Rolfe High School Alumni Web Site: Graphic by Wendy Bennett

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Your Letters
Dick Gray agriculture teacher 1952-54 invitation to a Tanzanian safari
Dallas Ives class of 1963 report on escaping Hurricane Rita
Main Section of Rolfe School to be Razed

At the all-class reunion program on July 9, 2005, the emcee announced that a crew would begin on July 11 to raze the three-story, brick section of the Rolfe school building . It was built in 1917.

Rolfe High School had its last senior class in 1990. Then the Rolfe schools merged with the Pocahontas schools. For the past several years, Rolfe had an elementary program and was the site of the Pocahontas Area Community middle school. However, in the spring of 2004, bricks fell from the upper part of the south face, destabilizing the facility. The state fire marshal determined that the building should be evacuated, and the PAC board of directors decided that the building should be razed.

At least one person at the all-class reunion said that the demolition of the school feels akin to having a death in the family. Our condolences. Also, our thanks to those people who struggled with the challenging process of deciding what to do with the facility. We pray for healing for the grief and any hurt feelings that have resulted from the decision-making process. Also, we plan to post photos of and perhaps interviews about the demolition process. Photo taken on July 10, 2005. Click on image for a larger view.

The 2005 all-class reunion (editor's report)
Rolfe school building at risk (a 2004 report)
Freecycle web site worth checking out
Archives of bulletin board essays, etc.
Book of RHS essays for sale
Submitting information for bulletin board

The 2005 Reunion an Editor's Report

Wow! The all-class school reunion and Greater Rolfe Days were great. We've got some audio files from the reunion and photos from the parade to post. But actually, I am sort of on vacation this week. The good news and bad news is that the motel has Internet service. That means I could post some material now. On the other hand, I would like to wait until I get back and do a thorough job of providing you with the new information. But before I close and figure out how to relax while on vacation, a couple of notes are in order.

The reunion committee did a great job of pulling off the all-class event. Over 350 alumni, faculty, and friends attended. Unfortunately, one of the ringleaders, Nancy Martin of the class of 1951, ended up in the hospital on Sunday. We heard she was dehydrated and had an inner ear problem. I would suspect she was totally worn out from all the time, thought, and energy she put into the celebration.

One of the great touches during the weekend was the reunion band that consisted of students who have Rolfe connections, RHS alumni, and a couple other adults. Marilee Kleespies was the one who recruited, trained, and directed the band. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, Rolfe area piano teacher, organist, and substitute teacher. Her husband Bill Kleespie owns Bill's Food Store. Their daughter, Allie, was in the band.

The band played and a large crew of former RHS cheerleaders led the crowd at the Saturday night program in a rousing rendition of the Rolfe Loyalty song. It is hard to say which left a more lasting impression on me the feeling of spirit as the crowd sang the school song or the great sound of the reunion choir when it performed On Top of the World (a popular 70s song by the Carpenters), the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and God Bless America. A big thanks to Marilee for directing the band and John Nielsen for directing the chorus and to all the musicians. We hope to be able to post lists of all the musicians.

It was great to have three locations for the various classes to gather: the Community Center, Golf Club, and Lutheran Church. Also, the public library was open throughout the weekend and was a place to relax, browse annuals, look at pictures of the graduating classes, and reminisce. All facilities were air-conditioned and great for handicap accessibility. Thank you to all the people who have worked over the years to make those facilities what they are.

On Saturday night, as people milled around Main Street and the library, it was easy to feel what Saturday nights on Main Street must have felt like decades ago when Main Street was THE PLACE for the community to socialize on Saturday nights.

Of course there is much more to be said and people who need to be thanked. That includes all the individuals and organizations who sponsored various events such as the quilt show, antique car show, parade, and much more. But I'll wait until later this month to do a more thorough job of posting information, including how you can contribute to a newly-organized Rolfe alumni scholarship fund to be given each year to a student who is a Rolfe area resident and graduates from the Pocahontas Area Community School District.

I encourage you to write to the reunion committee and express your thanks. You could also write to Rolfe Betterment, Inc. via Geri Sandvig. Also, if you have photos from or thoughts about the weekend that you would like posted, send them along. Thanks.

And by the way, check out our new E-Postcard section where you can send a cyber postcard from Rolfe.

Helen D. Gunderson
RHS Alumni Web Site Editor
July 12, 2005

Freecycle Web Site Worth Checking Out
We have discovered a web site for the Freecycle Network. It is is made up of  individual groups across the globe and is a grassroots movement of people who are giving and getting stuff for free in their own towns. Each local group is run by a local volunteer moderator. Membership is free.
We used the network site to find the Story County Freecycle web site that serves central Iowa, and soon we had posted that we had some window shades to give away.

The network was started in May 2003 to promote waste reduction in Tucson's downtown and help save desert landscape from being taken over by landfills. It provides individuals and non-profits an electronic forum to "recycle" unwanted items. One person's trash can truly be another's treasure!

As the Story County Freecyle site says,

Our goal is to reduce waste by connecting people who are throwing away unwanted items with others seeking the same items (and have a little fun in the process). No item is too big or too small; but since this is a FREEcycle list, ALL items must be 100% (that's right, you got it) free.

Freecycling lies somewhere between the garage sale and the dump, and is much cooler than either. It's an innovative concept that harnesses the power of the Internet to do what the Internet does best -- eliminate the middleman and empower the individual. Unlike traditional charitable organizations that accept people's castoffs and sell them for low prices in unappealing shops (or end up taking them to the dump anyway), freecycling allows for personal contact between donor and recipient -- each gets exactly what they want, and nobody is considered a 'charity case.' (Indeed, many freecyclers both give and receive items on a regular basis.) It's a perfect consumer-friendly circle: no overhead, no intermediaries, no money changing hands, no waste and no catch, and everyone's happy.

Archives of Bulletin Board Essays and Photographs


Bulletin board page from 2005.

Bulletin board page from 2004.

Gazette editor Helen Gunderson writes essay about war and peace.

Chris Simonson becomes obit editor
Alum honored for law practices
Class of 1977 reunion
Class of 1962 reunion
Interesting commentary
Rolfe alumna carries Olympic torch

Winter Weather and Twins
Romance and Friendship (we've lost the file)
March Madness
No Man is an Island   Reflections on PACS Commencement
Class of 1951 and DMT Reunions plus a lot more about DMT
Thoughts about Patriotism
Food for Thought about Simplifying the Holidays

RHS Book of Essays Available for Purchase

We've published a book of the essays from this website. It includes editorial material not available online as well as photographs and some artwork by Darlene Brinkman. Order yours now or purchase one at the Rolfe State Bank or Mary's Bookshelf at the Pocahontas Pharmacy.  The deadline for submitting essays to be included in the book was September 30, 2001; however,  new essays for the web site are always welcome. 

click here for information about the book
click here for a book order form
click here
for essay guidelines
click here to read current essays on-line

Submitting Information

If you have information you would like posted on this page, please contact us the who, what, when, and when of the announcement or story. Submitted items should be consistent with the terms of service of this website. We also encourage you to send ideas for our monthly theme as well as feedback about this site.

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