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Heading to a special class reunion

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | Oct 3, 2021

I am headed to my 50th class reunion this weekend, but it is not my high school class reunion, it isn’t really my 50th reunion of anything, and it is amazing that I ever attended this particular school in the first place.

Maybe I should explain that just a little.

It was back in June of 1968 when I graduated from Hinckley High School in Aurora, Colorado. And, while I did not excel at math in school, I do figure that is actually 53 years ago. So that is obviously not the reunion I am headed for.

Anyway, my family left Colorado for Minnesota on almost the very day I graduated from high school.

My father, a career Navy man, had just “graduated” from the Navy after 21 years, and my mother, a native of Minnesota, decided we should all move to the North Star state. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. Which is ironic, because my parents and I (and one of my brothers) actually lived in a pickup truck camper when we moved to Minnesota. In Bloomington, no less.

While my father went off to work each day, I drove my mother (and little brother) around the Twin Cities area looking for suitable housing. If we found it, my mother and father would take a look at it later.

All the while my mother and I argued about college. It was not so much should I go or not, but where. I insisted I was already enrolled at Colorado State, already had a dorm room assigned with my best friend from high school.

She insisted I was going to go to college in Minnesota. Something about a thing called out-of-state tuition.

I was a bit stubborn, but at the last minute I had to make a decision about what to do about college.

In the end, my uncle John convinced me to try this college in Mankato called Bethany Lutheran. He had once taught there, and, he pointed out, it was only a two year college and after that I could go anywhere I wanted to, like Colorado.

My first time on the Bethany Lutheran College campus was the day I moved into the dorm. I met my two new roommates, and I will be hanging out with them again, at the reunion as we have remained life-long friends.

Going to Bethany, albeit somewhat accidentally and as a total last second decision, was one of the best things I could have done. It was a great small college to go to – at that time there were fewer than 100 students in each of the two grades.

I made some really good friends there. Some were even a bit on the “creative” side, shall we say, like me.

By that I mean people who looked at things differently and were not above bending the rules a bit, or pulling off a joke or prank once in a while.

Never anything totally bad, you understand, just some creative pranking.

You need an example? Well, there was the legend of Lenore, a poor girl who attended Bethany many, many years earlier and had come to a tragic demise of some sort in the top fourth floor of what was then the men’s dorm. And maybe still is.

Well, someone or group of someones rigged up wires to one of the organs in one of the practice rooms on fourth floor.

That way others would often hear the organ mysteriously start to play late at night, with no one supposedly up there.

The legend of Lenore continues to live on at Bethany, or so I am led to believe.

I did get an excellent education there, too. There were great professors who really cared about their students. I pretty much got straight As, in case you are wondering. I also played soccer and wrestled, believe it or not. Yes, Bethany had a wrestling team in those days.

I have to say my buddies and I tried really hard to stay out of trouble, but the truth is, we were not always successful. I think there was a time that I made both dean’s lists – the one for academic excellence and the other one that meant you better behave or you will be on the double secret probation list.

All in all, I have nothing but wonderful memories of going to Bethany, and graduating with an AA degree in 1970.

1970? If you are better at math than I am, (and just about everyone is) you probably figured out 1970 is 51 years ago, so how I am going to a 50th class reunion this weekend at BLC?

Well, the class of 1970’s 50th reunion was all set for last year, when something called – let’s see, what was it again? Oh yeah, the COVID-19 coronovirus pandemic – shut down our 2020 reunion.

So, just for fun, we are all going to crash the 50th year reunion of the 1971 BLC graduating class this weekend.

If you see any of them, remember, mum’s the word. And you just might bump into one since BLC Class of 1971’s Judy Honsey Haaland lives in Frost, with her husband, Jim Olaf Haaland, BLC Class of 1970.

And, I could tell you lots of “interesting” stories about those two, but I won’t. Because they could tell you lots of “interesting” stories about me.

So mum’s the word.