A look back at Spring Valley circa 1973
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 3:19 AM
Forty years and counting - that would be the Class of '73, coming to Spring Valley's Ag Days weekend to reminisce and enjoy each other's company. In their senior year, new teachers coming on staff included Brad Johnson, social studies and phy. ed.; Cindy Herr, phy. ed.; Fran Victorine in English and communications; and Mark Sonnenberg, band instructor. A new Developmental Reading Program was begun using audio-visual equipment that would be useful in speech, music and driver training. Coming up: a school bond issue - a $380,000 project to replace the high school west wall and add library and office space. At the high school, a safe driving program was held with Lynette Turbenson and Merlin Meyer participating. Many different trades were being taught at the SE Vocational School in Preston, with students transported by bus to learn building, electronics and more. The school play, "Lil Abner," attracted 1,000 delighted viewers.
From the 1972-73 Reflections yearbook: Miss Meinke's German Club with more than just seniors listed.
News about town the fall of 1972? The former Congregational Church and parsonage were being demolished for Stafford Hansen's new Red Owl store (present library site). Spring Valley Saddle Club sponsored a Youth Horse Show; winning accolades were Craig Seabright in showmanship, and Sherry Lund who placed in several categories. In area contests, our own beauties struck it rich: Linda Jenson became Miss Rochester for a year, Betty Blahnik was Minnesota Honey Queen and Linda Johnson reigned as America's Honey Queen.
At the Standard Oil Terminal, Bert Williams, superintendent, and Norris Johnson, chief clerk, retired after countless years of service. Bernard Pietenpol built his last plane and leased his Cherry Grove airport and hangar to Vi Kapler. He would continue his mail order business of selling plans for the noted "Air Camper" to eager flyers around the world. A new solid waste disposal site, soon to create controversy, was opened south of town by Ken Hadland. The Trout Farm changed ownership; the city bought 120 acres of the former Emil Mueller farm east of town for a lagoon as part of the wastewater treatment system. Bonds were sold for a new liquor store to be built on north #16 and 63.
The first production of Brave Community Theatre, "Roaring Twenties Scrapbook," was announced by director Debi Neville. Our Saviors Lutheran Church came out with a new two-year Bible study course; taking training sessions were Ed Scheer, Sharon Jahn, Fran Burmeister, Paul Gunderson, Kelly Simpson and Mary Jo Dathe.
Sponsors of the weekly football contest in the Tribune: Rendahl & Highum, Coast to Coast, Pat's Greenway Co-op, Costello's Gulf Station, S.V. Appliance, Wally's Tire Service, S.V. Building Center, Bud's Bulk & Repair Service, Northwest Aluminum, First National Bank, Anthony's, Home Federal and Hansen's Red Owl. Gary Ruesink and Ron Smith became new owners of Northwest Aluminum. Coming from Kasson, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Daggett purchased the Culligan water-softening franchise.
When 1973 rolled in, Miss Herr was pushing to have the girls' track program go scholastic, which meant 12 meets instead of only three. The FFA swine judging team, Mark Sample, John Nelson, Greg Smith and Becky Wiersma, placed fifth of 17 teams; the club sold 400 cases of fruit in their annual fundraiser. Cliff Gundersons were adding an indoor dining room to the Malt 'n Burger on south #63, and the Lobster House was being remodeled and expanded. The school board approved hikes in salaries for school bus drivers - up to $212 per month, cooks to $307, and assistants got a raise to $2 an hour. The metal working class formed a short-term corporation to make and sell garden trowels, with officers Dennis Marzolf, David Dathe, Greg Davids and Phil Nelson.
It was decided to discontinue the teen dances due to reports of drugs and alcohol on the premises. The youth center board met with the school board to consider the problem.
Town news? Jack Blink purchased Determan Drug, to be called Valley Drug; Susie Paulson's Home Grocery merited a nice story and pictures, and Dean Johnson bought Peterson Drug, now Valley Drug. Lloyd Schultenover at S.V. Building Center was pleased to advertise his firm had done construction on the new addition at Squeak's Valley IGA Foodliner. The fire hall on East Courtland was to be replaced with a new facility; a Hot Meals on Wheels program began, managed by volunteers, Tamarack Cafe to do the meals at a buck each; drivers were Mrs. Lyle Clark and Mrs. Wallace Osland. In April, the town recorded the worst snowstorm in 92 years, but life went on.
The PCA of Minnesota was going through some turmoil, and there was considerable controversy regarding the sanitary landfill south of town and the towns' own dumpsite as well. Eventually, Ironwood Landfill reopened with new owner Dick Grafe and his "silent partners." Sears & Roebuck announced they were closing business after 27 years in town; what a loss to the community. In May, a consecration service was held at the new $280,000 Faith United Methodist Church; 200 folks attended the Cub Scout award dinner at St. Ignatius, with more than 50 scouts active in the program.
The class of '73 is invited to check out the Methodist Church Museum display of class photos from the past 100 years, memorabilia, and the Wolf itself. Hours are l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day through Labor Day.
See you there!