khs2_59.jpg (18550 bytes)High School, 1959

I lived in Silver Bay from 1956 to 1960. I truly believe it was the most educational time of my life. Everything I am today was built on the foundation of 3 years as a Mariner. I came to Silver Bay from Babbitt in the summer of 56. I only knew the kids that had come earlier to the Bay, from Babbitt. The first house we lived in was at 13 Chase Lane. We had one of the few really great views of the lake and the lower town site, of anyone in town. It was and still is the only house on that street. When school opened I reluctantly made my way to Compton Elementary School. Kelley High was in the early stages of construction. The idea was to have grades 1 thru 10 at Silver Bay and bus the few 11th and 12th graders to Two Harbors. I luckily made the cut. I was in 10th grade and was told to report to the Elementary School. I had no idea what lay in store for me. Needless to say the school was crowded so Reserve opened up 5 or 6 houses across Banks Boulevard and down the street, to be our classrooms. I had History, Biology, and Geometry over there and English, Band, Physical Ed. and Shop in Compton. My shop class with Mr. Schnorr was up in the projection room above the Gym. It was kind of exciting until the snow flew and temperatures went to the basement. Each hour we would have to put on our coats and go to the next class in groups so we wouldn’t get lost in the blinding snowstorms.

On opening day I followed the crowd to the Gym where we all met, to get our class assignments. I noticed one group of kids that seemed to be the most popular. Lots of teachers were talking to them like they were old friends. So I made my way in their direction. Marilyn Strand, Bob Hermans and Eddy Schramm saw me and made me feel right at home. They all turned out to be 10th graders too. They had one other thing in common, that would change my life forever. They were BAND members. When they found out I played trumpet I was immediately introduced to Mr. Baseman, the music director. The next day I brought my trumpet and joined the band and suddenly realized that I hadn’t played the thing in 3 yrs. Couldn’t remember a note. Mr. Baseman saw the problem and graciously said he had all the trumpets he could use and would I consider taking up another instrument. He said what he needed was a trombone player. I didn’t want to lose the association of my newfound friends. I said yes and the trombone became my passport to 3 of the most fantastic school years a guy could have. It became my trademark and ticket into every school and city function for those 3 glorious years. I graduated in 59 and we moved to St. Paul in 60, where my sister Jean took the trombone and did another 3 years in the North St. Paul High School band. My brother Dick was Drum Major.

The next year, Kelley High was still in construction but finished enough to open a portion for us 11th graders. The next year another wing was opened for us 12th graders. So you can see we were seniors for 3 years. You might think that this situation could lead to enormous amounts of self-esteem and you would be right. That’s what made my stay at Silver Bay so great. It did get us into a little trouble in our junior year. We decided to have a Prom. The student council met and planned the whole thing. All the arrangements were made for chaperones, music, food and decorations. The big night was only a few days away when our principal, Mr. Granger, informed the student council that we couldn’t have a Prom because we were not seniors. A junior-senior prom could only take place the following year. This year a prom was out of the question. As teenagers do, we rebelled. It was the main topic of conversation that whole week. The student council met continually with the principal, to no avail. As is the case with teenagers the more you tell them they can’t do something the more they are determined they will. The day of the dance the decorations went up and a quick meeting with Mr. Granger found some common ground. It wasn’t the dance itself he was against. It was the name. A quick change of the decorations and we all had the time of our lives at the Junior MORP. Just minding your Ps and Qs is not enough; you must look out for your Ps and Ms too. The following year a beautiful Prom took place, as was the custom. My date Sharon Rouser and I had a great time. But we 59ers will probably never forget the MORP.

Things I will never forget:

My Biology teacher, Mr Bartholamew("who cooks for you"), First time I ate pizza- Jim Alvar’s party, Judy Henderson’s parties, My mother teaching me to dance in the kitchen before my first dance, My red motor scooter that everyone in Silver Bay knew, Chief of Police Don Suess warning me where the driving examiner would yell STOP during my test, Mr. Baseman for being the first adult to treat me as an equal, Sparky McNiell for giving me my first real job at the IGA and lastly to Sharon Strand, Kathy Melby and Roberta Custer who taught me, " you can’t have everything you want in life".

     - Durwin White