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 27, 2020

First Hiliners61 interview posted!

Thanks to classmate Dorothy (Sorenson) Puklich for working with us on the first "classmate video interview." Dorothy gave us a lot of interesting comments - she's fun to visit with! We had some technical challenges getting this first one produced, however, I'm happy to say it's ready for viewing. 

We'd like more of these interviews so if you're somewhat familiar with Skype or Zoom - online video meeting services that many school kids are learning today in their distance learning mode - then let us know. Send an email to Barb (Sheppard) Lang and she'll arrange to have you do a online interview. Barb's email address is

To see how this works, take a look at Dorothy's interview by clicking here.

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

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

September Hiliners 61 newsletter posted!

Editor Diane (Sauer) Hughes has published her September, 2020 newsletter. Check it out in the Newsletter Archive on the right side of this screen or click here. You'll find an interesting and nostalgic trip down memory lane in Valley City from classmate Dave Johnson and a statement from Barb (Sheppard) Lang regarding the 2021 60th Anniversary Reunion. Thanks, Diane, for another excellent issue!

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)

Saturday, July 4, 2020

60th Anniversary Planned for 2021!

Planning is underway for a Hiliners61 gathering to celebrate our 60th anniversary since graduating from Valley City (N. Dak.) High School. Our Chair and always fearless leader, Barb (Sheppard) Lang has arranged for group rates at two of the four Valley City motels and she recommends making your reservations as soon as possible. 

The Reunion is set for June 18-20, 2021, and you can get information on the motels, group rates and contact information by clicking on the 60th Anniversary link on the right side of your screen or click here.

Please check the blog and Diane's newsletters as they come out for updates on plans. We suggest entering your name in the "Follow by email" box on the right side of this screen. You'll then receive an automatic alert every time we provide updated anniversary information here on the blog. - LG 7-4-2020

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) 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

If you're receiving some old posts in your emailed alerts

Hi, classmates. If you're receiving some older posts as part of your "emailed alerts" from the Hiliners61 blog, this is not an attempt to recycle old posts. I'm making some changes to the blog, including a number deletions and rearrangements of items. More of these changes to come. For some reason, the free Google "Blogger" software decides to send out an alert every time I make a change. Just ignore those items - or - enjoy re-reading them. There's no way to adjust the software to block those "sends" to subscribers. Sorry. - LarryG, your friendly neighborhood blogmeister

Sunday, July 8, 2018

July, 2018 Newsletter is reunion round-up

Diane (Sauer) Hughes put together another excellent newsletter with news and photographs from our 2018 Reunion in Valley City. Thanks to her for producing an excellent keepsake (despite becoming a great-grandmother of triplet boys!) and thanks to Barb (Sheppard) Lang and many others for putting together this event. A number of hometown folks were involved in pulling off the Friday night and Saturday night gatherings, as well as the parade float, farm tour, and all the rest. A big thanks from all of us who were there, some of us for part of it and others for all of it. Read all about our 57th-year-since-graduation celebration in July Newsletter, available as a printable PDF in the Newsletter Archive (on the right side of your screen) or click here. - LG 7-8-2018

Friday, June 29, 2018

More "North Dakota song" videos

Warren Olson sent a video of a newer "North Dakota song" by two local young ladies, Kendra and Krista, a.k.a., "Tigerlily."  To see that one, click here.  Note: there is a short commercial at the beginning but the "skip this ad" comes up fairly quickly.

Warren also sent us a link to a video that's a "parody on Pharrell Williams' Happy song." Warren adds, "Sue and the Walleye are on this one along with NDSU and Barb (Sheppard) Lang's Jamestown Buffalo." The singer/actresses are not identified and the audio is a bit weak, so crank up your speakers. To see that video, click here

Barb Gillund also sent in another tune about the state. Its entitled My Home in North Dakota by Adam Taylor. Lots of real photos of real North Dakotans. Again, the audio is a little weak on this one, so crank up your speakers. To watch and hear that video, click here

I hope I have these submission credits correct. If not, correct with an email. One song I would like to add, but can't find a link on YouTube or anywhere. It's Mandan area farmer Chuck Suchy's Dancing Dakota (proposed a few years ago as our state song, failed in the legislature). He also creates a wonderful and accurate musical picture of life on a North Dakota family farm in his Home for the Harvest.

As I mentioned, I have Chuck Suchy's songs on CD and can create an MP3 file for posting, but we would need his permission. I know Chuck and secured permission to use his Dancing Dakota for a Blue Cross video I produced a number of years ago, so I might try it again. Suchy (pronounced "SOO-KEY") appeared several times with Garrison Keillor when the show originated from St. Paul and again from Concordia College about five years ago. Andrea Suchy, Chuck's daughter, did a one-year run on A Prairie Home Companion, singing many songs with G. K on that national NPR radio program. She is now a professional singer and song writer based in Minneapolis. - LG 6-29-2018

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Ya Oughta Go Ta North Dakota!

Denny and Barb Gillund sent us a link to what Denny calls the "true" North Dakota song. My friend, Bob Lind, columnist for the Fargo Forum, wrote an article about it. There was a lot of comment on his piece and here is a link to some of those comments from the West Fargo Pioneer newspaper, along with a video of the NDSU Choir performing the song. Thanks, Gillund's, for sharing this.  LG - 6-28-2018  

Note: there is a brief commercial ahead of the NDSU Choir's performance

To see the comment article and the video, click here.

A couple of North Dakota songs

Ron Morsch and Barbara (Rome) Gillund (Denny's spouse) sent us a couple of links to North Dakota songs. There are a number of others.

To see and hear Ron's submission:  click here

To see and hear what Barbara submitted: click here

Thanks to both of these folks for sharing these, inspired, I imagine, by their recent trip to Valley City for our latest Hiliners61 reunion!   -  LG 6-28-2018

Friday, June 22, 2018

Class of 1961 float featured in Community Days Parade!

As part of our Class of 1961 reunion in Valley City (N. Dak.) June 15-16-17, 2018, a team of our classmates constructed a float that appeared in Valley City's "Rally in the Valley Days" parade on Saturday afternoon, June 16.  Wes Anderson, Director and Curator of the Barnes County Historical Society's museum, shot a one-hour video of the entire parade. From that video, I excerpted the one-minute segment that only shows our float. Both the excerpt and Wes's full parade video are linked below.

The Class of 1961 float  was constructed by our classmate Barry Borg.  It began life as a 24-foot flatbed trailer, but was converted to a beautiful HiLiner blue and white float, with white railings, a banner across the back, folding chairs and a couple of hay bales for seating, and marvelous stairsteps with railings to make it extremely easy for all of us to step up onto the float! There was even a flagpole with HiLiner blue/white rope to pull up the American flag!

Barb Lang brought two 12 ft. banners for the sides of the float that said "VCHS Class of 1961" and Dave Maasjo brought his classic John Deere tractor to pull the float. About 17 classmates showed up to ride, and in no time at all, the huge pile of candy that we brought along to throw was all used up! A great time was had by all of the riders!  We hope that next time, more classmates will decide to ride along . . . we noticed that the Class of 1968 must have had about 35 riders on their float. The challenge is on! Barry promises that he can re-construct the float for another parade, and we need to THANK both Barry and Dave for all the work they did to prepare for the parade!

The float riders were:
Jan Zaun Arneson, Maureen "Mo" Pederson Young, Mary Ann Musch Gamrath, Margaret Peterson Anderson, Georgia Stephenson Flannigan, Mary Koch, Warren Olson, Barb Brown Schmidt, LouVay Ruemler White, Colleen Bryngelson Zick, Marlo Byberg, Denny Gillund, John Manstrom, Les Brix, Barry Borg, Barb Lang and Dave Maasjo, of course.

To see the Hiliners61 float-only segment (one-minute), click here.

To see Wes's video of the ENTIRE parade (one-hour), click here.

THANKS, Wes, for the excellent video and your thoughtfulness and work in shooting it!  LG 6-22-2018

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Excellent turnouts for 2018 reunion events!

FRIDAY EVENING, June 15, 2018, VCHS 1961 classmates 
Front row L-R:  Colleen Bryngelson Zick, LouVay Ruemler White, Mary Koch, Georgia Stephenson Flannigan, Margaret Peterson Anderson, Jeralyn Olson Behm, Bonnie Cruff Burchill, Maureen "Mo" Pedersen Young, Marleen Miller Pytlik.

2nd row L-R:  Mary Ann Musch Gamrath, Barb Sheppard Lang, Virginia Hoff, Dorothy James Iwan, Barb Brown Schmidt, Jan Zaun Arneson, Jim Lang, Ron Morsch

3rd row L-R:  Ross Noeske, Dave Maasjo, John Manstrom, Gary Skramstad, Warren Olson, Les Brix, Gary Swenson

4th row L-R:  Dale Rolfzen, Dennis Gillund, Tom Kahler, Roger Taylor, Jerry Offner, Barry Borg, Larry Gauper, Doug Peterson

FRIDAY EVENING, June 15, 2018, VCHS 1961, classmates and spouses

Front l-r:  Charlie Zick, Colleen Bryngelson Zick, LouVay Ruemler White, Mary Koch, Georgia Stephenson Flannigan, Margaret Peterson Anderson, Jeralyn Olson Behm, Bonnie Cruff Burchill, Maureen "Mo" Pedersen Young, Marleen Miller Pytlik, Barry Borg with Cheryll Hanson Borg on his lap.

2nd row l-r:  Ross Noeske, Gerry Gamrath, Mary Ann Musch Gamrath, Barb Sheppard Lang, Virginia Hoff, Dorothy James Iwan, Barb Brown Schmidt, Jan Zaun Arneson, Jim Lang, Dixie Lang, Ron Morsch and wife,Marty Trexler, JoAnne Gauper, Art Todd.

3rd row l-r:  Dave Maasjo, Verna Triebold Manstrom, just behind John Manstrom, Gary Skramstad, Warren Olson, Les Brix, Gary Swenson, Claire Swenson, Larry Gauper.

4th row l-r:  Jim Iwan, Dale Rolfzen, Sue Rolfzen just adjacent/in front of Dale, Dennis Gillund, Barb Rome Gillund just adjacent/in front of Denny, Steve Flannigan, Tom Kahler, Roger Taylor, Bev Taylor, Ron Cookston, Gerry Offner, Judy Peterson, Doug Peterson and a "photo bomber" Lee Strandberg, Class of 1963, just behind Larry! 

SATURDAY EVENING, June 16, 2018, VCHS 2016 classmates

Back row L-R: Roger Taylor, Warren Olson, John Manstrom, Marlo Byberg, Dave Johnson, Denny Gillund, Ron Morsch, Dale Rolfzen, Barry Borg (half hidden), Gary Skramstad, Gary Swenson, Ross Noeske, Tom Kahler

Middle row L-R: Colleen Bryngelson Zick, Mary Ellen Koch, Mary Ann Musch Gamrath, Sandi Meyer Bruns, Dorothy James Iwan, Janet Zaun Arneson, Maureen Pedersen Young, David Maasjo, Doug Peterson

Front row L-R: LouVay Ruemler White, Barb Sheppard Lang, Margaret Peterson Anderson, Marleen Miller Pytlik, Bonnie Cruff Burchill, Beth Carlisle Anderson 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Classmate James Walker passed away

James Walker from 1961 Sheyenne yearbook

We were saddened to learn of the passing of James Walker, age 74, of Valley City, ND, died Wednesday, April 4th at Mercy Hospital in Valley City. A private inurnment will be held at St. Catherine's Catholic Cemetery in Valley City.

James or "Jimmy," as many of us knew him, was a familiar face around school during our years in the Valley City Public School system. We salute his military experience after high school and remember him now as part of our class and younger days. God bless the memory of James Walker.

James Frank Walker, the son of Gordon and Magdelina (Diemert) Walker, was born May 26, 1943 in Valley City, ND. James grew up and attended school in Valley City. After receiving his education, Jim served in the US Army and the North Dakota National Guard. James lived and worked in Valley City.

Above is a recent picture of James, from his obituary. James was preceded in death by his parents, an infant Daughter and his sister Phyllis. Funeral arrangements by the Lerud Schuldt Mathias Funeral Home of Valley City, ND.

An online guestbook is available at
Published in Valley City Times-Record on Apr. 12, 2018

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Dr. Bruce Carlisle passes away

Dr. Bruce and Nan Carlisle
A brother to our 1961 Valley City High School classmate, Beth (Carlisle) AndersonDr. Bruce Carlisle was well-known by many of us and, certainly, by me. He passed away February 26, 2018, after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Bruce and I were colleagues  for a number of years at Blue Cross-Blue Shield of North Dakota. We worked on a number of projects together and had some great visits. We shared many robust laughs over the years.  The seasonal conferences with the marketing staff always found Bruce at the podium fielding questions from those in our company who worked directly with members. He normally worked with medical doctors, nurses and hospital administrators and was well-respected by all of these groups. Class of 1961ers who knew Bruce send condolences to Nan, the family, and our classmate, Beth. God bless the memory of Dr. Bruce Carlisle. (Larry Gauper - 3-1-2018)

Here is Bruce's obituary from the Caring Bridge website:

Bruce M. Carlisle, 68, Fargo, North Dakota passed away Monday, February 26, 2018 at Avow Hospice Inpatient Center, Naples, Florida after a 2 year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Bruce was born June 29, 1949 in Valley City, North Dakota to John and Carol Jean (Larson) Carlisle. He graduated from Valley City High School in 1967 before attending the University of North Dakota where he graduated with a degree in Philosophy in 1971. He married Nan Norman on May 1, 1970 at Holy Family Catholic Church, Grand Forks, North Dakota. He graduated from University of North Dakota Medical School in 1976. He did his residency in Internal Medicine in Fargo. He founded Internal Medicine Associates (IMA) in 1979. He had offices in Fargo, Hawley and Barnesville. He was Vice President of Medical Affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota for 12 years. He finished his working career as an Emergency Room Physician at Lake Region Medical Center, Fergus Falls. Bruce truly loved his profession, medical colleagues, and patients.

Bruce had a passion for golf, hunting, and fishing amongst a strong bond with all of his labradors. He thrived at any card game and was a Master Bridge player. Bruce loved spending time with his family and friends in the Detroit Lakes area. His spiritual life was changed for the greater good when he was confirmed in the Catholic Church in the year 2000. In that same year, his faith journey was enriched after going on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bruce is survived by his wife of 47 years, Nan, Fargo; children, Corey Carlisle, Washington D.C., Christopher (Katherine) Carlisle, Fargo, ND, Casey (Natasha) Carlisle, Hatton, ND and Kelly (Tom) Kopp, Fargo, ND; 12 grandchildren, Kiras, Avery, Bethany, William, Molly, Casey, John, Dominic and Michael Carlisle, Porter, Briggs and Maris Kopp; brother, John “Hap” (Sally) Carlisle, Asotin, WA; sisters, Beth (Dick) Anderson, Bellingham, WA, Peggy Carlisle, Bainbridge Island, WA and Eileen Carlisle, Santa Rosa, CA and many nieces and nephews.

Bruce was preceded in death by his son, Robert John, parents, John and Carol Jean and father-in-law, Robert “Bob” Norman.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Marilyn Vandestreek Burton passed away

Marilyn's senior portrait from the 1961 Sheyenne Yearbook
We were saddened to hear of the death of our classmate, Marilyn Vandestreek Burton of Ogden, Utah. She passed away on January 16, 2018. According to information we have at this time, she had moved from assisted living to a service that offered increased care. Her illness was apparently chronic and increasing. During the 2010 reunion, she was using oxygen part of the time. At this point, details of her death are sparse and no services are planned. The family plans to spread her ashes in the mountains, in the spring. Marilyn's daughter, Evonne, may be providing us with more information and we'll publish that here and/or in Diane' newsletter. God bless the memory of Marilyn Vandestreek.

Recent photograph of Marilyn

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Another classmate passes away

From our 1961 Sheyenne Yearbook
We were saddened to hear of the passing of classmate Dave Nelson on Monday, January 22, 2018. You may remember seeing and visiting with Dave at our 2010 Reunion in Valley City. It was great to see him then and sad to hear of his death. Thanks to Ron Morsch and Barb (Sheppard) for sending me the obituary from the Valley City Times-Record:
Dave Nelson (recent photograph from obituary)
David Allen Nelson, 74, died at the Aneta Parkview Health Center on January 22, 2018. Dave was born on November 1, 1943, in Valley City, ND, to Lloyd W. and Elizabeth A. (Anderson) Nelson. He grew up in Marsh Township and attended King School, rural Valley City, and then transferred to Valley City High School and graduated in 1961. He attended Valley City State College and participated on the wrestling team. In 1964, he joined the North Dakota National Guard and served 6 years.

On June 25, 1966, he married Vivian Berntson in Valley City. Dave started selling real estate at Lawn Realty, Inc., in 1968. He purchased the firm from his dad in 1970. He continued in the business until retiring in 2014.

He was an avid bowler in his younger years and he bowled two 300 games. At the time he bowled his first perfect game, local businesses offered a $2000 prize for such a feat. He used this prize money to buy his first 5 cows and get started in the cattle business, which was a lifelong passion for him. He raised registered polled herefords and showed cattle at various local, state, and national competitions. He was a member of the American Hereford Association and leader of the Marsh 4-H club for several years.

He enjoyed hunting both locally and in far flung places such as the Yukon Territory, Alaska and South Africa.

Dave is survived by his wife Vivian; son Brett, Palmer, AK; son and daughter-in-law, Brian and Jessica, Valley City, ND and their children Bryce, Corey and Jada; son and daughter-in-law, Bruce and Brooke, Valley City, ND and their daughter Harper; siblings, Cheryl (Myron) Senechal, Bismarck, ND; Gary, Valley City, ND; sisters-in-law, Ellrene (Duane) Sortland, Eileen Berntson, Lois (Bud) Badger, Anita (Tom) Erickson, Barbara (Raymond) Mewes, Olive (Howard) Rasmusson, and Gail Christl; brothers-in-law, Douglas (Ruth) Berntson, Delbert (Joan) Berntson, Durwin (Mary) Berntson, Dallas Berntson, and Darryl (Jeanne) Berntson; and numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Denton and Paulette Berntson; brothers-in-law Elmer Christl and David Berntson and nephew, Tod Erickson.
Services were planed for 11 am, Friday, January 26, 2018 in the Grace Free Lutheran Church, Valley City, ND. Visitation will be one hour prior to services Friday in the church. Burial will be in Zion Cemetery, rural Valley City at a later date. Oliver-Nathan Chapel of Valley City is in charge of the arrangements. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Holiday Luncheon held on December 7, 2017

Back row: Barb Lang, Jan Arneson, Dave Maasjo, Doug Peterson, Judy Peterson and Tom Kahler. Next step down: Mary Ann Gamrath. Third row: Barb Gillund. Fourth row: Denny Gillund, Barry Borg and Larry Gauper. Front row: Bonnie Burchill, LouVay White, Cheryll Borg and Marleen Pytlik. 
An excellent lunch was supplied by several of our local hosts at the historic President's House on the campus of Valley City (ND) State University. Great conversation including the sharing of memories from decades gone by. Watch the forthcoming January newsletter for more on this. As soon as editor Diane (Sauer) Hughes releases her latest production, I'll post it in the "newsletter archive" here on the blog. Thanks to our leader, Barb (Sheppard) Lang for continuing to inspire and promote these "lunch bunch" gatherings! - LG, 12-21-2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Classmate Daniel Jackson passes away

Daniel John Jackson - recent photograph
We were saddened to hear of the loss of our former classmate (VCHS - 1961) and friend, Dan Jackson. Dan was born on April 6, 1943, in Lehigh, Iowa, and grew up in Valley City (ND). He passed away suddenly on Thursday, September 7, 2017, in the city where he lived, Wichita, Kansas. He is survived by his wife, Sheryl, children Jessica and Patrick, a brother, Robert (Victoria), a sister, Judith; nieces and nephews as well as many other relatives and friends.
Dan - from 1961 Sheyenne Yearbook
He graduated with an education degree from Valley City State University and taught for a few years in Rolette, ND, before moving to the state of Washington. Dan contributed his bio to Diane's 50th anniversary booklet and the bio is posted on this blog. To read it, click here.

According to his obituary:  "He took a long bicycle trek to Oregon where caught a ride with a relative going through Kansas. After stopping in Wichita, he worked as a chemist at Cessna and later own the A & E Analytical lab.

"He loved to travel, watch movies and was very involved in his children's lives. He was a loving song, husband, dad, brother and uncle. He will be greatly missed. The funeral was held on September 11 at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Andover, Kansas."

God bless the memory of Daniel Jackson. Our condolences and sympathy to Sheryl and their entire family. -  LG 9-12-2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

10 classmates volunteer for 2018 Reunion Committee

We have ten eager classmates stepping forward to help plan and run the 2018 Class of 1961 reunion in Valley City (ND) from Friday, June 15 through Sunday morning, June 17, according to the Chair of the VCHS Class of '61 Organizing Committee, Barb (Sheppard) Lang.

The Class of 1961 2018 Reunion Committee (as of August 16, 2018):
Barb Lang
Bonnie Burchill
Denny Gillund
Diane Hughes
Doug Peterson
Larry Gauper
LouVay White
Marlene Pytlik
Mary Ann Gamrath
Ron Morsch

Thanks to these stalwart classmates for answering the call! Be sure to read the latest information on how plans are coming and where to make group hotel reservations presented in a post on this blog.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Hiliners61 Newsletter Archive established

If you miss one of Diane's (Sauer) Hughes' monthly class newsletters, you can now find them all, including the current edition, in a new archive on this blog. Simply click on "NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE" on the right side of your screen and then click on the newsletter you're looking for. These are listed by month and are available in a PDF file.

In that listing on the top right side of the screen are various other items that may be of interest to you, each located on its own special "page," accessed through the links on that list.

Also, if you haven't already, be sure to include your email address in the box below the FOLLOW BY EMAIL" item below the special pages listing. Leaving your address will not stimulate more junk mail because addresses are not shared with any commercial or other organizational website. Once you're on the email list, you'll receive a notice whenever we update this blog.

Of course, as most of you know, the "classmate bios" submitted prior to our 2010 reunion are still posted and available as you scroll down the screen. After those bios, you'll find our "remembrance listing" of those class members who have passed away. If we've missed any death you know about, please let us know. Email addresses for your communication committee can be found under the "ABOUT THIS BLOG" item near the top right side of this screen.

Thanks to Ron Morsch for continuing to maintain our class list of names, spouses, postal  and email addresses. Maintaining this list takes a lot of diligent work and Ron does a great job with this and we thank him for it. We no longer post the address listing here on the blog for security and privacy reasons. If you'd like a copy - and you're a Hiliners61er -  simply send Ron an email requesting the list. His email address can be found under the "About this blog" item.

15 lunch bunchers gather in Casselton!

FRONT ROW (L-R): Liz Strom, Barbara (Sheppard) Lang, Colleen (Bryngelson) Zick, Bonnie (Cruff) Burchill, Judy Peterson - BACK ROW (L-R): Larry Gauper, Roger Strom, Dave Maasjo, Marry Ann (Musch) Gamrath, Gerry Gamrath, Charlie Zick, Tom Kahler, Marleen (Miller) Pytlik, Dennis Gillund, Doug Peterson
Another strong attendance (pictured above) at our monthly lunch bunch gathering, this time on July 27, 2017, in Casselton at the Governor's Inn Café. Great memories shared and it was especially good to see first-timers Roger and Liz Strom. Chair Barbara (Sheppard) Lang led a discussion of the 2018 "mini-reunion" scheduled for June 14-15-16, 2018 in Valley City. You'll be reading more about this event both on Diane (Sauer) Hughes monthly Hiliners61 newsletter and here on the blog. So stay tuned and start planning on this event now!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hiliners 1960 Championship Team honored February 10, 2017!

A number of members of the 1960 Valley City (ND) High School Hiliners 1960 Class-A Championship Basketball Team and several cheerleaders were honored at a regularly scheduled home game on the evening of February 10, 2017.  Pictured below are those team members present for the recognition ceremony:
1960 Championship Team members and three of the cheerleading squad:  L-R: Front row, Harvey Lerud, Dennis Grubb, Mary Kankelfritz, Barb Rome Gillund. Back row: Ray Bernston, Denny Gillund, Hank Toring, Howard Svenningson, Lee Samson and Sandy Vorhees Toring.

Below, is the official 1960 Hiliners Team photo currently on display at Valley City High School. All of us were, and are still, extremely proud of these guys and the cheerleading squad!

Three of the Hiliners' 1960 Cheerleading squad were honored at the home game on February 10, 2017. Above is a closer picture than the team shot above. L-R: Mary Kankelfritz, Barb (Rome) Gillund, Sandy (Vorhees) Toring.  57 years later, they're still lookin' MAAvelous!

Here's a photo of Carolyn Eggert Samson and husband, Lee. Both were on hand for the Hiliners' 1960 recognition ceremony in Valley City on February 10, 2017.

MANY THANKS to LouVay (Ruemler) White for the February 10th photos! Good job, LouVay, and much appreciated by all of us on the Communications Team!  - Larry Gauper, Blogmeister

Saturday, February 11, 2017

19 Lunch Bunchers gather in Valley City!

The VCHS Class of 1961 had a marvelous turnout of 19 people at the Lunch Bunch gathering at the Valley City Country Club on February 9, 2017. Conversations never stopped, many hugs were exchanged Several in the group were convinced to attend the Hi Liners’ basketball game on Friday evening, since the 1960 State Championship Basketball team was introduced during half-time of the game!  Photos coming of the honoring ceremony for the 1960 Champions on February 9th. Below, the group shot from the luncheon:

All rows, L to R: (Front row) Bonnie Cruff Burchill, Colleen Bryngelson Zick, Marleen Miller Pytlik, Cheryll Hanson Borg. (Middle row) Barb Rome Gillund, Judy Peterson, Lou Vay Ruemler White, Mary Ann Musch Gamrath, Barb Sheppard Lang, Dave Maasjo, Sandy Voorhees Toring, Barry Borg. (Back row) Denny Gillund, Janna Zaun, Doug Peterson, Gerry Gamrath, Tom Kahler, Hank Toring, Larry Gauper.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Celebration of Life Service remembering Bryce Risser

As most of you know by now, Bryce Nathan Risser passed away unexpectedly at his home in Sedona, Arizona, on December 8, 2016. The above Junior Class photo is a scan from the 1961 Sheyenne Yearbook. No funeral or memorial service was held soon after his death, however, I received an email from his classmate and my childhood friend, Paul Merrett, about a recent "Celebration of Life" Service in honor of Bryce.  The report Paul sent to me is reproduced below. Thanks, Paul, for sending this and God bless the memory of a dear friend and fellow Hiliner, Bryce Risser:


"I made the trip from Las Cruces over to Sedona AZ last Tuesday (January 17, 2017) for the Celebration of Life service for Bryce Risser. It was a very nice tribute to our departed friend. It was attended by about 40 or 50 people including his son Nathan, daughter Laura and one of his sisters, JoAnn and her husband, and his ex LaRon.  All of those individuals shared their memories of him and, afterword several others shared their thoughts and memories also, yours truly included.

"In addition their were musical numbers provided by people who had worked with Bryce in different capacities over the years there in Sedona. His brother-in-law, Viv (Yup, that's his name) sang the Lord's Prayer a capella in his operetically trained voice. That brought a few tears to the eyes.

"Overall the theme was very upbeat and not sad or melancholy. I think Bryce would have been quite pleased with the way things were conducted. As it was said by his former wife, LaRon, when she had asked him once how he wanted to be remembered, he replied, 'Often and always.' I'm quite convinced that that is how it will be. I was told by his son, Nate, that they are also planning on having another Celebration of Life service later in Valley City for those who could not attend this one. Please pass this along to whomever you feel might like to hear about it."  - Thanks, Paul

And thank you, Paul, for thinking of us in the Hiliners61 group. Please continue to keep us posted.

To read Bryce's obituary from Valley City Times-Record, published not long after Bryce's death,
click here

To read an article about Bryce and the NuBeats band and to hear an interview I did with Bryce in 2010 please click here.  When you click on the interview link, the mp3 audio file may take a moment or two to load.  - Larry Gauper, Hiliners61 Blogmeister