The following are letters or emails that need to be shared that I have received from classmates or relatives.

Click on any person below to view their letter.

  1. Dick Branham
  2. Keith Grundfeldt
  3. Ev Macy 11-16-2005
  4. Vicki McDermott 11-28-2005
  5. Roberta McGowan 1-10-2006
  6. Tom Kantos 12-16-2005
  7. William "Bill" Widstrand 1-7-2006
    From his mom, Florence, in Hibbing
  8. Sheila Rothkopf 12-21-2005
  9. Steve Erickson 1-7-2006
  10. Cynthia Erickson 1-9-2005
  11. Sharon Douville 1-20-2006
  12. Ray Kampen 1-2-2006
  13. Jackie Fiori Hartnett 6-28-06
  14. Lloyd Korhonen 4-25-06
  15. Patrick Nash 4-7-06
  16. Pat Wippler Busha 4-26-06
  17. Donna Korhonen Yecke 5-3-06
  18. Phillip Smolz 7-10-06
  19. Ted Vonfeldt
  20. JoAnn Peterson Gonzalez
  21. Amy Forsmark Randy
  22. Rudy Nylund
  23. Tallie Sachs
  24. Martin Horsted 12-23-15
  25. Martin Horsted 2-5-16
  26. Martin Horsted 7-27-16
  27. Martin Horsted 2-1-17
  28. Martin Horsted 2-19-17
  29. Martin Horsted 2-22-17
  30. Dennis To Martin 2-22-17
  31. Martin Horsted 10-2-17
  32. Martin Horsted 9-2-17

Ev Macy 11-16-2005

Hi Dennis:

We moved to this area after I retired in July '02.  I put in 38 years in with Los Angeles Unified School district and Ventura Country Community College district.  We bought 4 acres up here when property was reasonable, for Calif.   After retirement we had a house built.  We are about 30 minutes from the southern entrance to Yosimite Nat. Park.  Come visit sometime.

I'm sure you know, but Tony Potami passed away.  He was not listed as such on the web sight.  I last checked the sight on Tues.

Look forward to August – making it to my first reunion.

Ev & Carolyn Macy

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Vicki McDermott 11-28-2005

Hi, Denny!

Please change my former married name back to my Irish maiden name of McDermott. I am happy to have acquired back my proud name through my divorce. Also I'm glad we're having the 45th reunion next summer so count me in on attending the Aug. 4-5 gathering at the Androy. I'm also wondering with so many of us retired now if there might be an interest in a golf outing at Mesaba Country Club either Fri. a.m. or Sun. a.m. (doesn't everybody play golf at this age?) I could call & check it out if we have committed players interested. Anyway thanks so much for all that you do and have done for our fun and friendly class.

Vicki McDermott

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Roberta McGowan 1-10-2006

Hi Dennis!

I have chanaged my name and address.  Roberta (McGowan) Way is no longer~~~I am now Roberta Pias living at 20 Emerald Highlands Ways , Sequim , Washington 98382 .  My phone number is (360) 582-9723. Unfortunately, I will not be attending the reunion this summer.  However, I look forward to any information that might be mailed out to classmates.  I have received no information or material regarding the reunion because of the wrong address.  I have lived here in Washington for the past 3 years.  Please send greetings to all my classmates.  Would love to see or hear from them if the come out to the beautiful Pacific Northwest !!!  My email address is

Thanks for your time in making the above changes.  Have a WONDERFUL REUNION !!!

Roberta McGowan Pias

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Tom Kantos 12-16-2005


Hello from International Falls. The reunion sounds like a good idea.  I usually have company from SD for the first week in August, but I will see about changing the dates. Richard DelGreco is deceased.  He flunked a grade so he wasn't with the class of 1961 as he was supposed to be.  He was my best friend in my early childhood. Robert Erickson was murdered at Sioux Narrows , Ontario , where he was living at the time.  I used to see him on his trips back to Hibbing.  I worked for U.S. Immigration on the International Bridge so I got to see lots of Hibbing people coming home.

Take care........................... 

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William "Bill" Widstrand 1-7-2006
From his mom, Florence, in Hibbing

Jan 3, 2006

Dear Dennis & Class of 1961,

Happy New Year. I need to tell you that Bill Jr. died Oct 3, 2004 in Astoria, Oregon. He was buried at sea – his request, as there is a memorial on the Seaman’s Wall in Astoria. He retired from the Navy after 20 yrs. He left a daughter and 3 grandchildren. He left home in August 1961 for the Navy and never really returned for any length of time.

Hope all goes well for the reunion.

Sincerely, Florence Widstrand (Mother)
4206 5 th Ave E
Hibbing, MN 55746

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Sheila Rothkopf 12-21-2005

Hi Dennis

How is a girl supposed to keep up the lie of being a whole lot younger when emblazened across the front of a mailing is the obvious truth????? Roger and I moved back to the big, wicked city last January.  We love it, especially the 3 minute commute to downtown( 15 minutes if one hoofs it across the Hennepin Ave. bridge). 

New street address:
223 Bank St. SE
Mpls, Mn 55414

Phone: 612-378-3001 

Look forward to seeing you .......hopefully at the gala reunion.  What would the town elders have said if we had scheduled the 5th or 10th reunion at the local hotel?  Ah, another sign of  the times.....a long, long time(s).  Good thing we all look and feel young.

Sheila (Rothkopf) Stageberg

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Steve Erickson 1-7-2006

Hi Dennis,

I came out to California in 1962 and have been here ever since. We have very good overall weather here in the bay area which is the primary advantage. I really could not take Minnesota weather anymore. I am now retired and enjoying it. Time does fly though.


Hi Dennis,

Just received your Class of 1961 Reunion blurb. Would you please correct my address as follows:

Stephen Erickson
1934 Oak Knoll Drive
Belmont , CA 94002

My e-mail address is:

Thanks, and best wishes for the coming year,

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Cynthia Erickson 1-9-2006

Hi Dennis,

Thank you for letting me know about Bonnie. Do you know what type of cancer she had? I've lived in Oregon since December of 1979 when my husband and I moved here from the San Francisco area. He had grown up in the Seattle area and really missed the northwest, so got an engineering job in the Portland area, and we were midway between my family in the San Francisco area and his family in Seattle . My family moved to California in the summer of 1962. It's been nice to have Karen Miettunen Nichols living in Portland , and we've had fun over the years reminiscing about our teen-age years in Hibbing.

I noticed from your website that Tom Meados lives in Eugene , Oregon , which is where my oldest son is a physician ( works at the only hospital in Eugene ) as of July. Is Tom still there, and what does he do? Do you have an email address for him? Eugene is where the University of Oregon is and recently has become a popular place for retired people from California. I was last in Hibbing about 23 years ago with my husband and two sons when they were 3 and 6 years old. We took them to see the open pit mines, and they were fascinated with the huge trucks. We bought shirts for them with a drawing of the open mines and the name " Hibbing ," making for good conversations when they wore them. My oldest sister was in Hibbing in July for her 50th reunion. She hadn't been there for around 45 years! Will you be updating our class info? It would be interesting to know what everyone is doing and where they are now.


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Sharon Douville (Barden)

Hey Den,

If i remember correctly, quite a few of those pictures on the website were mine.........and I am very pleased where they ended up. You get to a certain point with your possessions that you wonder what will happen to them when you die...I never had kids. I am certain that none of the nephews or niece will have a clue. Susie Wilkerson is my sister-in-law but that doesn't mean her kids would care about the class of 1961. Not sure how many I have around here, but will check them out and send them to you. Is your address on the website?

The day I checked out the website I ended up somewhat depressed with all the classmates we have lost. And yes, most of them did cross paths later in life. Kathy Barrett's sister Susie was married to my younger brother (both my sister-in-laws were Susies...) and she also died in 1989. Lost her to Leukemia. Needless to say, Kathy and I were very close over the years. We shared a niece and nephew. And Bonnie....I think she was a friend to all. I spent a lot of time with her, up at their cabin at Side Lake. Quite a few of my pictures might be from those times. The ones of all the girls in front of the pizza was taken on one class day or another. Must have been 11th grade because my sister-in-law Susie (Mary) was with us. I think we were all heading to Side Lake.

We were so fortunate to grow up in Hibbing. And to be teenagers when rock and roll was just hitting the world. The Youth Center cannot be explained to others, guess you had to be there. I sure feel sorry for teenagers today. Things are so different.

Not sure if we will be up in August, but thinking about it is certainly drawing me there. July and August are good reasons for heading out of Georgia.

Good talking to you.....

Ray Kampen 12-29-2005


You most likesly don't remember me. May name is Roy (Skip) Kampen fro the class of 61. I lived out in the country and didn't do that much socially whil in high school. My current/retirment address and an update to your list is:

Roy Kampen
711 Scaup Drive
Greensboro, NC 27455

Thank you very much for you fine work in developing and maintaining the website. I must admit that I had a hard time looking at the list of people that have already passed awy. They were some of my dearest friends while in School.

I'm definitely going to attend this reunion since it will be my first since graduation and hopefully not my last.

Best Regards,

Roy Kampen



Thanks to your website and letter on the pending reunion I realize how much that I've missed by not keeping in touch with people that I grew up with. My only explanation is that I joined the Navy at 18 years old with a friend named Russell Ningen (also of the Class of 1961) and spent the majority of my life, including 25 years in the Navy, outside the continental United States. My grand parents that raised me in Hibbing died many years ago and the house I used to live in was razed for a machine shop with essentially no sign of my old home.

Thank you very much for your thoughtfulness. I'm really looking forward to seeing old friends and acquaintances at the reunion next August.

Best Regards,


Jackie Fiori Hartnett 6-28-06

June 28, 2006
Hi, Denny.

I have so enjoyed your website & look at it periodically for additions. Just noted the 2004 reunion pics and they're great. I've enjoyed contributing to the site. Because of it, I've been in contact with several of my Hibbing friends. That's been really a pleasure. Thanks, again. Jackie Fiori Hartnett

March 19, 2006
There is a Brooklyn kid here and there on the 50s-60s picture link BUT, the real picture of Brooklyn school kids is on the Brooklyn School konw the one with 3 rows of kids. I'm not sure of which grade. They weren't all from Brooklyn, but they were the Brooklyn School kids (you know, Pool, Kitzville, Mitchell locations ect.). Yes, the Brooklyn School was our grade school, not the Washington school (I'm glad you're going to take that Washington school out of my article). That was somebody else's at some time somewhere else in Hibbing...your Dad thought North Hibbing, maybe. The Brooklyn Divas were 4 Brooklyn girls, as was the pic of Peter Frantti and the one of Ray Doberstein. OH! THE BEST PICTURE YOU HAVE OF SOME BROOKLYN KIDS WAS THE ONE I SENT YOU FROM THE 25TH REUNION!!! That's not on your website. THAT's the best one of a lot of us.
Inez and Olive were my aunts. The only one, and I think he's the oldest, you don't have a yearbook info on is Johnny, the only one still alive. If I remember, some of those kids were 9-10 months apart (poor Grandma) so, without asking my Mom, I'd have to say same class or one was held back. Red, Angelo, is older than my Dad. Quinto was my Dad's nickname. The comment about Minstrels must've been his musical talent or school involvement. He went to Chicago for music school but the war diverted him before completion. Honestly, Denny, you're going to know my familiy tree. Jackie Fiori Hartnet

March 27, 2006
Hi, Denny. Tommy Kantos says he and Butch Kirsling went ot the Washington Grade school in No Hibbing. He was from a different part of town (not Brooklyn) and I've asked him for some information. Jackie

Lloyd Korhonen 4-25-06

April 25, 2006
Dennis: I have enjoyed reading and seeing the website. My address is actually Port Aransas not Aransas, which is a different city. I hope you are doing well. I am enjoying retirement on the beach and hope others who enter retirement might be coming to south Texas. Thanks again for your hard work. Lloyd

Patrick Nash 4-7-06

April 7, 2006
Hi Denny:
Just a quick short note to let you know that you did a terrific job on the web site and to send you my email address. I am planning on attending the re-union this year but still have to send in my registration. To explain the e-mail addy, I am a retired Denver Deputy Sheriff. I retired December 31, 2004. I love it!!!!!! I am busier now, tho, than I ever was. It is sad to see how many classmates have prematurely left us, but I guess the man upstairs knows best. Take care. Pat Nash

Pat Wippler Busha 4-26-06

April 26, 2006
Thank you for brining me back to life.  I have some other information for you.  Dave Karakash, another Class of 61 member, is my husband's cousin.  Dave had a rock 'n' roll band way back when.  Dave passed away in 2005.  I have copied his obituary from  "The Honolulu Advertiser - Hawaii's Newspaper Online".  Dave had suffered from diabetes, but it was a fall from his deck that actually took his life

David Andrew Karakash
Jan. 18, 2005
David Andrew Karakash, 64, of Ocean View, Hawaii, a Boeing Aerospace Co. expediter, died in Kona Community Hospital. He was born in Kelly Lake, Minn. He is survived by wife Starina L., sons Brian D. and Devin L., daughters Misty K. Karakash and Michelle R. Mueller, brother Mick and a grandchild. No services.

 I will keep a look out for your dome homes.  Your web page is very interesting...Congratulations on how well you have done! Thanks again, Pat

Donna Korhonen Yecke 5-3-2006

How exciting!! My cousin Lloyd forwarded this on to me and it's incredible! And we are in Minnesota in the summer, so I'll be able to come to the reunion. How exciting! Here is my contact information:

Donna Korhonen Yecke
756 W Calle Montero
Sahuarita, AZ 85629

HOWEVER from May to October, we are here:
2118 Pioneer Road, #156
Red Wing, Mn 55066

Cell: 651-587-6384

I think I'll be changing my email when I get to MN, but I'll let you know what it is.

Thanks for doing this, Dennis. It brings back a lot of memories. I'm shocked to see who has passed on, especially Bonnie. She was so young.

See you in August!


Phillip J. Smolz 7-10-2006

Phillip J. Smolz
10220 Riva De Destino Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89135

Dennis Johnson
37955 Bridge Road
North Branh. MN 55056

July 10,2006

Dear Dennis,

I received word of the reunion from Ray Kermode a while ago. Sorry I haven't responded sooner. I cannot make it this year due to work and vacation scheduling, but I want to give you my current info. It may be too late to be included in the program but I want to assure you I am alive and well.


My current address is:

Phillip Smolz
10220 Riva De Destino Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89135
702 363-7704

I don't have a current e-mail address so I have to rely on "snail mail"

Have fun at the reunion,



Ted Vonfeldt 8-23-06

Dennis, I think I can help with a couple of people in the picture. The first is Tom Brklich standing next to me in the photo. Matt, his dad, was our little league baseball coach up at Bennet Park when we were 10-12 years old. The last time I saw the Brklich's was in Austin, MN where Matt had bought into a pizza business. I don't remember what year it was.

The other person I recognize is Ken Volbrecht (not sure of the spelling). He is standing between Fred Nelson and Frank Yuretich in the top row. I think anyone who knew Ken remembersthat he was able to get a drivers license in 8th grade. His mom owned a 1957 green plymouth. Mickey Laurienzo may remember the clouds of blue smoke from the tires when Ken did dounuts with the car. Ken ran around with several of us but in particular, Jim Daniels as they lived close to each other out by Dupont Lake. I also remember a party at Ken's parent's vacant house out in that area. We all got in lots  of trouble over that party.

I'm sorry I missed the class reunion. I have a new job (3rd career) with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit as a light rail operator. Being new to the job, I couldn't get the time off at the right time. I hope to make the next one in 2011 if I'm still around. After looking at the obituaries, a personjust doesn't know. I can't believe the number who have passed. I guess we will all have our time.

Thanks for the great work you are doing with the Web Site. When I feel nostalgic, I look at the site just to remember some of the greatest people I have ever known in my life. I have some old pictures of Parpovich, Tellor, Obrien, Laurienzo, and others.They are from the Prom in 1961 and also a little get together at Tellor's cabin around that time. What are the bids not to show these pictures fella's? For that matter, what are the bids to show the pictures?

Thanks for the memories. Ted VonFeldt


Updated 09-08-2006

JoAnn Peterson Gonzalez

Dear Dennis,
Enclosed is an old photo of Gail and JoAnn Peterson from perhaps the 8th grade dance. Thought you would enjoy having a copy to add t oyour collection.

I am hoping to attend the class reunion. I have lived in California so long and have lost contact with all of my classmates. I missed the last two years of high school as well.

How fast the time has passed. Looking at the photos brings back so many memories

Hope to see you in August.
JoAnn Peterson Gonzalez

Updated 09-25-2006

Amy Randy

Hi Dennis-
Thanks for the email! I’m sharing it with my office. We are in the process of becoming a “Natural Step” company and are very interested in being as “green” as possible. I see the last couple of years have been busy ones for you. Congratulations on your marriage! I think the dome house is really cool and maybe I can get up there and see it one of these days. I don’t get up north to Hibbing now at all as my mom passed away a year ago at age 91. I am still really busy. I still work at Cuningham Group Architecture as a specification writer. See . Also doing a lot of traveling-was in Israel and Germany to visit my kids in May and just got back from a 2 week vacation In China. Also travel for work to our offices in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Bakersfield. Am also a Feng Shui consultant and do that on the side. So life continues to be fun for me. Would love to hear about more of our classmates, but I don’t keep in touch even with my cousins. Take care and best wishes-

Amy Randy, CSI, CDT

Cuningham Group Architecture, P.A.
Tel: 612 379 5506 Fax: 612 379 4400
St. Anthony Main 201 Main Street SE, Suite 325 Minneapolis, MN 55414

Updated 11-17-2008

Rudy Nylund

Hi Dennis,  I enjoyed the  chat with you at our last get- together at the Androy. I am so impressed with all the work and thoughtfulness you have put into the web site, not to mention the hundreds of dedicated hours. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!!!    I've just retired from my second career job.( 31 yrs. as a systems engineer with AT&T and 10 yrs. in electronic sales at Sears ) Currently I am on the building corp. board for a new fire station, also its historian and official photographer. My wife Janet and I do some traveling and spent some time in Arizona last winter. Back home, both of our children and 5 grandchildren live nearby, so we are kept busy and entertained.   Please add my e-mail address, to the "Class of '61" list.                              

 Sincerely,  Rudy Nylund


Tallie Sachs (Paperny)

Hi, Dennis.,  Hope all is well with you.  The latest on me is that on January 22nd I became a grandma to a precious baby girl born in Los Angeles. Parents are my oldest son Todd and his wife Sunny.  

Please change my address to
128 Mesa Road
West Hills, CA 91304

Keith Grundfeldt

I was in bank management for 28 years before we were acquired in 1996. The last 11 years I have worked for a company the buys, sells, manages and leases high-rise commercial real estate properties in the Twin Cities, Chicago and Indianapolis. I am planning on retiring in June of this year (2007) and I'm ready!

I really enjoyed viewing this web site and all of the old memories from the "Good Old Days". Growing up in Hibbing and the Iron Range was special and something that my wife, kids and people from the cities don't understand.

Best wishes and I hope to see you in 2011!

Keith Grundfeldt

Dick Branham

May 8th, 2010

Hi Dennis:

It was good to hear from you. Why I am at this end of the hemisphere is a complicated question best explained when we can sit down together over a cold beer. Let's just say that I work at a scientific center doing my specialty, astronomy, and enjoy being with my wife, daughter, and three grandsons, the last of whom arrived just this week.
I agree with you about retirement. I will finally retire when they put me in the pine box, unless I get booted out first for some silly bureaucratic reason.
I would really like to attend the 50th graduating class reunion. Hibbing is a long way from here, but still reachable. I haven't been to Hibbing since 1979, although my wife and I were in the U.S. (Fredericksburg, Va., where my 91 year old mother lives) last February. Unfortunately, it was also the time of the "February fury", four snowstorms in two weeks. I haven't seen so much snow since I was a kid in Hibbing. But we survived.
Take care and I really do hope I can make the reunion.

Dick Branham

Martin Horsted 12-23-15

Here is an email I (Dennis Johnson) received from Martin Horsted, Denmark, on Dec. 23, 2015. Martin was one of the foreign exchange students. This was written as a response to an email informing him of the passing of Mike Kanieski who was on the cross country team with Martin.

Dear Dennis,

Even though your message was sad, I thank you so very much for letting me know. Indeed, I remember both Mike and Mark - and liked them. Just now I have no time to look for my Hibbing diary; but I am nearly fully sure that Mike and his mother invited me for supper 55 years ago.

A comment: I do not remember Terry O'Brien as blond ? Red-haired, I think.

Nearly every day I receive something from classmates. Robert Zimmerman pop up fairly often. I wonder if he has joined.

In October, I had a dozen days with the Geographical Society in the western part of Cuba, which I enjoyed. We had really good meals in three private homes, but the hotel food was nothing to write home about - except for the vegetables. In one hotel I bumped into our most unpopular member of Government and had a short conversation with her. This caused curiosity and a bit of scandal among the Danes that saw us. The thing is that she graduated in '93 and had recognized me.

In 2015 I  missed cross-country skiing in Norway, and I shall not go in '16 as I have had some morning bouts of sciatic pains since October.

This year I am having Christmas with a nephew close to Odense, where Hans Andersen was born. On the 29th I am leaving for a course at a folk highschool at Rødding: six days full of lectures, excursions, walks, accompanied by Margit, my close friend. Unfortunately, she lives far away near the northern tip og the isle of  Langeland. I had not seen her since '73, when I was in the Air Force, but, widowed, she wrote to me, and now we are in contact every day, either on the internet or on the phone. 11 days later I shall be back at another folk highschool about 10 mls north of Rødding for three days of Swedish choral music, actually at the original Askov. Old students emigrated to - guess where !

The beautiful place we visited 20 miles north of Aarhus is a folk highschool, Kalø, where I taught '66-'69.

Next summer will not see me at the 55th Reunion as I am having a fortnight travelling with the Geographers in Iceland; but I intend to be there in '21 - if not before.

In a couple of hours I am leaving for Herning to see my brother and a couple of cousins. Tomorrow by train to Odense.

Glædelig jul og godt nytår ! (Close to Norwegian: Gledelig jul og gott nyttår !)

Kærlige hilsner,



Martin Horsted 2-5-16

Dear Rita,

Thank you so very much for yeasterday's invitation to the 55th reunion !

Unfortunately, I shan't take part as I am going on a tour of Iceland with the Geographers' Union at the end of July.

On the internet, where I am a relative newcomer, I see news about Hibbinites on classmates, but I contribute hardly anything because I do not know how it works. By the way, I am not even on facebook. (Am I a rarity ?).

For a great many years I have been a keen tenor in two concert choirs, which sing classical music only, plus two ad hoc choirs, which meet once a year. Four weeks ago I had three singing days at Askov Folk High School in the southern part of Jutland. This year we worked on Swedish music with a Swedish conductor, in '15 we had a Briton, in '14 a Norwegian, and before her a Dane.

Fot too long, nearly 37 years, I have been the head of our Folk University. I am stepping down next January.

A strange thing has happened. Last May I met  Margit, ex-TV producer. We had been corresponding for about six months after she had "found" me. As she lives on Langeland, an island smaller than mine, Mors, we do not meet very often. Too bad that she, widowed, has no children. I had seen her last in 1973, when I was in the Air Force. Way back then, she used me in a TV programme, which gave me a day off. Around New Year we had a course at a high school close to Askov, but on the other side of the 1864 - 1920 Border. We are going there again  i October. A wonderful feeling to be close to her, in spite of the long distance. To get to her place I spend eight hours on three buses and two trains, "touching" four islands and the mainland.

A historical curiosity: some young  people who had been at Askov in the second half of the 19th century founded a settlement in Minnesota. Guess where ! When going to Hibbing on a Greyhound Bus in 1960, I was surprised to see Askov. Now I have had several choral seminars and conferences at our Askov.

I have some cooperation with the director of our museum. Just now he is working on Danish emigration to North America. I told him about your Askov. "I know,"he exclaimed, "Bob Dylan was born not very far away !"  You should have seen his face when I mentioned Hibbing, where Bob grew up.

Please give my best greetings to classmates and other Hibbingites. I often think of you, in fact every day.

Kærlige hilsner fra
Martin Horsted,   5 Feb 2016


Martin Horsted 7-27-16

Kære Dennis,

In a couple of days a lot of members of our Class of '61 will meet in Hibbing. Alas, I shall not be among them, but intend to go if there will be one in '21  -  provided I will be fit to take part.

Exactly a month ago I was in hospital for two days after a fall from my bike. Since then I had morning pains in my right thigh, but today they had gone.

However, in the beginning of July I took part in an excursion, four days, to Heligoland, a tiny, but strategically important island in the North Sea, owned until 1807 by Denmark, then by the UK until 1890, when it was ceded to Germany in exchange for Zanzibar !  In 1947 all buildings, except the lighttower, were destroyed by the Brits. Sheer revenge !  In 1952 the island was returned to Germany. 1½, appr. 2,100 inhabitants, languages Halunder, a Frisian dialect, and German. Once again an excursion well-organized by the Geographers' Union.

This summer I have been on the islands of Falster, where my nephew lives with his wife and three children, and on Langeland, where Margit, my special friend, has an idyllic home. Beautiful islands. Now I am waiting for her to come here in ten days. We had not seen each other for 42 years, when, widowed, she contacted me about 15 months ago.

In January I shall leave my position as chairman of Morsø Folkeuniversitet. I took over in 1979.
In November a university prof will speak on Bob Dylan's texts.

I am still active in a concert choir and a choral group that meets ad hoc at least one weekend a year. I owe this interest to Clyde Hill, and so does, consequently, my brother, whom I pulled into a choir in 1972, when I had just begun a year in the Royal (Danish) Airforce.

I hope the Reunion will be a success, and send my very best greetings to you, your family, and our fellow class mates.

Mange kærlige hilsner,


Martin Horsted 2-1-17

Dear Friends,

A happy New Year ! My very best greetings  -  and best hopes for our countries !

I have a completely new kitchen, thanks to Margit, who lives on Langeland, 200 mls from here, but thinks she has found her new home in Jylland / Jutland, 100 mls from my isle of Mors, which is easier for me, who never got a licence - not even when when it was free in the Air Force ('72-'73).

Last week I "abdicated" as the chairman of Morsø Folkeuniversitet, University Extension. 37½ years more than enough. However, I am still on the Board.

A "prominent" Danish critic gave a lecture on Bob and the Ever-Lasting Tour, but talked more about himself than your fellow-Hibbingite and his works. About 70 persons came. I had wanted a more academic good-bye to Morsø FU. (In Aarhus I had had 4 years on the Board, '69-'73, when I was in the Air Force.

Now I have more time for choirs. To tell the truth: I owe a lot to Clyde Hill ! - And so does Jens Peter, my brother, a better tenor than I. Now he is active in two choirs, sometimes a soloist. If it had not been for Clyde, I should not have been able to pull JP into a choir. He found his German Elke in one.

We can only hope for something better to come.

Kærlige hilsner,

Martin Horsted 2-19-17

Kære venner / Dear Friends,

Our winter has been quite warm, but in Svalbard, where, about 20 years ago, I saw myself changing shoes together with Jimmy Carter, only the two of us, it has been perversely, catastrophically warm, which poses a threat to wildlife - and a lot more.

On 16.01.17 I "resigned" as chairman of Morsø Folkeuniversitet, having felt for some months that 37½ years was long enough, but I am still on the Board. The last lecture I organized was given by a Copenhagen-based "Dylanologist", a respcted critic. I had not expected 70 people to come. He saw pictures from HHS afterwards.

Last week I saw "The Best Day in Olli Mäki's Life", a new Finnish movie in black 'n white, based on a true story,  I soon realized. Olli, a young talented boxer, was being forced forward by Elis Ask, his promotor, manager. His name rang a bell: Elis Ask had lost his European title  to a Dane back in the 1950s. - And here he was working very hard, brutally even, with Olli for his fight against Davey Moore. Olli lost, fortunately, for his girl was ready to take him the way he was.

- And we know what happened to Davey Moore later on. Thanks to whom ?

Mäki is in the US Maki, thus "easier", but the meaning of the name ?  On the internet I found it: 'hill'.As Finnish has got no double consonants, I had often wondered why Clyde, a Finn, was called Hill. Most likely his family had found that an English name would make life as immigrants easier.

In 2001 I asked Val(borg) Petersen why her family, immigrants from a country 90 per cent Lutheran, had become Methodists. A simple answer: her father believed that as Methodists they would be socially accepted more easily, and the Methodist Church was quite close to the Lutheran Church, and more American. They would not have to choose among four Lutheran congregations.

Sheer curiosity made me look up the meaning of Finnish surnames in Hibbing: koski, rapids; saari, island; lahti, bay;virta, river; korho, deaf; ranta, shore, beach; niemi, peninsula. Rantala is a placename.

-nen, a suffix, is a diminutive, thus making virtanen small river.

ranta is Scandinavian strand, but Finnish cannot have str- and -nd.

Margit, my special friend since '15, urged me to have not only new curtains, but also a new kitchen, which, however, has not made me a better cook. I miss my bottled gas. Unfortunately, Margit lives on Langeland, about 350 km, 200 mls, from here.

April will see me in Malta and Sicily for 10 days with the Geographical Society, and in May I am taking my third group, 21 pensioners, to the North Atlantic Faroe Islands, where we shall visit eight, perhaps nine, of 17 inhabited islands. On Suduroy Arnfinnur, my student in the 70s, will guide us.

According to the New York Times in 2016, Føroyar will be "the next great Scandinavian destination".

Perhaps you would like to see pictures from Mors,  the Limfiord around Mors, neighbouring islands and peninsulas ?  Have look at  Frans, the photographer, was a colleague, and so was his wife. I hope they will enjoy Føroyar, the Faroes. Pass on the pictures to others !  A month ago he was interviewed in the local paper: surprised to see that 13 viewers in Minnesota had visited his homepage. (I told him nothing).

Best greetings to all of you from


Martin Horsted 2-22-17

Kære Tessa og Dennis,

Congratulations on your latest grandchild !  Til lykke !

When I had been in Hibbing for less than a week, Dr Andrew Sinamark came to see me. He "claimed" to be Danish when I had said his name looked and sounded Slavonic. Well, in Denmark it had been Søndermark ""South(ern) Field"), which sounds a bit like Sinamark.

Forsa is situated in Hälsingland, where I have been five or six times, twice with students on an exchange programme I organized with Bollnäs, then twinned with Mors.

fors (in Norw. foss) is a rapid, lund a small wood.

Yesterday was Norwegian King Harald's 80th birthday, celebrated with his small family.

Tonight I am cooking together with about a dozen men my age: farmers, craftsmen, a journalist, a couple of shop-assistants. We do this at a small school in mid-Mors. Good red wine, too. We have had our ladies there once, but are going to invite them before the summer holidays.

You shall always be welcome here. Please, give my best regards to fellow Hibbingites !

Mange venlige hilsner,

Dennis To Martin 2-22-17

Dear Martin,

Great to hear from you again. We’re so lucky to have met you in Denmark because your 
stories are now easy to visualize. Would love to see the changes in your house - you 
needed to have a women’s touch to bring some life into your home. Glad for you.

Our winter is also abnormally warm, breaking high temperature records in the last
4 of 6 days. Pretty soon the bears are going to wake up.

You really are shaking up your lifestyle. Supposed to be good for you and keeps
your brain thinking outside the standard ruts.

Names are very strange in the US since we are a country of immigrants (at least
we were). My Dad was Johnson but that was Johannson in Norway. My Mom
was Forslund but that was Olaffsson in Sweden - changed as they came from Forsa,
West of Hudiksvall. 

The photos from Mors are wonderful. I need to go back and look through the photos
we took when we were in Denmark. It’s not out of the question that we may be back.
We are working with the sister of the couple that built our dome on Sandhornoy
Island near Bodo, Norway. They want to build a yoga studio next to their house,
which also happens to be a dome:

They built a mud/cob/log frame 3 story house inside the glass dome. Really cool!
especially the ocean view.

Will have to close for know but can’t do that without including a photo of the new
light in our lives - Grandson Field William Taintor Hill, now 3 months . He is now 
smiling, laughing and may be teething:

May this new year be the best one of your life.
As someone said “I’m going to live forever - so far, so good”


Martin Horsted 10-2-17

Kære allesammen / Dear All of You,

It has been a long time since you read anything from the isle om Mors.

We have had more rain this summer than ever before, people say, and it is still raining. In spite of storms and wet weather, I had my early morning dip until three weeks ago. Every day sees me biking, quite often 40 mls, to visit far corners of Mors.

Yesterday I read an interesting article in the Christian Daily. Ever heard of Tangier Island, Virginia? Completely unknown to me. Tiny Tangier is disappearing due to rising water levels and gnawing waves. Wikipedia gives a lot of interesting information about the small community and the dialect spoken there.

Margit, my dearest friend, is coming on Sunday from her Langeland, about 80 smaller than Mors, and will command me for five days only. Thanks to her I had my kitchen renovated, the tv moved to another room, new curtains, etc. We hope to have better weather for biking as she is no keen driver. We have been seeing each other for five days about every five weeks, and have had two courses at Rødding Folk High School. Unfortunately, I cannot take her abroad. When she worked for Danish Radio and Television, she travelled too much. She was widowed in '97.

One of my two choirs will have three concerts at the beginning of November. Since it is the fourth time I sing Brahms' German Requiem, I know it by heart and enjoy it every time we rehearse, six hours on the last Saturday of Sept. until June. Brother Jens Peter and Elke, his German wife, are in it, too. 

During the second weekend in January I am a tenor in an ad hoc choir at Askov Folk High School, about 100 mls from here. In '18 we shall be working on choral music by Debussy, Elgar, and Otto Mortensen, a prominent Danish composer of the 20th cent. (Askov is our most famous folk high school. Old students moved to a certain part of Minn., so when I was going north on a Greyhound bus in Aug. '60, I was taken aback when seeing the name). Paul, ninth generation in a "dynasty" of Lutheran ministers, my dormitory friend, chose our Askov for his retirement, so I shall have an hour or two with him and his spouse, also from Kollegium VI, Aarhus University. (After an ill-fated war against Germany, Denmark lost Slesvig-Holsten-Lauenborg (in German Schleswig-Holstein-Lauenborg). Until 1920 Rødding was in Germany, but Askov had been founded few kilometers from there, but north of the 1864 - 1920 Border.).

My local choir had to change from Thurs- to Tuesday in order to have a new conductor. This meant that some people had to leave. I know that I shall have to play hooky once a month as I belong to a group of men that meet one night a month to cook, eat, and enjoy wine. Poor tenor colleague Ib: he will be alone then. (We had an exchange teacher from the US, surprised when a student first pronounced, then spelled his name: "Ib ? Is that a name ?"  It is, and Norwegian has got Ip - and Ipsen ("A Doll's House").

During the World Symposium on Choral Music in Copenhagen in ´08 I was attached to Conspirare, a US choir, whose conductor Craig Hella Johnson had brought along his parents, Minnesotans. When I had mentioned Hibbing, his father asked if I knew Clyde Hill. (This has been mentioned to some of you. I had often thought it strange that a Finn could be surnamed Hill, so I looked up 'hill' in Finnish and found Mäki !  If ever you have the chance, see Juho Kuosmanen's brilliant film about Olli Mäki, the boxer !). When rehearsing, I often think of formidable Clyde. He taught me the expression "shooting the breeze".

For 37½ years I was head of Morsø Folkeuniversitet, but now I am back for six months as my successor gave birth to twins after a hard pregnancy.

A minister from the north of Mors, Lutheran, of course, for we have got nothing else, has asked me to read the Acts of the Apostles with him, in Italian. We have had three sessions.

My health is fairly good, but my hands shake, especially my left. Consequently, no postcards. Even a signature is demanding, ahimè !

Well, I am forgetting my lunch, wholemeal rye bread with herring and cheese accompanied by Indian tea.

My very best greetings to you - and please pass on my greetings to other Hibbingites !


Martin Horsted 9-2-17

Kiitos, rakkaani Jeanne, for passing on to Dennis George Peterson's obituary, which I should not otherwise have had.

At the '11 Reunion I had a conversation with George P., most likely my first. He said he would have liked to have me in one of his classes; but I had deaf Miss Bohn, which surprised him. Way back then in '60  I was dissatisfied, but as a foreign exchange student, a guest, I felt I could not protest. Quite easily I got A's in her class, but learned hardly anything. Thanks to Loren Paripovich we had some fun. Dennis mentioned Charles Miller; but I had Gladys Gandsey, somewhat pedestrian lessons. 

Excellent coaching by Frank Ongaro, CC, and Orvil Bies

However, Bruce Stark gave an excellent introduction into US history. French was a waste of time, because I had already had a year in DK and was going back to have 10th - 12th year French before graduating in '64.

Since ´61, I had the pleasure of staying with Mrs Butler, of visiting Orv Olson and his family.

Wonderful to be in "Oklahoma", one of my best memories, thanks to Vernon Wenberg, never afraid of showing his feelings.

Clyde Hill meant a lot to me in two choirs, HHS and Church. Since '61 I have been an active tenor in several choirs and ad hoc groups. People in Northfield,, Minn, know Clyde.

A Finn surnamed Hill ?  I checked and saw that 'hill' is in Finnish 'mäki'. More likely that he had been a Mäkinen, -en being the diminutive, thus "low hill".

Great memories were also the State Championships in Cross Country and Track. I have the Leather Jacket, but have never worn it since '61.

A lot of dear greetings to you and other Hibbingites from

Updated 10-20-17