Classmates share memories at 50th reunion party

HARTINGTON  —  Twenty-five seniors, 16 boys and nine girls, graduated from Hartington Public High School in the spring of 1967.
Fourteen of the classmates from ‘67 traveled to Hartington July 1 from Oregon, Illinois, Texas, Colorado, and from areas across Nebraska, to celebrate their 50th class reunion.
Back in 1967, students loved wearing their letter sweaters and letter jackets and were proud to show off the school they attended.
Girls always wore a skirt or a dress to school.  Back then, girls were not allowed to wear pants or jeans to school, according to Charlotte Hourigan Jones, a ’67 Hartington High graduate.
In those days, students could leave the school grounds during the noon hour. A favorite hangout for a number of the students was George Foulk’s Gas Station which was just north of the school.
“We would walk across the street during the noon hour and buy candy bars and pop,” (Hourigan) Jones said.
The students attended classes held in the two older brick Hartington Public School buildings.
Roy Mauer, another class of ’67 grad, remembers sliding down the steep hill by the school on a sled during the winter.
“The only problem was coming down into the traffic at the bottom of the hill,” he said.

Members of the Hartington High School class of 1967 present for their 50th class reunion include: (back row) Roy Mauer, Bill Cobler, Marv Grindvold, Howard Hansen, Bob Brodersen, Lowell Provancha, Dan Gildersleeve, (front) Joyce (Eickhoff) Most, Alberta (Rohde) Kohls, Sally (Jansen) Burichter, Ann (Carlson) Knippelmeir, Joyce (Walton) Standish, Charlotte (Hourigan) Jones, and Linda (Chaloupka) Fleming.

Another memory involved sliding down the fire escape from the upper level at the school.
“We would sneak around and go down the fire escape,” he said. “It would drop us off down in the playground. Then we would run around the school building and go back in through the door.”
The students did a lot of fun things back in those days, Mauer said.
“We had all the fun we could have had,” he said.
According to Mauer, discipline used at the school back in the 1960s was a lot different than now.
“When the School Principal was upset with you, he would use a ruler to hit your desk,” Mauer said. “He broke a lot of rulers.”
It would really scare the girls when that ruler hit the desk.
Sneak day for the senior students was a one-day trip to Lake Okoboji in Iowa. On the way back to Hartington the bus made a stop in Sioux City so the students could go to a movie.
Another classmate remembered sitting around the bonfire by the school before the Homecoming football game. The students would then do a snake dance from the school to the downtown area.
Joyce Walton Standish talked about having the senior kids haul them out to the country and dump them off somewhere for freshman initiation.
“One time they dumped us out at the cemetery,” she said. “We also had to scrub the sidewalks when we were freshmen.”
One of the favorite memories for a number of the ’67 graduates was taking part in the musical “Oklahoma” when they were seniors.
Joyce (Eickhoff) Most traveled back from Colorado for her 50th high school reunion.
(Eickhoff) Most is now retired and lives in a small mountain town.
After graduating from high school, she attended Wayne State College and then taught seventh grade.
(Eickhoff) Most loved attending school in Hartington and growing up out in the country.
“I loved the farm,” she said.
One of her favorite memories of high school was performing in “Oklahoma” during her senior year.
“It was the highlight of my school years. I loved it,” she said. “There was a part for everyone. It was the first time for the school to put on a musical.”
Lowell Provancha had the lead part in “Oklahoma.” As “Curley,” Provancha had a lot of lines to learn and did some singing and dancing.
Provancha was also out for every sport, which included football, basketball and track.
“We had to go out for track, otherwise we couldn’t go out for football,” he said.
One of the big disappointments for Provancha when he was in high school was when his team lost the football game to Wausa in 1966.
“If we would have won, we would have gone to State,” he said. “We were runner-up in the District game.”
Provancha enjoyed growing up on a farm and liked going to a small school.
“A good thing about being in a smaller community is that you know everyone,” he said.
Provancha had lots of fun with the other kids.
“We would always go to town on Saturday nights. We would run around on the streets,” he said. “Sometimes we threw water balloons at cars and then we would run, hoping they wouldn’t catch us. “
Another memory was when a bunch of the kids would head up to Fordyce and stop at Hank Kuehn’s Bar or they would go on up to Yankton.
Provancha lives in Lincoln now, where he established Capital Heating and Air Conditioning. Provancha and his wife have traveled to every state in the U.S. and have visited close to 40 foreign countries.
Marv Grindvold had a good time getting together and reminiscing about old times with his former classmates at the 50th reunion.
He remembers the students in his class always got along well with one another.
“We were close,” he said.
Grindvold enjoyed music and played with the band and was out for choir during his years at Hartington Public.
Doing the musical “Oklahoma” during their senior year was a “big thing” for the students.
Grindvold had the part of “Will” which was one of the lead parts in the musical.
“We rehearsed for a long time,” he said. “Helen Hansen made the costumes for us. There were a lot of volunteers that helped out.”
After graduating from high school, Grindvold attended Midland Lutheran in Fremont for two years. He lived in Omaha for a couple of years before getting into his VW van with former high school classmate Dave Oorlog and two college friends and heading south to the New Orleans Mardi Gras. They then traveled through Texas and New Mexico and ended up in Phoenix, Ariz. After working for a short time in Arizona, Grindvold made his way back to Nebraska.
In 2016, Grindvold retired after 45 years of farming. He and his wife, Sheila, built a new home and now live in Hartington.
Joyce (Walton) Standish also has good memories of putting on the musical Oklahoma.
“We had a ball,” she said.
(Walton) Standish was out for lots of music, one-acts and other plays and was a cheerleader for three years.
“We practiced cheerleading during the summer months,” she said “It was a lot of fun.”
According to (Walton) Standish, volleyball was the only sports for girls back then.
“We had a great class. We did a lot of things together,” she said.
After high school graduation, (Walton) Standish attended Stewarts School of Cosmetology and eventually ended up living in Arizona.
While in Arizona, (Walton) Standish started showing dogs which she loved doing. It wasn’t long and she was showing dogs full time and was traveling all over the world for shows.
She has been to the Westminster Dog Show in New York and has been on TV with some of her top dogs. She has had many “best in shows” and champions with the dogs she has shown and owned.
Close to eight years ago, (Walton) Standish moved back to Nebraska and lived on the farm where she grew up until the farm was sold.
She now lives on an acreage southwest of Coleridge where she has a boarding, grooming and training kennel. She is currently breeding Border Terriers, Brussels Griffons and Chihuahuas.
“I guess you can say my life has gone to the dogs,” she said.
Putting on “Oklahoma” was also a good memory for Bill Cobler, who now lives in Crofton.
“It was a good time,” he said. “Oklahoma was a joint effort between Cedar Catholic and the Hartington students.”
Cobler grew up in Hartington and was with his classmates for all 13 years of school.
“We got a good education,” he said.
Cobler enlisted in the Navy while he was still in high school. During his four years of service, he spent two years 1970-1971 in Vietnam.
Cobler and his wife, Marilyn, are members of the American Legion Riders and do a lot of work with the “Riders for our Vets.”
“This has been life changing for us,” he said.
The first year for Howard Hansen to be part of the class of ’67 at Hartington High School was when he was a freshman.
He spent the earlier years of school in California where his family lived.
“I was new to the class when we started high school, but they accepted me,” he said. “I had lots of relatives here so I knew a lot of people. When we lived in California, we always came back every year to visit.”
Hansen was out for football and track.
He still has memories of losing to Wausa in the last football game of the season.
“We had a great coach,” he said.
Hansen has good memories of attending school in Hartington.
“Our class was very close. We had the best time in high school,” he said. “We had a ball.”
Hansen earned his teaching degree and taught Math for a number of years, which he enjoyed. He is retired now but does some substitute teaching and tutoring once in a while. He realized a life-long dream when he, along with some of his relatives, traveled to Denmark this past year. Hansen lives in Macomb, Iowa.
Charlotte (Hourigan) Jones has good memories of growing up in Hartington and attending the Hartington school from third grade through her senior year.
“When you go to a smaller school, you are closer to the other kids in your class,” (Hourigan) Jones said. “I used to get on my bike and ride around town. It was wonderful to live in such a good, clean community. You could trust everyone.”
When she was in high school, (Hourigan) Jones had a job working in the meat market that was next to the Fornash Grocery Store. Her two sisters also worked there.
(Hourigan) Jones now lives in Rogue River, Ore., which is just an hour and one-half from the ocean.
“I love the ocean,” she said.
Alberta (Rohde) Kohls and her husband, Don, live in Omaha. (Rohde) Kohls said she concentrated on raising their kids most of her married life and now spends time spoiling the grandkids.
(Rohde) Kohls has good memories of spending time with her classmates and other friends while she was growing up in Hartington.
“We had a good class. We did a lot of things together,” she said. “We also spent time with the older kids and with the kids in the lower classes.”
Dan Gildersleeve has lived at several locations, including Lincoln; Granite City, Ill.; St. Louis, Mo.; and Augusta, Ga., since his graduation from high school.
Gildersleeve and his wife, Sharon, moved back to Hartington in 2012, after working for the same company for 40 years.
He came back to spend time with his mother who was living in the nursing home.
“I just decided, we are going back home,” he said.
Sally (Jensen) Burrichter traveled back from southwestern Colorado to spend time with her high school classmates.
(Jensen) Burrichter said she loves living in Colorado.
“It is an awesome place,” she said.
Through the years, (Jensen) Burrichter has made several trips back to her hometown.
She has good memories of attending school in Hartington.
“We took part in all of the stuff at school – sports, music, everything,” she said. “We were so active.”
(Jensen) Burrichter remembers having a great time growing up in the Hartington area.
“it was a great time – the best of times,” she said. “It was an awesome time.”
Ann (Carlson) Knippelmeir, who now lives in Fremont, has a lot of happy memories of growing up in Hartington.
(Carlson) Knippelmeir had worked as a lifeguard at the Hartington swimming pool.
“I loved being a lifeguard. I got to know a lot of kids who went to Cedar Catholic,” she said.
(Carlson) Knippelmeir also had a good time going to the dances that were held every Sunday night.
During her high school years, the students participated in everything — in all of the school activities.
She has fond memories of her classmates at Hartington Public School and of growing up during the 1950s and 1960s.
“In our class we were all friends,” she said. “We grew up in the best years.”
(Carlson) Knippelmeir calls the time she grew up in the “Leave it to Beaver” years.
David Oorlog was the salutatorian and Howard Hansen was the valedictorian for the class of 1967.
Marv Grindvold, Hartington, and Joyce Eickhoff, who now makes her home in Hartsel, Colo., were the Homecoming King and Queen.
The class motto for the Class of ’67: “It’s what we think and what we do that makes us what we are.”
Students in the class of ’67 include:
Howard Hansen, president of the senior class; Marvin Grindvold, vice-president; Linda Chaloupka, secretary; Ann Carlson, treasurer; Gary Bottolfsen, David Brandow, Robert Brodersen, William Cobler, Joyce Eickhoff, Daniel Gildersleeve, Richard Fleming, Charlotte Hourigan, Thomas Griggs, Kathryn Huss, Sally Jensen, Roger Jensen, Ronald Johnson, Donald Koeppen, Roy Mauer, Tracy O’Meara, David Oorlog, Lowell Provancha, Jeanette Siemers, Joyce Walton and Larry Wiggins.