Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dance Party Plus

In the far left corner of the photo below – the brunette is Connie Valens – Richie Valens sister.  At the Surf on Dance Party weekend, you are bound to run into people like Connie.  She has come to be a welcome and much appreciated guest of the Surf.

She gets right up on stage and transfuses energy to the bands who are playing Richie’s music.  Last weekend the goal was to sing “La Bamba” so loud that Richie and the rest could hear us up in heaven. So we did.

The man with the broad Smile is Paul Charlson of Lake Mills '62 – he played basketball against you guys in HS.  The woman in the black and white striped blouse is Lavonne Forland Welch (NKHS class of 1963).

I have seen Mr Charlson at the Surf Winter Dance Party several years running now.  We never had reason in particular to visit.  LaVonne and Paul know one another pretty well from church and from having worked together on a large church improvement project.

Turns out Paul knows the Northwood 1962 BB team pretty well too as he played against you guys “back then”.  I made a comment to Paul that we all liked the Lake Mills guys up until they came to Northwood and started dating our girls.  Paul was pretty quick to point out that Leroy L. went so far as to marry one of the LM cheer leaders.

I said to Paul that truthfully I was impressed that he knew most all the names of the 1962 NKHS BB team.  I wonder if the Northwood guys know the Lake Mills guys names that well.

It was all fun “back and forth banter," especially when Paul made the comment that in Lake Mills, the NKHS athletes were all regarded “gentlemen”.  In my vocabulary, that is a pretty high complement.  If you guys know Paul, I want to verify that he is “out there” offering some very nice compliments in your direction

For me, this kind of encounter really warms my heart. There are lots of wonderful people “out there” we cross paths with them all the time every day.  This past weekend at the Surf was extra nice in my opinion that way …. best described as not so much “glitz and glamour” as in the past.

Just the ordinary people doing what really is the spirit of the Surf and the mid west.

I love what goes on there; the fun; the friendship; the plain old good times.  The photo above embodies a lot of these feelings.

--Richard Holstad

I run into Paul at Rice Lake Golf Course every once in a while. We always enjoy talking about the NK and LM BB teams from 1962 – great memories. You can’t find a better guy than Paul. Maybe some of the NK BB team could challenge some of the LM BB team on the golf course in July!!! It’s a thought anyway!
-- Chuck Hendrickson

I do recognize some of the names.. Richard, who I just met, Larry, Phil and Chuck and of course my newest friend LaVonne. It was fun to meet Richard who was escorting LaVonne to the Surf and of course he knew all the NK guys and is a cousin of Larry. It was fun and interesting to talk to both Richard and LaVonne about the old days. I learned a quite a lot about NK and some of its graduates.

I am impressed by the good rapport and apparent contact you guys appear to have. LM '62 has not had as good contact, at least not by our BB team. But we do have some good reunions. And I do enjoy seeing Lee and Lonna, our class mates, the golf outings and the good discussion.

Since retiring, I golf Northwood on Wed and LM on Thursday , so I see Coach Maynard Midtgaard frequently and we have fun discussions and banter and what a great guy, good coach and he can play some really good golf. At LM I see Chuck H at times and you all know he is a super dude, but he golfs left handed and does so well.

I look forward to seeing you, Lee and Lonna in July and I hope Northwood has a very successful and fun 50th anniversary the week before.

-- Paul Charlson, LMHS '62

Yes he knows all the Northwood BB guys, and is indeed a fine fellow. I now see him every 5 years at the LMHS Class of '62 reunion and have thought about emailing him for some thoughts on the NK-LMHS rivalry for inclusion in the blog but never have.

I have always enjoyed going to the LM reunion and spending some time with Paul, Wayne Pederson, Denny Hall, David Heltne, and others. In spite of our high school competitiveness, or maybe because of it, they're pretty good guys. They have always made me feel very welcome there.

The LMHS 50th Reunion is scheduled for July 14, a week after ours. That's an awful lot of celebrating for folks our age but we'll do our best.

It is a small world and yes we had some very memorable games with the Bulldogs in the “old” days. It was such a pleasure playing on the “stage" in the Lake Mils auditorium (where the circles intertwined) and trying to stop Butch Petersen from launching ¾ shots and trying to keep Paul, Al Holstad and Arlen Stensrud off the boards if he happened to miss one. Or taking the ball out of bounds on the sideline and not hitting your head on the radiator, or running up the wall on the side baskets during early warm-up and dunking before Coach Midtgaard came up and stopped us.  

Mike and I talked on the bus ride over the night of our senior year about a couple of phone calls we received just before we left home wishing us good luck and that we had this feeling that at least a couple of people in each community had more than just community pride on the line. If I also recall right, Mike didn’t have a typical game for him that night in Lake Mills, (I believe it was something about a Bulldog trying to date his girlfriend, does Mr. Charlson know anything about that?) but he stepped up with the game tied and made two free throws at the end to win the game for us.

We also respected the Bulldogs tremendously and knew they were good guys, it was just easier to get up to play them if we said we didn’t like them. But just to let them know there is still a few hard feelings that after they beat us in the tournament, they let everyone down by getting beat in the next round. Our feelings were if you were going to lose you could have lost to us and let us try to advance. 

 Seriously, it was a fun rivalry (and hard to believe that it was 50 years ago) and brings back so many memories, some painful but all good.
-- Larry Holstad

1 comment:

  1. Email received after posting - from Paul Charlson:

    Thanks for the nice note. Your description of the LM auditorium is very accurate, it was a "cracker box". But it didn't seem to bother the Vikings very much. Can you imagine practicing every night on that gym and then playing at least half our games on floors about 2x..tough on the wind.

    I know nothing of any phone calls and I don't know who Mike dated. To my knowledge I never dated anyone from Northwood nor hardly anyone from LM until my senior year and I later ended up marrying her. Maybe one of my teammates was harassing MIke? But I cannot imagine a LM BB player trying to date someone else's girlfriend!

    Larry, I totally agree with your assessment that we choked and lost to Manly in the next round...what a downer. If you remember, Al Holstad tore his knee up and was out, but that was no excuse for loosing. The NCI conference should have gone at least a few more games in '62.

    There are great memories and it's fun to reminisce. Have a great 50h anniversary!!


    P.S. It would be fun to get together for golf sometime.. I think the best we could do is Butch and me, but with the right HC we could do it. .


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