Sunday, September 26, 2021

Beth (Carlisle) Anderson featured in our latest Interview!

We're pleased to announce that the Classmate Interview with Beth (Carlisle) Anderson is now posted here on the Hiliners61 blog! Beth recounts some fun and growing years at Valley City (ND) High School, remembering favorite teachers as well as a number of friends and their activities. She and her husband, Dick, have been married for 55 years and she tells us about their family. You'll find Beth's interview - number 13 in our series - in the Interviews with Classmates section on the right side of the blog. Or, if you'd like to listen to the 39 minute interview directly, click here. Thanks, Beth, for an interesting and memorable contribution to our interview project! - Larry Gauper 9-25-2021

We'd like YOU to participate in our Interviews with Classmates project. During this year as we postponed our 60th anniversary of our graduation to next year, 2022, this is way to "catch-up" with classmates and renew some old friendships, albeit virtually. If you'd be willing to participate - it's a lot of fun - you simply need to have a computer (or access to one through a grandchild, etc.) and have a rough idea of how the Zoom program works. If you'd join us in doing a Zoom interview, contact our Hiliners61 Organizing Chair, Barb (Sheppard) Lang at this email address: Or, give her a call on the phone. Her number is on the roster Ron Morsch keeps updated and is sent to classmates via the newsletter edited and published by Diane (Sauer) Hughes. Come on aboard and share your memories!

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Conversational turnout for September Lunch Bunch

 We had about 15 of us Hiliners61'ers show up for the September 11, 2021 Lunch Bunch at the Valley City "Town and Country Club." Special participants who received the award for coming the furthest distance were Hank Toring and his former Hiliners cheerleader spouse, Sandy (Voorhees) Toring. Although the fires in California aren't near where they live in Simi Valley, a stone's throw from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, they seemed to enjoy getting "back home" for the 1960 VCHS class reunion. This class decided to go ahead with their reunion affair but we played it safe last winter and scheduled our 61 reunion for 2022. Below, you'll find selected photos I took of luncheon participants. I think I captured everybody but myself. But, hey, if you really want to see what I look like, click on over to the Interviews with Classmates section of this blog (on the right side of your screen). I'm the interviewer on all 12 to date. Breaking news: we are in the process of interviewing Beth Carlisle this week! - Larry Gauper 9-13-2021

 Here are selected photos from our lunch bunch gathering September 11, 2021 (click on photos for larger image):

LouVay (Ruemler) White and Marleen (Miller) Pytlik

Sandy (Voorhees) Toring and Sandy (Meyer) Bruns

Barb (Sheppard) Lang and Colleen (Bryngelson) Zick

Gary Swenson

Hank Toring

Gary Skramstad

Tom Kahler

(L-R): Hank Toring, Gary Skramstad, Tom Kahler

Friday, July 30, 2021

July Lake Ashtabula Lunch Bunch!

Barb (Sheppard) Lang reports: The Class of 1961 held their July 29th Lunch Bunch at The Crossing on Lake Ashtabula. Sixteen classmates arrived (well, 14 plus Barb Rome Gillund from the Class of 1962 and Gerry Gamrath from the Class of 1960). With the engineering expertise of Denny Gillund, we joined a round table with a couple of rectangular tables in a "T" formation so that everyone could be together, and we had a really enjoyable two hour lunch. Made from scratch fry bread tacos, hamburgers and the like!

Our next date will be August 26th at Sabir's in Valley City, and we will have an "unusual" date for the September Lunch BunchSaturday, September 11th at the VC Country Club, because Sandy Voorhees Toring will be in town. (Hank has a Class of 1960 reunion that weekend). We hope that many of you can join us if you happen to be in the Valley City area. 

List of attendees for July's luncheo: Stan and Sharon Orness, Gary and Claire Swenson, Mary Ann and Gerry Gamrath, Denny and Barb Gillund, Janna Zaun, LouVay White, Tom Kahler, Bonnie Burchill, Sandy Bruns, Marleen Pytlik, Gary Skramstad and Barb Lang.

Here photos from the July Lunch Bunch taken by Barb:

L-R: Janna Zaun, LouVay White, Sandy Bruns, Bonnie Burchill, Marleen Pytlik

L-R - Gary Swenson, Stan Orness/Sharon, Gerry Gamrath/Mary Ann, Claire Swenson

L-R: Janna Zaun, Tom Kahler, Dennis Gillund, LouVay White

Gary Skramstad wearing a message
most of us could display!

Friday, July 2, 2021

Lunch Bunch celebrates 60 years with a cake!

60th Anniversary Cake

The Lunch Bunch gathered on June 24th, 2021, at the Old 10 Saloon in downtown Buffalo, North Dakota. Our Organizing Chair, Barb (Sheppard) Lang reports:

"We had a group of 11 classmates and Larry G took a number of candid photos of attendees. The very best part of the lunch was a much appreciated surprise: a beautifully-created cake marking the 60th anniversary of our high school graduation (which was actually June 1, 1961). The cake was ordered and brought to our luncheon by classmate Bonnie (Cruff) Burchill. She didn't tell a soul about her surprise ahead of time. The cake was just sitting on the table as we arrived! 

Bonnie (Cruff) Burchill

"So, even though we did not get to hold our official 60th Reunion this summer (2021), we did a mini-celebration that Thursday in June and we enjoyed a very special time together. And, we ate lots of cake! Thank you very much to Bonnie for her terrific idea for a cake, including plates, forks and even the best cake-server utensil I have ever seen! 

"We have the best classmates/lifetime friends. So, Happy 60th to the entire Valley City High School Class of 1961!"  BSL - 7-2-2021

Doug Peterson and Denny Gillund remembering their Hiliner sports days.

Janna Rae Zaun 

Tom Kahler

Gary Skramstad and Barb (Sheppard) Lang

Claire and Gary Swenson

Stan Orness and Denny Gillund at Devils Lake Car Show.
Denny told us about Stan's amazing classic car career when we
were visiting at the luncheon. This photo, from Denny, was taken
in early June at the car show in Devils Lake.

The "Old 10 Saloon" in Buffalo, North Dakota - venue for our June Lunch Bunch

Sunday, June 20, 2021

June 2021 Newsletter posted!

 Our Hiliners61 newsletter editor, Diane (Sauer) Hughes has just published the June, 2021, edition of our classmate newsletter. It's currently posted on this blog in the Newsletter Archive (along with all editions published so far) on the right side of this screen. However, you can read and/or download and print this content-rich edition by clicking here.  Thanks to Diane for her energy and hard work in putting these newsletters together and emailing to our classmate list, maintained by classmate Ron Morsch. Thanks, too, to our Chair, Barb (Sheppard) Lang for printing and postal mailing copies of these newsletters to those classmates without email. She does this at her own expense and her contribution is much appreciated by many. Thanks, Barb!

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Hiliners61 classmate's husband passes away

We are sorry to learn of the passing of Henry “Hank Bruns on June 14. Hank is the husband of our classmate Sandy Meyer Bruns of Valley City. The link to the obituary for Hank posted below.   

Hank had been dealing with health issues for several years. We will miss his bright smile and cheerful disposition! On behalf of the entire class of 1961, we extend our sympathies to Sandy and her family. As you remember, Sandy was one of our HiLiner cheerleaders, and led us all in the cheering section for basketball and football games in high school. 
                                                                            Submitted by Diane (Sauer) Hughes, Editor, Hiliners61 Newsletter

Link to obituary:

Henry "Hank" Bruns Obituary - Visitation & Funeral Information (

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Dates for 2022 Reunion Announced

 Our Organizing Chair, Barb (Sheppard) Lang has announced she has been working with the Amercinn Hotel in Valley City (N. Dak.) to secure dates for our postponed reunion: Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18, 2022. 

The Americinn Hotel will continue to be our central facility for the reunion, however, there are a number of motels close by where you can make reservations. Hotel/Motel information is under the "60th Reunion Postponed" section on the right hand of the screen. If you've already made reservations for 2021, don't forget to cancel them and reserve your accommodations for 2022. In the near future, Chair Barb will be talking about the reunion and other class activities in a video interview. Watch this blog for that interview and Diane (Sauer) Hughes will also keep us up-to-date with her excellent newsletter.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Remember our "C Squad" basketball team coached by Mr. Sabby?

Valley City High School "C Squad" basketball team!

Back Row: Mr. Leland Sabby, Coach; Harvey Lerud, Jim McKay (8), Gerry Gamrath and Dennis Busche (11)  Middle Row: Bill "Pat" Foster (kneeling), Ronnie Phillips (4), Warren Olson (3), Jim Milman (13), Neil Ott (12) Front Row: Jim Sundstrom (10), Dennis Grubb (12), Hank Toring (15), Don Charnetzki (16), Clinton Leick (6)

Many of these boys went on to win the North Dakota State Class-A Championship in 1960.
Not pictured but on that Hiliners Varsity team from our Class of 1961 included 
Jerry Busche, Jack Paulson, and Lee Samson.

This photograph was supplied to us by Warren Olson. He came across it in doing some digging in preparation for the interview I did with Warren about his time at Valley City Junior High. Thanks, Warren, for the photo and supplying the caption. And Roger Taylor's correction on the name of the squad is also appreciated!  
                                                                                        - Larry Gauper 01-09-2021

Friday, January 1, 2021

January 2021 Hiliners61 newsletter posted!

 Our newsletter editor and production designer, Diane (Sauer) Hughes has done it again! She's produced a content-rich publication you're sure to enjoy in this new January, 2021, issue. If you haven't already received it via email, you can view this issue along with all of the others (in readable, downloadable and printable PDFs) in our NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE on the right side of the screen. If you'd like to go directly to the current issue, click here. Thanks, Diane for all of your diligent and well done work on this issue, as you've done many times before!

Friday, October 30, 2020

Help support the Barnes County Museum!

Those of you who have visited the Barnes County Historical Society Museum on Central Avenue - in the old Fair Store location - undoubtedly were as impressed as I've been every time I've stopped in. Wes Anderson, curator, and his staff of volunteers have done a fabulous job in preserving the history of Barnes County, with a special emphasis on Valley City. 

However, this COVID pandemic has hit the museum pretty hard in terms of a reduction in visitors and financial contributors. Now would be an especially appreciated time to join the museum with a $20 a year membership or, if can, contribute more. Wes publishes a very interesting newsletter every quarter and since joining I've received these newsy issues with lots of local names familiar to most Hiliners61 classmates. A complete listing of membership categories and an enrollment form to accompany your check is available in a printable PDF by clicking here (there are other ways to send in money, see below.)

Barb (Sheppard) Lang, our Hiliners61 Organizing Chair, is on the board of the Historical Society of North Dakota Foundation, the "ways and means" arm for Society projects. She has a keen interest in the Barnes County museum and says, "Wes and his staff have worked very hard for many years to make the museum an extremely interesting place and, because we have reached 'a certain age,' you will find many items from our youth displayed right there in the museum. They have taken on the task of repairing and maintaining all of the VCHS Class Photos. In the past, those were just kept in an unheated storage area at the school. Now, the museum has finally received possession of all of them, permanently. Wes and his hard-working volunteers display these Class Photos for whichever class is having a reunion."

You'll also find those photos and many other items of Valley City memorabilia along with comments from viewers on the Valley City, North Dakota - What Do You Remember? Facebook page, maintained and very frequently updated by Wes Anderson. If you're not a member of Facebook, it's easy to join (and free!) and you can join that "Remember Valley City" section too. Again, no charge!

Recently, the museum established a new website. You'll find it by clicking on this:  There are PayPal and GoFundMe access buttons on both the website and on the Museum's Facebook pages.  Let's do what we can to help in the financial support of the museum - just enrolling in a $20 annual membership would be wonderful. Wes says, "If everybody on the Museum's Facebook group would do that much, the Museum wouldn't have any money problems during this horrible pandemic."  

NOTE: The Museum is currently open by appointment only (otherwise, closed). Give Wes a call at 701-845-0966 and set-up an appointment. He'd be glad to accommodate your schedule. Besides needing new sources of funding, Wes indicates that, when this pandemic run is over, he'll need more volunteers. If you reside in Valley City, Barnes County, or in eastern or central North Dakota (actually, anywhere) plan to offer some time as a museum volunteer. He has lots of work and projects and he looks forward to your help!   -  LG 10-30-2020

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Classmate Janice Dronen passed away

Janice Dronen - 1958 Sheyenne photo

We've just learned that a VCHS classmate of ours, Janice Dronen Johnson, 77, died on Sunday, August 9, 2020, at a local care center in Bismarck, N. Dak. A graveside service was held on August 14, 2020, at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, N. Dak.

Janice was born July 12, 1943, to Orville and Margret (Eagen) Dronen in Sharron, N. Dak. She was raised and educated in Valley City. She obtained a bachelor's degree in human resources from Valley City State University and joined the North Dakota Army National Guard in the mid-70s. She served over 22 years, retiring as a staff sergeant.

According to the obituary, Janice married Arvid Johnson, November 4, 1989, and they moved to Mandan shortly after that. Her passions were all things fabric and was often referred to as a master quilter. She and Arvid loved ballroom dancing, laughing and also made beautiful old-world Santas, selling them at Pride of Dakota shows across the state until they retired from that in 2012. Janice's other loves were her dogs, Buddy and Lucky.

Janice is survived by her daughters Darcy (Harley) Schwind, Mandan; Nikki (Jay) Larson, Sioux Falls, S. Dak.; Angie Sinkula, Lakeville, Minn.; nine grandkids and four great grandchildren. 

She is preceded in death by her parents, Orville and Margret; husband Arvid; son Marvin Olson, Jr., son-in-law Dave Sinkula; brother Gary; and grandson Harley Schwind III, and numerous aunts and uncles.

We remember Janice from our high school days, and extend our condolences to her family. God bless the memory of classmate Janice Dronen.  - LG 10-13-2020

Photo from Janice's obituary - 2020

Thursday, July 23, 2020

A Hiliners61 classmate shares a video about life

Our classmate and friend Denny Gillund recently sent us a link to a YouTube video called The Train of Life. He sends it along with best wishes to all of us. Thanks, Denny!  To see the video, click here (LG 7-23-2020)

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Nine gather for "Lunch Bunch in the park"

On Thursday, June 25, 2020, as COVID-19 declined in North Dakota, eight of our Hiliners61 classmates and one spouse attended a Lunch Bunch gathering in the City Park in Valley City (N. Dak.). The last Lunch Bunch get-together was in August. Thanks to classmate Doug Peterson, Wahpeton (N. Dak.), Co-Captain of the Hiliner's football team in the late 50s, for sending us the photos below. He also took two of them but don't know who took the third one featuring Doug. Appreciate it. 

On a personal note, thanks to Marleen (Miller) Pytlik for baking my grandmother's recipe for Poppy Seed Cake and bringing that cake to the luncheon in the park. Sorry I missed it! My grandmother, Minnie Musselman, a.k.a., "Muzzy," raised me from K through 12. In her late 60s she worked in the kitchen at Woody's Cafe in Valley City, earning from 35 to 40 cents an hour. This was in the 50s before it became the "Rainbow Grill." The cafe was owned and managed by George Woodrow Gagon. 

In his 2009 autobiography, The Woody I Know, the late Mr. Gagnon paid tribute to the elderly ladies who worked in his kitchen including Mrs. Boness, Mrs. Emery, and my grandmother. Woody writes: "Muzzy was an elderly woman who worked nights in the kitchen and baked on Thursdays when Mrs. Emery was gone. Muzzy made the best poppy cake with caramel frosting. Each piece sold for 10 cents." I appreciate Woody memorializing my grandmother's work and thanks to Marleen for baking that "famous" poppy seed cake for the luncheon attendees! 

Thanks to our leader, Barb (Sheppard) Lang, for capturing a close-up of Tom Kahler's COVID-era beard and mustache. He and I are missing our Wednesday morning coffee sessions at Panera Bread in Fargo. I haven't seen him for a while so I might not have recognized him, save for the photograph below. Looks good on ya, Tom! - Larry Gauper 6-26-2020 

Tom Kahler, June 25, 2020

(L-R) Bonnie (Cruff) Burchill, Denny Gillund, Dave Maasjo

(L-R) LouVay (Ruemler) White, Judy Peterson (Doug's spouse), Barb (Sheppard) Lang

(L-R) Marleen (Miller) Pytlik, Doug Peterson, Tom Kahler

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Memories of a Trinity Lutheran Confirmation Class

We have the names! Thanks to Marleen (Miller) Pytlik, who checked the files at Trinity Lutheran Church where she volunteers as an office worker, we can list what she found below.

1956 Confirmation Class - Trinity Lutheran Church, Valley City, N. Dak.
(Click on picture for larger image)

LEFT to RIGHT as you look at the picture:

BACK ROW: Leslie Brix, Dale Rolfzen, Sharon Zaun, Gerald Larsen, Larry Gauper, Gary Breske, Kathryn Potter, Harley Schmidt

MIDDLE ROW: John Carter, Conrad Hoff, Herbert "Herbie" Bohrer, Jerry Busche, Dale Olson, Mark Meske, James Ott

FRONT ROW: Bjarne Breske, Linda Hoff, Kathy Stroh, Marleen Miller, Janice Dronen, Mary Kankelfritz, Virginia Hoff, Verna Triebold

Thanks, Marleen!  

Previously posted on this blog are the confirmation photos from Our Savior's Lutheran Church and Nebo Lutheran Church. For the Our Savior's photograph, click here. For the Nebo Lutheran photograph, click here.

If you have a confirmation photograph of your class at a Valley City or Barnes County church, please send it to me at   - 6-14-2020

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Two KOVC interviews of interest to 61'ers

Steve Urness, host of the KOVC's Voice of the Valley program, recently interviewed Wes Anderson, curator of the Barnes County Historical Society Museum, about the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic (H1N1) and how it affected Valley City and North Dakota. Commonly referred to as the "Spanish flu," this disease spread worldwide in the years 1918-1919. Although COVID-19 is affecting all of us in one way or another, history reports that the H1N1 pandemic was more severe and widespread. To hear the interview with Wes, click here.

Wes Anderson 
(Barnes County Museum photo)

Thanks to Steve for permission to post his interview and appreciation goes out to Wes and his volunteers at the museum for all the work they do. Individual memberships are available for $20 a year and it's well worth supporting this excellent preservation of our home town history. Wes maintains an always up-to-date Facebook site. If you haven't already, be sure to check it out and stop by regularly.  

Myron Sommerfeld
 (Sommerfeld orchestra publicity photo)

Another interview Steve did on a recent Voice of the Valley program was with someone who's a friend of many of us in our Hiliners61 group, Myron Sommerfeld. As a bandleader and music legend in the Valley City area and throughout the Upper Midwest, Myron is very familiar with the amazing career of North Dakota's Norma Delores Egstrom, who became known nationally and internationally as Peggy Lee.  The Peggy Lee Museum is located in the old railroad depot in Wimbledon, N. Dak., where "Norma" grew up and the museum is currently commemorating Peggy Lee's 100th birthday (2020). Her first professional singing job was on KOVC Radio in 1936 when hired by station founder and owner Bob Ingstad, Sr. To listen to Steve's interview with Myron, click here.  Thanks to Steve for also supplying us with this interview and giving us permission to post it here.

By the way, Myron's brother, Harley Sommerfeld, who is also a friend to many of us in the Hiliners61 group, is still doing an outstanding job of playing the clarinet. Over the past several years, JoAnne and I have enjoyed Harley's performances at Jasper's Theater, just north of Park Rapids, Minn. LG 6-13-2020

Harley Sommerfeld
(LG photo, taken at Jasper's)

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

May, 2020 Newsletter posted!

Diane (Sauer) Hughes, out there in Arizona, has just published the latest edition of the Hiliners61 Newsletter. This newsletter has been sent to all email addresses she has on file and Barbara (Sheppard) Lang is sending out printed copies to those without email (and, at her own expense, I might add - thanks, Barb!). Diane has done another excellent job with this edition - May 2020 - and to read or download the PDF of the newsletter, go to the "Newsletter Archive" on the right side of your screen. Or, simply click here-  Larry Gauper, 5-26-2020

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Classmate Russell Schroeder passes away

Russ Schroeder's VCHS senior portrait
We're sad to report that our classmate and friend, Russ Schroeder passed away on May 20, 2020. He was a patient at Villa Maria Nursing Home in Fargo, N. Dak., and the cause of his death was COVID-19. He is the first of our Hiliners61 classmates to die from the pandemic virus, at least that we know of.

Russ was born to William and Sarah (Wright) Schroeder in Valley City, N. Dak., on July 10, 1942. He married Emily (Waddington) Schroeder on March 19, 1966. According to his obituary, "Russ loved fishing, hunting, and spending time with family and friends. He worked for many years with multiple youth programs; he loved working with kids and young adults. Russ always had a kind word and touched many lives.

"Russell is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Emily; his children, Julie (Royce Fenno) Fargo; Shannon (Brian) Morin and two grandchildren, Sterling Morin and Paige Morin, Fargo; as well as several nieces and nephews and many great-nieces and nephews.

"Russell is preceded in death by his parents, William and Sarah Schroeder, brother Dwight Schroeder, Sr.,a sister, Janice Fields, and granddaughter Madison Morin."

Russ was a friend of mine throughout our school years in Valley City and I wish I could have visited with him more often than I did. Russ and Emily attended our Hiliners61 "Lunch Bunch" at the Fargo Holiday Inn in 2015. For a photo and story of that event, click here.

There is a "guest book" area on the Boulger Funeral Home website where you can leave a tribute comment for Russell's family. To reach that obituary and the guest book, click here.

May God be with Emily and their family and may He bless the memory of Russell Schroeder. - Larry Gauper 5-23-202

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Valley City Classic Car Cruisin'

Stan Orness, our VCHS Class of 1961 classic car fan "exceptionale," recently called our attention to an interview on KOVC featuring the nephew of our late classmate Gladys Van Bruggen, Myron Van Bruggen. Stan says "it brings back memories of cruising Main from the Dario to the A and W and then up Central Avenue to the Dairy Queen and then repeat."

I didn't do any cruising in my two-tone yellow and white 1955 Ford Fairlane hardtop because I usually worked on the air Friday nights at KOVC. I recall when a fellow DJ came over from Bob Ingstad's Jamestown station to fill-in for a while at what I considered "the flagship," KOVC in Valley City. Given the rivalry the Hiliners had with the Bluejays, he questioned how in the world anybody could "drag Main" in Valley City because, in his opinion, our principal streets were not "as long" as they were in his city, Jamestown. We had a spirited discussion about that. He also had a very cool car, as I remember. - Larry Gauper

To listen to that recent interview by Steve Urness on KOVC featuring Myron Van Bruggen, click here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March 2020 Newsletter posted!

What? A third railroad in Valley City? That's the way it was for a while, represented by this trolly (or trolley) car of the Valley City Street & Inter-Urban Railway Company. You can read all about it in the new edition of Diane (Sauer) Hughes's latest Hiliners61 newsletter now posted in the Newsletter Archive. The archive can be accessed from the link on the upper right-hand corner of the blog. Or, if you'd like to go directly to the latest issue, click here. Another excellent job, Diane!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

August, 2019, lunch bunch shared memories

Ten classmates enjoyed sharing memories and current "gossip" (or whatever we call it) at the August "Lunch Bunch" gathering. Missing from the photo is the photographer, classmate LouVay (Ruemler) White. I think most of you know who these "old-timers" are but if someone sends me a caption, I'll update this post.  LG

1995 Class Photo

Recently, Classmate Tom Kahler shared the photograph below. This was taken in 1995, thirty-four years after our graduation (Class of 1961, Valley City, ND, high school). We must have been at an "All-60's reunion," an event that happened quite frequently a while back. Thanks for sharing this, Tom (click on picture for larger image):
Posted by LG

Remembering our Junior and Senior High Commencements

Recently, Tom also shared copies of our Junior and 1961 Senior High Commencement programs. I scanned them and you'll be able to, as I did, sweep away some cobwebs with these "historical" documents:

And then came the day we said goodbye to our beloved "Halls of Ivy,"
Valley City High School, Class of 1961:
Posted by LG 9-1-2019

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Here's a "memory jogging" list from our Junior High era!

Do you remember that our 8th grade class was divided into THREE SECTIONS?  Why?  Were there "Home Room" teachers assigned for each section?

Our classmate, Beth (Carlisle) Anderson, found the Valley City Junior High 8th Grade Class List, dated September 7th, 1956, amongst her old childhood memories scrapbooks/boxes. This "roster" is posted below. She doesn't recall how she came by the list, and doesn't know who might have made the various markings it bears, other than to note that the "dots" in front of some names indicate the boys in the class!

Beth guesses that this was a list that belonged to one of the teachers, and, perhaps, the teacher loaned it to Beth for some particular assignment, and then it was never returned. (I can tell you for certain that the addition of Eddie Weeks' name in Section 8-1 was NOT in Beth's handwriting!) We'd love to have your comments and memories about this artifact. I think that Mr. Campbell, who was the Principal of the Junior High, was also a section leader - or was he a part-time instructor as well as being Principal? I also remember the name of Mr. Forness. (LG note: I can still see Mr. Forness reading Newsweek magazine while being the Study Hall "monitor." His interest in that publication captured my attention and that's when I also started reading it). 

Thank you, Beth, for sending this list along to us. If any of the rest of you have items of interest from our school years, please send pictures of copies of them along, to Diane, Larry or me. Submitted by Barb (Sheppard) Lang and posted by der Blogmeister LG.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Lunch Bunch meets in April!

The April 25, 2019 Lunch Bunch was held at the Bridges Restaurant in Valley City was attended by 9 stalwart classmates. Seated left then clockwise: Gary Swenson, Tom Kahler, Bonnie (Cruff )Burchill, Gary Skramstad, Denny Gillund, Barb Sheppard Lang and Claire Swenson. Missing from the picture was Barry Borg, who had to leave early, and the photographer, Jan Zaun Arneson.

The days before this luncheon were snow filled; then the sun came out, and the restaurant had some of their doors open, so we had an "outdoor" lunch that day! Spring, at long last.

There will be NO "Lunch Bunch" in May, 2019This above report from our organizing Chair, Barb (Sheppard) Lang. Thanks, BSL! - posted by Blogmeister LG

Friday, April 19, 2019

1960 "Banquet of Champions" Program takes us back!

From Barb (Sheppard) Lang about the scanned images below: The Barnes County Historical Society has come across this old program from the "Banquet of Champions" - the VCHS Hiliners and the VCSTC Vikings were honored on March 31, 1960. You will recognize all the names of our classmates who were on the Hiliners state championship team in 1960, and you will also recognize the names of the gentlemen who were coaches, our principal, and superintendent of our high school.  Just a fun walk down memory lane! Winning the state basketball championship was a major highlight of our high school years!  

Blogmeister's note: Thanks to the curator of the Barnes County Historical Museum, Wes Anderson, for sending me the scans of the program, which were originally posted on Facebook. Wes has done an outstanding job with the Facebook page for the Society and, if you're a Facebooker and haven't yet joined this excellent and continuing journey down memory lane, check it out and become a "friend" today. LG 4-19-2019  Click on the program scans for larger and clearer images.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Back to the 1950s in Valley City via video!

There's a rare and outstanding video posted out there, on Facebook and YouTube/Vimeo and now on this blog, put together by Kirsten of "KirstenStudio." She's a documentary video producer.

Barb (Sheppard) Lang writes: "Even though this video was produced by the leaders of the recent All 50's VC Reunion most of the video is about growing up in Valley City in the 1950's, which of course, our class also did! You will spot photos of some of our own classmates, see a good many pictures of the Teen Canteen, our favorite teachers, and stories about some escapades by some of the high schoolers during the 1950's that you may recognize as things we did together or a story you would have heard your parents talk about (that story from Hib Hill, Jeannie's older brother)! It's an excellent video, worth taking the time to watch and remember our carefree and special times growing up in the Valley City area.  Enjoy!"

I wrote to Kirsten, the producer, asking permission to post the link to her video here on the blog and received this message in response:

"It’s nice to hear from you and thank you for the kind words about the video. I’m not from Valley City but have family who are All ‘50s alumni so it’s a place dear to my heart.

"Through visits to North Dakota and family friendships I met Mike Morrissey (St. Catherine's ’58). During a recent trip out there, he talked about filming the reunion and that conversation grew into the idea of making a community video chronicling first person recollections of Valley City in the ‘50s. Mike pitched it to the All '50s Reunion committee. Everything was recorded last summer during their reunion festivities, which was a lot of fun.

"I didn’t really dig into the project again until late November, and worked on it intermittently (weekends and evenings) until recently when we decided it was fit to share. I edited the video together with Mike’s input and feedback throughout. For historical imagery, we mined personal memorabilia and enlisted Allison Veselka and Wes Anderson of the Barnes County Historical Society who provided a lot material and subjects (all participants are listed at the end of the video).

"It was a pleasure to work on this and get to know the All '50s folks a bit more. Donna Jantzen and the other committee members do a lot to keep their community together. I was honored to be part of documenting it. Valley City is a special place. You're welcome to link the video to your blog. Thank you again for your interest." - Kirsten - 

Thank you, KirstenStudio and Mike Morrisey, Wes Anderson, Allison Veselka and others for your work on this - a job well done and will be appreciated by all of us for many years. - Larry Gauper, Hiliners61 blogmeister

The video runs 55 minutes and can be viewed by clicking on this link:

Friday, March 15, 2019

Charlie Daniels describes America

Our Hiliners61 classmate, TWA Captain Roy Lang (retired) sent along a link to a brief video narrated by country and bluegrass performer Charlie Daniels (born in 1936 in Wilmington, North Carolina, and still very much alive). Daniels makes reference to most of the states and locations where our classmates live today, from Arizona and Colorado to the North Dakota Badlands, plus many more. Roy and his wife, Lorrie, have lived in Hot Springs, Arkansas, for a good number of years. This Daniels YouTube video is indeed inspiring and the photographs are spectacular. Thanks for calling this non-political video to our attention, Roy. It can be viewed by clicking hereLG 3-15-2019

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

"Lunch Bunches" newsletter published!

Once again, Diane (Sauer) Hughes has come through with another excellent newsletter. This issue covers lots of photos from Lunch Bunch gatherings in both Valley City and in Arizona (those lucky folks who have avoided the tough winter those of us back home have endured!).

You'll see some familiar faces plus some interesting articles in Diane's latest issue. Remember too, that Tom Kahler and I have breakfast every Wednesday morning at Panera Bread in Fargo - sometimes we go to the Chick-fil-A next door, out in the West Acres area. When you're in town, be sure to drop by. Always best to give us some warning as us "elderly" sometimes can't make it...but we usually do! We talk about all our classmates who are not present. Lots of fun. Great memories. Amazing what we can remember from those days of yore at VCHS. To see Diane's latest newsletter, go to the Newsletter Archive on the right side of your screen or simply click here. Thanks, Diane, for all your work on this. It's much appreciated. And kudos, too, go out to our leader, Barbara (Sheppard) Lang for making - at her own expense - printed copies for those who do not have email. She sends those well produced printed copies every time Diane issues a newsletter. Thanks, Barb, on behalf of all of those who don't have email. - LG 3-6-2019

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

February 2019 newsletter posted

Diane (Sauer) Hughes has issued the February 2019 Hiliners61 Classmate Newsletter and you'll find it added to the "Newsletter Archive" on the right side of this screen, toward the top. Or you can simply click here to view the PDF of the newsletter. Diane has done another fine job with this publication and she includes a number of photos and winter stories from around Hiliner61-land (which pretty much includes locations across the USA). Be sure to check it out and/or print it out! LG - 2-19-2018

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Linda Holm passes away

Linda Holm - Class of 1961 graduation photograph
Our dear classmate, Linda Holm, passed away January 31, 2019, in the Hospice Unit at Mercy Hospital in Valley City, N. Dak. She struggled bravely for over a year in her battle with cancer.
Linda, the daughter of Francis W. and Frances (Piller) Holm, was born August 27, 1943 in Valley City.

Her family will honor her request for no funeral and, when the time is right, her ashes will be scattered.

Diane (Sauer) Hughes sent a tribute to our class email list and included these comments from me:

Per alpha order, I sat in high school classes next to Linda. I was G and she was H. Linda would tell me of her dream to head for Hollywood after graduation and write about the stars. She did exactly that and landed a job with Photoplay magazine. She was an editorial staff member (reporter/writer) for ten years, on board until the magazine closed. Her most exciting interviews were with Elvis Presley in Las Vegas and covering the Golden Globe Awards both in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

In 1968, Linda was in the audience for the taping of the Elvis Comeback Special, which aired on the NBC-TV network on December 3rd of that year. During the recording session at NBC's Burbank, California, studios, Linda was invited by the producers to sit at the edge of the stage. The actual performance from that special was used to make a single 45 rpm record that achieved #1 on the Billboard magazine charts. If you do a YouTube search on "Elvis Comeback Special," you may still find a clip of that song, with Linda sitting by the stage as Elvis sings to her. There are two versions of this video, one with Linda and another with another young lady. In the video with Linda, she's in a blue dress.

After Linda moved back to Valley City, she and I communicated through old-fashioned letters. She didn't have email and didn't want it, often sending me a sheaf of magazine and news clippings on subjects she knew I would be interested in. Linda took care of her mother for several decades right until she passed away in 2011 at the age of 102. This was a remarkable commitment by Linda, not without sacrificing her career.

Linda was always ready for a good phone conversation on a variety of subjects. She knew a lot about Hollywood, from the inside, and I encouraged her to write about it. Alas, she never did. But if you ever visited with her, as a number of us did over the years, she enjoyed sharing her memories during the decade of more she spent in California.

Linda, photographed at a 2014 Lunch Bunch
gathering in Valley City
Linda continued to live in her family home at 541 2nd Avenue NE in Valley City until shortly before her death. Many of us had an opportunity to talk with her at Lunch Bunch gatherings.

May God bless the memory of Linda Holm and be with her family at this time. - Larry Gauper, 2-1-2019)