Class of '62
The April evening was clear and mild and one could see, if not forever, at least as far as the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, Alcatraz and Treasure Islands and Pac Bell Park from the sky-high windows of the Carnelian Room in the Bank of America Building in San Francisco. The dinner menu was four star, the wine cellar home to 40,000 pricey bottles, and the company was the best: dozens of Gustie alumni and their loyal sympathizers. Our distinguished President Johnson ’60 did a good job of bringing us all up to date on our college's present and future, as well as details on our new president, James L. Peterson ’64, who will take the helm in July. Dennis Johnson is a class act and it will be hard to duplicate the enthusiasm and sheer joy of serving he brought to the job. He made no secret that he's been having a ball in the role he accepted on his way to retirement. Perhaps knowing that the job was only temporary, and his and his wife's travel plans were merely on hold, dispelled some of the stress of being in charge of such a venerable institution as Gustavus Adolphus.
As the first course was being served, vivid memories of another beautiful restaurant come flooding back to me; one whose menu boasted a gourmet class of taste treats never before introduced to my uneducated palate. My palate now has a Ph.D., and I have perused menus in countless world famous restaurants, but none of them could ever serve up enough delicious memories to last a lifetime, as did the Holiday House in St. Peter. It was there I first learned that food could be savored rather than merely ingested; that dinner is actually an evening meal, and lunch is normally served at noon, not mid-morning or mid-afternoon and just before bedtime, as in greater Kenyon, Minnesota. The Holiday House was where I had my first official grown-up dinner date with a young man who knew how to order with confidence and tip with aplomb. Or so I thought at the time.
We have all become jaded by time and experience, but there was an era for all of us when life was as young and promising as we were. So many things were new, exciting, and magical. That's why it's fun to revisit the "early years" and redeem some of those truly golden moments. As we segue from food to food for thought:
"God does not want leftovers, but people dedicated to the ministry." Reverend Richard Hane, now retired after serving twenty years as pastor of Salem Lutheran Church in Hermantown, firmly believes that, as well as the fact that his life in the ministry was meaningful as he struggled to make his sermons fresh and himself open to new ideas for worship service. His cancer surgery was an eye-opening experience and reinforced his thoughts that it was time for him to retire.
His wife still works part time, so they plan to stay in the area for a while. Richard enjoys doing woodworking and has been doing more of the cooking. He continues to love the changing of seasons, even the snow and cold. The changing seasons in his own life must now seem just as unpredictable and just as wondrous.
I thought of Jim Gilbert when I read in the San Jose Mercury News that the public's help is sought in watching for tagged Monarch butterflies. My first introduction to that abstruse occupation was at our 40th reunion when Jim explained it to his rapt audience. The paper's advice to anyone spotting a tagged butterfly is that one should first capture it, using a net or throwing a T-shirt over it while in flight. Definitely a job for someone
fleeter of foot than I.
Lowell and Eleanor (Johnson ’64) Anderson's oldest son, Christopher has been elected Elk Hart, Indiana Recorder. Our congratulations and kudos to Christopher!
Fred and Lorraine (Sandvig ’61) Carlson have a three-year old granddaughter and a new grandson, Evan Fredrick, born May 10, 2002, to Paul ’92 and Lisa. Fred was at the Gustavus Homecoming game this year as a part of his reunion. Lorraine attended the Friday evening reunion but had to get back to Fairmont to help organize the local Tour of Homes.
Imagine a Sunday afternoon when you have nothing better to do than follow the real estate signs leading you to an open house. You've been lusting for a look inside this house for years. Now's your chance to snoop to your heart's delight. You can even check out the medicine cabinets. But, alas, you find that compared to this jewel your own house looks as old and tired as a television rerun. Your only alternative is to call Good Will to come and pick up every badly chosen piece of furniture in your house, or hastily organize a garage sale before anyone else visits the hovel in which you now reside. There's no longer any question that you are too design challenged to be allowed loose in the Furniture Galleria. Who do you blame for this slough of despond in which you find yourself? Karen Anderson! Or some other equally talented "stager." She is now working in San Francisco for a company that excels in making that old fixer-upper look like a palace. She knows just how to position that samurai sword so it makes a statement instead of posing a potential deadly incident. Karen doesn't have to physically lift and tote, so she is free to exercise her God-given talent for making you and your house look GOOD.
John ’60 and Mary Linnerooth Petersen have new twin granddaughters, bringing their impressive stats up to five girls and a boy.
Elliott Engberg and his wife Carol continue to enjoy their winters in Sun City, Arizona and their summers in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Truly the best of both worlds.
David L. Johnson is serving as senior pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, PA, a congregation now in its 273rd year of history. Sons Peter and Eric are Gustavus grads who have blessed them with three grandsons. Only three more years before retirement, if all goes as planned.
Audrey Kylander Kramer is fully retired after thirty years of teaching in Robbinsdale. She's now traveling extensively. Embedded (my new favorite word) in the text of this letter you will find at least one of her destinations. She also has taken some part time jobs (which she may divulge in future letters), and has moved from Plymouth to Chanhassen.
Linda Johnson Blanding knows how the "Making of the Western Mind" came about. It was made clear to her in a class formerly known as Western Civ. She loves hanging out with the likes of Homer, Aristotle, Julius Caesar, Cicero, Luke, Saint Augustine, Dante, Luther and Raphael, and boasts that these guys really know how to give a girl a good time. In fact, a riotous one, in her words. Her instructor is apparently doing one heck of a job bringing those boys to life.
Dick, I would suggest you seriously consider auditing that class!
Further titillating all of us good Lutherans, Linda would like us to know that in most big libraries, books by and about Martin Luther occupy more shelf room than those concerned with any other human being except Jesus of Nazareth? With a wistful tone, she says she would love to return to those days of yore at Gustavus with a mind more seasoned, receptive, and mature.
Does that mean you regret you and Diane Kolander, et al., throwing coke bottles at the wall in Wahlstrom in an effort to reduce the stress? Or checking to see if the fire extinguisher was loaded? Or that time you...well, need I go on?
You folks sometimes forget that I was all-seeing as I lurked in the library stacks, reading the shelves (because some of you played havoc with the Dewey decimal system by removing books and putting them back in the wrong place), and witnessing blooming romances, teary break-ups, serious nail biting and zit picking.
Lest we forget, for everything there is a season, and that season in our lives was one, long glorious springtime.
Linda and Dick are looking forward to a summer break in Alaska. (If she can tear herself away from that Western Civ. class.) They'll be taking a train and shipboard cruise on Holland America with Audrey Kylander Kramer and Mary Johns Miller.
Speaking of Mary Johns Miller the jet-setter, she is also off to New York in May, staying close to Central Park, going to the ballet and a couple of plays. In June she's going to Akumal, Mexico (Cancun) for a wedding with her son Andy and his wife Suzanne, where she'll frolic on the beach. Diving is not her thing, though. I'm with you, Mary; that Jacques Cousteau undersea stuff is way overrated.
Sandy Springer Smith was curious as to what qualifies as news in responding to my e-mail plea requesting same. She asks, "What is truth? Or beauty? The truth is that you are still beautiful, Sandy, and it irks the heck out of a lot of your classmates. Not only has she kept her looks, she has kept up a very active social life. She is just coming down from a very fun winter in Arizona. Like those two very social weeks before Christmas in most of our lives, for Sandy every week is like the week before Christmas. Tearing herself away from all that sociability, she traveled to Ireland with her sister Mary Kaye ’70 and about forty Hopkins/Minneapolis teachers. Their articulate guide from Limerick kept saying, “All fahrty of you, GET ON da bus!” Her favorite museum in Arizona, the Heard, has lured Roz Johnson Anderson into its volunteer fold. Sandy and Roz recently met at a Wednesday Guild meeting and shared lunch on the museum patio. No doubt all of our names came up in conversation.
Gordy and Sharon Maurer Edberg enjoyed their Gustie alumni get-together as much as we. The Gustavus Jazz Band was on tour in the Seattle area so they had them, in concert, at the dinner.
Sharon chairs the Rotary District Conference in Victoria in April, which she has been "living" for the past two years. Six hundred plus Rotarians are expected to attend. In May they and their daughter Kim and her husband Alex are going to a wedding in St. Martin. They'll be flying from Seattle to Boston and taking a wedding charter flight to St. Martin, then return to Boston a week later. My son didn't bless us with that better class of friends who vow to love and honor in tropical climes and exotic places.
Gordy is going to Ireland with a group of pastel and watercolor painters in September. I know he'll return with several masterpieces in hand, because we've seen his exceptional talent up close and personal. Sharon is now working half time as development director at the Columbia Lutheran Home in Seattle.
Joan Rahm Roy continues to grow in her new career as costume mistress at the Reach Performing Art Center in the Deer Isle/Stonington Elementary School in Maine. They just finished a production of Fiddler on the Roof, which had a disastrous dress rehearsal but a most successful opening night. Spring has sprung there, so she's out master gardening while her husband Bob paints. She didn't specify whether that is on canvass or the side of the house, but I have no doubt he has expertise working on both surfaces. Just a word to the wise, dear Roys. Don't attend Sunday services at the Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church in New Sweden, Maine. I read in the newspaper that one of the parishioners slipped some arsenic into the coffee urn during the after-church social hour, thus reducing the membership from 50 to 49. Sad but true.
Jan (Eiffert) and Hank Hoomani are starting a new chapter in their lives―this time in a new townhouse. But downsizing from a big house on 2.8 acres is not all fun and games. That's why they needed to take a break, and thanks to their Arizona hosts, Roz (Johnson) and Mark ('60) Anderson, Jan and Hank had one of the most enjoyable trips they have ever taken. While they were there, Bob and Betty Jensen Avant were visiting in Phoenix, so they had dinner with them one evening. They also drove out to visit Sandy (Springer) and John Smith, then spent some time with Steve Cole, a fellow classmate of ours who I must chide for offering us not one teensy peek into his life.
Jan's e-mail began with a reminder of someone singular, unique and universally adored. Bette Bergquist Jambeck coined for us early in our college careers the expression: "What a treat!" I remember so well her laugh, her devotion to fun and games, and her extremely big... Don't you even think of going there!!!... heart. I can just hear her chortling now over that last line. She took everyone but herself seriously. I continue to miss her.
I just received a gracious thank you note from Alexander Kestly ’05, the recipient of our 1962 Centennial Class Scholarship. I quote, "I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your generous scholarship. Recently I declared my major as Health Fitness and pre-physical therapy. After I graduate I hope to go to graduate school for physical therapy. Currently I am involved with the football and track teams at Gustavus. I am hoping to qualify for the national meet in the discus throw in May. Again, I want to thank the class of 1962 for your support of my education. Your contribution truly makes a difference in my life. I would not be able to attend this institution if it was not for generous people like yourselves. Sincerely, Alexander."
If that doesn't make you want to continue supporting our college and ensuring the quality of our country's future leaders, I don't know what will.
Well, that's all folks! Always keep them wanting more has never been my motto, but what can I do when I run out of material? Please let me know what you want us to know, and I'll be happy to pass it along.
Judy Flom Hill
1962 Class Agent
P. S. Now for a note from Jan Eiffert Hoomani:
The e-mail message today from Judy Flom Hill was about my adding a message in her class letter. Who in the world would want to write something to stand along side of Judy's method of expression?! Sort of made me think of Phyllis Diller (complete with wig) beside Grace Kelley or Audrey Hepburn.
Well, I've done a lot of foolish things in my life so there seems to be no reason to curb my behavior at this stage in life.
Coincidentally, as Judy's e-mail was transmitting from CA to NC, I was lunching with a woman named Joan DeBruin from North Carolina State University. NC State is my husband's beloved alma mater and Joan is, well, a Steve Hogberg ’69 counterpart (Ya, the fund-raiser folks). Well, Joan and I got to talking about how in this time of war, terrorism, threats of atomic and biological attacks, people feel a need to do something good. We feel helpless. Decent people want to do something to make the evil go away. But what? What can one person do? We do what we learned in Sunday School. We each light our one little candle.
The reason I was meeting with Joan is that I too am having that feeling of despair and wanting to do something to help restore this earth to sanity. The little candle that I am lighting is in the form of establishing a scholarship in honor of my husband. The Hank G. Hoomani Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering will help one person each year to complete a degree from NC State. It doesn't take a lot of money. In fact, it takes no money because funding can be a portion of my estate (the money I can't use after I'm gone). And I can honor a person I love who loves his alma mater.
Think about honoring someone you love by establishing a scholarship in that person's name. Call and ask the questions. Call 1-800-726-6192 and speak with someone in the Gustavus Advancement Office. (Steve Hogberg and Jim Isaak will love to talk with any of us Class of ’62 people!)
It feels so good to honor a loved one and to light just one little candle in a very dark world. Edmond Burke said, "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
Peace and love,
Jan Eiffert Hoomani
P.P.S. The family of Charles R. Digatono x65 is requesting any information about his death on June 1 or 2, 1962. If you have any remembrance, please contact Charles' sister, Margo Vasicek, at email@example.com.