg are living happily ever after in Anderson, Indiana, enjoying their adult daughters and their families, particularly their two year-old grandson, who in May will have a new sibling to play with. Just a little reminder, Ted and Carla: older siblings have also been known to find taunting and tormenting a form of entertainment, as we younger siblings can attest to. So when the call to baby-sit comes, and it will certainly come, you might want to keep an even closer eye on the little munchkins.
Dr. Stephen Hanson is a full-time practitioner at the Osakis Medical Clinic, starting last August. When he's not busy saving lives, he's enjoying Civil War history, herbal medicine, scouting, jogging, skiing, and fishing. A Renaissance man, if there ever was one.
James C. Anderson is the self-employed owner of All Vehicle Sale in Rochester. I figure he must have one heck of a big lot to accommodate all vehicles. My husband is looking for a reasonably priced Mercedes, James. Let's talk at the reunion.
Newell Nelsen retired from full-time parish ministry in September of 2000. He's serving as interim pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Metamore, OH. His wife, Sandra (Svendsen ’63) retired from teaching elementary music in May of 2001. Their daughter, Dr. Lisa Allen, husband Dr. Keith and son Andrew (who no doubt has latent doctor genes) live in Greer, South Carolina. Their son, Scott, is an Indiana University graduate who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife, Kathy.
Louise Spong Rodine-Doucette is looking forward to our 40th Class reunion. She is also looking for another part-time position, as her per diem hospice social work job finds many people signing on and off quickly (I hesitate to ask why), so it doesn't pay well. Her husband has almost completed his education doctorate from Johnson and Wales University in Providence. Louise says they may have more changes then. (Who knows, a little Rodine-Doucette? Or maybe retirement in Tahiti? Anything is possible for a determined and motivated Gustie.) Louise has been back to Minnesota several times in the past year. Her mother is now in Anoka and her brother lives in Blaine. If any of you live in the area, take note that she hopes to see more Gusties on her visits. Maybe you could plan a luncheon or something? Let's make Louise feel welcome. She would be most appreciative. I know, because I worked with her at the library and she always appreciated it when I showed up.
Rolf T. Nelson was re-certified by the National Elder Law Foundation. To achieve certification he had to pass rigorous daylong exams, as well as demonstrate his skills in handling cases in the field of Elder Law. Recommendations from fellow Elder Law practitioners are also required, so Rolf has proved he can go under the microscope and emerge taint-free. He's been practicing Elder Law for over 17 years and has practiced in the northwest suburbs of Hennepin County for 35 years. He adopted the firm's name, Estate Crafters, 14 years ago and currently has offices in Brooklyn Center. He is filling a real need, since there have been rapid-fire changes in the areas of protecting assets from nursing home expenses, estate, and tax planning. He's currently active in the Brooklyn Park Rotary Club, and previously served ten years in the Minnesota legislature representing several northwest suburban committees.
Rolf, you'll find yourself in a sea of elders if you attend the reunion. Combining business with pleasure is certainly doable.
You will be getting more information on the events starting on September 20, 2002, but for those of you how want to start making your plans now, here are some of the highlights:
Friday, September 20 in the Twin Cities
6:00 p.m. Social hour and dinner at the Radisson South Hotel.
Saturday, September 21 on Campus
9:00 a.m. There will be sports activites running 5K, 10K or 100-meter dash on Lynx Timing System, or if you want to be timeless, swim in the pool without it.
10:00 a.m. Morning Praise and Memorial Service - Christ Chapel
10:30 a.m. Homecoming parade around Campus Drive. Also a reception for all alumni, athletes and friends at Lund Center. Guess we have to pick one.
11:00 p.m. Unveiling and dedication of Hall of Champions at Lund Center.
11:15 p.m. Reunion Class Luncheons - In Arboretum Interpretive Center
1:00 p.m. Anniversary of Intercollegiate Athletics Luncheon and activites in Lund Center
1:00 p.m. Football game vs. Carleton, Hollingsworth Field
1:00 p.m. Women's soccer vs. Concordia, Soccer Field
1:30 p.m. Discover Linnaeus Arboretum with naturalist (and classmate) Jim Gilbert. (We were all captivated by Jim's talk at our alumni gathering a few weeks ago, and I know you too will be mesmerized by his knowledge of and enthusiasm for all things natural.)
3:00 p.m. Reunion Seminar, Banquet room B - Jackson Student Center
5:00 p.m. Hall of Fame Reception, Johnson Student Union
6:00 p.m. Hall of Fame Banquet, Alumni Hall
Gusties, you have by now been contacted by other Gusties who were willing to risk rejection and humiliation to get your ear. And your donation for the Scholarship Fund, of course. I get enough rejection and humiliation trying to market my books, so I leave that task to the more plucky and self-confident among us. What I have been attempting to say with all this jabber is that it's time to give thanks to our friends and classmates, to the school that gave us those wonderful friends, and to the God who gave us Gustavus. Let's pass the plate and fill it up!
Judy Flom Shoemaker-Hill
1962 Class Agent