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Dale Huffman
Omaha, Nebraska

Rolfe High School class of 1961

After some prompting, I have decided to mention a word or two about my remembrances of Rolfe. I was delighted to read so many nice essays and commentaries about Rolfe on this website, particularly from the class of í61. It brought back fond memories for me and it was nice to see that a few of my classmates and contemporaries still retain the capacity for remembering such things. Iíve forgotten much more than I remember, but there are a few memories of my days in Rolfe that will never leave me.

I had an experience a bit different from most of the students at Rolfe back then. I was born on a farm north of Rolfe and started school at DMT with Don Savery, Dean Johnson, Marie Turley, and others. After first grade I moved to Minneapolis, but returned to Rolfe each summer to spend time with my grandparents, Art and Gena Kilbourn on their farm. These summers were the fondest memories of my youth. I recall that in the early 50's it was always a treat for me to come to town on Saturday nights and go to the movies at the Ritz. The main street was so crowded on those warm Saturday evenings and busy with activity, particularly before staying home and watching TV became the popular pastime. During the summers I spent there, I became acquainted with some of the "Rolfe" kids, partly through relatives and partly through the summer vacation Bible schools I attended.

As I grew older and into my teens in the Minneapolis school system, I constantly yearned for the experience of going back to school in Rolfe, but didnít see how it could ever happen, since my parents would never move back there. Then during the Christmas break in my senior year I came down to visit my grandparents over the holidays and decided it was then or never. I decided to stay at Rolfe and finish out my senior year if my parents, grandparents, and Miss Marcum would let me. Fortunately, they all agreed, and as things turned out, it was the first good decision I ever made for myself. I have not regretted it for a minute.

The last semester of my senior year lasted only a few months, but was filled with so many memories that it seems such a large part of my life. I remember the fun I had participating in sports, although I wasnít very good - something I wasnít able to do in Minneapolis. I remember George Beckord urging me to run faster in the sprint events at track meets, as if I could run like his son Bruce, with my short legs. Playing golf on the sand greens at the golf course. Card parties at the homes of friends. Pool games at Ogdenís. Grain Belt beer. Senior play practice. Webbís Drug Store. The group study hall (we had no study halls in Minneapolis schools). Swimming at the gravel pit. The great fan support at the school sporting events. Our senior trip to Minneapolis. The last day of school and the sadness of leaving it all behind so soon to go on to college. Most of all, though, I remember the warmth and friendliness of everyone in town. Because of my Rolfe experience, I decided to bring up my own family in a small Iowa town.

Over the years Iíve seen the town of Rolfe change a great deal, but I always enjoy returning to relive in some way those memories of the way it was then.

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