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Y2k Bubbles in the Wine
Deane Gunderson
Rolfe, Iowa
Rolfe High School Class of 1935

It was fun 20 or so years ago writing a column, "Bubbles In The Wine," for the "Rolfe Arrow." As a friend said, the ideas in the column might come as fast as the bubbles from the fermenting wine - and be worth about as much as the bubbles.

What's all of this hullabaloo about the year 2000? Oh - now I know. It's the 65th anniversary of my Rolfe High School class of' 1935. Two other boys and nine girls out of 23 are left with fond memories of RHS in the midst of the Great Depression.

One thing we had in school was plenty of discipline. Miss Marcum, the well known teacher of 50+ years tenure, mostly as principal, demanded that at the change of class we stood up at the command of "rise," paused a moment at "stand," and then moved at the command of "pass."

She wasn't the only disciplinarian. There were others: Carroll Lane, Junior High principal; Clara Hendrickson, English and history; Coach Art Evans, and our feared, admired and respected superintendent, Melvin Anderson - disciplinarians all.

Melvin Anderson was instrumental through his 19-year tenure in developing the Rolfe Independent School District into its sizable service area without which it might not have survived as long as it did as a separate consolidated unit. "Andy." as he was known, saw to it that Rolfe was known as a good school especially by families on the outskirts of Rolfe's trade area. Thus the Melsons, Behrendsens, Ricklefs, Wiegerts and Shelgrens came in from the East and Southeast, while the Dornaths, Mefferds and Tjadens came from the South. The Shimons, Callons, DeWalls and Gundersons came from the South and West.

Andy and I kept up a friendship for many years as he was later superintendent at Toledo and Ankeny, and as a Regional Supervisor for the Department of Public Instruction.

Reviewing the RHS consolidation a dozen years after its formation on the subject of why it went so well, Andy said of another involved family, "I had them eating out of my hand."

Andy and Miss Marcum were a great educational team. My '35 class had great respect for both of them.

Thinking about the depression of the '30s, Gerald Chase had a barber shop in Rolfe, but moved to Bradgate (to get out of the high rent district?), and had a shop there. When you went there and dad Harold Shelgren was ahead of you with sons Bob, Virgil, John, Glen and Jim, and maybe daughter June, you figured you would have over an hour's wait, but no - barber Chase would have all the family done very quickly at 25 cents each for father and boys, and 10 cents for June if she were there for a neck trim.

Even so, Superintendent Andy and I were visiting on Main Street one Saturday evening (the community social event of the week) when I happened to mention what a nice hair cut his junior high son, Dick, had and where did he get it? " Andy said, "He's never had a shop hair cut. I always cut his hair." Such were the 30's.

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