Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving for Francis

Sometimes you are thankful for people in your life, and for many NKHS grads, Francis was one of those people, so it's appropriate that today be another story about this unique character.  As mentioned previously, he was the topic of conversation at a recent lunch meeting, where Chuck Hendrickson told several stories of his relationship with him.

Janis volunteered to type up those memories for us, which is suitable since she took typing from Francis, and later typed up papers for him when he was in Grad School in Colorado.  The mission was clearly "old school" typing: onion skin original, no errors, with duplicate copies.  Word was yet to be invented.  Uffda.  Still, Janis says, "I must have passed his class if he thought I was capable of doing the typing for him."  Here's the story told by Chuck:

Francis Boggess was a character.  People either liked him, or they didn’t – pretty sure there was no middle ground.  He had a quirky personality and a funny, dry and sarcastic sense of humor.  I coached against him for a number of years while we both were head girls’ basketball coaches…he at Northwood and I at Lake Mills.  He knew the game well and I respected his coaching abilities.  

He was excitable and dramatic and showed his exasperation when a play didn't go as planned by kicking the back of the bleacher as hard as he could with the heel of his shoe.  After one particular game I noticed that he’d actually split the bleacher board and wondered how he got off the floor without limping. 

Francis always had a funny story to tell – usually with a straight face, but I knew the punch line was coming because his lips would begin curling up, as if trying to stifle a smile.  After he retired from education he returned to Estherville, his hometown.  

I ran into him years later and asked what he was up to.  He answered that he was working part time filling bags at a seed corn plant.  It was summer and Francis told me that during an exceptionally hot period his working conditions became unbearable.  To help him stay cooler, he stripped down to his skivvies and continued to scoop corn into bags.  As I recall, he was working for a relative…probably a good thing since working in one’s undies probably wouldn't be tolerated by just any employer!  As I said…Francis was a character.

I always enjoyed my interactions with Francis.  Others may not have the same opinion, but I know he made me laugh – that’s worth a lot!  Rest in peace, Francis!

Chuck Hendrickson

With a tip of an Irish hat to Francis, Happy Thanksgiving to all!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Mr. Boggess was one of a kind. When I worked in the kitchen at NKHS he was the pricipal at that time. He loved to come in and torment us. He expecially loved picking on my co-worker and friend, Gladys Groe. He would say to her, "You can be replaced, Mrs Groe." They both ended up retiring the same year and now just a couple months after Mr. Boggess died, Mrs. Groe has died. I wonder if they see one another in the after life.


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