Back and Forth: Milestones make up our lives' history

Many people know where they were or what they were doing when some great event occurs – example 50 years ago this coming Nov. 22 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Mark Anderson told me many years ago his father Don opened the new Holiday Inn South the same week of that tragedy. Today that's the Clarion Inn. We remember these milestones in our lives forever.

Let's add 10 to a Sesquicentennial of Chatfield and they'll observe 160 years this summer. Some observe — some celebrate. This summer will be more high school class 50- or 60-year reunions.

We suddenly realize it just doesn't take long for 50 years to pass. Someone said "history is what happens while we're waiting for something to happen."

Do you remember the year you were married or your parent's birthdays or when you got your own first bicycle? I have my Joe Gordon fielder's glove, which I got 70 years ago this spring while attending 6th grade at Dogtown school. It went with me through high school and Caldbeck's softball diamond. I still treasure the glove, which cost $2.95 plus 10 cents shipping from "Monkey Wards."


In May of 1963 my wife June and I bought our first convertible (just 50 years ago) from a little place behind today's KFC on Second Street Southwest. It was a Chevrolet Impala with blue body and white top. Bob McDonough ran West Town Motors with several fine cars. We love the memories of 13 years riding in that car and our 4 children do, too.

There'll be several churches celebrating a milestone this year — 25th, 50th, 75th or even 100th. Many churches have passes the 150th. This Saturday I'm writing about Greenfield Lutheran Church in Harmony just over 150.

Kids and young adults should keep those memories when celebrating parents' 50th, 60th, 70th and more anniversaries. Milestone memories need to be practiced. I talked with Charles Pappas, owner of Michaels Restaurant, reminding him this is the 60th anniversary of the Monday Quarterbacks club dating back to 1953. He thought maybe it was 1956. I only quoted what I was told during the years. More on Quarterbacks next Thursday.

Finally my own 60-year milestone. Next week nearly matches my radio career beginning date at KAAA-AM 1250 Red Wing in 1953. I spent nearly 4 1/2 wonderful years there and experienced the change to KCUE in 1956. I worked two weeks in April that spring and returned to radio school in Minneapolis for my final two weeks. Less than a week later I returned full-time at KAAA and vividly remember so many events and program detail.

One event came back recently when old friend Don Safe of the "Westerners" died. He, along with Arvid Iverson of Cannon Falls on accordion and Jule Ness of Wanamingo on banjo or guitar, made up a trio that came on KAAA many Saturday afternoons from 3:30-4pm on a program I named "Anything Goes." Don was smilin' and singing while slapping that big bass. Jule Ness told me recently the tall bass stood beside Don's casket at the funeral.

Oh there are so many more great memories of events in that community and other cities in Goodhue County. I hope this has sparked some milestones for you. Start by remembering some family birthdays.

Next week: This year's annual Quarterbacks Hall of Fame is coming April 15th.

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