Roosevelt High School Class of 1963
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Our 45-year reunion? Ya shoulda been there.

If you weren’t at our 45-year get-together July 19 in Lakeville, you missed a good one. That was certainly the prevailing theme of comments from Class of ’63 members who were there. Although, anyone would have to admit that not everything was going to be perfect.

In filling out a survey later in the evening, one classmate had an opinion in response to the question, “What was bad about the 45-year reunion?”

He wrote, “No bathrooms.”

Ouch. True, accommodations were a bit rustic, but there were porta-potties set up alongside the airplane hangar we were occupying. Perhaps we should have had some signage to that effect. We hope that no one felt the need to make an early exit from the affair.

Other than that, though, the only negative comment echoing among some of the 48 grads who filled out the survey was that the weather was too hot. Actually, on that point, it wasn’t the heat, it was the humidity. The day’s high temperature was only 82, but the dewpoint reached a tropical 72 degrees. We have that on good authority because Airlake Airport, where we were, has a reporting station for the National Weather Service.

Doubters turn to devotees
Hosts Bruce and Joni Nyberg Jorgensen graciously opened their hangar doors wide to accommodate us for the afternoon and evening. There were rumblings beforehand that a hangar wasn’t the place for such an event, but more than a few saw it differently once they were there.

Bob Swanson of Bloomington, who has attended previous reunions with sit-down dinners at such venues as the Decathlon Club, admitted, “When I first heard that the reunion was to take place in an airplane hangar, I wasn’t too excited about it. But after coming and seeing and enjoying old friends—that’s what it’s about anyway—I had a nice relaxed time. Thanks to all the committee members and the Jorgensens for making it a success.”

From the get-go, the Jorgensens were glad to have us. As Bruce, a former United Airlines pilot who now flies two planes of his own, said, “Our hangar is always open to share with others. There was no hassle. There is something special about our high school. It was only three short years, but developed lifetime relationships. It never takes too much to get a party going.”

Attendance could have been better, but that’s been said about all six of the previous reunions we’ve had as well. Nearly 150 grads and guests showed up for this one. Among the guests were three retired math teachers from our Roosevelt days, Pete Hansen, Bill Knutson and Kathy Schwebel Hawkins. Pete and Bill still live in the Twin Cities, while Kathy drove all the way from Decorah, Iowa, to see some of her former students.

Bridging 45 long years
Everyone dined on a buffet spread provided by Trio Catering and had a lot of time to catch up on the years since that night, June 12, 1963, when we scattered to find our own paths in life.

Sharon Pouh Karkanen, now of Eden Prairie, spent many years in San Diego, so was at her first reunion and observed, “Never having attended before, I really didn’t have any expectations, just thought it might be fun and I was right. The relaxed atmosphere of the hangar was great for connecting with former classmates. And since I hadn’t seen many for 45 years, I really appreciated the photo name tags.”

John (Jack) Trolander, who has been to just about every reunion and drove the 55 miles from his home in Oronoco for this one, added, “I had a terrific time. The roominess of the hangar made it easy to get around. I heard so many interesting things from so many people. Here’s hoping that we can make the 50th a very special occasion.”

Ah, yes, our 50-year bash. The survey polled opinions on what to do for that event too. Once all the survey results are compiled, they will be published on this website.

We also asked for volunteers wanting to become part of the reunion committee for the next one. The planning group has never been a closed society. You’re welcome to join in.

Photo Gallery


2008 Reunion Evaluation Summary



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